Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Energy Management Apps that You Can Afford

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 12:00 AM PDT

By Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice

As more technologies are introduced to oversee, manage, and assess energy management, more and more organizations are considering investing in systems and applications to help manage consumption. Additionally, many of these products not only assess performance, but also identify where operational inefficiencies may be occurring, providing a platform to boost performance and reduce energy costs.

In addition to full suites, many application developers and organizations are creating apps with specific functionality — and at very affordable prices. This is particularly useful to organizations who may be hesitant to invest in an entire energy management system.

Three products making news in the market right now are just that — affordable to any organization — and all perform unique assessments. Here are three products you should be familiar with:

Melon Power’s building information interface.

1) Melon Power ($500 per building) — Assesses ENERGY STAR benchmarks and reports scores to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager

ecoInsight Mobile Audit for iPad’s Automated Data Collection UI.

2) ecoInsight Mobile Audit for iPad (free) — Performs energy audits and provides upgrade and improvement suggestions following online analysis of consumption

ASHRAE’s 62.10-2010 data input screens.

3) HVAC ASHRAE’s 62.1-2010 ($19.99) — Measures air quality and ventilation and assesses whether a commercial building is operating within LEED credit paramaters

These applications are great starting points for organizations considering investing in an energy management suite — or great as standalone solutions for specific needs like audits, ENERY STAR scores, or air quality measurements.

Read the original story on these apps here.

Public Transit Ridership Continues to Rise, 6th Consecutive Quarter of Growth

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 10:30 PM PDT

During the second quarter of 2012, public transportation ridership in the U.S. increased by 1.6 percent over the second quarter of 2011, for a total of almost 2.7 billion trips taken. This has been the sixth consecutive quarterly increase according to a recently released report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Earlier this year, transit ridership actually hit a record high, and it’s just been climbing since.


According to the report, all of the major forms of public transportation increased, especially light and heavy rail. With light rail increasing by 4.3 percent in the second quarter and heavy rail by 2.5 percent. In addition, some of the public transit systems throughout the United States had record ridership during the second quarter, including the cities: Ann Arbor (MI), Boston (MA), Fort Myers (FL), Grand Rapids (MI), Lewisville (TX), Oklahoma City (OK), Olympia (WA), Portland (OR), and San Carlos (CA).

"Since nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transportation are work commutes, public transit is a vital service for cities and towns nationwide," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "Public transportation not only enables people to get to work, but development around public transit helps to create an economically prosperous community.”

"In some areas of the country, local and regional economies are rebounding, and not surprisingly, public transit ridership is up in regions where jobs are increasing and employment is up," said Melaniphy.

As the local economies of the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boston, Chicago, and Phoenix, have improved, their public transit systems have been experiencing record growth in ridership.

And all this growth has been occuring even while gas prices were declining, in the second quarter, Melaniphy said. "Even though gas prices declined in the second quarter, more people decided to take public transportation. This goes to show that there is a growing public demand for public transportation services and the next Congress and President must address this issue."

On the national scale, ridership increased by 2.5 percent on heavy rail, and 11 out of 15 heavy rail systems recorded ridership increases in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. The highest increases in heavy rail ridership for 2012 occurred in: Cleveland, OH (9.9%); San Francisco, CA (6.8%); and Chicago, IL (4.4%).

The report continues:

Light rail ridership increased by 4.3 percent in the second quarter, as 21 out of 27 light rail systems reported an increase in ridership from April through June 2012. Light rail systems saw double digit increases in the second quarter in six cities: Memphis, TN (36.7%); Salt Lake City, UT (28.8%); Pittsburgh, PA (21.2%); Los Angeles, CA (13.8%); Sacramento, CA (13.4%); and Seattle, WA (10.3%). Other light rail systems with large increases were in the following cities: Boston, MA (8.0%); Phoenix, AZ (7.3%); and New Orleans, LA (7.0%).

