Community News and Information
Updated: 4 hours 15 min ago
What happens when a new technology hits an inflection point? Frequently the answer is a long, drawn out battle over standards. This time the fight is over the Internet of Things. Click to learn about six emerging standards that could be contenders.
Regulator / utility collaboration – the 3 states that do it best (and other tips for better relationships)
It’s crucial, particularly in these challenging times, for utilities to be able to sit down and work with regulators. Nick Wagner, a member of the Iowa Utilities Board with a long list of additional credentials, shares his thoughts on why communicating with regulators early and often is so important… and how to go about it.
As the smart grid evolves, the companies providing the technologies that make it happen continually develop new products, enhance existing ones and add services. Click to read about some of those new offerings from Elster, ABB, Trimble, Schneider Electric, Ideal Power, Itron and others.
In the first installment of his two-part series, Kris Ardis of Maxim Integrated alerted you to seven serious threats to smart meter security and what their consequences could be. Now he’s back to share technology that can thwart those dangers.
It’s an “everything is connected” world where the centralized approach to sensing, intelligence and control no longer offers the visibility and quick response time needed to effectively monitor and manage the grid. Read on to learn about a transactive energy solution that can help.
In the first installment of a two-part series, Kris Ardis of Maxim Integrated defines smart meter security risks that don’t involve hacking into the utility network. They do involve the smart meter life cycle itself, and the possible consequences he describes are more than alarming.
While home energy management devices are nowhere near as popular as we expected them to be years ago, National Grid is going to make a go of it with CEIVA at its smart grid test bed project in Worcester, Massachusetts. Click to learn more about the project.
Europe has taken microgrids on a different path with its first campus-wide system at Italy’s University of Genoa. It incorporates renewables and storage as American microgrids do, but also features cogeneration, a technology that’s far less common in the U.S. than it is in Europe. The project is worth following because there could be much to learn from it.
This week’s collection of smart grid wins makes up for its brevity with a healthy dose of variety, from IoT and transmission to metering, a new partnership on cybersecurity and grants for community microgrids in California.
The changing utility business model has been the source of considerable debate and handwringing. Yes, there are plenty of challenges confronting utilities now, but is wholesale change really coming soon? Jared Anderson of Breaking Energy recently interviewed an expert on the topic, and he had some very interesting things to say.
Japan made a series of bad choices in its efforts to adopt renewables, despite having plentiful solar, wind and geothermal resources. A recent blog post from the Rocky Mountain Institute draws what may be some surprising conclusions about what went wrong in Japan coupled with a comparison to Germany’s approach. Click for details.
Battery costs must drop if the stationary energy storage market is to grow as hoped over the next few years. New technologies look like promising ways to get around the need for metals like vanadium, but two Lux Research analysts report that project costs remain a concern.
The smart grid initiative has so far mostly been taken up with smart meters, and AMI has been regarded as the tool to enable the beginnings of a smart grid. But what’s next? Guest author Brett Sargent points to the distribution transformer and explains why it’s the next big thing.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association is afraid DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review, the closest thing the U.S. has to a national energy policy, will be a bust unless it yields more than a collection of unfocused ideas. Click to read some of the association’s nuts and bolts smart grid-related recommendations.
The heated debate and contention over distributed generation, rooftop solar for example, has resulted in stakeholders taking sides and pounding each other rather than working to solve the problem. The Critical Consumers Issues Forum has released a report that outlines principles for an alternative: collaborative ways to resolve energy challenges, a “civilized” way of doing it.
Reducing the cost of energy storage technologies is important. It’s good business. But guest author Rogers Weed points out that it is just as valuable to increase the benefits storage systems provide. As he points out, business cases are referred to as cost-benefit analyses for a reason.
You would think just about every smart meter wrinkle has been discussed, dissected and considered by now. But the insurance industry has another one utilities may have to deal with: insurers are starting to worry about cyberattacks. And one insurer says coverage for cyberattack losses is generally not provided by the energy insurance market.
A revealing report from a Texas regional energy efficiency advocacy group outlines the state’s achievements, its shortcomings and how far it has to go to fully mine the value available from smart meters. And it offers very useful ideas utilities in every state can learn from.
Several utilities have walked away from home gateways, turned off by the expense and what they saw as minimal advantages. But according to the head of smart grid project management for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, they do have benefits – for both utilities and their customers.
There has been plenty of compelling evidence of Google’s intent to take over the electric grid. So Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck’s four recommendations on how utilities can transform themselves and successfully meet that challenge are very timely.