Friday, December 10, 2010

Nomination open for Metering International Excellence Awards for India’s power sector

As part of Metering International’s global series of Excellence Awards, the first such awards are to be presented to the Indian power sector. These are to be presented at Smart Energy India 2011 Conference & Exhibition on February 1, 2011 at The Lalit New Delhi during the Opening Key Note Session. The deadline for nomination is on December 17, 2010 and anyone within the industry is legible to nominate an outstanding colleague, client, industry leader within these utilities: electric, gas, and water from across India.

Three awards will be presented recognizing:
1. Smart Meter Project award
2. Smart Grid project award
3. Tomorrow’s leader award

Metering International Excellence Award winners from around the globe include:

• City of Ann Arbor, AMI for Water Advanced Metering Project
• Portland General Electric Company, Oregon, USA for Meter Data Management Project
• PPL Electric Utilities, Pennsylvania, USA for Customer Service Project
• Elster Metering for the V210 polymer water meter for the innovation award
• Enel Distribuzione for Business Performance Award
• Panasonic for Customer Excellence Award
• Hanze University for its intelligent infrastructure for consumer energy.
• Växjö Energi AB & WM-data for its energy efficiency project
• Sentec Ltd, for its Lattice gas meter technology

To nominate please visit:
For more information on the awards contact:

About Smart Energy India : It is India's premiere Smart grid conference organized annually at New Delhi. The three day event is attended by who's who of energy sector of India. The upcoming event (January 31st -February 2nd, 2011) is going to cover following topics, apart from other regular get-together and networking events. 
  • The Smart Grid Road Map in India
  • Business models for smart grid projects
  • Smart Metering
  • Intelligent networks - automating the grid
  • Micro grids and decentralized generation
  • Interoperability and Standards of the smart grid
  • Billing and CRM
  • Energy Efficiency and Demand Response technology
  • System integration - challenges and solutions
Click to Register

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

India's first Smart Grid startup Ecolibrium Energy

If something positive is to take out of the global recession, it is the emergence of Smart Grid. Countries and Companies across the world are adopting Smart Grid to transform the aging grid into the agile dynamic network at rapid pace in last two years. India, the second most populated and the second fastest growing economy in the world is also not far behind in Smart Grid development. It has already established India Smart Grid Forum and Smart Grid Task Force to develop framework and national policy in this regard. Though development like BESCOM's (Bangalore Utility)  $100 million Smart Grid pilot project along the line of Boulder Colorado, IITs collaboration with IBM for Smart Grid research, MDI's Smart Grid educational program, and  NDPL's collaboration with GE for Smart Grid are notable, nothing much was happening in Smart Grid Startups space, until Ecolibirum Energy entered into Smart Grid.

Incubated by Center for Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA) and supported by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), under Renewable Energy Search program, The company is rolling out its first pilot project in  Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. The pilot project will showcase how consumers will able to access and manage  power consumption in real-time. It also includes 130KV of rooftop solar installation, one of the largest such installation in India, as part of the pilot. Established and managed by brother duo Chintan and Harit Soni (who left their corporate jobs), Ecolibrium Energy is first such startup in India providing services and products in Smart Grid domain. According to MD &CEO Chintan Soni,  "Electricity grid system at present is not smart enough as there is no feedback between the end consumer and the suppliers. The suppliers do not have the precise estimation of how much energy is to be supplied to an area according to the time of the year or season or day.We have indigenously developed a technology to get this feedback between the consumers and the suppliers. It is a low cost technology in terms of operation." 

In the west, Demand Response (also known as curtailment services )  provider like EnerNOC and Comverge are well established player and have been successfully providing such services for many years, It is quite uncommon in India as no such precedence exists, and thus will represent very different set of challenges in developing this market space. Nevertheless, the pioneering effort taken by Ecolibirum Energy is quite commendable in the early phase of Smart Grid development. 

Working with Electricity utility companies and private housing complexes, the company focuses on providing following Smart Grid products and services.

• Demand side management and Demand response management.
• Automated Meter Reading.
• Providing a platform for consumers to participate energy grid awareness.
• And efficient grid integration of renewable sources.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

IBM Collaborates with Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) for Smart Grid Research

IBM has joined hands with Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITK) and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to carry out research in Smart Grids. Together they will develop systems that will make power grids more efficient and resilient. The IBM researchers and IITs students and professors will develop open system designs for Phasor Measurement Units (PMU), network architectures to store data from PMUs, and analytical tools to process the collected data. The knowledge and insight gained through this partnership will be available publicly, so that businesses and governments across the world can take the advantage. 

Dr. Manish Gupta, Director IBM Research - India and Chief Technologies, IBM India/South Asia said , "With exploding world population and the increased demand for clean and cheap energy there is a pressing need for making the power grids efficient, intelligent, and secure. The collaboration among IBM Research – India, IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur aims at reducing inherent inefficiencies of power grid technologies and make them optimally productive," In essence, the partnership is aimed towards creating sustainable energy systems.
According to IBM Press release, "IIT Kharagpur will be primarily involved in developing the new power system applications and software systems for the project. While, IIT Madras will focus on the networking architecture to ensure that the data collected from different locations is appropriately transmitted to one location.  A test bed will be developed to connect IBM Research labs and both the institutes to emulate a smart grid network. The test bed will be utilized to evaluate the network architecture and the open system designs in real-life scenarios". Students from IITs will gain valuable experiences from IBMs collaboration, as the company is engaged in Smart Grid projects across the world. Prof. A.K.Sinha of IIT Kharagpur expressed, "Through our knowledge in the power system application domain and IBM's expertise our students will work towards developing an innovative grid management application to make the power grid more reliable". Also, prof. Krishna Sivalingam from IIT Madras noted that the association will provide a platform to students to learn real-life application development from IBM veterans. 

