Home Mail me! rss


Fresh news on smart grid, IoT and green technologies

Europe’s Energy Union: 10 things we’ve learned

Late last month, the European Commission published a hefty set of documents setting out Europe’s direction of travel on energy and climate change policy, under the heading of the ‘Energy Union Package’. Here’s 10 things we’ve learned:

1) We’re getting out of fossil fuels (eventually)

The European Commission sets out an impressive vision for a “fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system”, in which “we have to move away from an economy driven by fossil fuels … and outdated business models”. The Energy Union promises to be “climate friendly”, with Europe becoming “the world leader in renewable energy”. This is strong stuff for a normally conservative and understated institution.

2) But we’re still hooked on gas

This vision for getting Europe off of fossil fuels is undermined by a more immediate focus on securing access to ever-more supplies of (non-Russian) natural gas. The Commission promises to help finance new import pipelines and LNG terminals, participate in gas contract negotiations, and use its weight in international diplomacy to build relationships with gas producers and transit countries. However concerns have been raised that the EU is splashing out on expensive gas import infrastructure that will later become stranded. Europe has seen a 14% fall in EU gas demand since 2005 and consumption is expected to fall further as efficiency targets are met.

3) Europe’s energy markets are set for a major re-design

The Energy Union communication hints at the biggest shake-up to EU energy markets since the Third Energy Package was proposed in 2007. Since that point, there have been major changes to energy technologies (e.g. smart demand and cheap solar) and business models (e.g. the E.On de-merger). There have also been increasing conflicts between the EU’s single market aspirations and national market interventions. Expect a clampdown on national capacity mechanisms, new rules for renewable energy support and efforts to beef up EU energy regulators.

4) Efficiency is a fuel

There will be a “fundamental rethink of energy efficiency” in order to treat it as “an energy source in its own right”. The Commission proposes a radical new principle: energy efficiency and demand side response must compete on equal terms with generation capacity. This was a late addition to the text so details of how this will work in practice are still lacking – but it will certainly be one to watch.

More here.

EnerNOC plans to expand by focusing on software

isit EnerNOC Inc. chief executive Tim Healy in his Seaport perch overlooking Boston Harbor and the conversation will inevitably turn to his company’s future in energy software.

EnerNOC built a big business around what is known as “demand response,” a system that rewards customers for reducing electricity consumption during peak demand times. This is how EnerNOC gets most of its revenue. But Healy wants to talk about something different now: becoming a provider of energy-efficiency tools.

It is a vision that has led Healy on a shopping spree in which EnerNOC has spent more than $125 million to acquire five companies since the start of 2014, increasing the company’s workforce by 60 percent to more than 1,200 people. To keep up, he will add a floor this summer to the three-level headquarters in the 18-story One Marina Park Drive. As many as 600 people could work there a year from now, he said, up from nearly 490 on Jan. 1.

This pivot can’t come soon enough. EnerNOC’s overreliance on electric grid-related revenue became painfully clear on Feb. 26, when it warned Wall Street that its business could drop during 2015 by as much as 13 percent.

This was an unexpected shock for investors, who sent the company’s shares down by more than a third in the following few days. EnerNOC’s stock closed at $11.92 a share on Friday, 35 percent below its price before the revenue warning.

But to analysts who follow the company closely, this baptism by fire could hasten a transformation that needed to happen: Growing software products into a steady, significant stream of revenue.

EnerNOC’s software allows clients to, for example, quickly analyze and respond to energy waste throughout a portfolio of buildings and to combine billing in one central platform.

‘Customers are looking for an energy information platform to help them make sense of all the new choices they have.’ –Tim Healy, Chief executive of EnerNOC’

The market for energy management tools is wide open, said John Quealy, an equity analyst at the investment bank Canaccord Genuity’s Boston office who follows EnerNOC. Many businesses, he said, recognize they need to gain more control over their energy bills, especially during a time of rising electric rates.

More here.

Choosing the right tools for your energy conservation project

By Anthony Schoofs, CTO, Wattics
March 8, 2015

This post is a compact summary of data acquisition systems typically used by energy professionals for energy conservations projects. References have been added throughout to guide the reader to original and greater sources of information.

From generators to end-consumers, electricity passes through a network of high voltage lines and substations, where the electricity voltage is reduced and taken onwards through the distribution system to individual customers’ premises.




Nowadays, more and more energy applications require a combination of data acquisition systems for monitoring energy use within the end-user premises, in order to translate raw measurements into actionable, insightful information.

