Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables? New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils

energy-as-a-service

Can renewables cost less than fossil fuel generation? And are they as reliable? It appears so, especially when they are coupled with a suite of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as virtual power plants and demand response. New reports by Energy Innovation Policy and Technology and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) lay out the … [Read more...]

Climate Auctions: A 21st-Century Alternative to Grants and Loans

climate auction

Tyeler Matsuo and Julia Meisel, of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), explore climate auctions. This 21st century alternative to grants and loans uses competitive bidding to disperse public funding to carbon-reducing projects. With scientific reports warning of the urgency of concerted climate action, and with current national climate targets … [Read more...]

Transforming Electric Supply for Small-Town and Rural America

electric cooperatives

The Rocky Mountain Institute's Kevin Brehm, Madeline Tyson and Jeff Waller offer takeways on how rural electric cooperatives are transforming electric supply with distributed energy resources (DERs). The rural electric system — like the rest of the US electric system — was designed to capture economies of scale that defined how power was … [Read more...]

How to Keep Africa’s Minigrids from Becoming a Bridge to Nowhere

minigrids

A push is on to bring electricity to the nearly one billion people who lack it worldwide. But if you build it will they come? Apparently not, as some minigrid developers are finding in Sub-Saharan Africa. Electricity does little good for those who have nothing to plug in. And unfortunately that’s too often the case in remote areas with new … [Read more...]

A Microgrid Toolkit to Bring Equity to Power Restoration in Puerto Rico: RMI

microgrid toolkit

Megan Kerins and Alejandra Castrodad-Rodríguez of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) describe a new microgrid toolkit to ensure power reliability for those most vulnerable in Puerto Rico. When the lights went out September 20, 2017, no one could have foreseen that it would take 130 days to restore power to seven out of ten people in Puerto … [Read more...]

Closting the Circuit – Stimulating End-Use Demand for Rural Electrification

Electrification’s ultimate measure of success in developing nations—and its real contribution—is to both meet basic humanitarian needs and underpin economic development. But most electrification programs focus on expanding supply with limited investment devoted to enabling end uses that drive productivity improvements and meet critical needs. For … [Read more...]

How Undergrid Minigrids Could Shore Up Unreliable Electricity in Nigeria and Beyond

undergrid minigrids

Sachi Graber of the Rocky Mountain Institute describes a $200 million opportunity in Nigeria to develop undergrid minigrids, projects that shore up electricity for those served by unreliable grids. Traditionally in sub-Saharan Africa, electrification efforts have emphasized the hundreds of millions of people who live off-grid, with no … [Read more...]

School Microgrids Create Stability for Children in Puerto Rico

school microgrids

Economics often decide the fate of a microgrid proposal. Sometimes, however, the calculator gets set aside when the project has a strong humanitarian purpose. Such is the case with a program launched by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Save the Children to build school microgrids in Puerto Rico. The program emerged after RMI began … [Read more...]

Minigrids in Nigeria: A $20B Business Opportunity for the Greater Good

Nigeria

Minigrids represent a $20 billion business opportunity in Nigeria and a chance to improve the lives of over half the population that remain without electricity, according to a report released today. Prepared by the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the report focuses on how lack of electricity impedes business … [Read more...]

Seeking Airport Resiliency with Microgrids? Start Here

most-read microgrid articles

More and more airports are interested in developing microgrids following last December's power outage at the Atlanta airport. But often transportation officials aren't sure how to get started. The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) aims to help them by developing a “microgrid implementation toolkit," according to Adam Klauber, RMI's director, … [Read more...]