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Fresh news on smart grid and green technologies

Atlassian takes JIRA to customers’ data centres

Named after the Japanese word for Godzilla — Gojira — JIRA, a bug and project-tracking software product, was the Australian startup’s first release over a decade ago.

JIRA Data Center is the latest offering of the company’s team project management software, and can be deployed across multiple nodes for instant scalability, according to Atlassian.

The company says it offers high availability and performance at scale when hosting its applications in customers’ own data centres.

Meanwhile, Atlassian’s complementary Confluence Data Center, designed to quickly scale team collaboration across an enterprise, will be rolled out later this year.

According to Atlassian senior cloud engineer, Chris Fuller, as of 9 June, JIRA and Confluence had not yet reached a “100 percent” agreement in their approaches to the Data Centre offering — with both having different approaches to caching and cross-cluster messaging.

With JIRA Data Center, concurrent user capacity grows steadily as more nodes are added. Clustering capabilities smooth out spikes in traffic improving performance and usability.

Both JIRA Data Center and Confluence Data Center are designed to provide active-active clustering to reduce the risk of system downtime. The platforms integrate with industry standard technologies for database clustering and shared file systems to minimise single points of failure.

Teams can add a node in a cluster in real time, according to Atlassian, and re-indexing is quick, since search indexes can be copied from another node.

“In our load testing, a two-node JIRA Data Center cluster was able to support twice the concurrent users as a single JIRA Server with the same response time. We can’t wait to see what scale our customers reach with the new offerings,” said Bryan Rollins, Atlassian JIRA general manager.

To support the offering, Atlassian said it is also introducing new premier level customer support, technical account management and authorised enterprise partners.

More here.

4th Smart Communications & Technology Forum

We cordially invite you to participate in the 4th edition of the international “Smart Communications & Technology Forum” which will be held on 18th September 2014 in Warsaw. During the previous three editions we hosted over 600 experts in the area of Smart Meters and Smart Grid from all over Europe. The 4th edition will be a global event!

There will be presented the best projects e.g. Smart Sacramento case study by a representative from the company that deployed that huge investment – Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The project turned out largely successful, over 600 thousand smart meters were installed, the grid management costs were reduced, and the peak demand was tackled by a few percent. SMUD was awarded the best Smart Grid of 2013 award from PowerGrid International magazine.

The other confirmed speakers in the 4th edition include representative of: GDF Suez, Salzburg AG, EnBW – Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (which deployed MeRegio, a project that is part of German government sponsored E-Energy initiative), Iberdrola Engineering, ČEZ Distribuce (Grid4EU), Stedin Meetbedrijf and SEAS-NVE (the largest consumer-owned utility in Denmark) as well as OSGP Alliance (The Open Smart Grid Protocol).

The participant to the Forum will be shown the state of deployment of Smart solutions in Poland, and compare it with the international experience.

Some of the most important topics during the 4th edition will be:

Regulatory framework – how does Poland compare with global leaders?

  • Collecting and managing data, security issues
  • Profitability of investments – the real costs of implementations
  • Plans of companies and the functioning of deployed systems in Poland
  • Pilot projects and commercial deployments around the World
  • Cooperation of URE (Energy Regulation Office) with TSO/DSO – what solutions are best?
  • The technological innovation in AMR / AMI / MDM / DAS / DSR / DMS / WAMS
  • Analysis, rapports, and international experience supported by case studies

Forum’s nature is the conference and exhibition, so our guests have the opportunity to see the wide range of the leading suppliers of smart technologies from Poland and foreign entities. We are expecting 250 guests, among whom will be staff of  DSO/TSO companies, representatives of state institutions and non-governmental organizations, scientists, researchers and suppliers of products and solutions. Take advantage of our experience and meet new business partners.

We would like to invite you to the partnership and/or participation. See you in Warsaw!

