Australia, the Land Down Under, is a very interesting and exciting place for renewable energy. The high levels of irradiance it receives makes it a great place for solar power to flourish. Australia has also seen its fair share of natural disasters caused at least in part by a warming planet. A transition to clean energy can help fight against climate change and it makes sense financially. As Australia continues on its journey to a clean energy economy, the rest of the world can observe what works and what causes challenges.
On Wednesday, March 24th Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) held a webinar titled "Search for Resilience: Texas Blackouts, Policy Fallout, and How Advanced Energy Can Help”. It has been about one month since the disastrous winter weather caused blackouts all across ERCOT, Texas’s electric grid. It was enlightening to hear from industry and policy experts about what has happened in the wake of the blackouts, and what the future of ERCOT and other electric grids across the United States will look like.
Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the United States recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This continues to be a trend for coal companies over the last couple of years. As renewables like solar and wind become more cost effective, they are beginning to move coal fired power plants out of the picture. Unfortunately, the effects of this bankruptcy will harm only the most vulnerable. It will lead to workers and coal miners getting the short end of the stick, and top executives at Murray Energy getting off scot-free. “It (Murray Energy) will seek to be relieved of its obligations to retirees, their dependents and widows. We have seen this sad act too many times before.” (Source)
What Is Peak Demand?
Peak Demand is when electrical power demand is the highest. A likely time for Peak Demand to come is during a heatwave, when households and businesses across the nation turn on their air conditioning to stay cool. When peak demand occurs, utilities fire up peaker plants, which are able to meet the increased demand for electricity.
This past week, 20,000 renewable energy professionals flocked to Salt Lake City for Solar Power International and North America Smart Energy Week. Nestled in the spectacular Wasatch mountains, Salt Lake City was the perfect host for the conference. The people of the city were warm and friendly, and the views were breathtaking.