Smart Grid / Smart Energy

Archives for September 2010 « Recent Articles

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IDC Energy Insights hosted its semi-annual Clean Energy Outlook conference on Tuesday September 28th.  The day culminated with a panel discussion on the meaning and implications of high penetration solar photovoltaics.  Rick Nicholson, VP of Research for IDC Energy Insights moderated the panel.  Panelists included Cyndi Newman, Arizona Public Service; Carl Mansfield, Sharp Labs; Todd Miklos, Advanced Energy; and Paul Denholm, NREL.  It was an enlightening conversation covering the impact


Smart Grid Policy—held hostage by policymakers

By Katherine Hamilton

So it’s not looking good for climate legislation this year. Or next year. Or the next. Maybe 2013 if Obama is reelected. If we get energy legislation at all, it will be some stripped down provisions that can get enough votes to pass the Senate—not a real energy and climate policy. Why should smart grid folks care? Because smart grid is intrinsically linked to energy policy. Whether you believe in global warming or not, at some point we will have a cost on carbon-- a cap and trade or tax or some

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A Transformation in Energy from in the Trenches

By Casey Talon

I attended EnerNOC's first annual "EnergySmart" conference whose purpose was "Unlock the full value of Energy Management" last week in Boston. It was a packed house of nearly 500 folks ready to talk energy efficiency, demand response, and how best to change the way our buildings use energy.  After the dim prospect of revolutionary energy reform from DC, it was heartening to see such an energized group of business leaders sharing their experiences -- suggesting a transformation of energy consumption cou

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I'm on my way back from "the world's largest IT event" as announced by Oracle, or alternatively, "a festival of intellectuals" - the phrase coined by of the Black Eyed Peas, who headlined last night's mega nerd party.  With over 41,000 registered attendees you can't argue with the fact that this was one huge event. I won't dwell on the keynote speeches by Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd and other IT luminaries.  I'll let other analysts and bloggers cover that territory.  Instead, I'll focu

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The atmosphere was much more upbeat than last year at SAP Utilities.  I attribute that to the different state of the economy, and the enthusiasm of SAP customers.  As usual, the well-run SAP event was packed with utility personnel from line to executive staff.  Last year, despite the promise of stimulus funding, there was a lot of skittishness and also a reluctance to embark on new projects.  In every session I attended, utilities reported that they are getting to the business of impleme

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Will the customer engage in a meaningful and sustainable way in smart grid?  That was one of the central questions of a smart grid panel at the SAP Utilities North America where I participated as a panelist.  The panel was led by Michael Vallochi of IBM Global Services, with participation but lots of industry veterans from vendor and analyst community – Ivo Steklac from Tendril, Andy Zetlan from Telvent, Larsh Johnson from emeter, and Zarko Sumic from Gartner, with me representing IDC Energy

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At the Gridwise Global Forum: Consumers Take The Stage

By Marcus Torchia

Last year's Gridweek conference combined a predictable utility technology vendor conference with the Gridwise Alliance's agenda of smart grid advocacy and thought leadership. This year the hype is absent as the Gridwise Alliance kicked off its inaugural Gridwise Global Forum (GGF) sans the footprint of display booths one sees at Gridweek.  Forgoing the carnival atmosphere, the GGF has a tempered and thoughtful exploration of issues facing the smart grid movement and the utility industry at large.

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Public Utilities Fortnightly just released its annual Fortnightly 40 (F40) ranking of U.S. investor owned utilities, which measures shareholder value performance using metrics such as such as profit margin, dividend yield, return on equity, return on assets and sustainable growth.  I thought it would be interesting to see how this list compared to our own UtiliQ ranking, developed jointly with Intelligent Utility magazine,  of the 25 most intelligent utilities in the U.S. to answer the question "i

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Yesterday Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) & Sam Brownback (R-KS) released their bipartisan proposal for a National Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).  If passed, starting in 2012, the nation's largest utilities would face a new mandate for the kind of energy they use to generate the electricity demanded by their customers.  Despite the modest targets set in this bill, the national program it outlines could be sufficient enough to effectively alter the way utilities provide electricity.

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California Gas Explosion: Safety Again in the News

By Jill Feblowitz

A section of transmission gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno on September 9, causing at least 4 deaths and destruction of homes in the area.  While the cause is yet to be determined, safety continues to be in the spotlight. One likely cause is excavation by a third party, which is responsible for most breeches of pipeline integrity.  Whatever the exact cause - and it will likely be identified quickly through government inquiry or the press as the BP example shows - it will likely come do

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