For more details please visit:
http://cbepolska.pl/en/iv-smart-communications-technology-forum.html

Contact details:
tel/fax: +48 22 82 77 123
e-mail: biuro@cbepolska.pl

Record numbers apply for Horizon 2020 first-round funding

The European Commission has received a deluge of 16,000 applications in the first round of calls for Horizon 2020, its €80 billion research and innovation programme.

“We were over-subscribed by a factor of nine,” said Robert-Jan Smits, director-general of DG Research and Innovation.

The Commission’s first set of calls totaled €15 billion, and it received nine times that worth in applications, he said. That’s almost double the oversubscription rate in the first round of the previous research programme, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Given the strong surge in bids, the first-round success rate for Horizon 2020 applications will drop to 11 per cent, half the figure in FP7.

“It’s the first time the figures have been made public,” said Smits, speaking today at a session organised by Science|Business at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2014) in Copenhagen. Smits suggested one reason for the heavy subscription to Horizon 2020’s first set of calls could be the shrinking public research budgets in countries such as Italy and Spain.

A key goal in designing Horizon 2020 was “bringing industry back in the game,” said Smits, and the first call is an early signal that the Commission was successful. Nearly half of all applicants, or 44 per cent, were from industry compared with 29 per cent in FP7. Another target was channeling more research funding to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Of all industry applicants in the first H2020 calls, half were SMEs.

The number of submissions from women was 23 per cent of the total, up from 20 per cent in the last programme. Of the proposals submitted by consortiums, 24 per cent were headed by women, compared to 20 per cent in FP7. Inside the Commission the balance of those evaluating the submissions has changed too – this time around, 40 per cent will be women, meeting a target set by Smits.

Asked how the Commission could cope with the dramatic surge in the volume of bids, Smits said contingency plans were in place. “It’s an enormous machine we’re working with.” Among the calls, launched in mid-December, the most heavily-subscribed areas were those relating to health topics but also food, ICT and cyber-security, he said.

The evaluation phase will now begin and until it’s complete we won’t get a really strong view on the quality of applicants, he added.

More here.

The existential threat to demand response

Reports of demand response markets’ death have been greatly exaggerated

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, demand response, policy and regulation
Demand response (DR) markets will continue to thrive, despite the fallout from the recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on FERC Order 745. That order determined that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had overstepped its jurisdiction by dictating the compensation that providers of DR resources must receive.

Economic DR, which is what this ruling affected, plays a relatively minor role in DR markets nationwide—a percent or two of most DR providers’ revenues. In itself, the decision has a relatively minor impact. What is disconcerting is that it could serve as a precedent that impedes the ability of the FERC to effectively regulate DR markets more broadly.

Currently, there’s huge potential to expand capacity markets – a far more significant resource nationwide than economic DR. As more renewables are connected to the grid, and commercial buildings upgrade efficiency technology, new markets are opening up for the “negawatts” that demand response can provide. Introducing uncertainty into the marketplace has the potential to slow progress.

A closer look at the decision

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, demand response, policy and regulation
Let’s take a closer look at the majority decision. Previously, under FERC Order 745, grid operators (ISOs & RTOs) needed to reimburse customers who curtailed consumption while enrolled in DR the locational marginal price or full market price. Order 745 was an efficient way to keep supply and demand in balance because it’s usually the dirtiest, most expensive power plants that are turned on during peak loads.

The majority arguing for repeal didn’t dispute the rule’s efficacy. Rather, the 2-1 majority found that demand response in energy markets is a retail product rather than a wholesale product—and given that states are responsible for regulating retail markets, the FERC had overreached its jurisdiction with Order 745.

The court’s decision will have a relatively minor effect on the economics of demand response markets. While guaranteed energy payments from 745 were certainly good for the DR industry, they are relatively minor revenue stream for most DR providers—rarely more than a percent or two of gross revenue. The real economic value of demand response lies in transmission: the capacity and reserves market.

The threat to demand response

What could really threaten the DR market is if this precedent extends to the capacity and reserves market. In FERC Order 719, demand can respond to wholesale market need. Order 719 outlines that reserve market DR can be used as a resource and for system emergencies. More generally, DR allows wholesale and qualifying large retail buyers to bid the day-ahead into DR, real-time energy markets and certain ancillary service markets.

