Entries by Scott Carlberg

Changing Our Energy System Requires Some Give

Mention solar energy even a few years ago and angels sang, the sky was deep blue, and all was right with the world. Not so much anymore. That burnish has worn off in some places. NIMBYism – Not In My Backyard – has hit solar development. A story in the Salisbury [NC] newspaper, Solar farm […]

Four Things to Like About the NC Energy Bill

North Carolina has an energy bill – Energy Solutions for North Carolina. The vote in the Senate Wednesday followed a huge public debate, sparked by Governor Cooper’s 2019 Clean Energy Plan. The House voted on the compromise bill and Cooper now has it to sign. Everyone seems to get something, no one got everything asked. Seems […]

A Single State RTO is South Carolina’s One Car Parade

Have you ever seen a one-car parade? Get ready. South Carolina takes its first step in an electric market restructuring process. It could change how South Carolinians get their electricity, how much electricity, and what they pay. A legislative committee will study whether to create or join a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). Regional is an […]

Throw the BS Flag on Part of the Energy Debate

Someone needs to throw the BS flag on a part of the energy debate in the Carolinas. Consider it thrown. Last week the South Carolina legislature’s committee to investigate a regional transmission organization (RTO) convened. Perhaps investigate should be in quotes. One comment made in the session was that no pre-conceived outcome has been determined […]

It’s Chilling! Energy Markets and Higher Costs

The energy market is showing that supply and demand are still in effect. Right now, the highlight is the price of natural gas, used in homes but also by many utilities to make electricity. The price of natural gas is 70% above recent lows; in the second week of September, it was a new 8-year […]

How to Have a (Cold) Free Lunch in Energy

Nuance is missing in the energy debate in the Carolinas and other states. The either/or mentality hurts us at a time when discussing finance, technology, science, and social needs would help us all. A recent letter to an NC State publication said, “…I’d rather not have my Duke Energy bill go up by 50% in […]

It’s Simple – the Electric System in the Southeast Works

Simplicity counts; complexity adds up. That’s the lesson from the electric regulation world. In fact, one state utility commissioner told me he hoped one of my columns would urge companies and governments to keep processes simple so they work for consumers. As a nation, we are going the other way. The results are obvious. Actions […]

Renewable Does Not Equal Carbon-free

Labels get tossed around a lot. They can carry a lot of weight. A couple popular labels in the energy space deserve clarity since they are in the news a lot: Renewable and carbon-free. Both are good. They do not mean the same thing. Not all renewable energy sources are carbon-free. Not all carbon-free energy […]

Texas Power and RTO Update: Lots to Learn

Since the February deep freeze in Texas there have been some changes in its energy system. As the state slides into another winter let’s check what’s been happening. Two Texas laws (HB2586 and SB1281) went into effect because of the winter storm. “HB2586 calls for an annual audit of each independent organization certified for the ERCOT [Electric […]