Sign up | Login with →

Posts by Steven Collier Subscribe

Will the World's Emerging Economies Shape the Future of the Electric Grid?

Most of the talk about “the future of the electric grid” has been focused on developed nations, where discussion of “smart grids” and advanced power systems are commonplace. That focus may be misplaced; the big markets driving the future of the...

Posted October 10, 2013    

Irreversible Trends Spur Consumer Energy Independence: Part 2

Let’s pick up where I left off in my last post, with trends that motivate consumers to seek alternatives to the increasing cost, declining reliability and undesirable environmental impacts of conventional grid power. The electric energy sources of...

Posted August 20, 2013    

Irreversible Trends Spur Consumer Energy Independence: Part 1

It’s been awhile since my last blog post, thanks to summer activities with the family, so let’s review a few trends now gathering momentum: In my previous blog post, DC Power Microgrids: Self-Sufficiency for Utility Customers, I discussed how a DC...

Posted August 5, 2013    

DC Power Microgrids: Self-Sufficiency for Utility Customers

So many striking changes are taking place in the modernization of the electric power grid that it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees. However, I’d actually like to take a closer look at some trees: the needs of individual customers,...

Posted June 6, 2013    

Was Edison Right After All? Reconsidering DC Power

Perhaps Thomas Edison was right after all. As new technology develops, it's time to ask the question: should we be using direct current (DC) instead of alternating current (AC) power? Let’s review how we ended up in an AC-powered world. The...

Posted May 3, 2013    

Electrical Grid Woes and the Rise of Edge-Power Players

Increasingly frequent and severe weather events have starkly illuminated weaknesses in the 20th century electric grid. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, problems with the grid go beyond susceptibility to failure during severe weather events. The...

Posted March 20, 2013    

Energy and Extreme Weather: Derechos and Hurricane Sandy

Severe weather events are occurring more often with greater severity resulting in bigger and longer customer power outages. The destruction and associated power outages have caused many homeowners and business people to conclude that their electric...

Posted February 4, 2013    

A Good Offense Is the Best Defense

In my past posts I discussed examples of the transformation of the grid through a revolution in technology that will in turn provide extraordinary benefits for utilities, their customers and society. But, as has been the case in the...

Posted December 10, 2012    

Distributed Smart Metering for Utilities and Their Customers

In my previous blog post I discussed how smart meters will be supplanted by increasingly intelligent electronic devices that will make possible new and better grid monitoring and control. Now I want to discuss the concept of enhanced grid management...

Posted November 27, 2012    

More to Meters Than Meets the Eye

The unrelenting treadmill of Moore’s Law steadily makes electronic components more powerful even as it makes them smaller and more economical. This has revolutionized electronics, telecommunications and information technologies. It will do the same...

Posted October 19, 2012    

Technology transforms the utility business model

In my first two blogs for The Energy Collective I talked about how utilities should deploy automation via sensors and controls on the distribution grid to maximize efficiency and reliability instead of relying solely on customers to stop using...

Posted September 11, 2012    

Automation key to supply and demand

Last month I succeeded in provoking considerable discussion around the notion that the power industry needs to wring efficiencies from the grid, not just hector customers to change their behavior – “rationing,” as one of my colleagues has put it....

Posted August 15, 2012