What we need to consider now is two-fold. First, how will this decision on 745 – which directly affects only the energy market – impact FERC’s development of market structures that encourage efficient use of our energy resources? Second, how will vacating these policies affect resources and peak loads? An unpredictable policy environment risks stalling progress in energy efficiency and demand response. FERC lawsuits cause significant market uncertainty — and to end users, the importance of this decision might seem obscure, but resultant uncertainty will impact them at the most basic level: electricity pricing.

More here.

Wattics Releases Sentinel, a Self-Learning Engine to Assist Companies to Achieve Long-Promised Energy Savings

Dublin, Ireland – June 16, 2014 – Wattics Limited (http://www.wattics.com), a leading provider of software intelligence for energy management, announced today the release of Sentinel, a much-anticipated self-learning analytics engine enabling automatic discovery of energy anomalies and energy-saving opportunities from meter readings. Targeting commercial and industrial customers, Wattics innovate within the energy management market by assisting end-users in detecting energy inefficiency, as it occurs, and by converting complex meter readings into clear notifications with recommendations. Customers are notified by email, online dashboard and through a mobile app, allowing them to achieve immediate savings. Wattics Sentinel offers an easy and inexpensive way to add expert data analysis to a variety of commercial, industrial and consumer monitoring applications, and is designed to work with any conventional meter.

“At Wattics we will never stop innovating! We want our customers to have the most innovative energy management solution in the market. That’s why we are pioneering Sentinel. Sentinel addresses common problems for our customers which include having limited time to investigate energy graphs and having difficulty to identify saving opportunities. Sentinel constantly learns about the operation of appliances and areas, identifying correlation between their use and characterising good and bad use over week days, week-ends and bank holidays. After a couple of weeks, Sentinel starts notifying area managers and operators about important energy issues, allowing them to focus on the actual implementation of the actions with greater results. With Sentinel, our customers will never miss an opportunity to save money, and all the saving actions are recorded so that each manager can demonstrate how much money the company has made through his or her actions. Sentinel boosts user engagement and brings fun to the energy management sector. Talented employees have an instrument to demonstrate how the company has improved the bottom line and are incentivised to do so, perhaps leading to a reward such as a promotion or a salary increase. “ said Antonio Ruzzelli, CEO Wattics.

Wattics Sentinel is the new addition to Wattics energy hardware, disaggregation and dashboard solutions, and can be licensed for integration within partner’s solutions.

For more information visit http://www.wattics.com.

About Wattics Ltd.

Wattics is a truly innovative online energy management platform that uses advanced software algorithms to uncover equipment activity reports, anomalies and all valuable insights contained within raw energy measurements, enabling innovative real-time notifications and recommendations to end-users for immediate savings. Wattics demonstrated savings greater than 20% for clients in commercial/industrial buildings, and was acknowledged “2012 Best Emerging Company in Ireland”.

Remote Conference Program Covers the Future of SCADA, Remote Networks, Security and Onsite Power for Critical Infrastructure

Greenwood Village, Colo. – Webcom Communications Corp. is proud to announce that its annual Remote Monitoring and Control Conference will be returning Las Vegas in 2014. Being held Nov. 5-7, 2014 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spas, this event covers the latest advancements for monitoring and managing distributed equipment and facilities via recent developments in SCADA, remote networks (wireless & wired), security (cyber & physical), automation, onsite power, M2M and all other manner of technology that allows for the management of remote assets.

For 2014 conference is welcoming back the SCADA Technology Summit and several in-depth conference workshops. The SCADA Technology Summit is a day long program exclusively covering SCADA technology.

The event also hosts a highly targeted exhibit hall filled with companies showcasing the latest technologies in these rapidly evolving markets.

