What We’re Reading This Week: Friday, January 13

January 13, 2017

Emily Jiles

Communications

ORISON

Greentech Media: Here’s Every Company That Entered the US Energy Storage Game in 2016

…The company is pitching storage as a true home appliance: The two options, a sleek wall panel or a standing unit that looks more like a futuristic lamp, simply plug into a wall socket and store energy for that circuit. The freestanding unit even comes with built-in Bluetooth speakers. CEO Eric Clifton told Tech Insider that his team designed these batteries to be easily installed by the customer, in contrast to the 200-pound Tesla Powerwall. Orison also cuts out the inverter and installation soft costs that come with other battery systems…the move to treat storage systems less like heavy equipment and more like consumer electronics is a promising one…

ENERGY STORAGE

Microgrid Knowledge: The Life and Death Value of Energy Storage in Military Microgrids

At military microgrids in hostile territory, reducing fuel use is more than a green effort; it’s a life-saving endeavor. Afghanistan offered an eye-opener. Vulnerable to attack, one in 24 U.S. fuel supply convoys resulted in a casualty there, according to an Army study…To reduce need for fuel at remote military bases, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is demonstrating use of energy storage — flow batteries — as a baseload power source in military microgrids…

Utility Dive: Navigant: Solar-plus-storage microgrid adoption ‘more than just a fad’

Analysis by Navigant Research shows worldwide interest in microgrid technology is on the rise, with North America and Asia nations leading the charge. There are almost 1,700 microgrid projects either operating or in development, and North America accounts for about 54%, according to the new report. There are 126 new projects noted in the report…

Utility Dive: A silver bullet? Inside FERC’s landmark energy storage rulemaking

Energy storage is having an identity crisis in wholesale markets, and federal regulators are trying to fix it. The question is simple: how do you define energy storage? For system operators, the answer is varied since storage can be categorized as generation, load or both. To solve the conundrum, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened a rulemaking for the nation’s six grid operators in order to make a place for energy storage in the markets…

UTILITIES 

The Energy Collective: Like Clockwork: California Utilities Should Embrace Clean Energy Solutions when Testing Time-of-Use Electricity Rates

…New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimates TOU rates could collectively save customers up to $700 million annually by 2025 by getting the most out of our solar and wind resources. They find that absent TOU rates, we will waste up to 12 percent of existing renewable generation capacity, and solutions like TOU can reduce this waste by six-fold…

Pacific Business News: Regulators tell Hawaiian Electric to come up with grid upgrade strategy

Hawaii regulators have struck down Hawaiian Electric Co.’s grid upgrade plan and are ordering the state’s largest utility to submit a detailed strategy to modernize its grids across the state by June 30. Darren Pai, spokesman for Hawaiian Electric told PBN that the company has said all along that a modern, smart grid is the foundation of a 100 percent renewable energy future and it appreciates the commission affirming that…

Utility Dive: What electric utilities can learn from the Vermont hacking scare

Burlington Electric probably wasn’t hacked by the Russians, and the grid was never at risk. But when the overblown story broke last month — the result of an investigation leak and erroneous reporting by the Washington Post — it didn’t surprise many people. An electric utility being hacked is a growing concern for an industry that has traditionally viewed itself more about physical assets than encrypted web pages…

 IoT  

The Motley Fool: 3 Things You Should Really Know About the Internet of Things

…The Internet of Things is a different way of creating communication between devices, computers, and industrial equipment, allowing us to collect data from the things around us and interact with them in a way we never have before… Tech trends are just preferences that device makers or consumers have (like wanting a bigger smartphone screen instead of a smaller one). But technological shifts like the IoT change how companies do business…

Forbes: 7 Ways The Internet Of Things Will Change Businesses In 2017

… Even though original estimates held that we’d see 50 billion “connected” devices by 2020, revised estimates are still targeting nearly 30 billion, representing an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the near future. So here’s the question—is your business ready for the IoT? Even if you don’t deal directly with technology, IoT devices are going to have a massive impact on how you do business…

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Forbes: Smaller Businesses Want Renewable Energy Developers To Spread The Green

… individual commercial and industrial customers aren’t generating the type of demand that can propel big energy projects into the market. Now, though, that may change. The same so-called power purchase agreements that are used to attract the likes of Microsoft, Intel and SAP can also be parceled out to smaller businesses, albeit in much smaller blocks of energy and for much shorter time frames…

Greentech Media: Report Ranks Top States for Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement

… The Corporate Clean Energy Index ranks all 50 states based on the ease with which companies can procure renewable energy for their operations. The methodology balances the needs of corporate customers with larger and smaller loads to reflect the diversity of Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) members. While geared toward retail and technology companies, the report also reflects the interests of other energy purchasers, including those in the military, healthcare and higher education…

Fortune: Apple, Facebook, and Google Top Greenpeace Energy Report Card

…The advocacy group uses the annual report to rate big cloud computing and other tech companies on their use of renewable power, and how active they are in promoting others to do the same… Greenpeace uses what it calls a clean energy index to sum up the amount of clean energy companies use from renewable sources, plus hydroelectric power. It also assesses how open and transparent a company is about its energy sources and planning, as well as how much firms advocate for the use of clean energy…

The New York Times: Trump May Not Like Alternative Energy, but Investors Should

…according to investment advisers, who say clean energy companies will continue to thrive during a Trump administration, regardless of what the president says or does. The sector has become as much about getting returns on investments and catching the next technological boom as it is about reducing greenhouse gases and helping the environment. And clean energy is creating jobs in every state, not just the ones that have oil or gas in the ground…

Renewable Energy World: 21 MW of Solar PV for Emerging Market Community Mini-grids Announced Since April

Since April 2016, there has been 21 MW of new solar PV community mini-grid capacity announced in emerging global markets, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). In its inaugural quarterly outlook for the off-grid and mini-grid market, BNEF said an additional 2.3 MW of wind mini-grids also are in the pipeline…

POLICY

PennEnergy: McConnell outlines environmental wish-list for Trump action

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged Trump in a letter to scrap a rule to protect small streams and wetlands from development and other regulations that the GOP considers overly burdensome. He also asked Trump to drop a legal defense of the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature effort to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. The plan, the linchpin of Obama’s strategy to fight climate change, is on hold awaiting a court ruling…

Utility Dive: Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson says US should ‘maintain its seat’ in Paris climate talks

During hours of testimony and pointed questions yesterday before a Senate committee, Secretary of State nominee and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson told lawmakers that the United States should remain a part of the Paris Climate accord to “maintain its seat at the table,” an apparent split from the stance from President-elect Donald Trump. While Trump has vowed to abandon the United Nation’s Paris agreement and has said climate change is a hoax, Tillerson believes mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are having an impact…

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