Advanced Energy Perspectives

Tour Tells the Story of Wind and Solar Powering Jobs

Posted by Dan Shugar

Dec 5, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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Solar worker at Renewable Energy Jobs Tour event in Bedford, Va.  

This is a guest post by Dan Shugar, CEO of NEXTracker, and an AEE board member

Most folks working in the U.S. wind and solar industries already know that both are creating jobs all across the country. These industries now employ over 360,000 workers, and have the two fastest growing job categories in the nation: solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine technicians, according to a US Department of Labor report released earlier this year. Over the next 10 years, the demand for the two positions is set to essentially double. But data points alone are not always enough to convince the public and policymakers about the tremendous job creation of these sectors. That’s why, earlier this fall, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Wind Energy Foundation (WEF), and NEXTracker, Inc. launched the Renewable Energy Jobs Tour.

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Topics: Guest Post

Getting Smaller Business to Save Energy and Money Through Integrated Demand-Side Management

Posted by Brett Feldman

Oct 4, 2017 4:00:00 PM

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This is a guest post from Navigant, an AEE Gold Affiliate Member

For decades, utilities have had success reaching large commercial and industrial (C&I) customers as well as residential with demand-side management (DSM) programs like energy efficiency and demand response (DR). Large C&I customers typically have utility account managers catering to their service needs, while mass marketing techniques like bill stuffers, direct mail, door-to-door canvassing, advertising, social media, and retail channel partnerships effectively reach residential consumers. However, the small to midsized business (SMB) customer segment is harder to reach, and these customers are typically underrepresented when it comes to DSM program participation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Topics: Guest Post

In Michigan, Wind Equals Economic Opportunity

Posted by Liesl Eichler Clark

Jun 29, 2017 1:10:00 PM

This is a guest post from AEE’s state partner, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. To learn more about MiEIBC, click here. To learn more about AEE’s nationwide coalition of state and regional partners, click here. 

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What industry hires veterans at a rate 50% higher than the national average, boasts the fastest growing job category in the nation, and is expanding in Michigan? If you guessed wind energy, you’re right. Like everywhere else, Michigan’s energy mix is changing due to improvements in technology, evolving market conditions, and energy policies that lead the way forward, taking advantage of opportunities. The modern electric grid has served us well, but like other infrastructure in the country, it can be improved with new technologies – advanced energy technologies. Last year, Michigan was considering giving up on advanced energy, but instead doubled down, increasing its renewable portfolio standard from 10% to 15% and extending its energy efficiency standard through 2021. Now, fair winds are blowing – and Michigan is reaping the benefits.

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Topics: Guest Post, State Policy Update

How Utilities Can Gain by Becoming More Customer Centric

Posted by Samantha Youngblood, CLEAResult

Jun 15, 2017 5:50:40 PM

This is a guest post from AEE member CLEAResult, adapted from the version posted here. To learn more about membership in AEE, click here

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As an opportunity to save money and save energy, energy efficiency is now top of mind for customers. Therefore, understanding and adopting the latest in energy efficient products and technologies is important to the utility industry, which hosts energy efficiency programs. Thanks to new developments in technology, mobile applications, and other digital innovations, utilities have more tools than ever before to meet the demands of today’s energy-conscious consumer and business and save them money. However, reducing electricity costs for customers is at odds with utilities’ revenue goals and shareholder interests.

So how can utilities stay competitive and adapt to their customers’ shifting expectations, while also meeting revenue goals and shareholder expectations?  

In CLEAResult’s second annual Innovation Outlook report, we give utility companies something to think about when it comes to how they deliver on the promise of energy efficiency, how to stay profitable doing so, and how to change the way customers use energy to the benefit of all.

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Topics: Guest Post

The Days of All-or-Nothing Transmission Planning Are Over

Posted by Kiran Kumaraswamy

Apr 5, 2017 3:42:49 PM

This is a guest post from AEE member AES Energy Storage and originally posted hereTo learn more about membership in AEE, click here. 

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Whether you’re expanding an office or widening a road, gauging how much room – or capacity – you’ll need is a big challenge. You have to predict the future and guess how long your additions will accommodate your needs – whether that’s a growing staff or changing traffic patterns – so you can estimate whether it’s worth it financially.

Grid planners face similar issues when assessing how much new transmission capacity to add, such as transmission lines or substations, with the additional burden of only having a few sizes to choose from. Until recently, there has been no easy way to incrementally add capacity. It was all or nothing.

Battery-based energy storage solutions are now enabling utilities to add the right amount of capacity at a lower cost, and delivering a host of other benefits as well.

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Topics: Guest Post

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