Community News and Information
Updated: 30 weeks 3 days ago
A UK consumer group has told the government to reduce what it predicts will be spiraling costs of the country’s smart meter rollout. The organization says customers will pay those higher costs and the savings they can expect from smart meters won’t justify that expense.
Italian utility Enel has always been a pioneer in the utility industry, and shows no signs of stopping. With financial backing from the EU, Enel is launching a business incubator for clean tech startups with new innovations in smart grid-related technologies.
This week’s smart grid wins features new projects for Landis+Gyr, Silver Spring Networks and SourceOne as well as acquisitions for Ericsson and Kamstrup. Also, Comverge and Constellation have agreed to combine their demand response businesses for commercial and industrial customers. Click for details.
Japan just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to meeting its power needs. With few fossil fuel resources, the country relied on nuclear until the Fukushima disaster all but ended its nuclear program. Now, half of Japanese utilities won’t take on any new renewable energy until the grid has been upgraded to accommodate it safely.
It isn’t enough for utilities to develop a smart grid that provides real benefits for customers. They also need to let customers (and regulators) know about those benefits in a way that’s meaningful to them. PG&E’s third annual smart grid progress report provides some valuable lessons on how to do it right.
Geothermal energy hasn’t been a hot topic in U.S. energy industry circles, at least not for several years. But as Breaking Energy’s Pete Danko reports, that could change. He provides an update on where the geothermal industry is today and why it could become an increasingly important source of power over the next several years.
What is it going to take to get energy storage off the ground? Sure, the market is growing but there have always been obstacles to widespread adoption and solid growth. Newly released plug-and-play energy storage standards could help clear some of those roadblocks. Read about a new draft specification from MESA Standards Alliance and SunSpec Alliance.
Industry events and conferences can help you stay on top of industry trends and technologies and make important contacts. Our calendar is loaded with upcoming events, with links for further details. And be sure to jump to page 2, where you can see the conferences Smart Grid News Chief Analyst Jesse Berst will be attending.
The energy industry environment changes constantly and while market forecasts aren’t written in stone, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what the analysts envision for the future. Click to read about predictions for programmable DC power supplies, demand response, energy storage and other markets.
DTE Energy and Itron recently showcased smart technologies that underscored their increasingly important role in helping cities manage their energy use. As many utilities are well aware, they will be called upon to pitch in as smart city initiatives progress.
Utilities know how to deal with periods of extremely hot weather, but very cold weather throws an entirely different kind of challenge at them. A new report from NERC found that the U.S. electric grid managed to get by during the extreme cold of the Polar Vortex early this year, but barely.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has just released its final version of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0. The new framework is the latest incarnation of the plan to transform the country’s aging electric power system into an interoperable smart grid.
Manual demand response programs do help, but they’re nowhere close to the automated demand response needed today. A California startup has come up with what could be one promising solution, and it involves smart phones. Click for details.
Innovative programs in residential solar installation financing combined with advances in energy storage technologies are already affecting the business of generating and delivering electricity. And new advances in solar technology underscore the possibility that self-sufficiency could be coming soon. Read the story to learn about two significant solar breakthroughs.
Read this week’s smart grid wins for a quick look at a new smart cities project collaboration, Hawaii’s progress with its smart grid technology upgrade, a new acquisition for Schneider Electric and more projects and developments.
As more customers adopt new technologies that enable them to generate and manage energy, the electric distribution system becomes more complex… and needs a new management approach to keep up. We’re sharing a Q&A from America’s Power Plan that further explains one proposed solution, the distribution system operator model.
Utilities in the U.S. may want to take a look at how two European cities are taking part in the region’s massive effort to cut carbon emissions, and what they’re telling (not asking) their utilities to do. Click for details on the cities’ initiatives and how local utilities are affected.
The energy industry is changing, and the changes are coming faster all the time in technology, regulation and energy capital markets. Energy marketing and research firm McDonnell Group is conducting a benchmarking study designed to help utilities understand and address those changes. If you’d like to participate, read the story for details and how to sign on.
Texas regulators want utilities to provide low-income customers with ways to reduce their energy bills. Most observers take that to mean smart thermostats or home energy monitors. But home energy monitors have never gone over well with the public. Isn’t there a better use of the money allocated to help the state’s low income customers? Click for more details on the issue.
We can’t predict with certainty what the smart grid of tomorrow will look like. But we can identify the trends that are most likely to shape it and act accordingly. A new infographic from Elster Solutions highlights the top 10 trends most likely to change today’s smart grid, and it’s available now as a free download.