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Batteries, Disasters, and Future of the Grid: Biggest Stories on Energy Central’s ‘Grid Professionals Group’ for the Past Month

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Because Energy Central brings together professionals from across different regions, backgrounds, and parts of the utility sector, I often find that the mix of thought leadership contributed and links suggested provide a unique insight into the state of the energy sector as a whole. Specifically, the types of stories submitted to this Grid Professionals Group can effectively cut to the core of what those in charge of keeping the grid operational and planning for the grid of tomorrow find a top priority.

With that in mind, I’ve combed through the past four weeks of articles submitted to come up with the stories that have generated the most discussion, come up the most frequently, and more or less struck a nerve with and caught the attention of our Grid Professionals Group.

 

Energy Storage- What Role Will It Play on the Grid?

For those studying development and investments in grid technologies, it comes as no surprise that energy storage is one of the most frequently discussed topics as well as the one that generates the most debate.

Over the course of the past month, some of the most active stories on Energy Central have been ‘Why the Future of Energy Storage for Grid Isn’t Batteries’ and ‘Battery Storage—An Infinitesimal Part of Electric Power.’ Both of these stories challenge the assumption that lithium ion batteries will play a large role in the grid of tomorrow, with the former story instead arguing for thermal storage and the latter arguing that electricity storage should not be considered a long-term plan for the grid.

The reasoned arguments of the authors, combined with the community members who jumped into the conversation to offer their contrary point of view, prove that this topic is not only a critical one, but an area where the science, the economics, and the future outlook is anything but settled. I look forward to continuing to read these debates on the pages of Energy Central moving forward, particularly as new developments arise in the industry.

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Grid-wide Disaster- Preparations and Recovery

When speaking of the electric grid, disaster can cause problems for the grid or problems for the grid can be the disaster themselves. One story that dealt with natural disasters regarding the grid was the article ‘How the Energy Industry Can Prepare for Natural Disasters.’ The author of this story examined how important grid resilience is in today’s society, highlighting how natural disasters of any kind can interrupt delivery of energy. Whether that’s through fuels being unable to be transported or downed grid equipment, disaster response is of high priority and luckily such emergency preparedness does not seem to be debate on whether it’s worthwhile.

Another sort of disaster story developed this past week during the still-unexplained power outages in New York City. When the city that never sleeps is forced into darkness, the world is wont to pay attention. Luckily, most customers had their power restored within 4 or 5 hours this past Saturday night, but the economic effects and potential risks from longer-term outages in cities became a topic of discussion, this one instance serving as an important catalyst. Energy Central community members submitted a number of articles highlighting the story, the reaction, and what might done to prevent it in the future, including ‘The Manhattan Blackout Proved How Fragile Our Infrastructure Is’ and ‘Power Failure Hits New York on Anniversary of 1977 Outage.’

 

Grid of the Future

A last topic that’s always a popular one on Energy Central is prognostications and prescriptions for the future of the energy grid. Looking at market, tech, and policy developments today gives some insight into what the grid of tomorrow might look like, and there’s never any shortage of intrigue, declarations of the next big thing, or recommendations.

In his article “How will the energy market look by 2023,” Chen Yehoshua gets right to the point in offering his vision for what changes are coming to the grid in the coming years. Distributed generation, behind the meter generation, and technology disruptors looking to solve the climate crisis are all avenues he sees on the horizon.

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Meanwhile, Monishka Narayan submitted the article ‘WA drives smart grid solutions’ that details how we are at the cusp of many fundamental changes thanks to new technologies, customer demand for clean energy, and home-based solutions. In an industry long known for its institutional inertia, these types of evolutions as we look go the grid of the future are sure to continue to capture imaginations and foster lively discussions.

 

Were there any issues related to the grid you expected to hear more about on Energy Central? Are there any topics you want to be sure we get to in the coming month? Be sure to let us know in the comments below or feel free to reach out to me directly!

  • Matt Chester, Community Manager
Matt Chester's picture

Thank Matt for the Post!

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