For example, ESCOs and facility managers require data to make the right decisions so as to develop effective strategies to reduce energy use and uncover operational and mechanical inefficiencies. Similarly, with multiple Utility-driven energy management solutions running concurrently within buildings, such as for automated equipment scheduling and demand response programs, measuring and verifying the savings achieved by each energy management solution is of utter importance for validating and delivering correctly monetary benefits to the end customer.




Data availability is going to play a more important role in the near future, and choosing the right data acquisition solution for specific project requirements will guarantee the success of an energy conservation project. This article guides the reader through the range of data acquisition equipment typically used within commercial and industrial environments, and provides a go-to guide for energy professionals willing to quickly review viable options.





1.1 Electrical installations

Electricity supplied through the main distribution board of a building is typically distributed via individual circuits to other sub-boards located across the premises, which are in turn feeding other boards and end-loads such as AHUs, lighting units and appliances.

Such an electrical installation can be represented as a hierarchical tree, as illustrated in the figure below. Each electrical installation will generally be unique to a given building.


Read the rest of this entry »

Why it’s so hard to monetize the distribution grid

Last Friday, New York regulators kicked off the implementation phase of their ambitious electric market reforms, issuing an order that designated utilities as Distributed System Platform (DSP) providers. That news, along with some recent grid edge scholarship, has meant that the distribution network has been in the headlines a lot lately. Whether it’s smart grid tech, distributed generation, or microgrids, a lot of the action in the utility sector these days is happening past the substation.

With all this new technology, regulators, researchers and power companies alike are trying to find ways to create a market on the distribution grid, so that all the devices and services that exist there can be bought, sold, and their values optimized. That basic idea is the underpinning of new regulatory regimes from New York’s REV to California’s Distribution Resource Plans.

On its face, it may seem like an easy task. But setting up a market on the distribution grid isn’t as easy as devising a framework and letting prices set themselves.

The reason? We don’t know how to value all the resources on the distribution grid yet. That was the key takeaway from the grid decentralization panel at the ARPA-E conference last month. After the discussion, Utility Dive got the chance to catch up with Doug Kim, director of advanced technology at Southern California Edison. He told us the nature of the resources on the distribution system makes it more difficult to assess their values.

“When you’re looking at very small size resources like DERs and you put them in the system on the distribution grid, depending on where you put it the value of that resource is going to be different,” Kim said.

More here.

Libelium Sales Network Expands on Four Continents with New Distributors

Libelium has added seven new distributors to its network of Value-Added Resellers (VARs) in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, doubling the number of authorized distributors of its Waspmote sensor network devices worldwide in less than a year.

“With our program, VARs have access to a range of development tools, training and information resources that allow them to increase revenue and accelerate adoption of Libelium’s sensor products and services.”

Libelium’s new distributors in Asia Pacific, Europe, North and South America will sell and install sensor network systems based on Waspmote sensor nodes and Meshlium gateways to meet increased demand for Internet of Things (IoT) technology in many areas. Sensor technology is used to reduce energy use, monitor environmental conditions and water quality, to improve infrastructure and urban resilience in Smart Cities, in agriculture, for environmental control, and industrial IoT projects.

Libelium’s distributor program includes systems integrators and VARs specialized in electronics, telecommunications, embedded systems, sensor deployment and wireless networks.

Libelium Distributor Network: http://www.libelium.com/contact/#distributors

“We work with our distributors as go-to-market partners to share the opportunity for expertise in wireless sensor networks. Customers of sensor network technology look to systems integrators to deliver technology solutions that fit their business needs,” said Javier Martinez, Libelium Vice President, Business Development. “With our program, VARs have access to a range of development tools, training and information resources that allow them to increase revenue and accelerate adoption of Libelium’s sensor products and services.”

More here.


Milan, February 9 , 2015. Great expectations for the M2M Forum Milan, planned for the 28 and 29 April 2015 at ATA Hotel Expo Milan. Since 2002 it is the pioneer event for the world of communication between machines (M2M) and, year by year, a real “must” for M2M/IoT  industry.

The event will once again be the reference point for meeting and debate with international experts on the world of M2M: the main topics will be the present and future scenarios of M2M, the dynamism, the rapidity of changes and all the latest news on the sector.

The event is created and organized by Innovability and in the last edition saw over 1200 participants from 19 different countries, 312 conference attendees , 80+ corporate sponsors, exhibitors and partners, 187 bilateral meetings of business matching. The extremely important results of last year, therefore, united by a strong and growing interest in the world M2M / IoT, they grow the wait for this fourteenth edition approaching.

