For decades, coal was the dominant fuel for electric power generation in the U.S. Although advances in natural gas generation technology allowed natural gas to become increasingly competitive with coal and other generation options, regulatory constraints and market influences drove coal to remain the overwhelming source for baseload power throughout most of the 20th century. However, in the early 21st century the advent of horizontal drilling as an adjunct to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) significantly reduced the price as well as the price volatility of natural gas. These changes, combined with increased environmental regulation for coal-fired generation, have led to natural gas surpassing coal in terms of net U.S. generation.
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Jill Tietjen is a fireball of energy and excitement. She has an unceasing passion to talk to anyone about engineering and why she feels that more young women need to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math, fields known collectively as STEM careers.
What factors resulted in our having the power system we have in the U.S. today and what factors will drive future changes to the power system? This piece discusses the motivations and impacts of the various entities that have influence over power supply decisions. Current and evolving rules and regulations as well as historical interactions and relationships between and among these entities will determine what changes we see in the electric grid system in the future in areas such as resource mix, centralized versus decentralized generation, costs, reliability and environmental impacts.
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How my life and career choices became purposeful.
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Women’s eNews named Jill Tietjen one of the 2016 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. The honorees are described as women and men who have made it their mission to change the rules that constrict the lives of women and girls, here in the U.S. and around the globe. Tietjen and the other 20 leaders were honored at a gala on May 2, 2016 in New York City.
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How did an electrical engineer get to be the CEO of the National Women’s Hall of Fame? I have to admit that it is an unusual and circuitous career path and that many people in my audiences are quite curious about how it happened. Opportunities arise frequently for all of us. My career path is a result of seizing those opportunities, even if, as Thomas Edison said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
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