Quick Take: One of the most difficult new realities is distributed energy -- this idea that customers will become producers as well and the utility will have to cope with thousands of small generation sources scattered all around the service territory.
To grapple with these new conditions, we've got to get past the banal generalities (something must be done!) and start talking specifics. That's why I was so pleased when Maryland and the Energy Future Coalition started scoping out the utility of the future.
And now I'm happy to tell you about a recent roundtable co-hosted by Princeton and Columbia Universities on the topic of Valuing Distributed Energy: Economic and Regulatory Challenges.
The group produced a summary white paper, which you can download by clicking the link above. It talks about the situation and the issues. More importantly, it talks about specific approaches to overcoming those challenges.
It's not always easy reading, but it is worth the effort. If you need any convincing, just glance at the list of Big Brains who were part of the roundtable. It's a who's who of our industry's top minds. Recommended reading. - By Jesse Berst
Jon Wellinghoff Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
David Sandalow Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Environment, U.S. Department of Energy
Jonathan Pershing Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Policy and Technology, U.S. Department of Energy
Garry Brown Chairman, NY Public Service Commission
Daniel Esty Commissioner, CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection
Robert Hanna President, NJ Board of Public Utilities
Jeanne Fox Chair, NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment; Commissioner, NJ Board of Public Utilities
Richard Kauffman Chairman, Energy Policy and Finance, State of New York
Steve Corneli SVP Policy and Strategy, NRG Energy
Ralph Izzo Chairman and CEO, PSEG
Joseph Rigby Chairman and CEO, Pepco Holdings, Inc.
Distributed Energy Providers
Dan Yates CEO, Opower
Lyndon Rive CEO, SolarCity
Ron Binz Former Chair, Colorado Public Service Commission
Terry Boston President and CEO, PJM Interconnection
Mark Brownstein Chief Counsel, Energy, Environmental Defense Fund
Paula Carmody President, Natl. Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates
Carolyn Elefant, Law Office of Carolyn Elefant
Julia Hamm President, Solar Electric Power Association
Thomas Hoff Founder, Clean Power Research (Austin Energy Tariff designer)
David Owens EVP, Edison Electric Institute
Susan Tierney Managing Principal, Analysis Group
Academics/ University Hosts
Travis Bradford (host), Columbia University
Anne Hoskins (host), Princeton University and PSEG
Jason Bordoff, Columbia SIPA (recently Obama Administration)
Amy Craft, Princeton University
Michael Gerrard, Columbia Law School
Lynn Loo, Princeton University
Warren Powell, Princeton University
Robert Socolow, Princeton University
Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.