Investment in Smart Grid technology in the Asia Pacific - 12 Jul 2011
A report from market research firm Pike Research, shows investment in smart grid technologies by utilities and governments within Asia Pacific will rise over the next several years. The total smart grid market will increase from $11.9 billion in 2011 to $28.8 billion by 2017. The report forecasts that cumulative smart grid investment in the region will reach $171.3 billion by 2017.
Smart grid market drivers differ significantly by country within the Asia Pacific region. Chinese market players believe that the construction of a smart grid is a key part of economic growth and enhancing the ability to optimize energy allocation, including the integration of new generation capacity from both renewable and fossil fuel sources.
Japan’s electric utilities have been investing capital in power infrastructure, resulting in advanced capabilities in transmission infrastructure and power delivery services; however, the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting Fukushima nuclear accident are likely to redefine not only Japan’s smart grid planning, but the direction of the nation’s utility industry.
Korea seeks to leverage its technology leadership in the IT and communications space to form an advanced smart grid infrastructure within the country, as well as an opportunity to export smart grid technologies around the world.
Transmission upgrades will be the largest application category within the region, representing 54% of total smart grid investment between now and 2017. Distribution automation and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) will also be key applications, capturing 18% and 15% of total spending, respectively.
US Smart Grid Stimulus leads to export to Australia - 12 Jul 2011
Having flourished on the back of federal support, Colorado-based energy management software start-up Tendril has quadrupled its workforce and revenues. The company only entered the smart grid space in 2009. Now it's landing major deals in Australia
The company provides applications that help customers understand how much electricity they consume and at what times of day, and to set personal goals to conserve energy. Users can monitor and control consumption via smartphones, tablets, computers and flat-screen televisions, or opt for a separate in-home display.
In May, the firm announced a major partnership with Origin Energy, Australia's largest energy retailer. Origin will deploy a pilot service of Tendril's Energize application suite in thousands of Australian homes later this year, with the potential for mass distribution to nearly 5 million households.
Tendril could help the 100,000 or so Origin customers who have residential solar energy systems to match peaks in solar power supply with household energy demand, a service Tendril expects to provide for other renewable energy resources like wind in North America as well.
Microgrids in Afghanistan - 12 Jul 2011
The U.S. Army is installing microgrid technologies in Afghanistan aimed at lowering fossil fuel consumption on the battlefield.
During the three-month experiment they will collect data on fuel and maintenance savings, identify the microgrid technologies with the highest potential for military use, familiarise soldiers with the equipment’s functions and obtain a baseline cost analysis to support future installations.
A 1-megawatt, or MW, microgrid will replace 22 of the complex’s generator sets with just four larger sets, simplifying maintenance as well as cutting fuel consumption. Another 180-kilowatt, or kW, microgrid configuration will not replace any of the remaining 74 generators, but will allow up to six of them to communicate and turn on and off in response to demand.
For more info see: http://www.fortgordonsignal.com/news/2011-07-01/Community_Events/Army_deploys_microgrids_in_Afghanistan.html
HomePlug Alliance - 12 Jul 2011
HomePlug Alliance has emerged as the market leader for powerline networking solutions. New research from In-Stat forecasts shows that HomePlug node shipments will surpass 30 million units by 2014.
HomePlug products are expected to maintain their lead and continue to grow considerably over the next five years. The European region is expected to remain the main target market for HomePlug products, though Asia Pacific will see the highest growth rate over the next 5 years. The first HomePlug CE devices will appear around late 2013 in both North America and Europe.
New research findings include:
- Worldwide, over 40 million wired home networking nodes shipped in 2010.
- HomePlug node shipments currently represent 50% of all nodes shipped.
- The main providers of networking nodes for this market are Atheros, Entropic, Sigma Designs, and Broadcom.
- G.hn will replace HPNA and then overtake MoCA by end of year 2015.
The global smart meter market - 12 Jul 2011
The global smart meter market is expected to grow from $4,381.0 million in 2010 to $15,261.4 million in 2016, at an estimated CAGR of 20.8% from 2011 to 2016, according to a new report published by global market research company, MarketsandMarkets.
The report findings include:
- The market in North America accounted for the highest share in the smart meter market with $4,614.7 million in 2011, and is expected to reach $11,612.0 million in 2016 with a CAGR of 20.3%.
- Europe and APAC are driving smart meter installation and expected to hold 19.7% of the global market share in 2016.
- Residential was the largest and one of the fastest growing application in 2010. This was primarily due to the rapid replacement of standard & AMR meters with smart meters.
