quarta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2013

Can electric utilities innovate?

By Megan Nicholson, Guest blogger / 09.03.13 Last year Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley asked the Energy Future Coalition (EFC), a project of the UN Foundation, to design a multi-faceted and comprehensive pilot-project plan for the state’s utilities. EFC assembled a stakeholder group including two Maryland utilities, PEPCO and Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BGE), to submit ideas for pilot projects that could build a “better utility future.” The resulting report, “Utility 2.0: Piloting the Future for Maryland’s Electric Utilities and their Customers,” takes a different path than typical electricity utility reform strategies. Rather than dictating a single pathway for higher renewable penetration, the report calls for a number of pilot projects designed to create an entirely new grid system that advances innovation, resilience, reliability, flexibility, and financial viability for customers. Electric utilities are usually characterized as ‘anti-innovators’ as their ultimate goal is only to sell electricity at the lowest cost and highest reliability. Integrating and transmitting distributed renewable energy presents a challenge to the standard operation of utilities due to intermittency issues, distribution, and new infrastructure needs. RECOMMENDED: Fracking. Tight oil. Do you know your energy vocabulary? Conventional policy suggests that utilities must be regulated into conforming to a renewable future. The Maryland study indicates an alternative path for implementing complementary policies necessary for bringing energy innovation to the utility system. ( Continue… http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices

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