“Cost Causer Pays” or Where is the Incentive for T&D Grid Upgrade?

On January 6, 2011, in Blog, by David Niebauer

Obviously, “cost causer pays” is not going to get the job done. We need a national energy policy with a strong transmission and distribution grid upgrade component. The task is complicated by overlapping and sometimes competing federal and state objectives, but failing to act is simply not an option. Both financial and policy incentives must be made clear for stakeholders so that the greenpower superhighway that many envision can become a reality.

Will your Utility be ready for your Networked EV?

On December 7, 2010, in Blog, by John Addison

Yes, your electric utility will be ready to charge your new electric car if you live in the right city. Your odds improve if you live in one of 18 cities, own a house that uses air conditioning, has a garage, and have new underground power lines. If you live in an apartment with no garage, especially in a non-priority city, then get ready to be a brave pioneer. My report from the GTM Research and Greentech Media’s Networked EV conference.

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Cleantech Blog Power 5 – Top Investors in Cleantech

On December 3, 2010, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

It’s been a long year and a half or so since we published our last Cleantech Blog Power 5 on the top investors in cleantech.  Time for round two. As usual the criteria for inclusion. Investor made a significant contribution to the cleantech investment sector More smart looking investments than stupid looking investments On balance, I’d […]

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Power Flow Control Devices: Hardware for the Smart Grid

On December 1, 2010, in Blog, by David Niebauer

Software is not the only Smart Grid play. Developments in Power Flow Control – hardware wedded to power electronics – promise to increase the capacity of the existing electric transmission grid, thereby allowing the system to operate more efficiently for lower infrastructure costs. Controlling the flow of electrons in order to improve the existing system can and is being done. As the Smart Grid is built out, watch for companies that design and build the hardware that all the software is being designed to control.

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The “Smart Grid”: An Overview

On November 18, 2010, in Blog, by David Niebauer

The Age of the Smart Grid is upon us. Huge amounts of capital are being and will be deployed over the next decade and beyond in upgrading the nation’s power grid. Both the political and financial will appears to be behind Smart Grid deployment. Fortunes will be made in this arena, and our lives will all be changed for the better through the intelligent delivery of more efficient and cleaner energy. By David Niebauer, www.davidniebauer.com

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Cleantech Success Formula = EE + ROI + 0 Capex

On November 5, 2010, in Blog, by John Addison

Venture capitalists, cleantech executives, and technology experts are optimistic about continued growth for cleantech. With the recession and a clear message from voters, projects requiring billions from taxpayers and/or large customer capital expenditure (capex) are out. Energy efficiency with large and fast ROI is growing rapidly. Distributed solar is outpacing large power plants including utility-scale solar. Smart grids with billions of nodes are the backbone for our future.

Craton Barreling Ahead

On October 11, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Being a senior advisor to the firm, I attended last week’s annual meeting of Craton Equity Partners, a cleantech private equity fund manager based in Los Angeles. While cleantech in its focus, Craton doesn’t take on much technology risk. Rather, Craton generally invests in companies that have largely proven their technologies […]

More Charge for Grid Storage

On August 2, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi While battery technology has been the subject of intensive focus for vehicular applications since the emergence of hybrid electric vehicles over the past few years, much less attention has been paid to batteries for the electric grid. Although energy storage for the power grid offers great promise to augment the smart […]

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GE Bets 10 Billion on Digital Energy

On July 20, 2010, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison GE Smart Charging Stations for Electric Cars General Electric intends to be the leader in smart grid charging of electric vehicles. GE’s Watt Station EV Charger was personally unveiled today by CEO Jeff Immelt. Globally, GE already helps thousands of electric utilities be more efficient in generating power and in distributing power. […]

Dot’s Nice

On January 4, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi One of the virtues touted for the so-called “smart grid” of the future is the ability to help customers manage their appliance usage better, and thereby reduce unnecessary energy consumption. However, since people are heavily influenced by economic considerations, fully capturing this opportunity presupposes that customers understand how much money (= […]

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Electric Cars Facilitate Smart Grid 2.0

On November 24, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (original post Clean Fleet Report) The electric car will facilitate the smart grid and a renewable energy charging infrastructure. The electric car will help make the smart grid relevant to consumers. Right now most cars use inefficient engines fueled with gasoline or diesel. In the coming decades, many cars will use electricity. […]

PG&E to Smart Charge 219,000 Electric Vehicles

On November 17, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (originally published in the Clean Fleet Report) By 2020, 219,000 customers of PG&E (NYSE: PCG) may say goodbye to those trips to the gas station. No more spinning dials at the pump – $20.00, $40.00, $80.00, etc. Instead drivers will conveniently plug-in their electric cars at home or work. The fill-up will […]

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A Smart Grid Requires Smart Utilities

On September 7, 2009, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi In my more cynical moments, I might quip that the phrase “smart utility” is oxymoronic. For sure, most utilities remain captive to technologies that are decades old. And, unquestionably, some utilities are managed by people and within cultures that seem to be stuck in the middle 20th Century (or even more […]

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Smart Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids

On August 20, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (8/20/09). The new freeway-speed electric vehicles will also be smart electric vehicles (SEV). They will be smart about using energy inside the vehicle so that it can go 100 miles between charges. The SEV will be smart about navigation options that consider your preference for getting somewhere fast or traveling with minimal […]

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If Larry King Wrote My Column….

On May 18, 2009, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi You heard it here first: the energy consultancy Douglas-Westwood is claiming in a May 11 white paper that “peak oil” may have already happened, as far back as October 2004, and that the oil price boom followed by economic collapse is indicative of how things will play out over the decades […]

What the FERC?

On May 4, 2009, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi The Federal government is a mighty bureaucracy, so it’s impossible to keep track of all the parts. Still, few areas are as unknown by the general public as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The FERC (it’s always referrred to as “The FERC”) is responsible for interstate regulation of energy markets, […]

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Cleantech Blog "Power 10" Ranking Vol II 2009

On April 21, 2009, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Last year I did my first “Power 10″ ranking for 2008 of cleantech companies, and the response was so good we’re doing it again. I spend most of my day meeting and talking to companies in the cleantech sector. And those of you who know me know I have opinions on who is doing it […]

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Superconducting Blackout Protection Device for Smart Grid

On April 20, 2009, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Today, Zenergy Power plc (AIM:ZEN), a company I am a cofounder of, announced that ConEd, one of thought leaders in the utility sector on transmission & distribution technology (conventional wisdom says they have to be, as given its tremendous load in a small area, the Manhattan grid is devilishly tricky to operate), has agreed to […]

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Report from GridEcon Conference

On March 23, 2009, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi My colleague Carter Williams, formerly CEO of Gridlogix, which was bought recently by Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), invited me to participate in a panel in last week’s GridEcon conference in Chicago. Because it had been awhile since I had plugged into (so to speak) the Smart Grid discussions, I accepted Carter’s […]

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Smart Grid Primer

On December 29, 2008, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi If you want to quickly gain a good overview of the smart grid, check out “The Smart Grid: An Introduction”. A slick 48-page wire-ring bound primer developed for the U.S. Department of Energy, one can find several juicy data tidbits, such as: 1. The U.S. power grid consists of 9200 electric […]

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