Utilities for dummies
The current utility business model is standing in the way of a low-carbon future. In this series, David Roberts explains how utilities work and why that needs to change.
Stories in this series:
Rooftop solar panels and other distributed-energy tools will radically shake up the power sector, according to an unusually frank report from a utility trade group.
Distributed power threatens to send utilities into a death spiral. Naturally, they would like to slow it down. Is there any way for distributed energy and utilities to get along? Maybe!
San Antonio's municipal utility wants to slash the subsidy it provides for rooftop solar power, which would be bad news for the fledgling solar-installation industry.
Utilities are fighting with solar advocates over an obscure but important policy called "net metering." Here's what's at stake, and why it matters.
Utilities are boring and opaque, but central to any clean-energy future. So it's time to demystify them. Here's a plainspoken intro to how they work, and why.
The electricity system is currently set up as a dumb commodity system to provide cheap power. What we need is a smart system to provide energy services. To get there, we have to change utilities.
Utilities are threatened by innovation at the "distribution edge" of the grid. Here's a closer look at those innovations and what they mean.
The U.S. electricity system is becoming more complex and democratic. That means utilities will have to change, but they can still prosper. Here's how.
If you're as fascinated by utilities as we are, you'll want to follow these links to more reports and articles covering the spread of distributed energy and utilities' efforts to adapt.