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Smart Grid

More Details Emerge About How New York Regulators Plan to Restructure Utilities

August 3, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

New York and Energy Planning

New York electricity regulators released a white paper on ratemaking and utility business models to be considered as part of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which seeks to transform distribution utilities into energy platform providers, encourage distributed generation, and eliminate electricity peaks.[read more]

Stage Set in Cuba for Boom in Renewable Investment; Can U.S. Companies Take Advantage?

July 28, 2015 by Van Hilderbrand, Jr.

A Boom in Cuba?

With the recent announcement that Cuba has been removed from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism, the door for trade has been cracked open for the first time in many years. The question now is how and when U.S. investment dollars can begin flowing to relieve the island nation’s economic isolation.[read more]

Regional Coordination and Markets: Key to a Renewable Energy Future

July 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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In the Western U.S. a major change in how the electrical system is operated is underway. It is driven by economics, environment, and reliability concerns. This change, from a balkanized, inefficiently operated grid to a coordinated, consolidated grid may just be the key to our renewable energy future.[read more]

How EV Chargers and Energy Storage Can Make Good Grid Partners

July 22, 2015 by Jeff St. John
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Energy Storage and EV Charging

Electric vehicles could be a challenge or a resource, according to utilities plotting ways to turn EV charging stations into smart, grid-responsive resources. But the first steps toward making EV charging an asset may come from the demand charges that penalize utility customers for spikes in their electricity consumption.[read more]

Six Questions to Consider About Microgrids

July 16, 2015 by Jeffrey Karp
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Questions on Microgrids

The traditional electricity distribution model can be viewed as a “macrogrid,” using a centrally located power station to provide electricity to an extensive territory. This model was designed during the early days of electrification with the objective of providing power to as many customers as possible.[read more]

New York Looks to Cement Its Lead as Microgrid Capital of the World

July 15, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

New York and Microgrids

The NY Prize community microgrid competition issued a request for proposals in February to grant $100,000 to as many as 30 communities to study the feasibility of microgrids. This week, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced 83 winners for the first stage of the competition.[read more]

Cyberattack on U.S. Power Plants Could Cause $1T in Economic Damage

July 13, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Cyberattacks and Infrastructure Safety

Let’s imagine an “improbable, but not impossible” cyberassault on the U.S. power grid. A shadowy group of skilled and malicious actors spend years implanting a piece of malware, dubbed the “Erebos” trojan, in the control systems of power plants across the Northeastern United States.[read more]

California Dreamin' of Distributed Energy Resources, as Utilities File Plans

July 13, 2015 by Lexie Briggs

California and State Energy Policy

In many ways, California is a special case. With an economy about the same size of Canada’s ($2.3 trillion in 2014) and a population of more than 38 million (roughly one in eight Americans is a Californian), California’s energy policies affect huge numbers of people and a large portion of the American economy.[read more]

Reliability Means Being Connected: We Need a Strong Integrated Electricity System with Nuclear Generation

July 3, 2015 by Milton Caplan
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Nuclear and Energy Reliability

Our economy is completely dependent upon the availability of reliable, clean and economic electricity. So while we may dream of not needing the grid as we each generate our own electricity, what we really need is a strong, interconnected grid made up of reliable economic nuclear power as its work horse.[read more]

Winners and Losers from Flattening Tiered Electricity Prices

July 1, 2015 by Severin Borenstein
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Winners and Losers

The California Public Utilities Commission is moving closer to major changes in the steeply increasing-block residential electricity rates that the state has had since the 2000-01 California electricity crisis. This Friday the Commissioners may decide to significantly flatten the tiered rate structure.[read more]

How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

June 23, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

Distributed Generation Planning

In the U.S., residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11% over the previous quarter: In those states where residential solar is taking hold, there are mounting concerns that rate structures currently in place to support residential PV will result in adopters bearing less than their fair share of system costs.[read more]

Laudato Si: The Moral Case for Energy Efficiency

June 22, 2015 by James Greenberger

Pope Francis and Climate Change/shutterstock

Last week Pope Francis issued a sweeping new encyclical on the environment entitled “Laudato Si”. The encyclical runs 184-pages and covers a range of issues. Most noteworthy is its endorsement of the proposition that climate change is real and caused primarily by human activity.[read more]

The Grid is Getting Smarter, but are Customers Keeping Up?

June 22, 2015 by Jared Anderson

Smart Grid Adoption Delays?

Price signals are the key to altering actual customer behavior with regard to energy consumption, but something as simple as a smart meter alone may not be enough to advance many of the lofty goals promised by the smart grid or microgrids.[read more]

Enhancing the Role of Fuel Cells for Northeast Grid Resiliency

June 18, 2015 by Morry Markowitz
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Severe weather over the last few years demonstrate that our aging infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to outages and other disruptions. Intense storms, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, debilitated sections of the eastern seaboard and left many communities without power for extended periods of time.[read more]

The First Energy Revolution: Tesla Energy Changes Everything

June 17, 2015 by Ken Trough
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Has Tesla Changed the Energy Industry

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently introduced Tesla Energy, a suite of stationary battery products designed to help wean the world off fossil fuels. While a battery introduction may not seem like a world-changing event to many, it actually heralds the beginning of the First Energy Revolution.[read more]