Insights from our Editorial Team
Sierra Energy Group offers new insights on MDM market
Sierra Energy Group (SEG), the research and analysis division of Energy Central, just released a new report entitled The Meter Data Management Market Intelligence Study. The report examines the market for meter data management solutions. SEG developed this report to provide essential market intelligence and an in-depth understanding of the utility industry's use of meter data management (MDM) solutions. It is based on surveys of over 140 utility professionals.
Nearly half express no interest over uncertainties
A new survey finds intense interest in prepaying electric bills by a small segment of consumers, while half have no interest. Voluntary programs have gained in popularity and utilities like the effect on cash flow and collections.
President: don't cut wise investments in our future
President Obama called for careful budget cutting to avoid laying waste to investments in national priorities such as clean energy research. The Republican Study Committee is recommending the elimination of "applied research," which includes this country's national labs, and unallocated stimulus funds, where the effect is less certain.
Old hands respond to change, newcomers find risk-averse industry
Utility engineers may find vendor pitches irritating but in an industry with little investment in research and development, there's little choice. We've been talking to vendors about the utility landscape in 2011 and here are the various themes we're hearing.
Yogi Berra's infamous quote is playing out in AMI smart grid deployments
American baseball great Yogi Berra is said to have uttered those infamous words: "It's déjà vu all over again." It's unfortunately apropos here, as we see Maine following in California's footsteps, and another smart meter deployment is sidetracked by a few loud and angry dissenters, as well as the attention of the Maine Public Utilities Commission (Maine PUC). Yesterday, the first technical hearing of an investigation by the Maine PUC of the Central Maine Power Company's (CMP's) smart meter project laid out the schedule and manner by which the proceedings will move forward. This investigation focuses on whether allowing customers to opt out of having a smart meter installed is a feasible and financially viable solution to concerns about health and cybersecurity.
EDTA calls for alignment of national efforts
A commercial association for the promotion of electric drive transportation has proposed a five-point plan to nurture the industry for U.S. clean-tech leadership, economic growth and environmental benefits. The purposes are attractive, but will federal monies be available during the upcoming clash over the federal budget?
It's all a matter of time (frames)
Dave Mooney, who leads energy storage efforts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, discusses NREL's efforts and how they help leading utilities, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Energy.
Integrid Lab pursues 'active distribution system management'
Renewables and Distribution System Integration project, or RDSI, in Fort Collins, Colorado, seeks to demonstrate how various renewable and distributed generation, coupled with advanced building automation, electric vehicles and "robust controls" could not only shave peaks and fill valleys but manage myriad, granular distribution system elements to elicit greater value from existing infrastructure.
Some say no, but setting expectations is a start
With so many utilities spending or planning to spend significant funds on smart gird projects, are there certain things the industry can do to minimize potential negative outcomes and better seize opportunities? Christopher Perdue recently spoke with Pablo Vegas, chief information officer at American Electric Power (AEP), on this topic.
Industry says proper cost allocation will lower cost
A panel of bullish vendors on a webcast held by the Electric Drive Transportation Association said that projected price drops in electric vehicle (EV) batteries would mostly come from proper cost allocation. While manufacturing efficiencies and economies of scale would account for some cost reduction, the major portion would come from the fact that EV batteries at 80 percent of capacity will have reached the end of their life for powering EVs, but would remain valuable for applications such as community energy storage.