Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Google Power Meter failed and other stories

1) Unified Security approach needed for Smart Grid - Study

The new report published by the Energy Network Association (ENA) and conducted by KEMA, urged Department of Energy and Climate Change of British Government to utilize more coherent approach for Smart Grid standards in order to effectively protect the Smart Grid assets.

2) Five reasons why Google Power Meter didn't take off?

Google Power Meter, which was launched two years ago by Google Philanthropy arm was recently shut down as it couldn't found enough usage of the service. Earth2Tech, the leading clean tech website, blamed these five reasons for the failure of the Google Power Meter.

1) Too Early
2) Opt -In, Not Opt-Out
3) Utility Friend or Foe?
4) Direct to Consumer
5) Not an energy company

3) The role of Cloud in the Smart Grid 

What role cloud computing will play in the management of Smart Grid data, The article provides perspective of various leaders, who discussed this topic at length. Smart Grid is going to add billions of devices in homes, at EV charging stations, on distribution networks, and in EV cars. The massive data generated by these  devices will need to be connected, communicated, scaled, secured, and analyzed, which seem to be better managed by two letter word "Cloud Computing"

4) Smart Meter companies joins forces, launch new advocacy group

Over the Past years, Smart Meters have received mixed response from consumers, state regulators, and public utility commissions alike. The six major manufacturers, Landys + Gyr, Itron, Elster, Echelon, GE, and Sensus,  have launched Smart Meter Manufacturer's Association (SMAA) to address the broad challenges representing the industry today. "The immediate goal or the mantra of the group will be fast and focused on Smart Metering", said SMAA president Dave Elve.

5) IBM signs Smart Grid Deals in Korea and Brazil 

IBM stuck deal with CPFL Energia in Brazil to develop communication and operational strategy to deploy
25,000 Smart Meter by 2012. In Korea, it is partnering with Korea Electric Power Company to construct "Total Operation Center", which is elaborately known as "Jeju Smart Grid Test-Be Demonstration Complex".

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Smart Grid marketspace heating up with recent acquisitions

Recent acquisition of Landys+Gyr by Toshiba, and of Telvent by Schneider Electric signals that Smart Grid market is gaining momentum. Though it all started in 2007,  last year and this year can be considered the peak years in terms of acquisitions, so far.Toshiba, which was not a mainstream smart grid company, after the acquisition of Swiss giant Landys +Gyr,  has become one of top Smart Grid player directly competing with GE, ABB, Siemens, and Schneider Electric.

According Pike Research, Smart Grid represents $200 billion market opportunity by 2015,  providing a lucrative business proposition for multinationals. Since 2007, more than 40 companies have been acquired or merged in North America and Europe. Apart from acquisition, companies like GE and Siemens are using Smart Grid competition to fund early startup and identify potential business ideas. Siemens started the Smart Grid competition idea this year, whereas, GE is running its ecoimagination challenge since 2010, which is set to expand in other countries like China in the coming years.

As the years roll on, Smart Grid competition will accelerate that is set to increase the acquisition and mergers activity across the globe. Early startups and new business ideas have promising future in the coming years as big fish of other domains also would like to have pie of the growing market.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mahindra Satyam launches Smart Grid Customer Demo Center in partnership with Schneider Electric

Indian IT major Mahindra Satyam inaugurated Smart Grid Customer Demonstration Center (SGCDC) at its sprawling 120 acres campus in Hyderabad indicating its intention to be part of the emerging energy solution technologies. Mahindra Satyam (formerly Satyam) is part of the $12 billion Mahindra Group which has business interest in IT, auto, finance, hotels, logistics, real estate, and farm equipments. The center will  focus on simulating Micro-Grid technologies by incorporating Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Smart Meter, Network Automation, Substation Automation, EV charging, and Home Automation systems. The Smart Grid CDC is launched in Collaboration with Schneider Electric, which is one the leading multinational company engaged in power generation, transmission, distribution, and energy management. 

 “In India, the demand-supply gap of electricity is huge.  This energy dilemma cannot be resolved without innovative solutions to help consumers, including residential, commercial & industrial to make the most of their energy.  We are very excited and buoyant of the possibilities with Mahindra Satyam in this space to make a difference in India", said Arvind Kasturirangan, Head Alliance & Acquisition, Schneider Electric India. Schneider Electric's innovative capabilities in micro-grid technologies will be key for providing real-time smart grid technology simulation to the customers, which is the main goal of the center, echoed by Vijayanand Vadrevu, Chief Strategic Officer, Mahindra Satyam.

Mahindra Satyam will draw expertise and capabilities from its many of the group companies. For example, its subsidiary Bridge Strategy Group, which has advised 27 of the 50 Electric utility and 24 of the 50 largest gas utilities in North America, will help in Advisory and Strategy consulting, Reva on Electric Utility Vehicle, Tech Mahindra on communication and security, Mahindra Solar on Renwable Energy technologies. With its internal and external collaboration, the company through CDC is set to provide comprehensive solution for consulting, product engineering, design, evaluation, and implementation services in Smart Grid Domain.
About Mahindra Satyam
Mahindra Satyam is a leading global business and information technology services company that leverages deep industry and functional expertise, leading technology practices, and an advanced, global delivery model to help clients transform their highest-value business processes and improve their business performance. The company's professionals excel in enterprise solutions, supply chain management, client relationship manangement, business intelligence, business process quality, engineering and product lifecycle management, and infrastructure services, among other key capabilities. Mahindra Satyam is part of the $12.5 billion Mahindra Group, a global federation of companies and one of the top 10 business houses based in India. The Group’s interests span automotive products, aviation, components, farm equipment, financial services, hospitality, information technology, logistics, real estate and retail. Mahindra Satyam development and delivery centers in the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Hungary, Egypt, UAE, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia serve numerous clients, including many Fortune 500 organizations.