Microgrids are becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Currently an estimated $4.5 billion market in the US alone with 1,459 MW online and 1,122 MW in planning or development, the microgrid market is expected to continue to grow as the world demands ever more electricity usage and the grid struggles to keep up. The truth is that the traditional grid was not built to cope with the extraordinary level and fluctuations of present-day demand, and microgrids present the perfect solution. The question (to the utilities) is whether we are ready to embrace the change and adapt.
Working in conjunction with the Technical University of Munich, industrial and electric power giant Siemens has determined that Europe is incorrectly siting its renewable power projects -- and wasting an estimated 45 billion euros in the process. Siemens claims the projects should be shifted to locations with higher yields, calling the choice of site "crucial to the efficiency and economy."
New Vital Signs Online describes growth of smart grid and energy storage infrastructure. (RT @wendykoch: Smart grid tech got a 7% global investment boost last year but dipped 19% in US, reports Worldwatch Institute.
No one knows just how much methane—a potent greenhouse gas—leaks from natural gas wells and pipelines. A new natural-gas sensing system from Picarro, a Santa Clara, California-based company, could help. It’s making it far easier and faster—and potentially cheaper—to detect and pinpoint the source of natural gas emissions.
Driven largely by the falling price of solar photovoltaics, the global remote microgrid market will expand from 349 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity in 2011 to over 1.1 gigawatts (GW) by 2017, an amount that at least equals all other microgrid segments combined. The remote microgrid market is expected to grow to $10.2 billion by 2017, and investors and suppliers are starting to take notice. Featuring HOMER CEO Dr. Peter Lilienthal along with Pike senior research analyst Peter Asmus, this webinar will break down the remote microgrid sector by market applications and system requirements, and examine the emerging opportunities in telecom, developing economies, the military, and industrial settings.
In August 2012 DENA has published a third study on the integration of renewables in Germany. The study was made in cooperation with Aachen University.
It is the purpose of the study to analyse how the political targets will change the electricity supply system by 2050 and to identify infrastructure challenges. The study is mainly based on the Guiding Scenario 2009, published by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The Guiding Scenario 2010 was not yet published when DENA began working on the integration study.
Apparently, a citizens group in Berlin is looking to buy the capital city’s electricity grid. The group, Bürger Energie Berlin (BEB), wouldn’t be the first to do such a thing. As noted in this post on the documentary Power Play, Germans in the village of Schönau bought their grid decades ago and turned the area into a renewable energy leader.
With a steep growth of power generation from photovoltaic (PV) and wind power and with 8 GW base load capacity suddenly taken out of service the situation in Germany has developed into a nightmare for system operators.
I cannot avoid the conclusion that approaches based on renewables will mainly, at a very large expense, end up delaying the real decisions we must eventually make to lower emissions to acceptable levels.
Do you have a solar system at the home? An electric car in your drive way? Smart phones, tablets, game consoles and other electronics proliferating in your home?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it's time to take a minute to learn about the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) electricity and what it means for your household energy use.
Two new reports from Navigant Research reveal more than 400 individual projects are currently in operation or under development worldwide, and forecast the global market will pass $40 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
Another focus of the research activities is the interconnection of the electric power grid with the existing gas distribution network in order to use gas distribution networks as energy storages. The Helmholtz Association will subsidise the Energy Alliance with 3.2 million Euros from its Initiative and Networking Fund in 2013 and 2014.
Germany apparently still has 1.4 million electric heaters spread across roughly 40 million households, putting the percentage of electric heating at around 3.5 percent. Nonetheless, RWE estimates that these electric heaters could add the equivalent of around 10 gigawatts of pumped storage – equivalent to an eighth of peak German power capacity and a sixth of peak demand on a normal workday.
Smart Grid - A growing chorus of East Coasters is crying for the distribution grid to be buried underground to forestall outages from giant storms like Hurricane Sandy.
I understand the problems and concerns about undergrounding... yet I believe that, as an industry, we overestimate the cost of burial. And that's because we underestimate the potential for cooperation and collaboration with other utilities to do joint undergrounding.
Germany's four transit grid operators have put together a wish list for the government at a price tag of 32 billion euros. The main reason these lines are needed is that new offshore turbines are to be installed in the north, where ...
The policy chief of Europe’s electricity industry association has told EurActiv that Europe will have to slow down its integration of renewable energies or risk power cuts and systems instability because of the slow pace of cross-border grid improvements.
“Either you go very fast in the transition - which is impossible [because] smart grids are expensive and the storage is not there in the needed scope – or you diminish the speed for integrating renewables into the system,” Susanne Nies of Eurelectric told EurActiv in a phone interview.