February 2, 2019

Weekend reads: Lessons from the polar vortex; EV charging at the Super Bowl

Waiting for the Super Bowl to begin? Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web:

Polar vortex offers utility customers lesson in demand response (Energy News Network)  Michigan residents’ responses ranged from helpful to spiteful when utilities asked them to turn down thermostats this week. Collectively, though, they informally engaged in a clean energy concept known as demand response. Demand response is a term for voluntary programs that incentivize utility customers to reduce energy use during peak demand periods. When weather events occur — hot or cold — the idea is to lessen the stress on energy systems. That can help utilities avoid having to use or build expensive infrastructure.

Energy-Efficient Buildings Are Central to Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure (Center for American Progress)   If roads, bridges, and phone and transmission lines are the veins of American infrastructure, buildings are the heart. Whether residential or commercially owned, the buildings that serve as places of work and living in the United States unquestionably shape public health, safety, and economic productivity. As buildings’ multiplying energy needs increasingly force their integration into the United States’ energy grid, it has become necessary to update building practices and technologies accordingly. 

Are California’s solar and wind projects at risk in PG&E bankruptcy? (Chico Enterprise-Record)  California has the most far-reaching renewable energy laws in United States. But with the bankruptcy filing Tuesday by the state’s biggest electric utility, PG&E, major questions are arising about whether California will be able to meet its ambitious targets for solar, wind and other types of green electricity in the years ahead. “It’s not just business. The state’s environmental and climate goals are at stake,” said John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a non-profit group in Sacramento. “How are we going to finance all of the clean energy initiatives we need?”

Super Bowl-goers can charge electric cars at stadium's 48 plugs (Mashable)  The winner of Sunday's Super Bowl is already determined: electric vehicles. The big football game between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots is at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) in Atlanta  — and the newest NFL stadium was built with sustainability in mind. Part of its modern design is sections of its parking lots devoted to electric car charging. Electric vehicle (EV) charging is available for up to 48 cars at a time, for those with a purchased parking pass. 

Eggshells May Power The Renewable Energy Revolution (Clean Technica)  Ready for some happy news among all the gloom surrounding government shutdowns, border security, and malfeasance in high places? Here’s something that may put a smile on your face. According to researchers in Western Australia, eggshells may be the key to abundant, inexpensive energy storage. Dr. Manickam Minakshi and his colleagues began experimenting with eggshells in 2017 using eggs purchased at the local supermarket. 

Keywords: Weekend reads

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