HENRIK LUND of Aalborg University, Denmark, has told the 21st International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering (CHISA) that Denmark will be able to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Lund was presenting a plenary lecture at CHISA, in Prague, and said that the switch  will require a holistic approach looking at so-called “smart energy systems”, not just considering electricity generation but heating and transport as well. The Danish government’s ambitious target was set in 2006 and includes these three key uses of non-renewable energy. The government has set several interim targets, including that 50% of energy will come from wind by 2020 and that no power plants will burn coal and no households will use oil for heating by 2030.

via tcetoday | News | Denmark aims for total renewable energy.

29. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

The daunting four year job to replace all 750,000 electric meters in CPS Energy’s system began right on schedule on Monday, with the first ‘smart meters’ being installed in neighborhoods on the near northeast side and in the Leon Valley area, Newsradio 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board reports.

CPS Energy’s John Moreno says, in addition to being far more accurate, the smart meters, which will automatically beam your power usage back to the utility, will also be invaluable when there is a power outage.

via Massive Smart Meter Installation Begins | News Radio 1200 WOAI.

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The U.S. continues to lead the world in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity, according to two reports released recently by the Department of Energy. The wind market in the United States remains strong due to increasing wind energy generation of decreasing wind technology prices, driving the U.S. closer to doubling wind power generation once again by 2020, the reports predict.

via U.S. wind capacity to double by 2020 – FierceEnergy.

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Not to be outdone by British Gas and nPower, Scottish Power has become the latest energy supplier to jump aboard the smart thermostat bandwagon. While its rivals are either pushing their own controls or have teamed up companies like Nest to help customers automate their heating, Scottish Power is doing a bit of both by spinning off a white-label version of the Climote thermostat.

via Scottish Power is the latest energy provider to offer its own smart thermostat.

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One of the oft-flogged analogies about the Smart Grid is that building it is like assembling a plane in flight.  The challenges start with trying to overlay new technologies on top of older infrastructure, choosing winners and losers in competing standards, and melding together diverse equipment into situationally-aware and intelligent operations.

However, all the plans, all the assumptions, and almost all prognostications have one common worldview – everything runs on silicon.  Silicon is the foundation for the semiconductor materials found in computers, communications networks, appliances, and other electronics. For all its importance and ubiquity in our technology, silicon has some significant downsides – particularly in wasted energy. The resistance to motion of electrons in silicon semiconductors creates waste energy in the form of heat.  That heat can damage sensitive electronics, so more energy must be expended in cooling mechanisms to dissipate or reduce that heat.

via Electronics and Future Grid Development | The Energy Collective.

Green Mountain Power (GMP) has begun construction on a “solar + storage microgrid” project in Rutland, Vt., which is being partially funded a federal-state-NGO partnership involving the State of Vermont; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity; and the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) — a project managed by Clean Energy States Alliance and Sandia National Laboratories. Microgrids like these can keep critical facilities, such as emergency shelters, firehouses and fueling stations, operating during power outages.

via CESA: Combining solar with energy storage the future of clean energy – FierceEnergy.

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Physicist and energy expert Amory Lovins, chief scientist at The Rocky Mountain Institute, recently released a video in which he claims that renewable energy can meet all of our energy needs without the need for a fossil fuel or nuclear baseload generation. There’s nothing unusual about that – many people have made that claim – but he also suggests that this can be done without a lot of grid-level storage. Instead, Lovins describes a “choreography” between supply and demand, using predictive computer models to anticipate production and consumption, and intelligent routing to deliver power where it’s needed. This “energy dance,” combined with advances in energy efficiency, will allow us to meet all of our energy needs without sacrificing reliability.

via Is Storage Necessary for Renewable Energy? > ENGINEERING.com.

The Northeast’s electric power system is at an inflection point. Distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, smart buildings and electric vehicles are creating new opportunities but also new demands on the grid. At the same time, ratepayers and policymakers are calling for a more resilient system.

These rising expectations coincide with flat or declining demand for electricity. And with the costly need to replace aging infrastructure. This combination of needs and stresses “presents an almost untenable challenge for the regions traditionally regulated distribution utilities. Regulators and utilities must evolve to adapt to this changing world.”

via Smart Grid: Future of utilities: New England may opt for “outcomes-based” regulations.

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In an effort to meet its ambitious goal of an 80% renewables share in the nation’s electricity demand by 2050, the German government launched a €157 million ($210 million) power grid funding initiative in August.

Some 300 academic and research centers and 400 companies signed up to take part in the program, which was jointly launched by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

via Germany slates $210 million for sustainable power grid research: pv-magazine.

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AT&T* today announced beginning Friday, August 22 it will expand Digital Life to cover Keene and Claremont, N.H. AT&T Digital Life ® makes customers’ lives easier by simplifying the management of their home. Digital Life offers security, convenience and peace of mind, in a customizable and easy-to-use experience from smartphones, tablets or computer.

