Getting to 100% Clean Energy—and the Grid Operators that Stand in the Way

If we are going to fulfill the growing commitments from states, cities, and corporations for clean energy, we are going to need explicit action in the right direction. The electricity industry mixes private and public interests, so a combination of public policies and markets has been the norm in utility regulation for the past 100 years. Now, this is an important place for the fight to reduce fossil fuel use and increase renewable energy.

Spotlight

SgurrEnergy

SgurrEnergy is a leading renewable energy consultancy, providing engineering and technical advisory services in onshore and offshore wind, solar, wave and tidal and hydro projects

OTHER ARTICLES
Sustainability

Working From Home? Solar Might Be Perfect for You

Article | July 7, 2023

The pandemic emptied out most of America’s offices as workers across the country set up home workstations. Although this looked to be a temporary situation for many, it has become clear that many workers are choosing to continue to work from home, and many businesses are embracing this concept as well. If you’re one of those individuals, you may want to consider adding solar to your home. A shift in power usage According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Americans spent $6 billion more on at-home power consumption from April to July 2020 than during normal times, nearly offsetting a decline in business and industrial demand.” The increase in residential consumption was fueled by increased home heating and cooling demands, workers participating in virtual meetings, running computers, printers, lamps, and other electronic devices all day long. This has resulted in a shift in energy costs from corporations to employees, with many workers seeing significant increases in their home utility bills. Capitalizing on higher demand to maximize your system size Solar can be a great way to offset the costs of your home's energy demands. Because your consumption is currently higher than it would be if you were working at your company's office, you have the ability to install a system that will more than cover your electricity needs if and when you do return to a corporate office setting. Although your increased usage means you'll need to add a more extensive solar photovoltaic system to your home to do this, it also provides you with an opportunity to maximize your system's size to meet your needs. Incentives and savings The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. However, that number falls to 22 percent in 2023 and goes away in 2024 for residential projects, while commercial projects are reduced to 10 percent ongoing. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems and there is no cap to the size of the system the ITC can be applied to. Making plans now to invest in a solar PV system for your home can be a great way to continue to reap the rewards of working from home without it having a significant negative impact on your monthly utility bill.

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Solar+Storage, Strategy and Best Practices

The Role of AI Technology in the Renewable Energy Sector

Article | September 17, 2022

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are two of the most commonly used commercial phrases these days. As a result, companies across sectors are searching for methods to include them in order to optimize and automate their key operations. The energy sector is no exception! Indeed, throughout the years, renewable energy industries (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear) have substantially gained from the potential of machine learning. They were able to reduce their expenses, make better projections, and raise the rate of return on their portfolio. And this tendency is just going to gain momentum. If your company is in the energy industry or utilizes a lot of power, machine learning and AI can help you improve your business performance. But how precisely? Let's get started. Ways in Which AI and Machine Learning are Changing Energy Sector There are a few methods that machine learning and AI can be applied to positively improve the energy industry. Here are a few popular applications currently under development. Predictive Maintenance AI helps match energy output with demand and ensure power grid stability and resilience.In 2003, a low-hanging high-voltage electricity line hit an overgrown tree in Ohio, causing a widespread blackout. There was no power system alarm and no sign of the incident. The electric company didn't notice until three additional power lines failed. This carelessness ultimately brought down the whole grid. The 50 million-person blackout lasted two days. Eleven individuals died, and $6 billion was lost. Predictive maintenance can be implemented using machine learning and IoT Sensors gather operational time series data from electricity lines, equipment, and stations (data accompanied by a timestamp). Machine learning algorithms can then forecast when a component will fail (or n-steps). It can also anticipate machinery's remaining usable life or future breakdown. These algorithms detect machine failure, eliminate blackouts or downtimes, improve maintenance procedures, and reduce maintenance expenses. Grid Management Grid management is a promising AI application in energy. Complex networks distribute electricity to users (also known as the power grid). Generation and demand must always match in the electrical system. Other issues, like blackouts and system breakdowns, can occur. Despite being ancient, pumped hydroelectric storage is the most common way to store energy. It operates by moving water upwards and letting it fall into turbines. Renewable energy makes predicting the grid's power generation challenging. After all, it is affected by a variety of things, like sunlight and wind. Demand Response Large demand shifts can be expensive for nations that depend on renewable energy. As nations migrate to green energy, it's harder to adapt to demand fluctuations. Germany plans to use 80% renewable energy by 2050. Countries such as Germany will encounter two major challenges Demand fluctuations: On some days or times of the year, power consumption soars (on Christmas, for example) Weather volatility: Without wind or clear skies, it might be hard to meet electrical demand. In both circumstances, more stations or fossil fuel-powered facilities must meet demand Solving demand response issues Many nations are partnering with businesses to examine weather forecasts, power demand, etc. Germany's EWeLiNE project forecasts wind and solar energy at a specific moment. This enables the government to use non-renewable energy to meet additional power demand. They utilize enormous historical data sets to train machine learning algorithms, as well as data from wind turbines or solar panels, to properly balance supply and demand. Closing Lines AI increases the potential of humans. Several renewable energy producers are investing in artificial intelligence to boost their businesses.There are numerous uses of artificial intelligence in renewable energy. The fundamental purpose of AI integrated systems is to reduce forecasting issues and incorporate renewable energy into the central energy grid as effectively as possible. AI can also assist renewable energy providers in developing successful plans and policies based on present energy consumption and demand.