The global installation for smart electric meters was 25,400 thousand units in 2010.The installation capacity for smart electric meter is projected to reach 104,100.0 thousand units by 2016 due to increasing demand for smart electric meters in countries such as China, Australia, India, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, and the U.S.
Main drivers are governments' support worldwide and the need to reduce the environmental footprint of the country. Also, the installations for smart gas meter and smart waster meter also growing throughout.
Faster response to outages using the smart grid - 12 Jul 2011
Energy utility AusGrid has deployed monitoring devices in 2300 street-level cabinets to gain a more granular visibility of its electricity distribution network.
These new sensors will measure voltage and current between Ausgrid’s high voltage (11,000V) major zone substations and its street-level distribution units, where the current is converted into the 240V current used in households. The sensors indicate whether there is any service interruptions on that street and what loads the equipment were carrying.
Diagnostic data was transmitted over a 3G network to larger substations, and then to the utility's central IT systems for monitoring and analysis over a fibre network. Previously the system had only provided visibility into the high voltage segment of the network. This technology will allow AusGrid to know what is going on in the lower-voltage distribution network.
The project was designed to deliver second-by-second analysis of faults in the utility’s electricity grid, with the same level of information previously only available to the company on an annual basis.
The IBM system implemented as part of the rollout will also aggregate data from compatible street cabinets to study load behaviour over time, providing information to the utility on the lifecycle of equipment and identify areas in need of a hardware refresh.
Once AusGrid has better data on its distribution network, the power utility will use a custom 4G network to connect street-level distribution units to smart meters installed in residential premises. The meters would optimise transmission and address service. It will also allow customers to monitor their own energy usage at a house level and with individual devices.
AusGrid has identified 144 sites for antennae builds for a 4G network to complement these meters, 60 of which are already under construction.
Smart homes on the rise in the USA - 12 Jul 2011
A new report by Berg Insight shows that the number of new smart home installations worldwide was 0.44 million in 2010 and is expected to reach 5.38 million by 2015. The total revenues will increase from US$ 2.3 billion in 2010 to almost US$ 9.5 billion in 2015.
The niche segment of smart homes and connected home technologies have been around for decades but things are changing for this industry due to a confluence of market, regulatory, strategic and technology trends. Consumers want to be able to use products such as iPhones and iPads to control their lifestyles through user-friendly interfaces.
Broadband providers who are already inside consumers’ homes are looking for new opportunities to increase ARPU, reduce churn and become complete solution providers. Technology is now coming together with increasing focus on interoperability. There is an increasing shift in smart home technology adoption from custom and luxury residences to mainstream and production homes. Almost 4% of mainstream homes will have some form of automation by 2015.
Newcastle Energy Town Meeting
The City of Newcastle (Council) is hosting the Newcastle Energy Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 July 2011 from 6pm - 8.30pm at Newcastle City Hall.
Hosted by Adam Spencer of the ABC, the Meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to learn about Newcastle’s vision for carbon and water management in our homes, businesses and educational institutions and across Council’s operations.
The purpose of the meeting is to provide an overview of the thinking and aspirations behind the Draft Newcastle 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan to allow our community members to make informed comment during the exhibition period. The action plan targets the long term management of energy, water and waste in 60,000 households, 80 schools, 3 TAFE colleges, the University of Newcastle, 200 Council facilities, the Top 20 Businesses and 11,000 small to medium businesses across the Newcastle LGA.
The Newcastle Energy Town Meeting will take place through a panel based discussion with local business leaders, energy and water industry representatives, Council staff and other key players in the Newcastle environmental initiative arena.
Please join us at this important event and learn how you can play a part and influence our future direction for the City’s carbon and water management actions.
If you could please direct your RSVP's to: Tara Beesley, The City of Newcastle. T: 02 4974 2863 M: 0419 014 316 E: email@example.com
Distribution Automation important for Smart Grid Utilities
A new report from Pike Research shows that worldwide distribution automation (DA) revenues have increased in the past few years from $1.2 billion in 2008 to $2.7 billion in 2010. By 2014, forecasts are that revenues in the sector will reach $10.4 billion annually.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) has captured most of the smart grid limelight over the past few years. This emphasis is changing, as distribution automation (DA), encouraged by the opportunities of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and distributed generation (DG), moves advanced capabilities from the pilot stage to early commercial adoption.
The smart grid is made to transform the electricity distribution network from a one-way to a multi-way power network. With smart meter projects underway, utilities are now improving efficiency and control in the segment of the grid that lies between the substation and the meter.
