Our Thinking

Why utilities should use the same technology strategy that helped Germany win the World Cup

  • By Roderick Morris
  • July 17, 2014

Anyone who hoarded baseball cards as a kid knows a fundamental truth about sports: they produce an unbelievable amount of data.

For the better part of a century, the best we could do was collect it, print it on cardboard, and sell it as a curiosity. Coaches could use statistics to track streaks and slumps, of course. But without the tools to process huge reams of data very fast, it was tough to understand player performance in a way that was mathematically rigorous and helped teams win tomorrow’s games.

Then there were Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s, famously profiled in Michael Lewis’s book-turned-movie Moneyball. Beane used advanced statistics to build a smarter, faster, cheaper baseball team. Data brought efficiency to the phenomenally inefficient business of drafting and managing players.

Billy Beane

Billy Beane’s statistical analysis revolutionized baseball. (Source: SFGate)

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Our Thinking

There’s a hot new mapping tool that’s taking the energy world by storm

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • July 16, 2014

There’s a beautiful new mapping tool that’s cropping up all over the energy press right now. It comes to us courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and with it, you can easily visualize any part of the grid, on demand, in remarkable detail. You can check out the tool right here.

EIA’s maps are a powerful way to explore how American energy is evolving. Brad Plumer at Vox noted how coal mines (in black) are steadily shifting from Appalachia to the Great Plains, where coal deposits are more abundant and lower in sulfur:

Coal Mining

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Our Thinking

By 2032, Texas could reduce emissions by 32% and cut peak demand by 50%. Here’s how.

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • July 15, 2014

In the future, Texas will face challenges ensuring sufficient generating capacity and meeting the EPA’s new emissions targets.

Fortunately, both challenges can be fully met with demand response and energy efficiency.

A recent report by the Brattle Group for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition found that energy efficiency and demand response can deliver up to 7,000 megawatts of peak load reduction in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market, which covers 75 percent of Texas land and serves 85 percent of Texas demand.

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