The steadily declining costs of solar, wind, batteries, EVs and other key technologies—borne by market forces and big policy initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act—seem all but certain to transform America’s energy system from one primarily reliant on oil and gas to one that is increasingly electrified and renewable—a process often referred to as the energy transition.
To make this energy transition a smooth one, policymakers are increasingly clamoring for grid flexibility: resources that can quickly respond to rapidly changing conditions to keep the grid in balance. Grid flexibility will continue to come in several forms; but distributed, demand-side solutions—dubbed DERs (distributed energy resources) and VPPs (virtual power plants)—are gathering more and more interest, from town halls and statehouses all the way up to the White House.
And believe it or not, if you are a demand response participant, you are a valuable component of the nation’s fleet of DERs and VPPs.
In a new whitepaper, Mathew Sachs, CPower’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development, and I break down what is driving this growing need for grid flexibility; what all these new terms mean (in plain English) and how they relate to more-familiar concepts like demand response, capacity and energy; and why this creates significant long-term opportunity for energy users in what we call the Customer-Powered Grid™.
We aimed to keep this short whitepaper informative, constructive to the latest research and policy work, and with your ‘so what?’ in mind. Ultimately, we wrote it to start a conversation with you.
The energy transition is already in motion, but the smoothness or rockiness of this massive shift—compounded by an aging grid and extreme weather—is an open question. It’s a question that CPower wants to work on with customers, policymakers, grid operators, utilities and other key stakeholders to resolve for our common safety and prosperity.
We hope you’ll give the whitepaper a read, and reach out at email@example.com with thoughts, comments and questions.
Read our full whitepaper to learn more: Creating the Customer-Powered Grid™: Enabling the Energy Transition with Distributed Energy Resources and Virtual Power Plant.
Ben Pickard manages strategic M&A and new growth initiatives for CPower as its Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior, Ben was a Director at National Grid, where he developed and executed strategic applications of venture-backed technology to some of the utility company’s most challenging problems; as well as non-regulated distributed energy investments and partnerships including with EnerNOC, Enbala and Sunrun, and scaled entry into renewable project development via Geronimo Energy.
Earlier roles include infrastructure principal investing with the Macquarie Group, urban climate policy with the Clinton Foundation and distributed energy business creation spanning lighting retrofits, rooftop solar, energy storage, and backup generation. His market and policy analysis on electric utilities has appeared in Greentech Media and the New York Times. Ben is based in New York City and earned an AB magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard.