Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True

Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True

“It’s a pretty big deal for us,” says Chad Raley, who manages technology and renewables at Ameren, a Missouri utility that is building three rural solar-plus-storage projects to better manage the flow of electricity across the local grid.

SUVs Are Worse for the Climate Than You Ever Imagined

SUVs Are Worse for the Climate Than You Ever Imagined

Some people feel safer in a vehicle where they sit high above the road, but the raised center of gravity makes SUVs more prone to rollovers than cars, said Consumer Reports.

PG&E’s Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell

PG&E’s Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell

“If you imagine the atmosphere over your head as a sponge, you can’t wring it out anymore,” says Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.At ground level, the warm air screaming through the mountains sucks away whatever moisture might be left in the vegetation—which is increasingly little as the climate warms in California and autumns grow increasingly dry .

The Myth of Technophobia

The Myth of Technophobia

Written more than 2,300 years before the invention of the iPhone , Plato’s The Phaedrus includes what has become one of the most weaponized examples of reactionary techno-skepticism.

Having Broadband Issues? This Tool Helps You Learn Local Laws

Having Broadband Issues? This Tool Helps You Learn Local Laws

The tool grew out of Pew’s Broadband Research Initiative, which researches policy issues like the economic impact of broadband access and expanding broadband in rural and low-income communities.

Blame Utilities for Wildfires, But Blame Everyone Else Too

Blame Utilities for Wildfires, But Blame Everyone Else Too

Cut off power and you risk the ire of the state's Public Utilities Commission: Skirting the danger of starting a wildfire could end up bricking medical devices and critical infrastructure.

This Casino's Microgrid Might Be the Future of Energy

This Casino's Microgrid Might Be the Future of Energy

Working with scientists at the Schatz Energy Research Center at nearby Humboldt State University, and the local utility PG&E, the Rancheria developed its own solar-powered microgrid, allowing it to disconnect from the main grid and run off Tesla battery power.

Nature Can Be Cost Effective for Improving Urban Water Supplies

Nature Can Be Cost Effective for Improving Urban Water Supplies

Balneario Camboriu view from the bay with partial watershed © Timm Kroeger/TNC In the first rigorous, peer-reviewed study on water fund Return on Investment (ROI) for cities in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, TNC scientists examine the Camboriú Water Fund and show that nature can be a cost-effective solution for improving urban water supplies and reducing treatment costs.

Quantum Physics Could Protect the Grid From Hackers—Maybe

Quantum Physics Could Protect the Grid From Hackers—Maybe

“It’s like working on a car with its engine running.” Sungjin Kim/Getty Images Cybersecurity experts have sounded the alarm for years: Hackers are ogling the U.S. power grid. Peters’s group thinks that a utility company could use quantum-encrypted data to communicate with their hardware.

To Prevent Wildfires, Treat Utilities Like Railroad Barons

To Prevent Wildfires, Treat Utilities Like Railroad Barons

(PG&E declined to comment for this story, pointing instead to a press release that says it will “make investments in system safety as it works with regulators, policymakers and other key stakeholders to consider a range of alternatives to provide for the safe delivery of natural gas and electric service for the long-term in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change.”) Utilities know full well how to manage their risk.

City Driving Is Silly Fun in Arcimoto's Electric 3-Wheeler

City Driving Is Silly Fun in Arcimoto's Electric 3-Wheeler

City Driving Is Silly Fun in Arcimoto's Electric 3-WheelerGoing on sale next year for around $11,500, the Arcimoto FUV—that's Fun Utility Vehicle—is an all-electric joyride.Phuc Pham“It’s fully electric!” Mark Frohnmayer yells to the guy in the pickup truck idling next to us. The 17.5-kilowatt-hour battery sits underneath the two tandem seats.Frohnmayer launched Arcimoto after making a bundle selling his videogame company.

The Hail Mary Plan to Restart a Hacked US Electric Grid

The Hail Mary Plan to Restart a Hacked US Electric Grid

After failures plague Utility B, Utility A then needs to step in, restarting to offer redundant power to that same critical customer.In order to interact and safely share electricity, utilities also need to get their electromagnetic frequencies in tune at around 60 hertz, so part of the exercise involved not just getting Utility A and B running, but syncing them."We had 18 substations, two utilities, two command centers, and we had two generation sources that we had to bring up a crank path and synchronize," says Stan Pietrowicz, a researcher at Perspecta Labs who is working on a black start network analysis and threat detection tool through RADICS.