Community News and Information
Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago
One disastrous future scenario that makes traditional utilities nervous, grid divorce coupled with reduced demand for power, may not be such a big deal after all. We share a point of view that suggests most consumers don’t care enough to take advantage of alternate sources of power.
Colorado has become the latest battlefield in the net metering conflict. So what brought this on? Utility Xcel Energy wants to reduce payments to net metering customers because it believes those customers are avoiding legitimate costs at the current rate. The solar industry disagrees, saying the reduction will stifle rooftop solar.
DOE has jumped on the energy storage bandwagon in a big way, calling the technology a critical component of a resilient and reliable energy grid. And it’s pushing for faster deployment through a new report that offers concrete recommendations on how to do it and where the tough spots are going to be.
Wind power prices have dropped significantly in the past few years, and the renewable energy source is making big strides. So big that wind power is sometimes cheaper than power from traditional fossil fuels. Many utilities have signed up for more wind power than they had originally anticipated.
Some big names and others you may not have heard a lot about are featured in this week’s smart grid wins. Read about a sustainable energy project on remote African islands, a new microgrid, Army and Navy energy efficiency audits, as well as partnership and financing news.
If you ask utility execs what gives them nightmares, workforce stability is likely to be somewhere near the top of the list. Older, skilled employees are retiring at an increasing rate as the economy improves, and there are just not enough skilled replacements to go around. PwC offers some concrete, direct solutions to get workforce management on track and in tune with the times.
Australia’s national scientific research organization has released the results of a whole-system evaluation of the country’s opportunities and options for its electricity future. Those results should interest most other developed countries because of their relevance in so many areas.
To guest author Steven Collier writing in a Breaking Energy piece, 2013 was a disappointing year for smart grid in terms of convincing electricity customers to change their power usage behavior. But he is convinced major changes are coming to the grid model soon. He outlines three technology/business trends that will accelerate those changes.
Whether you like the Vehicle-to-Grid concept or not, many very smart people have been putting a lot of resources, time and effort into evaluating its potential. Now major auto maker Honda has joined in with a hybrid EV that has V2G capabilities such as a bi-directional on-board charger. Read the story and let us know what you think. Is V2G a go or a no go?
While not all smart grid markets are growing at impressive rates, many of them are. Read our selection of research reports on many key markets, what the professionals expect to see from them in the next few years and where the challenges are.
SolarCity has brought out an automated energy storage system for businesses said to be able to independently cut the amount of energy companies need during peak demand periods, and reduce the likelihood of demand charges. Find out how it works inside.
The transformation to the smart grid is a gradual one, as older equipment is replaced over time with the new products and technologies designed to provide a more stable, secure energy future. John McDonald from GE outlines how this situation can be used to develop added value streams.
Yes, energy demand is growing very slowly. But investments in transmission projects are increasing so quickly that the value of projects is expected to almost double in a year’s time. Click for a quick read about who is involved and why they are investing when demand growth is so slow.
This paper outlines the Energy Department belief that energy storage is a critical element of a more resilient and reliable electric grid, and it offers specific recommendations for ensuring that widesperad deployment occurs. It also addresses four major challenges to broader deployment, among them cost and an equitable regulatory environment.
Hitachi has come up with a container-sized 1 MW energy storage system designed to buffer and support renewable energy. The devices will store energy from wind and solar and send them to the electric grid during peak demand periods. Click for details.
Geospatial information systems can be a great tool for utilities, but most are failing badly at meeting challenges like improving system design and data quality and reducing redundancy and other inefficiencies. Fortunately, an Electric Power Research Institute group dedicated to GIS has solutions to share.
With the holiday season comes all kinds of new products and gizmos for consumers, including smart appliances. But we still wonder how manufacturers expect to crack the market when smart appliance costs outweigh the slim number of benefits they offer.
The Obama administration has issued mandates that more than double the federal government’s renewable energy goals. And that will no doubt have major implications for utilities. For one thing, the government is a very big energy user. But the possible fallout from the mandates could be much more far-reaching.
Cadillac bills its new ELR long-range hybrid car as “smart grid ready.” But is it? We’re revisiting the story because we think that description may be more semantics than reality. Either way, we have to admit it’s exciting to hear smart grid used as a positive attribute. Click to find out why.
As always, this week’s smart grid wins include a variety of projects and developments. Read about Alstom’s distribution management system work for PPL Electric, Toshiba’s entry into the solar power business in Germany and more projects here and abroad.