Apparently, Friday was pretty crazy in San Francisco because of the power outage. As awful as the loss of business and deadlocked traffic was, it must have been nice for workers to get the day off and get an opportunity to enjoy the amazing weather outside. At least that’s what I assume. I wouldn’t know. Despite being on a block full of buildings that lost power, our office was operating normally. Yay. No power outage for us. Thanks, PG&E. I’m so grateful and not bitter at all…
On to the news:
Hello all! A big thank you to everyone who came out for the electric rates talk last week. And of course special thanks to Colin Kerrigan of PG&E and Whitney Richardson of the CPUC for dropping knowledge about this very thorny, complex, and important issue.
In the news last week:
“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and Power Trip round tables. Well, two out of the three, anyways.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m a little shaky on the rules around paraphrasing and attribution, so forgive me if I’m a bit off on the quote above. In any case, make sure you pay your taxes this week and also come out to our April round table discussion.
We’ll be meeting Tuesday, April 11th at the Nexant office (101 Second St, 10th floor, San Francisco) starting at 6:30pm. A group of very knowledgeable folks who understand the electric rate making process from the perspectives of both the utility and the regulator will be on hand to help you understand where rates come from, current trends, and any other questions you might have. Please RSVP here if you are interested in attending:
On to the news!
Happy April! Spring has sprung and it’s too darn hot out. But you know what’s even hotter? Electric rates.
Veteran Power Trippers will remember that Thomas Yu of Advanced Microgrid Solutions and I gave a talk on how electric rates in California are made a couple years back. I can say, without exaggeration, that this talk was yuge. We learned about how rate cases work and how marginal cost pricing works, and the discussion was super fun and super engaging (which is pretty amazing considering that we were talking about electric rates).
And so we’ve decided to do it again, but this time at an even yuger scale. Mark your calendars for April 11th, 6:30 PM (location to be announced soon), because we are doing another roundtable on electric rates . Only this time, we have even more smart, rad people to lend their perspectives and experience:
- Whitney Richardson, a PURA at the CPUC and an expert on residential rate reform
- Tysen Streib from PG&E, analytics guru in PG&E’s electric rates department
- Colin Kerrigan from PG&E, analytics guru number two in PG&E’s Customer Care department
- And of course those rates-lovin’ knuckleheads, Thomas and myself.
Please RSVP here if you are interested in attending:
Now for the news:
-The winds are too damn high! The Southern Power Pool has more wind energy than it knows what to do with. That’s the challenge of integrating highly variable and intermittent resources: matching supply with demand at all times.
-Solar PV only produces energy during the day — for now. Scientists in China are developing a new PV material that can store certain wavelengths of light during sunny days and release them during cloudy days or nights.
-A very well-written and comprehensive article on the current state of the grid and what we should do about it. This is also a good article to explain grid fundamentals to your friends and relatives who aren’t as immersed in this stuff as we are:
So it has recently come to my attention that there is an up and coming thrash metal band that has the same name as our illustrious group. I’ve been listening to their new album and it’s pretty good. In fact, I’ve decided that Power Trip (the band) is now the official thrash metal band of Power Trip (the networking group).
If you have not-terrible taste in music and cannot stand thrash, please do not be alarmed by this development. We will not actually be playing any thrash metal at any of our events or featuring it in this newsletter. What it does mean, however, is that we can piggyback off of Power Trip’s (the band) merchandise website. So if you ever wanted a Power Trip-branded skull-emblazoned flask or a Power Trip-branded Viking-themed shirt, you’re now in luck. Just be aware that when Power Trip (the band) plays at the New Parish in Oakland on April 6th, that’s not a Power Trip (the networking group) sanctioned happy hour. Mosh at your own risk.
On to the (non-metal) news!
Hope everyone has recovered from all the traditional Saint Patrick’s day praying.
In non-green-beer-related news:
Lately, one of my favorite curmudgeonly phrases is “What fresh hell is this?”. It was, inadvertently, the first thing that came out of my mouth this morning when my alarm went off while it was still pretty dark outside. Screw you, daylight savings time.
But then I remembered that this week also marks the start of the most wonderful time of year: March Madness. We’ll once again be doing a Power Trip group on ESPN, with the first place finisher getting a free drink at a future happy hour. To enter, click here. The password is “notoffthegrid”. Don’t forget to enter and fill out your brackets before Thursday. Entry is free, unless you’re betting on Duke in which case you’re basically selling your soul.
Also, quick reminder that our March happy hour will be tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14th at 6pm. We will be meeting at The Irish Bank (10 Mark Ln, just off of Bush St near the intersection of Bush and Kearny).
On to the news!
Hi-diddly-ho there, Power Tripperinos! Welcome to the last post before Daylight Savings Time (happening this Sunday March 12th), aka every energy analyst’s least favorite thing. There’s no better way to make really complicated TOU tariffs even more complicated than to shift time around arbitrarily like some sort of mischievous, cackling time-imp.
Also! Our bimonthly happy hour is coming up on Tuesday March 14th at 6 PM in San Francisco. Exact location to be announced soon.
Happy Presidents Day! I think most folks have the day off today, so hopefully you’re out enjoying all the rain this day has to offer.
Thanks to everyone who came out last week for our roundtable on energy storage economics, led by Thomas Yu. It was great learning about the subject through a variety of perspectives on the various value streams that energy storage taps into, so thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion.
On to the news:
Happy Valentine’s Eve, y’all! A reminder that Thomas Yu of Advanced Microgrid Solutions will be leading a discussion on the economics of energy storage. The talk will be at the Nexant office (101 Second St, 10th floor, San Francisco) starting at 6:30pm on Tues, Feb 14th. A trail of artfully scattered rose petals will guide your way to the event. Disclaimer: this event is BYO scented candles and Barry White LP’s.
Building security will need the names of those who plan on attending, so please RSVP for the event (even if you are on the fence about attending): https://goo.gl/forms/2vxClkTLIK6xHK1Z2
Despite the collapse of American democracy, the energy industry still seems to be humming along. Here’s what happened last week:
- In our fair state of California, a lot of noise is made about the solar “cost shift” and its purported existential threat to utilities. A new report from LBNL basically says not to worry just yet, because the costs are relatively small. And a different DOE report says that the benefits of solar and other DER’s are poorly understood and unsystematically valued, meaning that it would be super useful to come up with a logical pricing mechanism to quantify the grid benefits of these technologies:
- Some conservatives are embracing the carbon tax, claiming it’s consistent with “the principles of free-market economics and limited government.”
- From the consumer’s perspective, energy (including heating, transport, and electricity) is cheaper than ever before. Due to a combination of increased gas production, fuel economy, and generating capacity, and a decrease in renewables’ cost, less than 4% of annual household spending is on energy: