Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Power Prices, Regulation, Utilities, Regulation, Solar  -  April 15, 2017

Weekend reads: 'Ninja force' grid protection; NRG's activist challenge; Trump pressed on climate & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

NRG, a Power Company Leaning Green, Faces Activist Challenge (The New York Times): Over the years, NRG, a leading independent power producer whose fleet once depended heavily on coal, has made big bets on low-carbon energy technologies and publicized its embrace of sustainability as essential to its future. It pursued developing renewable energy for customers large and small and set aggressive goals to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide — 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050. But now, the company finds its strategy challenged from within.

Tesla Just Passed GM to Become America's Most Valuable Carmaker (Bloomberg): Elon Musk's Tesla Inc. surpassed General Motors Co. to become America's most valuable carmaker, eclipsing a company whose well-being was once viewed as interdependent with the nation's. A week after topping Ford Motor Co., Tesla climbed 3.3 percent Monday, lifting its market capitalization to $50.9 billion. The electric-car maker ended the day valued at about $64 million more than GM. Musk's company is now within $1 billion of Honda Motor Co. and cracking the top-five automakers worldwide.

"Cyber-Ninja Force" Being Developed to Protect Energy, Gas Grid (Real Clear Energy): Protecting the U.S. electrical grid and the gas pipeline system from cyberattacks has drawn increased attention from Congress as the threats to infrastructure become more prevalent globally. Successful cyberattacks on Saudi Arabia's energy infrastructure in 2012 and Ukraine's electrical grid in 2015 have spurred coordination between U.S. utilities, national laboratories and state governments like never before, according to testimony before a Senate panel earlier this month.

Businesses pressure Trump to stay in Paris climate deal (The Hill): Businesses that support the Paris climate deal are pressuring President Trump to keep the United States in the accord. They argue that by staying involved in the international talks, the U.S. can discourage policies that could hurt the oil, gas and coal industries. Coal companies, oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, renewable energy groups, and major American manufacturers such as General Electric are among those arguing that the United States should stay in the deal.

California solar spike leads to negative CAISO real-time prices in March (Utility Dive): Solar capacity on the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) system spiked last year, leading to negative prices at times when output is highest but demand is not. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total solar capacity in California (including both distributed and utility-scale systems) grew from less than 1 GW in 2007 to nearly 14 GW by the end of last year.

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