The international conference serves multiple markets and industries including utilities/T&D, infrastructure, power, oil & gas, telecom, industrial, water & wastewater, remote networks and facilities management. End-users in these industries often have equipment, facilities and staff distributed over large areas and require automated processes and systems to control these assets.

“With continued advancements in SCADA, networking and security technology, it paramount that managers of infrastructure projects and remote assets stay up to date on the latest technology for their remote assets,” said Nick Depperschmidt, conference chairman, Remote Monitoring and Control 2014. “Upgrading, maintaining and specifying these systems is a daunting task. That’s why we’ve assembled a program filled of the brightest minds in the industry. If you work in automation, SCADA, M2M, industrial networking, cyber and physical security, onsite power and data acquisition, this is your last must attend event in 2013.”

Remote Monitoring and Control 2013 will once again be co-located with the Antenna Systems confernece.  This event will cover the latest advancements in the applications, technology and economic development in the antennas market. The co-location provides attendees the opportunity to network with possible clients and partners in fields with synergistic needs and Remote Attendees are welcome to attend any Antenna Systems Conference they’d like.

NXP joins ZigBee board of directors

NXP Semiconductors has become the newest member of the ZigBee Alliance board of directors.

This move increases NXP’s existing membership to ‘promoter’ level. The company has long supplied microcontrollers and transceivers for smart homes, connected lighting and energy efficiency applications based on ZigBee standards.

“NXP is an established member of the Alliance,” said Pieter Hooijmans, who leads R&D in security and connectivity at NXP. “This new role is a logical next step in our relationship.”

The ZigBee Alliance was established in 2002. It is a non-profit association of members, made up of businesses, universities and government agencies from around the globe. The Alliance works towards developing standards that deliver greater freedom and flexibility when it comes to smart tech.

“This development further supports our strategy to enable secure connections for a smarter world,” added Hans Rijns, senior vice president and chief technical officer at NXP, on the company’s new role.

More here.

“M2M+ Industry Summit” ended with great success two days of intense M2M/IoT experience

Outstanding speakers, presentations with brilliant insights and many networking moments to share ideas and projects: M2M+ Industry Summit, organized by Innovability – company specialized in creating cutting-edge B2B events – offered two days of real immersion in the M2M/IoT world for the top players of the community, with great appreciation by all the participants.

100 international professionals from all over the world – from Germany to India, passing through Sweden, Turkey and Israel -  took part to the reserved meeting M2M+ and over 1200 people coming from 19 countries visited the expo area and attended the conferences of the co-located tradeshow “M2M FORUM” on 20th May. www.m2mforum.com

The exclusive conference provided the attendees with an interesting overview on the new horizons of M2M/IoT sector, dealing with market enterprise opportunities and threats, service providers perspectives, disruptive technolgies and the application of M2M/IoT in our everyday “smart life”.

Presenting companies: Alessandro Bassi Consulting, Beecham Research, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Eurotech, Infosys, Inmarsat, Libelium, Machina Research, M2M Alliance, M2M Insights, m2ocity, Nuvia Smart Energy Technologies, OIES Consulting, Oracle, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, SAP, SIMalliance, Swiss1mobile, Tele2, Telefónica Digital, Thingworx, Underwriters Laboratories, Wearable Technologies, Weightless, WBIRD, Zoho Corp.

Thanks to the unique Pitchfire Event, start ups had the chance to present their projects to a panel of venture capitalists, who showed strong interest for new ideas in the field.  A key component of M2M+ Industry Summit was networking with fellow attendees and M2M/IoT leaders. The brokerage event “M2MATCH”, specifically designed at this aim, saw almost 200 bunisness meetings organized with the cooperation of EEN-Innovhub. M2M+ Industry Summit offered a unique occasion to M2M/IoT top players for gathering together and provided them with great business opportunities fostering powerful
connections growth.

