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The Impact of Distributed Generation

Distributed generation is getting increasing attention for impact on the electric utility industry.  DG has been the subject of a number of high profile articles in Business Week, the Wall St. Journal and several online business and industry news sites.  The Business Week article was particularly provocative, leading with the title, “Why the U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered“.

Residential DG, primarily solar, remains relatively sparse in the U.S. compared to Europe, especially Germany.  Commercial/Industrial DG is getting greater penetration with large initiatives such as Walmart installing solar on the top of every store, and low-priced natural gas leading industrial customers to generate their own power.  Although circumstances differ, the September 17, 2013, WSJ article, “In Post-Tsunami Japan, Homeowners Pull Away From Grid”, describes how Japanese homeowners could foreshadow even more disruption.  While residential fuel cells are not presently economical, higher volume production and deployment in Japan could certainly change that.  Low cost fuel cells could enable every customer with natural gas service to make the economic analysis about when or whether it’s worth turning to self generation. Read More »

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Doobie Brothers Unique Premiere via TelePresence

Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy - new album release

The Doobie Brothers are the sound of my childhood as my Dad would seemingly wear out record player needles, playing albums over and over again. Now, the classic American rock legends, the Doobie Brothers, are back -- with a new recording entitled “World Gone Crazy,” releasing on September 28. All of us at Cisco are really excited to partner with AT&T and Marriott to host the band’s live performance -- broadcast via Cisco TelePresence and Ustream -- on Monday, September 27th at 3:30pm PST from the CiscoTV studios in San Jose, California. In fact, I didn’t realize how many Doobie Brothers fans there were until we opened up a few seats in the studio audience to Cisco employees and were simply bombarded by, no kidding, thousands of requests. (Of note, my administrative partner is one of them…I need to get her in or else she’ll book my next flight to Boston with a connection in Bangladesh.)

The good thing is that you don’t have to be in our San Jose studio for the event. We invite you to join the live concert on Ustream -- from anywhere in the world -- to hear their classic and new songs. And many others, through various promotions, will be able to attend the concert via the AT&T TelePresence service and Marriott TelePresence locations. Together, working with our partners, we can help to transform how we all experience music and video, in a truly interactive online format.

Harnessing the Power to Bring People Together

You know, back in January, when Marriott announced their Go There Virtual Meetings facilities, I have to admit that I don’t recall discussing with them the possibility of launching an album over it or helping a band effectively create a “world tour” event in a single evening…

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