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Energy

Technologies Shaping the Future of Renewable Energy

Article | July 15, 2022

Introduction Renewable energy has transformed our planet. It's raised awareness of global warming and climate change. Both governments and ordinary people are seeking to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy because of this awareness. Technology's involvement in this revolution cannot be understated. Thought a few years ago that solar energy would power average houses in small communities. Thanks to the widespread manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, EVs will be the next big thing. Major Renewable Energy Technologies Transforming the Future Power-to-X Despite the name, this is not a conspiracy theory about global dominance. Modern technology converts electricity into synthetic fuels, thermal energy, and hydrogen. This breakthrough technology can minimize fossil fuel dependence by focusing on synthetic ones. It can also help with efficient storage solutions. Green Appliances and Machines Leading household appliance makers are launching solar-powered appliances. This is a wonderful start toward minimizing family power expenses. Many households have begun to invest in gadgets such as solar air conditioners. Distributed Generation Systems Several locations are experimenting with distributed generation. This reduces dependence on a centralized grid and simplifies transmission and distribution. It also reduces grid dependability and failures. Electrification Most European nations are actively electrifying to cut carbon emissions. This is not the same as a power supply. Rather, it implies developing assets and infrastructure that can shift and aid in the adoption of electricity. Providing public EV charging stations is a step towards electrification. Closing Lines Prominent private companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have made significant commitments to renewable energy in recent years. While some governments are actively attempting to make the shift, others have yet to take environmental challenges such as global warming and climate change seriously. Technological breakthroughs are helping to make the transition to renewable energy greener, quicker, and more economical.

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What does Covid-19 mean for Renewable Energy?

Article | April 15, 2020

Covid-19. It’s everywhere, and it’s probably the reason that your food cupboards are unusually more stocked than usual, or the fact that you’re likely reading this blog from the confines of your own home, as opposed to at your office or during your daily commute. But, despite the impact to business, economies, daily life and public health, there’s one bittersweet development which we can all take away from the outbreak – and that’s the considerable reduction of global CO2 emissions, and a resurgence of hope that it is fully possible for us to slow the onset of climate change and preserve our planet for future generations.

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Spotlight

SgurrEnergy

SgurrEnergy is a leading renewable energy consultancy, providing engineering and technical advisory services in onshore and offshore wind, solar, wave and tidal and hydro projects

Related News

Solar+Storage

Bidgely and GridX Partner to Optimize Electricity Costs for a Clean Energy Future

