Only behavioral change will reduce energy consumption.
Standards and technology don't reduce energy consumption, despite the claims of efficiency zealots. Real energy savings only come through behavioral change.
Engineers and constructors adapt to serve an industry in transition.
From gas pipelines to PV arrays, the nation’s contractors are seeing growth in utility infrastructure. Fortnightly talks with executives at engineering and construction firms to learn what kinds of projects are moving forward, where they’re located, and what lies over the horizon.
The rationale for microgrids.
Edward N. Krapels and Clarke Bruno
Despite an array of challenges, microgrids are becoming a force in the market. Innovative projects bring greater efficiency and resilience.
Independent microgrids are coming. Will franchised utilities fight them or foster them?
Sara C. Bronin and Paul R. McCary
Despite offering a range of benefits, microgrids are proving to be controversial—especially when non-utility owned microgrids seek to serve multiple customers. The biggest battles are taking place in the realm of public policy. But utilities that pursue collaboration rather than confrontation are finding interesting opportunities for profitable investment.
A 2013 retrospective on ‘Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts’ (1985)
The basic conclusion of “Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts”—that big thermal plants are obsolete—has proven true, as has its call for flexibility and strategic risk management. But the big issues now are no longer about marginal costs; they’re about the very nature of the electricity enterprise.
Distribution utilities could become an important source of renewable funding.
Distribution utilities are well positioned to provide tax equity for renewable projects, but some state laws prevent it. Tapping the potential will require progressive leadership by utility executives and regulators.
Technology is changing the game. Is your utility ready?
Although today microgrids serve a tiny fraction of the market, that share will grow as costs fall. Utilities can benefit if they plan ahead.
A candid commentary on current topics in electric restructuring.
A no-holds-barred interview with the electric industry’s chief architect of wholesale electric market design.
Playing favorites or ‘all of the above’?
Roger H. Bezdek and Robert M. Wendling
In the past 60 years, the U.S. government has invested in every part of the energy industry, through direct subsidies, tax incentives, regulatory mandates, research projects, etc. Quantifying the dollar impact is a complex task, but it’s necessary for understanding the realities of U.S. federal energy policy.
Three CEOs, three business models, one shared outlook.
Cheap gas, regulatory uncertainties, and a technology revolution are re-making the U.S. utility industry. Top executives at three very different companies—CMS, NRG, and the Midwest ISO—share their outlook on the industry’s transformative changes.