Like any corporation, investor-owned electric utilities have a duty to maximize shareholder profits. But today, how utilities make money must change to adapt to new grid needs, customer demands, and technological realities.
Transportation systems represent a huge portion of public and private spending — to the tune of $1.2 to $1.4 trillion globally each year. And, in an era rocked by climate change and other disruptions, those systems must be able to weather all kinds of shocks — from fuel shortages to flooding. They must be, in a word, resilient. Here are eight ways China is taking the lead on resilient transportation
Which climate and energy policies can most cost-effectively drive down China’s carbon emissions? On July 7th, China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI), and U.S.-based Energy Innovation will release the results of their joint research aiming to answer this very question.
New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative is transforming how utility stakeholders view the power sector’s future, but for the first time polling has revealed widespread support from consumers themselves. Evidence of strongly positive attitudes toward clean energy in general, and REV in particular, has major implications for utilities and regulators.
Texas’ cold winter and hot summer in 2011 triggered debate on how best to guarantee long-term grid reliability. In 2014, regulators decided against a standard forward capacity market for an energy-only market design. This decision has likely saved Texas consumers billions even as reliability improved, evidencing an energy transition driven by load reductions, incread renewables generation, and cheap natural gas.
Many argue that the Achilles Heel of renewable energy is variability. No modern economy can run without certainty that the light switch will turn on the lights. So, as ever more renewable energy enters the power system, utilities and their overseers must explore options for maintaining a grid that not only puts up with variability, but actually optimizes with it. There are five options to make the grid more flexible as renewables come to comprise a larger portion of California’s energy supply.
Distributed energy resources (DER) and better system awareness made possible by information technology have created massive new opportunities for utilities to minimize costs while optimizing the grid system around reliable, safe, and clean service.
Independent System Operators have empowered aggregators of distributed energy resources (DERs) to sell services into the transmission grid through market mechanisms. But since the flow of electrons between DERs and the transmission grid is mediated by distribution utilities, simply opening the door for DERs to join the party only goes so far.
Green and Smart (5) – From “What’s the Price?” to “What’s the Score?”: The Effect of Mixed-Use Development
Mixed-use development integrates compatible land uses to create an environment that encourages biking and walking and allows people to easily access key amenities. Politicians, academics, professional organizations, and civil society have been pushing for mixed-use.
Last month, China’s State Council released urbanization guidelines to strengthen the management of urban planning and construction. Caijing magazine’s Xuan Zuo asked Energy Innovation CEO Hal Harvey for his thoughts on these guidelines and the future of China’s cities. Below are some highlights from Caijing’s interview with Harvey.