The U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report last week detailing the 13,500 megawatts (MW) of electric utility capacity added in 2013.  According to the report, the total capacity added is down roughly 50% from 2012.  Natural gas and solar were the top industries generating additional capacity at just over 50% and 22% respectively. 

Be sure to join the next edition of CSG's webinar series entitled, "Challenges and Future Opportunities for States in Net Metering." The event will take place today, February 4th at 2pm Eastern and you may register by clicking here.

With gas prices rapidly approaching $4 a gallon across much of the country and unrest gripping large portions of the Middle East, states and the federal government are facing a series of pressing energy challenges. While much attention is frequently given to U.S. dependence on foreign oil, questions about rural energy production and access to markets are no less pressing in large portions of the country. 

The United States has vast offshore wind power potential.  Yet despite the potential to produce clean, cost-effective electricity, huge challenges remain to commercial deployment.  However, some progress is already being made toward developing an offshore wind power industry.

Last week I attended the Department of Energy’s Solar Boot Camp at its National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO.  The 3-day intensive training was held for the energy staff from those organizations that support state officials.

Stress on the electricity transmission grid is growing.  This stress can be eased by greater interstate cooperation and increased efficiency and conservation measures.