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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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Cisco Recognized by EPA as Green Power Partner of the Year

September 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm PST

Today, Cisco was recognized as one of only four organizations nationwide as a “Green Power Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for furthering the voluntary green power market.  EPA presented Cisco with the award at an event held at the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas.

Andy Smith and Matt Kulikowski (Cisco) accepting the award from Brian Collison (EPA)

Andy Smith and Matt Kulikowski (Cisco) accepting the award from Blaine Collison (EPA)

Cisco’s use of renewable energy reflects our commitment to sustainability and is a key part of managing our impact on the environment. This is the right thing to do as a corporate citizen; it also helps us optimize the value of our operations and attract and retain best-in-class talent.

We are very proud to win this award in recognition of both our historical support of renewable energy and to continue to include renewable energy as a significant part of our global energy strategy. Today Cisco buys the majority of its renewable energy through wind-generated sources certified by Green-e. In addition, Cisco generates some of its own energy using on-site solar panels, such as 100-kW systems installed at two of our data center locations, and also participates in utility green power programs across Europe and in India.

“Receiving the Green Power Partner of the Year award is a great honor and EPA applauds Cisco’s leadership and impact on the green power market,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Cisco’s commitment to using green power and reducing its climate impacts provides a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability.”

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