Plugging into New Business Models for Electrification

Accelerating electrification is critical to solving the climate crisis. Despite roadblocks, opportunities abound in major carbon-emitting sectors like transportation and buildings. NECEC’s upcoming Emerging Trends Series: New Business Models for Electrification, in partnership with MIT Enterprise Forum and sponsored by Foley Hoag, will dive into electrification in today’s environment. Ahead of the panel discussion on May 6 at 3:00pm, we’d like to share some resources by our expert speakers and their organizations. This collection of books, white papers, and podcasts, will help familiarize you with the panelists and prepare you for next week’s event.

The event will kick off with keynote remarks by Peter Fox Penner, Founder and Director, BU Institute for Sustainable Energy and Chief Strategy Officer, Energy Impact Partners. Peter is the author of Power after Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid, a new book examining how the electric power sector is changing to address climate change. In it, Peter provides actionable recommendations for improving the system amidst changing business models and new carbon-free technologies. Power after Carbon is available for purchase here.

Following his keynote, Peter will join an expert panel moderated by Peter Kelly-Detwiler of NorthBridge Energy Partners and featuring Robyn Beavers of Blueprint Power, Patty DiOrio of National Grid, Judith Judson of Ameresco, and Colin Murchie of EVgo.

Moderator Peter-Kelly Detwiler is Co-Founder and Principal of NorthBridge Energy Partners, a power markets and energy initiatives consulting firm. Peter is a frequent energy contributor at He is also the author of the popular 'But Why, PKD?' newsletter, known for its clever and light-hearted use of GIFs. Sign up for the newsletter here. Peter also hosts a weekly “3 x 3” video series on LinkedIn covering the top energy stories of the week in just three minutes.

Robyn Beavers, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder at Blueprint Power, is a regular guest on leading climate change and energy podcasts. Last month, Robyn appeared on The Energy Gang’s “Watt It Takes,” in which she shares her journey from founding Google’s environmental strategy group to leading a startup transforming buildings into power plants. She also appeared on My Climate Journey, further exploring Blueprint Power’s unique business model and the role of the energy grid.

Patty DiOrio serves as Vice President, US Strategy at National Grid, one of the Northeast’s leading utility companies. Recognizing the threat climate change poses and the economic opportunities of decarbonization, National Grid is committed to its “Northeast 80x50 Pathway.” This white paper moves beyond power generation to examine the electrification of the transportation and building sectors. The “80x50 Pathway” will provide the basis for Patty’s remarks during the panel discussion.

Judith Judson, Vice President - Distributed Energy Systems at Ameresco, is no stranger to electrification, having recently completed a nearly five-year tenure as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. In her new role, Judith is leading Ameresco’s efforts to improve energy resiliency and expand clean energy solutions. For more on Ameresco’s work, check out two white papers, “Driving Resilience Through Your Organization’s Energy Infrastructure” and “The Rise of Clean Energy Microgrids & Why They Make Sense.”

Similarly, Colin Murchie, Senior Director of Business Development at EVgo, is likely to reference a suite of transportation electrification white papers, “Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Market Transformation.” This package includes four papers focused on rate design, infrastructure investment, utility partnerships, and interconnection. As the nation’s largest fast charging network for electric vehicles, EVgo has proven it knows a thing or two about electrifying transportation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented economic uncertainty across the globe, and the clean energy industry is no exception. Our speakers will also share their thoughts on how the crisis is impacting strategic electrification business models. As the world rebuilds, we cannot let the opportunity to halt climate change in its tracks pass us by. Keynote speaker Peter Fox Penner explored this opportunity further in a recent Boston Globe op-ed. We look forward to learning more next week during Emerging Trends Series: New Business Models for Electrification.

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Sean Davenport

Sean is NECEC's Communications Manager.