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The Story Of Rural Electric Cooperatives

At a moment when the world is awakening to the clear and present need to transition our energy system, a hopeful light gleams from the rural landscapes of America. The Rural Power Coalition (RPC), a diverse alliance of US advocacy groups serving rural communities from Alabama to Alaska, has taken another step forward with the release of “Power to the People: The Story of Rural Electric Cooperatives.” This animated short film that premiered today during the annual PowerXchange Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is not just a tale of the past; it’s a clarion call for a greener, more equitable future.

Russia Retaliates For Ukrainian Strikes On Electricity Networks

A typical U.S. attack on a foreign country begins with a swarm of cruise missiles which will disable the countries basic infrastructure. The U.S. attack on Iraq and other countries demonstrated that electricity and water supply will be gone in first days of a U.S. waged war. Over more than 200 days the Russian special military operation in Ukraine had never attacked the basic infrastructure of the country. When the Ukraine used its electrified railway network to bring in weapons from the 'west' the Russian forces only took out electric substations that supplied the railway. But it never attacked the general electricity production for the population. The lights in Ukraine staid on.

Profitable Utility Company Shut Off Electricity To Homes During Pandemic

During the early stages of the pandemic, Michigan’s largest power company leaned in to a chance to show its charitable side, helping buy laptops for Detroit’s public school children and publicizing that it would not disconnect the gas and electric service of people who could not pay their bills. DTE Energy said it was on “high alert to help those customers whose lives are being disrupted.” But the relief from the threat of a shut-off ended quickly for DTE’s customers, who pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country. DTE’s moratorium on disconnections lasted just over three months. An analysis by ProPublica and Outlier Media shows the extent to which one of the nation’s poorest cities and other communities across Southeast Michigan have been impacted by electric service disconnections since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

How Rural Electric Cooperatives Can Support A Green New Deal

Today, as President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill is debated in Congress, it’s worth recalling that this isn’t the first time the US has faced an infrastructure deficit. “By the 1930s nearly 90 percent of US urban dwellers had electricity, but 90 percent of rural homes were without power. Investor-owned utilities often denied service to rural areas, citing high development costs and low profit margins,” recalls one account. The policy response: rural electric cooperatives (RECs). In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037, establishing the Rural Electrification Administration—today’s Rural Utility Service (RUS)—which provided low-cost loans to co-ops to wire rural America; by 1953, 90 percent of rural Americans had power.

New Deal Electric Cooperatives Struggle To Democratize

What began three years ago as a campaign to stop the spraying of weedkiller under power lines near homes in the Appalachian mountains of northeast Tennessee, has become an example of a more democratic process at electric cooperatives across the country. Member-owners of the Powell Valley Rural Electric Cooperative earned the right to opt-out of spraying, and persuaded their co-op board to let them attend board meetings in ways that were previously prohibited. Some members of Powell Valley have also begun to ask for a program to help members finance energy efficiency measures to save money. These were small steps toward a more transparent and responsive electricity provider, but small steps can lead to bigger ones, said Bill Kornrich, a retired arts administrator who, with friends and neighbors, is part of Powell Valley Electric Co-op Member Voices, a group that’s been behind the reforms.

Solar Accounts For 40% Of U.S. Electric Generating Capacity Additions In 2019, Adds 13.3 GW

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX – Solar accounted for 40% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2019, its highest share ever and more than any other source of electricity, with 13.3 gigawatts (GW) installed. Despite policy challenges and a second year of the Section 201 tariffs, the U.S. solar market grew by 23% from 2018, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2019 Year-in-Review report...

French Strike: Electricity Workers Light Poor Homes On Christmas, Cut-Off Power To Police And Big Business

Since the beginning of the strike on December 5, electricians and energy workers maintain power outages against Macron's pension reform. A method of struggle that exposes the strength of the workers and the strategic place they occupy, with the possibility of paralyzing government buildings and large companies with power outages. While the strike has had a greater impact among workers of the SNCF (railway), the RATP (metropolitan transport company in Paris), the National Education or even health, energy workers are not far behind.

Offshore Wind Power Could Produce More Electricity Than World Uses

Offshore Wind Outlook 2019 is the most comprehensive global study on the subject to date, combining the latest technology and market developments with a specially commissioned new geospatial analysis that maps out wind speed and quality along hundreds of thousands of kilometres of coastline around the world. The report is an excerpt from the flagship World Energy Outlook 2019, which will be published in full on 13 November. The IEA finds that global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040.

