Community News and Information
Updated: 1 day 9 hours ago
Most in the electric power industry would call it a foregone conclusion that utilities will move to smart metering. Obviously many already have. But how to choose the right smart meter isn't so obvious. Our latest infographic highlights 20 questions utilities should ask before buying smart meters. Click to get your copy.
DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy is funding 13 projects focused on developing efficient intermediate-temperature fuel cell technology for distributed generation applications. Click to learn about three approaches developers will use and the state of fuel cell technology today.
California legislators have approved $415 million in funding for behind-the-meter power generation from wind and fuel cells to be paired with energy storage. Dean Frankel of Lux Research explains how the program will work and lays out the details. For more, read the companion story on DOE’s funding initiative.
Two massive new revenue opportunities where utilities have a head start (but will they blow it anyway?)
A new survey from Accenture says more than half of the world’s energy users would consider installing connected-home solutions or solar panels in the next five years. These are massive opportunities for utilities, even if they are risky and challenging. And utilities have natural advantages to capture these new revenue streams that shouldn’t be wasted.
Low-income customers typically spend a high percentage of their income on energy, and utilities have been wrestling with how to come up with programs and protections to help them for years. Fortunately, a new report from the Distributed Energy Financial Group says there are ways to solve the problem, and smart grids can help.
There is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity electric utilities haven’t caught on to yet: the business value of data. Guest author Gary Wachowicz explains the “data dividend,” what it is, and how utilities can quickly get on board and be competitive.
It’s clear by now the smart meter debate over data privacy and other issues isn’t going away anytime soon. But now, through coverage from several news publications, smart meters are in the national spotlight. Click to read what some of those publications are saying.
In the early days of the 20th century Nikola Tesla tried to build his dream: a massive tower that would wirelessly transmit electricity. Tesla failed for a variety of reasons, but Russian scientists are trying to make his dream a reality, and they’re looking for investors.
Japanese lawmakers may have stunned the country’s regional power monopolies when they voted last week to open the residential electricity market to full competition. Click to read about how disruptive the change will be, and the likely winners and losers.
The traditional utility business model that ties revenues to the amount of electricity sold isn’t working now that energy efficiency and conservation are the goalposts for our energy future. Guest author Paul Alvarez says utilities, regulators and others should consider decoupled ratemaking as a possible solution. He explains why inside.
This week’s smart grid wins collection includes a milestone in energy savings for Ecova, a new contract for Landis+Gyr in India, a smart cities partnership between Gowex and Cisco and more news and developments.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a controversial bill that freezes the state’s five-year-old renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements for utilities at current levels. Supporters of the freeze have said the state needs time to rethink the economic impacts of the standards.
Shopping wisely for the right communications system is a critical step in any smart grid or smart meter project. Contributing author Paul Alvarez offers recommendations on the important questions utility executives should be asking before they buy.
Our smart grid market research roundup is heavy on renewables this time around, but it also includes news on markets for global smart cities, home automation and demand response. Click for details on how those sectors are performing and forecasts for the future.
As the world becomes increasingly urban, cities will fundamentally change. And utilities will need to change to meet the new and evolving demands of those cities. Read the story to learn about what that change, the convergence of smart grids and smart cities, will look like and why utilities should be paying attention now.
Determining the right time and place to make investments can be a tricky business for utilities, particularly when they don’t know the cost of providing service for each customer. Guest author Tom Osterhus shares some very interesting thoughts about a value signal that could completely change the way utilities determine how and where to make those investments.
The utility “death spiral” predicted by energy and financial analysts does not have to come anytime soon if at all, says the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s Patty Durand. She explains New York’s initiative to revamp the role of utilities and develop a consumer-centric approach to energy markets that could bring a new era of “retail power.”
A recent court order that said FERC exceeded its authority in setting compensation for demand response providers affects no more than a small fraction of the total market. But as guest author Mike Gordon points out, the court’s decision could hamper FERC’s ability to regulate DR markets more broadly in the future.
It could be a good sign: a former regulator has criticized the net metering structure for unfairly subsidizing high-income families that can afford rooftop solar and penalizing low-income families that can’t. Utilities have frequently had a hard time getting net metering amended to remedy the situation. But if regulators are starting to listen… a change to come?
Massachusetts already has a reputation for its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now the state is taking it one or two steps further. Regulators have issued orders requiring the state’s electric distribution companies to modernize the electric grid.