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Updated: 4 hours 26 min ago

Want to get started on transactive energy and nanogrids? Steal this government software

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:45
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.

7 serious smart meter security threats that do NOT involve hacking the network

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 17:06
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.

Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts)

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 16:58
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.

What we're learning from Europe's first campus-wide microgrid (think cogen)

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 16:12
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.

IoT gets a boost from Cisco in Barcelona (and more smart grid developments)

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 18:06
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.

Sure the utility business model is changing, but not so fast

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 17:58
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.

Lessons for utilities: How Japan massively screwed up renewables

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 17:50
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.

Quinone-based batteries could reduce need for metals, but project costs are high

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 18:05
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 next big smart grid race? It starts at the end of the driveway (the distribution transformer)

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:52
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.

Industry to Obama: We're BEGGING you for a national energy policy (and here's what should be in it)

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:41
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.

Utilities: Borrow from this "civilized" approach to distributed generation

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:22
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.

What utilities forget when they analyze storage (Hint: It has to do with benefits)

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:06
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.

Smart meters are a "time bomb" for utilities, warns insurance expert

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:19
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.

What Texas is doing to stay "the leader in smart energy"

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 16:03
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.

Smart grid advice from SMUD (Home gateways? Really?)

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 15:57
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.

Four ways utilities can fight back against Google

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 15:46
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.

ACEEE: A very long way to go before the U.S. can claim to be energy-efficient

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:03
Earlier this week we shared a story reporting on the U.S. electric grid and its ranking as the worst in the industrialized world. Apparently we aren’t doing much better in energy efficiency either, according to a scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:55
In case you were wondering, offshore wind energy is far from dead in the U.S. The Department of Interior has opened up two large areas off the coasts of Maryland and Massachusetts for development. Qualified companies will be able to participate in competitive lease sales for construction of commercial wind projects.

Big wins for GRID20/20, Itron, Siemens and more smart grid companies

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:46
This week’s collection of smart grid wins includes quite a mix of projects and developments, including major accomplishments for GRID20/20, Itron, Siemens. Italy’s Enel, GeoDigital and others. Click for details.

Forget Russia and China. The real threat to the power grid is from... the Sun???

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 15:48
Most of the threats to electric grids are well-known, from random shooting incidents to very well-orchestrated cyber attacks. Click the link to read about what could be a much more catastrophic threat from the sun… geomagnetic solar storms. “It may be a 100-year” event. So was Hurricane Sandy.