Recent announcements illustrate that battle lines are forming over who, what, and how home energy management will be offered to consumers. Demand-responsive homes that throttle their electricity consumption based on the real-time generation capacity are key to the smart grid vision of distributed renewable and PHEVs. The big question is: who will entice pesky (more…)
The natural gas grid has been referred to as “the other grid,” taking the back seat while the electric “smart grid” receives significant attention. Although not in the spotlight – and receiving zero funding from the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – the gas grid has reason for celebration, due to the industry’s near flawless tenure in (more…)
Despite the promise of $200 million Smart Grid stimulus grant to BG&E in 2009 from the Department of Energy, according to BuildingGreen.com:
The Public Service Commission of Maryland rejected implementation of “smart grid” metering proposed by Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) in June 2010. The commission based the rejection on fears of rate increases and tiered pricing that would increase costs for consumers.
Other people have sued utilities in California and Texas over perceived issues (more…)
GE and its partners announce the GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid, a $200 million investment in finding the best technologies, processes and business models to bring our energy grid into the 21st century. It’s about making clean energy real, bringing to market what works, right now.
In looking for the best ideas, GE is asking you to get involved in finding the solution.
You can submit an idea or vote for the ideas that you think are the most promising and play a part in defining the future of our energy grid.
There are three separate challenges to address how we create, connect and use energy, focused on: renewable energy, grid efficiency and eco homes/eco buildings.
General Electric and a number of leading venture capital firms announced today what some have already dubbed “the biggest quest for ideas in history.” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt unveiled the “GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid,” an open innovation challenge that will give $200 million to smart grid ideas submitted through GE’s ecomagination website.
The challenge is global and targeted at technologists, entrepreneurs, and startups “to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.”
GE and its partners – leading venture capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins, RockPort Capital as well as Wired magazine’s Chris Anderson – will evaluate the ideas and invest the $200 million capital into promising startups and ideas.
And now for a dose of reality.
No doubt smart meters are a good thing, but even their most ardent fans must admit that a degree of hoopla surrounds these little digital boxes. We hear that if consumers can just see how much power they use in real time, and what it costs, our energy woes will be no more.
Smart meters will even cure the blind. The energy blind that is.
“It can be difficult to separate the hype from legitimate claims,” said the American Council for an Energy- (more…)
Last week’s announcement of a marketing agreement between EV charging company Coulomb Technologies and energy services provider Siemens should come as no surprise. Siemens has been an investor in Coulomb, so a closer relationship was all but inevitable. Siemens gains access to Coulomb’s ChargePoint networked charging stations technology, while Coulomb can leverage Siemens’ smart grid infrastructure and applications.
The EV charging equipment market is currently (more…)
The consumer face of the Smart Grid looks like you and me. It is tall and short, conservative and liberal, lazy and driven. In short, it is everyone, which means that it can be both random and ordered depending on changing conditions, geographic realities, and discordant behavioral patterns.
Capitalizing on Smart Grid opportunities in the residential consumer market means finding order and predictability across a wide range of variables: different ecosystems, temperature variation, number of people living under one roof, behavioral patterns, etc. Currently, data is measured home-to-home, which means that fine-grained details under the roof are usually unaccounted for.
Though Smart Water offers equal or potentially greater benefits than Smart Energy, Smart Water isn’t getting equal coverage.
Currently winding its way through the legislative hoops of Capitol Hill is HOME STAR, a highly touted piece of legislation by President Obama. The program is perhaps the most important piece of legislation, outside of the Recovery Act and will provide for direct energy efficiency incentives for homeowners.
HOME STAR’S potential benefit to homeowners is simple: money. There are two proposed tracks: Silver and Gold. Under the Silver Star track ($3,000 cap/homeowner), homeowners will be eligible for rebates from individual energy efficiency measures such as replacing air conditioning units, water heaters or adding insulation. (more…)