News & Events

Making the Case for Peak Defection and Why Utilities Should Care

By Ron DiFelice | Posted on November 21, 2017 in Renewable Energy World

Grid“Grid Defection,” a term popularized by the Rocky Mount Institute in their report Economics of Grid Defection, has caused some trepidation among utilities executives taking a long-term look at their industry. However, little has materialized to date that gives reason for major concern. Instead, we are starting to see some selective defection during certain points of the day, specifically among non-residential customers. A term for this more near-term threat might be “Peak Defection.” Driving this movement are the improving economics of large scale energy storage, more sophisticated energy management systems, and legacy tariff structures. An additional tailwind is that intermittent renewables and energy efficiency measures are further driving up peak prices in many areas of the US (EIA). Continue Reading…

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Residential Energy Storage: Another Chance for Utilities

By Ron DiFelice | Posted on December 19, 2016 in Renewable Energy World

As energy storage solutions continue to decline in cost, it is largely inevitable that distributed energy resources (DERs) will be a critical part of the future electricity grid. In the residential markets, U.S. utilities were slow to embrace the opportunity presented by rooftop solar. They now have a chance to shape the unfolding DER evolution with energy storage. Instead of ignoring or fighting the transition, utilities need to proactively find ways to lead the deployment of these new grid resources for their most vocal and visible customer base: residential customers. Continue reading…

Hybrid Energy Storage Systems Get the Best of Both Worlds

By Ron DiFelice | Posted on May 27, 2016 in Green Tech Media

Many years ago, I was part of a U.S. Air Force program with the goal of reducing the battery weight carried by airmen and soldiers by 25 percent. The Air Force Program Office, after scouring the market for the ideal battery solution, quickly learned that no rechargeable battery could meet the power density, energy density, lifetime, and size/weight requirements.

However, they did not abandon the project — they took a hybrid approach to the problem. Continue reading…

“Support Your Local Power Grid” Why cheap solar doesn’t solve everything

By Edward May | Posted on March 11, 2016 in Renewable Energy World

2015 has proven to be another record year for clean power globally. As for 2016, wind and solar are cheaper than ever, the US just signed a major climate change agreement in Paris and everyone seems to hate coal, so look for another record year. On top of this, the “Internet of Things” and energy efficiency technologies promise to make us more efficient than ever before. With some obvious exceptions, the global market place seems to be embracing a reduced dependence on fossil fuels.

Despite the optimism, major shifts such as this can create new problems. Increased intermittency of the generation base is one of these, and while the US has found itself flush with natural gas that can provide the needed back-up power, it just isn’t that simple. Continue reading…

We Need a Better Way to Compare the Performance of Energy Storage Technologies

By Ron DiFelice | Posted on December 02, 2015 in Green Tech Media

What’s the best metric for evaluating storage? No one has come up with one yet. Grid-scale energy storage is getting a lot of attention this year. Pricing has come down and perceived value has come up — expanding the commercial viability of different technologies. But the story is much more complicated. There are plenty of important technical and market-based nuances that need to be considered. Continue reading…


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