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…)
Shai Agassi is not merely a prophet for the electric car industry. When the CEO and founder of Better Place describes the development of an ecosystem for the EV, he turns skeptics into believers.
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…)
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.
Battle of the Bulbs: LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have been the Next Big Thing in lighting for nearly a decade, but have never been made bright enough to illuminate the pages of Malcolm Gladwell while we read in bed. Until now.
This week, GE unveiled an eco-equivalent to the 40-watt incandescent bulb — a 9-watt LED that will go on sale late this year or early next. Days later, Philips announced its own entry, a 12-watt LED meant to replace the plain ol’ 60-watt bulb. Both will sell for $40 or $50 and could last up to 17 years — long enough that your mattress will give out before your bedroom bulbs do.
Not Exactly Glacial: Usually global warming occurs at pace that’s hard to detect, but that changed on Sunday for the people of Carhuaz, Peru. A massive block of the Hualcan glacier broke off and tumbled into a lake, creating a 75-foot-tall tsunami that killed three. (more…)