Author Archives: Jay Apt


This article is in Climate and Energy, Summer 2017

Climate engineering The articles in the Spring 2017 Issues by David W. Keith, “Toward a Responsible Solar Geoengineering Research Program,” and Jane C. S. Long, “Coordinated Action against Climate Change: A New World Symphony,” provide informative views into several points of current debate on climate engineering research, its management, and governance. The authors agree on […]

Energy Conundrums: Power Play: A More Reliable U.S. Electric System

This article is in Energy Conundrums, Summer 2006

U.S. utilities have a lot to learn about avoiding power outages. They can benefit from the experience of foreign utilities, other U.S. industries, and even their own nuclear power plants. The United States ranks toward the bottom among developed nations in terms of the reliability of its electricity service. Catastrophic events, such as the August […]

A National Renewable Portfolio Standard? Not Practical

This article is in Questions That Blur Political Party Lines, Fall 2008

Legislation that mandates specified electricity production from renewable sources paves a path to costly mistakes because it excludes other sources that can meet the country’s goals. A discussion of renewable energy seems to addle the brains of many sensible people, leading them to propose policies that are bad engineering and science or have a foundation […]

Promoting Low-Carbon Electricity Production

This article is in Seeing Through Preconceptions: A Deeper Look at China and India, Spring 2007

To encourage utilities to emit less carbon dioxide, the government should implement—soon—a carbon portfolio standard with predictable requirements and guarantee loans for building advanced generating facilities. The electric power industry is the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the United States, accounting for 40% of CO2 emissions in 2006, up from 36% in 1990 […]

Electrical Blackouts: A Systemic Problem

This article is in U.S. Forests: Facing New Global Market, Summer 2004

Although human error can be the proximate cause of a blackout, the real causes are found much deeper in the power system. About every four months, the United States experiences a blackout large enough to darken half a million homes. As long ago as 1965, a massive blackout in New York captured the nation’s attention […]