Insights from our Editorial Team
Compressed air is technically solid, but markets rule
Compressed air energy storage, or CAES, is being evaluated for its ability to store off-peak power from wind and return it to the grid to meet peak demand and/or take the sting out of ramping, intermittent renewable energy sources. The question of technical feasibility is trumped by this potential solution's market economics. We talk to Dan Rastler at EPRI about CAES' promise and constraints.
Do consumers really know the difference? Do they care?
In the waning hours of 2010, Intelligent Utility magazine editor-in-chief Kate Rowland was posed with a question by an energy/electricity-savvy neighbor. "What's the difference between energy efficiency and demand response, and why should I care about the differences between the two?" She set out to answer the question, and realized the second part of it was much more important than the first.
Toronto Hydro's Rob Wong discusses the relationship
Toronto Hydro's head of IT, Rob Wong, talks about improving IT culture and his utility's method for aligning IT and OT, or operational technology. The second part of a two-part interview, which began yesterday.
One man's journey from operations to IT at Toronto Hydro
We talk with Rob Wong, vice president for IT at Toronto Hydro about cultural changes in IT and the oft-fractious IT relationship with operations technology, where he has spent the bulk of his career. Wong draws back the curtain on Toronto Hydro's management processes in this two-part interview.
Trends impacting the U.S. energy market
Earlier this month the Energy Information Administration released an abridged version of their Annual Energy Outlook. While we will have to wait until March for the complete version, the early document highlights changes in the reference case projections for key energy topics.
Utilities must juggle self-interest and consumer-interest this year
Utilities must balance self-interest and the interests of consumers this coming year. Despite the mantra that "it's all about the customer," how will utilities behave when complete transparency and honesty might hurt them and make their goals more difficult to reach?
An investor discusses obstacles and opportunities
David Anthony of 21Ventures discusses how one venture capitalist views the smart grid landscape and points to a promising new utility-scale storage technology.
Austin Energy's Karl Popham discusses utility smart grid essentials
Just before Christmas, I sat down by telephone with Karl Popham, Austin Energy's chief information officer, to talk about the utility's approach to implementing smart grid technologies. Austin Energy is the nation's ninth largest community-owned electric utility, and has branched out throughout its 440-square-mile territory over the years with a number of projects designed to build the utility's energy efficiency and intelligence.
Online forum cites health concerns, consumer benefits and cost recovery
Questions about possible health impacts from radio frequency radiation and electromagnetic fields associated with smart meters have been authoritatively settled. And it's a given that engagement with consumers about smart meters and grids is critical. More pertinent questions remain: Should consumers pay for smart meters if the resulting efficiencies lower utilities' operating expenses? Does lag time between smart meter rollouts and tangible consumer benefits hurt utilities' credibility with their customers?
The arc of a year tracking intelligent utilities
Intelligent Utility Daily columnist Phil Carson dismisses the notion of smart grid as fad and looks back at a pivotal year of coverage, from smart meters to SmartGridCity.