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Smart Grid

The Smart Grid and Multifamily Dwelling Challenges

April 16, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

There are many disconnects and dysfunctions in the multifamily real estate market that are beyond the ability of renters or property owners alone to resolve. There are multiple challenges in a market segment that includes stakeholders with sometimes vastly different financial perspectives.[read more]

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs a lot of balancing resources during times that renewables dominate.[read more]

A Rising Tension: 'Value-of-Solar' Tariff Versus Net Metering

April 15, 2014 by Herman Trabish
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Pricing Solar

The Alliance for Solar Choice, a group made up of leading solar service providers, is a staunch defender of net energy metering. And that has brought it into conflict with solar advocates calling for a more precise "value of solar" calculation.[read more]

Solar Energy, Sky Cameras, and Hard Math: A New Way to Integrate PV on the Grid

April 14, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Sky Cameras and the Grid

Insanely complex math, and never enough data -- that’s the conundrum in trying to model the ebb and flow of solar power and energy storage on the grid edge. Large-scale transmission systems are well modeled. But the majority of the grid below the substation provides little to work with.[read more]

Postcard from the Future of Energy: Making Markets Work in Texas

April 10, 2014 by America's Power Plan

Texas Energy Markets

Texas is debating how to design their power market to ensure fair competition, low cost, and, of course, reliability in the future. But booming wind and solar energy means their market policies need to encourage flexibility as well.[read more]

Can a Systems Engineering Approach Solve Consumption Challenges in the Electricity Value Chain?

April 8, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

A system is a set of components that interact in an organized fashion toward a common purpose. Add living organisms like humans, it becomes an ecosystem. The electric grid was a complex system, but the advent of Smart Grid technologies started a grid transformation into a complex ecosystem[read more]

Demand Response Value Isn't Just About Capacity, Study Finds

April 6, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
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Demand Response and Capacity

It's well known that the use of load shifting can often be more efficient than power plants when it comes to providing grid balancing services. But few studies exist on the effect that demand response resources have on operational costs for utilities or independent system operators.[read more]

One Sustainability App to Rule Them All?

April 5, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Sustainability App

Intelligent efficiency software for buildings can usually be lumped into three broad categories: dashboarding and visualization; actionable energy intelligence; and enterprise sustainability. The actual products that are within those categories vary widely.[read more]

The Energy-Data Nexus Could Be the Next Big Thing for the IT Industry

April 1, 2014 by Rob Day

You may have heard of the energy-water nexus, which is the idea that water use and energy production are so intertwined that they can, to a significant extent, be thought of as two sides of the same coin. The same thing is happening, in remarkably similar ways, with energy and data.[read more]

New Orleans' Peak-Time Rebate a Strong Draw for Low-Income Customers

March 28, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
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Peak-Time Rebate

No matter how much customer engagement is talked about, many utilities seem to have trouble interacting with low-income customers. But the results from one pilot funded by the DoE’s Smart Grid Investment Grants found one pricing plan enabled by smart meters was well received by low-income customers.[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Microgrids: Ushering in a New Era of Electricity Generation?

March 28, 2014 by Tanya Malik
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via Shutterstock

In both densely packed urban centers and remote rural areas, microgrids represent an important investment, and one in which renewables could play a major role. But how do they fit into President Obama's "All of the Above" platform?[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Has Wind Power Been Type-Casted For Good?

March 20, 2014 by Lori-Lee Emshey
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via Shutterstock

In North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, almost all wind power utilizes today’s technology in the same way But why is this? Wind power makes for an adaptable power source, one we should be seeing everywhere. And yet it’s being pigeonholed into one task, like an aging sitcom actor.[read more]

Hidden Treasure: Two New Resources Offer Up Massive Amounts of Utility Data

March 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Two new energy data initiatives being launched this week illustrate how individual utilities and smart grid research consortia are helping to break the logjam on opening the flood of data from smart meters, smart grid devices and energy-aware homes.[read more]

Net Metering Is in the Air: Solar Energy Progress in Massachusetts and Other States

March 19, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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Massachusettes Solar

Last week, we reported on recent legislation in Massachusetts that would increase homeowners’ access to net metering across the state. The legislation would be good for solar, and it seems likely to pass in solar-friendly Massachusetts.[read more]

Charts: The Evolution of US Microgrid Adoption

March 19, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
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Microgrid Evolution

Microgrids are the most recent topic du jour in grid modernization, but there is far more talk than action about it. Most of the activity today is happening at universities and military installations, but cities are poised to take a larger role in coming years.[read more]