businesswire | August 02, 2023

Bidgely, the leading provider of AI-powered energy intelligence solutions, and GridX, the leading enterprise rate platform provider to modern utilities, have announced a partnership to deliver enhanced energy cost accuracy and control for utilities and their customers. By combining behind-the-meter consumption insights with highly accurate cost insights, utilities can implement grid management initiatives, such as cost-based load shifting and time-varying rates, that keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers. "Motivating consumers to make smarter energy decisions is paramount to achieving utility decarbonization goals,” said Chris Black, CEO of GridX. “Through our partnership with Bidgely, we are further reducing the mystery of how a consumer's energy choices correspond to their energy bills or grid impact. This results in a win for everyone. Customers get lower bills, utilities get more life out of their existing infrastructure, and customers and utilities are in sync in achieving their decarbonization goals.” Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ Platform, which provides hour-by-hour energy insights into customers’ usage patterns at the appliance level, combined with GridX’s industry-leading rate engine enables utilities to execute demand-side management strategies critical for supporting decarbonization and electrification goals. This integration enables utilities to: Improve rate analytics for tailoring new and existing plans to customer needs and utility objectives. Give customers rate comparisons that project the detailed impact to their bill across different rate options. Personalize cost simulations that inform customers on how potential changes impact future bills, for example: EV purchases, HVAC upgrades, solar PV and Time-of-Use enrollment. Deliver accurate appliance-level cost breakdowns across the bill cycle and hourly levels. Unlocking behind-the-meter cost savings opportunities also bolsters satisfaction and trust among utility customers. Through highly precise bill projections, rate comparisons and energy efficiency recommendations, consumers can understand how their individual usage affects bill statements and better control their energy costs. “Restructuring rate plans for better load shifting has become an imperative utility initiative, especially as electric vehicles, appliance electrification and weather-related grid strains become more prolific. By partnering with GridX, we are teaching consumers that when they use energy is as important as how much energy is used, and we are giving every kilowatt-hour consumed a dollar value to help drive simple and actionable behavioral changes,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely. About Bidgely Bidgely is an AI-powered SaaS Company accelerating a clean energy future by enabling energy companies and consumers to make data-driven energy-related decisions. Powered by our unique patented technology, Bidgely's UtilityAI™ Platform transforms multiple dimensions of customer data - such as energy consumption, demographic, and interactions - into deeply accurate and actionable consumer energy insights. We leverage these insights to empower each customer with personalized recommendations, tailored to their individual personality and lifestyle, usage attributes, behavioral patterns, purchase propensity, and beyond. From a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Grid Edge perspective, Bidgely is advancing smart meter innovation with data-driven solutions for solar PVs, EV detection, EV behavioral load shifting and managed charging, energy theft, short-term load forecasting, grid analytics, and TOU rate designs. Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ energy analytics provides deep visibility into generation, consumption for better peak load shaping and grid planning, and delivers targeted recommendations for new value-added products and services. With roots in Silicon Valley, Bidgely has over 17 energy patents, $75M+ in funding, retains 30+ data scientists, and brings a passion for AI to utilities serving residential and commercial customers around the world. About GridX, Inc GridX partners with utilities and energy suppliers to transform their businesses and accelerate the clean energy transition. The company’s Enterprise Rate Platform helps these organizations to develop new products and business models to achieve their clean energy goals; quickly operationalize new offerings in their billing and settlement processes; and better engage with their customers for broader program adoption. GridX’s platform is used by leading utilities, retail energy suppliers and energy ecosystem OEMs to serve more than 25 million homes and businesses.

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Energy

Nexamp Named #1 Community Solar Company by Solar Power World Magazine

prnewswire | July 31, 2023

Nexamp, a leading clean energy solutions provider, has been awarded the prestigious title of "#1 Community Solar Company" by Solar Power World magazine. This recognition highlights Nexamp's foundational commitment to advancing renewable energy accessibility, environmental stewardship, and community empowerment. Since its inception, Nexamp has set out to transform the way individuals, businesses, and communities access and utilize solar energy. By developing innovative solar projects nationwide, the company has consistently broken barriers and created opportunities for a greener future. The company's extensive portfolio of community solar installations stands as a testament to its vision of a cleaner, more sustainable grid. The Solar Power World list is developed each year to honor the work of solar companies in the United States. Solar firms in the utility, community solar, and residential markets are ranked by the number of kilowatts they installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific services, markets, and states. "Earning the top spot on this list is an honor," said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, "and as always, it shows our commitment to our mission. With an industry-leading community solar program and our growing suite of decarbonization services, we are proud of the way we continue to revolutionize the grid by developing, building, owning, and operating the solar and storage solutions of tomorrow." 2023 so far has been one of the busiest in Nexamp's history, surpassing the company's previous single-year record for megawatts of new projects turned on in just the first two quarters. Since its founding in 2007, Nexamp has installed more than a gigawatt of solar capacity. "Renewable energy accounts for a quarter of U.S. electrical generation, now far exceeding electricity produced by burning coal," said Kelsey Misbrener, managing editor of Solar Power World. "Solar power is an important member of that renewable makeup, and companies on the Top Solar Contractors List are all contributing to our country's shift to cleaner electricity. We are honored to recognize them each year for their necessary work putting green kilowatts on roofs, over parking lots, in desert locations, and across water reservoirs. Every project is making a difference." The United States reported its strongest first-quarter ever in Q1 2023 for solar installed, and industry analysts expect the solar market to triple in size over the next five years. The industry will continue to lead the way in rebuilding our infrastructure to ensure a cleaner grid. AboutNexamp Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solutions for the deployment and operation of solar energy assets. Our comprehensive capabilities span the entire solar project lifecycle – from project development, design and construction, through financing, operations, and maintenance. Our integrated, best-in-class solutions make solar energy simple and profitable for our clients and partners and make an impact every day. With a rapidly expanding network of property owners, businesses, communities, and residents benefitting from our growing portfolio of solar assets across the US, Nexamp is laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more secure energy future.

