Energy is on a similar path to the emergence of the internet in the 1990s.
We are on the verge of another
massive societal transformation, with the
“Enernet” emerging as a “dynamic, distributed, redundant and
multi-participant energy network built around clean energy generation,
storage and delivery – and serving as the foundation for smart cities.”
Nanogrids, microgrids, distributed energy resources, virtual power plants,
intelligent building materials, battery storage, smart lighting, new
networks and intelligence are driving down energy costs and improving
services. “From the enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an
order-of-magnitude smarter, healthier and safer. The new network will also
present quantum leaps in energy security and emergency resilience that can
stand in the face of superstorms or cyberattacks.”
It’s going to be an incredible ride…
Across the country, solar customers & installers and battling with utilities over solar net metering – which “turns the meter backwards” at the same retail rate that customers pay their utility.
Solar advocates argue that net metering provides more benefits – to the grid and all customers – than the net metered retail price.
Utilities argue that solar net metering customers “zero out” their bill and don’t contribute to maintaining the aging grid, so the utilities lose money (or other customers have to pay more to make up the lost revenue).
Now, a number of New York State utilities have come together with several of the largest solar companies to reach a compromise.
The bottom line: we all depend on the grid. Those with solar need the grid at night, on cloudy days, or whenever their usage exceeds their solar generation. We need to keep the utilities healthy to maintain and evolve the interconnected grid that is the center of civilization. New York’s proposal provides an interesting path toward ending the war – providing a profit incentive so that utilities can make money on solar, while customers and the solar industry have a clear glide path forward. Read the Utility Dive article on the issue.
Are you familiar with the “Duck Curve”? Remember the “Bell Curve” in collage statistics? The Duck Curve is basically a concern over the availability of solar in the day time, but going down as the sun goes down. This concern has turned into something of a urban myth of late according to Robbie Orvis, Michael O’Boyle, and Hallie Kennan of Energy Innovation. The authors propose that by using common sense, smart rate design, and regional sharing/coordination we can minimize the impact of the Duck. Read the article here.
This is a video from Nissan which looks at the future of electricity as one continuous grid everywhere. Kind of like community solar model gone wild. It is a fascinating glimpse of what could be. OK, lots of people will be cynical watching the video, but it is the dreamers who initiate changes in civilizations. Watch video here!
Wow, what a cool idea! And really such a simple idea. Surprised we haven’t been doing this for years!
Read here about it on Energy.gov
Very important issues that need to be considered by all renewable energy developers. DER integration with utilities is a current and critical issue. Read article here.