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Energy and Resources - Electricity 71 Items

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Stepping Up: Benefits and Cost of Accelerating Fort Collins' Energy and Climate Goals

Report or White Paper, 2014
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/80FortCollinsReport-WEB_2014-02

This report examines the opportunity for accelerating Fort Collins’ energy and climate goals to reflect the community’s values while capturing economic, social, and environmental benefits. In the five years since Fort Collins initially established its current greenhouse gas emissions goals, rapid changes in the cost and availability of clean, energy efficient technologies, together with the emergence of new business models and financing methods for implementing these measures, have dramatically shifted the solutions space for addressing the community’s energy needs. The cost of solar panels, for example, has fallen nearly 75% since 2008, with further dramatic declines yet to come; the retail price for energy- efficient LED lightbulbs has fallen by 50% in the past year. These and other changes have opened the door for the City to implement new solutions to reduce emissions and waste, stimulate local economic development, improve security, and reduce risk. This analysis indicates that, in the accelerated scenario, Fort Collins can achieve an approximate 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, two decades ahead of its existing 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target. In doing so, the community could: • reduce building energy use by 31% through efficiency, • achieve a carbon neutral electricity system by 2030, and • reduce transportation energy use by 48%.

 

Rate Design for the Distribution Edge: Electricity Pricing for A Distributed Resource Future

Report or White Paper, 2014
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2014-25_eLab-RateDesignfortheDistributionEdge-Full-highres

The U.S. electricity system is on the cusp of fundamental change, driven by rapidly improving cost effectiveness of technologies that increase customers’ ability to efficiently manage, store, and generate electricity in homes and buildings. With growing adoption of these technologies, the electricity system is shifting toward a future in which the deployment and operation of distributed energy resources (DERs)1 will have far-reaching implications for grid operation, investment, and security. Yet, there is a looming disconnect between the rapidly evolving new world of distributed energy technologies and the old world of electricity pricing, where relatively little has changed since the early 20th century. By changing electricity pricing to more fully reflect the benefits and costs of electricity services exchanged between customers and the grid, utilities and regulators can unleash new waves of innovation in distributed energy resource investment that will help to reduce costs while maintaining or increasing system resilience and reliability.

 

Executive Summary: Rate Design for the Distribution Edge: Electricity Pricing for A Distributed Resource Future

Report or White Paper, 2014
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2014-26_eLab-RateDesignfortheDistributionEdge-ExecSum-highres

The U.S. electricity system is on the cusp of fundamental change, driven by rapidly improving cost effectiveness of technologies that increase customers’ ability to efficiently manage, store, and generate electricity in homes and buildings. With growing adoption of these technologies, the electricity system is shifting toward a future in which the deployment and operation of distributed energy resources (DERs)w will have far-reaching implications for grid operation, investment, and security.

 

Heat Pumps: An alternative to oil heat for the Northeast

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-05_HeatPumps

Heating oil is an economic drain on the Northeast region of the US. Users of heating oil are at a crossroads, as the fuel is increasingly untenable for long-term use. Heat pumps are an attractive alternative to heating oil. While there are some barriers to the widespread adoption of heat pumps, states can take steps to address these barriers. Reducing the upfront cost of heat pumps will drive the industry toward self-sufficiency and resolve many of the other barriers.

 

New Business Models for the Distribution Edge (eLab New Business Models Report)

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-06_eLabNewBusinessModels

This e-Lab discussion paper was prepared to support e-Lab deliberations and discussions and to engender a broader industry-wide dialogue about new approaches to the utility business model ecosystem at the distribution edge. This paper describes 1) how and why the forces changing the electricity system challenge existing pricing and business models, 2) principles that should guide the creation of new business models, and 3) the emerging “solution set” of new business models.

 

Building the Electricity System of the Future: Fort Collins and FortZED

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-07_FCFZFinalReport

Fort Collins Utilities has been working to meet its clean energy goals including a flagship effort, called FortZED, to build a net zero energy district in downtown Fort Collins. Fort Collins Utilities and its partners worked with the Electricity Innovation Lab (e-Lab) to design and carry-out a two-day charrette on November 7th and 8th, 2012. The charrette team identified innovative solutions to some of Fort Collins’ most difficult challenges around planning, investment, and execution of efficiency and renewable energy.

 

eLab Annual Report 2012-2013

Annual Report, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-14_eLabAnnualReport

In its first year, eLab made significant strides towards building the capacity of change agents in the electricity sector, fostering the development of new ideas and solutions, and engaging directly with leaders to test and implement new ideas that can ultimately scale broadly throughout the industry.

 

Electricity Distribution Grid Evaluator (EDGE) Model

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-02_EDGEModel

This paper describes the Electricity Distribution Evaluator (EDGE) model, a MATLAB-based simulation tool developed by RMI and designed to comprehensively assess the DER value proposition in different regulatory and utility business model environments based on a detailed assessment of the technical and operational implications. Though designed to study an individual utility or region, the model maintains the flexibility to be adapted for use with many different utilities or regions. The ability to alter the model’s parameters allows RMI to identify conditions that optimize value, and to test the effects of new, innovative business models and rate structures. The EDGE model provides an analytical basis for assessment of the costs and values created by all resources, including DERs.

 

Advancing Military Microgrids

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-15_NavyReport

The U.S. Navy is leading the way in the technical and economic testing and validation of microgrid technology as it looks for new ways to bolster the energy security on Naval bases. Much of the Navy’s leadership in this area will emanate from demonstrations happening on its U.S. bases located in the Southwest. As these bases begin to experiment with the technology, they face several major questions around microgrid design, evaluation, economics, and operation. To begin to address these questions, NAVFAC Southwest worked with e-Lab on the design and execution of a two-day workshop April 16–17, 2013. Drawing on key stakeholders from inside the Navy and experts from outside, the workshop team identified five findings: NAVFAC Southwest is still developing a strategy to implement energy security goals stated by the Department of the Navy, Current approaches to renewable energy procurement place emphasis on utility-scale resources, which may not support efforts to bolster energy security through microgrids, Investment in expanding controls presents a near-term opportunity to begin to build toward microgrids while mitigating price risk, Microgrids connected at the distribution level are likely to incur high transaction costs to enable participation in electricity markets, Several entrenched barriers must be addressed to enable microgrid adoption across the Navy

 

Reducing Solar PV Soft Cost: Focus on Installation Labor

Report or White Paper, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-16_SimpleBoSRpt

Distributed solar energy is a key enabler of the affordable, resilient, secure, and low-carbon electricity future Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) advocates in Reinventing Fire.1 However, in order for distributed solar to play its role, a number of changes must transpire. The most pressing of these changes is for solar costs to come down to U.S. Department of Energy SunShot levels that enable deployment of cost-effective solar systems across the U.S. Between 2008 and 2012, the price of sub-10-kilowatt rooftop systems decreased 37%. However, over 80% of the cost decline is attributable to decreasing solar PV module costs.2 Of the average $4.93/W3 cost of a residential rooftop solar system, over 60% of the total is now attributable to “soft costs,” including those associated with installation labor; permitting, inspection, and interconnection (PII); customer acquisition; financing costs; and installer / integrator margin.4 With module and inverter costs predicted to stabilize at relatively low levels between now and 2020, these soft costs must come down in order for solar energy to be cost competitive across the U.S.

 

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