Eighteen out of 28 commuter rail systems reported ridership increases and commuter rail ridership grew by 1.7 percent. Commuter rail ridership saw a triple digit increase in Lewisville, TX (258.0%) due to new service and saw double digit increases in the second quarter in the following cities: Austin, TX (14.8%); Seattle, WA (14.6%); San Carlos, CA (13.3%); and Stockton, CA (12.2%). Other commuter rail systems showing high increases were located in the following cities: Salt Lake City, UT (7.4%); Anchorage, AK (7.1%); Portland, OR (6.7%); Harrisburg-Philadelphia (6.2%); Baltimore, MD (5.8%); and Los Angeles, CA (5.8%).

Bus ridership also rose substantially on the national level, by nearly one percent from April through June of 2012. The largest increases in bus ridership occurred in: Oakland, CA (9.5%); Providence, RI (9.3%); Saint Louis, MO (6.7%); Long Beach, CA (5.2%); Arlington Heights, IL (4.5%); and Denver, CO (4.5%).

Perhaps people are just seeing the many attractions of fun and exciting transit options.

Source: APTA
Image Credits: MAX via Wikimedia Commons

UK’s Renewable Energy Capacity to Match Thermal Power Capacity by 2025

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 10:10 PM PDT

According to a latest research conducted by alternative energy analysts at GlobalData, UK's renewable energy installed capacity is expected to match the dominant thermal energy sector by 2025. Aggressive government policies and support are expected to be a key reason for a drastic shift in the UK's energy mix by 2025.

The report determines that the renewable energy industry is the fastest-growing segment in the UK's power sector, and is expected to climb significantly from 11,000 MW of installed capacity recorded last year.

The report predicted that, by 2025, cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy will reach up to 79,000 MW, which is just 2,000 MW less than the anticipated capacity of thermal power capacity at that time.

According to the report, the wind energy sector is expected to grow at the fastest pace — from 6,000 MW in 2011, to 53,000 MW in 2025. Solar photovoltaics is also expected to show strong growth — from just 1,000 MW in 2011, to 13,338 MW in 2025.

The UK's energy economics create good market potential for the growth of renewables, mainly because of high retail electricity prices, energy security concerns, aging nuclear reactors, and restrictions on the use of shale gas. Resource constraints and price pressures create opportunity for government, developers, and investors to invest in the renewable energy sector in the UK against the volatile natural gas market.

UK has announced significant investments in wind energy and ocean energy. The country has massive offshore wind energy resources in the North Sea. Several companies may be looking to invest in this region in the near future, as they may have the option to export electricity to other countries, as well. As the emissions reduction targets in the UK and EU increase, the importance of renewable energy will only increase.

Image: United Nations Photo via Flickr/CC

The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only.

Delhi Inaugurates Its First Solar-Powered Water Treatment Plant, Owned & Operated by Students

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 10:00 PM PDT

A government school in New Delhi, India is now home to the city’s first solar-powered water treatment plant. The plant will use solar power to treat brackish water and produce 5,000 liters of water everyday. The water will be used by around 750 families of the economically weaker section living around the school.

The plant, which will cost around $45,000 to set up, will use solar panels to power the micro-ionising water purification equipment. The water produced from the plant meets the potable water standards of the World Health Organization.

The plant has been implemented by an NGO — Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives (SANA) — which has transferred the ownership and maintenance of the plant to the students of the school. Senior students of the school have been trained in special workshops to help them understand the operation of the plant.

The plant will also help offset carbon emissions, as the water would have otherwise been treated through the use of fossil fuels like charcoal. This makes the plant even more significant, as millions of people in India still lack access to potable water.

Such a model can be and should be implemented in other parts of the country as well, especially in the rural areas where people have to travel for several kilometres to get drinking water. Such a project in the rural areas would also provide employment to local people. The technology can also be used for coastal cities at a large-scale reducing dependence on limited freshwater and depleting groundwater resources.

The cost of such plant is still very high, as a result its development is currently restricted to the development sector. Hopefully, private companies will soon realize the potential of this technology and implement such projects at large-scale in a more cost-efficient manner.

Photo Credit: Roger McLassus / CC

The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only

WiFi LED Light Bulb Soars on Kickstarter

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 04:00 AM PDT

“Oh Kickstarter, is there anything you can’t do?”

Apparently not, given the supremely exciting level of participation in the Kickstarter effort for the LIFX, a WiFi-enabled, multi-colored, energy-efficient LED light bulb that you can control with your iPhone or Android phone.

