Intelligent Utility Magazine May / June 2014
In This Issue
  • One of Africa’s most pressing challenges is to provide access to electricity. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where energy consumption per capita is falling. According to the World Bank, only 20 percent of the sub-Saharan population has access to electricity compared with 50 percent in South Asia and more than 80 percent in Latin America. Based on current trends, less than 40...
  • For some of us, there’s a particular moment when you realize you may be too into your job. Mine came on a recent 10-day tour to Ireland.  We had a small group of tourists standing on the beautiful edge of a beautiful precipice along the Ring of Kerry. The constant ting of digital cameras rang out so steady it became melodic. You could detect a faint rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling...
  • DONG Energy is Denmark’s largest energy company. For this installment of the utility2utility article series, we spoke to Ivan K. Pedersen, head of DONG’s Power Hub about renewables and partnerships. Intelligent Utility: What's the current status of renewables in the overall European equation, and how is that faring in achieving the EU's 20-20-20 goals? Pedersen: The EU has met its interim targets...
  • The global wind industry added 36,134 MW in 2013, the first time in eight years that the wind power industry has installed less in a given year than the year before. The size of the annual market declined 20 percent year on year in 2013, compared to market growth of 18.6 percent in 2012. The market decline was not unexpected. Negative conditions in several key countries, particularly the U.S. and...
  • No matter how much work we do on developing technology and forecasting its commercialization—as we’ve done recently with our IEEE research Vision series on smart grid—the consumer is both the chief sponsor and beneficiary of most of our technology-related work. We must keep our focus on the end user as we pursue technology in order to fulfill the IEEE mission of fostering “technological...
  • Where there’s a need, there’s a scam. There’s a reason that we have the phrase “snake oil salesman” in the lexicon. And the greater the need, the greater the scam opportunities it seems. Snake oil salesmen used good marketing shtick to prey on the sick; today’s scammers use technology to spread their cons across the population a bit more objectively—and power has certainly been a part of a con...
  • Every year utilities invest billions to upgrade critical distribution systems that reduce voltage and deliver energy the final mile to customers. In fact, according to the Edison Electric Institute, the utility industry has invested $275 billion in the nation’s distribution system since the beginning of 2000.  Although there are several reasons for making these investments, almost all...
  • Have you heard the story about Jim Rogers, the man who once helmed powerhouse utility Duke Energy? At an award ceremony for the Charlotte Business Journal earlier this year, he basically told the audience—and, through a blitz of media coverage, the utility industry as well—that our traditional business model is punch-drunk and ready for the KO.   And, to be honest, he’s not alone, news from...
  • Jennifer Curran manages a lot of stuff. She manages her division. She manages staff. She manages corporate strategic matters. She manages customer and regulatory outreach efforts. And, she determines strategic direction on important policy topics, trying to tease out the details: Who should pay? What are the benefits? How will we respond to FERC Order 1000?   Curran is very good at managing...
  • David Harkness, VP & CIO, Xcel Energy:  1. The skills of your cyber security team are incredibly important. This is a field that changing every day, and you need people who have an insatiable appetite to learn as they need to stay current with the threats. They need to be exceptionally strong operationally to understand how to identify a threat and best recover and be able to stay calm...