In Case You Missed It

As late summer heat waves in Texas and other states put enormous strain on the grid, there has been a spike in coverage on the smart grid and demand response as key enablers of a more clean, reliable and flexible electric system. Take a look at this week’s news roundup to read about different strategies to keep the lights on while transitioning to renewable sources.

This Week’s News Roundup

Speeding Adoption of EVs a New Focus for National Standards Group
GreenBiz, August 19, 2011
A new report from the American National Standards Institute asserts that a top priority should be “development of a North American standards roadmap to facilitate global harmonization” so that concepts and systems can have universal application.

An Electric Power Industry Evolution – From Provider to Partner
Scientific American, August 19, 2011
Residential demand response is indicative of a slowly occurring shift in the way people think about electricity.

Opinion: Why No Country Should Promote a Specific Type of Alternative Fuel
Autoblog Green, August 18, 2011
Automotive News says that by subsidizing a single type of alt-fueled vehicle, automakers will focus on developing that specific kind of vehicle and ignore other technologies that could potentially hold the key to the future.

Why the Scorching Summer Underlies the Need for a Smart Grid
GreenBiz, August 18, 2011
Fortunately, smart grid solutions will help us do more than keep our lights on. They will help us integrate cleaner energy — to combat environmental damage as a result of burning fossil fuels — by managing the inherent variability of wind and solar power.

New Study: Clean Fuels are Good for the Economy in Northeast, Mid-Atlantic States
NRDC Swithboard, August 17, 2011
The state of Maine recently released an economic analysis of a regional clean fuels standard for 11 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Electric Cars Get a Charge out of Portland Street
Associated press, August 17, 2011
In partnership with utility companies, the city of Portland has unveiled an “electric avenue” where EVs can plug in while parked.

The Smart Grid Optimization Engine
Greentech Media, August 16, 2011
A smat grid optimization engine would provide economic benefit, as it reduces capital and operating budgets based on its more effective use of system inputs and infrastructure.

The top habits that separate energy management leaders from laggards
GreenBiz, August 16, 2011
Across industries, companies that have the best grasp on energy management and energy efficiency programs follow similar steps — and struggle with similar challenges, according to a just-published survey of executives.

The City of the Future Is Already Here
Fast Company, August 16, 2011
We are already experiencing many of the benefits of technological advances that make our cities livable and sustainable homes.

USDA, DOE and US Navy to invest up to $510M over next 3 years to build out drop-in biofuels production capacity for military and commercial transportation
Green Car Congress, August 16, 2011
President Obama announced that the US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will jointly invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.

Where to get a green job
Treehugger, August 16, 2011
This infographic shows where the green jobs are, and how the green economy is growing compared to the rest of the economy.

Equipment cited in winter outages
Houston Chronicle, August 16, 2011
Cold weather-related equipment failures were to blame for power problems that included rolling blackouts in Texas and other Southwestern states in February, according to a report released by federal regulators on Tuesday. This highlights risk of current outdated electric system.

Smart Grids Highlight Innovation’s Promise and Where America Leads the World, Even China
Forbes, August 15, 2011
Lessons from the telecommunications industry are directly analogous to where the sprawling electric infrastructure sits today.

The Clear Case for the Gas Tax
New York Times, August 15, 2011
This editorial argues that for the sake of the environment, the economy, and a functioning transportation system, the gas tax will need to rise.

Northeast states considering low-carbon fuel rule based on Calif. model
GreenWire, August 15, 2011
A group of 11 states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions is working on a plan that could cut the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by as much as 15 percent over the next 10 to 15 years.

Post-stimulus financing: Will renewable growth continue?
Renewable Energy World, August 15, 2011
Will private lenders and investors pick up where government leaves off in a post-stimulus world?