In the Middle of the Debt Ceiling Negotiations: Can Energy Information for Consumers Help our Economy?

As I rode the metro into work the other day, I read a piece by George Packer in the New Yorker describing a family unable to make ends meet because they are underemployed, not qualifying for federal or state assistance yet unable to make a living wage with high skills required. Packer claimed that the 9.2 % unemployment rate is really something like 16.2% if one takes into consideration those who do not appear unemployed on paper but are certainly not making it financially. Washington, D.C., is a bit of a bubble in that regard; we have not seen as dramatically the economic toll that the rest of the country has suffered. As I thought about the millions of parents with college degrees who would go to part-time jobs that do not use their skills and then stay up online all night juggling bills and school supply costs, I stepped into a briefing in the cool, sparkling new Capitol Visitor’s Center. Read more of this post

Five Lies Your Mother Never Told You About Smart Grid

Check out AOL Energy for part of this blog!

Lie #1: Smart grid is a project for the utilities and its success rests in their hands. Utilities really have just three public goals: operate a safe, reliable, cost-effective electric grid. Our grid does need modernizing; it is congested and overloaded in some places and we need more real time information about what electrons are going where so we can balance variable renewable sources like wind and solar with electric vehicles and other consumer loads. On the metering side, having remote access to real time information will allow faster response to outages and a more accurate ability to plan for energy sources. The Recovery Act did a lot to subsidize that initial cost – and we still have a long way to go. Read more of this post

FERC Order 745 and clean tech: really, this is not boring!

When the words “FERC Order” are uttered, most people’s eyes either glaze over or worried frowns appear as they wonder if they need to understand the conversation. Let’s try to figure out what this order means for the clean tech world in words we can all understand. Read more of this post

Ode to a Mentor: A Love of Power

In this, my first entry for CleanGridView, the Quinn Gillespie energy and environment blog, I thought it appropriate to talk about an ending as a beginning.

When people hear me talk about the electricity grid they assume I have a degree in engineering. I actually majored in English with the aspiration of writing and illustrating children’s books. I came to DC to find that my skills could only get me $6 an hour serving subpoenas for Arent Fox. In college I had spent a summer working for the Company, what my grandfather called Vepco, later Virginia Power and now Dominion. Read more of this post