Friday, September 3, 2010

Understanding the Smart Grid 2010

Research and Markets has added the "Understanding the Smart Grid 2010" report to their offering. North America's electric system is facing serious challenges. Major questions exist about its ability to continue providing citizens and businesses with relatively clean, reliable, and affordable energy services. The recent downturn in the economy masks areas of grid congestion in numerous locations across America. The "information economy" requires a reliable, secure, and affordable electric system to grow and prosper. Unless substantial amounts of capital are invested over the next several decades in new generation, transmission, and distribution facilities, service quality will degrade and costs will go up. These investments will involve new technologies that improve the existing electric system, and advanced technologies that could revolutionize the electric grid.
This report discusses smart grid technologies and investments, and analyzes the impact the smart grid will have on the power industry. It examines the technologies needed for smart grid development, and profiles 68 smart grid technology providers. The report outlines 52 smart grid demonstration projects, including 32 DOE smart grid and storage projects. It profiles 54 utilities deploying the smart grid, and 34 industry organizations involved in smart grid development. It also provides details on 100 ARRA-Funded Smart Grid projects. The vision of the smart grid is to break down barriers between transmission and distribution, communications, and back office systems to create a fully integrated network that provides diagnosis and resolution of problems as they arise and enables real time exchange of information between the utility and its customers.
The power transmission and distribution system is being transformed into a smart grid that integrates a multitude of distributed energy resources, uses solid state electronics to manage and deliver power, and employs automated control systems. The power industry, trailing behind other economic sectors already revolutionized by computerization (e.g. retailing and manufacturing), will see inexpensive computing power and low cost bandwidth infuse every element of the grid with digital intelligence in coming decades. Advanced metering plays a major role in any smart grid infrastructure, and wireless applications are at the heart of advanced metering communications systems. The wireless communications networks that will support advanced metering systems in the future will provide faster and more accurate use, load, and disruption information, which will help utility companies plan and manage their resources more efficiently and effectively. Discover what companies are developing and deploying new technologies, and learn about cutting-edge smart grid programs in this comprehensive report.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trends for Smart Grid Adoption - Intel, Google, Cisco & GE are all Investing

Research and Markets announced the addition of the "Power Electronics: Trends for Smart Grid Adoption" report to their offering. Smart grid related to new architectures using communication devices and sensors. In this report, Yole suggests a three-layer definition for smart grid: a software layer, a communication & sensors layer and a power layer. This report details how the companies envision business opportunities in the Smart Grid world and covers a broad range of their potential applications. From startups to heavyweights, companies are betting that energy management will be the next big thing. Intel, Google, Cisco & GE, for instance, are all investing in tomorrows technologies to create the smart grid momentum. This report will provide you with the key points to understand and decode this fast-paced and emerging industry at the frontier of energy and telecommunications. As the electric grid 2.0 will be based on 3 main layers: Power, Communication, and Applications, we describe how this distribution could create great value and opportunities in the coming years. Also, as the renewable share of the energy mix is increasing, better integration of renewable and distributed energies (PV, Wind and Biogas energy, etc.) coupled to an evolution of the energy management system will be necessary. Electricity demand and electricity production will have to be well balanced in order to increase the grid efficiency while decreasing the number of power outages, a huge challenge considering tomorrows electric needs (electric cars, demographic pressure, etc.).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Energy Harvesting Technologies & Energy Storage: Worldwide Forecasts

Research and Markets announced the addition of the "Energy Harvesting Technologies & Energy Storage: Worldwide Forecasts, Second Edition" report to their offering. Still, energy harvesting has emerged onto the power electronics scene and has offered increased revenue to companies that got in on the ground floor. Energy harvesting is an opportunistic technology that is being implemented in niche segments that have environmental challenges. It is similar to digital power in that it has broad application, making it more a solution than an enabler. If taken cumulatively over each year of the forecast period, worldwide unit sales of energy harvesting nodes will result in 630.5 million units being sold between 2010 and 2015.The growth of energy harvesting technologies parallels the growth of wireless sensor network (WSN) and wireless control systems in general. Such systems have had a slow but steady evolution, and there are currently hundreds of vendors in the WSN market. The market is set to take off, but at a slower pace than expected. The majority of sensors installed in the world are still wired, and some industry analysts project that over the next ten years, WSN will constitute no more than 10% of the wireless sensors that are sold. Challenges include rival standards and large numbers of competitors.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Solarbuzz Raises Global Photovoltaic 2010 Market Forecast to 15.2 GW


