The big story this week has to be the Quadrennial Energy Review, commissioned by the US Obama Administration. The document is significant for several reasons, not least because it is the first nationwide policy report in nearly 14 years. The White House confirmed that the review will provide "unbiased data and analysis on energy challenges, needs, requirements, and barriers that will inform a range of policy options, including legislation”.
Grid modernization is highlighted as a 'need' with the Department of Energy requesting US$3.5 billion in the 2016 budget to invest into promoting grid modernization by investing in smart grid foundational technology, enhanced security capabilities, and for encouraging stakeholder support.
The US$3.5 billion for the promotional work will be for a period of ten years, by which time the US grid should, and needs to be, a quite different-looking network.
The question is will the money act as stimulus funding in the same way that the US$3.4 billion smart meters' pot was used? But the fact that grid modernization is in Federal sights is good news for the smart grid industry.
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In the US, utility regulators in California are inching closer to approving time-of-use tariffs (ToU) after a three-year review of rate reforms for the state’s largest utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison.
In the US, Chicago-based energy provider Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has selected Clevest Solutions’ mobile workforce management software to manage its four million smart meter deployment.
In South Africa, Bankymoon, a startup that produces digital payment solutions, has launched an application for meter top-up using the digital currency Bitcoin.
Michigan AMI rollout, Georgia’s prepay smart meters
In the US, the Norway City Council in Michigan state, is to install an automated metering system for city utilities provided by Sensus. Sensus was awarded the US$728,368 contract, succeeding against North Carolina-based Elster Metering for electric smart meters and Badger Meter for water smart meters.
In Latin America, Comisión Federal de Electricidad’s (CFE) in Mexico has selected Silver Spring Networks to deploy its IPv6 network and UtilityIQ software in a bid to provide connectivity solutions to cabinets in Mexico City’s Central District, which house a group of centralized meters.
In Canada, a subsidiary of BlackBerry has unveiled a new certificate service that will apply the same security level it offers on smartphones to other Internet of Things (IoT) devices including smart meters. Security technology company Certicom yesterday launched a new public key infrastructure certificate service for connected devices, which puts security certificates under Certicom’s management.