These Trends Are Defining the Future of Energy Efficiency
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
The energy sector is in an unprecedented state of flux. Numerous industry trends have placed energy efficiency at a pivotal crossroads. To remain a central link in the system, it's critical that utilities think about EE programs differently and modernize the experience to succeed in the new, customer-centric environment. Among the fundamental changes impacting the landscape: There is an immediate need to create more value out of programs due to a regulatory and business mandate for utilities to do more with less.
Ameren Missouri plans to install solar generation facilities in parking lots, on roofs and in other open spaces as part of an initiative to spread solar generation across the state. The effort is part of its Neighborhood Solar program, which was made possible by a law passed by the Missouri General Assembly in 2018. The ideal partners for the program are non-profit organizations, schools, institutions or other non-residential locations that are gathering spots in the community.
Electric vehicles have seemingly gone from futuristic and high-tech niche product to mainstream penetration in quick order, as you can’t go to a car show without seeing an EV section and more often than not you’ll find at least one EV charger in parking garages. However, this transition has been anything but an overnight success and the process of is quite far from complete. While consumers are now more aware than ever of EVs, utilities across the country are working on getting their systems ready for a more pervasive EV loads.
Landis+Gyr has been by recognized with the 2019 Global Company of the Year Award by market intelligence firm Frost & Sullivan. The award recognizes efforts by Landis+Gyr in helping utilities to meet current and evolving challenges using advanced metering infrastructure solutions. The company’s GridStream Connect next-generation Internet of Things platform is designed to help utilities to leverage intelligence to the grid edge, at the community level, and across the distribution system to optimize operations.
Recent studies find that the electrification of the transportation sector represents the greatest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases. The studies — including one by ACEEE — revealed that electrification overall would account for about 35 percent of the emissions reductions. Of that number, the transportation sector would deliver the highest percentage of emission reductions, 72 percent, according to the research. That’s more than the electrification of buildings and factories, Steven Nadel, Executive Director at ACEEE, said.
U.S. electric bus manufacturer Proterra reached its 100th customer this week, in a sign of how far the industry has come. Just a few years ago, electric buses had negligible market presence and faced an uphill battle to convince transit agencies to part ways with the buses they knew and trusted. That has changed now, thanks to declining battery prices, innovative financing mechanisms and a growing roster of customer testimonials. GTM checked in with Proterra Chief Commercial Officer Matt Horton to gauge what this milestone really means.
In the smash-hit arcade game Frogger, an intrepid amphibian requires the proper orientation of lily pads, turtles, and logs to safely traverse a river and return home. Similarly, for battery EVs to successfully transition from early adopters who have private garages to urban consumers with shared parking spaces will require careful alignment of charging accessibility and cost — no small task.
EPB operates on the maxim “modernize or die.” The utility knows that if it is unwilling to modernize and continuously innovate to keep up with changing technologies and lifestyles, then its customers might turn elsewhere for their energy needs if and when alternatives become available. In recent years, EPB has launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives to position Chattanooga for success. The utility’s leaders and staff work together to “solve problems, dream big, and support the growing community.”