Renewable Energy

How One Industry Association Would Transform the Grid

July 21, 2014
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Back in January 2014 when we were still packing up holiday decorations, the Obama administration initiated a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a comprehensive survey of energy production, infrastructure, and transport in the USA. The Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting the interagency taskforce working on this initiative. The first of three reports, which should be…

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Drought and Energy – An Interesting Water/Energy Nexus

July 14, 2014
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The water/energy nexus and the ramifications of this closely intertwined relationship, particularly with energy generation, needs to gain awareness beyond policy wonks in the western states of the USA. These previous blogs about California’s water issues and the water/energy nexus provide good background about climate change impacts to water and energy. If we look at water as a…

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No More Tinkering – How Reinventing the Oven is Like Reinventing the Grid

July 7, 2014
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How do you build a better oven? That’s a question Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO for Microsoft and foodie recently discussed.  He pointed out that today’s electric or natural gas-powered oven is designed on the principle first put forward five thousand years ago to dry clay bricks.  Kitchen technologists since then have been tinkering with that…

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Recommended Beach Reading

June 30, 2014
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It’s almost the fourth of July for Americans, and that means a holiday with time to read. Two interesting reports were released in June, and while not the typical frothy-light paperback novel genre, they are good reading for the beach. Spoiler alert – both reports conclude that your beach won’t be there in a couple…

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Smart Grid and Smart Buildings Share Same Disruptive Impacts

June 23, 2014
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The annual IBcon event always delivers on thought-provoking discussions and fresh insights about the intersections of technologies, policies, and financial drivers in the commercial real estate sector. The Smart Grid itself is the convergence of IT and OT (operating technologies).  Smart commercial buildings – both office and multi-family residential – are experiencing a similar convergence…

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Four Important Lessons From the Borrego Springs Microgrid Pilot

June 16, 2014
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There is a design and configuration practice called “graceful degradation” in telecom circles.  It diverts all communications functionality to a limited group of subscribers that have the most critical needs.  Microgrids present interesting possibilities to similarly support graceful degradation of the distribution grid through deployment at locations that are deemed most important for grid or…

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What’s the Existential Threat to Utilities? Here’s a Hint – It’s Not the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

June 9, 2014
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On June 2, 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Clean Power Plan that proposes to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030. What are the impacts to utilities? Coal fired power plants, once responsible for 39% of electricity generation in the USA, will drop to 30% by 2030, according to the…

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Three Key Takeaways from the White House Energy Datapalooza

June 2, 2014
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Last week I attended the White House Energy Datapalooza event in Washington, DC. It was an informational and inspirational gathering of thought leaders, policy-makers, and innovators focused on data standards and demonstrations of applications that use a variety of energy data sources including Green Button data derived from smart meters. A clear and overarching theme…

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Will the 2014 Smart Grid Triple Crown Go To New York State?

May 26, 2014
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California Chrome is training in New York’s Belmont Park in his pursuit of horse racing’s Triple Crown.  If there was a Triple Crown for the Smart Grid, the state of New York could be the 2014 winner.  It certainly deserves attention as a role model for other states in development of a Smart Grid and a truly…

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The Two Technologies with the Greatest Impact on Utility Contact Centers

May 19, 2014
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Utility contact centers will face significant transformations as utility business models transform. Re-engineering processes to accommodate captive consumer to prosumer with choices is one profound set of changes. Shifting from a cost center to a strategic revenue center is another change of tectonic proportions. But what about technologies in contact centers – what will change…

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