Paint New Yorkers Green
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
New Yorkers often are viewed as a skeptical, hard-to-impress bunch. But they are warming – big time – to renewables and electric vehicles. And they like what they know about the state’s sweeping REV initiative and want to know more about it. Those are some of the findings of a study conducted by the New York Smart Grid Consortium and SGCC.
The Austin City Council last week voted to target 65 percent renewable energy by 2027, one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation and a step up from the previous 55 percent by 2025 goal. The Austin Monitor notes that the city's utility is on track to meet the 55 percent goal, and considered even higher targets — including 100 percent by 2030.
Ameren Missouri is in the process of installing new smart grid technologies that will help to reduce customer outages. According to a local news source, the Ameren's smart grid projects will cost approximately $650,000. However, the company will be investing $785 million in smart grid throughout the state of Missouri in 2017.
Customers care more about getting things done than they do about minutes of mindshare. If utilities can help their customers accomplish their goals in less time, they can also encourage the customer to become more engaged in energy decision-making and improve overall satisfaction with their service.
The energy dynamic around renewables is changing so quickly in Colorado that Zach Pierce, a senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club, can hardly keep up with it. “I feel like we’re having to rewrite the talking points on the drawing board every month in Colorado,” he said. In December, Xcel Energy released a report summarizing the responses to a solicitation to power suppliers for bids to bring new sources of electricity to the grid.
Electric vehicles are on the path to becoming mainstream, thanks to strong policy support and rapid lithium-ion battery cost declines. The next key driver is the role that utilities will play. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects 40 percent of U.S. new-car sales will be electric in 2030, with EVs becoming cost-competitive without subsidies around 2025.
Sunrun, the residential solar company that’s boosting market share, said it will tap a partnership with the biggest U.S. cable TV company to add new customers. Comcast Corp. and Sunrun agreed to a 40-month partnership after a trial showed that cable customers had interest in solar products. San Francisco-based Sunrun will be Comcast’s exclusive residential solar provider.
As homeowners and businesses continue to install energy generating equipment like batteries and solar PV behind their meters, forward-looking utilities such as SDG&E are piloting projects that will help them figure out not just how to use them to strengthen the grid but also how to compensate those DER owners for the use of their equipment.