“Excellent networking opportunities with the M2M/IoT ecosystem stakeholders and free-of-charge business meetings: those are two exclusive features of the unique European matchmaking event on M2M” says Gianluigi Ferri, CEO of Innovability, M2M veteran and M2M Forum organizer. “Energy is the hot topic of 2015 edition: market wants M2M smart solutions for energy production, storage and distribution to improve productivity, cost management and customers’ services”.

Fog Computing and Big Data will have an important role within the M2M Forum 2015. Fog computing is one of the major hot topics on the Internet of Things worldwide. The Cloud and new Fog Computing will certainly play a major role in M2M due to its ability to connect large numbers of geographically dispersed devices.

IoX, Internet of People and Things, is a new area of the event that was created to act as a “bridge” between the new world M2M (technologies, products, services) and the operators of the world “traditional” of the Web (web agency, web factory, service providers, etc.) to encourage the development of products and services IoT.

In particular, we’ll discuss the relationship between Smart Things, UX user experience and Design in the view of the idea that “smart things must be beautiful and beautiful things must be smart”. This idea is strongly related to the Italian high quality hand-craft tradition and culture that is getting smarter and smarter thanks to the new phenomena of FabLabs.

M2M/IoT are also the “engine” of the future Smart City. City and interconnected, but also sustainable, secure and comfortable, in a word “intelligent”. Years of experiments, projects and advanced applications seem to have finally made inroads, opening the way to the process in which cities and territories become
“smart” . Strong emphasis will be given to M2M/IoT solutions dedicated to Smart Home, Smart Lighting and the Energy Storage.

Not only conference or expo, M2M FORUM also offers exclusive initiatives such as business meetings, pre-arranged B2B meetings free of charge for the participants of the Forum, in collaboration with Innovhub, through the international network Enterprise Europe Networks.

From 2015 M2M Forum is one of the main conference of the brand new DISRUPTIVE WEEK MILAN (www.disruptiveweek.com):  a week of coordinated international conferences dedicated to disruptive and emerging technologies, focused on M2M,  IoT,  Robotics, Wearable Tech, Drones, Wireless 2.0 and Smart Home.

In 2015 Milan will be the setting of one of the worldwide most awaited event of the year: World Expo 2015 (www.expo2015.org).  It will be attended by over 140 Countries and is expected to welcome 20 million visitors. Its spectacular Opening Ceremony will be on 1 May, immediately after the conference so M2M
Forum can be the better place and time to schedule international business meetings and also spend time for leasure visiting World Expo.

Registration to the event is free and open to anyone in this sector, but space is limited. For online registration:  http://www.m2mforum.it/en/

The M2M+ Symposium 2015 is on stage in Milan on 27 and 30 April 2015

Milan, February 9, 2015. The M2M/IoT is on stage in Milan. Great expectations for M2M+ Symposium 2015, planned for the 27 and 30 April 2015.  The important results of last year and the increasing interest in the M2M/IoT communication raise the expectations for the upcoming third edition.

M2M+ Symposium offers two high level conferences examining important international case histories are the main features of the event, where business and technology executives in companies at all levels of the M2M/IoT industry ecosystem get also the opportunity to develop new partnerships and identify opportunities to build investment strategies.  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.

M2M+ 2014 ended with great success two days of intense M2M/IoT experience:  120+ international professionals took part in the exclusive meeting M2M+: outstanding speakers, presentations with brilliant insights and many networking moments to share ideas and projects.

A key component of M2M+ was networking with fellow attendees and M2M/IoT leaders. The matchmaking event “M2MATCH”, specifically designed at this aim, saw almost 200 business meetings. M2M+ offered a unique occasion to M2M/IoT top players for gathering together and provided them with great business opportunities fostering powerful connections growth.

As last edition, M2M+ Symposium will be held in combination with M2M Forum (www.m2mforum.com), since 2002 the international leading Conference & Expo  in the machine-to-machine scenario featuring also business matching opportunities.  The 13th edition of “M2M FORUM” confirmed itself as the leading machine-to-machine conference&expo in Europe. 1200 visitors from 19 countries and 78 sponsor, exhibitors and partners, 45% coming outside Italy, strengthened the international profile of the event.

M2M+ 2015 is also the right event for M2M/IoT startups. Thanks to the unique Pitchfire Event, start ups have the chance to present their projects to a panel of venture capitalists, who showed strong interest for new ideas in the field.

