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GET TIMELY INSIGHTS. Our blog showcases a variety of voices from our home at the University of Pennsylvania—including faculty, students, staff, senior fellows, and visiting scholars. Opinions and perspectives are from the authors; not the Kleinman Center.

May16
2016

TVA Files First-Ever Application for Small Scale Nuclear Reactor

Christina Simeone
On Friday the 13th of May, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) submitted the first-ever permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for development of small modular reactors (SMR), a form of distributed nuclear energy. This happened just a week after TVA’s board voted to sell the unfinished...
May10
2016

California and PA Pipeline Forecast Summer Energy Dialogue

Christina Simeone
The April 29 explosion on Spectra’s Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline in western Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County has implications for the electric power grid and the public is going to start asking questions. Namely, have we become more vulnerable in the age of gas? Be prepared to hear more about gas supply...
Apr28
2016

Highlights from FERC’s 2015 State of the Markets Report

Christina Simeone
As part of its energy market oversight responsibilities, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) annually publishes its “state of the markets” report.  In mid-March, FERC released its 2015 market report focusing on electricity and natural gas market activity. Below are just some of the takeaways from the...
Apr25
2016

Opportunity Remains as CEO Mavericks Fall Short

Christina Simeone
What do SunEdison’s CEO Ahmad Chatila, NRG’s David Crane and Shell’s Marv Odum have in common? Your first responses might be bankruptcy, being ousted or failure. And you wouldn’t be wrong.  You also wouldn’t be totally right. These leaders gambled big because they know the game (theory that is). SunEdison, once...
Apr21
2016

Pennsylvania Highlights the Local Debate on Nuclear Waste Storage

Christina Simeone
Communities across the country might be surprised over how little say they have about the nuclear waste being indefinitely stockpiled in their neighborhoods. The United States government planned to develop a centralized facility to store in perpetuity (think hundreds of thousands of years) the high-level radioactive...
Apr19
2016

Gas Trust Fund to Help Communities Faces Uphill Battle

Mark Alan Hughes and Christina Simeone
It’s hard to make a deal when two sides have little trust in each other. So, society has developed many ways of overcoming distrust: contracts define remedies, treaties have inspectors, suspects post bonds.   The Brookings Institution’s new report, “Permanent Trust Funds: Funding Economic Change with Fracking Revenues...
Apr12
2016

Grid Assurance LLC to Offer Resiliency Subscriptions to Major Utilities

Christina Simeone
Electric “grid resiliency” – or “the ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disruption” - has increasingly become an operational and policy concern for utilities in light of extreme weather events, cyber or physical attacks, geomagnetic storms and an aging...
Apr08
2016

Put Your Money Where the Risk Is

Mark Alan Hughes
April 6, 2016 My main takeaway from the rollout of the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team’s new “A Pipeline for Growth” report is this: the use of the word “molecules” in any discussion of energy policy should be avoided at all costs. It strikes me as the oral equivalent of trying to look smart by putting on a...
Apr07
2016

Emergency Plans Needed for the Power Grid in the Age of Gas

Christina Simeone
The massive, multi-month gas leak in California’s underground Aliso Canyon storage facility has major implications for millions of California’s electricity users, with state regulators warning of up to 14 days of planned electricity blackouts this summer. In the new age of gas, are electricity systems prepared to...
Apr05
2016

Blue Skies over Beijing

Angela Pachon
When I think of pictures of Beijing, for example prior to the 2008 Summer Olympic games or those images shown in the 2015 documentary film Under the Dome, by Chai Jing, the last thing that comes to my mind are blue skies. This may change in the near future. According to Matt Kahn, Professor of Economics at the...

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