WiFi Enabled LED Light Bulb

As of writing this, there were 51 days to go on the project, and already 8,732 backers totalling a whopping $1,309,901.

The creators of the project were only hoping for $100,000.

Self-proclaimed as “the smartest light bulb you’ve ever experienced,” the LIFX is set to deliver you 25 years of lighting, reduce your energy costs, and give you the novelty — and most likely the functionality — of a light bulb you can control from your phone.

There is a sheer plethora of features that will be available if you install an LIFX in your home:

  • Control your lights from anywhere
  • Choose any brightness for a specific bulb, a room or your whole house
  • Create the colors to match any mood or decor
  • Get notifications such as Twitter, Facebook, Texts and more
  • Reduce your energy consumption and save money
  • Visualise your music with animated colors
  • Make an impression at your next dinner party
  • Get creative with colors and effects
  • Create a night light for your kids
  • Security mode when you’re on holidays
  • Create groups of lights
  • Robot dance like it’s 1999

I’m sure the last point there is relevant to someone, but ….


On top of all of the pre-programmed abilities, the designers of this new technology are going to be releasing a software developer kit (SDK) and a hacker kit so hackers and developers can do what they like with the bulb, freeing the market for as many apps as can be imagined.

Naturally, the LIFX App will be available for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play, and the developers also have hopes to make apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

If you are at all interested in finding out more about this fantastic light bulb, head on over to the Kickstarter project where the inventors — Phil Bosua, Andrew Birt, Andy Gelme, John Bosua, Ben Hamey, Dave Evans and Guy King — have laid out the entire project for anyone to read and understand.

Source: Kickstarter

German Solar Power Capacity Hits All-Time High… Again (More Solar than Rest of Europe)

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 03:44 AM PDT


Here’s a quickie from sunny Germany, which in short order has become the world’s leading solar power market:

Initial reports say that Germans installed roughly 320-megawatts peak (MWp) of additional solar power capacity in August.

That takes total installed solar power capacity to more than 30-gigawatts peak (GWp), making Germany the first country in the world to generate so much electricity from sunshine.

There’s now more solar power installed in Germany than the rest of Europe combined, note industry watchers from Germany Trade & Invest, the national foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency. They’ll be sharing their insights on latest trends in the German and other solar power markets around the world at this week’s EUPVSEC in Frankfurt September 24-28.


“Positive market developments and ongoing changes in the industry underscore Germany’s position as the global frontrunner in solar power,” stated Tobias Rothacher, photovoltaic industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.

Solar power installations have continued to increase in Germany even as legislators have haggled over larger-than-expected reductions in Germany’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT), via which power consumers subsidize the cost of solar power installations.

Of course, solar power costs in Germany are much lower than elsewhere (i.e. the US), largely due economies of scale and its much lower soft costs there.

Germany Trade & Invest this month put out a new report on Germany’s solar photovoltaic (PV) market that’s free for download.

Solar Cells with High Efficiency & Significantly Reduced Production Cost within Grasp, Thanks to Newly Developed Solar Cell Production Processes

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 03:40 AM PDT

New solar cell coating processes and thin layer systems for cell production are being developed by researchers from Fraunhofer that will lead to significant reductions in the price of solar cells.


The researchers, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig, will showcase some of these new processes at the EU PVSEC trade show in Frankfurt from September 25 to 28.

Commercial high-efficiency solar cells that can reach efficiencies of up to 23 percent have been the goal of the solar industry for awhile now, but until now the production has been somewhat wasteful of the expensive silane gas that it uses, with solar cells reaching above 40% efficiency but being quite costly.

The Fraunhofer news release states: “These ‘HIT’ cells (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) consist of a crystalline silicon absorber with additional thin layers of silicon. Until now, manufacturers used the plasma-CVD process (short for Chemical Vapor Deposition) to apply these layers to the substrate: the reaction chamber is filled with silane (the molecules of this gas are composed of one silicon and four hydrogen atoms) and with the crystalline silicon substrate. Plasma activates the gas, thus breaking apart the silicon-hydrogen bonds. The now free silicon atoms and the silicon-hydrogen residues settle on the surface of the substrate.” This is very wasteful — only 10 to 15 percent of the expensive silane gas is activated by the plasma; the other 85 to 90 percent is completely lost, an enormous cost.

