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Evolution of the modern grid opens up new market opportunities, new business models and new pricing dynamics. Watch this section for key trends and developments.

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The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, DERs, energy markets, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, DERs, energy markets, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

We may not need utilities much longer says former COO (and how to prove him wrong)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility trends, grid divorce, electric utilities
Large central utilities are losing public and regulatory support and risk becoming a casualty of the shift to self-sufficiency that will take place in much of the world, say the authors of a recently published essay. There is, however, much that utilities can do to steer clear of that dire future. Click for details.

All eyes are on rooftop solar… but what about BIG (utility-scale) solar?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, U.S. solar industry, utility-scale solar power, markets and pricing, electric utilities
It seems everyone is talking about rooftop solar, its dramatic growth, the subsidies, net metering and how it will change utilities and how they operate. But utility-scale solar still represents most of the solar growth in the U.S. Pete Danko of Breaking Energy reports on the current status of “big solar” and why more and more environmental groups and others are raising red flags about it.

Here comes the future: 6 new ways to design electricity rates

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, renewable energy, distributed generation, electricity pricing, electric utilities
While demand for more distributed energy resources is growing, today’s pricing structures provide little incentive to deploy them where they will do the most good. Click to read one approach to incrementally transition to a more sophisticated pricing system that would better reflect real costs and benefits, and some specific options for pricing.

A quick look at smart grid markets performance

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, smart grid sectors, global business
It’s always a good idea to keep track of how the varied energy industry markets are performing. It does take time, though. That’s where our smart grid market reports roundup comes in handy. Read the brief summaries and click on the links for more details.

Smart grid wins: a global look at projects and developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid projects
This week’s smart grid wins feature includes what could almost be considered a bit of everything. Read about a variety of smart grid companies and projects ranging from solar and smart water to transmission and energy efficiency. And don’t miss the awards for AutoGrid Systems and Silver Spring Networks.

The 4 priorities that allow utilities to profit from the connected home market

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, smart homes, connected homes, smart grid strategy, customer engagement, electric utilities
New technologies are frequently viewed with suspicion in the utility industry. Consider the developing “connected home” market as an example. Guest contributor Angus Panton makes the case that the new market offers substantial growth opportunities for utilities… as long as they attend to four key issues early on.

Smart grid tech: breakthroughs, tweaks and building a better battery

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
Smart grid companies are always coming up with new tech products and services and enhancements to existing products. We thought it was time to take a look at what they’ve been up to, so click to read about new offerings from ABB, Belden, GE, Leidos and other companies.

U.S. wind energy industry is doing quite well too (It’s not all about solar)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, wind power, U.S. wind power, Department of Energy
Wind power usually seems to play the wallflower in the renewable energy world where most of the attention is focused on solar. But two new DOE reports say the U.S. is a global leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world.

The good news for solar that could be bad news for utilities (including much higher efficiency)

solar power, rooftop solar, smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utilities, electric utility future, smart grid trends, smart grid markets
Solar may seem like a threat utilities don’t really need to worry about quite yet, if ever in areas that don’t get a lot of sun and costs are high. But recent developments in the solar and energy storage industries could mean the time when today’s utility customers start generating their own power is coming soon.

No million by 2015, but electric vehicles are surging

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric transportation, EVs, plug-in electric vehicles, EV sales
While the numbers make it clear that President Obama’s goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 won’t be met, that’s no reason for disappointment. As Pete Danko of Breaking Energy found, plug-in EV sales are growing at an astonishing rate… if more slowly than many had expected.

Keeping up with smart grid companies: new projects and developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
This week’s collection of smart grid projects covers a lot of ground: Silver Spring Networks and Trilliant expanding their presence in new and existing territories and GE’s Solutions as a Service implementation for example. And there’s more news from Itron, Siemens and Plug Power.

Smart grid market research: China’s renewables growth surge and more

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets
Smart grid market forecasts are always interesting because they change so regularly. This week we share research on a variety of markets to let you know what the forecasters are expecting over the next few years. Read the story for a quick look at the EV charging stations market, smart city technology, home automation and China’s explosive renewables growth.

Quinone-based batteries could reduce need for metals, but project costs are high

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, flow batteries, Lux Research
Battery costs must drop if the stationary energy storage market is to grow as hoped over the next few years. New technologies look like promising ways to get around the need for metals like vanadium, but two Lux Research analysts report that project costs remain a concern.

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