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Electricity: Areas of Focus

RMI develops practical solutions that have the potential to accelerate the transformation of the U.S. electricity system to one that is efficient, renewable, customer-centric and incorporates a mix of centralized and distributed resources. RMI focuses on the distribution end of the value chain since these resources, including efficiency, decentralized solar, electric vehicles, and intelligent grid management, can be truly transformative and since the role of these resources represents the biggest gap in the industry today.

Our work seeks to answer key questions in four distinct yet highly related areas:

Core Initiative Work

Dedicated to developing optimal system solutions, we focus on the successful integration of a portfolio of clean energy resources, and the institutional changes needed to enable it.

  • How can we achieve the greatest value from distributed resource deployment?
  • What changes to the regulatory construct will most effectively align utility and societal goals and incentives?
  • How can we harmonize business models of utilities and distributed resource developers?

Electric Vehicles

RMI’s Project Get Ready works with cities and experts to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles.

  • What technical innovations, policies or regulations, and investment are required to make electric vehicles viewed as a significant opportunity for utilities?
  • How do cities, utilities, and private enterprises identify and overcome the critical barriers to adoption?
  • How can fleets and fleet operators share experiences and best practices related to electric vehicle integration to accelerate mass-market adoption?

Decentralized Solar

RMI’s solar program works to accelerate photovoltaic (PV) deployment across the U.S.

  • How can the solar industry reduce non-module ("balance of system") costs to increase adoption?
  • What must happen to increase investor confidence to ease access to lower-cost capital with lower transaction costs?
  • How can utilities better incorporate distributed, on-site solar PV generation into their operations and business model?

Utility Efficiency Programs

RMI is working with the efficiency industry to help utilities achieve unprecedented levels of savings with their programs.

  • How can utility efficiency programs be designed to maximize breadth and depth of savings?
  • How can the regulatory structures that govern utility efficiency efforts create the right incentives to encourage utilities to pursue all cost-effective efficiency?
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