Articles on Electricity grid

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A man reads the newspaper by flashlight during the Northeast Blackout in August 2003. AP Photo/Joe Kohen

Keeping the electricity grid running – 4 essential reads

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.
As the name suggests, Windy Hill near Cairns gets its fair share of power-generating weather. Leonard Low/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

New coal doesn’t stack up – just look at Queensland’s renewable energy numbers

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.
Off-grid mountain house. Shutterstock

Is it possible to live off-grid?

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 are in vogue, but they can be like taking a sledgehammer to a nut

'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.
There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times. AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY

Trust Me I’m An Expert: Why February is the real danger month for power blackouts

The urban heat island and summertime blackouts. The Conversation25.6 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.
Managed in the right way, wind farms can actually help stabilise the grid, rather than disrupting it. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

What’s the net cost of using renewables to hit Australia’s climate target? Nothing

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.
Grid operators set the prices for energy markets and are structured to take the lowest prices – a disadvantage for coal and nuclear power.

The pull of energy markets – and legal challenges – will blunt plans to roll back EPA carbon rules

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

Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia

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.

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