Engerati’s Week in Smart Energy – Storage needs subsidies

Published: Mon 30 May 2016
A blog entry by Jonathan Spencer Jones

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Jonathan Spencer Jones
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While the costs of energy storage are dropping fast, in the majority of Europe’s markets arbitrage isn’t able to support the investment and therefore subsides are required if renewable energy is to be fully integrated into the sector, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia. [Storage needs subsidies in Europe] The finding emerged from a study of the arbitrage potential of pumped hydro and compressed air storage – the two most mature storage technologies for energy management – in five representative European markets. The results demonstrate that while arbitrage opportunities exist in less integrated markets, they diminish as markets integrate and become more efficient. And the source of the subsidies – how about those that are being removed from renewables?

South Africa’s smart energy plans have become hampered by a gamut of factors from lack of motivation to lack of expertise. But this is expected to change with new partnerships such as that between EON Consulting in South Africa, Iberdrola and advisers Analysys Mason. Bringing together global expertise and best practice with local knowledge and understanding, the aim is to advance the development and implementation of smart energy technologies and services in South Africa. [Fast tracking South Africa’s smart energy plans]

Realization of the importance of analytics to extract value from the growing volumes of data is growing. But the delivery of substantial business and customer outcomes will depend on how the analytics is embedded into the company’s daily operations, according to Naveen Maheshwary, AVP - Capability Development and Embedded Analytics, EXL, in an interview with Engerati. [Bridging the gap between analytics and business needs] “Once you leverage analytics to deliver day-to-day insights into what, why, how, and when of business delivery, you can support decision making, make operations more predictable and ascertain future impact,” he says.

Energy branding is becoming increasingly important to differentiate companies and countries. While most brands we know today used to be mere commodities sold by the pound over the counter by the merchant, electricity is still mostly sold by the kilowatthour by the utility. Though the basics of branding are the same for electricity and bananas, there are key differences needed to approach the consumer, and these are under investigation in the ‘Brand power and energy’ In Focus programme which is currently under way. [Brand power and energy] In the first two parts of the programme the focus has been on branding electricity versus consumer goods and branding of intangible commodities such as big energy. In the next two parts the focus is on defining the next generation brand and what’s hot in branding from a US perspective.

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