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Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
Energy and Resources 214 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, and capture 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%.

 

The Economics of Grid Defection: When and Where Distributed Solar Generation Plus Storage Competes with Traditional Utility Service (4-Pager)

Fact-sheet or One-pager, 2014
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/RMI_GridDefection-4pager_2014-06

4 Page fact sheet detailing the spiral of falling sales and rising electricity prices that make defection via solar-plus systems even more attractive and undermine utilities' traditional business models

 

The Economics of Grid Defection: When and Where Distributed Solar Generation Plus Storage Competes with Traditional Utility Service

Report or White Paper, 2014
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/RMIGridDefectionFull_2014-05

Though many utilities rightly see the impending arrival of solar-plus-battery grid parity as a threat, they could also see such systems as an opportunity to add value to the grid and their business models. The important next question is how utilities might adjust their existing business models or adopt new business models—either within existing regulatory frameworks or under an evolved regulatory landscape—to tap into and maximize new sources of value that build the best electricity system of the future at lowest cost to serve customers and society. These questions will be the subject of a forthcoming companion piece.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The economics of a US civilian nuclear phase-out

Journal or Magazine Article, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-09_BulletinAtomicScientists

In the United States, which trades three-fifths of its electricity in competitive markets, the prohibitive capital cost of new nuclear power plants ensures that only a handful will be built. Nonetheless, with 40-year licenses being extended to 60 years, the 104 existing reactors’ relatively low generating costs are widely expected to justify decades of continued operation. But the generating costs of aging reactors have been rising, while competitors, including modern renewables, show rapidly falling total costs—and those opposed cost curves have begun to intersect. An expanding fraction of well-running nuclear plants is now challenged to compete with moderating wholesale power prices, while plants needing major repairs or located in regions rich in wind power increasingly face difficult choices of whether to run or close. Thus, even without events that might accelerate nuclear phase-out, as the Fukushima disaster did in Germany, shifting competitive conditions have begun to drive a gradual US nuclear phase-out. Its economics are illuminated by a detailed energy scenario that needs no nuclear energy, coal, or oil and one-third less natural gas to run a 158 percent bigger US economy in 2050—but cuts carbon emissions by 82 to 86 percent and costs $5 trillion less. That scenario’s 80-percent-renewable, 50-percent-distributed, equally reliable, and more resilient electricity system would cost essentially the same as a business-as-usual version that sustains nuclear and coal power, but it would better manage all the system’s risks. Similarly comprehensive modeling could also analyze faster nuclear phase-out if desired.

 

The Atlantic Mann Rebuttal

Journal or Magazine Article, 2013
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2013-08_AtlanticMannRebuttal

On April 24, 2013, The Atlantic ran a cover feature by writer Charles C. Mann, “What If We Never Run Out of Oil?” The piece contained a number of inaccuracies, to which Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist Amory B. Lovins responded in a rebuttal the magazine posted on May 13, 2013. One day later, Mann offered a counter of his own, but perpetuated a range of errors. In this definitive reply, Lovins sets the record straight.

 

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.

 

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