Associated with my serving as a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Institute of Sustainable Energy at Boston University, I was recently asked to speak at their “Utility of the Future” series.
The resulting talk wasn’t recorded, but I was subsequently asked if I could upload it onto the Internet to register it for posterity. Since I didn’t think the slides could stand on their own without commentary, I have written a blog post on the ISE website to summarize my remarks.
In short, I believe the electricity industry (at least in the U.S. and other countries with already-developed electricity infrastructure) is gradually evolving to a “grid-of-grids”, in which the electricity delivery network will increasingly be able to split apart and recombine instantly and seamlessly for high resilience while being powered by large quantities of intermittent renewable energy resources (e.g., wind and solar) backed up by storage devices.
My talk, entitled “Pathway to the ‘Grid of Grids'”, describes this vision in further detail, although it leaves open both the pace and specific nature of the transition.
While I wouldn’t hold my breath for this vision to come fully to fruition (probably not in my lifetime), the presentation was intended to express a view of the industry’s logical end-state — something for us all to be aiming for when figuring out how best each of us can make a difference in driving towards a reliable zero-carbon electricity system.