Fortnightly Magazine - April 2017

Building Innovation Momentum

Breaking Down Barriers

Executives outwardly struggle with the notion that they now need to focus on becoming more visibly innovative. After all, hasn't this been their mission for decades? But it is also why the needed focus of tomorrow's innovation is so different and why a real challenge exists to remove barriers to success.

Storage and Distributed Resources in Wholesale Markets

Preserve Local Authority

Many public power utilities are taking a closer look at how DER, including electric storage facilities, might benefit their communities. The American Public Power Association has asked that new FERC wholesale market rules not frustrate local use of these evolving resources.

Toshiba Exit Transforms Nuclear Market

Maybe a U.S. Nuclear Revival

Toshiba recently announced that financial write-offs related to its troubled nuclear division, Westinghouse Electric, would total about $6.2 billion dollars. Since the write-off announcements, Toshiba's stock price has been cut in half. Toshiba's financial collapse changes the face of the nuclear industry.

Blockchain is Coming!

A Future of Distributed Ledgers

Blockchain is a distributed system of electronic ledgers that provide automatic, instant cross-verification of transactions. With it, bitcoin offered an unsurpassed degree of reliability. Perhaps you think utilities can just wait and adopt bitcoin or cyber-whatever later. But anticipation and precautionary actions are the best course in the face of uncertainty.

Energy Efficiency: Where We Are Now

Building the Infrastructure

With its roots in the 1970s conservation movement, energy efficiency has grown into a thriving industry today - one that employs many and provides benefits to utilities, consumers, the economy and society in general. According to a recently released report, energy efficiency accounts for about three out of every four American clean energy jobs.

Open, Standard, Direct-Access Communications Interfaces

Why They Matter

There is impressive growth in the types of devices that could play a part in utility and aggregator programs to provide grid support. But there are stranded investment risks if utilities, manufacturers, and consumers make communications interface choices that are not open, standard, and supportive of direct access.

Water Dreaming

Risk vs. Advantage

The water utility industry was featured at the recent NARUC meeting in Washington. It reminded me of a period in the 1990s when interest in investment in the water utility industry was high globally and in the U.S.

Is Good Utility Regulation in Jeopardy?

Balance and Adaptability are Critical

The three mortal sins of utility regulation are ideology, ignorance and inertia (the three I's). Acting on political beliefs, inadequate information, and past conditions that no longer exist is a recipe for poor regulation.

Reporting That Seeks to Empower

The Energy Action Project investigates why energy poverty exists, and who is doing what to address it.

Jointly developed by journalists and energy experts, The Energy Action Project (EnAct) aims to address two social issues: high levels of energy poverty and low levels of energy literacy, even in energy-rich areas.

Vogtle Tour

Picture Energy

PUF toured the Vogtle 3 - 4 nuclear power construction site near Augusta GA on March 1, 2017. At four times the size of New York's Central Park, this place is huge.