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Solar+Storage

Silfab Solar Modules Secure Top Performance Ranking from RETC

businesswire | July 28, 2023

Silfab Solar, North America’s leading PV module manufacturer, has been recognized by the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) as a “high achiever” in module performance, the company announced today. The rating, given by an internationally recognized independent testing authority, continues Silfab’s year-over-year string of awards and rankings that place the company among the most trusted solar module manufacturer for residential and commercial applications. “Sustained power performance is the result of Silfab’s unwavering commitment to designing and manufacturing premium quality, North American-made solar products that remain a solid investment for long-term energy reliability,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab President and CEO. “The latest RETC report is a reflection of our more than 40 years of solar experience and our commitment to delivering the best performing products with leading-edge designs from our North American facilities.” RETC’s PV Module Index Report (PVMI) summarizes 12 months of testing that measures a variety of module performance indicators simulating environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and strong winds, that a module might experience in the real world. In addition to lab testing, Silfab’s products have decades of proven results “in the field” with its panels delivering consistent power outputs across North America. Customer demand for Silfab products remains strong and the company continues to strategically increase production capacity. About Silfab Solar Inc. Silfab Solaris the North American leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-efficiency, premium quality PV modules. Silfab leverages more than 40 years of solar experience and best-in-class technologies to produce the highest- rated solar modules from facilities in the state of Washington and Toronto, Canada. Each facility features multiple automated production lines, an ISO 9001:2015-accredited Quality Management System, and just-in-time manufacturing to deliver Buy American approved PV modules specifically designed for and dedicated to the North American market.

Read More

Solar+Storage

Bidgely and GridX Partner to Optimize Electricity Costs for a Clean Energy Future

businesswire | August 02, 2023

Bidgely, the leading provider of AI-powered energy intelligence solutions, and GridX, the leading enterprise rate platform provider to modern utilities, have announced a partnership to deliver enhanced energy cost accuracy and control for utilities and their customers. By combining behind-the-meter consumption insights with highly accurate cost insights, utilities can implement grid management initiatives, such as cost-based load shifting and time-varying rates, that keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers. "Motivating consumers to make smarter energy decisions is paramount to achieving utility decarbonization goals,” said Chris Black, CEO of GridX. “Through our partnership with Bidgely, we are further reducing the mystery of how a consumer's energy choices correspond to their energy bills or grid impact. This results in a win for everyone. Customers get lower bills, utilities get more life out of their existing infrastructure, and customers and utilities are in sync in achieving their decarbonization goals.” Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ Platform, which provides hour-by-hour energy insights into customers’ usage patterns at the appliance level, combined with GridX’s industry-leading rate engine enables utilities to execute demand-side management strategies critical for supporting decarbonization and electrification goals. This integration enables utilities to: Improve rate analytics for tailoring new and existing plans to customer needs and utility objectives. Give customers rate comparisons that project the detailed impact to their bill across different rate options. Personalize cost simulations that inform customers on how potential changes impact future bills, for example: EV purchases, HVAC upgrades, solar PV and Time-of-Use enrollment. Deliver accurate appliance-level cost breakdowns across the bill cycle and hourly levels. Unlocking behind-the-meter cost savings opportunities also bolsters satisfaction and trust among utility customers. Through highly precise bill projections, rate comparisons and energy efficiency recommendations, consumers can understand how their individual usage affects bill statements and better control their energy costs. “Restructuring rate plans for better load shifting has become an imperative utility initiative, especially as electric vehicles, appliance electrification and weather-related grid strains become more prolific. By partnering with GridX, we are teaching consumers that when they use energy is as important as how much energy is used, and we are giving every kilowatt-hour consumed a dollar value to help drive simple and actionable behavioral changes,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely. About Bidgely Bidgely is an AI-powered SaaS Company accelerating a clean energy future by enabling energy companies and consumers to make data-driven energy-related decisions. Powered by our unique patented technology, Bidgely's UtilityAI™ Platform transforms multiple dimensions of customer data - such as energy consumption, demographic, and interactions - into deeply accurate and actionable consumer energy insights. We leverage these insights to empower each customer with personalized recommendations, tailored to their individual personality and lifestyle, usage attributes, behavioral patterns, purchase propensity, and beyond. From a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Grid Edge perspective, Bidgely is advancing smart meter innovation with data-driven solutions for solar PVs, EV detection, EV behavioral load shifting and managed charging, energy theft, short-term load forecasting, grid analytics, and TOU rate designs. Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ energy analytics provides deep visibility into generation, consumption for better peak load shaping and grid planning, and delivers targeted recommendations for new value-added products and services. With roots in Silicon Valley, Bidgely has over 17 energy patents, $75M+ in funding, retains 30+ data scientists, and brings a passion for AI to utilities serving residential and commercial customers around the world. About GridX, Inc GridX partners with utilities and energy suppliers to transform their businesses and accelerate the clean energy transition. The company’s Enterprise Rate Platform helps these organizations to develop new products and business models to achieve their clean energy goals; quickly operationalize new offerings in their billing and settlement processes; and better engage with their customers for broader program adoption. GridX’s platform is used by leading utilities, retail energy suppliers and energy ecosystem OEMs to serve more than 25 million homes and businesses.

