tagged w/ Utilities
Why should energy-intensive corporations invest in green power plays like wind and solar farms?
According to Fintan Whelan, corporate finance director and co-founder of Mainstream Renewable Power, because they're uniquely situated to benefit from such an investments many potential ripple effects.http://bit.ly/H0fUzT Why should energy-intensive corporations invest in green power... more
"Utility cyber security is in a state of near chaos. After years of vendors selling point solutions, utilities investing in compliance minimums rather than full security, and attackers having nearly free rein, the attackers clearly have the upper hand..."
https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/18219-Utility-Cyber-Security-is-in-a-State-of-Near-Chaos.html"Utility cyber security is in a state of near chaos. After years of vendors... more
– The 15 mile-per-hour winds that buffeted northern Germany on July 24 caused the nation’s 21,600 windmills to generate so much power that utilities such as EON AG and RWE AG (RWE) had to pay consumers to take it off the grid.– The 15 mile-per-hour winds that buffeted northern Germany on July 24 caused... more
Starvation! Working or not-inflation-recession... calls for a sacred moment with Jesus Christ. Exclusive gospel channel: http://tinyurl.com/exclusive-gospel-channelStarvation! Working or not-inflation-recession... calls for a sacred moment with Jesus... more
Hobbs conference focuses on nuclear energy issues
N.M. Tech News Service
HOBBS – Nuclear energy, small-scale reactors and safety in the industry will take center stage next month at the 2011 national energy conference in Hobbs.
The Uranium Fuel Cycle Conference on Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, will focus on potential developments and implementation of small-scale reactors.
The conference features top leaders in nuclear technology, including Babcock & Wilcox, New Mexico Tech, URENCO USA, Washington TRU Solutions, Uranium Resources Inc., Energy Solutions and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The "uranium fuel cycle" begins with mining, continues with enrichment, followed by use in a reactor, and ends with processing and storage. Hobbs is in the center of the developing Eastern New Mexico Energy Corridor, which is involved in all aspects of the nuclear energy fuel cycle.
"Almost the entire cycle is contained in New Mexico, from mining to waste storage. This conference is an important step in bringing together key players in the area and continuing a dialogue about energy and our national policies," said Van Romero, Ph.D. and vice president of research at New Mexico Tech.
A new enrichment facility is now operational near Eunice, N.M. A deconversion plant is in the licensing stage in Lea County. Also located in the region are Waste Control Specialist LLC and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carlsbad, which is a long-term storage facility funded by the Department of Energy. While not currently being mined, vast deposits of raw uranium ore exist in west-central New Mexico.
What's missing? The small-scale nuclear power plants.
"Communities in southeast New Mexico have expressed an interest in nuclear power," Romero said.
One area the conference will focus on is the commercial deployment of small nuclear reactors in eastern New Mexico. Representatives of Babcock & Wilcox will present their strategy to how to deploy a light-water reactor system to provide energy to communities in New Mexico.
Babcock & Wilcox is the leading international company in development and deployment of small-scale nuclear reactors. The company unveiled the B&W mPower reactor in 2009. The mPower reactor, with its scalable, modular design, has the capacity to provide 125 megawatts to 750 megawatts of electricity for a five-year operating cycle without refueling. The reactor is designed to produce clean, near-zero emission operations, according to the company website.
Following the Babcock & Wilcox presentation, Romero will lead a discussion on "Small Reactor Research and Readiness." Then, a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy will talk on the status and outlook for nuclear energy development.
The two-day conference is hosted by the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, a division of New Mexico Tech, the Economic Development Corp. of Lea County and New Mexico Junior College.
Online registration is under way at www.energyplexnm.com or by calling 575-397-2039.
Read more: ABQJOURNAL BIZ: Hobbs conference focuses on nuclear energy issues http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/212143529029biz03-21-11.htm#ixzz1Jmt91Adv
Subscribe Now Albuquerque JournalHobbs conference focuses on nuclear energy issues N.M. Tech News Service... more
The French Connection Podcast from www.iamthewitness.com
The ongoing global economic crash, the Federal Reserve, QE3 and QE4, the pain and hardships of the average worker in Western nations, global warming, the vaccine hoax, the Wikileaks hoax, and the ploy to censor in Internet, war on terrorism.The French Connection Podcast from www.iamthewitness.com Download mp3... more
Saudi Arabia dedicates about a tenth of its current oil production capacity, or 877,000 barrels per day, to the production of electricity and plans to nearly triple that amount by 2032, a senior official said on Tuesday.
