Blockchain and EnergyTechnology to enable small-scalerenewable power production

| May 31, 2019

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The energy industry today is adapting to a changing landscape. It must manage more renewable generation resources than ever before—and accommodate a growing amount of small wind and solar generation being installed in homes and businesses. It must keep up with changing consumer expectations for flexibility and control in their use of electricity. And it must continue to find ways to decarbonize the production and delivery of electric power. A vital key to meeting those challenges is information, which can enable energy companies to understand, manage, and shift operations more effectively. But traditional information technologies do not always provide the capabilities needed to leverage large amounts of grid data effectively.

Spotlight

EREC - EUROPEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL

Created on 13 April 2000, EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, is the umbrella organisation of the major European renewable energy industry, trade and research associations active in the field of photovoltaics, small hydropower, solar thermal, bioenergy, geothermal, solar thermal electricity and ocean energy. It represents an industry with an annual economic activity of more than €130 billion and more than 1 million employees.

OTHER ARTICLES

The Digital Transformation of Wind Energy

Article | March 16, 2020

Transformation and how it is changing the world around us at an accelerated pace. We started the conversation with highlights on The Digital Transformation of Smart Facilities and The Digital Transformation of Smart Process Industries and examined the impact of digital transformation being seen in both the Foodservice and Process Industries. In the final installment our new video series, which features the Presidents of each mCloud line of business, we chat with Dave Weinerth (President, Smart Energy) on how digital transformation is impacting the wind industry. The wind industry, in regards to how they see digital transformation is really interesting. Wind turbines are in hard environments, they’re complex machines that spin-off a lot of data into hundreds of different channels and operators are just now getting a chance to delve into what can be done with that data with some of the tools that are available in the cloud, through artificial intelligence and additional sensors that they may want to put onto their machines to assess different aspects of performance.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY: IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON PROJECT SPECIFIC INSURANCE

Article | March 16, 2020

We are certain that everyone involved in renewable energy projects are thinking about the impact Covid-19 will have on your projects being planned, built or operated. The following blog is not to be used as a full guideline, but rather an overview of our perspective on the situation. With the global Covid-19 escalation, it is likely that both the developers and the OEM’s are thinking “what impact will Covid-19 have on the completion of my project” and “can I still meet my PPA deadline?’ The first question to consider is whether a delay caused by a Force Majeure event insurable? The short answer is that no, a delay in this scenario would not be covered. Insurance is about Physical Damage to the subject matter insured, which is the Works. An outbreak of Covid-19 is not a Physical Damage event.

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Outdated perceptions: how energy attitudes are damaging customer wallets

Article | March 22, 2021

Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity. Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances… I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies. As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion. Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception. We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that. Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers. For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them. On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies. Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’. It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide. What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April. I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research. Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes. So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy. I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle. According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years. I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from? Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’ But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions. I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs. If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider. Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal. Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects. Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers. It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.

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Leading the Way Forward for DER Grid Management

Article | April 5, 2020

Distributed energy resources (DERs) are changing the landscape for electric utilities. As adoption goes mainstream, utilities are shifting operating strategies and business models to accommodate DERs such as wind/solar generation, electric vehicles, battery storage, heat pumps and any controllable loads. Developed to provide a wide range of transportation and residential services as well as and energy efficiency, the volume of these devices continues to grow at a pace completely out of the control of electric utilities.

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Spotlight

EREC - EUROPEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL

Created on 13 April 2000, EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, is the umbrella organisation of the major European renewable energy industry, trade and research associations active in the field of photovoltaics, small hydropower, solar thermal, bioenergy, geothermal, solar thermal electricity and ocean energy. It represents an industry with an annual economic activity of more than €130 billion and more than 1 million employees.

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