In the early days of smart metering, we saw several utilities take a top-down approach. “If we impose it, they will put up with it,” seemed to be the slogan of the day. Those utilities learned the hard way that they should have proactively invested in customer outreach and education.
There’s another problem looming that also demands proactive steps. The energy consumption data collected from smart meters is creating privacy concerns. Utilities that get ahead of the problem – that secure the data and that educate customers – will get the buy-in they need from ratepayers and regulators alike.
via Smart Grid: Why and how to be proactive about data privacy (don’t ignore this!).
Kentucky-based electric cooperative Fleming-Mason Energy (FME) has selected smart grid communications provider Tantalus for the design and implementation of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications network.
via Renew Grid: Content / Products & Technology / Kentucky Cooperative Deploys Tantalus AMI Communications Network.
The OpenADR Alliance today announced that the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has approved the OpenADR 2.0b Profile Specification as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) IEC/PAS 62746-10-1 as a basis for a new commission standard to be developed. The level of international support for the PAS validates the global importance of the OpenADR smart grid specification.
via IEC Approves OpenADR Specification.
The Smart Grid Forum’s Vision and Routemap sets out how smart technologies will deliver cost-saving efficiencies, give consumers greater control over their energy use, support jobs and growth, increase energy security and enable integration of low carbon technologies.
via Plans for smart grid to ‘revolutionise’ energy sector | EAEM.
GE recently launched a new business that combines three product lines — Aeroderivative Gas Turbines, Jenbacher Gas Engines and Waukesha Gas Engines — to better serve the distributed power space. The company announced an investment in the newly created business of $1.4 billion over four years to help meet the world’s growing demand for on-site power systems that are easier to finance, faster to install and more efficient and reliable for customers.
In a new white paper, “The Rise of Distributed Power,”GE highlights that distributed power has become increasingly popular in countries that are seeking more reliable, efficient energy options near the point of use — on or off the grid. According to the report, distributed power will grow 40 percent faster than global electricity demand between now and 2020.
via GE Launches New Distributed Power Business.
There are several interesting projects and developments in this week’s smart grid wins. Siemens has commissioned an environmentally-friendly transformer that is insulated and cooled with vegetable oil to a German grid operator, and Plug Power won a multi-location from Walmart for its hydrogen fuel cells. And there’s much more.
via Smart Grid: Smart grid wins: a full slate of innovative technologies and new projects.
We live in a world where smart technology has become an essential part of many people’s lives. From mobile phones and tablets to newer developments like watches and glasses, it seems like everything is going smart.
The smart energy meter is another invention that has only just started to catch on, but could prove to be one of the most revolutionary additions to people’s homes in a very long time – that’s if the government has its way.
via Is it the right time to introduce smart meters to properties? – Commercial Insurance Articles.
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) says it has made it easier for customers to take advantage of Oklahoma wind energy and at a lower cost.
According to the utility, it has reduced the cost of its WindChoice program by more than 40% and is also offering customers more flexibility on the amount of wind energy they purchase.
via Renew Grid: Content / New & Noteworthy / Oklahoma Utility Enhances Wind Energy Program For Customers.
Rapid growth in the number and sophistication of cyber attacks is forcing utilities to implement strong security measures. This, in turn, is driving rapid growth in the global market for smart grid cybersecurity. Infiniti Research Limited projects the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of just under 30% from 2012 to 2016. During that period, they expect cloud-based solutions to gain share.
via Smart Grid: Who’s dominating smart grid security? New report lists 8 leaders.
Everyone agrees that distributed energy is changing the electric grid, but whether microgrids and distributed energy fundamentally reshape the energy system is still up for grabs.
Technologists and policymakers discussed how energy innovation can disrupt the status quo in energy at this week’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, organized by the Department of Energy. When it comes to the electric grid, speakers said that energy users will play a pivotal role in bringing new technologies, such as microgrids, to market, because regulations are outdated and many utilities oppose the spread of distributed energy.
via Where microgrids stand in the battle for our energy future | GreenBiz.com.
There are lots of different ways to define the “smart grid,” but a new study shows people prefer an approach that promises to reduce their energy expenses and lets households generate a significant amount of their own electricity.
“Scenarios for the Development of Smart Grids in the UK,” a new report from the UK Energy Research Centre, found that people were most in support of a “Groundswell” approach led by strong consumer engagement with an increase in distributed, community-generated energy.
via People prefer ‘smart grids’ with local energy – Greenbang.
