Home Mail me! rss


Fresh news on smart grid, IoT and green technologies

5th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems – SMARTGREENS 2016

The fifth edition of the SMARTGREENS conference (5th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems) organized by INSTICC (Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication) will take place from 23 to 25 of April 2016 in Rome, Italy.

The purpose of the 5th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems (SMARTGREENS) is to bring together researchers, designers, developers and practitioners interested in the advances and applications in the field of Smart Cities, Green Information and Communication Technologies, Sustainability, Energy Aware Systems and Technologies.

SMARTGREENS 2016 will be held in conjunction with CSEDU 2016, WEBIST 2016, CLOSER 2016, VEHITS 2016 and IoTBD 2016.

One of the most important contributions that SMARTGREENS brings about is the creation of a high-level forum in collaboration with the most prestigious internationally recognized experts, including names such as Markus Helfert (Dublin City University, Ireland) as a Conference Chair, Cornel Klein (Siemens AG, Germany) and Brian Donnellan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland) as Program Co-Chairs. SMARTGREENS 2016 will have several invited keynote speakers, who are internationally recognized experts in their areas, such as Paolo Tenti (University of Padova, Italy), Giovanni Giuliani (HP Italy Innovation Centre, Italy), Barbara Pernici (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Venkatesh Prasad (Ford Motor Company, United States).

All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, under an ISBN reference, on paper and on CD-ROM support.
SCITEPRESS is a member of CrossRef (http://www.crossref.org/) and every paper is given a DOI (Digital Object Identifier).
All papers presented at the conference venue will be available at the SCITEPRESS Digital Library (http://www.scitepress.org).
The proceedings will be submitted for indexation by Thomson Reuters Conference Proceedings Citation Index (ISI), INSPEC, DBLP, EI (Elsevier Index) and Scopus.

Further information about SMARTGREENS 2016 can be found at the conference website http://www.smartgreens.org

Unlocking the next gen of smart grid benefits

UTILITIES HAVE INVESTED billions of dollars over the last five years in technologies designed to operate the electric grid more efficiently, reliably, safely, and cost-effectively. As deployment of smart grid infrastructure reaches an inflection point, utility executives are faced with the difficult task of determining how to best make use of the data generated by intelligent devices to drive business benefits. In many cases, utility analytics have been the key to unlocking this hidden value, there are examples of utilities recovering half the costs of their smart grid programs by detecting and preventing energy theft. Other companies are reporting improvements in service reliability of over 35 percent, enabled in part by the deployment of sophisticated analytical capabilities.

With more than 60 utility smart grid analytics use cases in existence, choosing a starting point for implementing an analytics program that optimizes value across the enterprise can be a daunting task, and there have been many lessons learned from early adopters. Some early adopters have undertaken ambitious initiatives focused on implementing big data applications without a well-defined data analytics road map, resulting in a significantly delayed return on investment. Conversely, other more conservative utilities have been more surgical, deploying one-off applications, which ultimately leave money on the table.

Therefore, creating a business case for analytics requires a methodology that transcends the technological and operational considerations of the utility, as well as one which can be easily articulated to key decision makers.

How do you do it?


The first step in determining the best way to utilize recently deployed infrastructure is by conducting an assessment of the use-case capabilities (people, process, technology) that have already been deployed. During this phase, it is also important to gain an understanding of the high-priority use cases, as well as those that, which may not be relevant given the operating characteristics of the utility. This initial survey should also be used to identify the functional domains (e.g., grid analytics, customer analytics) upon which to focus future workshops, strategy sessions and data requests. A market scan of peer utilities, similar markets and relevant vendors should be conducted as well.

Note: Use cases focused on energy efficiency and conservation are typically unattractive in states without revenue decoupling.


Prioritization must take into consideration the overall value (return on investment), ease of implementation and the speed at which benefits accrue.

