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Posts tagged “smart grid”

By Elias Hinckley on Aug 7, 2014 with 3 responses

Cracking the Code on the Business of Energy Management

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 Samuel R. Avro on Dec 18, 2012 with no responses

How Utilities Can Turn Pilots Into Partnerships

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.


By Andrew Holland on Mar 26, 2012 with 11 responses

The Better Place Model for Electric Vehicles

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.


By Robert Rapier on Aug 11, 2011 with 94 responses

Will a SmartGrid and GM’s Volt Stimulate the Electric Vehicle Industry

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»

By Samuel R. Avro on Aug 17, 2010 with 8 responses

Obama: Clean Energy Policy Will Lead to 800,000 Jobs in 2 Years

Obama harshly criticized his political opponents for attempting to block the administration’s clean energy policies in Congress.

By Staff on Jul 21, 2010 with 13 responses

GE Offering $200m for a Smart Energy Idea

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.”

By Staff on Jun 26, 2010 with 5 responses

Survey: Majority in US Ready to Change Energy Habits

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.

By Staff on May 27, 2010 with no responses

Texas to see US’ largest rollout of wireless smart meters

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.

By Lloyd McGraw on May 5, 2010 with 2 responses

SoCal Renewable Energy Transmission Lines to Power 3M Homes

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.

By ABraxton on Apr 19, 2010 with 26 responses

Smart Grid Training Coalition Receives DOE Grant

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.