Read More

Energy

Nexamp Named #1 Community Solar Company by Solar Power World Magazine

prnewswire | July 31, 2023

Nexamp, a leading clean energy solutions provider, has been awarded the prestigious title of "#1 Community Solar Company" by Solar Power World magazine. This recognition highlights Nexamp's foundational commitment to advancing renewable energy accessibility, environmental stewardship, and community empowerment. Since its inception, Nexamp has set out to transform the way individuals, businesses, and communities access and utilize solar energy. By developing innovative solar projects nationwide, the company has consistently broken barriers and created opportunities for a greener future. The company's extensive portfolio of community solar installations stands as a testament to its vision of a cleaner, more sustainable grid. The Solar Power World list is developed each year to honor the work of solar companies in the United States. Solar firms in the utility, community solar, and residential markets are ranked by the number of kilowatts they installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific services, markets, and states. "Earning the top spot on this list is an honor," said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, "and as always, it shows our commitment to our mission. With an industry-leading community solar program and our growing suite of decarbonization services, we are proud of the way we continue to revolutionize the grid by developing, building, owning, and operating the solar and storage solutions of tomorrow." 2023 so far has been one of the busiest in Nexamp's history, surpassing the company's previous single-year record for megawatts of new projects turned on in just the first two quarters. Since its founding in 2007, Nexamp has installed more than a gigawatt of solar capacity. "Renewable energy accounts for a quarter of U.S. electrical generation, now far exceeding electricity produced by burning coal," said Kelsey Misbrener, managing editor of Solar Power World. "Solar power is an important member of that renewable makeup, and companies on the Top Solar Contractors List are all contributing to our country's shift to cleaner electricity. We are honored to recognize them each year for their necessary work putting green kilowatts on roofs, over parking lots, in desert locations, and across water reservoirs. Every project is making a difference." The United States reported its strongest first-quarter ever in Q1 2023 for solar installed, and industry analysts expect the solar market to triple in size over the next five years. The industry will continue to lead the way in rebuilding our infrastructure to ensure a cleaner grid. AboutNexamp Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solutions for the deployment and operation of solar energy assets. Our comprehensive capabilities span the entire solar project lifecycle – from project development, design and construction, through financing, operations, and maintenance. Our integrated, best-in-class solutions make solar energy simple and profitable for our clients and partners and make an impact every day. With a rapidly expanding network of property owners, businesses, communities, and residents benefitting from our growing portfolio of solar assets across the US, Nexamp is laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more secure energy future.

Read More

Solar+Storage

Silfab Solar Modules Secure Top Performance Ranking from RETC

businesswire | July 28, 2023

Silfab Solar, North America’s leading PV module manufacturer, has been recognized by the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) as a “high achiever” in module performance, the company announced today. The rating, given by an internationally recognized independent testing authority, continues Silfab’s year-over-year string of awards and rankings that place the company among the most trusted solar module manufacturer for residential and commercial applications. “Sustained power performance is the result of Silfab’s unwavering commitment to designing and manufacturing premium quality, North American-made solar products that remain a solid investment for long-term energy reliability,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab President and CEO. “The latest RETC report is a reflection of our more than 40 years of solar experience and our commitment to delivering the best performing products with leading-edge designs from our North American facilities.” RETC’s PV Module Index Report (PVMI) summarizes 12 months of testing that measures a variety of module performance indicators simulating environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and strong winds, that a module might experience in the real world. In addition to lab testing, Silfab’s products have decades of proven results “in the field” with its panels delivering consistent power outputs across North America. Customer demand for Silfab products remains strong and the company continues to strategically increase production capacity. About Silfab Solar Inc. Silfab Solaris the North American leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-efficiency, premium quality PV modules. Silfab leverages more than 40 years of solar experience and best-in-class technologies to produce the highest- rated solar modules from facilities in the state of Washington and Toronto, Canada. Each facility features multiple automated production lines, an ISO 9001:2015-accredited Quality Management System, and just-in-time manufacturing to deliver Buy American approved PV modules specifically designed for and dedicated to the North American market.

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