So, to rectify this, researchers at IST have completely replaced this process: using hot wires to activate the gas rather than plasma.

“This way, we can use almost all of the silane gas, so we actually recover 85 to 90 percent of the costly gas. This reduces the overall manufacturing costs of the layers by over 50 percent. The price of the wire that we need for this process is negligible when compared to the price of the silane,” explains Dr. Lothar Schäfer, department head at IST. “In this respect, our system is the only one that coats the substrate continously during the movement — this is also referred to as an in-line process.”

This happens because the silicon film “grows up at the surface about five times faster than with plasma CVD,” but still with the same quality of layering. Another major advantage of this process is that the system technology is much easier than with plasma CVD, making the system considerably less expensive. As an example, the generator used to produce the electric current that heats the wires costs only about one-tenth of the cost of its counterpart used in the plasma CVD process.


The press release from Fraunhofer continues:

“In addition, this process is also suitable for thin film solar cells. With a degree of efficiency of slightly more than ten percent, these have previously shown only a moderate pay-off. However, by tripling the solar cells (i.e., by putting three cells on top of each other) the degree of efficiency spikes up considerably. But there is another problem: Because each of the three cells is tied to considerable material losses using the plasma CVD coatings, the triple photovoltaic cells are expensive. So the researchers see another potential use for their process: the new coating process would make the cells much more cost-effective. Triple cells could even succeed over the long term if the rather scarce but highly efficient germanium is used. However, germanium is also very expensive: in order for it to be a profitable choice, one must be able to apply the layers while losing as little of the germanium as possible — by using the hot-wire CVD process, for instance.

“The power generated by photovoltaic cells has to be able to flow out, in order for it to be used. To do so, usually a contact grid of metal is evaporated onto the solar cells, which conducts the resulting holes and electrons. But for HIT cells, this grid is insufficient. Instead, transparent, conductive layers — similar to those in an LCD television — are needed on the entire surface.

“This normally happens through the sputter process: ceramic tiles, made from aluminum-doped zinc or indium-zinc oxide, are atomized. The dissolved components attach to the surface, thereby producing a thin layer. Unfortunately, the ceramic tiles are also quite expensive. Therefore, the researchers at IST use metallic tiles: They are 80 percent cheaper than their ceramic counterparts. An electronic control ensures that the metal tiles do not oxidize. Because that would otherwise change the manner in which the metal sputters. “Even though the control outlay is greater, we can still lower the cost of this production process by 35 percent for 1.4 square meter coatings,” says Dr. Volker Sittinger, group manager at IST.”

The researchers are intending for both processes to be combined over the long term, ultimately making thin-coated solar cells more cost-effective and more profitable.

“You can produce all silicon layers using the hot-wire CVD, and all transparent conductive layers through sputtering with metal tiles. In principle, these processes should also be suitable for large formats,” states Sittinger.

The processes aren’t production-ready quite yet, though. The researchers estimate that it will take around three to five years for them to become usable in the production of solar cells.

Source: Fraunhofer
Image Credits: Fraunhofer IST; Thin Film Solar via Wikimedia Commons

Total Energy USA Hammers the “All of the Above” Message Home

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 03:09 AM PDT

If you want to see what the U.S.A. energy future looks like under an “all of the above” energy strategy, check out the massive Total Energy USA trade event coming up in Houston, Texas this November 27-29. A quick look at the Total Energy USA schedule reveals a nation speeding toward an energy supply landscape that is far more diversified, and hopefully more healthy and secure, than anything known in history. It’s all the more impressive when you realize that we’re not too far removed from the days when whale oil was considered the next big thing.

Total Energy USA shows All of the Above energy policy

Total Energy USA and Alternative Energy

Realistically speaking, fossil fuels will continue to play a significant role in the foreseeable future, and it is unlikely that they will ever disappear altogether in the manner of, say, whale oil.

However, the grip of fossil fuels on the U.S. energy supply is weakening. The transition to renewable energy is well under way, and it’s already becoming hard to travel anywhere without  seeing the evidence in the form of solar power installations and wind turbines on street poles and buildings.

