In July 2012, Frontier Texas, an Old West museum located in Abilene, received an electric bill nearly $4,000 higher than expected. Oddly enough, the museum hadn't used an unusual amount of power that month.
As a researcher working in the area of energy technology and policy, I often find myself drawn into debates surrounding certain energy technologies, and what role they should play in the future energy system.
Previously, I've written about the potential for a future smart grid, where homes with solar panels and batteries intelligently interconnect to form a cleaner, more-robust distributed power system.
A vital factor affecting the economics of any energy source is transportation: where is the fuel extracted, where is it used, and how does it get from point A to point B?
So many debates about our transforming electricity system surround the economics of electricity production. The solar advocates continually remind us that the price breakthrough for solar panels is just around the corner, while industry advocates insist the economy will suffer if we place any meaningful limits on carbon pollution.