Renewable Energy

The Electric Utility Singularity

February 10, 2014
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The Electric Utility Singularity

A singularity is a term that is used in mathematics, physics, and advanced artificial intelligence.   The definitions vary based on perspective, but in simple terms, it signifies the point where old rules break down.  This is exactly where electric utilities are now.  We are witnessing a massive utility singularity.  This event is brought on by…

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Will Google Play By Utility Privacy Rules?

February 3, 2014
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Will Google Play By Utility Privacy Rules?

January 28, 2014 was Data Privacy Day.  Two recent news stories – the thefts of sensitive consumer data from national retailers including Target and Google’s $3.2B acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest are stimulating much-needed discussion about the security and privacy of personal data.   Security and privacy are inextricably linked. In the active criminal investigations…

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How the Smart Grid Helps Address Climate Change in California

January 27, 2014
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How the Smart Grid Helps Address Climate Change in California

Last week’s article on the California Energy Commission’s 2013 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) identified how climate changes impact energy needs and create new challenges for the state of California’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors.  Heat and precipitation are two of the major climate changes that have outsized impacts on the state’s energy…

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Climate Change, California, and the Smart Grid

January 20, 2014
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Climate Change, California, and the Smart Grid

The California Energy Commission (CEC) publishes an Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR – pronounced eye-per) every two years, and the 2013 IEPR was just approved this past week.  This report serves many information purposes, such as assessing “major energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors” and delivering policy recommendations…

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The Final Five Smart Grid and Smart City Predictions for 2020

January 13, 2014
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The Final Five Smart Grid and Smart City Predictions for 2020

Last week my article proposed the first five of ten predictions for activities, trends and changes that will occur between 2014 and 2020.  To reiterate, 2020 is a milestone year for renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in twelve states.   It is also a definition of normal visual acuity, and it is a concise summary of hindsight.…

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The First Five Smart Grid and Smart City Predictions for 2020

January 6, 2014
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The First Five Smart Grid and Smart City Predictions for 2020

There are a number of prognostications about 2014 Smart Grid trends and anticipated accomplishments.  This article offers a longer and broader view out to 2020.  That’s a milestone year for renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in twelve states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington. How much can change in the six years…

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A Different Holiday Perspective

December 23, 2013
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A Different Holiday Perspective

It’s holiday break time!  New articles will resume the first Monday in January 2014. I trust you and your family and friends have an enjoyable holiday and a happy and healthy 2014.  But as we gather round in homes that are well-lit and comfortably heated or cooled, let’s remember the 2 billion humans who have…

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What’s In a Word – A Microgrid or a Managed Grid?

December 16, 2013
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What’s In a Word – A Microgrid or a Managed Grid?

College campuses are often identified as excellent candidates for microgrid deployments, and indeed, many have had them for years, without calling them microgrids.  They had local generation, traditionally in the form of CHP (Combined Heat and Power) for thermal loads e.g. swimming pools and district steam, and as the cost of solar photovoltaic energy has…

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Technologies Meld As History Repeats Itself

December 9, 2013
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Technologies Meld As History Repeats Itself

The Smart Grid is often described as bi-directional energy and information flows, enabled by a convergence of information technologies (IT) with operational technologies (OT).  That’s all true, but the word convergence is getting frayed from overuse, and for the latest trend, it’s not quite the right word.  That word is meld, and it is an…

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Innovative Solutions Target the Energy/Water Nexus

December 2, 2013
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Innovative Solutions Target the Energy/Water Nexus

My Thanksgiving list put contemporary entrepreneurs at the top.  Their efforts are paying off in the improvements in renewable energy harvesting technologies, increasing the range of cost-effective energy storage technologies, and addressing important environmental and social issues. Today, there are creative innovators developing products and services that save energy or water.  But the really interesting innovations…

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