With coal’s troubles piling up, so too are stories about the industry’s “bleak” future in the United States – a casualty of cheap natural gas, thinning coal seams, and the pursuit of lower-carbon alternatives. Just as conspicuous: utilities, which have long allied themselves with the coal developers, are retiring their older coal units in droves.
An electric car in every driveway, a battery in every garage.
Tesla’s Elon Musk is driving the electric car off the lot and onto the premises of America’s electric utilities, proposing to build and sell energy storage batteries on both a residential and grid-wide scale – ideas that the chief executive will fully flesh out at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual meeting in New Orleans this June.
Today’s technologies are causing utilities to rethink their business models.
Ken Silverstein, Editor-in-Chief
Fifteen years into the 21st Century, the utility industry is being asked to think forward, beyond 2050. To some, that's a bit of a stretch for a mostly regulated enterprise that has been producing power and sending the electrons reliably for the last 150 years or so. To many others, though, it's past time for an evolution.
If PJM markets should lose demand response as a capacity resource.
Bruce W. Radford
The AEMA sees the self-help DR revolution as a key to America’s recent industrial renaissance: “If demand response is removed from wholesale markets,” the group says, then “the electric grid is back to the rotary phone.”
New energy economy also relies on some old fossil friends.
It has not been public investments in sustainable fuels and modern tools that have led to the re-awakening of the U.S. economy. Rather, it’s been mostly private investment in shale gas development that has led to new capital formation, infrastructure development and jobs galore.
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