By mapping value vs. implementation effort, one can rapidly understand the quick wins, long-term investments and unattractive initiatives that should be deferred indefinitely. Additionally, many use cases have inherent affinity (such as reliability and asset management) and tend to be enabled by the same key process redesigns, organizational changes, applications and data sources.

Therefore, use cases should be assessed and prioritized holistically, taking into account any affinity and codependent value drivers. It is also critical that the analytics road map be periodically refreshed as applications are enabled, new investments are made or new use cases emerge.

Note: Creating a reporting dashboard can be a quick win resulting in a one-time or short-term benefit that requires minimal implementation effort. Equally, leveraging sensor data for use cases such as distribution automation and fault location isolation and service restoration (FLISR) to enable predictive control can be a more complex, long-term undertaking but ultimately yields greater, continuous benefits.


Understanding the value and ease of implementation as relative rankings can be helpful for targeting key business cases to investigate further. However, a more thorough business process based cost-benefit analysis is typically required. The cost-benefit analysis and business case should explore all benefits including traditional bottom line benefits, as well as those that may accrue to customers and more intangible benefits, such as improved regulatory relations.

Note: While some benefits can be easily quantified and/or monetized (such as avoided costs due to labor efficiencies) other benefits may not be, but are nevertheless important in today’s customer-centric regulatory environment (e.g., customer satisfaction scores).


The final step in any analytics program is measuring and validating the benefits outlined in the initial business case. Apart from evaluating progress for internal budgeting purposes, transparency into benefits realization has become a common requirement of regulators, particularly around use cases that have tangible customer impacts such as reliability and resiliency measures. The key to realizing true benefits is putting in place effective structures and processes for governance, identifying and verifying benefits owners, as well as clearly articulating any methodologies used in the calculation of the benefits.

Note: Much like the analytics road map, benefits realization is a dynamic process and must be updated as organizational and technology changes occur.

The benefits of utility analytics are no longer theoretical; there are now a growing number of real examples of what utility companies have achieved. Half of the recovery costs of BC Hydro’s smart meter program will be found in detecting and preventing energy theft. PPL Electric has reported a 38 percent improvement in service reliability enabled in part by the deployment of sophisticated analytical capabilities. Oklahoma Gas & Electric, in a bid to substantially shed load by 2020, is using customer analytics to gain visibility on individual customers’ responses to price signals. This is enabling them to identify the best customers to target with specific marketing campaigns.

In each of these cases, clear strategic goals or business problems have been addressed by using a combination of analytical solutions. Utilities have made significant investments in intelligent infrastructure; as the first wave of smart grid deployments nears completion, it has become clear that analytics is the key to unlocking additional value for utilities, shareholders and customers. With the right framework and road map in place, utility analytics offers the ability to turn the smart grid from theory into practice, seizing the opportunity to improve service, reduce costs and increase reliability.

More here.

Raleigh-based Sensus to acquire British energy research organization Sentec

Raleigh-based clean tech Sensus is acquiring British research organization Sentec in a deal aimed at expanding its global engineering resources in emerging technologies.

According to Sensus President Randy Bays, the expansion of the company’s technology resources “with a particular focus on research will help us bring innovative solutions to market faster and grow our IoT (Internet of Things) offerings.”

Sensus and Sentec were already longtime partners, making the partnership easy, according to a company press release.

Bays says via prepared statement that the move further illustrates Sensus’ commitment to research and development spending, which is now more than $85 million per year.

Specifically, Sentec’s expertise is in mechanical engineering and embedded firmware development, skill sets that directly complement Sensus. It’s also working on cost-effective metrology for IoT sensors for devices such as window air conditioners. The sensors provide data to enable demand response and monitor resource use. Think sensors in energy-efficient washing machines that can tell a user how much water and energy he or she is using per load of laundry.

The buy gives Sensus a foothold in Cambridge, England. “By establishing a presence in Cambridge, we can supercharge our product development activity and bring additional technology to the market for our customers,” Bays says.

Financial details were not disclosed.

More here.

