U.S. Department of Energy

Rethinking Prices

The changing architecture of demand response in America.

Pilot projects are demonstrating the potential of smart metering and smart rates to make the most of supply and demand resources. But as empirical studies show, not all pricing designs are equally suited to every region.

Not So Fast

Proving market performance requires detailed analysis.

Now that fuel prices have fallen recently from the highs seen in 2008 and wholesale electricity prices also have decreased, it might be tempting to attribute the lower prices to the restructuring of the wholesale electricity markets. Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.

New Day for Prudence

Pre-approvals demand a new approach to managing risks and costs.

Proving the need for new infrastructure construction for energy purchases has become more complicated for utilities. State commissions reserve the right to revisit rate-base investments after the fact, even when they’ve been pre-approved.

Carbon Solutions

Capture and storage tech developments secure coal’s future.

Capture and sequestration will help ensure the future of coal-fired power plants. Demonstration projects are allowing utilities to kick the tires on the latest technologies, and to learn how CCS will affect operations and economics at state-of-the-art plants.

Integrating New England Renewables

How to manage the green revolution.

Dramatic changes are coming to the electric industry, sparked by a surge of renewable energy and related transmission. Growth in demand-side resources, conservation and smart technologies will add integration dilemmas to an already complex power system.

Capturing Ocean Heat

Ocean thermal energy conversion offers a timely renewable alternative.

23 million square miles of tropical oceans daily absorb solar radiation equal in heat content to about 250 billion barrels of oil. Ocean thermal energy conversion technologies convert this solar radiation into electrical power by exploiting the thermal gradient temperature differences between the surface and the depths. This enormous resource merits a closer look as policy makers consider alternative technologies for serving future energy demands.

Stakeholder Collaboration

Consensus building is an imperative and educational art form.

With public opposition rising against almost any kind of utility project or investment, collaboration among stakeholders with widely divergent points of view never has been more critical. Three recent utility cases demonstrate how a formal stakeholder collaboration process can build support for otherwise contentious decisions.

Carbon In Electricity Markets

Price transparency will drive GHG reductions.

In light of coming GHG legislation, price transparency is the key to achieving cleaner generation through the dispatch of lower-carbon sources.

Smart-Grid Strategy: Quantifying Benefits

Modeling the value of various technologies and applications.

As utilities announce new smart-grid programs, they need a strategic method for quantifying benefits. Analytical models generate baseline benefit estimates and reveal big-picture trends. Decision makers need the best resources available to mitigate risks in choosing a smart-grid strategy.

A Voice for Smart-Grid Security

Who will oversee the industry’s cyber standards?

Who will oversee the industry’s cyber standards? Effective security calls for a single organization to set standards that will protect the smart grid. The industry is struggling to reach consensus over authority, scope and funding for its new security apparatus.