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Day one of the Renewable Energy World Conference in
, began with a keynote from Kurt Yeager, executive director of Galvin Electricity Initiative and a former
president of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He said that in the last decade or two, there has been a fundamental shift in that the consumer now calls the shots more and more instead of the corporations, and that extends to the consumer having control many areas of business/customer interaction such as health records, privacy and more.
“It should be no different with an individual’s electricity usage,” said Yaeger. “Customer-specific data belonging to the customer should be the electric future of
He discussed giving consumers more choices when it comes to rates by granting them access to real-time electricity prices, increasing utility accountability on performance and better net metering. He believed this can be achieved due to the technological innovation that was taking place in areas such as the smart grid. What is the smart grid? Yeager said it was about: the move from analog to digital which enables better monitoring of power systems; a two-way consumer services gateway, and the introduction of DC plus microgrids.
“For the smart grid to work, electricity providers must develop a user-centric view,” said Yeager. “The user becomes a partner, not a prisoner of the network.”