Author Archive: Karl Cates

Editor and Media Relations Director Karl Cates has been an editor for Bloomberg LP, an editor for the New York Times, and a consultant to the Treasury Department-sanctioned community development financial institution (CDFI) industry.

IEEFA Update: Why Investors Are Watching the Navajo Generating Station Story So Closely

Will Economics or Politics Prevail?

Word last week that two potential buyers are interested in the failing Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona turned heads regionally and nationally — perhaps even globally. The fate of NGS, as the power plant is known for short is a major story in the state. NGS is in remote far-northern Arizona, almost 300 miles […]

IEEFA Arizona: Perilous Talk of Turning Navajo Generating Station Into a ‘Clean Coal’ Plant

IEEFA Arizona: Perilous Talk of Turning Navajo Generating Station Into a ‘Clean Coal’ Plant

Cautionary Tales from Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi

The history of coal-gasification experimentation for electricity production doesn’t bode very well for further efforts along those lines. In fact, it serves as a warning, specifically for stakeholders in a well-known aging coal-fired plant now being talked about in some circles as a candidate for just such an experiment. That supposed contender for coal gasification […]

March 29, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Renewables and Grid Stability Go Hand in Hand

IEEFA Update: Renewables and Grid Stability Go Hand in Hand

How Wind and Solar Enhance Energy Security

Opponents of renewable energy have sought to use the variability inherent in wind and solar electricity generation to campaign against the ongoing integration of such resources into the U.S. electric grid. Variability was the straw man, for instance, in U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s failed bid this past winter to secure Federal Energy Regulatory Commission […]

IEEFA Update: The Saudi Arabia of Solar? American Indian Country

IEEFA Update: The Saudi Arabia of Solar? American Indian Country

Energy Transition Openings Now in the Four-Corners Region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

The great swath of high plains that run from Texas to the Canadian border has been rightly nicknamed in recent years the Saudi Arabia of Wind. A drive through the region on any major interstate yields daytime vistas dappled with giant wind farms that stretch so far into the distance that they look like CGI […]

January 5, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: Keystone XL Is Still a Stinker

Better Investments Are What Americans Want: Healthcare, Roads, Education

Despite project approval this week by a Nebraska commission, TransCanada faces steep market hurdles in its proposed buildout of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Keystone is the final phase of an oil transport system that would link producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast. President Obama, citing environmental […]

November 22, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Puerto Rican Solar Elephant in the Room

‘New Interest in Ways of Shifting Island Power Grids Toward Greater Reliance on Renewables’

The hurricane ravage to America’s “51st state” has sparked what probably strikes some electricity-sector experts as an unexpected discussion about how to solarize Puerto Rico. IEEFA, informed by months of on-the-ground research and in conjunction with business and residents of the island, has been talking about it for a long time. The good news—to the […]

September 29, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Cracks in the War on Wind

Evolution, Tipping Points, ‘Hollow Showmanship’

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has the chart of the week in its depiction of the rapid evolution of wind turbines. Reproduced here, it reminds you a little bit of an old textbook evolution-of-man chart (Lucy to Piltdown to Neanderthal to Cromagnum). Progress in wind-turbine technology is happening a lot faster, obviously, than anything remotely biological, […]

September 22, 2017 Read More →

The Hurricane Case for Microgrids

Public Radio International: More than half of Florida’s population is estimated to have lost power because of Hurricane Irma. Many of the nearly 7 million Floridians who remained without power Tuesday will likely have to wait weeks before it’s restored. “What we think we’ll see on the west coast [of the state] is a wholesale […]

September 13, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Apolitical Wind

Benton County, Indiana: Cornfields, Soybeans, and a New Cash Crop

“White towers rising for miles amid the golden-tipped cornfields and leafy soybean plants” is a fun opening but the numbers are what jump out at you in a Wall Street Journal article published yesterday under the headline “Wind Power Wins Converts in Rural U.S.” About 100,000 people work in the American wind energy industry today—“close […]

September 8, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Solar Incursion

Arizona, Florida, Europe, Asia, South America, the World …

The sun shines almost all day every day in Arizona, where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration puts “yearly averages of percent of possible sunshine range” at 90 percent, give or take. This abundance is fueling a new Navajo Nation utility-scale solar installation that went online last week with the capacity to power 13,000 homes. […]

September 1, 2017 Read More →