From 2015 M2M+ is one of the main conference of the first DISRUPTIVE WEEK MILAN (www.disruptiveweek.com):  a week of coordinated international conferences dedicated to disruptive and emerging technologies, focused on M2M,  IoT,  Robotics, Wearable Tech, Drones, Wireless 2.0 and Smart Home.

In 2015 Milan will be the setting of one of the worldwide most awaited event of the year: World Expo 2015 (www.expo2015.org).  It will be attended by over 140 Countries and is expected to welcome 20 million visitors. Its spectacular Opening Ceremony will be on 1 May, the day immediately after the conference so M2M+ can be the better place and time to schedule international business meetings and also spend time for leasure visiting World Expo.


Join the European Power Innovation Congress (EPIC 2015) on 22-24 April

Led by the new-technology directors from power utilities such as ESB Networks, RWE, Vattenfall, Cez, and Tennet and focusing on the challenges, technologies and innovations affecting electricity transmission and distribution, the European Power Innovation Congress (EPIC 2015) taking place between the 22-24 April in Prague in the Czech Republic, invites generation and T&D utility leaders, strategists, heads of R&D and technology managers, together with leading manufacturers, and smart grid system innovators to examine and promote new methods to improve efficiency, adapt to and leverage new technological advances, and forge increasing relevance in an increasingly distributed power market.

At the 3-day Congress you will network and hear in-depth case studies and analysis from the most forward-thinking generation, DSO and TSO leaders, strategists, practitioners, financiers, investors, and cutting edge R&D specialists regarding the strategic development of assets and infrastructure within the context of increasing levels of prosumers, distributed generation trends, smart T&D technology and Europe’s evolving single market for electricity.

For more details please contact +357 99810 833, email info@europeanpowerinnovation.com or visit www.EuropeanPowerInnovation.com

Looking forward to the prospect of welcoming you to Prague and the Czech Republic this April.

The EPIC 2015 Management Team

Silver Spring Networks announces bew SilverLink Sensor Network™ customers, partners, and applications

DistribuTECH, Silver Spring Networks, Inc. showcased how the ground-­breaking SilverLinkTM Sensor Network is helping unlock smart grid big data to enable utilities of the future, including new engagements with industry Florida Power & Light, The Hongkong Electric Company, Limited (HK Electric), and Pepco Holdings, Inc.

These global, along with existing customers, such as Consumers Energy, are leveraging the SilverLink Sensor Network to draw on the massive volumes of smart grid big data for innovative new services including customer engagement, load disaggregation, real­‐time voltage management, network management, and dynamic applications at the edge.

Today Silver Spring also announced:

• the expansion of the SilverLink App Catalog to include two new application suites: the Customer Engagement App Suite and the Grid Operations App Suite.

• two new third-­party software partners – EnergySavvy and Gridium – as Silver Spring continues to expand the SilverLink Partner Programme.

Earlier this year, Silver Spring announced the acquisition of Detectent, a recognised in utility analytics solutions that help improve advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and utility grid operations, ensure revenue protection, and deliver enhanced customer engagement programms. The SilverLink Sensor Network unlocks and accelerates data from any sensor network to fuel any application at up to 10x the speed and 1/10th the cost of traditional utility IT infrastructure.

More here.

IoT Data Model Fills a Gap

The IPSO Alliance is making freely available a data model for creating interoperable smart objects geared for systems and software that are part of the Internet of Things.

Technology for the Internet of Things is rapidly being developed and deployed using low-power physical networks such as 802.15.4 (Zigbee and Thread), low-power Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Smart. The Internet Protocol (IP) layer has been extended to low-power and constrained devices through 6LowPAN, and through IP networking layers which are being developed for Zigbee and Bluetooth Smart. High level transport protocols and application layer support over IP are now available using several communication standards such as HTTP, CoAP, MQTT, and XMPP.

These standards enable reuse of network technology by providing common connectivity and IP protocol compatibility. What they don’t provide is end-to-end interoperability between the devices themselves and the application software that manages and uses the devices. The result is vertically integrated systems that don’t allow easy third-party integration of devices and applications from different vendors. A level of interoperability is achieved only at the expense of tight vendor integration with specific partners. We need a common data model that can be used to enable diverse applications to communicate with diverse devices over diverse transport and application protocols.

The IPSO Smart Objects for IoT aims to fill the gap with a consistent and reusable data model for use between devices and application software. This data model defines a set of data types and API structures that can be used across device types to enable them to interoperate with diverse application software components.

More here.

« Previous entries · Next entries »