That transition is fully reflected in the Total Energy USA event, which features the whole gamut of emerging renewable energy technologies alongside conventional energy. Though it is partly sponsored by two petroleum industry giants, Shell and Halliburton, the stated goal of Total Energy USA is “to mirror the more current/ progressive thinking about achieving a sustainable energy future.”

That doesn’t appear to leave much room for conventional fossil fuels, since the event planners have also stated that “Total Energy USA is based on the principle that addressing our nation's energy challenges will be achieved through a comprehensive strategy in which energy efficiency and clean energy work together. ”

More Power to the People

Another critical aspect of Total Energy USA is the interplay between clean energy, energy conservation, advanced communications technology and a new distributed energy model, in which individuals, businesses, and other entities can leverage their property for energy generation as well as energy consumption.

That’s reflected in the choice of topic for the first keynote session, titled “A New Energy System: The Internet, Renewable Energy, Distributed Generation, Power Plant Buildings and New Vehicles.”

As envisioned by Total Energy USA, the new energy system will create “a new era of ‘distributed capitalism’ in which millions of existing and new businesses and homeowners become energy players.”

This is a stark contrast to the conventional model of central power plants and a hub-and-spokes distribution system. The impact of distributed energy technology is also going to ripple out from its hosts sites, and perhaps the most significant manifestation will occur in transportation fuels.

In contrast to the virtual monopoly that petroleum fuel has had on vehicles, the distributed energy model enables electric vehicles powered by solar energy, wind, geothermal, and any number of other renewable sources. The energy stored in electric vehicle batteries will also interact with distributed energy sites and with the grid.


Democratic Energy for the World’s Leading Democracy

By teasing out the relationship between clean energy and “distributed capitalism,” Total Energy USA also recasts energy consumption as a form of energy voting, in which more consumers have more opportunities to exercise more power and more responsibility over a broader range of very different choices. In this regard, the new energy landscape will promote a healthier balance between capitalism and consumerism, which is essential to a healthy democracy.

That balance between consumption and production has become a particularly important  issue in this election season, when one presidential candidate and his party have been determined to split American citizens into two distinct classes, the “makers” and “takers.” Total Energy USA is a reminder that, in a modern democratic society, making and taking are embodied in the same individual far more often than not, and it’s high time for our nation’s power systems to catch up to that reality.

Image (cropped): Wind turbineSome rights reserved by rachellemon.

Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey.

BBC Top Gear Test Track Has “Gone Solar”

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 03:03 AM PDT

The test track of the BBC show Top Gear has gone solar, using a 2-megawatt array of 8,500 solar panels.

2 MW of solar panels is capable of powering almost 670 households, assuming that the households would consume an average of 3 kW.

Lightsource Solar Panels.

The show host, Jeremy Clarkson, has a reputation for marginalizing environmental issues such as global warming, and for hating electric vehicles. This doesn’t mean that the BBC is that way, because it has shown that they do care about global warming and electric vehicle development in other shows, but it isn’t the greenest of media outlets.

Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd is the company developing the solar power project. "Sustainability – and the green agenda – is the foundation on which we continue to build our business," comments Lightsource Renewable Energy CEO Jim McAllister.

Source: TreeHugger
Photo Credit: Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd

California’s High Speed Rail Gets Federal Approval for First Segment of 800-Mile System

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 02:52 AM PDT

The first section of the California’s high-speed rail project has been approved by the U.S Federal Railroad Administration. The entire railway project is expected to cost $63 billion.

The first section is to be 65 miles. This project has been drawn out for years, since 2008, and it has significant financial obstacles. Construction costs exploded in the past (up to $118 billion), so the design was altered to bring it back down to $63 billion.

This railway is to run from San Francisco, to Sacramento, to Los Angeles.

High-Speed Rail Rendition.

Governor Jerry Brown advocates this project for the sake of job creation and greater mass transportation.

Many people consider this a waste of money because it is costly, but, from an alternative point of view, it is transportation infrastructure, as are roads and bridges. Roads are bridges are not necessarily profitable either, but they are a necessity because they enable the general public to get around, and railways do, too.

Construction is slated to begin in 2013.

