Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
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…)
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
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.
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
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…)
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
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…)
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
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.
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
Though Smart Water offers equal or potentially greater benefits than Smart Energy, Smart Water isn’t getting equal coverage.
It’s been a great year for the Smart Grid. Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, analysts, journalists, and regulators can’t stop talking about it. Experts are competing to project greater market potential. Zpryme puts the Smart Appliance market alone at $15.2 billion by 2015, Lux Research talks about $15.8 billion, Cisco estimates the overall opportunity at $100 billion and Pike research uses a whopping $200 billion figure. (more…)
Monday, April 19th, 2010
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…)
Friday, April 9th, 2010
As John McDonald tells it, smart grid needs GOLD. And he’s not talking money. GOLD stands for Graduates of the Last Decade, the technology savvy, risk-taking engineers and technicians who may be among the greatest benefactors of the new smart grid movement. While most recent college graduates face dismal employment prospects, for the GOLD kids, the job market is, well, golden.
“I’ve never seen electric utilities and suppliers outbidding each other for a bachelor’s degree,” said McDonald, who has had 35 years in the energy business and now serves as an IEEE Fellow and general manager of marketing for GE Energy T&D.
Friday, April 9th, 2010
Top News: This week, President Obama startled both his allies and critics with a plan to permit drilling for oil off the Southern Atlantic states and in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile the Secret Service, in a stroke of karmic justice, denied the president’s request for a hybrid limo.
On Saturday, Apple’s long-awaited iPad emerged to great fanfare, and with it some schwag and a initial smattering of green apps.
Wising Up to the Smart Grid: After years of talk and speculation, several big U.S. companies revealed that the smart grid lies at the center of their business plans. At the New York Auto Show, Ford and Microsoft announced energy-management software designed for the thousands of people who will plug in their electric cars or hybrids at home. Connecticut Light & Power applied for permission to scrap its flat-rate price structure in favor of one that penalizes customers for overloading the grid. Under the proposal, Connecticut electricity would be ten times cheaper at night than it would be in the middle of the day, when the A/C units are cranking.
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
The Department of Energy, under its Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program, provides reimbursement of 20 percent of qualifying smart grid investments.
Qualifying costs include, but are not limited to, certain manufacturing related costs, software that enables computers or other devices to engage in smart grid functions, and metering devices, sensors, and control devices that are capable of engaging in smart grid functions.
Recently, questions have been raised as to whether the DOE grant under this program is subject to federal income tax.
The IRS, in Revenue Procedure 2010-20, concluded that the DOE grant is not subject to federal income tax. (more…)