While President Trump campaigned on a promise to boost opportunities for fossil fuels and revitalize the coal industry, market forces might already have limited his opportunities for fulfilling that pledge.
Many promises have been made about the newest generation of smart meters and the potential for two-way communications between utilities and their customers (or, rather, their customers’ connected devices). Often overlooked, however, are the opportunities these virtual conversations will create.
Aging coal plants are closing across the nation, along with a growing number of nuclear units, and utility planners are increasingly concerned about how best to replace this shuttered generation capacity.
The state of Nevada’s rapidly growing residential solar-power industry ground to a halt in January 2016, as public utility commissioners approved a new rate structure that effectively erases state-level incentives for rooftop-solar installations.
In January 2014, a weather front known as a “polar vortex” descended from Canada’s arctic north and brought frigid temperatures and heavy snow and ice as far south as Texas and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Residential demand-side management (DSM) programs aren’t a new concept. As far back as the 1970s energy crisis, electric utilities had programs enabling separate rates for customers’ water heaters (which was then a typical home’s biggest energy user).
Domino’s and Amazon.com might be hogging the headlines about the commercial viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or, simply, “drones,” but electric utility and transmission companies are equally enthusiastic about the technology’s potential to boost their sy
A prognosticator forecasting the end of electric utilities as we know them isn’t news. Economists and market researchers have been telling this fortune for several years. But when the people in charge of utilities corroborate those reports, it’s no longer a tale read in the tea leaves.
Energy-efficiency programs have been a part of electric-utility operations for a decade or more, since state utility commissions began valuing the kilowatt-hours saved (aka negawatts) as an alternative to the new generation capacity they could potentially displace.
With the ability to turn off lights during peak-demand periods, demand-response (DR) programs offer a number of advantages for larger commercial and industrial electric-utility customers. These benefits can include utility incentive payments and, of course, lower electricity bills.
In January 2013, the Edison Electric Institute—the leading advocacy group of the investor-owned utility industry—released a report predicting “significant future disruption to the utility business model,” thanks to growing adoption of distributed generation resources.
In the last year or so, electric-utility industry followers have been hearing about the “disruptive force” of distributed generation—how the growing number of solar panels sprouting on rooftops could be upending utility business models.
We’ve gotten used to our local electric utilities asking us to ease up on the air conditioning and turn off unneeded lights during hot summer months. In the Northeast (especially New England), those requests are becoming even more urgent in the winter.