On the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, we at Clearing Up pause to give some energy-related thanks. We also offer our best wishes to all of you for the upcoming holiday season.
I’m thankful for my 2015 Nissan Leaf electric car, even though it occasionally gives me range anxiety, because it allows me to contribute in a small way to the Northwest’s energy-supply transformation through transportation electrification and the gasoline I avoid using.
I’m also thankful for the region’s abundant hydroelectricity resource, warts and all, for “turning our darkness to dawn,” and I have high hopes that a compromise is possible for the profound fish issues besetting it.
And I’m thankful for the opportunity to recount, along with my talented colleagues, the fascinating stories of the regional energy landscape as it undergoes a profound tectonic shift. [Rick Adair]
Batteries are starting to show their real-world potential. They promise to do much more: better integrate intermittent resources, decrease grid congestion, help make non-wires solutions more practical, improve grid reliability, support microgrids, and so on and so on. It is a long list.
They won’t make good on every promise, but based on results so far, they likely will deliver on enough to make them critical electric-sector infrastructure.
Regulators and utilities continue grappling with how to evaluate the full benefit of batteries. The Montana PSC is confronting some of these questions in the Caithness Beaver Creek docket, which involves a proposed wind-plus-batteries facility.
The men and women of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council help make sense of how the myriad parts of the Northwest energy system fit together. Their tireless analytical work provides incalculable value to countless entities and individuals across and beyond the region, myself included. [Dan Catchpole]
I am thankful for state utility commission staff members who take my calls and explain complicated issues. I am thankful for media relations people who return calls long before deadline and respond with actual answers to questions and not meaningless statements.
I’m thankful for clean and cold water, clean air, reliable electricity, and the men and women who keep the lights on.
I’m thankful for the hard work and determination of my colleagues at NewsData, and for Pioneer Utility Resources for believing that journalism is worth investing in.
But most of all, I’m thankful for readers of Clearing Up!
Happy Thanksgiving! [Steve Ernst]
What am I thankful for in the energy world?
My propane stove where I will cook my Thanksgiving Day meal. My gasoline-fueled vehicle that I will use to visit friends and family. My cozy woodstove and my electricity, which make cold, dark winters more tolerable.
I live in an age with so many conveniences that have become necessities; it’s hard to count all of my blessings. But the truth is, I now worry about all these blessings and the fossil fuels they use, contributing to what increasingly feels like a climate emergency.
My job (which I am also grateful for) gives me the opportunity to read news, studies and press releases about energy issues in the Pacific Northwest. Diving deep into energy and fish issues these past two years has been quite an education. I think my biggest takeaway so far is that there are a lot of smart and passionate people, who work to keep our lights on, to transition wisely to cleaner energy sources, and to be prepared for our future energy needs.
So this year, I am grateful that some of the best minds in the world are working to resolve our climate crisis and the energy issues that surround it. [K.C. Mehaffey]
I'm thankful for many things, including about energy; here I'll highlight two.
One is dependable electricity. Having experienced an eight-day power outage at home 13 years ago, visited our Peace Corps-serving daughter in a grid-less village in West Africa in 2017, and followed the recent widespread forced blackouts in California . . . I strive to be grateful for all the things flowing electrons enable, from refrigerated food/drinks to public services (e.g. traffic lights, wastewater systems) to our commercial/industrial economy to healthcare services to information/entertainment on our screens to you name it . . . We live large in our society—largely because of electricity. And its increasing decarbonization is due thanks as well.
A second is the Western energy community to which we belong (I include our NewsData and Pioneer Utility Resources colleagues here). I'm thankful to know, learn from, share information, laughs and stories, and otherwise be involved with so many bright, committed, thoughtful and engaging people. Even with our varied locations, backgrounds, organizations, perspectives, agendas and personalities, we are ultimately a collective enterprise toward a better energy world (however you define that). I'm thankful to be part of it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! [Mark Ohrenschall]