Looking Ahead: Energy Initiatives for Our Future

Looking Ahead: Energy Initiatives for Our Future

Learn about up-and-coming innovations in the energy ecosystem, including:
● Virtual power plants
● Energy load shifting initiatives
● Electrifying everything
● Increased community participation

As we look ahead to 2024, let’s explore energy trends that have the potential to pave the way for a greener and more inclusive energy landscape.

1. Virtual Power Plants

The future is now! Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) are an up-and-coming innovative component of the energy ecosystem. Unlike traditional power plants, VPPs consist of small-scale distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, home batteries, and smart thermostats that can connect to a virtual network. A VPP combines these resources into one system that can respond to grid needs by reducing power consumption and adding power to the grid when needed.

By using local devices, VPPs empower individuals and communities by providing a more stable and resilient grid powered by cleaner energy. With enough smart-homes participating in a VPP, a utility can reduce costs and pass savings on to customers in the form of direct payments, credits, or reduced rates. That saves your money while supporting efficient and grid-smart energy usage.

Dive deeper: Discover MCE’s VPP pilot in Richmond, California to learn more about the growing potential of VPPs.

2. Energy Load Shifting Initiatives

The future is smart! Over the past two decades, California has substantially increased its solar energy capacity as it moves toward a greener power system. When solar panels are generating the most energy (typically mid-morning to early afternoon) there is abundant, low-cost clean energy available on the grid. We can maximize this cheap, clean energy by shifting our energy use, or “load shifting,” to hours when solar panels are generating the most energy.

Up-and-coming load shifting innovations include smart EV charging apps that help EV drivers charge when solar energy is abundant. Load shifting can extend to behavioral change, compensation programs, and individual choices such as running appliances like your dishwasher or dryer in the late morning to contribute to a cleaner energy future.

Dive deeper: Discover how Bay Area drivers helped prevent blackouts with the MCE Sync smart EV charging app.

3. Electrify Everything

The future is electric! The Bay Area led the United States in EV adoption in 2023, with hybrid or electric representing 50% of new vehicle registrations. Growing electrification efforts extend beyond transportation to phasing out other fossil fuel-dependent technologies like gas-powered heaters, cooking appliances, and clothes dryers.

Electric technologies play a crucial role in our energy future by helping energy users improve indoor air quality and efficiency, lower bills, and reduce emissions. Incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act make it more affordable for homeowners and businesses to make the switch and electrify buildings in 2024.

Dive deeper: Check out how one climate spokesperson electrified his home in just 45 days!

4. Community participation and Local Control

The future of clean energy is local! Community Choice Aggregators like MCE represent a growing movement that empowers communities to participate in decisions about their energy sources, the strategic placement of energy projects, and the expansion of local green economies.

Our communities play a pivotal role in our energy future by ensuring that it aligns with unique local needs and priorities.

Dive deeper: Explore MCE’s regional zero-emission transportation planning where residents will provide input on investments in EV charging and clean mobility.

These innovations are just a few of the ways that the energy landscape continues to grow and evolve. We look forward to working with our communities this year and beyond to foster a future where energy is clean and accessible to all.

 

 

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