Category Archives: commentary

“Smart Grids” course features industry experts

I’ve been in the thick of it recently, putting the finishing touches on a new course I’ve designed about smart grids for my students at UT Austin. “Smart Grids” begins in less than two weeks. Back story: During more than … Continue reading

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How much storage is even feasible?

In response to my last post, about the challenges of wind integration, a reader asked: “Is building storage of this scale even feasible?” If you had asked me in 2000, “Could wind get to 18GW wind in ERCOT by 2016?” … Continue reading

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Solar in a Quito hotel

I recently had the pleasure of staying at a hotel in the old town of Quito, Ecuador, and saw a photovoltaic (PV) installation that would seem strange in most of the world. We typically see PV panels tilting toward the … Continue reading

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Why America’s power grid needs natural gas now more than ever

This week on Fortune.com, an article I wrote with David Spence: Now that the Obama administration has finalized its Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector, the focus of attention turns to the states, which … Continue reading

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Tesla’s Powerwall: an expensive option

Tesla’s new Powerwall, a home battery, has been widely reported in the media, and once again Elon Musk has spearheaded a very attractive product. In its press kit, Tesla touts the Powerwall for residential load shifting, backup, and storage of … Continue reading

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New and improved! Intro to Electric Power video course

“Introduction to Electric Power,” Dr. Baldick’s most popular course with attorneys and regulators across the country, is now updated and available on video! No traveling, no missed days of work. You get the same course — all the same materials … Continue reading

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More flexibility needed from gas trading

At the recent Austin Electricity Conference (held at The University of Texas), I chaired a panel session that examined the challenges at the gas-electricity nexus. Gas has been an important fuel for electricity in Texas for decades, but in other … Continue reading

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Can Nine Attacks Cause National Blackouts?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack,” describes work that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is doing on the vulnerability of the US power grid. The most disturbing of FERC’s conclusions … Continue reading

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