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How Disruptive Thinking Can Build a Smarter Grid

Did you hear about the recent Stanford study that concluded that organic food doesn’t deliver more nutrients than conventionally-grown food?  So what?  Consumers don’t buy organic food to get more vitamins and minerals.  Consumers buy...

Posted September 11, 2012    

Will the Smart Grid Start A New American Revolution?

Today is Labor Day – the holiday that celebrates workers.  We should all say thank you to the utility workers who are toiling this weekend – and sometimes in very unpleasant conditions – to restore power anywhere experiencing an outage.  ...

Posted September 4, 2012    

The Smart Grid Means Changing Expectations

The recent Smart Grid Roadshow in Vancouver covered interesting ground in terms of how electric utilities must transform to meet expectations of stakeholders – be they consumers, regulators, or shareholders.  BCHydro resources discussed the...

Posted August 28, 2012    

What’s Worse for the Smart Grid – Failures of Imagination or Failures of Communication?

The history of innovations, whether these are in technology, policy, or in how people themselves upgrade attitudes or behaviors, offers resounding proof of a basic flaw in arguments that naysayers constantly winge about solar, wind, energy storage...

Posted August 21, 2012    

The Smart Grid – Shifting Paradigms for Consumers

Resiliency.  It’s important for people (how well do we survive challenges), cities (how quickly can urban environments rebound from an earthquake or major weather event), and nations (how effectively can a country recover from a widespread...

Posted August 14, 2012    

Can New Market Participants Make the Grid more Resilient?

Back when the light bulb was the killer app of 1879 and the nascent electrical grid was shaped by a series of technological innovations, reliability was the most important metric to structure grid performance expectations.   People had...

Posted August 7, 2012    

Smart Grid Technologies Present Challenges to Regulatory Policy

State regulatory commissions have significant impacts on their local economies through oversight of privately-owned electric, natural gas, water, telecommunications, and various transportation entities.  The National Association of Regulatory...

Posted July 31, 2012    

What If We Measured Utilities on Uptime Instead of Downtime?

Utilities traditionally focused on engineering the electric grid for reliability, and have well established metrics and benchmarks to gauge their performance to reliability objectives.  But today’s grid also has serious vulnerabilities...

Posted July 24, 2012    

Make the Smart Grid Smarter with Grid Resiliency

The most magnificent machine in the world, our national electric grid, is managed and measured for reliability.  Reliability is an important objective – we all depend on utilities delivering their best efforts to Keep The Lights On (KTLO)....

Posted July 17, 2012    

Could a Power Outage Become a Teachable Moment About Grid Resiliency?

One hundred and fifty-five thousand meters in ten states are still without power from the grid as a result of storms that occurred at the end of June.  The household occupants and business owners relying on these meters sweltered and tallied up...

Posted July 9, 2012    

Think Small to Think Really Big

Before moderating my session at a data analytics conference this past week, I heard an interesting comment from a utility representative about the scalability of data analytics solutions.  He recounted that many vendors were pitching solutions...

Posted July 2, 2012    

The Smart Grid’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies

The dust is still settling on the recent United Nation’s Rio+20 environmental summit, and reactions range from disappointment at the lack of national governmental consensus to optimism at the range and success of local governmental and corporate...

Posted June 26, 2012