SMUD, Electrify America Team Up on EVs, Energy Demand
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Electrify America is investing $1.3 million in the Energy StorageShares program developed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The investment will help Electrify America reduce its overall energy-related costs and lower the company’s impact on Sacramento’s electrical grid. “This first-of-a-kind program will help address peak energy demands, minimize impacts to the grid and support the expansion of EV charging in our community,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard.
Most utilities are missing the opportunity offered by smart meters to help customers conserve energy, according to new research from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). ACEEE surveyed 52 utilities about their smart meter programs and six use cases, from time-of-use rates to conservation voltage reduction. There are close to 100 million smart meters on the U.S. electric grid today, costing billions of dollars to install.
Potomac Edison launched a new program that calls for the installation of electric vehicles (EV) charging stations and other measures to spur EV adoption. The company’s EV Driven program features the installation of publicly available EV charging stations, rebates for both residential and multifamily charger installations, and incentives for EV charging during off-peak hours. The five-year pilot program is designed to benefit the state’s environment by reducing auto emissions.
For many distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop solar and residential battery storage, growth has been remarkable in recent years. Technologies have improved and prices have fallen considerably, leading more and more consumers to find DERs suitable solutions for their home energy needs. The total energy storage market in the U.S. grew 232 percent from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, according to Wood Mackenzie, with residential storage growing 138 percent over the same period.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has confirmed what it and industry watchers predicted a year ago — that wind and solar power will expand on their already-large share of new U.S. generation capacity in 2020. According to EIA data released Tuesday, wind and solar will make up 32 of the 42 gigawatts of new capacity additions expected to start commercial operation in 2020, respectively, dwarfing the 9.3 gigawatts of natural-gas-fired plants to come online this year.
The U.S. power sector is undergoing a fundamental transformation, and has been for some time. But what are the biggest trends to watch in 2020? In speaking to a cross section of industry observers, the following 10 emerged. The economics of wind, solar and storage will continue to improve in 2020, creating a variety of implications seen in many of the other trends below.
German automotive giant Volkswagen will become the largest manufacturer of EVs before 2030, according to new analysis from Wood Mackenzie. WoodMac expects Volkswagen to produce 14 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) cumulatively by 2028 and climb from its 2018 ranking as the 10th largest manufacturer to the very top of the global pile. VW’s own internal target is to produce 22 million BEVs by 2028.
The Department of Energy has launched its Energy Storage Grand Challenge as a means of accelerating the development, commercialization and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies. “Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said. “Through this Grand Challenge, we will deploy the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to address the technology development, commercialization, manufacturing, valuation and workforce challenges to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.”