EnergyBiz Magazine Summer 2015
In This Issue
  • OLDER SYSTEMS STRUGGLE TO KEEP PACE WITH DISTRIBUTED GENERATION, MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
    Time to Trade in Your Customer Information System?
    YOUR BELOVED CAR has taken you everywhere in style and made its way through driving rain, ice, searing heat and snow. But it's rundown now, seems ready to seize up and leave you stranded at any moment. The time has come to make a change. Many electric utilities feel the same way about their cherished customer information systems.A Customer Information System (CIS) is the linchpin in utility...
  • THE BEGINNING OF RATE REFORM
    What's a Watt Worth?
    TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER, the Arizona-based investor-owned utility, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, the community-owned utility that serves the capital area of California, are planning changes to their rate structures to more accurately reflect the current state of the utility industry. It's a process that is being addressed with increasing urgency across the country.But although...
  • Demand Response Moves to the Mainstream
    THE IDEA OF ENERGY efficiency and demand reduction as a "fifth fuel" after coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables is nothing new, but, despite that, efficiency and curtailment measures are typically incorporated into an energy plan as an afterthought or as a response to regulatory pressure.One such measure, demand response, or DR, has historically been a second-string player, only deployed...
  • PREDICTABLE CASH FLOW ATTRACTS INVESTORS
    Renewable Yieldcos
    PUBLICLY TRADED yield-paying companies --- "yieldcos" --- are attracting growing interest from renewable-energy companies.Yieldcos are gaining steam in part because they help reduce the cost of capital for utilities and other renewable developers. According to some reports, at least a dozen developers in North America and Europe are considering yieldcos or have already formed one.In North America...
  • Coal: Not Going Away Anytime Soon
     AMERICA’S ELECTRICITY COMES mostly from natural gas, coal, hydro and nuclear, which together make up approximately 93 percent of current generation.America’s Electricity Generation Capacity, a recent report published by the American Public Power Association, shows that natural gas is the predominant fuel in current and planned capacity. Wind and solar capacity continue to make inroads,...
  • Can State Utility Commissions Do More to Encourage Combined Heat and Power?
     COMBINED HEAT AND POWER (CHP) is an integrated energy technology that produces both electricity and useful thermal energy with a single source of fuel. It is on the verge of making a comeback after almost 10 years of stagnant growth and indifference by energy policymakers.PURPA stimulated CHP technologies but subsequent unfavorable conditions hampered CHP until recently. If CHP is ever to...
  • The Great Natural Gas Build-Out
    CONSUMERS DON'T MUCH CARE how their homes are heated or what fuel is used to generate the electricity they use. What many of them care most about is the cost. The result, as most know, has been increased demand for natural gas, thanks to its cost-advantage.Natural gas consumption in the United States and Canada is projected to increase by an average of 1.2 percent per year through 2035, according...
  • A COAST-TO-COAST ENERGY INITIATIVE
    Modernizing the Electric Grid
    THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, though perhaps nowhere more evident than in New York and California, regulators and utilities have begun to respond to the technological advances and heightened competitiveness of renewable energy resources. Adding to the urgency felt by those in the business is the recognition that much of the nation's existing electric utility infrastructure is aging.Weather patterns may...
  • TRYING TO MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE OF TESLA'S BATTERY
    The Great Disrupter?
    UTILITIES MAY NEVER be the same in the wake of Tesla's announcement in late April that it will be offering a 220-pound battery pack for home use to store solar power, but it won't be because of Tesla's batteries.That didn't stop Tesla's Elon Musk from claiming as he unveiled the company's sleek Powerwall that he was announcing "a fundamental transformation of how the world works."The rechargeable...
  • TESLA BATTERY: ECONOMICS GAME CHANGER
     TESLA'S HOME-BUSINESS BATTERY will get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market. It might actually be cost effective in the U.S. today. And within just a few years, it almost certainly will be cheap enough to be cost effective for a broad market. Not a complete game changer for the home market today, but a shot fired in...
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