Water: The Big Issue for Fracking

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Law firm McDonald Hopkins hosted a panel in February to discuss the water issues that anyone looking to harvest oil or natural gas by fracking will face. The panel consisted of three attorneys from McDonald Hopkins as well as several important figures in the oil and gas industry. Three major points that came up during the panel were distinguishing between … Read More

Natural Gas Climbs as Eastern U.S. Cold Blast Spurs Heating Use

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Natural gas rose as much as 1.4 percent in early March after speculation that unusually cold weather on the east coast would increase demand for heating fuel. Forecasters from the MDA Weather Services predicted a week of colder weather, including waves of freezing weather, that could cause an increase in the pace natural gas is removed from storage, made more … Read More

How ARPA-E Is Working to Create the 21st Century Smart Grid

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ARPA-E is an investment from the Department of Energy of over $770 million for cutting-edge energy technologies. The majority of that money has been used on renewable energy, biofuels, energy storage, and power electronics, but there is still quite a bit of ARPA-E funding dedicated to smart grid technologies. ARPA-E started a Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI) program in October … Read More

Shale and Renewables Can Form ‘Symbiotic’ Links

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A Citigroup analyst recently stood in front of a major conference in Edinburgh to pitch the idea that not only will developing shale not kill off Scotland’s renewable energy industry, they can actually form a “symbiotic relationship.” It was recently found that Scotland may have up to £5 billion in natural gas locked in shale rock that would require fracking … Read More

GE Dives into AMI Fray with On-Ramp Wireless

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While General Electric has been a part of the smart meter business for a long time now, most of the communications in the devices have used networks built by others. GE has recently launched its own advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications network, using San Diego startup On-Ramp Wireless as the networker. On-Ramp Wireless will provide the wireless technology for GE’s … Read More

Flavor of the Decade: What Energy Utilities Can Learn From Verizon

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Do you remember this guy? Sure you do. For nine years starting in 2001, Paul Marcarelli was the face and the voice Verizon used to break through a crowded telecommunications market and build its brand. Verizon built its brand around a model dressed as a slightly nerdy technician who always asked, “Can you hear me now?” In other words, Verizon … Read More

US Power Grid Costs Rise, But Service Slips

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An analysis of utility spending and reliability across the nation by the Associated Press shows that electric customers today are paying 43 percent more than in 2002 to maintain local infrastructure. The analysis also showed that, while power outages are not more frequent, it now takes longer to repair them than it did in 2002. This combination shows experts that … Read More

Illinois Fracking Deal Could Be National Model

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Amidst the current controversy surrounding hydraulic fracturing drilling, environmentalists and oil drillers sat down in Illinois and managed to draw up a draft of regulations that both sides could agree on. Not only that, but if their regulation agreements are approved, they would be the strictest regulations in the nation. That isn’t to say everyone is happy with this outcome, … Read More

The Slowly Evolving Smart Grid

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The utility market is difficult for a variety of reasons that range from the fact that there are a limited number of utility companies to the fact that their profits are regulated by the government. Competition and the room for organic growth are limited. The current process of the industry growing with smart grid technology and software carries its own … Read More