lunes, enero 31, 2011

How to Get Utilities and Regulators Out of Their Comfort Zones and Fixations

In order to get utilities and especially public utilities commissions “out of their comfort zones and fixations” and “to raise the quality of their games,” I repeat my suggestions in the post The New California Capitalist Model to Initiate the Transformation of the Global Power Industry . That post, written to respond Kate Rowland’s challenge of August 16, 2010, was based on a quote made by Peter Darbee, CEO and president of PG&E Corporation, which said:

As we go forward, I think the stakes are very great because once again, California is in the position to serve as the model for the rest of the United States when the United States has said it's not ready to move forward. And the challenge that we have is, are we going to be a good model, or a bad model, or an indifferent model.

Herman K. Trabish’s greentechmedia article The Transmission Quandary of California: Experts debate how the state can put more renewables on the grid, of January 28, 2011, is a welcome contribution for the urgent transformation for the power industry and the source that inspired this post.

Trabish writes that “Californians gathered in Los Angeles for the fourth annual VerdeXchange, a business-to-business cross-platform cleantech conference, seemed a little dazed this year, caught between the exhilaration of having a standard requiring utilities to obtain a third of their power from renewable energy by 2020 and panic at having to implement such a standard.”

Trabish quotes John White, Executive Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewables Technologies (CEERT), who said about the integration of renewables : “If you knew how complicated it was, you’d be amazed.” However, “Ultimately, these are not technically difficult models,” White said. “They are politically difficult because they require people to get outside their respective comfort zones and fixations.” But, he added, “we’ve got to find a way to have everybody raise the quality of their game in an effort to make this task successful.” And, he said. “I don’t think it’s a question of whether it can be done, it’s a question of how it can be done.”

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