Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Peak Coal
    Apr 15, 2014 | Ronald R. Cooke

    Comments about coal are usually not complimentary. Despite our dependence on it as a source of heat for electric power generation, environmentalists wish it would go away. On the other hand, advocates like to claim we have more than 110 years of coal left - "at present rates of consumption". Both sides are overlooking crucial points. Let's see if we can clarify the future use of coal as a fossil fuel resource.

    Comments: 2
  • Best Practices in Demand Response
    Apr 10, 2014 | James Moore, Ph.D.

    One of the most effective and widely available ways to reduce electricity costs and consumption is participation in demand response programs; however, a large gap exists between interest levels and actual participation in such programs.

    Comments: 1
  • Apr 10, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Patti Mason, director of advocacy for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Colorado, writes that "energy costs—unlike salaries—are actually one of the few expenses that can be decreased without having to negatively affect classroom instruction." Here's how Colorado is leading the way.

  • A conversation with Henry S. Kenchington, Department of Energy
    Henry S. Kenchington, Department of Energy
    Apr 08, 2014 | Staff Writer

    How do you see grid modernization developing in the U.S. through 2020? What should utilities be doing right now to modernize for the future? Henry S. Kenchington, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Advanced Grid Integration in the Office of Electricity Deliverability & Energy Reliability at the Department of Energy responds.

  • Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
    Apr 03, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.

  • Using Analytics
    Using Analytics with Asset Management Strategy
    Apr 01, 2014 | Mike Smith

    During the last three to five years, we have seen asset management-long entrenched in the domain of the tactically-oriented O & M department-become a key part of a utility's strategy. From justifying rates cases to long-term planning and budgeting, asset managers are now in the "strategy business."

  • Eyes wide shut
    Are utilities underestimating the impact of new technologies & new entrants?
    Mar 26, 2014 | Jack Azagury

    To say that the traditional utility model is at a crossroads is perhaps an understatement.  Following the drop in energy demand after the financial crisis and continued regulatory pressure to reduce rates, as well as the proliferation of distributed solar power across Europe, Australia and the west coast of the US and adverse weather effects in North America, not to mention the moratorium on nuclear generation in Germany and Japan, and the continued pressure on power prices in North America due to the abundance of cheap natural gas, there has been significant pressure on utility earnings in most parts of the world.

  • Securing Power
    Strategizing for Emergency Management
    Mar 25, 2014 | Gargi Chakrabarty

    When Superstorm Sandy lashed the eastern seaboard on October 29, 2012, it created storm surges 14 feet above normal and flooded highways, roads and tunnels. Millions of customers lost power. That included more than a million customers in New York City.

  • New Study Turns Traditional Smart Grid Business Case Analysis on its Head
    Low-Cost CVR May Pay for Your AMI System
    Mar 22, 2014 | Jerry Jackson, Ph.D.

    A recently-completed study identifies a new smart grid investment strategy that can transform a poor AMI business case into an attractive investment. Many electric cooperatives and public utilities have rejected AMI systems because expected meter-related benefits are not compelling enough to outweigh costs. Adding demand response savings boosts benefit-cost ratios; however, the uncertainty and long lead times surrounding these customer engagement programs add more risk.

    Comments: 2
  • Filling a critical gap in Order 1000
    Transmission benefits: filling a critical gap in Order 1000
    Mar 20, 2014 | Jim Hoecker

    In his first Illinois Commerce Commission decision four years ago [Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC, 576 F.3d 470, 476 (7th Cir., 2009)], Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit did something that had not been done before.