These are exciting times in the energy industry. The transition to a sustainable, clean, and distributed grid is underway worldwide. The positive drivers of the energy transition include political climate goals, enormous funding and investment opportunities, and the available technology to integrate buildings, renewables, batteries, controllable loads, and electric vehicles with the grid.  All these drivers are aligned to accelerate the climate transition. Despite there being a nearly “perfect storm” for rapid change and dramatic climate-friendly energy solutions, we remain stuck.  So, what is the problem?

While the drivers are clear, in the US, we still lack an exact blueprint for how a clean distributed energy business model could be implemented. The industry’s problem is as much of a business model challenge as it is a technical or policy challenge. How do we transition to a new, flexible and distributed, clean energy future from a business perspective?

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By Stuart McCafferty and Eamonn McCormick

Oh Yes, They Most Certainly Knew

The major oil and gas companies are all enthusiastically jumping into the biofuel market, telling the world that it is “carbon-neutral” and that they are addressing climate change as good stewards of the environment. 

Really?

In 2015, Inside Climate News performed eight months of investigation interviewing ExxonMobil’s former employees and reviewing internal company documents. What they found, and what has not been disputed, is a long history of climate change research by the company that yielded the fact that burning fossil fuels and the release of C02 and methane into the atmosphere would lead to dangerous global warming.  Much of this work was performed throughout the 1970’s and 80’s – 40 years ago.

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by Eamonn McCormick & Stuart McCafferty 

DER You Come from the Land Down Under?

Understandably, the Australians have been the global trail blazers for Distributed Energy Resource (DER) adoption and integration into utility operations and markets.  They have lots of sunshine, are believers AND doers when it comes to climate change, and they are pretty damn smart, too.

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“A platform is a stable collection of components that provide fundamental or commonly-needed capabilities and services to a variable set of uses or applications through well-defined interoperable interfaces. . .  Energy Platforms will be an inevitable feature of the future Grid “Jeff Taft creator of the Grid Architecture Methodology

FOREWARD:  David, Eamonn, and Stuart recently completed Grid Architecture training from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and are providing this series of articles to share some of that learning and to provoke some thought on how it might be applied within readers’ organizations.  We also mix a bit of our own thinking from our EnergyIoT Reference Architecture series that was published in 2019.  We thank Dr. Jeff Taft, Dr. Ron Melton, and the other class members for their enthusiasm, knowledge, and genuinely GOOD INTENTIONS for the electric power industry.

We recognize that “big change” is ahead in how we architect a distributed grid.  The collaboration of Stuart McCafferty (GridIntellect), Eamonn McCormick (Utilicast), and David Forfia (Utilicast) has led us to this next architecture series of architecture-focused articles.  We start off with this first article on platforms because of our previous platform EnergyIoT article series and as an introduction to the common thinking that DOE’s Grid Architecture has with that series.  After this first article, we will deep dive more into the specifics of DOE’s thought leadership and the “Grid Architecture” methodology.

Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT (Netherlands and Germany), “With this platform, data can be exchanged between the devices, market players and grid operators. This means that everyone will soon be able to help realise the energy transition, and also benefit financially from it.” – upon the announcement that the EU is developing a blockchain energy platform.

The Full Series can be located on Energy Central >>>