Power, Energy and Water Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the power, energy and water industries.

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Utilities Embrace Copiloting with Artificial Intelligence, Parachute-Free

Utilities Embrace Copiloting with Artificial Intelligence, Parachute-Free

April 2024

Generative artificial intelligence is having a “throw everything at the wall” moment, with the market’s current enthusiasm similar to the halcyon days of the dotcom era.

Low Carbon Fuel

Net Zero Transportation, Charting a Course for Low Carbon Fuels

March 2024

From farm to fuel, decarbonization demands requires radical partnerships.

Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships

What Successful GRIP Funding Applications Have in Common

January 2024

To address the need for increased grid flexibility and resilience, the U.S. Department of Energy selected 58 projects across 44 states last October to receive $3.9 Billion through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships

Carbon Capture

Get Ready for Carbon Capture’s Second Act

October 2023

The largest climate policy contribution of the Inflation Reduction Act will likely be the market incentives tied to carbon capture for high-emitting industries. While competition, replacement and regulation will continue to decarbonize other segments of the economy, the hardest-to-abate industries would see little progress without the significant government support that this legislation provides.


Gasoline Demand Has Peaked, and That’s a Problem for Diesel Production

May 2023

AAA projects a whopping 37.1 million road-tripping Americans will journey 50 miles or more from their homes this Memorial Day weekend, the third most since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday travel. However, despite upbeat signs like this, the nation’s peak gasoline demand is squarely in the rear-view mirror.

Natural Gas

Is This the Beginning of the End for Cheap Shale Gas?

April 2023

Commodity traders often say that the cure for high prices is high prices. In other words, during periods of supply shortages or tight balances, sellers will increase their supply and buyers will cut back or adopt substitutes.

power lines

The Fix for the Electric Grid’s Mid-life Crisis Might be in the Garage

February 2023

Considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, the U.S. electric grid is now experiencing something of a mid-life crisis in the early innings of the 21st century.


Fluctuating Electricity Supply and Demand Requires Distribution Co-ops be Steady but Agile

August 2022

The electricity sector no longer lives on a one-way street: U.S. consumers are fundamentally reshaping the electric power industry by demanding clean energy and widely adopting grid-edge technologies.

Power Grid

Webinar on Demand: The Future of the Power Grid Is Here

June 2022

Increased customer needs and operating risks are pushing aging electric transmission and distribution systems past their limits, often with painful results for communities. In fact, the average American home endured more than eight hours without power in 2021, more than double the outage time five years ago.

Electric vehicle charging

Garage of the Future: Supporting America’s New Re-Fueling Station

March 2022

The shift toward electric transportation will take more than just a dealership sale. Our research and discussions with electric cooperatives last year revealed a need for cooperation amongst co-ops and, more broadly, collaboration along the entire supply chain.

Energy Transition

From Underdogs to Leaders: Co-ops in Energy Transition

January 2022

With the recent passage of the U.S. landmark $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure spending package to shore up the country’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and transmission grid, now is an opportune time to reflect on the state of our rural electric infrastructure.

Electric Vehicles

Co-op EVolution — A New Era of Mobile Energy, Off-Grid Access to Electricity

June 2021

Given promising signs of a return to normal for the country and the prospect of even more motorists hitting the road this year, it felt like the right time to celebrate a new CoBank initiative dedicated to electric vehicles. 

Electric Vehicle

Co-op EVolution — Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide on EV Adoption

June 2021

Given new commitments by car manufacturers, expanded policy incentives, and ambitious build-out of charging infrastructure, electric vehicles could make up 10% of all new car sales by 2025 – a five-fold increase from current levels.

(Re)Considering (De)Regulation and Resiliency

May 2021

A different market design probably would not have averted the crisis in Texas.  But there is a clear need to protect consumers from these price spikes. 

Achieving Biden’s Climate Moonshot Requires Heavy Lifting by Electric Power Industry

May 2021

President Biden's new greenhouse gas emissions target for the U.S. could be viewed as the current generation’s moonshot opportunity for addressing climate change.

Power Distribution

The Power Sector’s Tough Lessons Learned This Winter

April 2021

The February 2021 winter storm and widespread power outages have raised new concerns about the future of grid resilience.

battery storage - energy

Highlights from PowerXchange: Impact of the Pandemic on Electric Industry Transitions

March 2021

One of the more thought provoking sessions I attended at this year’s NRECA PowerXchange conference focused on how the events of 2020 will likely accelerate transformation for the U.S. electricity industry. 

Solar power

The Economics of DER and the Rise of the U.S. Prosumer

February 2021

Over the past decade, retail electricity prices have continued to rise despite declining costs associated with generating electricity.

Power generation

Fuel-switched — Persistent Low Natural Gas Prices Shut the Door on Coal Recovery for 2021 and Beyond

December 2020

With fuel competition unlikely to abate, there is little opportunity for a revival in the U.S. coal patch.

Power plant

Addition by Subtraction: Recent Trends Reinforce Longer-Term Shift to Clean Energy

October 2020

Many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the U.S. power industry have been extreme – from demand destruction to more intense supply-side competition.

Line workers

The Dangers of Kicking the Can Down an Endless Road

September 2020

The accumulated effects of deferred maintenance may pose a future reliability risk should staffing shortages persist.

No More Carefree Summer Days for Generators — Electricity Demand Weakness to Resurface With Mild Fall Weather

September 2020

Summer-time air conditioning demand masked underlying electricity demand weakness associated with COVID-19. As temperatures begin to moderate, loads will once again soften.

Power Sector Demand Destruction Forces Hard Choices

July 2020

While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the power sector remain unclear, belt tightening is a must and the industry has an opportunity now to adapt.

From the Ground Up: The Changing Energy Demands of Agricultural Irrigation

January 2020

Agricultural irrigation accounts for a significant share of the industrial electrical load served by U.S. utilities, especially in rural & semi-rural areas of Western & Central states.

Huge Battery Project Follows in Co‑ops’ Footsteps

November 2019

The world’s largest battery energy storage development project has received the green light from New York’s Public Service Commission. The project reaffirms what electric cooperatives in remote areas have known for years.

Emission Fights Cloud Electric Vehicle Growth

November 2019

As the U.S. market for electric vehicles has grown in recent years, many electric utilities around the country have welcomed the resulting incremental demand for power. But the uncertainty over future U.S. national fuel economy standards isn’t helping the segment’s growth.

US Authorities Seek Streamlined Natural Gas Pipeline Development

October 2019

The EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking indicating that the agency seeks much greater authority in the infrastructure permitting processes regulated under the Clean Water Act. Under the EPA’s proposed rule, states and tribes could only prevent infrastructure construction in matters concerning water quality, ending some of their other long-held permitting authorities.

Electric vehicle

Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Integration: From Concept to Reality

June 2019

While vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration remains more concept than reality in the U.S., it will likely afford economic value to cost-conscious utilities and their ratepayers in the long term.


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