Friday, August 30, 2013

Renewable Energy and the U.S. Power Grid

Utah's 10-Year Energy Plan
Will renewable energy take over the electrical grid? Some seem to think so, and not just those who are in the business of selling the benefits of going green. A report by Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and executives at NRG Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric explains why this could be the case as renewable energy has been getting closer and closer to being competitive with conventional fossil fuels. New technology is being developed, new ways of storing intermittent sources (such as wind and sun) are being found, and greater use of renewable energy is being promoted by the U.S. Government through grants.

In Utah, Governor Herbert's 10-Year Energy Plan has identified goals to help move the state forward with innovative energy development.

Through the Recovery Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), the Utah State Energy Office is managing funds to improve energy efficiency and reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions in communities while directing all of its State Energy Program funding to local city and county governments that did not receive direct EECBG grants from the Department of Energy.

To name a few, the Utah State Energy Program has used grant funds to support the “Solar for Schools” program, a statewide energy education initiative that will install 73 solar panels at schools throughout the state, with at least one display in each of the state’s districts. The program has also built a demonstration house that is being used in training workers to find ways to make homes of low-income residents more energy efficient. And along with the grant and UAMPS, a nonprofit agency based in Salt Lake City, 14 rural communities across the state have replaced streetlights with efficient LEDs.

To read more about the 10-year Energy Program, see here.

To read more about the “Economics of Renewable Energy”, see the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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