The expansion of offshore renewable power generation, particularly large wind power installations, is helping to drive demand for transmission via high-voltage submarine electricity cables. While this is a small and highly specialized industry, it has shown consistent growth over in recent years, even in the face of a global recession. It is expected to continue to grow over the next several years.
via Offshore renewable energy driving high-voltage transmission – FierceEnergy.
As reliability concerns climb and microgrid costs drop, Midwestern universities are installing or investigating microgrids. “Higher education facilities … really need to have reliable power, and unfortunately, the United States’ electrical grid is less reliable now than it was in the past,” said Peter Strazdas, associate vice president of facilities management at Western Michigan University told Midwest Energy News. “That’s driving a lot of this microgrid conversation.” His campus converted a coal-fired plant into a cogen facility in the 1990s and has since stepped gradually towards a microgrid, which is now “90% there.”
via Smart Grid: Why microgrids are making progress in the Midwest.
A new “routemap” which sets out how smart technologies can give consumers better control over their energy use, support jobs and increase security while saving billions of pounds has been published.
Created by DECC, the Smart Grid Forum – which brings together industry, regulators and consumer groups – estimates smart grid would help cut the cost of adding low carbon technologies such as solar PV, electric vehicles and heat pumps by up to £12 billion a year by 2050.
via Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy – Smart grid ‘routemap’ for UK published.
Latin America has become one of the hottest growth markets for wind energy. Globalization is driving sustainable economic growth in most Latin American countries, resulting in greater energy demand. Wind is increasingly viewed as a valuable and essential answer to increasing electricity generation across most markets in Latin America. Strong wind resources and sophisticated wind turbines are providing cost-effective generation competitive with fossil fuel generation. If most wind plants under construction with planned commissioning go online as scheduled, Navigant Research predicts annual wind power installations in Latin America will grow from nearly 2.2 GW in 2013 to 4.3 GW by 2022.
via Brazil predicted to lead Latin America in wind power – FierceEnergy.
The concept of developing local microgrids to support organizational missions is a current topic of interest in board rooms, campuses, utilities, and city councils. The truth is that microgrids are not cheap, require a lot of careful design, require ongoing operations and maintenance expenditures, and are not always the optimal solution.
In a previous article, I discussed the “the 6 things to consider” when developing a microgrid, and provided some practical questions to answer before investing a lot of time and money. Any major power investment like a microgrid should not only support the organizational objectives, but it should also provide benefits to the power consumers – the “customers.” This article does not represent an exhaustive list, but instead provides some of the more common and provocative customer benefits when considering a microgrid solution for your organization.
via Smart Grid: The top five microgrid customer benefits.
The OpenADR Alliance and WI-SUN Alliance today announced a liaison agreement to more quickly accelerate the rollout of energy efficient program offerings. The two organizations will work together to enable interoperability between Smart Utility Networks and utility demand response programs based on the OpenADR specification.
via New Industry Collaboration To Improve Smart Grid System Interoperability – Press Release – Digital Journal.
China has outpaced the US for the first time in terms of smart grid investment, according to new research.
Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reveals that China spent $4.3bn on smart grid projects in 2013, with a large part of that going on the installation of 62 million meters, bringing its total of fitted meters to just under 250 million.
China now has more than twice as many smart meters installed as the total number of households in the US, where smart grid spending is slowing down. According to BNEF, the North America market “shrunk significantly in 2013”, falling 33 per cent to $3.6bn, mainly because of the winding down of stimulus-funded projects.
via China overtakes US on smart grid investment while Europe is market’s ‘sleeping giant’ – Pennenergy.
Electric vehicles could eventually strain our aging electrical distribution systems, especially at times of peak demand. Many utilities are wondering how to manage if many EVs try to recharge at the same time.
A team of scientists from the University of Vermont has a new proposal. “The key to our approach is to break up the request for power from each car into multiple small chunks—into packets,” Jeff Frolik told Phys.org. Frolik is a professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and co-author of the proposal.
via Smart Grid: A better way to charge EVs? Scientists devise “packet-based” approach.
The global market for smart meters is expected to reach $22.18 billion by 2020, finds a new study by Grand View Research Inc. Grand View is a market research and consulting company that provides off-the-shelf, customized research reports and consulting services.
Initiatives by regulatory authorities to establish smart grids and ensure energy efficiency are expected to be a considerable growth driver over the forecast period, Grand View says.
via Renew Grid: Content / Up Front / Global Smart Meter Market To Top $22 Billion By 2020.