In remarks carried by the official SPA news agency, Abdullah al Shehri, governor of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority, said about 320 million barrels of crude are used to generate power every year.
Shehri said the authority plans to raise power capacity to 121,000 megawatts by 2032, which would require some 900 million barrels of crude oil per year.
"The electricity demand is expected to increase from about 40,000 megawatts to 121,000 megawatts in year 2032. This is driven by the population growth and by the forecast gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the country," Abdullah al-Shehri, governor for regulatory affairs at the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA).
"The liquid fuel consumption is also expected to increase and this is a concern to us because the petroleum is one of the major resources of the revenue for Saudi Arabia and we do not want to see much of it used internally for producing electricity, but to provide alternatives to this," Shehri said in a presentation at an industry event.
The country hopes, however, to draw 10 percent of its power output from mostly solar energy and other renewable sources by 2020.
Power, provided by state controlled Saudi Electricity, is sold at 12 percent below its production cost, Shehri said.
Households account for 53 percent of power consumption, the industrial sector 18 percent and government bodies 14 percent, Shehri said.Saudi Arabia dedicates about a tenth of its current oil production capacity, or... more
If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight.
That's the message from a member of Arizona's top government utilities agency, who threw down the gauntlet Tuesday in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by threatening to cut off the city's power supply as retribution.
Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission, wrote the letter in response to the Los Angeles City Council's decision last week to boycott the Grand Canyon State -- in protest of its immigration law -- by suspending official travel there and ending future contracts with state businesses.
Noting that a quarter of Los Angeles' electricity comes from Arizona power plants, Pierce threatened to pull the plug if the City Council does not reconsider.
"Doggone it -- if you're going to boycott this candy store ... then don't come in for any of it," Pierce told FoxNews.com.
In the letter, he ridiculed Villaraigosa for saying that the point of the boycott was to "send a message" by severing the "resources and ties" they share.
"I received your message; please receive mine. As a statewide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona's electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the 'resources and ties' we share with the city of Los Angeles," Pierce wrote.
"If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation."
Appearing to tap into local frustration in Arizona over the raft of boycotts and threatened boycotts from cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Pierce warned that Arizona companies are willing and ready to fight boycott with boycott.
"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands," Pierce wrote. "If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy."
Pierce told FoxNews.com that he was speaking for himself, not the entire commission, though he has the support of at least one other member. But Arizona has some serious leverage over Los Angeles, as well as the rest of California. The state and city get electricity from a nuclear power plant outside Phoenix, as well as from coal-fired power plants in northern Arizona and two giant hydroelectric power generators along the Colorado River.
Despite that, the Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly last week to ban future business with Arizona -- a decision that could cost Arizona millions of dollars in lost contracts.
Los Angeles officials were furious with the Arizona immigration law passed last month and joined local officials in cities across the country in pushing boycotts to register their dismay. Critics say the law will lead to racial profiling and civil rights abuses.
Arizona officials have defended the law, saying the state needed to take its illegal immigration problem into its own hands. Pierce said he's "supportive" of the state's efforts to control the border.
The law requires local law enforcement to try to verify the immigration status of anyone they have contact with whom they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. It empowers them to turn over verified illegal immigrants to federal custody. The legislation explicitly prohibits screening people based solely on race or national origin.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/19/arizona-official-threatens-cut-los-angeles-power-payback-boycott/If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by... more
Your checklist for readying your home for summer from heating to air conditioning and more.Your checklist for readying your home for summer from heating to air conditioning and... more
By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger
Image courtesy of Flickr user swperman under Creative Commons LicenseOn Monday, climate activists, nonprofit leaders, and governmental officials will gather in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to look for new ideas to address climate change. The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, organized by leading social organizations like 350.0rg, “will advocate the right to “live well,” as opposed to the economic principle of uninterrupted growth,” as Inter Press Service explains. In the absence of real leadership from the world’s governments, the conferees at Cochabamba are looking for solutions “committed to the rights of people and environment.”
The United States certainly isn’t stepping up. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), were supposed to release their climate legislation next week, just in time for Earth Day. But yesterday the word came down that the release was being pushed back by another week, to April 26.
No matter when it finally arrives, like other recent environmental initiatives, this round of climate legislation falls short. Even if Congress manages to pass a bill—and there’s no guarantee—it will likely leave plenty of room for the coal, oil, and gas industries to continue pouring carbon into the atmosphere. And a wimpy effort from Congress will hinder international work to limit carbon emissions: As a prime polluter, the United States needs to put forward a real plan for change.
Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman
Although the text of the bill is not public yet, it is likely that this attempt at Senate climate legislation will limit carbon emissions only among utilities and gradually phase in other sectors of the economy. On Democracy Now!, environmentalist Bill McKibben called the bill “an incredible accumulation of gifts to all the energy industries, in the hopes that they won’t provide too much opposition to what’s a very weak greenhouse gas pact.”
Climate reform began with a leaner idea, a cap-and-trade system that limited carbon emissions while encouraging innovation. The Nation’s editors document the transformation of climate reform from the Obama administration’s original cap-and-trade proposal to the behemoth tangle it has become. Both the House and the Senate fattened their versions of climate legislation with treats for the energy industry. The Senate’s new idea to gradually expand emissions reduction through a bundle of energy bills only opens up more opportunities for influence.
“Some of these pieces of legislation may pass; others may fail; all are ripe for gaming by corporate lobbies,” the editors write. “Kerry-Lieberman-Graham would also skew subsidies in the wrong direction, throwing billions at “clean coal” technologies, nuclear power plants and offshore drilling, a questionable gambit favored by the Obama administration to garner support from Republicans and representatives from oil-, gas- and coal-producing states.”
Even with these goodies, the climate bill may not pass. The Washington Independent rounds up the D.C. players to watch as the next fight unfolds, including the Chamber of Commerce’s William Kovacs and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lisa Jackson.
In theory, the climate bill should not be America’s only ride to a greener future. But the other vehicles for green change choked during start-up. The EPA was going to regulate carbon emissions, but Congress has reared against that effort. The climate bill could snatch away that power from the executive branch.
If companies won’t limit their carbon emissions, individuals still have the option for action. But as Heather Rogers explains in The Nation, carbon offsets, one of the most popular mechanisms for minimizing carbon use “are a dubious enterprise.”
“To begin with, they don’t cut greenhouse gases immediately but only over the life of a project, and that can take years–some tree-planting efforts need a century to do the work. And a project is effective only if it’s successfully followed through; trees can die or get cut down, unforeseen ecological destruction might be triggered or the projects may simply go unbuilt.”
The pull of carbon offsets should diminish as energy use in buildings, cars, food, and flights gains in efficiency and uses less carbon. But if the green jobs sector is any indication, that revolution has been slow in coming. ColorLines reports that “there are no firm numbers on how many newly trained green workers are still jobless. But stories abound of programs that turn out workers with new, promising skills—in solar panel installation and weatherization, in places like Seattle and Chicago—and who nonetheless can’t find jobs.”
Cochabamba’s unique approach
These failures and setbacks don’t just affect Americans; they keep our leaders from negotiating with their international peers. The United Nations led a conference last winter in Copenhagen that promised to hash out carbon limits, yet produced no binding agreement. This coming winter, the UN will try again in Mexico, but if the United States shows up with the scant plan put forward by Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman, those negotiations have little promise.
In Cochabamba, leaders from inside and outside the government will attend a summit to discuss the future of climate change action. In The Progressive, Teo Ballve writes that,
“One of the bolder ideas is the creation of a global climate justice tribunal that could serve as an enforcement mechanism. And conference participants are already working on a “Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights” meant to parallel the U.N.’s landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.”
With U.S. government action paling, it might take outside ideas like these to revitalize the push towards a green future. By the end of next week, we’ll see if the Cochabamba group made any more progress than the bigwigs at Copenhagen.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger Image courtesy of Flickr user swperman... more
democrats need a spine, chamber of commerce faces revolt, & porn in government agencies - [happy hump day round-up]The first half of the day is coming to a close, but before you run off to grab lunch take a look at a few of the recently featured stories on Current.com.
On matters of health care, filmmaker/documentarian Michael Moore advises Democrats to "find your spine." He directed this at the Democrats in Congress that he feels have been "dogging" the health care debate. What's your take? Join the conversation here.
Hot on the heels of the U.S. being called 'climate illiterate', we're learning that even more utility companies are backing out of the U.S. Chamber of Congress as the global warming legislation debate continues to heat up in Congress.
The defections began when PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee sent a sharply worded two-page letter outlining why the privately owned utility, which provides gas and electricity to 15 million customers from Eureka to Bakersfield, is pulling out of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses across the country and has one of the most powerful lobbying operations in Washington.
