Top Smart Grid Solutions From Technology Companies

Here are three key software driven technology majors who are outsiders in the utility industry but are still driving big innovations in the Smart Grid area

China to cut on-grid tariffs for solar, wind power: State planning commission

Reuters - China will cut payments to wind and solar electricity generators for contributing power to the grid, the country's state planning commission said over the weekend, reflecting recent declines in operating costs. Starting in 2016, on-grid tariffs for solar producers will be 0.02 to 0.10 yuan lower per kilowatt-hour — with the higher cuts applying in the country's less populated, arid western region — while tariffs for wind power generators will fall 0.02 to 0.03 yuan, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement. The cuts, which were expected, are in line with a 0.03 yuan cut on Wednesday to on-grid tariffs for thermal power. Coal still fires more than 70% of China's power generation.   Cont'd...

CES 2016 - Autonomous Cars Set To Dominate

BY¬ DAVID GILBERT¬ For International Business Times: ¬ ¬ As cars become less about horsepower and torque and more about the technology inside, CES has become one of the most important showcases of the year for auto manufacturers. It's a sea¬ change in how cars are built and marketed,¬ with technology now the core, rather than an added feature. Connected, autonomous and electric vehicles will all be on display at CES 2016, with some of the world's most talk-about companies in the field looking to make a major impact. First up will be Faraday Future, the secretive startup based in Los Angeles and backed by a Chinese billionaire. It¬ is¬ set to unveil its first ever concept design on Jan.¬ 4, and while all the company has said so far is that it will be an electric vehicle, it is widely believed to feature autonomous capabilities. While Faraday Future¬ is a relative unknown, one of the world's biggest automotive companies, Ford, will also be at CES announcing news about the autonomous car it has been testing internally for several years. Among the announcements expected is apartnership with Google¬ to build some of Google's fleet of self-driving cars. ¬ Cont'd...

What makes the TDP Turnkey Tracker unique?

The big differentiator of TDP Turnkey Tracker is the fact that it's bundled with a complete services and support package.

Speeding Up the Hydrogen Highway

The Hydrogen Station Equipment Performance device, or HyStEP, could reduce the time to commission new stations from months to just one week.

Koch brothers defeat Harry Reid on solar power

By ESTHER WHIELDON for Politico:  Harry Reid’s home state dealt a lethal blow Tuesday to rooftop solar power — the latest skirmish of a nationwide green energy battle that has pitted the Senate Democratic leader against his favorite target, the Koch brothers. The move by Nevada’s utility regulator, which voted to slash the economic incentives for homeowners to install solar panels, was most immediately a showdown between billionaires Warren Buffett, owner of the state’s largest power company, and Elon Musk, whose SolarCity is the nation’s largest installer of panels that create electricity from the sun. But it also served as a proxy fight in a national struggle about states’ green energy programs, in which free-market groups backed by industrialists Charles and David Koch have fought to roll back incentives that they argue distort the marketplace and force some customers to subsidize other people’s power choices.   Cont'd...

The Cost of Renewable Energy

Support for new renewable energy resources will have the greatest impact on our energy by driving demand for improvements in alternative energy that will deliver health and environmental benefits, and will help change the way our electricity is produced.

Ultracapacitors on the Road

We'll soon start to see a hybrid energy-storage solution of batteries and ultracapacitors to address multiple applications simultaneously, like e-turbo, active suspension, regeneration, power steering, electric brake boosters and more.

Next Wave of "Things" to Come: Technological Breakthrough Proven in Fort Erie, Canada

BrainGrid's "Sentroller" is an advanced solar energy monitoring technology platform that delivers a reliable and fully featured means to connect and relay wireless data. So in essence anyone can easily to remotely monitor and manage systems and infield equipment previously deemed as "unmonitorable".

Japanese Towns Bank on Renewable Energy

By MAYUMI NEGISHI for the WallStreet Journal:  Japanese cities are entering the renewable-energy business, the latest phase in a shake-up of the nation’s power sector in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. So far, about 14 cities have formed companies to generate clean energy from local resources and sell it to area businesses and homes. With full deregulation of the nation’s electricity markets set to begin next year, the government aims to have 1,000 such city-operated companies up and running by 2021 in a direct challenge to regional power monopolies. The move is part of Japan’s strategy for creating energy self-sufficiency, while helping revitalize communities with infrastructure investment.   Cont'd...

Spending and Tax Deal Brings ITC and PTC Extensions

Sahir Surmeli for National Law Review:  Early Wednesday morning Congressional leaders reached agreement on a year-end spending and massive tax deal that would prevent a government shutdown and extend a series of tax breaks that benefit businesses and individuals. The agreement has major implications for the future of the energy industry and is being hailed by many as a dramatic victory for those in the renewable energy community.  The Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which was slated to drop to 10 percent from 30 percent for solar systems on commercial properties after 2016, would now remain at 30 percent for projects that start construction by December 31, 2019. Projects that start construction in 2020 would qualify for a 26 percent credit and that level would drop to 22 percent for facilities started in 2021. From 2022 on it would remain at 10 percent.   Cont'd...

Breakout Year for Energy Storage

Locational Capacity will be the dominant application in 2016. In other words, battery systems targeted at the grid's most congested load centers will be first and foremost used to provide four hours of peak shaving capability, and other grid balancing services when available.

Global Solar Industry Saved from 2017 Cliff-Edge as US Set to Extend Solar ITC

An extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) - the main driver of solar growth in the United States - was unexpectedly included in an omnibus spending bill agreed upon in Washington, D.C. late Tuesday night. It will be finalized and voted on later this week.

Could this be the future of biofuels?

Anmar Frangoul for CNBC:  A common sight in the British countryside, bracken -- a type of fern -- is now being hailed as the next big source of biofuel.  Based in the south west of England, Brackenburn produces "brackettes" – biomass pellets made from bracken that they shred and compress into briquettes which produce much more heat when burnt than oak. "In our estimation there's 2.5 million acres of bracken in the UK… it's a huge area," Barry Smith, Brackenburn's marketing and sales director, told CNBC in a phone interview. "Left unchecked, bracken encroaches by three percent a year… at the end of the day there's no use for it whatsoever," Smith added. "It's a nuisance and to call it a crop is kind of giving it a status it doesn't deserve."   Cont'd...

Kyocera Expands Number of Solar Recharging Stations in Japan as Electric Vehicle Use Grows

Solar-powered recharging stations also provide off-grid back-up power during emergencies.

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