Solutions include thinking more about how to serve the shared-use driver.

U.S. plug-in electric vehicle sales increased by 25 percent to just under 200,000 units in 2017. While promising, the rate of growth still lags what is needed to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Last week, policy experts gathered at the University of California, Davis, for a conference focused on what researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) call the “3 revolutions” -- shared, automated, and electric vehicles.

Speakers on a panel on the conference’s first day were asked what immediate steps could be taken by policymakers to boost EV adoption. Gil Tal, the research director of ITS-Davis’ Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle

Fun fact: The Grid Edge team at GTM Research is more than 50 percent female -- a rarity in the industry.

Since the grid edge sits at the intersection of utilities, finance, consulting and technology solutions, we are well aware of the lack of diversity in the space, particularly at leadership levels. In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the women of the Grid Edge team reflected on how their professional experiences inform their passion to support a more diverse industry.

Take our short 12-question survey to tell us more about how a women's group could address current challenges in the industry (responses are anonymous).

Amazon Gets Serious About Voice-Activated Smart Thermostats, Investing in Ecobee

Smart thermostat maker ecobee picked up another $61 million this week in a Series C round led by Energy Impact Partners.

Other participants in the round include the Amazon Alexa Fund, Relay Ventures and Thomvest. Ecobee has raised $146 million over the last decade. This is the second time that Amazon’s Alexa Fund has invested in ecobee.

Ecobee claims to have captured one-third of the smart thermostat market, citing figures from NPD Group.

The thermostat company’s secret sauce: voice.

The deal hints at a coming shift in the energy-smart home space, where intelligent thermostats are popular but the business models are still evolving.

Causam: The Blockchain Firm for Blockchain Skeptics

Causam eXchange, an energy trading company with a token offering in progress this month, looks like other blockchain firms -- except for one detail. Its founders are not that keen on the blockchain.

“We’re not a startup and we’re not all-in on blockchain,” said Causam founder and CEO Joe Forbes, even though Causam’s EnergyNet trading platform accepts cryptocurrency payments.

“There’s several inherent problems with using blockchain only for purposes of energy settlement,” Forbes said. “Most importantly is the cost.”

Publishing, say, 96 meter readings a day per customer on a public blockchain would not be a trivial affair, Forbes argued. “It’s kind of cost prohibitive,” he said.

Forbes is also doubtful that

Every year, Greentech Media seeks to highlight the industry leaders paving the way toward tomorrow's distributed energy system. Started in 2014, award winners have included start-ups, established technology vendors, utilities, energy providers and others.

The Grid Edge Innovation Awards represent the top companies or projects that are paving the way for the energy customer of tomorrow with new innovative business models. We're recognizing the most forward-thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem. From frontier technologies such as blockchain and AI to innovation centers at utilities and customer centricity. Submit your nominations today!

All nominations must be submitted before April 1, 2018.



The Democratic plan puts a major focus on grid innovation.

Senate Democrats released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Wednesday framed as a way to give Republican "tax giveaways" for the wealthy back to the American people.

While the plan is unlikely to be embraced by President Trump or gain traction in a GOP Congress, it serves as a meaningful policy document as the nation heads into a grueling midterm election season.

"Our plan will improve the daily lives of millions of American families by creating a 21st century transportation network, rebuilding water systems and schools, making our electric system stronger and our communities more resilient, and much more," the Democrat plan states. "And we

Sara Ross at the Watt It Takes live podcast series.

It’s hard enough to launch a company out of your house without entrepreneurial experience or funding.

It’s even harder when your core thesis contradicts the conventional wisdom of the moment. But that’s what Sara Ross did when she turned her difficult experience getting solar on her roof in 2009 into Sungage Financial, one of the oldest and largest solar loan companies.

Ross was convinced that customer-owned solar made sense at a time when third-party ownership dominated and was seen as the future of rooftop solar.

Fast forward nine years, past unreceptive pitch meetings and financial close-calls, and history is proving Ross right. 

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