Darbee, who has invited leading climate scientists to meet with PG&E's board of directors in recent years, was particularly alarmed that the chamber recently requested a public "trial" to weigh the scientific evidence that global warming endangers human health.
"We find it dismaying that the Chamber neglects the indisputable fact that a decisive majority of experts have said the data on global warming are compelling and point to a threat that cannot be ignored," Darbee wrote. "In our view, an intellectually honest argument over the best policy response to the challenges of climate change is one thing; disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality of these challenges are quite another."
Weigh in on this story here
The Washington Times has revealed that employee porn surfing is apparently out of control at the National Science Foundation. Here's what you need to know:
6 out of 10 misconduct cases involve online pornography.
One Sr. Exec was found to have spent 331 days either viewing porn, or participating in XXX webchats with women via his computer.
The NSF received $6 billion in taxpayer funding in 2008.
Feel like chiming in about this? You can join the conversation on Current.com by clicking here.The first half of the day is coming to a close, but before you run off to grab lunch... more
Computer-security researchers say new "smart" meters that are designed to help deliver electricity more efficiently also have flaws that could let hackers tamper with the power grid in previously impossible ways.
At the very least, the vulnerabilities open the door for attackers to jack up strangers' power bills. These flaws also could get hackers a key step closer to exploiting one of the most dangerous capabilities of the new technology, which is the ability to remotely turn someone else's power on and off.
The attacks could be pulled off by stealing meters _ which can be situated outside of a home _ and reprogramming them. Or an attacker could sit near a home or business and wirelessly hack the meter from a laptop, according to Joshua Wright, a senior security analyst with InGuardians Inc. The firm was hired by three utilities to study their smart meters' resistance to attack.
These utilities, which he would not name, have already done small deployments of smart meters and plan to roll the technology out to hundreds of thousands of power customers, Wright told The Associated Press.
There is no evidence the security flaws have been exploited, although Wright said a utility could have been hacked without knowing it. InGuardians said it is working with the utilities to fix the problems.
Power companies are aggressively rolling out the new meters. In the U.S. alone, more than 8 million smart meters have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly 60 million should be in place by 2020, according to a list of publicly announced projects kept by The Edison Foundation, an organization focused on the electric industry.
Unlike traditional electric meters that merely record power use _ and then must be read in person once a month by a meter reader _ smart meters measure consumption in real time. By being networked to computers in electric utilities, the new meters can signal people or their appliances to take certain actions, such as reducing power usage when electricity prices spike.
But the very interactivity that makes smart meters so attractive also makes them vulnerable to hackers, because each meter essentially is a computer connected to a vast network.
There are few public studies on the meters' resistance to attack, in part because the technology is new. However, last summer, Mike Davis, a researcher from IOActive Inc., showed how a computer worm could hop between meters in a power grid with smart meters, giving criminals control over those meters.
Alan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute, a security research and training organization that was not involved in Wright's work with InGuardians, said it proved that hacking smart meters is a serious concern.
"We weren't sure it was possible," Paller said. "He actually verified it's possible. ... If the Department of Energy is going to make sure the meters are safe, then Josh's work is really important."
SANS has invited Wright to present his research Tuesday at a conference it is sponsoring on the security of utilities and other "critical infrastructure."
Industry representatives say utilities are doing rigorous security testing that will make new power grids more secure than the patchwork system we have now, which is already under hacking attacks from adversaries believed to be working overseas.
"We know that automation will bring new vulnerabilities, and our task _ which we tackle on a daily basis _ is making sure the system is secure," said Ed Legge, spokesman for Edison Electric Institute, a trade organization for shareholder-owned electric companies.
But many security researchers say the technology is being deployed without enough security probing.
Wright said his firm found "egregious" errors, such as flaws in the meters and the technologies that utilities use to manage data from meters. "Even though these protocols were designed recently, they exhibit security failures we've known about for the past 10 years," Wright said.
He said InGuardians found vulnerabilities in products from all five of the meter makers the firm studied. He would not disclose those manufacturers.
One of the most alarming findings involved a weakness in a communications standard used by the new meters to talk to utilities' computers.
Wright found that hackers could exploit the weakness to break into meters remotely, which would be a key step for shutting down someone's power. Or someone could impersonate meters to the power company, to inflate victims' bills or lower his own. A criminal could even sneak into the utilities' computer networks to steal data or stage bigger attacks on the grid.
