Reforming the Energy Vision

Professional headshot of Jon Wellinghoff

By Jon Wellinghoff

What does the future of energy look like? How should the financial and organizational structure of the electric industry change to reflect what’s coming? How will utilities be different given the current trends? Three fundamental disruptive—and unprecedented—changes to the utility model are precipitating these changes: 1.) The rate of customer energy use is declining as building standards and technology improve, 2.) A rapid increase in the use of solar energy, micro-grids, on-site power, and other consumer-generated energy sources, and 3.) The growing internet-connectivity of appliances that enables increased energy efficiency.

These disruptive events are demanding that significant changes be made to the way energy is produced, distributed, and consumed. I am currently working with companies that are in the forefront of this revolution and are engaged in making the transition happen. We are working on projects nationwide to plan and implement new models and use them as part of the path ahead.

I am involved with the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, which promotes energy efficiency, renewable and “distributed” sources of energy, and better management of the grid in order to better control demand elasticity. These changes, in turn, will empower customers by allowing them more choice in how they manage and consume electric energy. I am excited to be involved with this effort as I see it as the most visionary initiative currently underway to redefine the current state of energy in the U.S.  

In addition to my work with the REV initiative, I also co-chair the Energy Transition Forum, which examines ways to reform the energy markets in both Europe and the U.S. This collaborative effort allows us to learn from countries like Germany (who uses large quantities of renewable energy and has new strategies for stabilizing their electric grid) and develop new models that can be shared between our continents.

Doing the energy strategy of the future rather than talking about it is much more satisfying for me and my clients, and I know it will lead to us living that energy future sooner rather than later.

Jon Wellinghoff is the immediate past chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The longest serving chair of the FERC and deemed a “new breed” of chairman according to the Washington Post, he ushered in a monumental shift in energy policy and brings to the table 38 years of expertise. No one is more current on energy issues or better poised to speak to the future of energy in the United States, and he sheds a whole new light on how audiences think about the future of energy and energy security.

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