Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 17, 2017
In 2017, it would be hard to find very many people who don’t know about Monday’s big solar outage. Here’s hoping everyone safely enjoys the eclipse in all its wonder – while also absorbing what this dramatic sun interruption teaches about the need for reliable energy in our daily lives. And that lesson is that natural gas is the every-day essential partner – partner, not backup – to intermittent energy sources like solar because, as will be underscored on Eclipse Monday, the sun doesn’t always shine.
Posted September 12, 2016
Last month we noted new research showing that because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, the use of renewables by utilities in generating electricity needs a big assist from natural gas. We also pointed out how a rise in electricity generation from renewables this year has been accompanied by record-setting use of natural gas in the power sector. There’s an essential relationship between the two – one that fits with our view that an all-of-the-above approach is the best way to ensure the U.S. economy and American households are well-supplied with energy. A new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows how this is working in California, a big state with big electricity needs.
Posted January 14, 2016
If you believe America is best served by taking a true, all-of-the-above approach to energy – and we do – there’s not a lot of value in getting into a donnybrook over which energy sector employs the most people. America needs all of its energy sources and all of each energy sector’s jobs. That said, let’s set the record a little straighter in the wake of a recent report by the Solar Foundation.
The solar report trumpets 209,000 workers employed by the solar industry – including installation, manufacturing, sales & distribution, project development and “all others.” The report compares that figure with 187,000 people employed in just the oil and natural gas industry’s extraction segment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an apples-to-oranges comparison that could leave a wrong impression.
We looked at the comparison and figured something is missing.
Posted April 16, 2015
The Wall Street Journal: A former White House economic adviser is calling for changes to a 2005 law mandating increased use of alternative fuels in the nation’s transportation supply, adding a key voice to a growing chorus of people who say the policy is not working.
In a report published Thursday, Harvard University professor Jim Stock, who served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2013 and 2014, proposes several reforms to the biofuels mandate, known as the renewable fuel standard, including some requiring congressional approval.
The report adds to a growing body of politicians and experts who are questioning the law’s effectiveness amid regulatory uncertainty and lower oil prices.
Posted July 30, 2014
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Teaming up with the oil and gas industry might sound strange for a strong believer in solar power, but for David Jason, it’s just smart business.
“The entire solar industry has kind of shunned the oil and gas industry,” Mr. Jason said. “I think they see it as a business, where a lot of people in solar see it as a cause. I see it as both.”
Mr. Jason is co-owner of Green Roads Energy, a solar distribution company in Mt. Lebanon. He has been involved in various solar projects in the region, and now he’s turning his sights on the oil and gas industry.
The plan? To provide oil and gas companies with customized solar panels to generate power at remote well sites to reduce fuel costs and eliminate the need for diesel generators or transmission lines.
Mr. Jason is not the first to come up with this idea. The use of solar applications at drill sites is becoming much more common, according to Ken Johnson, communications director for the Solar Energy Industries Association, a nonprofit trade group based in Washington, D.C.
Posted September 4, 2012
The Department of Energy tweeted the following this morning:
“A Graph is Worth 1000 Words: Charting Solar Generation in the United States”
Posted November 7, 2011
Posted March 25, 2011
Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 20, 2010
Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 25, 2010