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Year in Review: Top 10 Utility of the Future blog posts from 2015

As we find ourselves already at the end of January 2016, we’d like to take a moment to look back at our most popular blog posts from the past year, which included hot topics around energy efficiency, wind, solar, renewable integration, smart metering, and energy storage. We want to thank you for your readership in 2015, and look forward to sharing more of our insights and ideas with you in 2016! Please use the comments section below to share an opinion or suggest new topics for the upcoming year.

Below are the top 10 posts from our Utility of the Future blog in 2015:

  1. The EU’s energy efficiency directive: How it affects you – Ulrika Wising

In today’s business climate, no company wants to find itself in a state of regulatory non-compliance. Particularly when the regulations in question are concerned with sustainability.

Nor is it difficult to see why. With both governments and consumers placing sustainability high on their respective agendas, non-compliance potentially opens the door to a number of unwelcome consequences, not the least of which is reputational damage…READ MORE.

  1. VW scandal shows need for independent testing: so let’s work together on it – Jacob Fontijne

The recent Volkswagen scandal has highlighted the dire need for third party testing. Without the valuable work done by the California Air Regulations Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency, the faulty test reports may have never been uncovered. The environmental damage could have been orders of magnitude greater. And the public’s trust in car manufacturers may have been permanently ruined.

We in the energy industry should see this scandal as a learning opportunity. Like the automotive industry, ours impacts a tremendous number of people and the environment…READ MORE.

  1. £100/MWh and falling… Dawn breaks on a cheaper, stronger offshore wind industry – Paul Reynolds

In the last two days we have seen announcements that will be forever remembered in offshore wind. The day that the sector stopped talking about cost reductions, and started delivering.

On Thursday came the long awaited results of the first allocation of Contracts for Difference in the UK. The result: East Anglia 1 to deliver 719MW at £119.89/MWh, while Neart na Gaoithe will deliver at £114.39/MWh…READ MORE.

  1. Harmonic resonance in renewable energy sources – An old problem with a new twist – Neeraj Karnik

The issue of harmonic resonance is often overlooked while developing large wind and solar power plants. If this concern is recognized only when construction of these projects is nearing completion, commercial operation may have to be delayed till harmonic problems are resolved. Such situations can place project developers under significant financial risk. Moreover, delayed recognition of the problem may lead to sub-optimal and high-cost solutions. This article touches upon the key harmonic issues that need to be investigated while interconnecting large wind and solar power plants to the grid.

It is worthwhile to explore why harmonic impacts of wind and solar plants are sometimes overlooked. The first reason is…READ MORE.

  1. How are consumers using energy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? – Curt Puckett

End-use monitoring offers a deeper understanding amidst sharply rising electricity demand.

The need for new energy resources is urgent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a country where electricity demand has more than doubled since 2000, and is anticipated to continue increasing rapidly—at an average rate of more than 8% per year—for the next ten years.

Driven by substantial economic, industrial, commercial, and population growth, this surge in electricity consumption is prompting the KSA to aggressively pursue a number of supply- and demand-side options…READ MORE.

  1. Best storage for grid applications – The EV factor – Ali Nourai

Since the mid-2000s, around the time I launched utility-scale storage projects in US, people have asked me: “What’s the best energy storage technology for grid applications?” My answer then is the same as it is now—and in fact, over these last ten years or so I have become even more confident that it is “whatever the electric car industry will hand down to us.”

After my experience in deploying a few large-scale storage devices and observing how utilities reacted to them, it became very clear to me that grid applications of energy storage have a large variety and diverse requirements that standardization of applications and mass production…READ MORE.

  1. “You Can’t Eat Solar Panels” – The Case for Rooftop Solar – Blake Herrschaft

There’s a little island off the Central American coast called San Andres where the water is warm, the beers are cold, and the electricity is expensive. Really expensive! It’s about five times as much as the US national average which is quite a burden for the local residents. Caribbean islands generally don’t have the natural resources that other mainland nations do, and San Andres is no exception, importing 37,000 gallons of diesel from abroad each day to keep the lights on. All these factors increase the price, and are part of the reason that the little island has made a pledge to move towards 100% renewable energy as part of the Carbon War Room’s 10 Islands Challenge…READ MORE.

  1. How will recent advances in the energy storage market impact utilities? – Rick Fioravanti

It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to write about energy storage, but in that time there has been a tremendous amount of activity on the storage front which has given rise to some very topical issues. Today, I want to talk about Tesla,solar + storage, and the impact these two factors will have on utilities.  This sequence of connected issues was also discussed at DNV GL’s Utility of the Future Leadership Forum in early June.

Tesla once again has pushed the storage market forward with their announcement of the Powerwall storage device. The announcement is noteworthy for two reasons…READ MORE.

  1. Floating energy storage for grid and maritime applications – Daniel Liang

The whole “sustainable energy” world is talking about energy storage. There is no doubt that large-size (GWh-scale) energy storage will play a more important role for the powergrid, in terms of, e.g., ancillary service, demand response, and emergency power backup. However, creating such large-size energy storage on shore near demand centres has a number of limitations, such as land availability, land accessibility, safety requirements, etc.

Considering that shorelines are often some of the most populated areas with high electric load concentration, then one may ask: why don’t we relocate energy storage offshore…READ MORE.

  1. US Clean Power Plan and global emissions: what difference does the CPP make? – Olof Bystrom

The US Clean Power Plan contains ambitious COreduction targets to be achieved by 2030, but will it make a difference on a global scale? Is it a relevant milestone in the global climate change negotiations that aim to finalize global carbon reduction targets in December?

Electricity and heat production are two of the leading CO2 emission sources globally, accounting for 42% of total CO2 emissions according to the IEA…READ MORE.

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