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Top Grid Voice for 2018 – Stuart McCafferty

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Every week thought leaders, working in the power industry, dedicate their time and resources to contribute their insights with the Energy Central Communities. 

So, who stood out in 2018 and who should you be reading? 

Over the next several weeks we will be introducing you to some of these leaders and their top contributions.   We hope you will take a minute to learn a little about them, read a few of their shared insights and perhaps start a discussion through commenting on their post.  

Please meet Stuart, one of our top voices for the Grid Community in 2018:

A little bit about Stuart: 

What you like to write about?

I genuinely like to write, and the majority of my stories are about current trends, technologies, and their application to solving real world problems.  Energy Central has been a wonderful platform for publishing ideas and getting feedback from smart readers – often with different points of view or perspectives.  The disruption and transformation our industry is experiencing is complex.  I learn a lot from readers, colleagues, and clients.   We have great discussions, white board sessions, and learn from each other. 

Post or posts you are most proud of?

Frankly, I’m not sure that any single one of them stands out to me.  They were all different.  I wrote an article on DER Singularity, another on robots as customers, and finished 2018 with the DSO Models for Utility Stakeholders white paper.  The last one took me the longest and required the most research, so I would pick that one if I had to choose.  But the others were intended to be humorous – and a bit provocative.  I’m kind of proud of all of them, frankly.

When do you do your best writing?

All of my writing is done when I’m working from my home office.  I play rock music and that helps me lock out distractions and focus on what I’m trying to say.  I tend to write better during work hours, but often find myself jotting down ideas in the evenings while watching TV.

How do you measure success?

If we are talking about my articles, I feel successful when I get over 2000 views or when they generate some discussion.  I just want to move the needle even a little bit – one reader at a time – to get them thinking or laughing.

One thing most readers may not know about you?

I’m funny.  No, really I am!  No one seems to realize that no matter how hard I try to convince them! 

Your favorite story of 2018?

There were a bunch of good stories last year.  The fires in California.  The rapid adoption of DER.  Self-driving vehicles.  5G.  The automotive industry’s scramble to embrace electric vehicles.  Cyber security and privacy issues.  I don’t know.  I’m all over the map and read a LOT.  Hard to pick just one.

What story fell flat in 2018?

Besides all the articles I wrote, the other story that fell flat was about Microsoft purchasing GitHub.  That’s fascinating and makes my mind race with what they plan to do with it.  Look out Amazon Web Services!

Best book you read in 2018?

I read several good books last year.  Read a good one about practical application of blockchain.  Read another about Amazon’s 14 principles.  But, the one that actually inspired one of my own articles was Ray Kurtweil’s “The Singularity is Near”.  That book was pretty hard to read, but it absolutely fascinated me and made me really do some deep thinking on artificial intelligence and how accurate Kurtzweil’s predictions appear.  I’m also a huge Elon Musk fan, so his crazy YouTube rant about AI and his fear that we have already gone too far to stop the evil it could bring, really gave me goosebumps.

Important stories to watch for in 2019?

Well, 5G for sure.  EnergyIoT, transactive energy, and our industry’s efforts to merge IT and OT.  Distribution System Operator (DSO) organizational models will get a lot of attention.  OpenFMB and grid asset peer-to-peer communication.  In front of and behind the meter Distributed Energy Resource (DER) coordination.  Smart contracts and blockchain.  I’ll do my best to share new articles on some of these subjects and hopefully have some healthy discussions!

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