NEXT100 provides an in-depth look at the intersection of the clean energy business and the environment. It focuses on trends in green technology, policy and the Earth’s climate that will most impact the energy industry and our customers over the next 100 years–PG&E’s second century in operation.
NEXT100 is written and edited by Jonathan Marshall, with contributions from colleagues at PG&E. Postings on NEXT100 represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PG&E.
PG&E Pilot Project Takes Smart Grid Technology to the Next Level
PG&E recently received CPUC permission to start the second phase of a multi-year smart grid pilot project that seeks to reduce customer energy usage and losses along electric lines, lower customer bills, support the continued adoption of rooftop solar, and spare the environment.Those benefits are a lot sexier than the geeky name of the technology: “voltage and reactive power optimization” or “conservation voltage reduction.” Whatever you call it, as Jonathan Marshall writes in this NEXT100 blog, “the technology is likely to become one of the most popular energy efficiency and demand response measures among North American utilities before the end of 2020.”
How PG&E and BMW Plan to Make “Smart Charging” Even Smarter
Charging an electric vehicle (EV) costs the equivalent of a dollar per gallon of gasoline, if you do it overnight on PG&E’s EV rate plan. Now, as Jonathan Marshall writes in his NEXT100 blog, PG&E and automaker BMW are partnering to see if they can bring the cost of charging down even further, while making the electric grid even cleaner.
How Smart Meters Can Make You a Smarter Energy Consumer
A PG&E pilot project is helping customers learn about the energy consumption of individual appliances in their homes. As Jonathan Marshall writes in his NEXT100 blog, an inefficient refrigerator can consume $60 more energy than a newer model.
How PG&E is Using Demand Management to Make Smarter Use of the Grid
Demand response programs offer customers incentives to alter their demand at special times. With pilots in Yuba City, Jackson, Tracy and Fresno, PG&E is experimenting with sophisticated technologies to deliver peak demand reductions on a targeted local basis, rather than system-wide.
Electric Vehicles Widen Their Clean-Air Advantage
New research shows that electric vehicles in states that mostly use coal-fired power may in some cases be a bit less clean than the most efficient gasoline-powered hybrids, like the Toyota Prius. But, as Jonathan Marshall writes in his NEXT100 blog, that’s not true in PG&E’s service area, where more than half the electricity that customers use comes from sources that emit no greenhouse gases.