Source: Inhabitat

23 Nuclear Plants Vulnerable to Tsunamis

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 02:03 AM PDT

nuclear danger high risk areas tsunamisIt’s a nightmare scenario: 74 reactors at 23 nuclear power plants are in “potentially dangerous” areas for large tsunamis, according to a study published in the journal Natural Hazards.

The study outlines 23 nuclear power plants with 74 reactors in high-risk areas. Not all of the reactors are active; some reactors are under construction or shutdown.

Areas considered at risk for tsunamis are the western coast of the North American continent, the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic Coast, the North African Coast, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia, as reported in Science Daily.

Researchers based large scale tsunami risk factors on archaeological and geographical records.

Source: Science Daily
Image: nuclear danger via Shutterstock 


Denmark Reaches 2020 Goal for Solar Energy 8 Years in Advance

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 01:54 AM PDT

Denmark has already reached its 2020 goal of 200 MW solar power generation capacity. This was largely attributed to net metering, which is a more economical and simple way to utilize solar energy than an off-grid setup that relies on expensive batteries that need replacement.

Solar Panel Installation in Denmark.

Why the Demand for Solar PV Panels in Denmark Exploded

Regarding reaching this milestone so early, Kim Schultz, the project manager of Invest in Denmark, said:

"The demand for solar cells has increased dramatically since net metering was implemented in 2010. Net metering gives private households and public institutions the possibility of 'storing' surplus production in the public grid, which makes solar panels considerably more attractive."

"Denmark benefits from a strong design tradition and this also characterizes the Danish solar sector in which aesthetics and thinking ahead of user needs is a central part of product development. This means that solar solutions are more likely to meet consumers' demands.

"Last but not least, Denmark has a unique energy system with a very high share of renewable energy. This makes the energy system very suitable as a platform for Smart Grid technologies, which are a key element to fully exploit renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind energy."

Denmark has a much larger wind energy target set for 2020 — to obtain 50% of its electricity from the windDenmark has also been a world leader in low-cost green transportation – in particular, regarding bicycles. Copenhagen (Denmark) and Amsterdam (in the Netherlands, of course) are well known as the best large cities in the world for bicycling.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

100% Green Power — An Option for Consumers under San Francisco Plan

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 01:50 AM PDT

The city of San Francisco is considering a new $19.5 million program that would allow consumers to buy 100-percent of their electricity from renewable sources, for a premium price.


California is at the forefront of combating climate change, by using innovative new policy solutions; creating a cap-and-trade system; mandating more zero-emission vehicles; and now offering consumers the option of sourcing electricity entirely from renewable sources.

“If approved, city officials say, the program would slash carbon emissions during the first year by nearly 10 times the amount already achieved by the city's green energy initiatives. According to the proposal, which is subject to a vote by the city's Board of Supervisors, the program would increase utility bills for average customers by about $9 per month.”

Source: Yale
Image Credit: Marin Highlands via Wikimedia Commons

GridWeek 2012 on Its Way

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 01:47 AM PDT

GridWeek 2012, an interesting-looking conference on the underacknowledged but important matters of building a better grid, is just one week and one day away. If you haven’t signed up yet but might be interested, or if you’re just curious about the event, here are some more details:

  • Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC
  • Dates: October 2-4
  • 100+ speakers
  • Hot topics: low price of natural gas, lack of clear U.S. energy policy, privacy challenges of a digital world.
  • Best practices regarding the grid to be presented on “turning intra-utility challenges into value — such as big data and analytics, cyber security, [and] integrating renewable power into the grid,” as well as “including automated demand response in action, consumer engagement via social media, standards as a value multiplier, and the value of dynamic transmission.”

This is the 6th annual Grid Week conference — and clearly, a lot has changed in those six years.

“When GridWeek started six years ago, we were just defining ‘what Smart Grid could be’; four years ago, we were discussing ‘what we’re going to do’; and today, we’re at the point where we can discuss ‘what value we’re now realizing,’” said Lee Krevat, San Diego Gas & Electric’s director of smart grid. “GridWeek gathers the right individuals to engage in these conversations that will keep the industry moving forward towards a better energy future for all.”

For more, check out GridWeek.com or the GridWeek 2012 agenda:

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