Mike Jacobs

Senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program

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Michael Jacobs is a senior energy analyst with expertise in electricity markets, transmission and renewables integration work. See Mike's full bio.

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Coal Bailout: Low on Benefits, but High on Costs

More indications that there is no national reason for a proposed financial rescue of coal plants came out this week. Power grid operator PJM says there is no emergency; a leading coal industry representative says we don’t have any measure or understanding of what is gained in terms of reliability; and financial estimates are reported at $17 – 35 billion per year.

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Photo: PDTillman/Wikimedia Commons
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Getting More Wind and Solar is 100% Possible, But Not 100% Straightforward. Here’s Why

It’s not an issue of technology. Read more >

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Old coal plant Photo: San Juan Citizens Alliance/EcoFlight

Who’s Interested in the Trump Coal Bailout?

Changing technology, from low cost wind and solar, to pollution control added to coal plants, to fracking for natural gas, has created a new debate about where we should get our electricity. The debate has reached new levels with an order today from the White House to protect coal and nuclear plants from competition, even where the plants voluntarily agreed to participate in competitive markets.

This isn’t the first time the debate over grid reliability has included the Department of Defense (DOD), and despite what the White House says, the regional grid operators are still maintaining reliability.

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Industry Criticizing… Industry? This is What Effective Advocacy Looks Like

This is the first time people can recall when one of the grid operators was singled out by the others for making inappropriate demands on the industry. Read more >

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A darkened Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of David Shankbone.

Energy Storage is the Policy Epicenter of Energy Innovation

Battery advances—some from government-funded R&D for vehicles, some from laptops and cellphones—have opened a door. Read more >

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