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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    

Could California Become a Leader in Smart Water Management?

California, the Golden State, can legitimately claim a number of superlatives. It’s the ninth largest economy in the world. It has the largest living tree in Sequoia National Park. It has the highest and lowest points (Mount Whitney and Death Valley...

Posted August 12, 2014    

Building Infrastructure Resiliency Starts With Creative Problem-Solving

We have significant infrastructure problems in the USA. Long neglect of investment in infrastructure has left it crumbling around us. It is sometimes easy to witness in rusting bridges or potholed road surfaces. But too often, deterioration in...

Posted August 6, 2014    

Reimagining Infrastructure

Walt Disney said it best:  “If you can dream it, you can do it.” That’s the challenge for this generation and the ones succeeding it when it comes creating Smart Grids out of today’s infrastructure for energy and water.  We’re much further...

Posted July 30, 2014    

How One Industry Association Would Transform the Grid

Back in January 2014 when we were still packing up holiday decorations, the Obama administration initiated a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a comprehensive survey of energy production, infrastructure, and transport in the USA. The Department of...

Posted July 23, 2014    

Drought and Energy: An Interesting Water/Energy Nexus

The water/energy nexus and the ramifications of this closely intertwined relationship, particularly with energy generation, needs to gain awareness beyond policy wonks in the western states of the USA. These previous blogs about California...

Posted July 16, 2014    

No More Tinkering: How Reinventing the Oven is Like Reinventing the Grid

How do you build a better oven? That’s a question Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO for Microsoft and foodie recently discussed.  He pointed out that today’s electric or natural gas-powered oven is designed on the principle first put forward five...

Posted July 8, 2014    

Recommended Beach Reading on the Water and Energy Nexus

It’s almost the fourth of July for Americans, and that means a holiday with time to read. Two interesting reports were released in June, and while not the typical frothy-light paperback novel genre, they are good reading for the beach. Spoiler alert...

Posted July 1, 2014    

Smart Grid and Smart Buildings Share Same Disruptive Impacts

The annual IBcon event always delivers on thought-provoking discussions and fresh insights about the intersections of technologies, policies, and financial drivers in the commercial real estate sector. The Smart Grid itself is the convergence of IT...

Posted June 24, 2014    

Four Important Lessons From the Borrego Springs Microgrid Pilot

There is a design and configuration practice called “graceful degradation” in telecom circles.  It diverts all communications functionality to a limited group of subscribers that have the most critical needs.  Microgrids present...

Posted June 17, 2014    

What's the Existential Threat to Utilities? Here's a Hint: It’s Not the EPA's Clean Power Plan

On June 2, 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Clean Power Plan that proposes to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030. What are the impacts to utilities? Coal fired power plants, once responsible for 39% of...

Posted June 10, 2014