From the Editor: Now more than ever, hospitals must be resilient

It’s been a tough year. Our lives have been tremendously altered because of a global pandemic that has taken almost 1.5 million human souls globally…and it isn’t over yet.

It’s been a tough year for hospitals. Hospitals and the front-line workers they employ are the military bases and soldiers who are at war with this disease. Yet in the irony of all ironies, the pandemic itself has impacted their ability to deliver high-quality service as elective and non-emergency surgeries have been postponed or canceled to stop the spread of Covid-19. So when we need them the most, hospitals are on iffy financial footing.

It’s been a tough year for electric utilities. Utilities need to keep the power flowing and when storm damages and outages have occurred, they have had to implement extra safety protocols in order to keep their workers safe. Louie Dabdoub Director, Incident Response at Entergy explained on a recent webcast that Covid-19 meant he had to double the amount of space he would normally allot for mutual aid workers who came to help restore power after Hurricane Isais ripped through the region. Less people in trucks, less people in hotel rooms, more space between people for meals. He said that if he normally would plan for 26,000 aid workers, Covid made it more like he had to plan for 52,000. Double the costs. And like hospitals, utilities have also struggled financially because many of their customers have lost their jobs and have been unable to pay their electric bills.

For all of these reasons, hospitals and microgrids really need to get to know each other. A microgrid, especially one powered with sustainable energy, can help hospitals save money, meet sustainability goals and increase their electricity reliability. The Energy-as-a-Service model in particular is a unique cost-saving approach to meeting many of the goals that hospitals have regarding reliable electricity and power quality.

Join me and Schneider Electric’s Chris Evanich for a webcast on December 3 at noon Eastern Time to explore why Microgrids are the Future of Energy in Healthcare.

While we all continue to hope and pray that the pandemic ends quickly, we know that quality healthcare and electricity are pillars in our society. Let’s learn how we can make them both even stronger for future generations.

—Jennifer Runyon

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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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