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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    

Grid Resiliency As a Social Benefit

When it comes to grid modernization, understanding some history can help us map the best path forward – particularly in ensuring that the Smart Grid is both reliable and resilient for everyone.For instance, the transformations that occurred in the...

Posted April 9, 2013    

Why We Still Need Utilities

The CEO of NRG, David Crane, was quoted at a recent industry conference as saying “…consumers don’t need the power industry at all.”  He was referring to NRG’s plans to bypass utilities by selling solar panels and small natural gas generators...

Posted April 5, 2013    

Does My Smart Meter Make Me Look Fat?

At a Smart Grid industry conference last week, three attendees protested against smart meters based on concerns about the health impacts of the Radio Frequency (RF) signaling technology in them.  Smart meters use either RF or Power Line Carrier...

Posted March 27, 2013    

Situational Awareness in Distribution Grid Helps Make Utilities Smarter

Utilities are projected to invest $3 Billion per year by 2015 to upgrade their distribution grids (the low voltage part of the grid) to accommodate increased renewables and energy storage assets and/or replace aging equipment.  At a recent...

Posted March 19, 2013    

Money and the Growth of the Smart Grid

The great American musical, Hello Dolly, has catchy songs and a most memorable quote.  As the main character, Dolly Levi points out, “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging...

Posted March 12, 2013    

Quantifying the Real Costs of Outages

The oft-enunciated primary goals for regulated electric utilities are to keep electricity safe, reliable, and inexpensive.  An unintended consequence of these objectives have meant that US investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have underinvested in...

Posted March 5, 2013    

Accelerate Smart Grid Benefits with Financial Innovations

The Smart Grid engenders an evolution from centralized generation to distributed energy resources (DER) that has profound impacts on business models and operations.  Technology is one of the drivers of this evolution.  Legislative and...

Posted February 26, 2013    

A New Electricity Model?

The US Smart Grid transformation has the potential to deliver true energy surety at a more distributed and transactive level than enjoyed in today’s grid. The transformation drivers are technologies, regulations, and finance mechanisms.At the recent...

Posted February 19, 2013    

Smart Grid Dictated by Regulatory Policy

The Smart Grid will modernize and transform our energy infrastructures to incorporate more renewables and reduce use of fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. But energy surety or autarchy requires more than a transformation of energy...

Posted February 12, 2013    

Super Bowl Power Outage Reminds Us of Energy Risk

Were you one of the 100+ million fans watching the Super Bowl yesterday?  How about that 34 minute power outage?  It was a potent reminder of the reliance we place on an uninterruptible supply of electricity to maintain our lifestyles, our...

Posted February 5, 2013    

A Smart Energy Strategy in Japan: What's the Vision?

Japan’s national energy strategy experienced a 9.0 quake of its own in 2011 as a result of the twin incidents of the March 11 tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident. It rattled many assumptions about energy sources and electrical grid...

Posted January 29, 2013