The best smart thermostat systems and smart-heating systems you can buy in the UK in 2015. The best home-automation services dedicated to keeping you warm and saving you money. It’s Nest vs Hive vs Tado vs Heat Genius and we’ve just added our full Netatmo and Honeywell reviews. PLUS: Inspire, PassivSystems and HeatMiser. You’ve probably seen the adverts for Hive with its quirky song about how great it is to control your heating from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. And yes, it is – pun intended – a cool thing to be able to do. But more than that, smart heating is likely to be a key part of every home going forward. As fuel costs rise and supplies run dry the ability to heat our homes in an efficient way will stop being a nice bonus, and become an essential part of every home’s economics.
Smart meter communications and network design choices are among the most critical that can be made during the smart grid design phase. Not only are communication choices critical to initial and ongoing smart grid costs and economics, they determine the future functionality, security, interoperability, flexibility, and other characteristics of a distribution grid. There may be no decisions more defining of a grid’s future than those relating to communications, and several books are dedicated to the subject.
Dollars per watt ($/W) is a lousy measure of the economics of solar, but it persists.
Most likely, it persists because it seems familiar. We can pay $4 for a watt of solar, or $4 for a Iced Hazelnut Macchiato at Starbucks. Unfortunately, while the analogy may seem apt, this is a lot like knowing you’re getting a Macchiato without knowing if it’s a Tall, Grande, or Venti. The actual energy production from a solar system depends greatly on a number of factors, including location, orientation, mounting structure, shading, string configuration, and choice of inverter.
As we come to the end of another year, it is not a nuclear issue that I want to discuss but rather the broader issue of our need for reliable electricity. Last month I started with a quote from the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2013 highlighting how important energy has become to our society – affecting the economics of nations and our environment as well as our daily way of life.
DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability has debuted ES-GRID, which the company says is a new tool to help quantify the value of distributed energy storage on distribution systems.
According to DNV, ES-GRID was developed to serve needs like those of the current California Public Utilities Commission effort, which seeks to establish reliable and detailed economics for energy storage technologies.
Recently Dutch experts from the fields of smart grids, cyber security and infrastructure resilience were on a visit to the US.They met with their American counterparts to exchange information and explore opportunities for collaboration between the Netherlands and the United States as well as engage US stakeholders in their post-Sandy resilience agenda.
As home to a high quality and densely packed electricity network, the Netherlands is viewed as a testing ground for creating the next generation of energy infrastructures. The Netherlands also holds a strong reputation in IT development and implementation. To maintain its edge in these fields, the Dutch government has designated energy efficiency and smart energy technologies as crucial components of its international economics strategy.
Hitachi Communication Technologies America, Inc. (Hitachi CTA) and Tendril® today announced that the companies are partnering to deliver a wide range of smart energy applications to consumers via an array of set-top boxes, wireless gateways and other devices that are already in the home. This dramatically improves the economics of home energy management by providing an economical and operational alternative to special-purpose gateways and other specialized hardware for each application used by the subscriber.
At this year’s Accenture International Utilities and Energy Conference, one of the most thought-provoking speeches came from Google’s Michael Lock, VP of Enterprise Sales for the Americas. His ideas have implication for our ongoing discussion of Electronomics, the economics of our shift to the Electricity Economy.
Michael had many predictions for the future of the business world. Google, after all, gains amazing insights from its search business. It can often spot trends before they become apparent to the rest of us.
There are no free lunches in economics. In the same way that a debt-based global financial system is doomed to fail, the dream of unlimited economic growth sustained by abundant and cheap energy from fossil fuels is turning into an environmental nightmare.
For the first time in its history, mankind is facing a formidable test of its resolve to coexist harmoniously with its environment. The next decade will be decisive and the outcome likely irreversible.
Grid stress is a real problem. In addition to the economic threat there is a potentially greater national security risk.
As the U.S. Senate prepares to take up the climate bill, power companies anticipate a provision that would limit power plant emissions and impose a federal standard requiring a significant use of renewable energy resources. However, many experts agree that bringing our aging power transmission and distribution infrastructure into the 21st century, a task that could take decades and cost in excess of $100 billion will present a stumbling block to delivering a significant amount of renewable energy.