Fears about a “duck curve,” when large shares of renewables create ramping problems during parts of the day, are overblown. Myriad solutions like demand response can compensate for the variability created by increasing shares of renewables on the grid.
Rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources (DER) like efficiency or energy storage provide a stack of benefits to the grid. But most utilities have no meaningful method to compare the value of DER to that of traditional power plants providing the same services. We need much more granular information about local needs to understand and capture the precise value of DER.
The communities in which we live strongly shape (and are shaped by) our wellbeing. Over time, changing preferences and norms influence the types of built environments we create for ourselves. Given trends and conditions in many of today’s societies, this means transitioning away from the sprawling, car-dependent suburbs, and toward the dense, walkable city.
California’s suburban sprawl has made the state’s transportation sector its largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. With an expected addition of 6 million new residents in the next 15 years, whether California succeeds in building cities inward instead of outward could make all the difference in meeting its 2030 climate target, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
A foundation veteran who (co-)wrote the book on marrying measurement to giving now says the ideas he promoted have had some “nasty” effects on donor-grantee relationships.
On 21 February, China’s State Council released a new set of urban development guidelines aiming to produce a framework which will create urban areas that have improved navigability, tighter-knit communities, better access to commercial and public areas, and are less resource intensive.
While we are continuously learning more about what makes human habitats both livable and sustainable, a consensus has emerged on the most foundational and necessary design principles. Last year, China Development Bank Capital, Energy Innovation, and Energy Foundation created the Guidelines for Green and Smart Urban Development to outline these design principles.
Public priorities for the electricity sector have shifted in recent years as rapid technological development enables a cleaner, more affordable, reliable, and safe electric system. But many utilities are not keeping pace. As a consequence of new market forces and new options, the institutions governing the electricity system must also evolve.
The increase in more mixed-use and walkable neighborhoods is another factor changing the way Angelenos get around. Mixed-use development locates goods and services within walking and biking distance from where people live and work, decreasing the need for long-distance travel by car or transit.
Combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants are the swiss army knife of today’s US power system. One has to decide if CCGT is a pure energy resource paid off through maximum sales of its electricity, or a flexible resource that holds back on production to support the grid.