What are the biggest trends threatening to disrupt the power industry?

I recently moderated a panel at the Energy Leaders Symposium called Disruptions in the Energy Industry. This event was hosted by Georgia Tech’s Center for Distributed Energy. To help frame the discussions, I defined a disruption as an industry changing so quickly that incumbents can’t keep up. I listed three drivers threatening to disrupt the power industry: a shift from economies of scale to economies of volumes, a shift from top-down to edge-in, and battery storage. Read More

What is the best way to make electricity? The answer isn’t simple

How should we generate electricity for the world’s grids? This may be one of the most important questions of the 21st century. The stakes are incredibly high. At $2 trillion a year, electricity is one of the largest and most influential industries on earth. Whichever directions we take, some of the world’s largest corporations will… Read More

How do you know if a microgrid makes sense for you?

Microgrids are the epitome of Local Energy. As the name suggests, microgrids are miniature versions of the big grid. They generate their own power and they have their own loads. And, if the grid goes down, microgrids continue to operate in what the industry calls “island mode”. Even though there are only a few thousand built so… Read More

AC vs DC: How better economics ultimately beat out a bizarre publicity campaign (Part 2 of 3)

This is the second in a three-part series on the origins of the modern power industry. Part 1 can be found at How Edison, Tesla, and other visionaries invented the modern grid. The sparks that started the AC/DC current wars By the late 1880s, Edison was on his way to dominating the rapidly growing power… Read More

Using new business models to unleash competition and innovation in the power industry

Competition is all about price, features, and customer experience. Right? That’s what business schools have been teaching for decades and it’s largely true. But, if you really want to change an industry, you need to change the rules. You need to create new business models. The untold story behind some of the most disruptive companies… Read More

Montgomery County Maryland didn’t have the budget for their microgrid so they invented a new business model

It was the summer of 2012 and the Mid-Atlantic was being pummeled by one of the worst storms in years. This was the second summer of heavy thunderstorms and squalls to come through Montgomery County, Maryland, in as many years.  The county leaders were scrambling to dispatch police and emergency workers. But with so many… Read More

Africa is democratizing energy – a TED talk by Amar Inamdar shares lessons that can impact energy everywhere

Local energy is the fastest path to cleaner, cheaper, more reliable power. Nowhere is this truer than Africa. And, few people express the amazing future of local energy in Africa better than Amar Inamdar. His recent talk from TEDGlobal 2017 was featured on the home page of TED.com and has been spectacularly well received. If… Read More