Tag Archives | energy

Chart of the Day: Energy Intensity of Transportation Modes

I am a sucker for energy use and intensity charts. Looking at CO2 emissions is one thing, but total energy use is an even broader way to think about how our society gets around. That’s why I think energy charts are fascinating, and you should too. Just check out this one or this one or […]

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Chart of the Day: Minnesota Electricity Sources, 2001-2017

Here’s a cool chart from the New York Times, that has interactive charts for each state showing changes in electricity sources over time. Minnesota’s chart looks like this: The Times follows up the chart with a brief caption: Coal has been the top source of electricity generated in Minnesota for the past two decades. But […]

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Chart of the Day: Greenhouse Gas Pollution (in California)

Granted, California is different than Minnesota. I suspect our footprint would look slightly different,  considering that Minnesota’s electricity sector is generally more fossil-fuel dependent than those on the West Coast (though Xcel is quickly moving away from coal). The other big difference, I am guessing, would be energy use for home heating. But with this […]

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Chart of the Day: Minnesota Energy Input and Output Flows, 2014

Here’s a fun chart to stare at for long hours. It’s the LIvermore labs energy chart! This is the most recent version available at the state level (though there is one made at the national scale using 2017 info). It might look familiar, as Adam Miller put up a similar chart a year and a […]

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Chart of the Day: U.S. Energy Consumption

We haven’t had a Chart of the Day in awhile, so I’m horning in on Bill Lindeke’s gig because I found a good one. This is from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, via David Roberts at vox.com. That might look a little confusing at first, but it’s really not all that bad. Overall, the chart […]

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Podcast #95: Energy and Carbon Consensus with Brendan Jordan

This week’s podcast is a conversation with Brendan Jordan, the vice-president of the Great Plains Institute, a Minneapolis-based energy and climate think tank. I sat down with Brendan last week at his office to discuss the political landscape of climate change policy, both locally and nationally. We discussed how to think about climate and energy […]

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Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Electricity vs. Built Square Footage over Time

Via Brendon Slotterback’s Twitter, here’s a chart showing Minneapolis’ energy use and “built square footage” (i.e. the total amount of buildings) over time: As Slotterback says: Minneapolis’ total electricity use has declined 4% since ’06 while total square footage has increased 5.5%. At the global scale, preventing out of control climate change requires de-linking GDP […]

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Chart of the Day: Land Use Requirements for Solar Energy

This chart shows the land area required to provide 100 percent of US electricity requirements in 2050, compared with other land uses in our great nation. Read this for a longer discussion of the land use impacts of low-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear. Some local land use conflicts have arisen in Minnesota recently […]

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Chart of the Day: Additions to US Power Plant Capacity

This chart comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national policy thinktank based in Minneapolis.   Basically it shows how “residential solar” (i.e. panels on houses) has become a meaningful mix in the new additions to the US energy grid. It’s something to think about when thinking about homes, or energy, or cities, or […]

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How Much Energy Could Minneapolis Get from Solar?

Solar PV seems to be the current darling of the renewable energy world.  But how much “resource” is really out there?  How much should cities rely on the development of local solar resources to meet their climate and energy goals?  What trade-offs should urban cities make between desirable things like tree canopy and maximizing solar energy resources?  GIS tools […]

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