Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?
Fortnightly Magazine - September 2016
As utility executives prepare for the transition to the “utility of the future,” they they would do well to remember the lessons of top dog trainers. Lessons that share a lot of common ground with the best management models.
Combo platter, nuclear and renewables, best deal on the menu
In a world where carbon dioxide has become somehow toxic, carbon-free energy sources are sought after all over the world. Nuclear energy is the other white meat, so to speak. Renewable nuclear energy, which can be recycled, has great value and should be encouraged. Here are five things policy makers can do to enhance the taste of nuclear energy.
Co-op Approach in Energy Efficiency
Co-ops have the freedom to explore creative ways to enhance energy efficiency. Two forward-thinking programs that treat efficiency as a utility investment may be starting a bit of a revolution.
Reforming the Regulatory Advocacy Process
State legislators must be mindful that the customer base is evolving. We will need to reassess the enabling legislation that defines the consumer advocate’s roles in our various states. The consumer advocates, within the statutory authority granted, may have to choose which customers to represent before utility commissions.
Way Forward for Electric Utilities
To address this brave new world facing the U.S.’s electric utility industry, we suggest an electric utility six-pack to facilitate the transition.
Each year the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices convenes governors’ energy advisors. They share lessons learned on state policy and hear about the array of issues impacting the energy sector. In June 2016, takeaways included the need to understand more about equity issues surrounding emerging technologies for low-income populations, potential changes to utility business models, and the energy-water nexus.
Closure of a Perfectly Decent Nuclear Power Plant
Prematurely closing a nuclear plant because of the inflexibility of solar and wind generation is like going after a fly with a sledgehammer.
A response to the Editor-in-Chief column by Steve Mitnick in our July 2016 issue
Mitnick’s observation was visionary, that we are heading toward an industry that will become increasingly dominated by fixed costs. Even so, he could have gone one step further.
On September 22, 1791, one of the greatest scientists in history, Michael Faraday, was born in Newington Butts, England (now in London). James Clerk Maxwell extended Faraday’s work to develop our theories of electricity and magnetism.