Week in smart energy – Alliander demonstrates small is big

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2016
A blog entry by Jonathan Spencer Jones

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Jonathan Spencer Jones

Jonathan Spencer Jones's Blog

The complexities facing the 21st century utility are demanding reorganization of the workforce and the introduction of new skillsets. But as Alliander has demonstrated with its smart meter maintenance team, any individual team doesn’t necessarily have to be large in order to carry out large tasks. More important is to put into place the right processes and to deploy quality technologies. [Alliander Proves That Dynamite Comes in Small Packages] “While we draw advice from other companies and their experiences, we apply it to Alliander’s needs, as well as our customers,” Jeroen te Winkel, Manager of Liander’s Infostroom maintenance department, told Engerati in an exclusive interview.

Despite market forces and a seemingly endless stream of media regarding “death spirals”, utility business models and customer disintermediation, utilities should be optimistic about their future, writes Matthew Futch, Senior Advisor at US Grid Company. In particular, integrated, intelligent microgrids offer a long term path to deliver clean energy for communities while maintaining reliability and the critical role of the utility. But the system cannot be put on “pause” while everyone collectively re-arranges the parts and there are some key developments which must move forward in an orchestrated, deliberate manner in order to “fix the plane while flying”. [Fixing the Plane in Midair: Three Keys to Energy Transformation]

Interest in the Tesla Model 3 has exceeded all expectations, from that of CEO of Elon Musk down. However, Tesla has some challenges to overcome in now delivering on these expectations, with some potential owners possibly facing a 3-4-year wait for their vehicle as other manufacturers come in with similarly priced vehicles with a similar range. There is no doubt the EV market is hotting up but the question  is when – and the industry is advised to keep a close watch on it. [Tesla Model 3 – The ‘Apple’ of EVs]

The Green Button has attracted a good deal of support as a standard for delivering electricity usage information to customers and third parties. Now the Orange Button is being launched by the US Department of Energy to replicate this success for solar data. Such data ranges from project origination and grid integration to system performance and electricity production. [Orange Button For Solar Data Standards] With access to high quality data affecting more than half the total price of a residential PV system, the goal is to increase solar market transparency and fair pricing.