DA upgrades not only improve reliability and efficiency within grid operations but also have the potential to for strong investment without intensive consumer engagement or behavior change.
DA initiatives are taking many forms in various utility projects. Once reserved to simple remote control of field-based switches and sensors with the primary aim of increasing reliability.
The primary aim was to increase reliability using simple remote control of field-based switches and sensors but now DA technologies are beginning to comprehend the demand response capability of conservation voltage control (CVR) and the energy management possibilities of dynamic load distribution.
Production plans for electric vehicles
A newly updated report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) called Technology Roadmap Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles includes targets and strategies for realising rapid growth in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles around the world. It also includes announcements from major manufacturers in terms of future production plans for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) which are far below sales targets set by countries.
The majority of major auto manufacturers have announced their EV and/or PHEV production plans. Combined units equal 0.9 million by 2015 and approximately 1.4 million units per year by 2020. However, it is well below existing national sales targets of about 1.5 million in 2015 and 7 million in 2020.This target of 7 million EV sales, if achieved, would match close to 10% of total vehicle sales in 2020.
The mass deployment of Evs and PHEVs that rely on low greenhouse gas emission electricity generation has great potential to significantly reduce the consumption of petroleum and other high CO2-emitting transportation fuels.
There are three main types of electric vehicles, all of which fall under the IEA’s term ‘advanced vehicles’:
• Electric vehicle (EV).refers to a plug-in, battery electric vehicle. It is sometimes also termed ‘battery electric vehicle’. Evs do not have an internal combustion engine
• Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). PHEVs contain both an internal combustion engine and a motor with battery pack. A regular hybrid vehicle does not have enough battery storage on board to be worthwhile adding a plug-in capability. PHEVs tend to have a shorter electric-driving range than Evs, but have the benefit of a back-up internal combustion engine should the battery get drained.
• Fuel cell models. These vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity using a fuel cell system. Hydrogen is stored on-board the vehicle for conversion, so these need not be plug-in vehicles.
Smart meter system to benefit Ausgrid customers
Ausgrid customers will benefit from a smart metering system that will give them oversight and control of their electricity consumption. It is expected that the metering project will be launched in October 2011 at the rate of approximately 5000 meters a month to a total of 50,000 units.
The meters are part of Ausgrid’s $450 million smart-grid demonstration project designed to provide a blueprint of next generation technologies for electricity suppliers nationwide. The funding figure includes $100m from the federal government.
The trial is voluntary and will be centred on Newcastle, NSW, although some units will go to Sydney areas. The meters will show detailed breakdowns of electricity consumption through a range of apps delivered on tablets, smartphones and through internet browsers.
Once the meter is in place the customer can have a radio link between the meter and a home area network, so they can put in consumption controls and monitor in real time what is happening.
TransGrid improving its services
TransGrid, one of the largest high-voltage electricity transmission network operators in Australia has announced a new $7.2 million deal with software solutions and services company, Mincom.
TransGrid aims to achieve greater visibility, improved availability and increased return on nearly $6 billion worth of electricity assets, which provide electricity to more than three million households and businesses across New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
TransGrid’s assets include 91 substations; 12,600 kilometres of transmission lines; 36,000 transmission-line structures; and a workforce of more than 1,000 employees.
Mincom Mobility is a suite of end-to-end field-enablement applications that improves the decision-making and productivity of field-force operations using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, PDAs etc.
Improving household energy efficiency
A new report from Scotia Economics shows that increasing fuel prices are affecting consumer confidence, purchasing power and spending. In the first quarter of 2011, the share of household after-tax income allocated to energy consumption totalled 6½%, up a percentage point from the level prevailing in early 2009.
Household expenditures on energy totalled approximately $60 billion in 2010, which equates to $4,500 per household. It is estimated that higher energy costs will increase this amount by approximately $6 billion in 2011.
Gasoline purchases have accounted for about half of total household energy consumption, though this share has risen in recent years. Expenditures on housing-related energy which include natural gas, fuel oil and electricity account for the remainder.
There is an ongoing urgency to reduce household energy consumption because of the upward trend in the price of energy. Energy costs have, on average, outpaced the general rate of inflation since the 1980s, and increasingly so over the past decade. The rapid expansion in industrial activity among emerging markets, led by China and India, is a major factor in lifting demand, while periodic bouts of geopolitical tension have added to supply concerns. While natural gas price trends remain encouraging for consumers, the risk lies toward higher electricity costs and continued elevated oil prices.
