20 November 2009

Gore re-invents internet? Progress with China? Several smart grid items, and other company, market and government information

Top Stories

Al Gore: Our next power grid will be like the Net.reliability high.
In a recent speech Al Gore "made comparisons to how the advent of the so-called smart grid will enable the kind of solutions and business innovation that the Internet brought during the 1990s. 'The analogy to the Internet is quite an exact one. Not completely exact, but it's very relevant for lots of reasons. We are moving inexorably toward a widely distributed energy generation and storage model. We are still locked into the old centralized energy generation model,' Gore said. 'The rapid development of new generations of new smart storage systems are going to make a tremendous difference in connection with the smart grids.' " From CNET News.

America, China and climate change.reliability high.
President Obama and Danish prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, have admitted the obvious--there is no chance of finalizing a new global climate treaty at the upcoming meetings in Copenhagen. Article discusses the reasons why, and covers recent Obama/Hu agreements. "they announced a raft of practical measures on energy—both its production and its use. Some were more aspirational than operational. But they may show the way forward, by focusing on concrete measures to be taken today rather than distant goals." Agreements include a "Sino-American clean-energy research centre and an electric-vehicles initiative. They also include a plan to increase energy efficiency, especially in buildings" and a "promise, to work together on 'cleaner coal' [and] to co-operate on extracting natural gas from shale." "The interplay between international negotiations and the Senate’s deliberations is delicate. Senators are unwilling to vote for caps in America without a commitment from China, China is unwilling to make one without an ambitious target for cuts from America, and the administration is unwilling to antagonise the Senate by seeming to cave in to foreign pressure. But there are ways round the impasse." From The Economist.

Green Buildings Do Double Duty: Reduce Energy Use, Lower Financial Risk.reliability high.
A KPMG "study finds that energy consumption in buildings can be cut by 30 to 50 percent and still produce a positive return on investments. Plus, real estate groups can get a business boost from green buildings by attracting the best deals, strategic investors, and marquee anchor tenants, according to the report." "study cites several benefits to a 'green' building. These include easier facility zoning and permitting, reduced tax burdens, and potentially lower insurance premiums." See Environmental Leader. KPMG press release here.

Study: Asia Surging in Clean-Tech Manufacturing.reliability medium.
"If the United States government does not invest more money in clean technology, it risks losing out to China, South Korea and Japan, according to a new study from two American policy institutes. Over the next five years, those three countries will together spend $509 billion in clean technology through 2013, compared with $172 billion by the United States" See New York Times Green Inc. blog. Access the report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

3 Next-Gen Applications for Smart Grid 2.0.reliability high.
"As Khosla Ventures partner Vinod Khosla put it today, he’s searching for the Twitters and Facebooks of the smart grid." "Here’s 3 companies that have developed next-gen smart grid services that were at the GreenBeat show:" Locust Storage, Building IQ, R2EV. See earth2tech.

Iranian Tanker Firm to Cut Fuel Use 28%.reliability high.
"National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) aims to cut energy use 28 percent, to be achieved by improvements in operational efficiency, fleet management, traffic control, cargo handling and energy efficiency, reports Maritime Global Net." See Environmental Leader.

Utilities eye their own 'iTunes App Stores' for Smart Grid apps.reliability medium.
"essentially, every major utility, in order to be at the cutting edge of the Smart Grid, will need to have a full portfolio of applications that can help their customers trim their energy use and their monthly bills. This has become vitally important, especially for utilities operating in deregulated markets, like Texas, where customers can decide which energy vendor to use based on the breadth of services they provide." From GreenBeat.

Ecobee iPhone App is live.reliability medium.
"I just got word that the Ecobee iPhone app has been released and downloaded it today.  If you have an Ecobee and an iPhone, just go to the app store and search for 'Ecobee'.  If you don’t know what an Ecobee is, then you should read my post, 'Ecobee Programmable Smart Thermostat: I love adjusting my thermostat over the internet.'" See MapAWatt blog.

Cisco Plans to Introduce Smart Grid Products Early Next Year.reliability high.
Laura Ipsen, Senior Vice President of the Smart Grid for Cisco says "Cisco plans to launch some products directly in the smart grid market. Ipsen was entirely vague on specifics, but said Cisco sees itself playing at all critical points of the network of the power grid in the areas of 'enhancing operations, manageability, and scalability.' You’ll see products from Cisco in those areas early next year, said Ipsen. While Cisco engineers are hard at work on smart grid products, Cisco could also 'acquire,' 'partner,' with or 'invest' in companies developing new tools, she said." From earth2tech.

Government and Regulation

EPA strengthens SO2 standard.reliability high.
"For the first time in nearly 40 years, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to strengthen the US sulphur-dioxide (SO2) air-quality standard to protect public health. . . . The EPA is taking comment on a proposal to establish a national one-hour SO2 standard between 50 and 100 parts per billion (ppb). This standard is designed to protect against short-term exposures ranging from five minutes to 24 hours. Because the revised standards would be more protective, the EPA is proposing to revoke the current 24-hour and annual SO2 health standards. . . . The public comment period will be open for 60 days after the proposal is published in the US Federal Register. The agency will hold a public hearing on 5 January 2010, in Atlanta. The EPA must issue final standards by June 2, 2010." From The Engineer. [If you burn fossil fuels, or if you transport your raw materials or products by burning fossil fuels, this could be important to you.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]