Insights from our Editorial Team

  • EVs tangled in debate over government, technology
    Jan 04, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Utilities have worked to prepare for electric vehicles, which have sold less briskly than anticipated. Yet electric cars could cement the utility-residential customer connection over the long run. Meanwhile, Americans have mixed reactions to a government role in encouraging the  market.

    Comments: 5
  • Remote microgrids grow for under-served end-users
    Jan 03, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Developments this past year have encouraged the  development of microgrids, once considered by utilities to be a threat to operations, now considered a potential resource. An analyst describes the innovations, the drivers and the market.

    Comments: 2
  • First micro-turbines, then renewables growth
    Jan 02, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Microturbines running on natural gas will have a multi-year run as the leading source of distributed generation, with many benefits to the grid, including reliability and managing black starts.

    Comments: 2
  • U.S. DOE and Alstom Grid release groundbreaking global study
    Integrating variable energy resources into electric utility control centers
    Dec 29, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    A new, globally focused report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and authored by an Alstom Grid Inc. team shares real-life strategies and decision support system best practices for integrating variable energy resources in electric utility control centers. It's a 2012 Must Read for utility operations teams and decision-makers.

    Comments: 3
  • The next 90 days: we covered that last year
    Dec 29, 2011 | Phil Carson

    In February 2011, our columnist wrote on a handful of issues that have returned to the headlines as the new year approaches, establishing that there's no guide to the future like the recent past.

  • Looking back anticipates the year ahead
    Dec 28, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Back to the future. Our columnist looks at January 2011 to foretell the issues of January 2012.

  • Xcel reaps bitter harvest from SmartGridCity
    Dec 27, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Colorado ratepayers reacted negatively to news that Xcel Energy seeks another $16.6 million for SmartGridCity. Generally, they don't expect the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to represent their interests. IOUs beware!

    Comments: 9
  • Ghosts of the past are the future
    Dec 26, 2011 | Phil Carson

    If last year foretells next year, customer issues of one kind or another will remain a crucial challenge, one that makes technical challenges look like small potatoes.

    Comments: 1
  • Addressing the needs of low-income customers is complicated
    Dec 22, 2011 | Kate Rowland

    Addressing the needs of low-income customers has become even more urgent in current economic conditions, particularly in winter. What are the appropriate ways in which to assist this segment of utility customers? What's working?

    Comments: 1
  • Data privacy, affordable electricity and our readers
    Dec 22, 2011 | Phil Carson

    Consumers "own" their energy data, sure. But policy-making includes some gray areas. As for a city exploring its own energy future, little is black-and-white.