The Charging Station Issue No. 3
I’m starting this week’s edition of the newsletter with a longer blurb plus an article in the wake of the PG&E shutoff that caused mass confusion and anger in the Bay Area including from the smartest people on my Twitter timeline.
That being said, I published an article on the utility sector explaining at a basic-level how we got here and where we can go moving forward.
Utilities are currently incentivized to build large, costly infrastructure because it’s the only way regulators allow them to increase revenues while demand for their product is falling due to building efficiency and distributed assets such as solar.
That model is broken, and utilities are now being asked to keep the lights on while maintaining resiliency + reliability in the face of rapidly changing market conditions. Yet, they aren’t encouraged to invest in operational improvements. All while the financial markets demand the same return on equity.
Electricity is the footprint of our daily lives and something we take for granted, but if we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow like extreme weather events, climate change and over population we need to start thinking about new solutions now.
$1.9B - The new valuation of RigUp — an Austin-based on demand marketplace for services and skilled labor in the energy industry after prominent venture capital firm a16z lead the company’s $300M Series D.
$100M - Austin-based SparkCognition raised $100M of new funding to continue providing AI and cybersecurity technology to companies in the oil & gas and aerospace sectors.
Our Latest Post
Energy’s Innovation Funding Gap - Given the $4.3T market size, it’s particularly odd that the venture capital industry has largely remained on the sidelines when it comes to investing in the next wave of energy technologies.
Big Box Retailers are Embracing Solar - At a time when the federal government is increasingly stepping away from energy policy, corporate America is stepping up. Retail giants from Target to Walmart to Amazon are taking action to respond because it’s good for business and good for corporate image.
How the UK Transformed It’s Electricity Supply in a Decade - In my own deep dive this week, I cited the UK as a potential example for the new US utility model. This is a deep-dive on just how impactful that change has been overseas.
This week’s non-energy related long read:
The Most Important Forces Shaping the World - An irony of studying history is that we often know exactly how a story ends, but have no idea where it began. There are hundreds of forces shaping the world, but which three are root of all of them?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
The Charging Station Team
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