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This bonus episode of Wood Mackenzie’s The Energy Gang is our third from the Distributech conference in Orlando.

Distributech is the leading event for the electricity transmission and distribution industry in North America. It gave our host Ed Crooks a fantastic opportunity to talk to many of the leading figures from the industry, including those who provide technology for moving and managing electricity, and those who use that technology to serve their customers.

In this episode, Ed is joined by Ali Ipakchi, Executive VP of Smart Grids and Green Power at OATI, a grid technology company. Ali was at Dtech in 2014, and some of the issues he was talking about then seem familiar still today. So what has really changed in technology for the power industry since then? Ali talks about how ideas and technologies that were cutting-edge and radical a decade ago are now becoming mainstream.

Ed also sat down with Don McPhail, who’s Business Manager for energy and decarbonisation at Uplight, a software company that serves utilities. They talked about the importance of demand management, the integration of distributed energy resources, and the automation of customer engagement processes as examples of key factors for developing a more flexible and resilient power grid.

Finally, Ed talked to two of Wood Mackensie’s delegates at Distributech: Fahimeh Kazempour, head of grid modernisation, and Elham Akhavan, senior research analyst specialising in grid edge and microgrids. They share their impressions of the events, highlight some of the ideas and innovations they found most interesting, and explore the implications for the wider questions of the energy transition.

They also address a critical question in the hectic, exciting conversation about the power industry: how much of it is hype, and how much reflects real change? Fahimeh asks the question: whatever happened to the Blockchain?

You can find us on most platforms – we’re @theenergygang. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss the next one, out every second Tuesday.

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