By Leah Y Parks
Transactive energy—some call it demand response on steroids—actually promises to be more than that, but it’s a concept that’s still being defined, refined, and proven. Many believe it will open the door to a new relationship between utilities and their customers.
EP: What drew you to attend and speak at this rather tech-oriented conference?
TS: I’m here because I’m a member of GWAC and because I want to stay abreast of technology that will help us to maintain a healthy electricity infrastructure in the future. New forces are putting pressure on the utility industry and transforming the way we use, produce, and distribute electricity. This transformation is putting pressure to change the way we will buy and sell electricity as well.
The decreasing costs of rooftop solar energy, ground-source heat pumps, and the increasing prevalence of smart apps that people can use to monitor their appliances or businesses—these are new tools. There is pressure on us to do better, and we can be greener and more reliant on efficiency and renewable energy. I believe we will be moving to a more distributed model where consumers both produce as well as consume electricity, and I believe a smart and transactive grid can help us manage that change.
By Paul Feldman and Dan Hill
The electric power industry needs a transparent, funded, independent, dedicated, focused Best Practices effort. If we want to achieve appropriate mitigation levels to protect industry infrastructure against cyber attacks we should do no less.
he subject of cybersecurity is not only here to stay but will grow in importance over time. The literature is already filled with summaries of various attacks of all varieties—right up to nation-state mini-attacks such as the North Korean 2014 attack on Sony. The literature is abundant with suggestions as to what to do to protect against cyber attacks—from the simple “don’t click on unknown email links”—to the sophisticated response that requires a small army of experts to implement.
By Jeremy Eckstein
With storage too costly at present, Pacific Northwest utilities needing operating flexibility are weighing the relative advantages of demand response programs and establishing or joining a regional energy imbalance market.
n this paper I explore what sources of electricity system flexibility are likely to be adopted in Oregon and Washington in order to manage predicted increases in renewable energy. Although it is Northwest-centric in its focus and industry review, I believe it has relevance to US markets in general, as renewables integration and the search for greater system flexibility is of wide and growing interest. I also explore policy options to encourage adoption of these technologies.
By Bob Gibson
Changes in the structure of the evolving electricity markets of the U.S. and Germany may make national differences in policy and public perception irrelevant, as new technologies take hold.
hen E.ON, one of Europe’s largest utilities, announced in December that it would spin off its conventional power generation business into a separate entity and refocus on renewables, energy efficiency and grid operations, an obvious question arose: Could similar transitions be coming to utilities in the United States? In a word, yes.
By Bill Massey
It’s indisputable that competition is a highly effective way to ensure that electricity, an essential engine of our economy, is provided to users reliably and at lowest cost. But it’s also crucial that we preserve rules that assure fair and wholesome competition.
t is hard to believe that almost two decades have passed since federal and state utility regulators began in earnest to adopt competitive markets as a preferred way to ensure a reliable supply of electricity at the lowest available cost. What’s even harder to believe is that there are still skeptics who doubt that electricity markets – where they have been fully implemented – are indeed beneficial to consumers and the regional economies they power. Members of the COMPETE Coalition are not to be found among the skeptics.