Julia Hamm, President and CEO of SEPA, talks decarbonisation, SEPA’s focus and the Grid Evolution conference.
Why is the Grid Evolution event such an important event in your annual calendar?
Efforts to decarbonise our electricity supply, coupled with secular trends for EV adoption, IoT, solar, storage and other technologies, require a constant evolution of our industry. SEPA recognised the need to convene the thought leaders and decision makers from across the electricity industry to share best practices, review the latest research and collaborate to develop solutions. Grid Evolution Summit is the venue for industry leaders to have these conversations and to develop the roadmaps that chart the course.
What are the most important focuses for SEPA in the year ahead?
In order to deliver on our mission of a clean and modern grid, SEPA has identified four areas of focus – what we call pathways.
They are Transportation Electrification, Grid Integration, Regulatory Innovation and Utility Business Models. Each of these pathways addresses a rich set of issues and opportunities important to achieving our long-term vision of a carbon-free energy system.
How are you supporting your utility members and how have their priorities changed over the past five years?
SEPA continues to provide unbiased research findings and education resources to help guide all of our members – including more than 725 utilities, 36 state public utility commissions, and hundreds of solution providers – on their path to a clean and modern grid. The increased focus on climate, the growing availability of economical renewable generation and storage, electric vehicle adoption and the ability of customers to participate in the grid are forcing utilities and system operators to deal with a more distributed and increasingly complex energy world.
SEPA is continually adjusting our focus and capabilities to address this new world.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the utility sector today?
Decarbonising the electricity supply while maintaining the reliability, affordability, safety and security that customers expect and that are so important to our society.
What is the one message you would like to share with SEPA members and readers of Smart Energy International?
Decarbonisation will happen, and SEPA is committed to providing the thought leadership, research and education resources necessary for our members to make it happen in a thoughtful and pragmatic way.