Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Regulation, Utilities, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 16, 2017

Weekend reads: The rise of the microgrid; Bitcoin's energy dilemma; wind, solar tax update & 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:

Meet the microgrid, the technology poised to transform electricity (Vox): If we want a livable climate for future generations, we need to slow, stop, and reverse the rise in global temperatures. To do that, we need to stop burning fossil fuels for energy. To do that, we need to generate lots of carbon-free electricity and get as many of our energy uses as possible (including transportation and industry) hooked up to the electricity grid. Electrify everything! We need a greener grid. But that’s not all.

Bitcoin mining on track to consume all of the world's energy by 2020 (Newsweek): A network that underpins the virtual currency bitcoin is projected to require all of the world’s current energy production in order to support itself within three years, according to estimates. The amount of power necessary to support bitcoin has increased significantly in recent months, as its price has surged to record levels. On Monday, one bitcoin was worth around $16,500—a twentyfold increase since the start of 2017.

Tax Tool Crucial to Wind, Solar Appears Spared in GOP Deal (Bloomberg): A $12 billion tax-equity tool that U.S. wind and solar developers depend on to finance projects appears likely to remain largely intact as part of the sweeping reform that Republicans were negotiating Thursday. A tentative compromise would preserve most, but likely not all, of the value of renewable energy tax credits that developers sell to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and other large financial institutions, said Senator John Thune, the chamber's No. 3 Republican.

Grid Reliability Authority Undercuts Perry's Plan to Save Coal and Nukes in New Report (Greentech Media): Energy Secretary Rick Perry's proposal to give coal and nuclear power plants more money in the name of grid reliability has just seen another piece of evidence stacked against it -- this time, from the nation’s grid reliability overseer. On Thursday, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation released its 2017 Long-Term Reliability Assessment of the nation's bulk electricity generation and transmission system. 

Electric Utilities Set New Benchmark for Business Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds (PR Newswire): Electric utility providers have found the ideal combination in customer communications, ramping up engagement efforts through a multi-channel mix of phone, website, mobile, and even face-to-face visits, driving record high levels of satisfaction among business customers, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study.

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