Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

Date: 25 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

How can a state modernize its electric system when it’s in the hands of vertically integrated monopolies? We offer some thoughts via its comments on a Grid Modernization docket being reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Background: the grid … Read More

Report: Mighty Microgrids

Date: 3 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers.… Read More

A Plan B for Every Monopoly Electric Utility?

Date: 28 Oct 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Electric companies seemingly face a business “death spiral” because the 20th century rules for the electric grid make it a challenge to address stagnant energy demand and competition from energy-producing customers. The result is a utility-funded war on solar and … Read More

Report: Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads

Date: 6 Oct 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On the one hand: Sky-high electricity prices. A 20th century electricity system burning fuel oil and controlled by large monopoly electric utilities. A proposed utility takeover. On the other hand: A new 100% renewable energy standard. Rooftop solar on one of ten homes, saving each customer hundreds of dollars per year. Cost-effective energy storage. A rising interest in locally controlled utilities. Welcome to Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads.… Read More

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 4 “Next Steps”

Date: 15 May 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Principles, Structure, and Policies of Energy Democracy Energy democracy can best be described as an electricity system that empowers the individuals and communities that have the energy resources of the 21st century (e.g. wind and solar) to economically benefit from … Read More

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 3 “The Future”

Date: 7 May 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Unfortunately for utilities, new technology and commercial opportunities in the coming years will only increase the threat to the 1.0 business model. Solar energy is growing exponentially as costs have fallen 28% per year from 2009-2013, and electricity from rooftops … Read More

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 2 “The Present”

Date: 29 Apr 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Aggressive state policy and cost reductions for clean energy have created two business model crises for electric utilities: stagnant sales and exponentially rising production from distributed renewable sources. This is the second of four parts of our Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy … Read More

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 1 “A Prelude to the Future”

Date: 22 Apr 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-­year history. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that … Read More

Watch: Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

Date: 6 Feb 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain … Read More

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