Microgrids Can Be A Complement To A Utility

December 19, 2013 12:16 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Utilities  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Microgrids are not new and can be a nice complement to utilities.  All too often, microgrids have been considered to be a threat to the utility world.  However, microgrds can save money for both customers and utilities.     Click HERE for more information.  

Advanced Power Components Acquisition: A Sign of Things to Come

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, UK based Advanced Power Components has announced the completion of the acquisition of 25% of Invisible Systems Limited (ISL).  ISL provides cloud-based, end-to-end monitoring and control solutions which are designed to increase the energy efficiency within the built environment using its own battery powered, wireless communications technology.  This provides a quick, simple, non-obtrusive energy monitoring and control capability that is coveted in the power sector.  The technology is proven to enable average savings of between 15-30%, with an ROI between 12-18 months. Mr. Mark Robinson, the chief executive officer of APC, said during the release: "ISL's wireless technology and innovative approach to product development have created a product portfolio which offers clear commercial advantages on which we have no doubt that [we] ... can capitalize on both in the UK and internationally." The advent of wireless technology in the power sector is exciting for market participants.  As energy efficiency continues to increase, and efficient installations are augmented by microgrids and wireless solutions, expect companies like ISL to be considered buys for larger energy players.  All of these moves point to the increasing need of organizations to understand their energy consumption and carbon footprint to attempt to stay ahead of ever restrictive government regulations. Click here to read the entire article.

Cedigaz: Global gas storage capacity to rise 48% by 2030

Cedigaz has reported that world wide gas storage is expected to increase from 377 billion cubic meters (bcm) at the beginning of 2013 to as much as 631 bcm by 2030.  New storage markets in Asia and the Middle East account for ~60% of this new capacity.  China is seen as a key driver of growth, as much of their storage infrastructure will need to be built from scratch. In more mature markets, such as the US and EU, growth in storage capacity will be limited. Instead the focus will be on new facilities that increase peak deliverability and back up renewable sources such as wind.  Both of these trends seem to favor cavern storage as opposed to man made.  At the beginning of 2013, there were 688 underground gas storage facilities in operation. More than two thirds of these are in North America: 414 in the US and 59 in Canada.  Europe boasts 144 storage locations (99 bcm) and 51 facilities (115.5 bcm) in the CIS. Asia has 18 sites (9.3 bcm), Argentina has one, and Iran has one. These figures are according to Cedigaz data.  Globally, there are 95 projects under construction for an additional 68 bcm of working capacity.  These will be completed by 2020-2025.  141 additional projects are identified at various stages of the planning process, with varying degrees of probability to complete construction. Click to read the full article here.

Kansas Is Top 10 In Wind

April 12, 2013 14:04 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewables  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The State of Kansas is one of the top ten states in the country for wind generation, with generating capacity of 2,713 MW according to the American WindEnergy Association.  Kansas is certainly open for business!    Click here for full article. 

BNSF Railway to Test Switch to Natural Gas

March 7, 2013 08:55 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The viability of CNG as a fuel for locomotives is yet another example of how the shale gas "BOOM" is changing the way we live.  As the article states, the conversion to CNG could be equivalent to the move from steam engines to diesel.  The need for CNG terminal stations and the supply infrastructure will also create opportunities for financing entities.    View WSJ Article Here.

New Financing Options for Renewable Energy?

January 31, 2013 11:15 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Financing, Renewables  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The discussion around allowing renewable energy resources, primarily solar and wind, to be held in Master Limited Partnerships or Real Estate Investment Trusts will certainly enhance the future economic viability of these resources. The question remains whether the current "tug-of-war" over taxes and spending in Washington, will allow for this change to occur. [More]

Battery Storage = A Game Changer

January 24, 2013 14:28 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
The ability to store power in off-peak or low consumption periods in an efficient and cost effective manner could change the electric generation landscape. Battery storage can address the variability of renewable generation and how to more efficiently use renewable resources. [More]

Minnesota Electric Coop Offers Members Solar Power

January 18, 2013 15:09 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
For $869, members of Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative can purchase a solar panel, and the output from a solar array, to be built near the electric cooperative’s headquarters. This is an innovative means for residential electric consumers to purchase solar power without the installation requirements of retro-fitting each individual home, not to mention the challenge of evaluating optimal sun exposure. The community solar concept removes the implementation questions surrounding how residential consumers can participate in renewable power projects. [More]

U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

January 3, 2013 14:16 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The good news for utilities is that consumers are plugging more things in. The bad news is energy efficiency and overall consumption patterns are driving electricity consumption down. The ability to deploy capital into regulated areas, specifically transmission assets is a bright spot for investor owned utilities. However, the impact on dividends has yet to be felt. [More]

Natural Gas Pumps Up Electricity Generation

September 18, 2012 11:29 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Consumers should celebrate the fact that natural gas is becoming the fuel of choice for many electric generators, as it’s a cleaner burning option and is currently a more economically attractive alternative to coal.  Considering electricity production has been the fastest growing segment for natural gas for the past decade, consumers should stop and savor this domestic resource, but also wonder about its long-term sustainability.  This is why we need a comprehensive energy policy that emphasizes using multiple fuel sources to keep up with electricity demand.   Read more in the Albuquerque Journal article here.  

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