India Smart Automotive Forum 2015 to focus on Connected Automotive – Technology Adoptions and Business Models

New Delhi, India, 4 November 2015 –m2m2iotpaper.com announces the first ever edition of India Smart Automotive Forum 2015 (www.smartautomotiveforum.com) scheduled to be held on Friday, 27 November 2015 at The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, New Delhi, India.

India Smart Automotive Forum 2015 aims to highlight the role and importance of machine-to-machine (m2m) technologies and internet of things (iot) in the Automotive space and the latest happenings in the automotive industry.

India Smart Automotive Forum’s objective is to highlight the most comprehensive delivery of the most talked-about and latest developments, innovations, research and trends to one and all in the automotive community, with the focus on Connected, Intelligent Vehicles and Sustainable Intelligent Transportation of the future, comprising of;

  1. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicle.
  2. Business Models and Public Policies including Public Private Partnership.
  3. Clean and Green Vehicles, such as; Electric-Hybrid and Energy-Efficient Vehicles.
  4. Mobile Applications and Mobility Services – including Connected Navigation and Vehicle Services, such as;
  • Convenience Services – Payments for Insurance, Remote Diagnostics and Health Reports.
  • In-Car Infotainment.
  • Parking Space.
  • Point Of Interest.
  • Productivity.
  • Traffic Updates.
  • Weather Information.
  • Vehicle Interfacing with Networks and Power Grids.

We are looking forward to seeing yourself and your colleagues at India Smart Automotive Forum 2015 on 27 November 2015 in New Delhi, India.

You will see and hear from the stakeholders who are shaping and developing the m2m + iot technology which is revolutionizing Smart Automotive businesses and working practices.

About m2m2iotpaper.com

Inaugurated in April 2013, www.m2m2iotpaper.com is a world-class news and resource portal of latest machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) information. m2m2iotpaper.com is an initiative in the domain of machine-to-machine (m2m) technologies and internet of things (iot) and its applications on key Industry Verticals namely, Agriculture, Automotive, Automation, Electronics, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Security, Supply Chain, Telecom, Transportation, Telematics and Utility, including Smart Cities, and Smart Villages. m2m2iotpaper.com has very high quality collection of resources and references such as; articles, case studies, white papers, videos, and interviews from across verticals of the machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) eco-system and value chain. The portal is an interactive medium for machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) stakeholders to connect through several innovative mediums like facebook, Google+, linkedin, meetup and twitter.

For further queries and discussions on India Smart Automotive Forum 2015, please contact;

Priyanka Aggarwal(Ms.) Shilpi Batra (Ms)
Forum Manager – India Smart Automotive Forum 2015
Telephone:+91 9818002218
Email: marketing@m2m2iotpaper.com
Forum Director – India Smart Automotive Forum 2015
Telephone: +91 9599074767
Email:  shilpi.b@originbizserv.com


E.ON invests in American start-up Bidgely

E.ON has again expanded its venture-capital activities by taking a stake in Bidgely as part of the U.S.-based start-up’s $16.6 million Series B financing round.

Bidgely offers energy companies cloud-based, real-time applications that their residential customers can access via the internet or mobile devices. The applications enable customers to better manage their energy usage and compare it with that of similar households in their area. One of its features is energy-saving tips for home electronics, appliances, and heating units, which are sent as push notification messages to customers’ mobile devices.

“Our partnership with Bidgely supplements our previous co-investments very well. We want to offer our customers individually tailored, innovative products for an increasingly digitalized world. This partnership will enable us to do even more to help them save energy and manage their usage better,” says Susana Quintana-Plaza, E.ON SE’s Senior Vice President for Technology and Innovation.

E.ON continues to promote innovation by making strategic co-investments in start-ups whose intelligent solutions are helping to shape tomorrow’s energy market. To date, E.ON has taken stakes in more than a dozen start-ups in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Its portfolio is diverse. It has invested in companies ranging from Sungevity (which develops innovative software for planning solar arrays) to Enervee who provides a dynamic platform on which consumers can make more energy-efficient choices when it comes to household appliances, devices and electronics purchases. The start-up AutoGrid is dedicated to bring the power of Big Data, predictive analytics and Internet scale computational techniques to the production and consumption of electricity. In Germany E.ON has invested in Thermondo, a Berlin-based start-up whose online platform enables customers to quickly compare a variety of heating units.