Wright said similar vulnerabilities used to be common in wireless Internet networking equipment, but have vanished with an emphasis on better security.
For instance, the meters encrypt their data _ scrambling the information to hide it from outsiders. But the digital "keys" needed to unlock the encryption were stored on data-routing equipment known as access points that many meters relay data to. Stealing the keys lets an attacker eavesdrop on all communication between meters and that access point, so the keys instead should be kept on computers deep inside the utilities' networks, where they would be safer.
"That lesson seems to be lost on these meter vendors," he said. That speaks to the "relative immaturity" of the meter technology, Wright added.
http://www.thetandd.com/articles/2010/03/27/ap/business/us_tec_smart_grid_hacking.txtComputer-security researchers say new "smart" meters that are designed to... more
Intel has designs on the nascent home energy management business, following Google, Microsoft, Apple, Panasonic, and dozens of smaller tech companies.
Intel last week launched a Web site dedicated to its Home Dashboard Concept, a touch-screen display designed to help families control and reduce energy use. The Atom-based device will let people record video messages to other family members and, through third-party applications, let people look up information on online yellow pages or track packages over the Internet.
A patent application from Apple, unearthed last week, described a system to optimize power for a network of electronics, such as laptops, solar chargers, and iPods.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10436851-54.htmlIntel has designs on the nascent home energy management business, following Google,... more
What are we getting in return for the bailout? So far, predatory credit card rates, exorbitant bank fees and obscene Wall Street bonuses. But we're being robbed in other, sneakier ways, too. It seems that taxpayers in the poorest, most vulnerable parts of the county are getting plundered by the same institutions they bailed out. One example is AIG's underhanded fleecing of residents of rural Kentucky.
Middlesboro and Clinton are two tiny, impoverished towns in southern Kentucky with a combined population of 12,000. In 2008, Middlesboro's per capita income was $13,189 a year, only a few hundred dollars more than the average worker earned in third-world Mexico. That is if they were lucky to even get a job. Real unemployment hovers somewhere around 30%, and the state is so broke that half the people eligible for unemployment benefits can't receive them. Life may be tough and most people live in poverty, but that doesn't mean they can't be made a little poorer. That's the lesson locals learned after bailed-out insurance villain AIG took over their water utility and instantly raised rates to squeeze an extra $1 million in profits out of its new customers, forcing some to consider choosing between running water and food...
...Here is how the AIG takeover went down: In 2005, flush with cash from its shady dealings in the mortgage derivatives market, AIG announced that it was in the process of acquiring Utilities Inc., a holding company that controlled scores of small water utilities across 17 different states. With just 300,000 customers, the company wasn't huge, but it boasted of being the largest privately held water utility in the country.
"We have long considered water infrastructure as an attractive investment opportunity and an excellent complement to [our] existing energy infrastructure portfolio. Utilities Inc. is a leader in this industry and we are pleased that [we have] the opportunity to acquire this business,” AIG Chairman and CEO Win J. Neuger gloated in a press release.
AIG had reason to be pleased with its purchase. Water utilities are one hell of a profitable business, with international corporations easily making a 20 to 30% profit margin, according to a 2007 report by Food and Water Watch. In the US, federal regulations limit profits to 10%, a pesky rule that companies easily subvert by shuffling their income around and “investing” it in side businesses. These kinds of returns would be the envy of the pharmaceutical and oil industries. How do water companies do it? According to Food and Water Watch, they charge 50% more for services than public utilities and pocket the difference, thereby unleashing the potential of the free market.What are we getting in return for the bailout? So far, predatory credit card rates,... more
Ever got tired of searching for the best freeware registry cleaner but coming up with software that you have to pay for to use indefinitely? Here's the answer! Article reviews Glary Utilities, a freeware registry cleaner that has become one of the prominent Windows registry cleaners out there with its robust suite of powerful indispensable modules. Contains screenshots. See the review here: http://imbacore.blogspot.com/2009/11/glary-utilities-best-freeware-registry.htmlEver got tired of searching for the best freeware registry cleaner but coming up with... more
The number of smart electricity meters with two-way communications is poised to mushroom in the next two years, according to a study. Research company Park Associates this week released figures for smart-meter installations in the U.S., saying that there are 8 million units installed, or about 6 percent of all meters.
As utilities upgrade equipment as part of smart-grid trials, the number of smart meters is forecast to grow to 13.6 million installed next year and to over 33 million in 2011.
