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.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused widespread power outages.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Would putting power lines underground avoid hurricanes knocking out electricity service for millions of people? The answer is not as straightforward as it seems.
Coal power has long been a mainstay of the electricity system but has lost share as natural gas prices have gone down.
The Department of Energy's review of the electricity grid finds natural gas, rather than renewables, has hurt coal and nuclear power. But that's only half the story of the changes underway.
Eclipses are fun, but no one wants to be left in the dark by a blackout.
The solar eclipse offered electricity network operators a "live drill" in how to cope with fluctuating output from renewable energy. They passed with flying colours.
The implications, economic and otherwise, of this massive policy change are only beginning to sink in.
How can we ensure technology brings prosperity to us all?
Political and community leaders must act now to preserve the American middle class and adapt the US economy for the 21st century.
The bid to keep the lights on is prompting ever more government meddling in electricity markets.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Proposals for the government to commission more "baseload" electricity generation will raise private sector concerns over Canberra's growing willingness to intervene in a previously free market.
The Finkel review’s recommendations would put pressure on coal while encouraging gas and renewable energy
A Clean Energy Target and a swathe of measures to improve the security and reliability of the electricity grid are among the recommendations of the keenly awaited Finkel Review.
Lessons from the Lone Star State: A surge in wind power on the Texas grid didn’t cause reliability problems (and brought down electricity prices) because regulators improved the efficiency of wholesale electricity markets.
Sarah Fields Photography/Shutterstock.com
Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to know if wind and solar are compromising the reliability of the grid and hurting coal power. The answer lies in his home state of Texas.
Locking down the federal government.
NicoElNico via shutterstock.com
President Trump's new executive order on cybersecurity signals some significant new federal cybersecurity efforts.
Western Australia’s largest private solar array covers the roof of this food distribution centre in Perth’s south.
Despite its name, the National Electricity Market doesn't reach WA. But those charged with guiding the eastern states' energy transition should look west once in a while.
Just think of it as a battery that can also take you to the shops.
Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons
By boosting the demand for energy from the grid, electric cars could help create an incentive for more renewable energy investment, while smoothing over issues with supply and demand.
The long view: energy policy needs to stay firmly focused on the horizon.
The current flurry of energy policy aims to make power cheaper and more reliable. But it will take more than that to meet vital longer-term goals like cutting carbon while keeping future prices low.
Old school: Much of the power plant and transmission network we rely on has been around for decades.
Trump has pledged to invest big in infrastructure. An analysis shows the electric grid will need hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade just to keep things as they are.
SA energy minister Tom Koutsantonis (left) and Premier Jay Weatherill have outlined their vision for the state’s electricity.
AAP Image/David Mariuz
South Australia is investing $550 million in a plan to improve the reliability of its electricity. But the side-effect is that the National Electricity Market will now be even harder to run.