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Ten Startup Tips for Utility CEOs: The Final Five

Last week the Obama administration made news with their climate change initiatives.  The impacts on utilities are clear – as coal-burning power plants produce up to 40% of the CO2 emissions in this country alone – retiring the dirty ones and...

Posted July 2, 2013    

Ten Startup Tips for Utility CEOs

Just the other day I listened to a serial entrepreneur deliver a talk that summarized key learnings over 25 years of starting and building companies.  The presenter had stunning successes as well as a few expensive failures.  As I listened...

Posted June 25, 2013    

Getting the Smart Grid Started

Déjà vu is the experience of perceiving that something new has happened before.  It is commonly mentioned in comparisons of the electric utility industry with the old Bell Telephone system of a quarter century ago.  Hence my sense of déjà...

Posted June 18, 2013    

National Energy Policy Would Benefit the Insurance Industry

The utility industry gets much attention about sector-wide disruptions triggered by new Smart Grid regulatory policy, technology, and financial drivers on the path to grid modernization.  But the insurance sector is also facing real challenges...

Posted June 11, 2013    

A Pragmatic Approach to Transactive Energy and the Smart Grid

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) just released a white paper that should be read by every utility regulator and state legislator interested in encouraging renewable generation sources into the grid.  The Integrated Distribution...

Posted June 4, 2013    

Making Buildings Part of the Smart Grid Solution

A very important conference occurred in Portland, Oregon last week – the Gridwise Architecture Council hosted the first international Transactive Energy Conference.  The topic of transactive energy is so new that there’s no formal definition...

Posted May 28, 2013    

Transforming Buildings into Prosumers with the Smart Grid

The Smart Grid will trigger many transformations.  Chief among them is the change in the relationship that consumers have with electricity.  We can transform from consumption roles to prosumption roles – producing electricity as well as...

Posted May 21, 2013    

Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid: The Natural Gas Conundrum

Natural gas seems to invoke a win/win perspective as the solution to all problems in some discussions about energy policy and the best fuels for electricity generation and transportation.  In these scenarios, the only downside is the pressure...

Posted May 14, 2013    

Energy Harvesting the Next Big Thing for the Smart Grid

Solar panels capture energy from light and convert it to electricity.   This is the most visible form of energy harvesting, but it is hardly the only one.  Energy harvesting captures energy lost as heat, light, sound, vibration, or...

Posted May 7, 2013    

Smart Grid Investment: Different Priorities Could Lead to Similar Results

In the developed world, we take for granted the infrastructure fundamentals that give us the good life.  Healthy drinking water?  Naturally.  Reliable electricity?  Of course.  But in the developing world, this...

Posted April 30, 2013    

A Different Green for Earth Day: Investment in Energy Innovations

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated for a clean and sustainable environment.  In October 1973, Americans experienced the first oil embargo, and for the first time thought about the real costs of our reliance on oil for energy....

Posted April 23, 2013    

The Disruptive Possibilities of Microgrids

The past two decades of telecommunications history can serve to illustrate trends and develop insights that apply to electric grid modernization – the evolution to the Smart Grid.Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs) disrupted and disintermediated the...

Posted April 16, 2013