Solar

Energy People: Julia Hamm

We talked with Julia Hamm, CEO of SEPA

Julia Hamm started at SEPA soon after college, finding the organization a natural fit for her talents. She is the brains behind one of the largest trade shows in the industry, and has emerged as one of the foremost experts on the nexus between utilities and distributed energy resources.

Arizona on Value of Solar

Turning Point for Distributed Energy

In December 2016, Arizona's utility regulators set in motion a new policy many believe is likely to undermine investment in solar and other distributed technologies in the state. We urge advocates and regulators looking for sustainable models of state DER policy to think carefully before following Arizona's example.

Why Are We Still Arguing About NEM?

Competitive Market Will Take Care of Next Burning Issue

I do not understand why we are still distracted by Net Energy Metering (NEM). It worked well when we had not-so-smart meters and were trying to encourage rooftop solar penetration. People in general and students of regulation in particular are left confused and can easily find some support for both sides. This results in conflicts and proposed compromises that keep the debate going at full tilt. Two things are missing or mostly overlooked in all this regulatory discourse.

Utility's Role in Electricity's Future, Part II

Utility Execs Roundtable: We continued the conversation with execs from seven utilities in the Northeast who help lead their companies on future strategies

In part II of our roundtable, we discuss how new products and services are expected to create new revenue streams for utilities, augmenting the (slowly) declining traditional revenue.

Letter: Response to Cicchetti Re: Residential Demand Charges

A response to the article by Charles Cicchetti in our December 2016 issue

Charles Cicchetti's December 2016 article asserts TOU rates are a preferable alternative to demand charges for distributed energy resources (DER) customers. But TOU rates are not enough to maximize the benefits of DER.

Are We Paying Too Much for Residential Solar?

Many Voters Unaware of Costs

The typical solar customer in Southern California could recover their investment in seven years. After which, the facility would provide essentially free electricity for at least 18 more years. If this sounds too good to be true, it is. Those generous returns are paid for by federal taxpayers and California residential customers that lack rooftop solar.

The Sun Shines for All

Solar Options Abound

As utilities get better at distribution planning, it is likely they will incentivize putting solar in older neighborhoods where the grid needs to be strengthened. A portfolio of rooftop solar, community solar and utility-scale solar is the only way to make solar accessible to all.

The Power of Innovation, Part 1

Utility Execs' Roundtable: We sat down with seven utility execs who lead their companies on innovation

Strategy& and Public Utilities Fortnightly recently collaborated on an innovation roundtable in Washington, D.C. at the offices of the Edison Electric Institute. The experiences of these senior executives convey insights attained through the hard work of creating their unique innovation platforms.

Residential Demand Charges: Bad Choice

Time-of-Use is a Better Reform

Utilities go too far in their proposals to recover capacity costs from rooftop solar customers who self-generate. The affirmative case for Time-of-Use tariffs that reflect marginal costs is strong for all customers.

Benefits Add Up

SW Utilities Show Efficiency Benefits

The southwest region saw more energy saved from utility energy efficiency programs than was generated from solar power, both distributed and utility-scale.