About the content
THIS COURSE GIVES YOU THE INSIDE TRACK TO A COMPLICATED INDUSTRY. The approach of this course is truly unique in how it approaches and engages learners. It looks at the electric utility industry, which has remained critical to our quality of life, health and comfort from the eyes of numerous industry experts through on-location interviews, compelling visuals, and animation. You will benefit from having the inside track because you see some behind-the-scenes information not covered in news stories, social media or even if we are in the business ourselves. EACH WEEK YOU NOT ONLY LEARN WHAT IS CHANGING, BUT WHY. As this industry continues to unfold at an unprecedented pace, you will be armed with knowledge and insights to form informed opinions supporting decisions you will increasingly make for your energy-dependent homes and businesses. This course kicks off with animated crash course on industry history, highlighting aspects of the structure, governance, and technology that remain today, despite the passage of time. Then, throughout the modules, you will build some basics about how electricity gets to you, who watches over decisions, including setting rates. This information establishes a knowledge foundation so that when we explore some of the most critical topics, like renewable energy, smart grid, battery storage, and you can think about it from a much more analytical and critical viewpoint. YOU WILL DEVELOP A FRAMEWORK FOR MAKING SENSE OF THIS INDUSTRY THAT WILL BENEFIT YOU BEYOND THIS COURSE. This industry can get pretty complicated, and this course will help you make more sense of it. Electric Utilities Fundamentals and Future is the course for you whether you’re just curious about the industry or an industry veteran looking to grow – or, thinking about joining the industry. (Hint: now is a good time. You'll learn why in this course.) No prior education or experience required. You just need a healthy curiosity and an open mind to learn about an industry that I think a lot of us, including myself sometimes, take for granted.
Week 1 : Taking Shape and Grid Fundamentals
We kick off this course with a look at how the electric utility industries' technical, regulatory and structural history continues to shape how we receive electricity today. You'll follow electricity from how utilities generate it by using fossil fuels or renewables to how it is delivered to your home or business. And, you'll learn there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the electricity we all depend on.
Week 2 : Price and Value
From generating electricity through various primary fuel sources to transmission and distribution, we know there is value in the grid itself. At the same time, this value is not necessarily obvious to customers. In this module, we'll learn how rates are determined and governed. We will also review different types of utilities as we explore pricing and value together.
Week 3 : Not Your Grandparents' Utility
You've invested time in learning the basic blocking and tackling in this industry. This foundation will be important as we examine how this industry is evolving. With this information under your belt, you can knowledgeably evaluate the various options and choices you will have in the future and can weigh in with an informed opinion on some of the most pressing and even controversial topics today.
Week 4 : Pace of Change, Technology and Regulation
Arguably, the electric utility industry is moving at a pace faster than ever seen before in its century-old history. Customer expectations and evolving technology will continue to drive this evolution. While many may express frustration that the pace of change is too slow, the existing regulatory structure and customer requirements around affordability and reliability mean that there is little room for error. We will explore the regulatory framework at a federal, state and local level and touch on some of the global trends in this area as well. We will tackle some of the more controversial topics, including potential overlap between federal and state regulatory accountabilities. The information you glean from this module will help you form more holistic and knowledgeable opinions as you watch this industry continue to unfold.
Week 5 : Toward a Bright Future
Over the past four weeks together, we've learned that there is more than meets the eye in this industry. With its rich history, complex regulatory framework and dependency on natural resources we know that the decisions we make today will impact how future generations receive electricity over the next century. This module pulls together the information we've learned so far so we can think about what the future holds from a place of knowledge. We'll look at what industry insiders consider the biggest hurdles and opportunity areas and hypothesize about what shifts might occur. In this final module, armed with your newfound knowledge, I'm going to ask you to connect the dots and express your informed opinion. With that - let's jump on in!
University of Colorado Denver Business School, Global Energy Management Program
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