Entries by Scott Carlberg

Unlock our Electric Vehicle Future with – Awesome Restrooms

Future technology is not about the latest smartphone, television, or appliance. It is about electric vehicles. Really, just check this headline from Gear Patrol magazine: The 35 Electric Cars We’re Most Excited to Drive in the Future The driving technology has arrived. No problem there. I see two hurdles to a robust EV industry. First, […]

Climate Risk Spurs New Directions in Utilities

Changes in our energy system are taking shape because of climate change challenges. A recent article said to me that the changes are more than I would have suspected. The issues: Several utilities have said that they will bury some lines underground. There has been a segment of the public that has wanted that for […]

Electric Vehicles: It’s About the ENTIRE Footprint

Combustion engine vehicle or electric vehicle? The debate about which to buy has been happening but may be ramping up. A news story about an electric vehicle study called, Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles, adds to the debate. So much of the EV is about carbon emissions. This is about […]

The Electric System – Too Important for Politics

“The electric grid is our more important piece of energy infrastructure,” says energy expert Robert Bryce. He also notes the early closure of important baseload plants “…and poor management by the RTOs [regional transmission organizations]. Congress must act, and act with all deliberate speed, to assure that the electricity that powers our economy stays affordable […]

Nice Work, Indiana – Heads-up, Carolinas

Indiana energy task force turns its attention to small nuclear reactors, is the headline. (That is Indianapolis in the feature image.) Good for Indiana. Smart. Carolinas, take note. Small modular reactors are a good match for renewables. They cost much less money than big nuclear, they provide carbon-free power, and run, run, run. New nuclear […]

Get Ready for a Cold and Costly Winter

Natural gas prices are rising and could be the most expensive in 13 years this winter. (Source)  That can translate to higher costs for homeowners for heat and cooking. Natural gas prices have doubled in 2021 already. Look for more increases, too. Here’s why: “Natural gas prices have been caught in their own perfect storm, of […]

Severe Weather in the West; US Southeast Should Prepare

California and the Pacific Northwest have had rain and winds that have made national news. Some predicted the equivalent of a Cat 3 hurricane along the Washington coast. Why should the American Southeast care? Because it is emblematic of weather changes that will hit your neighborhood and wallet, too. It is not just about weather […]

RTOs: Money Saver or Taker?

There is a “potato / potahhto” energy issue in the Carolinas. The Carolinas are looking at creating a super-buyer of power to then distribute to citizens. It is called an RTO (regional transmission organization). It is fair to say that some policymakers have their mind pretty much made up because they have been touting the […]

“Strip Away the Blue-sky Spin” in the RTO Debate

Having a grid operator makes a lot of sense according to one energy expert. That grid operator is an RTO – regional transmission organization. There’s a catch, though. “So far nobody has figured out how to do it the right way,” says Ed Hirs, an energy economics expert. In my last column – Policymakers Have […]

Policymakers Have a Habit of Making Inefficient Markets

“An RTO is an industrial purchasing bureau, similar to the Soviet construction.” RTO = regional transmission organization, and it is being “studied” as something to implement in the Carolinas, if not the whole Southeast. The person who compares RTOs and old Soviet economics is Ed Hirs, who teaches energy economics at the University of Houston […]