Community News and Information
Updated: 21 weeks 4 days ago
Net zero-energy buildings are in the very early stages of adoption and their benefits remain unclear to most end users and investors. A new report from Frost & Sullivan says government funding is responsible for bringing advanced building technologies out of the shadows, and identifies the regions where those investments are showing the most results.
Connecting intermittent sources of renewable energy into the electric grid has become a necessary task for a great many electric utilities. Guest contributor Dr. Kimberly McGrath provides an overview of the challenges that task entails, strategic planning considerations and some of the solutions available today.
Grid modernization projects that incorporate smart grid technologies are undertaken for a variety of reasons, but the common theme is to create an electric grid capable of delivering reliable, cost-effective service to meet today’s needs and rising customer expectations. Smart Grid News recently shared a video that illustrated one aspect of the technologies involved. Click to learn about a different perspective.
Analysts are forecasting growth in several smart grid and related markets. The markets singled out for substantial growth include residential demand response, solar photovoltaic modules and smart cities. Click for details on these and other market predictions.
Providing electric service is not as simple as it once was, but the new technologies and processes available to utilities offer numerous benefits in terms of grid reliability and stability. Check out the first of a new series of videos from Elster that illustrates what it takes to achieve smart grid success.
China could lose its ranking as the world’s biggest solar power market and cede the top spot to Japan. Chinese officials held back approvals for some utility-scale solar projects in favor of promoting more distributed solar and the country is unlikely to meet its overall installation goals for 2014.
Pelamis Wave Power, the Scottish company that attracted so much optimism and attention with its pioneering wave energy harnessing technology, put up a good fight but has fallen victim to structural and design weaknesses in its system and lack of funding -- and has gone “into administration,” a status similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is taking on a major smart grid upgrade that includes 17 separate projects. The elements of the “Round 2” initiative include a broad range of smart grid technologies and services, from energy storage to microgrids and data analytics.
Florida regulators all but wiped out the state’s energy efficiency goals last week, a move sought by utilities that contended the efficiency requirements were not cost effective. The Public Service Commission also voted to end solar rebates by end of year 2015.
While the high-dollar smart grid initiatives of big investor-owned utilities are more likely to claim the headlines, rural electric cooperatives are involved in smart grid projects too. A new report from Zpryme and the Rural Smart Grid Summit offers a glimpse of the level of involvement and the types of projects rural electric utilities are undertaking.
Plug-in electric vehicle adoption has been slower than initially expected, but there are indicators the pace is picking up. DOE has released a survey that says workplace charging locations have almost doubled. The Energy Department and private employers are working together to promote more accessible charging points.
This week’s smart grid wins roundup features a new commercial and industrial customer demand response company, a multi-national energy storage project, energy efficiency in Hawaii, a plant automation project in Algeria and a jump in corporate funding for solar.
Wireless sensors are in considerable demand for smart grid and other applications, so much so that they are expected to increase in number from 9 billion in 2014 to 100 billion by 2020. Get the details on this and more smart grid-related markets in this week’s collection of market summaries.
A new infographic from NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel provides an Interoperability 101 view of how the concept works throughout the electricity value chain, from generation through consumption. It also offers a visual representation of why interoperability has such a key role in ensuring the reliability of smart grids.
While the solar industry has been doing remarkably well, it does not always get its way. The Bureau of Land Management has rejected an Iberdrola subsidiary’s plans for a solar project in the largely untouched Silurian Valley, located in a remote part of the Mojave Desert.
Germany’s aggressive shift to renewables has caused a lot of head scratching and attracted a lot of criticism, and more is sure to come. Following the German government decision to abandon its nuclear program in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, officials are now focused on the future of its coal industry.
More consumers are becoming aware of energy efficiency and managing their energy use. While that can certainly be considered progress, the trend also attracted a new set of competitors for utilities. Guest author Jenny Roehm provides an overview, as well as recommendations for how utilities can counter that competition.
With approval from state regulators, Ohio utility FirstEnergy is well on its way toward shelving most of its energy efficiency programs for at least two years. State lawmakers passed a bill to suspend efficiency programs earlier this year, saying it was needed to give them time to study the economics of the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
The UK is putting its smart meter deployment on hold because an essential part of the project will not be complete in time to meet the initial deadline. Installations were to begin next year and be completed by 2020. But the company responsible for delivering the communications system for the meters has said the system won’t be completed until late in 2016, a delay that will be costly.
This week’s smart grid wins roundup touches on energy storage, smart meter deployments and solar installation projects. The collection also includes a milestone for Silver Spring Networks and an energy efficiency award for Building IQ.