Global photovoltaic demand continues to soar in 2010 and is currently projected to double over the rate of installations last year, according to Solarbuzz®, an international solar energy market research and consulting company. In the latest edition of the Solarbuzz® QUARTERLY Report, Solarbuzz has raised its 2010 market size to 15.2 GW, which compares with a revised 7.5 GW in 2009. Specifically, the last three quarters of 2010 are projected to generate 12.7 GW, driven by strong growth across Europe, but also in the United States, Japan, China and a range of smaller start-up markets. German market demand incorporates substantial volatility in Q/Q performance during 2010. This takes into account the uncertainty of policy adjustments in Germany that are planned for July 2010 and also January 2011. A 2010 market size of 8 GW in Germany is now in prospect, even taking account of a drop off in demand in Q3’10.

“Despite much uncertainty over policy outcomes, a challenging economic environment and inverter supply, the PV industry is once again demonstrating that consumers respond to supportive government policies,” said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. “The growth in demand is a response to major cuts in price levels afforded by lower manufacturing costs. As a result, module and inverter supply is just barely keeping up with demand.” Preliminary data on global industry revenues shows a drop of 40% to just over $12 billion in Q1’10, which was nearly four times the level one year earlier. Selected price rises late in Q2'10 have been seen from some Chinese manufacturers supplying to Europe. These moves helped to partially offset the decline in the euro over Q2’10. Within the PV chain, wafer prices have tightened in both euro and US dollar terms, while cell prices have tightened in euro terms only over the past six months.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Constellation Energy, GE, Qualcomm and Verizon Ventures Make in Smart Grid Company Consert Inc.

Consert Inc. announced that Constellation Energy, GE Energy Financial Services, Qualcomm Incorporated, Verizon Ventures and private investors have invested $17.7 million to fund strategic marketing, North American sales and ongoing enhancements of Consert’s advanced smart grid software. Consert is currently providing municipal and cooperative electric utilities in North Carolina and Texas with a reliable, flexible and economical form of green operating reserves and energy management. Consert empowers consumers to manage their energy usage without compromising control, comfort or convenience through secure online energy profiles and home devices.“Consert has united the interests of utilities with those of consumers and small businesses,” said Consert CEO and President Jack Roberts. “This group of investors advances our vision of creating an integrated green energy solution with smart infrastructure, real-time communications, and intelligent in-home devices.” Wake Electric Membership Corporation in North Carolina just completed a pilot with Consert and now plans to extend the service to its member base. Its CEO, Jim Mangum, reported, “Our pilot participants realized energy savings ranging from 7 to 54 percent with an average of 17 percent and responded favorably about the ease-of-use of the Consert system. Consert gives energy conservation the attributes of generation and addresses utilities’ issues such as capacity, transmission, renewable portfolio standards and power variability from intermittent generation. Consert has the ability to solve energy issues quickly and cost-effectively and also offers advanced ancillary services such as wind and solar regulation.
“Demand side resources must be as reliable as generation assets to meet capacity obligations in today’s marketplace,” said Kathi Hyle, COO, Constellation Energy Resources and senior vice president, Constellation Energy. “The Consert solution meets this test and could benefit utilities, municipals and cooperatives nationwide. By providing measurable and verifiable capacity in the form of operating reserves for generating and distributing utilities, Consert creates a Virtual Peak PlantSM that can defer or supplant the need for additional conventional power plants at a cost that is 70 to 80 percent less than the current capital cost of a new gas-fired peak plant with an equivalent operating cost that is 60 percent less.

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