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The Current Winter 2016

Welcome to The Current, Winter 2016 Edition

Editor's note: This issue of The Current focusing on Big Data was conceived and edited by WCEE member Teresa Wilson. Ms. Wilson's interest in Big Data stems from her fascination with the potential applications in all parts of modern society, including the energy and environment sectors. In this issue we learn how the vast amounts of data are being used by utilities, oil and gas companies, and policy makers. We are also challenged to think about the possible consequences of having our personal energy data so readily available.

Big Data: New Approaches and Tools to Analyze Energy Systems and Markets

By Shirley Neff

The modern electronic world generates a lot of data. “Big data” is the term applied to large, complex data sets that require high-performance computing platforms to comprehend. Big data is often described in three or four dimensions — volume (scale of data), variety (different forms of data) and velocity (analysis of streaming data), as well as veracity (uncertainty). The combination of these factors (high volume, high variety and high velocity) distinguishes big data.

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Big Data Is Transforming the Electricity Sector in Developing Countries

By Johanna Koolemans-Beynen

Big data — extremely large data sets commonly analyzed by computer to reveal patterns, trends and associations — is making it possible for utilities to use more and more renewables on the grid, not only in the industrial world, but also in developing countries. That could be a game changer for global efforts to reduce emissions in both the industrial and the developing world.

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The Power of Data Analysis to Inform Massachusetts' Energy Future

By Paula Garcia

On September 29, 2015, the Massachusetts State House was packed with lawmakers, state officials, advocates and the public attending a heated energy hearing. Multiple energy bills including hydropower, solar, offshore wind and natural gas, were under consideration. Numerous stakeholders expressed their concerns about the state moving toward overreliance on natural gas for electricity generation, given that more than 60 percent of its in-state generation came from natural gas plants. On the other side, some political leaders and utility companies showed support for more natural gas pipelines, stating that bringing more natural gas to the region would drive down electricity prices.

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Who Decides? Energy and the Internet of Things

By LeAnn Oliver

One aspect of the Internet of Things is that virtually all devices send information back to somewhere. It is that “somewhere” we need to consider — now — before we, as both individuals and society as a whole, end up with vast amounts of information about ourselves someplace we don’t like, used for a purpose we did not intend, by people we do not approve of.

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The Journey to Becoming a Data-Driven Organization: From Art to Science

By: Katharine Day and Doreen Wong

“Data-driven organization” is a current buzz phrase — but what does it mean for an organization? Essentially, it means your corporate decisions are rooted in your data, rather than based on instinct or “gut feel.” When properly tailored to an organization’s goals, data science assists organizations to take a critical step to shift the basis for their decisions from art to science.

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Using Mapping Data to Improve Drinking Water

By Martha A. Madden

The U.S. EPA Safe Drinking Water Program sets legal limits on over 90 contaminants, including lead. But existing lead pipes in some water systems still pose hazards for consumers. Such was the case in Michigan that created a chasm in public trust of drinking water quality in Flint and elsewhere in the nation.

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Air Force Executive Describes Benefits of 'Intrapreneurship'


Miranda A.A. Ballentine (center), Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy, spoke to WCEE members at an Oct. 13 Women In Leadership event. The former Wal-Mart director of sustainability for global renewable energy and sustainable facilities shared with WCEE members her view that “intrapreneurs”--a manager within a company or organization who promotes innovative product development and marketing--can be extraordinarily effective. Ms. Ballentine has found that skill set helpful in navigating the Department of Defense.


Photo from left: Maryann Hatch, Alice Grabowski, Assistant Secretary Ballentine, Tenley Dalstrom.

WCEE is grateful to the following 2016 sponsors:

Angel Sponsors

Booz Allen Hamilton
PG&E Corporation

Sustaining Sponsors

Berkeley Research Group LLC
Bracewell LLP
ClearView Energy Partners LLC
Customized Energy Solutions
Edison Electric Institute
Electric Power Supply Association
Hogan Lovells LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
ITC Holdings
K & L Gates LLP
Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Van Ness Feldman LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP

Women in Leadership

Beveridge & Diamond PC
ClearView Energy Partners LLC
Healy Law Offices
Husch Blackwell LLP
McCarter & English LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Squire Patton Boggs LLP
Wright & Talisman PC

The Current Team

Marketing and Communication Section Chair:
Pat Courtney Strong

Executive Editor:
Pat Courtney Strong

Managing Editors:
Alexandra Campbell Ferrari, Cathryn Courtin and Teresa Wilson

Marketing and Communication Section Members:
Fatima Maria Ahmad, Alexandra Campbell Ferrari, Anne Lagomarcino, Cathryn Courtin, Doreen Wong, Jayne Brady, Jessica Edington, Mary Fay, Meghan Gross, Molly Bauch, Nadia Merdassi, Pat Courtney Strong, Patricia McMurray, Tenley Dalstrom, Teresa Wilson, Tori Thompson

Copyright 2016 WCEE. Reproduction of material from The Current without permission is strictly prohibited.
All rights reserved. 816 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20006


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