Why Shared, Driverless Vehicles Will Be Electric

In a chapter about electric vehicles from our recently published 2016 Annual Looking Forward Report, we introduced and explained the “SHEAM” model, which some analysts think will lead to widespread adoption of electric vehicles.  “SHEAM” stands for shared, electric, autonomous mobility. We explained that some think that electric vehicles will …

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Illinois Helps Spur New Distributed Solar Generation

In June 2015, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) conducted a successful procurement for renewable energy credits (RECs) from new, in state, distributed solar photovoltaic generation resources. Distributed generation differs from utility-scale generation in that it is smaller and connected at the distribution grid—think rooftop solar panels on residences and commercial …

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The Shale Gas “Export” Revolution

Could the next phase of the Shale Gas Revolution be exporting natural gas as LNG?  There appears to be significant interest based on recent approvals of six LNG export terminals by FERC, five of which are currently under construction.1  In addition, applications for 18 LNG export terminals are currently pending …

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The Second Democratization of Electricity

More than 100 years ago, Samuel Insull “democratized” electricity by establishing the business practices and regulatory rules that ultimately would make electricity available to and affordable for all Americans. The cornerstone business practice was the pursuit of economies of scale and scope. He knew that making power plants bigger than …

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Are Decentralized Resources an Existential Competitive Threat to the Grid?

One year ago this month, British investment bank Barclays downgraded bonds from the entire U.S. electricity sector solely, it wrote, because of “a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage” which “is likely to disrupt the status quo.”(1) Barclays stated that …

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