Venezuela: Electricity Recovery Continues As US Withdraws Diplomatic Staff

Caracas, March 12, 2019 ( – Venezuelan authorities continue working to bring back online the electric grid following a massive outage that started on Thursday, March 7. According to on-the-ground testimonies and official sources, power finally began to reach Venezuela’s western states, including Merida and Zulia, on Monday night, around 96 hours after the blackout started. Electricity has now been restored at least in some areas of every state, with authorities urging citizens to avoid using heavy usage devices while efforts to restore the whole grid continue.

US Regime Change Blueprint Proposed Venezuelan Electricity Blackouts As ‘Watershed Event’ For ‘Galvanizing Public Unrest’

A September 2010 memo by a US-funded soft power organization that helped train Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido and his allies identifies the potential collapse of the country’s electrical sector as “a watershed event” that “would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate.” The memo has special relevance today as Guaido moves to exploit nationwide blackouts caused by a major failure at the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri dam – a crisis that Venezuela’s government blames on US sabotage.

Venezuela Blackouts: ‘Straight From The Cyberwar Playbook’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed cybernetic warfare on the recent widespread blackouts that have affected the country in recent days. One contributor to Forbes analyzes that possibility based on both history and the stated intentions of foreign entities choosing to interfere in another country’s affairs. In a recent column, Forbes contributor Kalev Leetaru, who writes on the “broad intersection of data and society,” tried to answer the suspicions that arose from the sudden blackouts that affected 70% of Venezuela over the course of the past three days.

Venezuela Under Attack: 7 Notes On Electric Shock (Special Report)

Guaidó's false epic return lasted less than expected on the front pages; with the arrival of the "interim president" there were no critical defections in the Armed Forces (FANB) that together with widespread social revolt would install him in Miraflores to get hold of power. That round of recovery (his glorious arrival in Maiquetía), after the defeat on February 23, the day on which he took for granted the entry of "humanitarian aid," had no effect beyond the temporary media frenzy. As a result, Guaidó returned to the uncomfortable starting point of two months ago.

Portland Now Generates Electricity From Turbines Installed In City Water Pipes

You’d be forgiven if the phrase “Portland goes green with innovative water pipes” doesn’t immediately call to mind thoughts of civil engineering and hydro-electric power. And yet, that’s exactly what Oregon’s largest city has done by partnering with a company called Lucid Energy to generate clean electricity from the water already flowing under its streets and through its pipes. Portland has replaced a section of its existing water supply network with Lucid Energy pipes containing four forty-two inch turbines. As water flows through the pipes, the turbines spin and power attached generators, which then feed energy back into the city’s electrical grid. Known as the “Conduit 3 Hydroelectric Project,” Portland’s new clean energy source is scheduled to be up and running at full capacity in March.

Plan Now And Electric Cars Can Help Create The Clean Energy Grid

ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE a fixture of many a transportation utopia, and for good reasons. In a world still reliant on private transportation, they promise everything from lower pollution to higher torque. However, at least one counterpoint mars the dream of exhaust-free street racing: Today’s grid would likely fail catastrophically if the entire US car fleet immediately made the switch to running on electricity. Let’s call this scenario of massive, simultaneous electric vehicle uptake the Pluggening. “If every customer starts buying electric vehicles, obviously that would cause a big impact on utilities,” says Mohammed Beshir, a professor of electrical engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. Picture transformers spewing sparks like they were celebrating Chinese New Year. That scenario, though, is pure fantasy. Current EV trends show low to moderate uptake rates.

Microgrids Keep These Cities Running When The Power Goes Out

By Erica Gies for Inside Climate News - Borrego Springs, California, is a quaint town of about 3,400 people set against the Anza-Borrego Desert about 90 miles east of San Diego. Summers are hot—often north of 100 degrees—and because it lies at the far end of a San Diego Gas & Electric transmission line, the town has suffered frequent power outages. High winds, lightning strikes, forest fires and flash floods can bust up that line and kill the electricity. "If you're on the very end of a utility line, everything that happens, happens 10 times worse for you," says Mike Gravely, team leader for energy systems integration at the California Energy Commission. The town has a lot of senior citizens, who can be frail in the heat. "Without air conditioning," says Linda Haddock, head of the local Chamber of Commerce, "people will die." But today, Borrego Springs has a failsafe against power outages: a microgrid. Resiliency is one of the main reasons the market in microgrids is booming, with installed capacity in the United States projected to more than double between 2017 and 2022, according to a new report on microgrids from GTM Research. Another is that microgrids can ease the entry of intermittent renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, into the modern grid. Utilities are also interested in microgrids because of the money they can save by deferring the need to build new transmission lines.
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