Resurrection of residential energy storage

Ali Nourai

The desire to have residential energy storage is not new and some products have been available in the past. In the US, barely any of the companies offering residential storage products before 2010—mostly lead acid batteries—survived the harsh market realities beyond selling a limited number of prototypes and demonstration units. Behind-the-meter storage at the commercial level has been a little more successful in the market. This success is going to be shared by the smaller residential units now. I believe we will witness a turnaround in the residential and small commercial storage market now for many reasons and factors that I will explain in this article. As shown in Figure 1—besides the fact that battery cost has come down over the last decade and will continue to do so—there are factors and drivers that are making residential and behind-the-meter storage options economically viable today. Continue reading

Utility Death Spiral; Really?

Alicia Abrams

Distributed Energy Resources are for real this time and other challenges/opportunities utilities should pay attention to are available in the NYISO report.

The hottest topic in the energy business right now is Distributed Energy Resources, or DER.  Some might say Carbon is the big headline, but DER is clearly the next gen technology and the trend to watch as we transition away from carbon intensive energy supplies. Continue reading

UK’s RIIO and playing by the rules

What does the stock market think of UK electricity utilities—and specifically Distribution Network Operators (DNOs)—right now?

You could do worse than asking Neil Woodford, who is arguably Britain’s best-known investment fund manager, lauded for making fortunes for his investors.

Over 15 years, for example, his Invesco Perpetual High Income fund gained 347%—well up on the FTSE All-Share’s far more modest 42% gain. And this, moreover, from an income fund, rather than a fund seeking capital gains. Continue reading

Predicted vs. Actual: Unknown factors skewing energy model results

Celia King-Scott

Predictive energy modeling is the most common type of modeling in the building industry. But, how well do these energy models anticipate a building’s actual energy consumption?

Given accurate inputs, models can forecast a building’s energy use, but they cannot accurately predict how a building performs once constructed. The actual operating conditions will always differ from the conditions used in the energy model.

This is where the importance of the measurement and verification process comes into play. Collecting data on the building systems, post occupancy, will always be a better assessment on building energy than any predictive energy model results. Continue reading

DNV GL’s next generation Bladed software aims to advance wind turbine technology

Matt Corrall

The wind turbine industry is a constantly evolving beast. Those of us involved in the design of turbines are continually striving not only for greater energy efficiency and reduced cost and risk, but also experimenting with new tools and technologies, meaning turbines today are a lightyears ahead of those from those from a decade or two ago.

At the heart of most new turbine designs lies Bladed, DNV GL’s industry standard turbine simulation software. Whether working on blade design, offshore jackets, or control software for new environments, engineers all over the world rely on Bladed’s loads simulations to help them assess new developments and push the boundaries of turbine technology. Continue reading

Facing the unknown: The risks to Norway’s distribution network operators (DNOs)

The structure of the highly diverse Norwegian electricity distribution sector has been under intense scrutiny in recent years. Between large regional companies, and a vast number of smaller utilities, there are today 148 companies engaged in electricity distribution. Few of these are dedicated to distribution, with many also active in other utility sectors like engineering, energy retail, generation, district heating, and internet.

To make the situation even more complicated, the Norwegian power system itself is also divided across three different voltage levelsthe transmission, regional, and distribution grids—and distribution network operators (DNOs) are able to own assets on several grids a the same time. Continue reading

التكلفة الحقيقة لاعتماد نظام الطاقة الشمسية وذلك هو وجهة نظر الشرق الأوسط

Mohammed Atif

View this blog post in English.

في مقال نشر مؤخرا في مجلة يوتليتز ميدل إيست، كتب زيادة الشيحة الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة الكهرباء السعودية (SEC): “الطاقة الشمسية في الوقت الراهن مكلفة للغاية لتحل محل الطرق التقليدية لتوليد الطاقة”. هذا وقد صرح في ختام المقال: “إنتاج الطاقة الكهربائية بالوقود يكلف  سبعة حلالة لكل ميغاواط، مقارنة بـ 50 حلالة عند استخدام الطاقة الشمسية.”

في حين أن شركة “DNV GL” لم تقم بمحاولة التحقق على نحو مستقل من الحساب الدقيق لهذه المزاعم، من الضروري أن نفهم التكلفة الحقيقية لاعتماد نظام الطاقة الشمسية.

يقيّم خبراء الاقتصاد رأس المال وقرارات ميزانية التشغيل على أساس الأسعار الحقيقة، ويشيرون إليها على أنها تكلفة اقتصادية.  علاوة على ذلك، في العديد من الأسواق تم إجراء الحسابات المالية باستخدام الأسعار الفعلية والتي يحتمل أن تكون مشوهة. تنبع غالبية أوجه التشوه  في أسعار السوق على نحو ملحوظ من الإعانات المالية الحكومية المباشرة الهادفة إلى تخفيض سعر السوق للسلع المقدمة إلى المستخدم النهائي.

Continue reading

The real cost of solar energy adoption: A perspective for the Middle East

Mohammed Atif

View this blog post in Arabic.

In a recent Utilities Middle East article, Zeyad Al-Shiha, Chief Executive Officer of The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), commented that “solar energy is currently too costly to replace traditional methods of energy production.” Later in the article, he also states that “producing electricity with fuel costs seven halala per megawatt, compared to 50 halala when using solar energy.”

While DNV GL has not attempted to independently verify the precise calculation behind this claim, it is important to understand the real cost of solar energy adoption.

Continue reading

Utilities selling?! Energy efficiency requires a strategic sales model

Bianca Mokhatas

When it comes to gas and electric distribution, utility companies know how to run their businesses. But as legislation has brought energy efficiency programs into their realm, these seasoned businesses have been thrown into a world they have never had to think about before—sales.

For energy efficiency programs, utilities have to interact with customers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors and other service representatives. Until these programs were initiated, most utilities were not marketing or selling their core electric service or related products. They just didn’t need to. Continue reading

How will the benefits of energy efficiency impact the industrial sector?

Anke Brems

To date, energy efficiency has been systematically measured by reductions in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. But according to the 2014 International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “Capturing the multiple benefits of energy efficiency,” a multiple-benefits approach to energy efficiency—focusing on macro-economic development, public budgets, health and well-being, industrial productivity, and energy delivery—reveals a broader range of potential positive impacts. Continue reading