Having a method to broker regular communications between a utility and a customer will set the foundation for a widening array of home-energy management tools, said Bill Ablondi, Park Associates' director of home systems.
Home energy management systems can be relatively simple displays or Web-based programs that show how much electricity a home is using. More high-end systems can be built around home-area networks where consumers can program smart appliances and lighting to cut power consumption.
The enabling technology for the more sophisticated home-energy management systems includes various wireless communications options for within the home and for smart meters. But even though many of the technology components are now available, there are a number of barriers to widespread adoption of the smart grid, even with billions of stimulus dollars targeted for smart-grid programs.
Upgrading the electricity distribution system is expensive and variable pricing structures that reflect the cost of peak-time electricity could take a long time to be implemented, Ablondi said in a recent presentation. Also, consumer interest in managing energy, which is high right now, could wane, he added.The number of smart electricity meters with two-way communications is poised to... more
It is not very often the words ‘Google’ and ‘energy-saving’ appear in the same sentence. However, in Portugal last week at the industry-leading Next Generation Utilities Summit, over 50 European Utility leaders were presented with the company’s new venture; Google’s ‘PowerMeter’.
Utilities, Power, and Energy have the potential to change the way the world operates in today’s environment. Saving money and reducing global energy usage is a familiar occurrence in the media, but there is not enough accessible information for the consumer on where to start. Posted paper bills are made up of complicated figures which give little information on energy consumption and how to save power. Google’s Jens Redmer, Director of Business Development for Europe discussed at the summit of a way to help the consumer in making the right decisions on their energy usage.
Google’s ‘PowerMeter’ provides customers with data on their personal electricity usage right on their own iGoogle homepage. It does this by receiving information from smart meters and energy management devices, calculating a customer’s energy consumption, and allowing each individual the ability to see what, in their homes, wastes the most energy.
Currently Google are testing the tool in the US, India & Canada, with the hopes of expanding later in the year. Not surprisingly, the NGU summit was the perfect place to introduce it to the European market. Redmer’s presentation sparked the interest of utility heads including João Torres, President of EDP Distribuição, Frank Borchardt, Head of Smart Metering at E.ON, Corne Meeuwis, CEO of CASC-CWE, Odd Håkon Holsæter, Chairmanof Nordpool and CEO of Statnett Norway, and Inge Pierre, Head of European Affairs at Svenskenergi. The innovative product was a mere catalyst for this esteemed group to discuss new ways to develop global energy supply with technology leaders from Siemens, Oracle, Alcatel – Lucent, SAP and Navita.
Many different companies will need to work together in order create a “path to smarter power”. Platforms like the NGU Summit need to become available to the industry’s figureheads for discussions and collaborations to occur more frequently. Already, Utility heads are booking their travel arrangements for the next NGU Summit in Europe, which is due to occur next February.
It is not very often that influential companies like Google take the time to develop innovative tools with the ability to aid in the reduction of energy waste. Having said this, it is clear technological applications like ‘PowerMeter’ are just the beginning and alone will not solve the energy saving issues that surround us.
But can Google’s’ initial contribution be the first step needed to move forward, before it’s too late?It is not very often the words ‘Google’ and ‘energy-saving’... more
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Less than half of utility executives support the Obama Administration's plan to make the United States a leader on climate change and are concerned about the impact related policies will have on industry profits, according to a survey released on Monday.
The study, conducted by consulting firm Capgemini and energy information service Platts, surveyed more than 100 executives in the U.S. and Canadian electric and natural gas industries.
More than half of the respondents, about 54 percent, said they expect the Obama administration's energy policies to have a significant impact on the industry's profitability.
Utility executives were most supportive of the administration's efforts to promote safe and secure nuclear energy (88 percent) set national building efficiency standards (79 percent), promote domestic production of natural gas (77 percent), invest in smart grid technology (74 percent), reduce federal energy consumption (69 percent) and develop so-called clean coal technology (70 percent).
Administration policies executives were least supportive of include a plan that would require 10 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2012 (39 percent), a cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gases (43 percent), constructing the Alaska natural gas pipeline (45 percent), investing in a clean energy economy to create green jobs (48 percent), and making the U.S. a leader on climate change (46 percent).
John Christens, vice president of Capgemini's energy and utilities practice, said executives' concerns haven't changed dramatically in recent years. Rather, the new administration has pushed many potential new energy and environment regulations to the forefront.LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Less than half of utility executives support the Obama... more