More here.

“Appifying” the utility enterprise

Thousands of intelligent endpoints have created exponential growth in the amount of analytical data that utilities are attempting to make sense of to improve grid reliability, increase efficiency and provide superior customer service.  In addition, utilities have to evaluate the operational and cost impact of demand reduction programs, renewable energy integration, regulatory changes, and consumer behavior. Where once utilities only had to respond to operational data in structured format (databases) that resided in such disparate systems as SCADA EMS, DMS, CIS, etc., the intelligent grid concept forces Utilities to break the barriers of these data silos, and integrate this structured data with unstructured data in such places as the internet, social media, news and weather. They also need to tap into their organization’s tribal knowledge in the unstructured form of reports, emails, evaluations, presentations, and observations.

Even with the advent of big data, the integration of all this structured and unstructured data would appear to be a monumental achievement with the database management and analytical tools the industry has come to rely on.  Complicating the challenge is the aging utility workforce that will retire much of the expertise required to query this data in such a way that it will provide meaningful, actionable information. Even if we could somehow blend this data, would we then need thousands of canned reports, or a highly trained data analytics expert in every operating department to make use of it? Perhaps the better answer is staring back at us from our smart phones.

“Waze-like” apps across energy/utility IT & OT systems

We as consumers are no strangers to the union of the structured and unstructured datasets. A commuter, for example, used to rely on Google maps to get from his office to home. But with the advent of apps like “Waze,” not only can he get directions and arrival times based on mileage and speed data, but can also combine this intelligence with feeds from on social media and crowd-sourced opinions on traffic congestion.

While utilities are quickly discovering the value of apps they provide their customers to modify behavior and improve customer loyalty, few have embraced the use of apps to improve their own operational efficiency and risk management. Significant advances in the power of in-memory processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing have the potential to blend millions of data points from tribal knowledge, operational systems, and the Internet of Things — using apps no more complicated than Google Maps.

More here.

Europe’s Hydropower on Display in Salzburg

When the RENEXPO® HYDRO opens its doors for the seventh time on 26 November 2015 at 11:00 a.m., the largest and most comprehensive exhibition for ecological hydropower will be underway.

More than 80 exhibitors from eight EU countries and Switzerland have already registered and will present their technical and ecological solutions for environmentally friendly energy production. More than 100 exhibitors are expected in total.

With the most comprehensive conference program ever, the event taking place from 26 – 28 November 2015 will feature eleven conferences and seminars on topics ranging from small hydropower to pump storage – providing more up to date information than ever before. Addressing issues spanning from technical solutions to ecological factors, profitability and financing, the event has plenty to offer visitors from all areas of the hydropower sector. Green energy straight from the power socket will be offered at the event to direct consumers from the energy producers represented on site. Every hydropower plant owner attending the exhibition is also a potential green energy seller in the energy market…

At the “7th Small Hydropower Conference: Innovation and Efficiency” will feature legal experts and technicians discussing new developments,
special solutions and legal issues. The Open Energy Talk taking place right after the grand opening on 26 November 2015 at 11:00 a.m. will provide a platform for discussing challenges and solutions for the energy transition.
Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 1 “A Prelude to the Future”

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-­year history. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that power a few to a few hundred nearby homes. Electricity demand has leveled off, so that every unit of new wind and solar power produced for the grid displaces a unit of fossil fuel energy. Batteries and electric vehicles provide new tools for distributed energy storage. Smartphones and smart appliances are giving electricity customers unprecedented opportunities to manage their energy use.1

This is the first of four parts of our Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy report being published in serial.  Download the entire report and see our other resources here.


