Energy storage is arguably one of the most disruptive technologies currently, impacting on both how energy is generated and consumed. As such it affects both utilities and their customers. In a feature article, we review the status of storage and some recent developments and applications. The market is growing rapidly and over the past year, several record size projects have been announced. We also highlight the need for regulatory support providing recognition of value in the power system value chain and attractive purchase/lease options and incentives in order to support the development of the market both at the utility and the residential and business levels. [Energy Storage Innovations Boosting Renewables and Disrupting Markets]
While distributed generation is disrupting markets, this needn’t be negative, as US utilities Consolidated Edison and Georgia Power are demonstrating. By entering the rooftop solar market with third party ownership models, the companies are developing new business opportunities whilst contributing to state renewable portfolios. [Residential Solar Market-New Growth Opportunity for ConEdison and Georgia Power] But once again comes a reminder that utilities need to be on the ball with these activities, as SolarCity comes up with a new offer for the previously largely neglected small and medium-sized business market. [Solar Potential in Small Commercial Sector Finally Recognised]
Customer engagement is still a challenge for many energy companies as few consumers have enduring interest in their energy consumption. California company Enervee might have the answer in the form of an innovative web offering which provides consumers with energy consumption data and model comparisons in order to help them shop smarter when it comes to energy efficient appliances and devices. These utility marketplaces are now being rolled out by utilities in the US such as PG&E, and with an investment from E.ON, these will soon be introduced to the European market. [Appliance Energy Efficiency Platform To Boost Customer Engagement]
The Internet of Things is a hot topic as devices and people are becoming more digitally interconnected. A recent study from Cisco shows that over the next decade, the UK IoT market has a potential value of over £100 billion- with the energy sector in the top four. The study also predicts that by 2020, there will be around 50 billion devices connected worldwide. Putting its money where its mouth is, Cisco has committed over US$1 billion to the UK market, including smart city development, over the next 3 to 5 years. [Cisco Bets US$1bn on UK Internet of Things Market]
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