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Getting to Know Richard Brooks: Your Expert in the Load Management Community - [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Expert Interview]
Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...
- Member since 2018
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- Sep 23, 2019Sep 4, 2019 9:41 pm GMT
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As our second installment in the ‘Getting to Know Your Expert’ interview series, a part of our Power Perspectives™, where Energy Central is profiling some of the legacy experts who have been officially listed at that role and providing invaluable insights for the community, today I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation I had with Richard Brooks who is an expert in the Load Management Community (as well as the Digital Utility Group).
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Matt thanks for the post. Being a relative newcomer to the energy world I was particularly intrigued by your discussion of a potential Distribution System Operator and its interaction with the ISOs. Having lived through the telecom deregulation era I would appreciate your thoughts on what parallels you see between what happend in the telecom space and what is happening with the "creative" dissruption occuring now for utilities.
Thanks for the question Mike. I'm not very familiar with the telecom evolution so I can't really provide a reasonable correlation to the energy transition. As a customer of both, I can say that the energy transition seems to provide a more granular/flexible service offering in that I can receive my power from any supplier servicing my area, but that's not possible for cable, as I'm limited to use the only supplier in my area. Mobile telephone service, on the other hand, does provide a similar level of flexibility/consumer choice. So in that regard, perhaps the mobile telephone carriers correlate well with the Distribution System Operator function that the energy industry has been discussing. Thanks.
Mike-- I tagged in Dick to provide his insights as he's the expert here, but I can also provide my two (less informed than his) cents.
There are definitely parallels in that infrastructure 'locked us in' to certain ways of doing things in telecomm and it took a lot of momentum to finally overcome that, but the technology had to be unquestionably better and affordable before that was able to happen-- but now here we are and it's hard to look back. If I'm hooked up to the central grid in a traditional sense without any microgrid capabilities, any prosumer generation, in the future, will my kids look at me with a raised eyebrow like I currently look at my parents for their landline phone in lieu of a cell phone? Perhaps-- only time will tell.
Another interesting parallel may come from areas that can 'leapfrog' technology. Countries and regions that were industrializing and advancing their economies at the time of the big telecom revolutions were able to pass by the existing technologies that were legacies in already modern economies, going straight to mobile telecom and saving a load of money and headaches in the process. I think distributed energy may play a similar role for currently advancing areas that aren't yet hooked up to a major, central grid.
Matt from my POV I think you nailed it. The drivers of the telecom change were definitely better technology (or at least equal), more choice, better service and better price. All the claims of network dissruption proved to be incumbent posturing in the long run. Once the technology moves and consumers see the benefits of choice it is very difficult to stop the shift. The leapfrog phenom is also a great point and I agree with your point on DG.
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