As ratepayers continue to seek more renewable energy integration, the electric industry is struggling to create the optimal mix of fuels that will economically meet sustainability goals. Boosted by a slew of factors – including decreasing costs, advancing technologies, new carbon-reduction policies, consumer pressure and regulatory support – renewables show no sign of slowing down. But their ability to provide reliable, consistent baseload power remains firmly in doubt because of the inherent intermittency of wind and solar photovoltaic.
As people become more environmentally conscious and urge industry to do the same, pressure is mounting on the nation’s electric utilities to be on the right side of public opinion beyond simply trying to mitigate what comes out of their smokestacks.
As more U.S. states offer incentives for renewable energy investment and costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels continue to decrease, it seems utility-scale battery energy storage is positioned to take charge of the next renewables revolution.
Few things represent the dynamic and decentralized nature of the power market like distributed energy resources (DER). These advanced decentralized electric grid technologies, which generate electricity at or near their point of use, illustrate a major shift in the marketplace as ratepayers scrutinize their consumption habits and accelerate the search for affordable, resilient, and sustainable power.
As advanced technologies and new opportunities continue to improve our operational efficiency, productivity and resiliency across the electric utility sector, electric utility leaders are growing increasingly aware that with heightened opportunities comes heightened risk, particularly when increased connectivity through digitization of operational devices brings new vulnerabilities into play.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) genie is not going back into the bottle; leaving the world to contemplate how best to manage this most potent, yet controversial, tool. The water sector’s response has many parallels with reactions to AI more broadly: we are certain AI has benefits, are less sure about how to realize them, and wary of unintended consequences.
Utilities have traditionally followed load, investing in assets when demand required it. Today’s wholesale energy markets are starting to push them in a different direction. Instead of load, utilities are being forced to follow their customers, and load doesn’t always come along with them. That’s leading to a wholesale energy market that pivots on decentralized energy production. Essentially, wholesale energy markets are becoming as decentralized and disaggregated as generation itself.
Imagine customers, third parties and even utilities participating in a market in which their investments in renewable energy and other distributed energy resources could be monetized. The uptake of clean energy would dramatically accelerate, creating new opportunities for innovation and an open, inclusive energy economy. It’s the next evolutionary step to profoundly transforming the energy industry into something where everyone can win and it’s happening now.
Few appreciate the cost of water like commercial facilities and industrial manufacturers. Many of them are selling a product that requires water as part of the larger infrastructure setup that ultimately results in consumer goods. Take for instance food and beverage makers, for whom water is the good. Or paper and pulp companies, whose dry products rely almost exclusively on water.
The energy ecosystem is changing, driven by the advent of distributed clean energy, increased competition from new technologies and service providers, the evolving expectations of customers, and new opportunities for serving those customers.
Planning for today's distribution networks is a little like driving down a foggy road at night. knowing what's ahead and having more visibility makes a ride like that easier, but the clarity those two conditions provide is lacking for utilities and other players in the power sector as they travel toward a modernized grid.
Surging growth in renewables and efforts to increase resilience will drive millions of dollars in new transmission investment over the next five years, according to Black & Veatch’s 2019 Strategic Directions: Electric Report survey.
From C-suites and state capitals to international governments and the United Nations, leaders of the world’s most influential economies are codifying the role of renewables in an increasingly sustainable power generation mix.
As electrification of fleets emerges as the next frontier in the EV market, Joe Halso — legal counsel for the environmental advocate Sierra Club — lauded Minnesota regulators and electric utility giant Xcel Energy for refusing to stay on the sidelines.