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distributed energy

California Could Rewrite the Rules for Distributed Demand Response

August 9, 2014 by Jeff St. John

California and Demand Response

You might imagine that California, the land of energy efficiency, smart meters, rooftop solar panels and plug-in electric vehicles, would also be leading the country in demand response -- the term of art for turning homes and buildings into grid-responsive energy assets. But you’d be wrong.[read more]


Utility of the Future: Paradigm Shift to Meet a More Distributed, Customer-Focused Energy System in the 21st Century

July 17, 2014 by Sonita Lontoh

Future Utility Systems

Utilities and energy providers around the world will face unprecedented challenges and changes in the 21st century, among which are the proliferation of distributed energy and the need to be more customer-focused. Successfully addressing these will require a paradigm shift in thinking.[read more]

Will Distributed Energy Make Up One-Third of the US Power Supply by 2020?

February 16, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Distributed Energy and US Power Supplies


Here’s a sobering thought for U.S. utilities and grid planners seeking solutions for a future filled with distributed, customer-owned energy assets: that future is already here. That’s one way to look at a striking chart presented at the DistribuTECH smart grid conference last month.[read more]

Will Demand Response, Distributed Energy Bring End of Traditional Utility Business Model?

July 10, 2013 by Jim Pierobon

Disruptive Forces

How long tradition-bound utilities can rely on the status quo probably has several years to run. The growing popularity and affordability of rooftop solar systems is beginning to have an impact.[read more]

Why We Still Need Utilities

April 5, 2013 by Christine Hertzog

I’m all for microgrids, distributed energy resources, and the concept of Transactive Energy to improve grid resiliency. But the Smart Grid and its enabling technologies do not mean the end of electric or gas utilities.[read more]


AC vs. DC Powerlines and the Electrical Grid

April 2, 2013 by Roger Faulkner


This post explaining some important differences between high voltage AC and high voltage DC power transmission options. It is part of a series explaining the options for building out a transmission Supergrid.[read more]

Are Traditional Utilities Becoming Obsolete?

March 30, 2013 by Sarah Battaglia

Some believe that solar panels are becoming so common that they may eventually put utilities out of business. Can this really happen?[read more]

Money and the Growth of the Smart Grid

March 12, 2013 by Christine Hertzog

Two cities in California are leveraging innovative financial programs to help fund adoption of both energy efficiency and renewables generation technologies, spurring technology markets.[read more]

Quantifying the Real Costs of Outages

March 5, 2013 by Christine Hertzog

We now live in an economy that can’t function without electricity – there are no substitutes for it. Our lifestyles depend on electricity to keep us comfortable and productive on a 24 x 7 basis.[read more]

Where's the Real Bottleneck for Natural Gas? Distribution

January 25, 2013 by Steve Skutnik

As a scientist and an unabashed nerd, I love data. Particularly, I love it when ready access to data reveals things that are surprising in the face of conventional wisdom. Despite record-low wholesale electricity prices there's been a slow but quite noticeable creep of wholesale natural gas prices upward to the range of $6/MMBtu.[read more]


The Smart Grid and Natural Disasters

December 13, 2012 by Dick DeBlasio

Lightning Bolt via Shutterstock

More than 8 million people along the U.S. East Coast were rendered powerless in the wake of October 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, for example. Each new large-scale natural disaster delivers its own unique cocktail of heartache and damage, but the need to modernize the electrical grid is a common denominator—growing only more glaring with each new setback.[read more]

Catastrophe and Grid Resiliency

March 13, 2011 by Christine Hertzog

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan offer horrifying visuals of a geologic worst case scenario.   It may also deliver a worst case disaster scenario for their national electrical system as some nuclear plants are beyond repair.  According to the Department of Energy’s global statistics,  in...[read more]

Do We Need a Smart Grid, A Strong Grid, Or Less Grid?

January 19, 2010 by Rod Adams

One of the reasons that I am a strong advocate of smaller nuclear energy plants is that I resist the notion of the inevitability of greater interconnectedness and dependence. I like systems that have firewalls, circuit breakers, and air gaps to ensure that a failure in one location can be isolated. I do not like tightly integrated...[read more]

Taking distributed energy seriously

January 15, 2010 by Big Gav

Dave Roberts has a post at Grist outlining his take on the debate about building large power plants on sensitive land — specifically a solar thermal power plant in the Mojave desert - Taking distributed energy seriously. Many folks are conflicted over the seeming clash between conserving America’s remaining wild landscapes and expanding...[read more]

Wellinghoff is a Dangerous Man

April 23, 2009 by Rod Adams

On Earth Day 2009, Jon Wellinghoff, the newly appointed chairman of the U. S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declared that "baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism." He went on to compare power plants to computers, further exposing the limits of his technical knowledge "People talk about, 'Oh, we need baseload.' It's...[read more]