This is part of the IBM's Open Collaborative Research(OCR) initiative to foster innovation through university-industry partnership.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

HCL lends first-of-a-kind Smart Grid contract of $100 million in India

HCL, The 5th largest IT company in India has earned the distinction of being the first company to lend multi-million dollar Smart Grid project in India. As reported by Business Standard, the company will establish intelligent electricity network by integrating generators and consumers, which will allow to efficiently manage demand and supply hence, increasing the robustness of the power system.

Anant Gupta, president of  HCL Technologies Infrastructure Services Division, quoted,“HCL has signed the world’s first-of-a-kind smart grid contract with an Indian power distribution enterprise. Smart grids can be used in the emerging markets to reduce inefficiencies and there are 6-10 players in the industry which are offering such solutions. The company under its Ecosystems and Business Incubation initiative is incubating 5 technology ideas, which include Smart Grids, Cloud Computing, E-Governance, Mobility, and Biometrics.  As one of the empaneled IT consultants for Government of India's R-APDRP program, HCL has already won 5 R-APDRP projects in different states. It has also set up Smart Grid labs in India and Raleigh, North Carolina to tap this emerging opportunity, which the company plans to initially capture 5% market share. 

The Smart Grid market is still at the nascent stage and with its ever growing potential, HCL with its present less than 100 staff in this segment is aiming to become turnkey integrators.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

IBM targets Indian Smart Grid market

The Indian economy is forecasted to grow at 9% in 2010-2011 fiscal year, which in the coming years is set to reach double digit growth (10%+). Such hyper growth will need unprecedented amount of energy that can only be met through efficient energy utilization. IBM- The Big blue, which is at the fore-front of Smart Grid development in US is eyeing the hyper-growing India energy market. IBMs general manager for Global Energy and Utilities Guido Bartels said to The BusinessLine,  "IBM is prepared to offer Managed Business Process Services to electric utilities in India… We see huge potential in the next five years." IBM, which is engage with many utility companies in US and across the world, provides ready-made IBM manage Smart Grid systems to public utilities that help improve their power usage and efficiency. 

The substations, transformers, and energy meters, which are important part of the energy infrastructure are sort of standalone silos in India, and have no real-time monitoring. IBM see this as potential business opportunity especially with implementation of Demand-Response features. According Mr. Bartel, IBM offers solution in entire energy value chain including integration of renewable energy. R-APDRP(Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme) is the key program that is set to transform the India Utility industry, which, IBM is closely observing.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

These 10 Smart Grid trends will have louder buzz in 2011 and beyond

The prominent clean-tech research organization Pike Research has identified top Smart Grid trends that will have higher decibels just not in words but also in action in Smart Grid community in the coming years.With Smart Grid projects being implemented across the world, the Smart Grid community is learning the potential challenges, issues, and opportunities the transformation of the energy infrastructure presents.

1) Smart Grid Security to become top concern
As the Smart Grid implementation gathers pace, security is set to become the one of the top concern in Smart Grid domain. With no standards and protocols defined and with the complexity it possesses, security is going to be the major nightmare for the Smart Grid, which was well analyzed by the experts when the recent  Stuxnet virus breakout occurred. And, hence NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has given due weightage by publishing  three volumes of  "Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security".

2) Distribution Automation will become the Smart Grid Application
The AMI(Automated Metering Infrastructure) or in general sense Smart Meter that has got more publicity so far, it seems that is set to change in the coming years, according to Pike Research. Distribution automation, which includes Demand Response, Electric Cars, and distribution generation is set to take center stage.

3) "Bakersfield Effect" or the loud consumer push back of Smart Grid will continue
Consumer experienced higher electricity bills in California and Texas after implementation of Smart Meters by PG&E and Oncor respectively. Many consumers showed loud opposition to Smart Meter, In addition to this, some Counties in US passed resolution against Smart Meters and Maryland rejected Baltimore Gas and Utilities (BGE's) Smart Meter plan (which they accepted later on with some changes). As the Smart Meter and Smart Grid implantation gathers pace, such events will increase. Industry as whole needs to educate consumers and be ready to address the concern of the consumers, which it seems it wasn't ready in 2010.

4) The Smart Meter and AMI focus will move to China and Europe
With North America leading the Smart Grid implementation in 2010, all the Smart Meters and AMI buzz was in US and Canada. It seems to change from 2011, as Europe, which spearheaded the Smart Meters implementation, and China are set to have largest numbers of Smart Meters implementations in coming years. Europe is planning implement 100 million Smart Meters, notable among them is Spain, UK, France, and Germany. China, which is leading the Smart grid investment pack in 2010 is set to rollout 750 million Smart Meters by 2020, according to Pike Research.

5) HAN will be in waiting ..
HAN (not the Chinese name) the Home Area Network,with agreed basic Zigbee standards and available critical mass of Smart Meters in 2010, was supposed to gain momentum. However, with changes in standards, integration of IP in the standards, and due to "Bakersfield Effect", It will have its first implementation in sometime middle of 2011 and the real growth may happen in 2012. 

6) Demand Response will accelerate
The companies like EnerNOC, which are into business of offering benefits to customers who reduce the energy usage during certain time period, which is also know as curtailment services, will gather momentum in coming years. Also, companies like Honeywell, Siemens, and Johnson controls, which provide services and products for Energy Management Services (EMS) will enter in this domain. IT companies like Cisco and IBM are also investigating EMS space with their new products and may disrupt the DR domain with advance offering of EMS and DR.

7) Smart Grid stimulus will start showing its impact
The US government's $3.4 billion stimulus package announced in 2009 and allocated in 2010 will show its impact from 2011 onwards. The funds have accelerated the process of standards, educational and training program are being prepared that will provide skilled workforce, and pilots will provide the much needed experiment for the full roll out. 

8) Standards will catch up with the deployment efforts
Without standards no big complex system can function effectively, having known this, Smart Grid community is working on setting up common standards for its ecosystem. Nonetheless, the effort so far have lagged behind the actual implementation, which is more so accurate in the case of AMI. Worldwide, there are various standards and protocols that are being adopted, Within US itself IP, Zigbee, propriety mesh, Wi-Fi, and others are being adopted by utilities and their vendors.The interaction between this standards, and what standards to be adopted still being discussed, however, US and Europe seems to finally coming up with the Standards that will catch with the deployment.

9) Data management will be the next major challenge for Smart Grid
With the implementation of Smart Meters or AMI and other Smart Grid technologies, utilities will start gathering data at every 15 minutes or in some cases less than that, which is set to create an ocean of data that needs to manage, maintain, and analyze. Essentially, it will require new, advanced, and better IT technology, skills, and expertise. According to Pike Research "The smart grid is driving utility back-end IT systems and applications toward an even more radical transformation than the communications infrastructure".  Collecting the data, integrating in the system, transforming into useful information, and transmitting to its users in timely manner is going to be the daunting task for the industry.

10) Data and Telecom vendors will become serious about Smart Grid
Top telecom companies Vodafone, AT&T, Verizon, and others are emerging as serious players in the Smart Grid industry by offering their communication infrastructure to utilities.  More Partnership like Cicso and Itron  will emerge in the coming years and 2011 may be the transformative year  for the Telecom companies.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The simplest way to understand Smart Grid

Smart Grid..... Smart Grid.....Smart Grid is the buzz word that we hear too often today. Even though there are numerous articles that explain "What Smart Grid is ", with overlapping of so many technologies, business, and domains, it is hard for a laymen to understand what exactly it means. This video developed by ConEd provides Smart Grid understanding that any laymen can understand.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Smart Grid - Innovating the Future : An interesting discussion at GridWise Global Forum

An Interesting discussion about how Smart Grid is going to play in innovating the future. Industry leaders and venture capitalist exchange their ideas at GridWise Global forum.

 Part - 1

Part -2 

Part -3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

GridWeek 2010 : The Mega Smart Grid Conference

GridWeek is one of the premiere Smart Grid Conferences that is held annually since 2007. Over the years the conference has become one of the "must-to-attend" event. Organized by top associations like GridWise Architecture Alliance, National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), and  Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), it covers diverse range of Smart Grid topics and pressing issues with its 40 + sessions in 4 days. Who's Who of the Industry, Government, NGOs, Media, Research Organization, Universities, Consumer Groups, and International organizations are attending the 4 day event that is being held at Washington DC between OCT 18 and 21. Almost every major Smart Grid company(Cisco, Itron, Oracle, A123 systems, ABB, Siemens, CapGemini, EMC2, Landys+Gyr, Toshiba, Trilliant, Wipro) in US and in the world is attending this global Smart Grid gathering. The conferences has themes focusing on almost all Smart Grid Stakeholders that includes Energy End Users, Smart Grid Vendors, Power Companies, Regulatory & Policy, Business & Investment, Telecom Companies, IT Companies, and International attendees.

Its 2010 focus themes and key questions it plans to address are :

Focus Themes
  • Engaging Consumers
  • Globalization of Smart Grid
  • Putting Smart Grid on Fast Track
Key Questions 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, and U.S.Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra are going to address opening and closing Grid Week sessions.

Relevant News

GridWeek Leadership Awards to Recognize Five Innovators For Vision and Contributions to Advancing the Smart Grid

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra to Address Opening and Closing Days of GridWeek 2010 Smart Grid Conference

Senior Regulatory and Standards Energy Officials to Convene a Smart Grid “Acceleration Roundtable” at GridWeek 2010

GridWeek 2010 Features Widest Range of Smart Grid Programs and Speakers


Sunday, October 10, 2010

How European countries France, Spain, and Malta are embracing Smart Grid?

In the 3rd part of the "Countries across the world embracing Smart Grid" series we have covered key European countries France, Spain, and Malta.
France : EDF Group which manages 128 GW of power across Europe is leading the Smart grid development in France through its wholly owned subsidiary Electricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF). ERDF started its Smart Grid initiative in 2008 when it awarded the Smart Grid pilot  project to Atos Origin to implement computer network and lead the consortium of technology company for implementing Automated Meter Management (AMM) systems. The pilot phase will implement 300,000 smart meter and 6,000 concentrators in two geographic regions namely the Indre-et-Loire department and the Lyon urban region for which the implementation has begun in March 2010. Along with Atos Origin, other companies like Elster, Actaris, Landis+Gyr, Iskraemeco and institute like EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) are collaborating with ERDF . Eventually, the ERDF aims to replace a total of 35 million plus Smart Meter across the France. The Group of Electricity Distributors (GALED) is a consortium of four local electricity distributors companies, namely, GAZELEC, Régie d'électricité de Loos, Energies et services de Creutzwald and, Energies et services de Lavaur, which in 2008 started implementation of intelligent metering systems  for 90,000 homes. GALED has partnered with Echelon and Altos for its Smart metering initiative that it plans to complete by 2013. French government has earmarked1.3 billion for "Renewable energy and Green chemistry demonstration" projects that will be given as subsidy and loans in next four years. Out of the 1.3 billion,  250 million ($320.5 million) will be given to Smart Grid demonstration projects. 

Spain : Iberdrola is one of the world's largest utility company and  leading energy group in Spain. It launched STAR(Network Remote Management and Automation Systems ) project to transform its entire electric grid with Smart Grid in Spain. During the pilot phase, which started in June 2010 and is planned to be finished by the end of the year, it plans to roll out 100,000 smart meters and 583 operational transformation stations to the city of Castellón. After the completion of the project, Castellón will  possibly become the first Smart Grid city in Spain. For this, The Iberdrola is using PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) telecommunication protocol developed by the PRIME ALLIANCE for metering communication. Itron, and  Ormazabal  are the primary companies  that will provide Smart Grid Infrastructure for the pilot phase . Endesa, the largest utility of Spain, was the first to start Smart Grid initiative in Spain back in 2009. Taking cue from its parent company Enel (Italian utility company) and the SmartGrid City Boulder, USA, It launched SmartCity project for the Malaga City in June 2009. The objective of SmartCity project is to demonstrate new energy management model through Smart Grid technology, renewable energy, and other eco-friendly processes. It is leading the consortium of 11 companies (includes IBM, Televent, GreenPower, Enel) and 14 research organizations (includes CeDInt, IREC, F2I2, aicia, La Salle). The four year demonstration project involves  300 industrial customers, 900 service providers, and 11,000 households.The SmartCity project is part of the EU's 20-20-20 plan, which is to meet objectives for 2020 of improving energy efficiency by 20 %,  increase contribution of renewable energy sources in energy mix by 20 %, and reduce CO2 by 20 %. The project is financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and backed by Andalucía provincial government and Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). The company is also involved in other European and Spanish Smart Grid initiatives like ELVIRE (Electric Vehicle Communication to Infrastructure, Road Services and Electricity Supply), G4V(Grids for Vehicle), MOVELE (electric mobility plan), DE22@, and REVE.

Malta :The island nation located between Italy and Tunisia is all set to become world's first Smart Grid country (benefits of being small). The Maltese utility companies Enemalta Corp. and Water Services Corp . along with the IBM, and Enel are rolling out Smart Grid Infrastructure in the island nation. The 400,000 population of the island nation is depended on energy for its fresh water needs. The depleting groundwater and  saltwater penetration in the aquifers  will force the country to depend more and more on desalination plants (consumes high energy) for its daily fresh water needs. The Water services corp., which operates the desalination plants in the country, reports that 75% cost is related to energy for generating fresh water. The Smart Grid project will improve the energy efficiency (by reducing losses in desalination plants and in overall grid network), allow remote monitoring and management of electric supply,  and real-time analysis of the usage by both customers and utility companies. The project that started in early 2009 will roll out 250,000 smart meters by 2012 and will cost 70 million ($88 million).

Part -1, Part-2, Part-3, Part-4

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three Smart Grid startups among the top 31 World Economic Forum Tech pioneers

The World Economic Forum, which every year selects Technology Pioneers has selected three smart Grid companies in their coveted list of the 2011 group. This is the first time since WEF launched their tech pioneer programs 11 years ago, clean tech companies match in numbers with IT companies.  On-Ramp wireless, O-Power, and Tendril are the three Smart Grid Companies among the top 31 global Technology pioneers, which are set to lead the technology domain they operate in.

On-Ramp Wireless: It is provider for low-power wide area scalable sensor networking and location tracking systems. Its Ultral-Link Processing (ULP) systems enables to monitor billions of distributed end-point devices to measure and control scare resources like energy and water. It's primary application is in Smart Grid, water distribution systems, environmental resource monitoring, Oil & Gas, location tracking, and  medical. The major advantage of the ULP systems is that it can receive  even the weakest signal. With only 30 access points and at $1 million cost it can cover area as large as 10,000 square kilometer, which according to study can reach 97% of the Utility access points like meters, fault-indicaters, and sensors. With such a low-cost breakthrough technology,On-Ramp is set to become Qualcomm of Smart Grid industry.

O-Power: OPower has developed a software platform that allows utilities to connect with their customers in a effective targeted way through which the customers will be motivated to reduce energy use, and thus increase their participation and satisfaction in the program. The OPower 3.0 platform is based on their patent pending data analytics algorithm and cutting-edge behavioral science approach. Instead of just showing hourly, daily, monthly, or yearly energy usage, it shows which component is using more energy compare to the neighborhood, neighbors, or locality and will provide actionable suggestions targeted to specific customers. As high as 85% of the people who are exposed to the platform take action. According to company, if the platform is implement across the country, it can save customers $5 billion in their energy bills, reduce CO2 by 31 millions tons, and  save energy to power 3 million homes each year.  Opower is working with more than 36 utilities including 6 of the 10 largest utilities in the USA and is expanding in Canada and other countries.

Tendril: The company has developed suite of Smart grid products, which includes monitoring, device, network, and control. Its products helps both utilities and consumer manage energy consumption by allowing utility to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers, access real-time information and analytics, and through consumer awareness programs. The open, secure, scalable, and standard-based platform allows utilities to seamlessly integrate existing back office applications and network infrastructure thus saving money and resources. Application like Energy Awareness, Load Control, Demand Response, Electric Vehicle, and Distributed Generation allows utility to optimize energy usage and mitigagte peak load in real-time. Customers can manage energy usage through  products like smart thermostats, in-home display, and smart outlets that allows to track energy cost and consumption by appliances, electronic, or other house-hold device. It products portfolio includes

1) Display : Vision, Insight, Tracker, Vantage
2) Control : LCS, Set Point, Volt,
3) Network : Transport, Relay, Translate
4) Monitoring : Set Point, Volt,

Tendril has partnership with smart meters and energy management technology providers like SilverSpring and Current Group allowing it to play a greater role in Smart Grid transformation. It has also secured more than 20 pilot project with 14 US utilities covering 35 million households, and is expanding internationally.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

KEPCO KDN and POSCO to implement Smart Grid project in Kerala, India

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) , which owns Knowledge, Data and Network (KDN), has won US $10 billion of Power infrastructure and Smart Grid project in Kerala, India along-with Consortium of Companies including POSCO ICT . KEPCO is the multinational utility company that operates in various power segments, with $28 billion revenue and 38, 000 employees, KEPCO aims to become $85 billion company by 2020. It is the only power utility company in Korea and is part of the Korea Smart Grid Initiative. Knowledge, Data, and Network (KDN) is a subsidary of KEPCO that exclusively focuses on IT services to all power segments including Smart Grid. POSCO ICT is the subsidiary company of POSCO - the second largest steel company in the world. POSCO ICT opeartes in services, industries and new technology area. KEPCO KDN official stated that opportunities at abroad is important for their global growth as the domestic opportunities are saturated. The company hopes to secure similar projects in other parts of the India

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Countries across the world embracing Smart Grid (Europe) ... Part 2 .

In Part -2 and 3, we have covered countries of Europe in this continuous series of smart grid profiling of countries across the world.

Europe : European countries are actively collaborating for smart grid through Smart Grid European Technology Platform (ETP), which was set up in 2005 to foster and support smart grid deployment in Europe. ETP is playing an important intermediary role in developing Smart Grid infrastructure in Europe through joint working groups, knowledge and expertise exchange, sharing best practices ,  developing common standards, and collaborative projects. Its smart grid vision comprises of four key elements viz. flexible, accessible, reliable, and economical. European union plans to equip every European home with smart meters by 2022. Though European countries have joint Smart Grid collaboration through ETP, they also have their own  independent Smart Grid plans.

Italy : Italy can be considered the pioneer of the Smart Grid technology, In 2001, when the smart grid was relatively unknown lexicon, Italian utility Enel became the first utility in the world to roll out smart meters to its 40 million customers. By 2006, Enel had spent $3 billion for smart grid infrastructure and was reaping $750 million in annual savings. Today 85 % of Italian home are covered with smart meters. By 2011, the government plans to cover 95% of the consumers with smart grid infrastructure and if it goes as planned, Italy could well be the second Smart Grid country after Malta.

Germany : The largest economy of Europe is one of the early adopters of Green energy and its related technologies. The government of Germany is pursuing Smart Grid under the E-Energy - "The Internet of Energy"  initiative through which it plans to connect giant solar plants located in desert, gigantic offshore and onshore wind farms, and mini power plants located on house rooftop and in the basement of buildings. Under this initiative, it has selected 6 project that will develop Smart Grid pilots in 6 different region. The six selected projects are being funded by  Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMUi) and Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) with €40 million and  20 million euro respectively, another €80 million will be generated by the 6 selected companies. 
E- Energy Concept Germany

The selected companies are
1) eTelligence for model region of Cuxhave coordinated by EWE AG  
2) E-DeMa for model region of Rhein-Ruhr coordinated by RWE Energy AG
3)MEREGIO for model region of Baden-Württemberg coordinated by EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
4) Model Ciy of Mannheim for model region of Rhein-Neckar coordinated by MVV Energie AG
5) RegModHarz for regenerative model region of Harz coordinated by RegenerativKraftwerk Harz GmbH & Co KG
6) Smart Watts for model region of Aachen coordination by utilicount GmbH & Co. KG

Germany has mandated that all the building in the country should be equipped with Smart Meter starting with 2010 and will roll-out  Demand Response program or Time of Use (TOU) features from 2011. Apart from the government push, companies like Siemens AG, ABB, Cisco, and others are collaborating with utilities like Yello Strom for Smart Grid projects, overall, Germany alone represents €40 Billion Smart Grid investment opportunity by 2020.

United Kingdom : The Prime Minister of UK, David Cameroon laid out strong vision for Smart Grid in UK in 2009. His government plans to invest £1bn in Smart Grid which includes putting Smart Meter in every UK home. Prime Minister Cameroon visualizes Smart Grid as the internet of the electricity that may help transform UK into low carbon economy. In total, £10 billion will be injected in the UK economy between 2010 and 2020 on a full smart meter roll-out, smart grid trials, and deployment under the Low Carbon Networks Fund and electric vehicle infrastructure. The Electricity Network Strategy Group (ENSG), which is jointly chaired by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), is the primary nodal agency working for Smart Grid action plan and development.
 UK Smart Grid Plan Layout

According to the ENSG, carbon reduction, energy security, and economic competitiveness & affordability are the three broad objectives of UK Smart Grid. Between 2010 and 2012, the UK will develop detailed prospectus and design through coordination between government, private companies, and other stakeholders. It will start full mass scale smart meter roll out from mid 2012 that it plans to complete by 2020.

Part -1, Part -2,  Part -3, Part -4

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upcoming Smart Grid Conferences in India

The Smart Grid buzz is growing louder and louder in India. The country has few upcoming conferences in next two weeks. The first one is being hosted by Echelon which is going to be held in Mumbai from August 25 -26. The second is going to be hosted by The Institution of Engineering and Technology on August 27 at New Delhi.

Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid
Dates : August 25 -  26, 2010
Venue : Mumbai

International Conference on Smart Grids
Date : August 27, 2010
Venue : Crown Plaza, Delhi
Hosted by : IET

Monday, August 23, 2010

Echelon to host Smart Grid conference in Mumbai, India

Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) today announced that it will host an energy efficiency and smart grid conference in Mumbai, India, August 25-26, 2010. The conference will address energy management technologies and strategies, economic and market drivers, regulatory developments and industry trends in energy efficiency and will provide best-practice case studies for implementing smart grids and energy management systems

Southeast Asia's rapid economic growth has raised substantial energy concerns for the region. India suffers from high energy costs, electricity transmission and distribution losses, inadequate use of natural resources for power generation, and chronic power shortages. The Government of India is analyzing over 750 large energy users in an effort to reduce energy consumption by approximately 10,000 megawatts (MW) per year. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India is mandating specific energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries such as railways, manufacturing plants, steel industries and power generation plants. 

Using smart energy infrastructures in the form of both advanced metering and control networks reduces energy demand and helps offset the pressure to increase generation capacity while enabling demand management in real-time in response to grid conditions.
"India will soon implement industry targets regulating energy usage, and the drive towards energy efficiency is rapidly accelerating. The time to act is now, and we must make significant changes in how we view and use energy," said Dalip Singh, president of The Society of Energy Engineers and Managers.
"We aim to bring together government officials, energy solution providers, installers and end-users to discuss how to save money and the environment by improving energy efficiency," Anders Axelsson, Echelon's senior vice president of LWI sales and market development. "Decision makers from business, industry and government are now seeking integrated energy solutions to ensure a reliable and affordable power supply, and effective management of energy-related costs which affect ROI."
Axelsson continued, "According to a recent U.S. Department of Commerce trade mission to India regarding energy efficiency, the market potential for industrial energy efficiency is approximately $27 billion and the potential for green buildings is over $3 billion. India represents a tremendous opportunity for energy service companies."
Key topics to be discussed at the conference include:
  • Smart grid concepts including automated demand response for energy conservation;
  • Energy management systems for commercial buildings, schools and manufacturing facilities;
  • Indoor and outdoor lighting systems technology and case studies showing up to 50% reduction in energy use;
  • Concepts and technologies for Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI);
  • Enterprise energy management systems – technology and case studies;
  • Alternative energy sources – Echelon powered solar systems;
  • LonWorks Open System case studies and best practices.
About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is leading the worldwide transformation of the electricity grid into a smart, communicating energy network, connecting utilities to their customers, enabling networking of everyday devices, and providing customers with energy aware homes and businesses that react to conditions on the grid.
Echelon's NES System – the backbone for the smart grid – is used by utilities to replace existing stand-alone electricity meters with a network infrastructure that is open, inexpensive, reliable, and proven. The NES System helps utilities compete more effectively, reduce operating costs, provide expanded services and help energy users manage and reduce overall energy use. Echelon's LonWorks® Infrastructure products extend the smart grid, powering tens of millions of energy aware, everyday devices made by thousands of companies – connecting them to each other, to the electricity grid and to the Internet. LonWorks based products work together to monitor and save energy; lower costs; improve productivity; and enhance service, quality, safety, and convenience in utility, municipal, building, industrial, transportation, and home area networks.

Source :

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Countries across the world embracing Smart Grid .. Part-1

Smart Grid is a hot buzz these days on the news, commercials, business, technology, and political spectrum. Over the years various technologies have changed but the energy grid, designed over 80-100 years ago has remained more or less the same. As it is said, if Graham Bell is to visit the earth today he would not recognize the communication technologies, but if Edison were to visit he would very well figure out the energy grid. The challenges of Global warming, limited conventional energy resources, increasing demand of energy, global energy security, and energy efficiency are the key concern for countries across the world. Smart Grid, which is an umbrella term for collection of technologies is set to play key role in meeting these energy challenges facing us today.    Smart Grid for India takes a closer look of the countries that are pursuing this technology to revolutionize their energy infrastructure which is said to have potential to transform the energy and utility industry the way Internet transformed the computer industry and may have same impact as internet has in our lives.

The United States : The US is at the forefront of Smart Grid technology race. Almost a year ago the Obama government allocated $3.4 billion stimulus budget for the Smart Grid technologies,  so far the government has allocated most of the stimulus fund to the selected companies,  universities, and organizations.  The United States has largest Smart Grid program going on in the world where governments, organizations, companies, universities, and utilities are collaborating for new Smart Grid standards, developing innovative products, setting up training institutes, initiating pilot projects, starting companies, and establishing consumer advocacy groups.

Smart Grid Projects in USA (Courtesy Smart Grid Clearing house)
Key developments
Canada : The northern neighbor of US is equally active in transforming its archaic grid  to Smart Grid. Canadian government is funding the utilities smart grid initiatives under the clean energy fund. The government plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in clean energy. Ontario is leading the Smart Grid movement in Canada through its energy conservation responsibility Act of 2006 by which it has mandated that all the businesses and household be equipped with smart meter by 2010.

Key developments
  • Canadian provinces Calgary, Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island have received $2.5 to $20 million funding from the government for various Smart  Grid demonstration projects.
  •  Hydro One, the Ontario utility with its Smart Grid partner Trilliant is actively pursuing Smart Grid initiative in Ontario region. It has installed more than 1.2 million Smart Meters in Ontario. Soon, Hydro One will have Time-of-Use(TOU) pricing mechanism for its consumers
  •  BC Hydro (British Columbia), EnMax (Calgary), Fortis Alberta(Alberta) and other provincial utilities across the nation have started Smart Grid projects which are at various stages of implementation.
  • Toronto Hydro, the Toronto energy provider has completed Smart Meter installation in Toronto. It has started Time-of-Use(TOU) pricing mechanism for its residential consumers.
  • Organizations like Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) are spearheading the Smart Grid movement through Ontario Smart Grid Forum and Ontario Smart Grid Task Force
Mexico : Mexico is taking active interest in Smart Grid developments in North America, but  as of now the country do not have any national Smart Grid plans. The Country is participating in International forums like International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) and is member for many of the ISGAN working groups. The Mexico city power supplier CFE is planning to upgrade its aging infrastructure for which it is actively considering to used Smart Grid technologies for the new upgrades.

Part -1, Part -2, Part-3, Part-4

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

India's First Smart Grid City project delayed

The Indian city Bengaluru (earlier known as Bangalore) had envisioned to become the first Smart Grid City in India. The utility company of the city, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) had earlier decided to start the project from April 1, 2010. According to reports published by express buzz, the utility company and its partners USAID and Union power ministry have differences in selection of National and International Smart Grid consultants. The BESCOM have specific consultant in the mind, however its partners have different viewpoints. M. G. Prabhakar, the chairman of the Energy Committee of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) mentioned that the Utility itself is less keen to pursue the project as there is internal resistance to adoption of Smart Grid. Through unconfirmed reports, Express buzz reveals that CSTEP and KEMA will serve as "Knowledge Partners" for the BESCOM Smart Grid project. 

If Bengaluru plans to become Boulder ( Boulder, Colorado is set to become worlds first Smart Grid City) of India, Such delay and lack of interest by the Utility are contrary to its aspirations.  The 100 crore project that BESCOM and Power ministry announced earlier are nowhere to its start. The State Government and the Union Government should put special emphasis  and bring under their ambit such state of the art project rather than allowing the bureaucracy to delay or derail it. India  and cities like Bengaluru, which are progressing at rapid pace and have numerous infrastructure issue  has lot more at stake and such delays do not bring any positivity out of it.  The global warming, population growth, infrastructure challenges, environmental pollution, water scarcity, and power shortages are few of the many issues India and Bengaluru are facing. The Smart Grid is set to play an important role in resolving many of these issues, such delays and derailments can only increase the complexity of these problems. China has decided to invest $10 billion every year for next 10 years for the Smart Grid alone; BESCOM, Bengaluru, Karnataka, and India should keep looking outwards and at north. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) Launched at Clean Energy Ministerial Meet

The first ever inter-ministerial summit on clean energy was held on 19-20 July at Washington DC, USA. The event hosted by United States was attended by delegates from 23 other countries which together account for 70% of global emission and 80 % of gross domestic product. " The Clean Energy Ministerial has brought together  leader from around the world to take unprecedented action to deploy clean energy technologies - from energy efficiency to renewable energy to smart grids to carbon capture. These steps will promote economic growth, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions." said the US Secretary Chu. The just concluded clean energy ministerial meet launched 11 new initiative to accelerate global transition to clean energy. These initiative will save energy equivalent to 500 new midsize power-plants in next 20 years, promote rapid development for Electric Vehicle, support the growing global market of renewable and carbon capture technologies, bring solar lantern and other improved energy services to 10 million people who do not have access to grid electricity, and encourage women to pursue career in clean energy.

The 11 clean energy initiative are launched under the three broad categories namely Global Energy Efficiency Challenge (5 initiatives), Clean Energy Supply (4 initiatives), and Clean Energy Access (2 initiatives).

Global Energy Efficiency Challenge: Under this program Governments launched 5 initiatives that will help cut energy waste around the world. 
  1. The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) aims to transform the global market for energy using equipment or appliances.
  2. The Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) is focused towards large buildings and industrial facilities which accounts for 60% of worldwide energy use. This initiative will help them measure and reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission over time through incentivize certificate program. 
  3. International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) will accelerate the development and deployment of Smart Grid across the globe through high level government cooperation, sharing best practices, technical assistance, project coordination, and wherever possible integration of renewable energy sources. It will also help measure and manage the energy use of the consumers, improve the reliability of electricity, and promote the fuel efficient electric vehicles. ISGAN is set to complement Global Smart Grid Federation, which is association of "associations" of the Smart Grid stakeholders.  The network will facilitate cooperation in Smart Grid policy, Smart Grid standards, regulations and finance, technology research development and demonstration, workforce skills and knowledge development, and consumer participation at all levels. ISGAN participants include, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, the European Commission, France, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  4. Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI) aims to help countries deliver on their respective EV deployment programs through sister city collaboration, key technology co-operation, and through deployment of best practices. 
  5. Clean Energy Solution Centers will serve as clearinghouse for policy information supporting at least 100 technology and policy experts with initial focus on energy efficiency. 
Clean Energy Supply: The Governments launched four initiative under this program to speed up the deployment of low carbon energy resources around the globe. 
  1. Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage (CCUS) Action Group will work to overcome barriers to CCUS deployment in five key areas: Strategic directions, use and storage, financing, regulation, and knowledge sharing. CCUS action group is collaboration between government and businesses. 
  2. Multilateral Solar and Wind Working group will promote the global solar and wind technology market through initial projects like Global Solar and Wind Atlas and Long-Term Strategy on Joint Capacity Building.
  3. Sustainable Development of Hydropower Initiative aims to promote sustainable development of cost-effective hydropower in developing countries 
  4. Multilateral Bioenergy Working Group will focus towards deployment of bioenergy technologies through two initial projects Global Bioenergy Atlas and Long-Term Strategy on Joint Capacity Building.
Clean Energy Access: Two new initiative were launched under this program to expand access of clean energy revolution 
  1. Solar And LED Energy Access Program (SLED) focuses on 1.6 billion people who do not have access to grid electricity with an objective to transform market for clean and affordable off-grid appliance like solar LED by addressing fundamental market barriers.
  2. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C-3E) Women's Initiative aims to encourage women to pursue career in clean energy and lend their innovative power to clean energy technologies. 
This event will be held every year, the United Arab Emirates will be hosting the 2011 event and in 2012 it will be held in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GE unveils WattStation - Smart Grid compatible Electric Vehicle Charger

GE today launched GE WattStation, an easy-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charger. Designed to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles, GE WattStation significantly decreases time needed for vehicle charging and, using smart grid technology, allows utility companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on the local and regional grids.
Steve Fludder, vice president of GE ecomagination, said, “Widespread electric vehicle adoption depends on having charging stations that integrate the need for quick charging with the personal need for easy functionality. GE WattStation will meet this challenge.” Combining functionality with consumer friendly form from renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, the GE WattStation on average decreases electric vehicle charging time from 12-18 hours to as little as four to eight hours compared to standard charging “level 1”, assuming a full-cycle charge for a 24 kWh battery. "Good design is when a new technology enters our life and makes it simpler, beautiful and healthy” said Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject. “The GE WattStation achieves this with a welcoming design that is seamlessly integrated in the urban landscape and becomes a natural part of our daily driving routine".

Dan Heintzelman, president & CEO GE Energy Services, said, “For more than 100 years GE has worked to optimize energy use. Given our expertise in electrical distribution, WattStation is a natural progression in our commitment to creating cutting edge innovation for the next century.”

GE WattStation will be commercially available globally in 2011. GE will unveil a specialized home version of the charger later this year.
In addition to the GE WattStation, GE recently announced two new partnerships to advance electric vehicle adoption. In April 2010, Project Get Ready, a non-profit initiative led by Rocky Mountain Institute to help communities prepare for electric vehicles, named GE a technical advisor focusing on design and planning of the local and regional electric grids for electric vehicles.
In May 2010, GE Global Research and Nissan signed a separate three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic smart-charging infrastructure. 

For more information on GE WattStation, visit

About GE’s ecomagination
GE is driving a global energy transformation with a focus on innovation and R&D investment to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology. Since its inception in 2005, more than 90 ecomagination-approved products have been brought to market with revenues reaching $18 billion in 2009. With $5 billion invested in R&D its first five years, GE committed to doubling its ecomagination investment and collaborate with partners to accelerate a new era of energy innovation. The company will invest $10 billion in R&D over five years and double operational energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. As part of the initiative, GE launched “GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid”, a $200 million financial commitment challenging innovators to join in building the next-generation power grid. For more information, visit the ecomagination website

Source : GE Ecomagination

Saturday, July 3, 2010

United states to set up International Smart Grid network

The United states is planning to establish International Smart Grid Action Network known as ISGAN in order set international standards for Smart Grid , expand its smart grid energy business, and take lead in this new emerging technology. It is expected that the US Government will make the formal announcement at the first ministerial conference on clean energy that is to be held at Washington D.C on July 19-20. The network will consist of the U.S and other countries which are yet unknown. South Korea and Italy are expected be part of the core group and Japan is also considering to join. According to Obama administration, they anticipate broad membership from the major economics like China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and Brazil. China and India already are seeking collaboration with US in Smart Grid technologies. The membership is open to all national-level governments and the countries will have flexibility to participate either on all  ISGAN activities or specific activities based on their needs and interest which adds value to their Smart Grid programs.

With this collaboration, The US  wants to speed up the global smart grid development which will help reduce the carbon emission, improve energy efficiency, and will allow to increase the share of the renewable energy. The organization will collaborate with countries, International Organization for Standardization, International Energy Agency, and other relevant organization to develop plan of action for Smart Grid development and implementation. The initial expected budgets will be around $ 8 million which will be evenly divided among the participating countries. Working panels will be created for various Smart Grid Areas and their standardization. 

Smart Grid is major priority of Obama administration for which the government has already allocated and distributed around $3.4 billion in US. Various pilot projects are under development  notable among them is the world's first smart city project being implement by Xcel energy at Boulder, Co. The country is expected to reduce carbon emission by 18% by 2030 through complete implementation of Smart Grid technologies. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Telvent partners with L &T for Smart Grid Project in Maharashtra, India

Telvent (NASDAQ: TLVT), the IT company for a sustainable and secure world, announced today its agreement with Larsen and Toubro Ltd. to partner on a turnkey contract for Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. to implement baseline data and information technology (IT) applications for energy accounting, auditing and IT-based consumer service centers for 95 towns in India.
With Telvent Smart Grid Solution, Maharashtra is able to effectively measure the aggregate technical and commercial losses and increase reliability and quality of electric supply to its customers, as well as enhance the operation of the distribution network.
For Telvent and Larsen and Toubro, this project is a new opportunity to deploy state-of-the-art technology using the Telvent Smart Grid Solution which provides the necessary toolset for utilities to take an active role in the rapidly emerging smart grid systems.
The Maharashtra Project includes GIS-based indexing and asset mapping (ArcFM), GIS network analysis based on Distribution Management System (DMS) on a Web based platform. The project is part of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP), an initiative of Ministry of Power of the Government of India. The objective of R-APDRP is to reduce the technical and commercial losses in project areas. The cost of the program is 500 billion Indian rupees (approximately 8.3 billion Euros).
According to Telvent's CEO, Ignacio Gonzalez, "Today, more and more utilities worldwide are interested in Telvent's Smart Grid technologies.  Our key partners, like Larsen and Toubro, are able to deliver the right suite to monitor, manage, and translate data into actionable business information."
Telvent has proven experience in deploying similar projects throughout the world such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) projects for Vattenfall (Sweden), Fortum (Finland) and SCADA, DMS, GIS and OMS projects for Consumers Energy (United States), Progress Energy (United States), Distribution Grids of Elektra (Panama), Emcali (Colombia), Saesa (Chile) and CNFL (Costa Rica).
The Maharashtra Project enables Telvent to improve and expand its position in India. Since 2005, there have been many joint projects completed in India, powered by Telvent's Smart RTU and OASyS technology including Jamnagar Export Refinery Project (JERP), the world's largest petroleum refinery and property of Reliance Industries Ltd; Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC); and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), among others.
Larsen & Toubro is a USD 8.5 billion technology, engineering and construction group, with global operations. It is one of the largest and most respected companies in India's private sector. A strong, customer –focused approach and the constant quest for top-class quality have enabled L&T to attain and sustain leadership in its major lines of business over seven decades (

Telvent (NASDAQ: TLVT) is a global IT solutions and business information services provider dedicated to helping improve efficiency and reliability for the world’s leading companies. Telvent serves markets that are critical to the sustainability of the planet, including the energy, transportation, agricultural and environmental sectors