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International

e-Lab: Electricity Innovation Lab

eLab was created to bring leading energy practitioners together to solve key problems at the frontier of the energy transition. eLab addresses the complexity of the electricity sector’s competing motivations, extensive regulation, and information asymmetry by convening those who can change this industry’s trajectory. Within each engagement, the eLab approach creates trust and accelerates the pace at which collaborators succeed.

Why It Matters

Our society has rarely undertaken a re-imagining of a system quite as complex as the energy system, with as many moving parts, competing interests, and constituents. The current system was never meant to serve the innovations now emerging—innovations in structure, business models, technologies, economics, and regulatory approaches. And, no single organization has all the knowledge or resources to achieve an equitable and secure energy transition alone. This is why e-Lab focuses on collective action at the leading edge of the energy transition, looking ahead to the thorniest and most complex challenges arising, asking “Who needs to be involved to succeed?”

How e-Lab Works

Enabling focused experimentation, innovative thinking, and powerful dialogue is how e-Lab facilitates demonstrable change. The methods e-Lab uses are honed by eight years of applying collaboration theory to reach stakeholder alignment within project teams, between organizations, and among industry decision makers. Project teams bring their challenges to Accelerator bootcamp, influencers add their perspectives to shape solutions framed at our Summit workshop, and agencies and enterprises bring e-Lab’s expertise into their organizations to raise their own capacity for change leadership.

What is the e-Lab Network?

The innovation needed to transform the electricity sector needs robust problem solving by a cohort of diverse participants—each representing a constituent part of a systemic barrier to transition. Over time, e-Lab has assembled a network of leading thinkers and expertise from every sector of the energy ecosystem including utilities, regulators, advocates, entrepreneurs, academics, community-based organizations, and advisors. The e-Lab network enables participants to glean insights quickly from peers and experts, bringing together a diverse range of perspectives side-by-side to cocreate solution pathways.

WAYS TO BE INVOLVED

e-Lab Accelerator

Bringing together teams throughout North America that are working on high-impact and innovative projects at the electricity system’s distribution edge.

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e-Lab Summit

Engaging the e-Lab ecosystem in a high-energy exchange of ideas and best practices to encourage the sharing and replication of cutting-edge ideas in electricity.

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e-Lab Inside

Streamlining the ability to respond quickly to emerging challenges and opportunities as they present themselves in the marketplace.

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e-Lab Forge: Texas 2019

Supporting the rapid deployment of distributed clean energy in Texas through a facilitated workshop involving multistakeholder teams.

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Accelerating the Electrification of Buildings at eLab Accelerator 2019

One of the most exciting developments in the energy system is the role that beneficial electrification—using renewable energy and efficient electric technologies to heat and cool homes and businesses—is playing in supporting the transition to a cleaner energy system. A cohort of teams at RMI’s Electricity Innovation Lab (e–Lab) Accelerator—happening this week—are exploring how to integrate electrification strategies into their home regions.

Elevating Utility Business Model Reform at eLab Accelerator 2019

The various forces—societal, financial, environmental, customer-driven—motivating the electricity system’s transition to a more decarbonized and distributed orientation continue to grow, marked by several key milestones in recent months. As a central actor in the energy ecosystem, electric utilities will continue to play a key role in how this inevitable evolution will unfold.

OUR PARTNERS

Opower

Partner

Natural Resources Defense Council

Partner

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

Partner

Regulatory Assistance Project

Partner

Duke Energy

Partner

Partners

Vision Ridge Partners, LLC

Partner

Avista Utilities

Partner

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Partner

Great Plains Institute

Partner

Environmental Defense Fund

Partner

Partners

The Blue Marble Fund

Partner

The Energy Foundation

Partner

Muirfield Foundation

Partner

The Schmidt Family Foundation

Partner

RESOURCES

Finding Value in the Energy Future report

2018

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eLab Webinar: Pathways for Innovation

2017

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DER valuation, rate design, and the evolving customer role in the electricity system

2017

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The Path to Energy Resilience

2018

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The Electricity System Value Chain

2015

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New Business Models for the Distribution Edge

2014

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Rate Design for the Distribution Edge

2014

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