What we’re reading this week

The Atlantic: Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

You would probably not expect the second largest oil producer in the world to also be trying to replace 20% of its electricity consumption with solar power, but that is what Saudi Arabia is aiming to do by 2032.   In this case, the reason is a high opportunity cost of burning oil at home when they could be selling it to others.   It’s a fascinating look at how global markets coupled with domestic consumer behavior drives changing energy economics.

Electric Light & Power:  In New England, transmission upgrades soften impact of plant retirements

Building new or upgrading transmission lines has been talked about a lot lately as a primary way to increase reliability, reduce price sensitivity, and facilitate better integration of renewable and intermittent generation on the electric grid, though not without a considerable price tag.  Here is the latest example.

Pennsylvania Business Daily:  NRG partnership positions Pittsburgh for global energy infrastructure leadership

Just days before NRG announced it was restructuring, the city of Pittsburgh signed what appears to be a pretty historic agreement with NRG to “provide guidance” on its district energy operations — potentially to lead to expansion down the road.

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