Category Archives: Energy

Aspen Electric joins the most exclusive of groups

Aspen Electric has joined the most elite of clubs, utilities with 100 percent renewable portfolios. It joins salt-of-the-earth Greensburg, Kan., and earthy progressive Burlington, Vt. But a great many other municipalities have started down the same path. Continue reading

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Pricing carbon emissions in Canada and the United States

British Columbia has a tax on carbon emissions, and it seems to have worked well there. How will the United States tax emissions of carbon dioxide? Through a cap-and-trade system or, as Citizens Climate Lobby advocates, a “carbon fee and dividend?” Continue reading

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Our energy of the future: flexible, decentralized, and diverse

Instead of energy-on-demand we’ll have energy-just-in-time is how one speaker in Denver described the energy system of the future. Others talked about different storage methods, more distributed energy, and greater diversity of sources. Continue reading

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Why so few water markets in the West?

Most of our energy sources, particularly fossil fuels, require great amounts of energy. A speaker from Western Resource Advocates paints the bigger picture in this water-energy nexus. Continue reading

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The climate optimism of Tim Wirth

At the American Renewable Energy Day conference, an upbeat Tim Wirth predicted great success at the Paris climate change negotiations in Paris during December, but said he sees two major questions beyond Paris. Continue reading

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Game changers and other shifts in electrical services

Solar and wind soon will be competitive with fossil fuels without need of subsidies. They’re being integrated into existing systems at volumes thought impossible a decade ago. And the future is so incredibly bright—if only we get the new public policy right for electrical utilities. Continue reading

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The murkiness of voluntary RECs

Credit Telluride with busting its butt to decarbonize municipal and eventually community functions. But did purchase of $18,250 worth of RECs from the Ridgway hydroelectric unit really achieve it? Continue reading

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Reasons for energy optimism and caution

Stanford University’s Sally Benson talks about what drove the great success of solar, the exciting promise of battery storage, the uneven progress of carbon capture and storage, and the concept of net energy, which finds that wind energy produces far more than is required in front-end inputs. Continue reading

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A conversation about utilities of the future

Regulation of investor-owned utilities in Colorado and elsewhere is “so 20th century,” in the words of a Colorado legislator. Max Tyler proposes a deep examination of regulatory reform. His bill passed its first test on a party-line vote.
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Thinning snow for skiing and melting Arctic ice

While snow-short Mt. Baker Ski Area struggles to reopen in Washington state, the implications of melting ice in the Arctic was discussed at the Vail Global Energy Forum. Continue reading

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