Greatly appreciated the co location with the 13th edition of “M2M FORUM” that confirmed itself as the leading machine-to-machine conference&expo in Europe.  1200 visitors from 19 countries and 78 partners, 45% coming from abroad, strenghtened the international profile of the event, sponsored by: Eurotech, Oracle, SAP, Telecom Italia Digital Solutions, Telit, Vodafone, Abodata, Cambium Networks, Digitel, Endian, Energy@Home, Ericsson, Gemalto, Gestioni Elettroniche, Kerlink , Oberthur, Semtech, Siemens, Stmicroeletronics,
Thingworx, Tiesse.

Not only business meetings for M2M+ attendees: the Networking Dinner, held on Monday in a cool restaurant in downtown Milan, represented a perfect moment to boost new partnerships too and it was welcomed with enthusiasm by all the participants.

Now waiting for 2015 “MILAN M2M WORLD CAPITAL CITY”

In 2015 Milan will host the World Expo and Innovability is already working on the next special edition. The main goal is to make the event even more rich in terms of contents and format, widening the horizon to the consumer industry and setting alongside the reserved business meeting, points of interest for consumers in the city: showroom and shops where to present innovative solutions directly to the public, for a real M2M experience.

Photo gallery HERE.

How can I successfully manage hotel energy use?

Daniel Tuohy, Wattics Chief Energy Analyst

Even the most simple tasks will take some sort of planning and when discussing your plans with somebody else you will often hear quoted to you that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. This is indeed very true, but unfortunately this wisdom sometimes comes to us far too late and we only learn where we went wrong with hindsight.

If you are new to energy management, deciding where to start can be a daunting task but you should try to forget about “preparing to fail” and try to start out with a positive mindset, after all, there are many helpful guidelines available and numerous companies that can offer expert advice in this area. Careful planning will lead to good energy management and “By succeeding to prepare, you are preparing to succeed”.

If you are a SME or hotel, a best practice action plan that you could follow is Energy MAP, the Energy Management Action Plan from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). This plan has helped many businesses in Ireland be successful in effectively managing their energy use and reducing operating costs. The plan is divided into five key steps or pillars of energy management: Commit, Identify, Plan, Take Action and Review.

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Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome when following any energy management plan is gaining staff commitment but once people are on board it becomes much easier to implement energy conservation measures, many of which require very little investment. You will find below some guidelines into how the five pillars of energy management can be applied in your hotel.

Commit -
Energy management is not just for maintenance managers or facility managers and requires wider adoption in order to be successful. Savings of up to 20% have been reported by some hotels by simply changing energy behaviour and this must come from all hotel staff, most of which are responsible for operating or controlling energy using appliances. The hotel management must also be on board, lead by example and encourage staff to become involved in energy management.

Appoint an Energy Champion to become a figurehead for energy saving activities and to motivate other staff. Establish an Energy Team to assist the Energy Champion and look for volunteers from different hotel areas such as reception, bar & restaurant, kitchen, leisure centre, accommodation, night porter and maintenance. Consider rewards for good implementation of energy saving actions and encourage regular meetings to brainstorm ideas.

Identify -
It is important to become familiar with your energy bills and to develop a knowledge of where your energy is being consumed. Most people will just look at the bottom page of the their energy bill to check what is the total charge or ‘what is the damage?’, but energy bills can also tell you a lot more about energy use in your hotel such as the energy consumed during the day, the energy consumed during the night, weekend use vs weekday energy use and much much more. If you are lucky enough to have an energy management solution installed at your hotel then you may also be able to find out what particular areas are consuming in comparison to others. Area level information can also help focus your energy saving efforts towards significant energy consumers. You should also try to identify energy saving opportunities and staff should always be consulted first for ideas as they probably have the best knowledge of the hotel and possible areas where energy is being wasted.

Plan -
You should now be ready to start planning some energy saving actions or initiatives. If you have already consulted with your staff for ideas then you will probably have the makings of a list of energy saving opportunities. You should next try to set out some objectives and targets, communicating them to everyone involved. Try to set challenging goals without been unrealistic, for example, there is no point setting out to try and reduce energy use in the Leisure Centre by 40% if you have not first identified significant wastage or you have no budget to make changes to the heating or air conditioning plant. Perhaps you should consider starting small by planning to implement two to three ‘low cost’ energy saving actions per hotel area in the first two months of your energy management action plan.

