The Huge Electric Leadership of a Small California Town

By Building Its Own Microgrid, Rural Gonzales Charts a Path to the Energy Future

If California is lucky, our energy future could look like a small town in the rural Salinas Valley.

Longtime readers of this column will not be surprised to learn that the town in question is Gonzales, the California municipal version of the Little Engine That Could. Its small, working-class population of just 9,000, many of them farmworkers, has ingeniously solved tricky local government problems, from universal broadband to health care access, and from economic planning to child development.

Now Gonzales is tackling one of our state’s most stubborn challenges: how to develop …

The Invention of the Light Bulb Did Not Conquer the Night

A Museum Exhibit Explores How Painters Depicted Darkness Even as the World Embraced Artificial Light

For many of us in the modern world, light at the flick of a switch feels so natural that it’s difficult to imagine a time when even the meager flame …

Are Electric Companies Facing Extinction?

Solar Panels and Smart Meters Are Threatening an Industry That Doesn't Know How to Innovate

When the Supreme Court upheld the EPA’s right to regulate carbon and other emissions from power plants, it set off another round of complaint from the utility industry. Sure, this …

A Future Awash in LED Light

The Unexpected Rise of This Bright, Energy-Efficient Lighting Technology Spells the End for Edison’s Incandescent Lamp

The Nobel Prize in Physics just awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura for their work on blue light-emitting diodes—LEDs as they are commonly known—reveals the extent to …