A growing number of experts in and out of the utility industry believe this shift in source and scale of power generation to distributed and renewable is largely inevitable.2 The technological change challenges us to redesign the electricity system.

“The way we structured utilities 100 years ago…doesn’t work today,” says Richard Kauffman, New York energy czar.3

Many are calling this potential adaptation “Utility 2.0” – a second generation electric company that can accommodate and thrive alongside distributed clean power generation, energy storage, and advanced energy management. Many utilities are fighting this transition, clinging to the inertia that has kept them in business for decades as sovereigns of the grid.

Up for grabs is $364 billion in annual electricity sales.

There’s an unprecedented opportunity to keep that money within communities. Already, half a million households have on-­site solar power plants, a quarter million have an electric vehicle, and 6 in 10 have a smartphone. The costs of local energy production and management are falling rapidly.

More here.

How aggregated storage can help utilities create a ‘new kind of demand response’

Demand response” has traditionally been a fairly simple concept: When demand spikes, utilities pay some customers to reduce their load.

The assumptions in that exchange were pretty simple: The customers involved had flexible load, and the price benefits that customers would get on their utility bills when they signed up for the program more than made up for whatever losses or inconvenience they incurred. When the utility put in the call, the customer started using less power.

But technology has a way of changing things, and a bid into the California ISO real-time market earlier this month highlights the way old definitions are unraveling in the new utility world. In a supply-side pilot run by Pacific Gas & Electric, storage developer Stem Inc. bid in an aggregated storage load that in practice acted as demand response.

The pilot is the first in California’s energy markets, according to Stem, and aligns with California’s push for more battery storage and overhauling its utility system to meet Gov. Jerry Brown (D)’s call for 50% renewables by 2030.

Aiming to further CAISO’s use of demand response in its wholesale market, the pilot could help bolster flexibility and reliability of the grid.

“We’re sending energy to serve the clients’ load, so it looks to the grid like load going down,” said Ted Ko, Stem’s director of policy. “It’s a new form of demand response, but it looks to the grid like demand response.”

Get that?

Stem installed battery storage at six client sites that allows the customers to charge up when electricity prices were low and use it when power was expensive, as well as providing a redundant power source to guard against outages. And by participating in the supply-side pilot, Stem was able to also use the storage as a demand response resource in the CAISO wholesale market.

“Bidding demand response into wholesale markets is not a particularly new concept,” Ko said. “But aggregating distributed fleets into wholesale markets is new, and I actually think we’re one of the first places anywhere around the country to do this.”

More here.

$8 Billion in smart grids investments. What difference did It make?

In prior articles, I wrote about the vulnerability of the nation’s electrical grid. After all, the picture of the U.S. energy infrastructure is far from rosy. An analysis of the electricity outage data reported via DOE’s Electric Disturbance Events Annual Summaries yields the trends shown in Figure 1 [1]. Outages in the U.S. are on the rise; in fact, the average number of outages doubles every 5 years. Extreme weather events caused major outages. Events such as the NE Blackout (2003), Pacific NW Storm (2006), Hurricane Irene (2011), Hurricane Sandy (2012), and the East Coast Derecho (2012) caused major outages impacting significant portions of the country. One notable trend is the increased occurrence of vandalism events, which have been on the rise since 2010.

In recent years, government programs such as the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) – which spanned 2009-2014 as noted in Figure 1 – have placed a renewed emphasis on modernizing the electrical infrastructure, with emphasis on increasing resiliency [2, 3, 4]. The SGIG program consisted of 99 cost-shared projects, involving more than 200 electric utilities and participating organizations. With $8 billion of joint investment between the U.S. government and grant recipients, SGIG rapidly deployed a wide array of smart grid technologies. As a result, over 15 million smart meters and 1,200 phasor measurement units were deployed, in addition to 19,000 units of distribution technology (e.g., automated switches) and an assortment of customer systems (e.g., in-home displays).

But, what difference did it make? What is the impact of smart grid technology deployment on the resilience of the U.S. electricity infrastructure?

More here.

« Previous entries · Next entries »