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-W├╝rttemberg coordinated by EnBW Energie Baden-W├╝rttemberg 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