Lorenzo Kristov, PhD talks about the need for microgrids to achieve a clean, renewable, and resilient future on Solutions News

Lorenzo Kristov, PhD talks about the need for microgrids to achieve a clean, renewable, and resilient future on Solutions News
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Source: World Business Academy

Last week, the World Business Academy welcomed Lorenzo Kristov, PhD on Solutions News, a radio show hosted by Rinaldo Brutoco that airs live on KZSB 1290am and as a podcast.

Kristov is an independent policy expert who has experience in advising at both state and national levels. As a consultant for electric systems, policy structure, and market design, Kristov’s focus on transitioning power systems that integrate high levels of renewable generation and distributed energy resources is crucial to consider after a summer of unprecedented climate change related threats on energy supplies.

In the recent interview on Solutions News, Kristov outlines the necessity for transitioning to community energy systems considering that energy is needed for everything people do while being a primary cause of climate and ecosystem disruption.

As residents of California feel record-breaking effects of wildfires and rolling blackouts across the state from abnormal heat waves, independent electrical systems were unable to supply power for the first time in about 20 years and forced power outages for thousands of customers during some of the hottest days on record.

However, Kristov explains that California microgrids have shown their heroic resourcefulness when multiple microgrids provided power to their owners and community members. He notes that microgrids are essential to transition to clean, renewable, and reliable energy to combat climate change related impacts such as energy blackouts. The flexible resource is a self-contained energy system that can connect and contribute to local resources, and disconnect from the power grid when needed to absorb the shock serving as a backup grid.

The process of implementing microgrids as community energy systems aims to upgrade our grid for the 21st century. “We have three urgent missions in upgrading our electric grid,” Kristov explains. “One, sustainability: we've got to stop making things worse, and we’ve got to replace fossil fuel to do it. Two, resilience: we have to prepare for the impacts of damage already done, and frankly, keep the lights on when the grid goes down. Three, equity: environmental and economic justice clearly has to be baked into this new formula. Realizing this vision really requires changes at the legislative level and in the regulatory framework.”

Allie Detrio, Chief Strategist at Reimagine Power, Inc., an organization focusing on energy policy and advocacy, explains, “The traditional utility business model must evolve with the times and needs of residents, businesses and communities in California. With the right policies and market signals in place, microgrids will allow us to achieve our sustainability goals.”

In California, policies and targets implemented for decarbonization and clean energy are making progressive strides to energy independence, such as SB 100 passed in 2018 to power the state with carbon-free electricity by 2045.

In order to achieve such policies, it is essential to continue to act at the local level to move in the direction of energy independence. Following the World Business Academy’s motto to “think globally, act locally,” California must demonstrate the transition is possible and can be done at no additional cost to ratepayers so federal and other international policies can be put in place. “We have the technology. We have the know-how. We have the resources. All we lack is the political will,” says Brutoco, Founder and CEO of the World Business Academy.

Detrio further emphasizes, “Microgrids are the catalyst for beneficial change in the energy sector and the state should embrace and empower community-based microgrids.” Implementing renewable energy through microgrids and other forms of community energy systems is possible with ambition and commitment to the future.

Solutions News is a weekly radio show that airs live on local radio station KZSB 1290am live on Fridays at 5pm, Fridays at 11pm, Saturdays at 5pm, and Sundays at 9am. Solutions News is also available as a podcast at www.solutionsnews.org and on all major podcast streaming services.

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