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Scrambling to Head Off Power Outages Caused by Heat Waves, Rapid Growth, and Disaster

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A scene from Texas in July. (Photograph courtesy of MyEyeSees/Flickr)

Texas has suffered through the worst drought and one of the worst heat waves on record, pushing electricity use to a record high in an attempt to cope.

Texas is the state with the recently installed wind farms came through to boost the state’s electricity generation just in time. However, even this jump was not enough to meet demand, and power companies can automatically adjust also helped ease demand.

The state suffered through home energy audits and efficiency measures, as well as beat Massachusetts to the punch, installing America’s first offshore wind farm before the long-delayed (but finally approved) Cape Wind project. The ration electricity earlier this year, and is facing a became a net importer of coal in 2009. In July, the country’s national cap on energy use as part of a plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

China is not the only one boosting coal imports. The using more liquefied natural gas, but was able to a third “lost decade” of economic stagnation.

Making Fracking Friendlier

The push to produce more natural gas through fracking needs environmental risks it could be causing in the U.S., according to a task force organized by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Companies are failing to follow best practices, and the explosive growth of fracking has left regulators behind, the task force said, made few specific recommendations of how to improve the situation, focusing mainly on collecting more data on the effects of fracking and sharing the data publicly.

While there are state regulations on fracking practices, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed earlier this month its first air pollution standards aimed at putting billions into wind and solar and big banks use photovoltaics rather than concentrated solar, its developer announced, because of the drop in solar panel prices. The project will also be built without the $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee it was offered in April.

Although U.S. residential solar power has not grown as quickly as in some other countries, such as Germany, Latest Stories<\/p>"}