John H. Baker Jr.

John H.
Baker Jr.
Energy Editor, Transmission & Distribution World,
President, Inception Energy Strategies

John Baker is a proven utility executive, strategist, engineer and executive consultant. He is the energy editor for Transmission & Distribution World, writing a monthly column entitled “Energy Transitions.” He is also president of Inception Energy Strategies, an executive consultancy serving the utility industry. He has particular expertise in strategic business models, new energy technologies, customer strategies and smart grid. He has given numerous domestic and international presentations on smart grid and other utility of the future topics.

Prior to starting his consulting practice, John served from February to November 2011 as the director of Utility Systems Research at the Pecan Street Project, a research and development organization focused on emerging energy technologies, new utility business models, and customer behavior associated with advanced energy management systems. In that role, he led the development of both a smart grid home research laboratory and a utility-side smart grid research project.

John was the chief strategy officer at Austin Energy from October 2002 to February 2011, creating the organization’s strategic planning function in 2002; helping set its sustainable energy direction; establishing key collaboration agreements with the University of Texas’s Clean Energy Incubator; leading a cross-functional effort that examined solar technologies and related financial structures, resulting in the development of a 30-MW solar plant; and leading the utility’s participation in the development of the Pecan Street Project.

Over the course of his 35-plus-year utility career, he also served as vice president of customer care and marketing, director of system operations and reliability, division manager of distribution system support and manager of distribution engineering.

John earned his BSEE degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his MBA from the University of Dallas.

carbon emissions from power plant
Embracing Low Carbon 3
It is time for U.S. utilities to exit the climate change debate completely and focus on the best and most effective ways to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.
Big Carbon Equals Big Solar
Last June, I wrote a column titled “Sun Wars” that discussed the conflict between utility-scale solar (big solar) and rooftop solar advocates.
Renewable Power Buyers Wanted
Solar power will likely prove to be a highly resilient market participant, but an expanded grid is needed to move excess solar power to favorable market locations.
POTUS Needs Your Help 1
The 45th president of the United States will inherit all manner of challenges including many crucial issues surrounding electric energy. See the advice our Xperts would give POTUS if they were appointed senior advisor to the president for electric energy.
Big Carbon Equals Big Solar
Energy Editor John Baker revisits the ongoing “Sun Wars” and concludes that big carbon needs big solar.
Monopolies in Competition 1
T&D World's IdeaXchange experts discuss how utilities should respond to the competitive threats embedded in some DER technologies and take advantage of the customer engagement opportunities also present there.
Strategic Decisions in the IoT Age 1
Given the climate of uncertainty and rapid technological change, do strategic plans even make sense anymore?
A Different Game
Recently, I had the opportunity to watch the U.S. national rugby team play Canada in an international match.
Electricity at the Crossroads
As the New Year begins, it may be beneficial to revisit the year just past.
Climate Change 5
Despite generating intense and sometimes bitter debate, climate change initiatives are gaining momentum and will significantly impact the future of electric utilities.
Climate Needs Nuclear 1
If climate change mitigation is to be the foremost goal of the 21st century, then a crucial electric power question is emerging. Can substantial and maintainable carbon reduction be achieved without a revival of nuclear power?
Nuking the CPP 1
While moving the U.S. power industry toward lower carbon emissions, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will need nuclear energy to be successful.
“NexGen” Utility Leaders
With utilities facing real competition from customer-owned solar PV, transformative regulatory initiatives, and massive change from smart grid, micro grids, and other explosive information/communication technologies, the need for “NexGen” utility leaders has never been more critical. See what our Xperts are saying about this crucial topic.
My Energy Portfolio
Smart grids, smart phones and smart homes are all hot topics today. How might these technologies team up to benefit tomorrow’s homeowner?
Putting DERs to Work
What does the future hold for utilities in regards to the various distributed energy resources?

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