Driven by market forces and evolving customer demands, Hawaii has, in a relatively short time, integrated a significant amount of distributed renewables. To better understand the renewable transformation currently underway in Hawaii, the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and energy consulting firm ScottMadden Inc. led a group of international energy industry executives to explore the state’s renewable energy market through face-to-face meetings with thought leaders and decision makers — including the Hawaiian electric utility, transmission and renewable energy industries; government, trade, and industry associations; and market experts — who are adapting to the state’s dynamic and challenging environment.
A multibillion dollar trend is transforming the energy industry, and it’s not about drilling. It involves a different kind of bit: digital data.Just as fracking made oil and gas cheaper to produce, a new era of digital technology is starting to cut costs and boost efficiency for all kinds of energy—whether from oil fields, wind turbines or solar farms.This frontier includes traffic robots, inspection drones, smart meters, self-driving vehicles and other sensor-equipped machinery, all connected through the Internet of Things. Its Big Data could save energy and alleviate climate concerns. It also raises questions about privacy and security.
It’s no secret that, although the innovations are constantly rolling in the energy industry, utilities can be slow to change. Digital businesses are rapidly emerging across industries and, in terms of utilities, can be extremely important in terms of how they relate to security, smart devices and the Internet of Things, among others.
Although utilities may not yet be on road to taking their own businesses digital, it is important that they are at least aware of the changes.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has released a roadmap for energy storage in Australia. According to CEC, the “Australian Energy Storage Roadmap” outlines the path the country should take to study the effects of energy storage both for electricity customers and the renewable energy industry.
The University of Wisconsin (UW) and their Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) has been an innovator in the energy industry, and a partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) has helped develop what could be helpful in electric microgrids — by creating a new way to utilize a lithium ion battery. According to the university, the new development could potentially improve everything from energy storage to portable electronics.
Democrats, Republicans and energy industry leaders agree that the electrical grid is the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century. Where there’s some confusion is around how to ensure a more secure, reliable and advanced electricity system for the 21st century.
The Ameren Corporation has opened an Innovation Center on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus. The Center will collaborate with university students and faculty and other companies to develop innovations to help Ameren better meet the future needs of its customers. The UIUC’s College of Engineering is among the highest ranked in the United States is often collaborates on information security projects for the energy industry.
The Australian wind energy industry achieved a milestone in January, with wind generation exceeding hydro generation for the first time.
According to data compiled by Green Energy Markets, the wind industry boosted production to its highest level in six months -thanks to good wind speeds – while hydro generation fell sharply from previous years, mostly as a result of the carbon price repeal, which has removed much of the incentive for the hydro generators to increase production.
The Internet of Things is driving radical change in the energy industry as consumers adopt smart devices and smart energy solutions. Approximately 10% of U.S. broadband households have a smart device with energy-related functions – including 8% with a smart thermostat and 6% with smart lighting.
The growing penetration of these devices is changing the way that utilities execute energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) programs. The combination of smart meter and smart product data enable many new approaches to energy management.
In what it described as the first industry-wide survey of its kind, the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) found that California is home to the country’s largest advanced energy industry, and that the industry is expected to continue growing.
The survey of more than 2,000 businesses, conducted by BW Research Partnership, determined that of the 10 states that have done industry assessments California’s advanced energy industry is the largest. It also ranked California as second, tied with Massachusetts, for the percentage of its workforce employed in the industry with 2.4%. Vermont is ranked at the top in that category with 4.3%.