In Reinventing Fire, we analyzed the pivotal role that electricity could play in the shift to a cleaner, more efficient, and more secure U.S. economy. Indeed, by enabling greater efficiency in buildings and industry and repowering autombiles, the electricity system can become the key to displacing fossil fuels. To do so, today’s electricity system will need to change fundamentally by integrating increasing shares of renewable generation, developing greater operational flexibility and resilience, and adapting to shifts in demand. This evolution will require collaboration, shared learning, and a system view of how to ensure affordability and reliability. To address this need, RMI created eLab, a forum of 40 leaders from across the U.S. electricity sector who are working together to develop and test practical and innovative solutions.

In 2011, RMI’s electricity practice also worked with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, whose territory contains 30 percent of all U.S. solar photovoltaics (PVs), to convene an expert roundtable. Our report analyzes options for future business and customer relationships within an efficient, largely distributed power system.

These projects are part of RMI’s larger vision, and initiative, for a Next Generation Electricity system.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the RMI/ DOE Innovative Solar Business Models project continued in 2011-12 to convene regulators, solar PV developers and enablers, and utilities to broker new strategies for aligning regulatory and business models with the rapid and orderly growth of distributed solar resources.

RMI’s solar program has one ambitious goal: to accelerate PV deployment to full scale across the U.S. Please see RMI’s current solar projects.

To explore some of our blogs our experts published this year about these and other solar- and electricity-related topics, please browse the stories and videos on this page.