Take Action -
You should try to remember that not everyone working in the hotel will be highly motivated to save energy for the environments sake and many of the staff will have other work priorities such as meeting staff needs or requests. Making energy management more fun and engaging is one way to help all staff remain motivated to carry out energy saving actions. Some hotels have had success by creating an Energy Game, whereby, staff receive recognition for hard work and often rewards for particularly good initiatives. The Energy Champion will be a central figure for organising such games and it helps if he/she is a charismatic person who is capable of creating a friendly & competitive atmosphere.

Review -
It is difficult to know if your plan has successfully delivered energy savings or increased energy awareness without some sort of review. Measuring and monitoring energy use or performance from the start makes it easier to assess if energy saving actions have worked or not. It is essential that the people carrying out the review have the necessary knowledge or received the required training in order to be able to successfully establish if energy use or performance has improved as a result of energy saving actions. For larger sites, it might be worth considering energy sub-metering systems or an energy monitoring system in order to obtain the required data to make the review process possible. If you are thinking about investing in an energy monitoring system for the first time then it is very important that you find out what kind of service is provided with the system. Will it be difficult to extract energy data for analysis? Will advice be provided for measuring and verifying energy saving actions?

Finally, staff will be encouraged to continue with energy management if their success is communicated to everyone and if their hard work is celebrated/rewarded. Some staff might even respond to gentle reminders or notices to try harder if they are falling behind their energy saving targets. In the serious business of energy management most people forget to try and have a bit of fun, afterall, it is the people who work in the hotel who have probably the most influence over whether the energy performance of the hotel goes up or down, and these same people will not be motivated unless they are sufficiently engaged.

More information on Energy Map can be found on the SEAI website at:-
http://www.seai.ie/energymap

About Wattics
Wattics provide low-cost solutions that help businesses and their staff to engage with energy management and achieve results. We provide innovative energy monitoring solutions complete with a unique energy service level agreement that provides ongoing customer support and expert advice. Many of our clients have changed the way in which they manage their energy and some have achieved energy savings of more than 20%.

If you would like to know more about Wattics and our solutions, please get in touch.
http://www.wattics.com/

EnerNOC Receives 2014 Smart Grid Product of the Year

EnerNOC, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENOC), a leading provider of energy intelligence software (EIS), today announced that it has received a 2014 Smart Grid Product of the Year award from Smart-Grid.TMCnet.com. EnerNOC’s software was recognized as an example of outstanding innovation in smart grid technology.

“Enterprises use software to deliver visibility and support decision making for every major operational cost center, but to date, managing energy has largely been ignored or relegated to spreadsheets. We’ve proven that energy intelligence software is a game changer for enterprise energy management. It delivers a clear bottom-line impact by applying the power of information technology to energy,” said Gregg Dixon, SVP of Marketing and Sales at EnerNOC. “EnerNOC’s software gives customers a cloud-based platform to capture and analyze real-time energy and energy-related data to buy energy better, reduce waste, and optimize when energy is used. We’re honored to that our application received this recognition.”

EnerNOC has invested almost $200 million in its technology platform to date and its software is now deployed at tens of thousands of enterprise sites globally. EnerNOC’s platform streams real-time energy data into customers’ EIS applications so they can view and analyze their real-time energy consumption, prioritize activities and investments, take action toward meeting objectives, and report on progress toward goals.

“The solutions that have been selected for the 2014 Smart Grid Product of the Year Award reflect the diverse range of innovation driving this market. Congratulations to EnerNOC which exemplified the best of smart grid technologies in the past year,” said Carl Ford, CEO and Community Developer, Crossfire Media.

“It is my pleasure to recognize EnerNOC with a Smart Grid Product of the Year Award for its contribution to the advancement of smart grid technologies,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “I look forward to seeing more innovation from EnerNOC in the coming year.”

More here.

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