Category Archives: Protologue

House Bill 11 is Wrong for PA

At a glance, the arguments in support of adding a nuclear tier to the state's AEPS seem to have some merit. But a deeper dive shows that HB11 would unfairly enrich investors at a cost of $500 million/year to ratepayers.

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Energy is a Community Conversation

More and More Communities are "Ready for 100" It’s never been more obvious that energy is a COMMUNITY conversation. More and more we see municipalities making “Ready for 100” announcements, committing to a version of the Paris Climate Accord, e.g. 100% renewable energy (RE) for electricity by 2035 and for all sources by 2050. These…
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How do Senior Living stakeholders view Energy?

The results are in! We asked attendees of the 2018 LeadingAge Conference & Expo about the changing electrical grid & its impact on senior living. Respondents (n=41) included a cross-discipline mix of senior living community leaders and employees (nursing, financial, operations, facilities, etc.), professional service providers (developers, architects, engineers, builders), and even a few grad students.…
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Integrated Energy Visioning

Does your senior living community have an integrated energy vision? With today's changing grid, energy should be at the core of your planning efforts – controlling costs, ensuring its availability and adequacy, aligning it with your organization's mission and community's values. New combinations of well-understood technologies make it possible to meaningfully advance these directives in…
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Volatility Ahead for PA Energy

As part of our preparation for this week's annual Pennsylvania Municipal Electrical Association (PMEA) conference, we took a look at some key factors that are set to create volatility for energy markets in the Commonwealth. These range from the planned decommissioning of coal and nuclear plants to the rise of natural gas (and the US'…
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Cupholders and Microgrids

When the first Ford model T rolled off the production line in 1908, it didn’t have cupholders. Ford’s idea was simplicity of design. This method enabled quick and therefore low-cost production, which in turn allowed millions of people to become first-time car owners. It wasn’t until 45 years later in 1953 that the vehicle cupholder…
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Warring States Period

The US electric grid modernization and transition to distributed generation resembles the Chinese Warring States Period of the 5th to 3rd centuries BC. Much like those great generals, the power brokers of today are using stratagems (i.e. a plan or scheme, especially one used to outwit an opponent or achieve an end). “Microgrids” have emerged…
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Putting Utilities Back in the Driver’s Seat

The continued convergence of energy and transportation is creating tremendous opportunity for new business models, even as it stacks the odds against traditional electric utilities. News of Renault-Nissan developing plans to build a 100 MWh grid battery with used EV/Hybrid batteries is big.  The dawn of super cheap batteries is here, just not in the…
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First Bite: How the Utility Business Model Could Eat Itself

Consolidation of the electric utilities has become a key strategy for companies like Exelon. As long-term energy profits are threatened by the high level of customer energy empowerment, teaming up makes sense. But now comes a new challenge in the form of technology-driven startup utilities like Drift. An algorithmic, big data-approach to rates and the…
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Humanity’s Last Invention

AI has arrived, and depending on your perspective, that’s probably somewhere exciting and worrisome. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa are helping us be more productive, and the prospect of solving big data problems like grid modernization with machine learning and cognitive computing is very exciting. But should we be looking at the bigger picture?…
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Strategy vs. Planning

When preparing to accomplish a goal, our first reaction is often to plan. It is instilled in us from a young age. Winston Churchill said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” Is that strategic planning? And where does strategy fit in, anyway? A strategy is how you position around an opportunity, and…
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Until Death Do Us Part

The flowers are ordered, the catering deposit has been cashed, and the invitations are in the mail. Let's face it, the marriage of AI and EV is happening, and sooner than you may think. It’s difficult to imagine just how disruptive their union will be, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Stanford economist…
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Deviating from the Standard

Within the energy sector, the main driver of change has been to increase efficiency. As in, we have accepted the underlying prime movers are infallible and only need some tidying-up. Deviation from natural monopolies and exposure to the global markets have introduced a perception of uncertainty. For innovators, however, it has created fertile ground to…
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Blockchain Reaction

The combination of software and hardware in the energy sector is presenting some exciting developments. Have you been following Blockchain? If not, it's time to. Commercial deployment of this accounting tool, coupled with distributed generation and load aggregation, is going to create tremendous growth opportunities. If you’re not sure what lies ahead it’s time to…
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Wanted: Energy Leadership

From the other side of the world in New Zealand, electricity stakeholders are struggling with the same questions as in the US. How do distribution companies maintain revenue, while PV and battery system installations are growing at incredible rates? PV and other distributed resources allow for the redirection of energy revenues into assets with a…
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How Can Solar+Storage Go Mainstream?

The news of battery storage options marks exciting times for energy nerds like me. Groups like Tesla and Mercedes tend to bring a new audience to the industry. Sleek designs and flashy advertising get people excited and I welcome that, but with a word of caution. Energy technology needs to function but also have a…
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The World Needs More Blue Collars

When I started as an electrician in 1996, the blue collar world knew there was going to be a shortage of skilled workers. We would joke about it, saying "one day we will make more than doctors or lawyers." That day is here. Globalization driven by technology and a huge population requires a strong ramping…
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Coal and Cold Turkey

The debate over coal vs. renewables has become very public. It highlights the tough decisions our country is trying to make. Clearly both play a significant role and dropping either cold turkey isn't an option. A plan to settle the debate must start by considering the consumers (where value is derived) and then prioritizing across the…
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America’s Misplaced Optimism

Often when we discuss the US transition to renewable energy we think the finish line is in sight. It’s not. The problem is scale. Thinking about things in terms of millions is a real challenge. If our transition is to be successful, we must increase communication between consumers, providers and regulators. The question ProtoGen seeks to…
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