Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Women-in-Energy
    Women in Energy, ASME, Mechanical Engineering
    Apr 24, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    'I love being the face of ASME for the world,' said Madiha El-Mehelmy Kotb, new president for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 'It carries a lot of weight, and I take a lot of pride in it,' she added, but being the president of ASME certainly wasn't something she dreamed of as a young engineer.

  • How Utilities are Improving Outage Preparation
    Staying Ahead of the Storm: How Utilities are Improving Outage Preparation
    Apr 22, 2014 | Jeff Lewis

    The number of record-breaking storms since 2011, especially in the Northeast, has brought much attention to utilities and their ability to handle emergency response. As millions of Americans have been battling power outages and energy supply shortages due to this season's record low temperatures, consumers are wondering what the weather might bring next and if their local power company will be prepared.

  • Microgrids Introduce Issues for Utilities
    Apr 17, 2014 | Ralph Masiello

    Microgrids are gaining traction among large utility customers, and this is an exciting and fundamental advancement in the evolution toward smart grids. Companies have begun deploying microgrids to improve energy security, reduce energy costs and lower emissions and thanks to technology advancements, their deployments can be practical and economical.

  • Peak Coal
    Apr 15, 2014 | Ronald R. Cooke

    Comments about coal are usually not complimentary. Despite our dependence on it as a source of heat for electric power generation, environmentalists wish it would go away. On the other hand, advocates like to claim we have more than 110 years of coal left - "at present rates of consumption". Both sides are overlooking crucial points. Let's see if we can clarify the future use of coal as a fossil fuel resource.

    Comments: 2
  • Best Practices in Demand Response
    Apr 10, 2014 | James Moore, Ph.D.

    One of the most effective and widely available ways to reduce electricity costs and consumption is participation in demand response programs; however, a large gap exists between interest levels and actual participation in such programs.

    Comments: 1
  • Apr 10, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Patti Mason, director of advocacy for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Colorado, writes that "energy costs—unlike salaries—are actually one of the few expenses that can be decreased without having to negatively affect classroom instruction." Here's how Colorado is leading the way.

  • A conversation with Henry S. Kenchington, Department of Energy
    Henry S. Kenchington, Department of Energy
    Apr 08, 2014 | Staff Writer

    How do you see grid modernization developing in the U.S. through 2020? What should utilities be doing right now to modernize for the future? Henry S. Kenchington, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Advanced Grid Integration in the Office of Electricity Deliverability & Energy Reliability at the Department of Energy responds.

  • Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
    Apr 03, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.

  • Using Analytics
    Using Analytics with Asset Management Strategy
    Apr 01, 2014 | Mike Smith

    During the last three to five years, we have seen asset management-long entrenched in the domain of the tactically-oriented O & M department-become a key part of a utility's strategy. From justifying rates cases to long-term planning and budgeting, asset managers are now in the "strategy business."

  • Eyes wide shut
    Are utilities underestimating the impact of new technologies & new entrants?
    Mar 26, 2014 | Jack Azagury

    To say that the traditional utility model is at a crossroads is perhaps an understatement.  Following the drop in energy demand after the financial crisis and continued regulatory pressure to reduce rates, as well as the proliferation of distributed solar power across Europe, Australia and the west coast of the US and adverse weather effects in North America, not to mention the moratorium on nuclear generation in Germany and Japan, and the continued pressure on power prices in North America due to the abundance of cheap natural gas, there has been significant pressure on utility earnings in most parts of the world.