CHICAGO, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI) released a new book today, Thought Leaders Speak Out: Key Trends Driving Change in the Electric Power Industry, featuring 12 essays by electric power company, technology, and policy thought leaders focused on the key trends driving the transformation of the electric power industry today. The book is the second volume of IEI's Key Trends Driving Change in the Electric Power Industry series, with many of its essays drawn from IEI's most recent Powering the People summit. The book was released during the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in Chicago.
"The electric power sector is undergoing a period of tremendous transformation," said the book's editor and Edison Foundation Vice President and Institute for Electric Innovation Executive Director, Lisa Wood. "This new book examines some of the drivers of the change underway in the industry – the need to collaborate and innovate with customers nimbly and creatively; to lead in the application of smart storage; and to look beyond traditional electricity service boundaries toward smarter cities. Taken together, these new trends show how the smart grid is a critical building block to more innovation with customers, with communities, and with technology."
Innovating with Customers: Offering innovative customer solutions is the new normal in the energy industry. From large corporate buyers with sustainability goals, to small customers who want specific types of energy services, to military bases and the communities that support them, electric companies are offering their customers more individualized services and innovative solutions than ever before.
Smart Storage, Smart Cities, Smarter Grid: Society is demanding a clean, sustainable energy economy. The smart grid is the backbone of this new economy, enabling the integration of all sorts of new technologies that permit cities to utilize data and technology solutions to drive efficiencies, increase sustainability, enhance customer participation, and improve community life. Additionally, energy storage will play a large role in the evolving smart grid by enabling greater and more efficient use of renewable energy, among many other uses.
Energy Future: The path to the future is never quite clear, but we know that our society and our economy are more dependent than ever on electricity, and our customers want safe, reliable, increasingly clean, and affordable energy. Our energy future will require more collaboration with technology companies to innovate and bring customers the services they want.
Below are excerpts from several of the essays in the book:
"The electric power industry has begun a remarkable era of self-reinvention … All of us in the energy arena need to work together as never before to build a system that benefits all customers. It's imperative that we get this right." –Edison International President Pedro J. Pizarro
"The electric power industry has a proud past. With our eyes on the future, we believe energy companies need to: Go beyond reliability – by producing greater resiliency; Produce electricity in ways that are increasingly in concert with the environment; Offer universal access not just to natural gas and electricity, but to tools and innovations that allow customers to lower their bills; And accomplish all of the above while working to keep electricity affordable. It's no small challenge. But if we get it right, we have the opportunity to create a robust energy sustainability model for our nation's future." – PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo
"Large corporate buyers are aware that utilities can bring substantive value to the customer relationship. The utility is expert at power purchasing, deeply experienced at integrating power into the system, and is a reliable partner as well as being financially stable. These attributes make corporate buyers open to exploring solutions with their utility – provided that utility is nimble, solution-oriented, and customer-centric. The result has been a boom in special contracts and green tariffs that mirror the overall growth in corporate renewable energy purchasing." – World Resources Institute Director of Utility Innovation Letha Tawney
"With the increased proliferation of renewables and the Internet of Things, from onsite generation to smart thermostats, customers expect more choices and control than ever before. When paired with intelligent software, energy storage allows customers to integrate their service, energy resources, and energy-using devices into one self-optimizing platform that responds to price signals, cutting energy costs and making these energy resources available to the power grid when they are most valuable." – Stem CEO and Director John Carrington
"To help lead the smart city movement, electric utilities need to be principal players in implementing what we might call the next generation power grid, an active and intuitive grid that responds to system changes and makes decisions in real-time at the edges of the distribution network. This enhanced power grid will facilitate more efficient transactions with minimal transaction costs, will apply smart technology to Internet-of-Things (IoT)-ready networks, and will allow electric utilities to achieve efficiencies and reduced carbon emissions, while also providing a platform to make communities more livable and smooth functioning. Electric utilities are a key driver to economic prosperity. Today, they have a unique opportunity to lead the smart city revolution."
– Itron Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Global Software, Services and Smart Cities Russell Vanos
The book is available here.
The Institute for Electric Innovation focuses on advancing the adoption and application of new technologies that will strengthen and transform the power grid. The Institute's members are the investor-owned electric companies that represent about 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. The membership is committed to an affordable, reliable, secure, and clean energy future. For more information, please visit www.EdisonFoundation.net.
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SOURCE The Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation