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.