Starting Friday, August 22, customers can receive a live demo and purchase Digital Life in company owned retail stores or purchase online at att.com/digitallife. With these new additions, Digital Life will be available in 82 markets across the U.S.

via AT&T Digital Life, Home Security and Automation Service, Expands in Keene and Claremont — DALLAS, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –.

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If you listen closely, you’ll hear it. All the electronic devices in your home are tuning up to talk to each other.

The Internet of Things isn’t as far off as you might think, and it just got a little closer as Dow Electronics, one of the largest privately held companies in Tampa Bay, partnered with Nest, a home automation company that designs and manufactures sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled and self-learning programmable thermostats, as well as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors.

via Dow Electronics plugs into the Internet of Things – Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The Asia-Pacific region has seen particularly robust demand for microgrids in recent years, due to economic development, electrification, and industrialization directly related to the growing need for more electricity and the resulting development of renewable distributed energy generation and, ultimately, microgrids, according to Navigant Research.

via Renewable energy fueling Asia-Pacific microgrids – FierceSmartGrid.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has initiated a long-term project to modernize the state’s electric grid by incorporating non-utility owned energy resources into the planning and operation of the electric distribution system.

The new rulemaking, in response to Assembly Bill 327, will evaluate the state utilities’ existing and future electric distribution infrastructure and planning procedures with respect to incorporating Distributed Energy Resources into the planning and operation of their electric distribution systems.

via CPUC shaping “utility of the future” – FierceSmartGrid.

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“Motion near upstairs,” the notification says. That’s upstairs in my apartment, the place I was around 2,800 miles away from; on the other side of the country from, in fact. It’s Saturday morning, I’m away for the weekend, and SmartThings is being terribly helpful in notifying me that one of its motion detectors has spotted something unusual. That’s when I start to panic.

via My Smart Home Trolled Me – SlashGear.

Microsoft this week revealed the 10 startups that will participate in its accelerator program that will focus on home automation.

The program was first revealed in June at the company’s first Ventures Global Startup day in San Francisco, according to Tech Insider. The companies chosen for the accelerator are Chai Energy, Heatworks, Neura, Novi Security, Playtabase, Plum, Red Balloon Security, Scanalytics, Sentri, and Wallflowr.

via Microsoft to Invest in 10 Startups for Home Automation Accelerator Program : News : Headlines & Global News.

28. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: News · Tags: , ,

Home automation has come a long way in the last few years, with even behemoth Google is getting in on the action now. With its $3.2 billion investment this year in Nest, one of the most progressive home-automation companies across the globe, Google Inc. looks to be showing the world that smart homes are here to stay.

via Google’s Nest Technology Reinvents Underappreciated Home Products | Benzinga.

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For most of its brief existence, the modern smart home has offered a frustratingly fragmented user experience. A maze of competing, proprietary ecosystems has forced consumers to pick a “side” (be it Staples Connect, Lowes Iris, Quirky Wink, or Belkin WeMo) and sacrifice otherwise attractive products on the altar of compatibility.

Some see a potential solution in IFTTT (If This Then That), a free service that gives websites, apps, and devices a simple way to interact with one another.

via ADT refines its ‘recipes’ on smart home automation.

27. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

The fundamental technology for infusing intelligence into the power grid has been in existence for years – more than a decade, in some cases. Today, the market for smart grid technologies is evolving rapidly as the need for a more responsive, automated, and efficient power grid rises worldwide. According to a new report from Navigant Research, cumulative worldwide spending on smart grid technologies will total $594 billion from 2014 through 2023.

via BOULDER, Colo.: Spending on Smart Grid Technologies Will Total Nearly $600 Billion from 2014 Through 2023, Forecasts Navigant Research | Business Press Releases | Fort Mill Times.

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There are lots of components to the Smart Grid, in which intelligent power technologies combine to provide electricity where we want it, but without the waste associated with the current utility system. But how do they fit together?

Making a more efficient grid that cuts overall energy use involves several things – and tech comes into it at all stages, from better managed batteries, through distributed generation, to smart composting schemes and sensor-based Internet of Things implementations which tune energy use to match the fluctuating power provided by the renewable sources.

The interesting thing is that all the different approaches can add up. Earlier this summer a “CleanTech Club” gathering in London heard how power generation can be distributed to where the power is used, how batteries can smooth the peaks of demand and supply, and how local composting could actually provide a third of the power we use in the home.

via Smart Grid Combines Batteries, Fuel Cells And Compost.

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In Monday’s issue, I talked about one of the most powerful and unstoppable technological forces on the planet: the Internet of Things (IoT).

It’s the idea that systems, machines, devices, homes, cars – basically, everything – will all be connected through the internet.

Today, I’m going one step further and introducing a company that’s currently at the forefront of this mega trend.

As you’ll see, it brings a totally new meaning to the term “home invasion.”

via Control4: Home Automation Firm at Forefront of IoT Revolution | Wall Street Daily.

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