Posts tagged “smart grid”
By Elias Hinckley and Therese Miranda-Blackney
Energy management is one of the most important parts of our changing energy landscape. It is a market made up of part energy efficiency, part Big Data solution and part Internet of Things. Energy management will be a multi-trillion dollar industry that will reverberate across industrialized economies. The competitive advantage in virtually every economic sector will be redefined by companies’ ability to manage volatile energy prices. It will change how we consume energy. Significant reductions in energy use are an obvious outcome (with corresponding pressure on energy companies), but even more exciting are the social and economic benefits of being able to preform significantly more work with our existing energy resources.
With the trends towards corporate resilience, sustainability, and social responsibility, energy management has evolved beyond the realm of engineers and energy nerds. The growth of Big Data and promise of the Internet of Things is giving rise to exciting, easily used, and powerful energy management tools. The energy management industry is poised to explode in size over the coming years –affecting every aspect of the economy.
If this is going to be so big, why is the market so small today?
Historically, only facility managers of commercial and industrial facilities, and a handful of individuals that were exceptionally excited about energy use or its environmental impact purchased energy management tools. As a result, the tools were developed by engineers, for engineers – they provided only data, and that was typically raw and unmanageable, as the target audience was assumed to have the necessary knowledge and capability to effectively make use of, and act on, the raw data. Not only was the audience tiny, but also existing technology did not provide a viable way to bridge the gap between data and useful information or, more importantly, action. As a result, the market for energy management tools has been had only a handful of success stories.
By Sam Shrank and Raphael Tehranian
Utilities find themselves in unfamiliar positions as they chart their course in areas such as alternative fuel vehicles, smart grid, and distributed generation. In this last piece of our four-part series (See Part I by Mat McDermid, Finding the Regulated Utility Role in a Shifting Energy Landscape; Part II by Sam Shrank, How Behavioral Science Can Increase Energy Efficiency Adoption; and Part III by Jill Bunting and Raphael Tehranian, How Utilities Can Better Source Innovation), we discuss how partnerships with individual large customers to test new offerings, alongside traditional pilots, can help utilities find solid ground. Partnerships can both demonstrate to regulators that customers benefit from utility involvement in these areas and help utilities scope their ideal role.
Utilities have a long and successful track record of using technology demonstration pilots to better understand new innovations, test their ability to solve problems, provide increased or new benefits, and gauge customer and stakeholder interest. In a changing business environment, however, expanding into more customer-centric pilots would greatly help utilities position themselves to protect and expand their market standing.
Customer-centric energy partnerships of this type cover a broad spectrum, but there are a few required elements. First, they must begin with the selection of a customer partner, not a technology or utility offering. Second, the customer’s goals should determine the expanded or new offering, or most likely suite of offerings, included. Third, rather than lasting for a predetermined and usually short amount of time, they are meant to be merely the beginning of an ongoing relationship.
Battery Cost and Range Anxiety
Last week, when I was in Denmark, I visited the Better Place showroom just outside of Copenhagen. Better Place is a new company founded in 2007 to provide customers with the opportunity to drive clean electric vehicles. Founder Shai Agassi identified that the combination of oil dependence and climate-inducing emissions were fatal flaws in our transportation system, and that the traditional auto companies could not solve these problems.
Better Place is the result of this project. It is an ambitious effort to not just make an electric car — companies like Chevrolet, Nissan, and Renault are already doing that around the world — but to interlink the electric vehicle into a new, emissions free transport and energy system. The concept is as follows: A customer walks into a showroom and purchases a car (today, only Renault Fluences are available, but more are coming). He then will sign a contract with Better Place for however many miles he drives per year, and Better Place will provide him with a battery and all the electricity he needs for that. Unlike cars such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Nissan Leaf, the initial purchase price of the car is less because the cost does not include the battery. The model is much like when you buy a mobile phone; you buy the phone from Apple or Nokia and then sign up for a service contract from AT&T or Verizon.
The following guest post is from Victor Sequeira. Mr. Sequeira is Principal of VerisNRG LLC, a Houston based energy consultancy. He can be reached at victorseq [at] comcast [dot] net —————————— Can GM’s Volt Provide a Jolt to the Electric Car Industry? I remember my first trip to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit the WalMart corporate headquarters. As I looked at the offices of all the vendors who sell to WalMart, I remember thinking “being the world’s biggest retailer has its advantages.” So it is with the development of the electric car (EV). We root for companies like Tesla but, to move the market in a substantive way, you need to be big. Most Americans have watched General Motors in recent… Continue»
Obama harshly criticized his political opponents for attempting to block the administration’s clean energy policies in Congress.
GE is offering a $200 million dare to startup entrepreneurs, technology pros and other innovative thinkers: Find a way to “reinvent how energy is produced, distributed and consumed.”
Nearly eight in 10 US consumers say in a new survey that they’re ready to make short-term changes in their energy use habits to gain longer-term benefits.
Nearly a quarter-million homes in Texas are set to have smart meters installed over the next five years that will be able to measure energy usage every 15 minutes.
Southern California Edison completed Phase I of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project as they aim to power millions of homes with renewable energy by 2015.
A coalition led by the University of Houston was awarded a $2.5 M grant to commence development of a program to train the smart grid workforce.