Meeting the Demand for Power
Experts Debate Possible Changes to Texas’ Electricity Market at Austin Electricity Conference
By Gary Rasp
It’s one of the most common and predictable experiences in life – flip a switch and the lights come on. Every day, at work, at home – wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, we depend on electricity for virtually everything. But what if that seemingly boundless supply of energy wasn’t such a sure thing? And what’s the best way to make sure the lights will continue to come on when we flip that switch?
The question of how to ensure sufficient supplies of electricity to meet expected demand – ‘resource adequacy’ as it is known in energy industry parlance – was deliberated recently at the third Annual Austin Electricity Conference, held April 18 – 19 on The University of Texas at Austin campus.
Why is the U.S. so insecure about its energy security?
Measures of energy independence show it is increasing, not decreasingBy Fred Beach
Originally published in Earth magazine April 28, 2013
In recent years, every time an election has rolled around, politicians have espoused the necessity of energy independence and energy security. According to them, if we are to achieve the necessary level of energy security we need to “drill, baby, drill,” develop “clean coal,” install new pipelines, develop renewable energy, make sure our cars get better gas mileage, or [fill in another sound bite of your choosing here]. A listener could easily conclude that the U.S. lacks energy security. But what do the numbers tell us about our current state of independence? And is the political sloganeering grounded in fact, or does it ignore how much our situation has changed already? Read moreFred Beach is a fellow in the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (Jackson School of Geosciences), the Webber Energy Group (Department of Mechanical Engineering) and the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Role of Consumers in Ensuring a Reliable Power Grid
Austin Electricity Conference Examines Prospects for Successful Demand Response Programs
By Gary Rasp
Power grid operators, in Texas and elsewhere, must make difficult decisions when the demand for electricity strains the system’s limits. They can add more electricity to the grid by turning on another power plant, but that can be costly and increases toxic emissions. Alternatively, they can lower demand for power by asking consumers and businesses to reduce their energy usage.
Such choices are serious business in Texas because the state’s population and economy continue to grow. Decisions made by operators of the state’s power grid – the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT – could help prevent blackouts and further ensure system reliability.
Adapting to Changing Energy Markets
Michael Webber Provides Candid Insights on Emerging Trends, Opportunities for Businesses
By Gary Rasp
U.S. businesses must adapt to emerging trends if they are to fully take advantage of opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving global energy marketplace, contended Dr. Michael Webber, an energy researcher, professor and acclaimed public speaker during a recent lecture on the UT Austin campus.
Webber, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, provided his insights on the changing energy world during a lecture for the McCombs School of Business’ Texas Enterprise Speaker Series. About 100 academics, energy industry professionals and representatives of non-governmental organizations attended the April 16 presentation.
Should the Federal Government Regulate Fracking?
FROM WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTS: ENERGY
Fracking supporters say it could set America on the road to energy independence and drastically change our economic prospects while helping address climate change.
But who should be in charge of regulating fracking?
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