Reducing energy consumption in households could generate significant long-term cost savings. Despite improvements in energy efficiency in both the residential and passenger transportation sectors over the past two decades, household energy consumption as a share of total spending has remained in a range of 6-7%.
There is a number of encouraging trends underway supporting gains in household energy efficiency. These include:
• an increase in sales of smaller, more fuel-efficient motor vehicles,
• the choice of higher-density urban living which is more energy-efficient,
• driven by changing consumer demands and regulatory standards, new home builders are increasingly adopting energy-efficient technologies and materials.
South Korea: Smart Grid Revolution
According to a report from Zpryme, when a growing nation with growing energy needs such as South Korea proclaims it’s going to smarten up its electric grid, technology companies across the globe — not surprisingly — take note. South Korea has a rich and determined plan for a completely integrated smart grid by 2030.
The upgraded power grid will help the nation, which buys all its energy needs from overseas, reduce import of coal, gas and oil. Currently, the government has utilized its resources and that of the state-run transmission operator, KEPCO, to implement one of the world’s largest and ambitious smart grid test projects on Jeju Island. In Aug 2008 during the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Republic of Korea, President Lee Myung-bak announced Low Carbon Green Growth as the new national vision for the next 50 years. Since then Korea has been bracing on low carbon “green” technologies such as smart grid.
Recognizing smart grid as the key solution to achieve Low Carbon Green Growth vision, in 2009, Korea announced its National Smart Grid Roadmap and came up with a proactive and ambitious plan to build a smart grid test-bed on Jeju Island. The Jeju smart grid demonstration project has 168 Korean and foreign companies participating and is the largest scale of smart grid test-bed carried out in Korea. Korea plans to develop new business models through the test-bed and hope to contribute to global GHG reduction goals.” Faster than industry experts expected, South Korea has joined the ranks of smart grid and clean tech deployment global leaders such as the U.S. and China.
Smart Grid Segment (2015 - USD, millions):
|Smart T&D Equipment
|Software & Hardware
|Communications & Wireless Infrastructure
More smart grid education needed - 26 Jul 2011
Denmark’s leading energy equipment supplier Danfoss commissioned a study to investigate and better understand building owners’, engineers’ and manufacturers’ opinions, understanding and implementation of the smart grid today.
The primary goal of the research was to determine what each of the three groups knows and thinks about the smart grid, and what they perceive to be its barriers, benefits and motivators. Additionally, the research set out to evaluate how well engineers and manufacturers are interpreting the perspectives of building owners.
Key Findings are
- Increased communication is needed between utilities and their customers on the value of smart grid deployments and how customers can tap into those savings. Survey responses indicate there is widespread skepticism and little awareness on what the smart grid is, what it can do and how much it will cost.
- The value proposition for building owners needs clearer definition. Utilities need to know what their customers are expecting from the smart grid as their wants, needs and expectations will vary considerably. Some customers are primarily concerned about reliability, while others may be focused on power quality and others may be most worried about costs. The study confirms that any smart grid investment made by building owners has to compete with other potential investments, from increased insulation to new tile in the foyer; smart grid programs are amongst the heavy competition for owners’ dollars.
- There are technology issues with building controls, as buildings will interact with the smart grid through building automation and energy management systems, which will respond automatically or semi-automatically to messages sent by utilities to curtail energy usage at scheduled times. However, many buildings do not have the control systems or do not have properly designed, installed, operated or maintained systems, resulting in poor control. Retro-commissioning or retrofits may be needed first in order to ensure a return on investment on smart grid technologies.
- HVAC and buildings controls manufacturers have taken an early interest and leadership role in smart grid developments and relevant products well before data communications protocols and other foundational elements are in place.
For more information: Danfoss
Smart Grid Interoperability Standards - 26 Jul 2011
The American Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently put out an order in which they concluded that there is insufficient consensus for the five smart grid families of standards under consideration. For this reason, the Commission will not institute a rulemaking proceeding at this time with respect to these standards and terminates this docket. In this order, the Commission encourages stakeholders to actively participate in the NIST interoperability framework process to work on the development of interoperability standards and to refer to that process for guidance on smart grid standards
The five families of standards are:
• IEC 61968 and IEC 61970, which provide a Common Information Model necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission and distribution domains
• IEC 61850, which facilitates substation automation, communication and interoperability through a common data format
• IEC 60870-6, which facilitates exchanges of information between control centers, and
• IEC 62351, which addresses the cyber security of the communication protocols defined by the preceding IEC standards.