Katie Laning Niebaum
Little Rock, Ark. – Transformation of the electric utility is on the horizon, driven by various factors including the improving economics of distributed energy resources and their inherent benefits, as well as consumer demand, according to energy expert Karl R. Rábago.
Rábago, the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at the Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, delivered remarks Tuesday to a group of 60 advanced energy leaders, policymakers and industry stakeholders assembled for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation’s latest speaker series event held at Copper Grill.
Rábago, a licensed attorney with more than 27 years of experience in energy and climate policy development, regulation, markets and business, encouraged utilities to look to consumers as resources, not just customers.
Distributed generation is “more diverse” and “increasingly more resilient,” Rábago said. At the same time, “consumers want to exercise control over their bill and partner with businesses,” he noted.
Rábago described the concept of a “sharing utility,” which would allow customers to benefit more from utility investments. A sharing utility implements a collaborative consumption approach, such as community solar operations and
A former Texas Public Utility Commissioner, Rábago is credited with establishing the nation’s first “Value of Solar” rate and in championing value-based rates for solar and other clean energy resources.
The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development.