Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, hosted its second Global Power Industry Summit in Brisbane, Australia from August 21 to 22, 2014. Themed “Innovative ICT Empowers Better Connected Smart Grids,” the event gathered representatives from power companies, industry organizations and the academic community from around the world to share insights and best practices on building connected smart grids and explore upcoming trends in the power industry.
Apparently it’s been a good week in the smart grid and related sectors. Read our selection of smart grid wins to learn about some of the companies that make the grid modernization initiative possible (and smart water too).
The U.S. wind energy industry generally gets overlooked as the solar industry grabs the biggest share of the spotlight in the renewables world. Solar is getting cheaper almost by the day. Many expect rooftop solar coupled with energy storage to be the next big thing, and the net metering debate continues.
But two new Energy Department reports say U.S. wind energy is quite healthy, thank you. DOE considers wind power to be a “key component” of the strategy to cut carbon pollution, diversify the country’s energy economy and more. Scan the press release below for an overview and click on the links for more detail.
US utility CPS Energy started a four-year smart meter rollout this week as part of a US$290 million upgrade to electricity and gas customers within its service area.
The energy company based in San Antonio, Texas, will install a total of 740,000 new Landis+Gyr electric meters, and add a smart module to roughly 340,000 existing gas meters.
A communication on the CPS Energy website said that “starting in 2015, energy use data will also be available to you, the customer, through a secure online web page that will let you see and track your use as recently as the previous day. And that puts the power — cough cough, pun intended — in your hands”.
Online technology magazine MakeUseOf is out with an article summarizing why current utility customers may soon be generating their own electricity. If you think that solar is still too expensive to be a threat to your utility… if you think it’s only an issue in high-sun / high-cost areas like Hawaii and California… then I urge you to skim the three developments summarized below. The solar-friendly future may be closer than we think.
Global automotive manufacturers are accelerating their efforts to produce more vehicles utilizing electric drivetrains. Many factors are contributing to this trend, including newly enacted fuel economy standards, greater confidence in electric-powered vehicles, and advances in battery technology. In 2012, Toyota launched the Plug-in Prius, powered for the first time with lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. This shift from the well-established nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries to Li-ion represented a major endorsement of the ability of this chemistry to perform consistently in an automotive environment. Since then, most of the other major OEMs have introduced battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models, almost all of which use Li-ion batteries for onboard energy storage.
Smart grid companies GRID20/20 and Dominion Voltage (DVI) are partnering to target optimisation solutions to utilities not using smart meters as well as smart energy customers.
DVI, a provider of energy efficiency demand response and volt/VAR control products, will integrate GRID20/20?s platform technology into its EDGE solution to gain access to “markets there were previously unreachable”, said Todd Headlee, executive director of DVI.
GRID20/20 provides an intra-grid sensing platform to effectively drive its EDGE solution within markets not possessing smart meters.
While plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) are now available throughout all of the United States, most Canadian provinces and territories, and every Western European country, they are not readily accessible in the Asia-Pacific region, but this will soon change, according to Navigant Research.
Electronics retailer Best Buy is entering the crowded home automation market through a deal with startup Smart Home Ventures, which designed its offering around ease of use.
Called Peq (pronounced “peak”), the service costs $9.99 a month for an unlimited number of gadgets connected to a wireless hub, which are sold in kits ranging in cost from about $120 to $490. Best Buy will start selling the products at 250 stores at the end of the month. Peq will also be available online and through a telecom company that is yet to be announced, according to a company representative.
Energy data collected via smart meters could lead to services that improve people’s lives and cut harmful carbon pollution. This is true if customers have easy access to the energy data they need to control their own energy use and reduce their electricity bills – which isn’t always the case.
When it comes to storing energy at the scale of the power grid, lithium-ion batteries have a lot of advantages — and, critics say, some significant drawbacks.
Sure, lithium-ion is the dominant battery chemistry for consumer electronics and electric vehicles, which helps drive down costs and improve bankability for grid projects (see Tesla’s Giga factory for an example of how this future could unfold). And yes, they’ve been proven in many grid-tied projects around the world.
According to GTM Research’s Q2 2014 Grid Edge Executive Briefing, released this week, there are approximately 270 distributed energy storage projects (deployed and planned) across the United States. The number of projects is up from 120 at the end of 2013, and combined, the total is 212 megawatts.
Australia faces an unprecedented oversupply of energy according to the country’s energy market operator. “For the first time in the history of the National Electricity Market, no new thermal baseload electricity generation is required over the next decade…due to the continuing decline in electricity consumption,” Australian Energy Market Operator said in the report.
That decline is due to a convergence of several factors – greater energy efficiency, more rooftop solar, and the recession that heavily impacted manufacturers who use lots of electricity.
Advanced Control Systems (ACS) has launched a redesigned and expanded website created to meet the needs of busy utility engineers and executives seeking automation solutions. The new website provides easier user interaction and navigation, faster answers to questions and more detail on the company’s comprehensive suite of smart grid solutions. The website transformation is but one example of initiatives underway at ACS to provide even higher levels of service and increase the awareness of the company’s products and services.
e current top ten asset companies are entering various energy markets including solar light, secondary cells, smart grids, and fuel cells.
These groups all point out that energy will be a growth driver in the future. If these companies continue to focus on promoting energy sources that are being invested in at present, “energy wars” among companies are expected in various fields.
In the solar light business, Hanwha is speeding up overseas expansions through vertical integration while Samsung is enhancing its market presence by winning big global businesses.
Distributed intelligence is all the rage in the smart grid industry these days. The idea is to turn smart meters, grid-hardened routers and other devices into computing platforms, capable of analyzing and processing floods of data at the speeds needed to manage disruptions that happen too fast for central systems to handle.
This week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) convened the first face-to-face meeting of the cyber-physical systems public working group (CPS PWG) to develop and implement a new cybersecurity framework dedicated to cyber-physical systems (CPS), also known as the “Internet of Things.” Companies developing products and services involving CPS may consider participating in the CPS PWG, as participation in webinars and meetings is open and intended to be convenient. The group’s efforts may affect the legal landscape developing around CPS.
Rural electric systems in eight states will benefit from $236.3 million in USDA loan guarantees to help them modernize and improve reliability, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced July 16. Nearly $20 million of the money will fund smart grid improvements, according to the agency’s news release.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., recently announced that $3.3 million has been awarded to seven research teams to develop smart grid technologies that add resiliency and efficiency to New York State’s electric grid.
“As we continue to witness the impacts of extreme weather, it is more important than ever to invest in making our energy infrastructure stronger and smarter,” said Cuomo, who later added, “By investing in these seven smart grids, we are further readying the state for the new reality of severe weather and ensuring that the work we do today will mean fewer power outages and more deliberate energy consumption in the future.”
Parks Associates today announced Internet of Things (IoT) research showing nearly 4% of U.S. households will have a smart home controller by the end of 2014, with an estimated increase to nearly 6% by 2015. The firm’s Evolution of Smart Home and the Internet of Things, which includes data from a 1Q 2014 survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, also reports 64% of all smart devices currently in households operate as part of a security or home controls system. Smart devices include motorized door controls, lighting controls, networked security camera, and programmable thermostats, among other devices.
The Internet of Things: Business Models & Opportunities, another Parks Associates industry report, analyzes predominant, disruptive, and innovative business models used within the smart home market. The report examines new revenue opportunities for OEMs and developers and provides business model details and case studies.