Reversing the Smart Grid Brain Drain

By Marc Marton

apprenticeship2Throughout the Great Recession and ongoing sluggish recovery, we’ve heard more about job loss and the ugly straights of the unemployed than we have heard about the many thousands of available jobs going unfilled because candidates lack necessary skills. For utilities in the smart grid era, this is a matter of concern as many experienced, skilled professionals are expected to retire in the coming years or be poached by vendors.  Further complicating matters is the gradual shift away from degreed studies in power engineering.

It’s a core problem of the energy economy that is brought up on a regular basis but there never seems to be a real solution to address it.

Here’s one.


Plumbing the Depths: Water Utilities Enter the Consumer Engagement Era

By Peter Manos

Peter1_62712A few years ago, I visited the ruins in Pompeii, Italy, shortly after visiting the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of New York. I learned that in the 1870s to 1900’s typhoid was common in our country’s largest city. Before central water supply service, tenements on Manhattan’s lower east side had outhouses and drinking water wells in the same backyard. In contrast, I learned that people in Pompeii 2,000 years ago had clean drinking water service and separate sewer service to their homes. I wondered: why had our infrastructure advanced so little between Italy circa 70 AD and New York City, 18 centuries later?


Olympic Athletes Focus on Gold, Venues on Green

By Eleni Herrington

nakedolympicsTens of Millions of viewers are expected to tune in for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Friday, July 27. And while most viewers and athletes alike are single-mindedly focused on gold, it just so happens that green is an equally-popular color at this year’s games. In fact, the 2012 Olympics have been dubbed the world’s first “Green Olympics.”

So what has London done to deserve this title? A lot.


Catastrophic Recovery Readiness: Will Utilities put Department of Homeland Security’s UICDS solution to the test?

Major earthquake simulation exercise in California could set stage for better emergency response communications nationwide
By Nancy Broe

NancyBlog512 For the first time ever in a Golden Guardian scenario (California’s annual response simulation), power providers will have access to software developed by the Department of Homeland Security to facilitate communication and information-sharing based on NIMS (National Incident Management System) procedures.


Getting The BUGS Out: The Untapped Potential of Grid Connected Distributed Energy Resources

by Marc Marton

CzechBug12oClockUtilities across the U.S. will adjust to this summer’s heat by bringing additional peaking capacity online with an assist from demand side reduction programs.  In Japan, fossil fuel plants, load shifting and conservation will be filling in the gap left by its nuclear capacity as the country’s last plant was taken off line on May 5.
In both cases, existing resources will be employed to cope with severe conditions at a sizeable cost.  It would be interesting to see the difference made by largely untapped distributed energy resources, or DG, in either situation under a microgrid structure for intelligent, localized power delivery.


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