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Talking Points for Thanksgiving Dinner

We all have one – a family member or friend who faithfully regurgitates the weird combination of fiction and paranoia dispensed by the US-based news channel that is anything but “fair and balanced”. The US Thanksgiving holiday is approaching, and...

Posted November 26, 2014    

Three Global Utility Metatrends

European Utility Week serves as an excellent venue to obtain more global industry perspectives than what is typically found in most North American-based industry events. In the case of the 2014 event, it served to reinforce the conclusion that there...

Posted November 19, 2014    

Want Green Power? Try Community Choice Aggregation

The recent Business of Local Energy Symposium in Petaluma, California had a rare degree of fervor that isn’t typically experienced at Smart Grid industry conferences about electricity.  Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) or municipal...

Posted October 29, 2014    

University Microgrid Manages Multiple Generation Assets

Combined heat and power (CHP) technologies are sometimes overlooked as important assets that can be deployed in Smart Grids and microgrids in North America. Also known as cogeneration, it is defined in the Smart Grid Dictionary as the...

Posted October 21, 2014    

Microgrids Can Serve Multiple Purposes With The Right Policy Frameworks

Remember the old beer commercial with the “tastes great….less filling” debate? Microgrids provoke a multitude of views in the USA.   For the Department of Energy, developing advanced microgrids holds the promise of building new electricity...

Posted October 14, 2014    

Energy Storage: Bright Future, But Challenges Ahead

The Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference in San Jose, CA last week can be summed up in one word – optimism. The sanguine outlooks on market opportunities and trends were unanimous. Several vendors can’t manufacture their equipment...

Posted October 7, 2014    

Information and Efficiency: Is Data A Painkiller?

Can data kill your pain? The city of Los Angeles, California is hoping it will, at least where some data sources are concerned. Back in May, the city launched a new DataLA site that features data downloads on topics such as crime statistics and...

Posted September 30, 2014    

Utility Failures Could Become Perverse Incentives for More Solar Energy Growth

The news for solar energy in the USA is optimistic, based on recent reports from Navigant Research and statistics compiled by the SEIA and Greentech Media. The first firm indicates that the market for distributed energy resources, of which solar,...

Posted September 23, 2014    

How Smart Grid Policies Create Employment Opportunities

Most Smart Grid discussions about human impacts address the demographic trends in utility workforces or the influences that Smart Grid technologies and applications have on people in residential and commercial settings. While both are very worthy...

Posted September 17, 2014    

On Distributed Generation, the Answer is Location, Location, Location

If this was a game of Jeopardy! you might think the question was about the value of real estate.  You’d be close, but the winning question is what is the basis for the value of distributed energy resources?This is one of the most important...

Posted September 10, 2014    

The Evolution of 'Just-in-Time' for Utilities

The electric utility sector has been quite successful at managing power on a just-in-time basis. It had to be just-in-time, because since the days of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, there were very few cost-effective ways to store energy, and those...

Posted August 26, 2014    

What the Green Revolution in Electronics Means for the Smart Grid

One of the oft-flogged analogies about the Smart Grid is that building it is like assembling a plane in flight.  The challenges start with trying to overlay new technologies on top of older infrastructure, choosing winners and losers in...

Posted August 19, 2014