Coaching and Promoting Teams in the Solar In Your Community Challenge

The US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office is wrapping up the Solar In Your Community Challenge soon. The Challenge was an inspired effort to stimulate new approaches to solar power that can benefit low-income individuals and communities, public agencies, and non-profits. About 170 teams took up the Challenge, ranging from very grassroots first-time […] continue reading »

Is it finally time for a Western RTO?

The debate around whether Western states should join together in a formal electricity market has been going on for at least two decades.  It may be coming to a head — or at least get closer to coming to a head — if the legislature passes AB813, a bill that sets conditions for how California […] continue reading »

Viz kid

The information age has buried us all in information.  So how do you get through to people who don’t have time to read reports, journal articles, or even blog posts? Data visualizations. Putting data together in an interactive and visually compelling way can be the fastest way to get your point across, and a good […] continue reading »

Measuring Diversity

The controversial grid study currently underway at the behest of US Energy Secretary Rick Perry repeats a familiar talking point of the coal industry: that the decline in coal is reducing diversity. In his memo requesting the study, Perry states that experts have “highlighted the diminishing diversity of our nation’s electric generation mix, and what […] continue reading »

Mister Solar

The explosive growth in solar power is keeping everybody busy.  I’ve suddenly become Mr. Sunshot, working on three interrelated solar projects that are funded by the US Department of Energy. Now that solar is affordable, how can low-income customers benefit from it?  The poor need to save money more than anybody but face hurdles in […] continue reading »

Getting biopower off my chest

  Electricity from biomass — biopower — gets little attention, and little respect. When I started my energy career in the early 1990s, wind power was nascent, solar was crazy expensive, geothermal was geographically limited, and hydro had seen its day.  So those of us who wanted to see a renewable energy future learned a lot about […] continue reading »

A Passage to India

As a guest of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, I traveled to India in July to speak at a conference on energy and climate change. I took advantage of the trip to write my impressions of their energy situation for Greentech Media, not to mention to visit the Taj Mahal and other sites. First the […] continue reading »

The Benefits of Diversity

Diversity in an ecosystem creates long term resiliency. Diversity in energy creates stability.  Now PaulosAnalysis has diversified, with a number of new clients. The Electricity Markets & Policy Group at the Berkeley Lab is home to such global energy experts as Ryan Wiser, Chuck Goldman, and Lisa Schwartz. I’m honored to join them as an Affiliate, crafting […] continue reading »

Ask the author: interview with Ben Paulos, author of Empowered

Empowered is a new book by energy consultant and journalist Bentham Paulos.  It describes how city officials and activists in Boulder, Minneapolis, and Madison are fighting back against entrenched utilities, and taking charge of their energy future.  Published by Midwest Energy News, it can be ordered in paperback from Lulu or e-book from Amazon. What’s the book about? Empowered is about […] continue reading »