A man reads the newspaper by flashlight during the Northeast Blackout in August 2003.
AP Photo/Joe Kohen
Fifteen years after the Northeast Blackout of 2003 cut power to 50 million people in the US and Canada, experts explain that many threats to the electricity grid remain.
The high-voltage lines carrying electricity across the U.S. aren’t the only potential targets.
Power utilities' cybersecurity practices may be effective, but need to evolve over time. And all companies operating elements of the grid – even the small ones – should step up.
Who’s in control of what’s flowing in these wires?
D Sharon Pruitt
Experts explain the task of securing the electrical grid against cyberattacks, and discuss potential solutions and the risk of failure.
As the name suggests, Windy Hill near Cairns gets its fair share of power-generating weather.
Leonard Low/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
There are calls from the backbench and elsewhere for the federal government to safeguard the future of coal. But do those calls make economic sense? A look at Queensland's energy landscape suggests not.
Offshore wind turbine near Scotland.
U.S. Department of the Interior
Generating less electricity with fossil fuels could help save lives.
Solar lowers prices and shifts when daily peak demand hours are.
Large-scale solar and wind tend to push energy prices down, which sounds great as a consumer. But that makes keeping the grid in constant balance harder.
Josh Frydenberg met with state energy ministers in Melbourne the latest round of discussions over the National Energy Guarantee.
AAP Image/Luis Ascui
The federal government is confident that states will sign up to the National Energy Guarantee, with a final decision now timetabled for August.
Is the long journey towards a bipartisan emissions policy nearing its end?
State energy ministers meet this week to discuss the National Energy Guarantee. While the policy has been criticised as too modest, it would put us light years ahead of the previous climate policy paralysis.
Off-grid mountain house.
Lowering your carbon footprint by living off-grid is a sustainability dream. But how possible is it using current technology?
More blue sky thinking could help the grid get even smarter.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
'Virtual power plants' offer extra power to the grid by tweaking the operation of batteries and appliances right across the network. But even this might be too blunt a tool for our future energy needs.
Keeping the lights on has always been a stormy issue in South Australia.
Jon Westra/Wikimedia Commons
Two decades ago, the then SA premier, John Olsen, defied a campaign promise and announced plans to privatise the state's electricity industry. It's been a high-voltage issue ever since.
Solar and wind compete with coal power plants when it comes to energy storage systems.
AP Photo/Mel Evans
Energy storage, such as big batteries, on the power grid is generally seen as 'green' technology but the reality is more complicated, an analysis finds.
Bill Shorten said he had become increasingly sceptical of Adani in recent months.
Bill Shorten has taken a further step toward opposing the proposed Queensland Adani coal mine.
There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times.
AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY
The urban heat island and summertime blackouts.
The Conversation 25.6 MB (download)
Today, we're asking why some of the most disadvantaged parts of our cities cop the worst of a heatwave and how you -- yes, you! -- can do your bit to reduce the risk of a summer time blackout.
The storm clouds have been gathering over energy policy for a decade or more.
Joe Castro/AAP Image
The Long Read: Most Australians' power bills have been rising for a decade. There are many reasons why, but the common thread is a lack of government willingness to get to grips with crucial policy problems.
Managed in the right way, wind farms can actually help stabilise the grid, rather than disrupting it.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
New modelling suggests that Australia could use renewable energy to hit its 2030 emissions reduction targets, without it costing any more overall than maintaining the status quo.
A solar and battery-powered microgrid got San Juan’s Children’s Hospital quickly back online after Hurricane Maria.
Yes, Puerto Rico and any other storm-vulnerable location could benefit from on-site solar and battery backup, but it's unrealistic to say these microgrids are enough to power the island.
Grid operators set the prices for energy markets and are structured to take the lowest prices – a disadvantage for coal and nuclear power.
Two moves by the Trump administration signal a dramatic shift in energy policy to favor coal and nuclear, but markets forces and legal challenges mean changes could take years.
Pumped hydro: all you really need is some reservoirs and a big hill.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Electricity storage is vital to the stability of a renewable energy grid. The world's favourite form of storage is pumped hydro – and researchers have located thousands of candidate sites.
Using solar power could give the U.S. military some advantages – and more security.
Diane Durden/U.S. Marine Corps
US military bases usually get their electricity from the civilian grid, which is vulnerable to attack and to disaster. Solar-powered microgrids could protect national security, and would save money.