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Many utilities cannot make Smart Grid investments until they have approval from their regulators. And even unregulated utilities must ensure that their Smart Grid outlays make financial sense. This section catalogs ideas and resources for making the all-important cost-benefit analysis.

Results: 120 results found. You are on page 1 of 8 pages.

A new tool for finding cost savings in smart grid initiatives

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid initiatives, smart grid investments, smart grid tools, cost analysis, electric utilities
The Smart Grid Research Consortium is out with a new offering designed to help utilities improve their smart grid initiatives to provide more benefits and cut costs. The Executive Strategy Assessment Service is intended for cooperatives and public utilities that are beginning their smart grid programs as well as those with programs well under way.

Another expert writes a requiem for today's "traditional" utilities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility business model, electric utility trends, distributed generation
One view of the future for electric grids and utilities is a scenario that includes two types of distribution utilities, one responsible for maintaining grid operations and another that will sell energy services. Click to read an explanation of one increasingly popular concept of the new utility model: “distribution service operators.”

Munis and coops: Your 7 biggest smart grid screw-ups (IOUs -- you could learn something too)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, munis and coops, smart grid business case
Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities need to be vigilant about pitfalls that could interfere with the returns they expect from smart grid investments. A report from the Smart Grid Research Consortium identifies seven problem areas that are increasingly causing disappointing returns (along with recommendations for how to ensure that doesn’t happen).

Why Home Depot could soon be in charge of the power industry

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, power industry trends, changing business model, renewable energy, distributed generation, rooftop solar, electric utilities
The upheaval in the U.S. power industry and what the outcome could be seem to have become the hot topic of conversation among energy professionals. And those conversations continue to lean toward the “utility death spiral” along with distributed generation. Click to read about what industry leaders and top publications are saying right now.

Want to design your own future? Consider collaborating with the GridWise Alliance

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, GridWise Alliance, utility business model, electric utilities
We’ve said it several times: utilities need to decide what role they want to play in the rapidly changing energy business environment. It’s a challenging proposition but not one utilities have to take on alone. The GridWise Alliance may be able to help.

Sure the utility business model is changing, but not so fast

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business case, distributed generation, electric utilities
The changing utility business model has been the source of considerable debate and handwringing. Yes, there are plenty of challenges confronting utilities now, but is wholesale change really coming soon? Jared Anderson of Breaking Energy recently interviewed an expert on the topic, and he had some very interesting things to say.

7 Reasons Why Smart Grid Investments Fail

A growing number of smart grid projects are not meeting initial project savings estimates, requiring rate increases to pay for cost over-runs and savings shortfalls. This paper identifies seven smart grid investment strategy pitfalls and provides recommendations for avoiding negative investment outcomes. Fast-tracking certain smart grid application is recommended to increase benefits.

What utilities forget when they analyze storage (Hint: It has to do with benefits)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, utility business case, strategy, electric utilities
Reducing the cost of energy storage technologies is important. It’s good business. But guest author Rogers Weed points out that it is just as valuable to increase the benefits storage systems provide. As he points out, business cases are referred to as cost-benefit analyses for a reason.

Utility death spiral: Is decoupling a dumb idea?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business model, electric rates, rate decoupling
The traditional utility business model that ties revenues to the amount of electricity sold isn’t working now that energy efficiency and conservation are the goalposts for our energy future. Guest author Paul Alvarez says utilities, regulators and others should consider decoupled ratemaking as a possible solution. He explains why inside.

Utilities: Get ready for your next convergence -- smart grids and smart cities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid trends, smart cities, utility business model, electric utilities
As the world becomes increasingly urban, cities will fundamentally change. And utilities will need to change to meet the new and evolving demands of those cities. Read the story to learn about what that change, the convergence of smart grids and smart cities, will look like and why utilities should be paying attention now.

Why Barclays just downgraded the entire utility sector

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, solar power, energy storage, electric utility threats
In yet another challenge for utilities, banking and financial services firm Barclays has downgraded the U.S. electric power sector, contending that solar + storage could become cost-competitive with grid power… and that utilities may fail to re-assess their role in the energy future and adapt. Click for details.

Utilities: Your monopoly days are numbered. (Yes, we've heard this before, but this time...)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility business model, smart grid trends, disruptive innovation, utility competition
The end of the regulated utility model has been predicted for some time, and with ever increasing frequency. You may or may not agree it’s coming anytime soon if at all. But guest author Dick Munson’s argument that disruptive innovation is on its way is definitely worth reading.

The future of utilities – death spiral or reinvention? Leaders weigh in

smart grid, modern grid, utility business model, utility business case, electric industry trends, strategy, electric utilities
The conversation around the “utility death spiral” is depressing of course. But readers should take a look at some articulate and very well-conceived views from industry observers about options for the industry’s future. As you will see, some see disaster while others see a possible renaissance, a reinvention.

Ensuring that net metering remains a win-win-win

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed generation and renewables, solar power, solar industry, electric utilities, net metering
The net metering debate is far from over and the us against them mentality is still very apparent. However, the belief that stakeholders can come to a practical agreement is becoming more widespread. Guest author Brian F. Keane explains why it’s critical for the electric and solar industries to do just that… work it out.

Utility dinosaurs: Here are five plans for your survival

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid strategy, policy and regulation, electric utility business model
If utility executives want to transform today’s outdated utility business model into one they can live with they had better get busy. If not, someone else is likely to do it for them. Several organizations already have made proposals in an effort to sway regulators. Click to see examples of what they’re recommending.

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