Post tagged with "electricity"

Our Thinking

Want to be more dynamic? Follow the lead of these innovative utilities.

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • September 3, 2014

With the rise of a number of industry challenges — such as distributed generationflattening electricity demandnew regulations, aging grid infrastructure, and low levels of customer engagement — things can certainly seem bleak for utilities.

However, a new in-depth study discusses a solution that may offer an important opportunity for utilities to more effectively navigate some of these trends: dynamic pricing rates. The report from Rocky Mountain Institute – Rate Design for the Distribution Edge: Electricity Pricing for a Distributed Resource Future — explores how utilities can increase rate sophistication and, in turn, address a number of their pressing business challenges. 

Traditionally, utility energy bills have not adequately reflected variables like time of day, peak demand conditions, or other factors that have important implications for grid management. By beginning to account for some of these variables with the help of dynamic pricing rates (e.g. electricity prices that correspond to different grid conditions), utilities can start to make headway in areas such as managing peak demand and giving customers more energy management options.  

The graphic below from the Rocky Mountain Institute displays the conceptual difference between standard pricing (“flat volumetric retail”) and examples of dynamic pricing regimes.

This chart depicts two of the many dynamic pricing structures presented in the RMI report (Source: Rocky Mountain Institute).

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Our Thinking

2 ways Hawaii is innovating away from oil imports — and 1 more that could save Hawaiians $12M a year

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • August 25, 2014

In many ways, islands in the United States are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to their energy portfolio. 

It’s easy to understand why. Places like American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands often lack an adequate local supply of electricity generation fuels, so instead have to rely heavily on expensive oil imports.

American islands depend on pricey petroleum imports to meet energy demand. (Source: EIA)

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Our Thinking

How one African nation is rising to the challenge of World Cup electricity demand

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • June 17, 2014

It’s no secret: managing peak electricity demand can be an olympic-sized challenge.

It’s a serious issue from Texas to Baltimore to Singapore. And now it’s coming up in the World Cup — a fact which was underscored during last night’s match between Ghana and United States.

In Ghana, utility officials were working around the clock to trim energy demand through various demand response measures to ensure that the nation could keep televisions on during the game. In addition to purchasing 50 megawatts of electricity from neighboring Ivory Coast, Ghana also adopted a common peak demand reduction strategy (one that was also used by Texas last winter went electric heating demand ballooned): energy officials reached a deal with large industrial users to slow their energy-intensive activities.

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