Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Smart Grid: Report points to a big to-do list: 124 countries need a new energy architecture

Report points to a big to-do list: 124 countries need a new energy architecture

Apr 24, 2012

http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Business_Global/Report-points-to-a-big-to-do-list-124-countries-need-a-new-energy-architecture-4725-page2.html

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

India’s Solar Investments Explode!


Clean energy investments in India grew faster in 2011 than in any other major economy, a whopping 52% over 2010.
13 Feb 2012
India
In 2011, India’s clean energy investments exceeded any other country, with most of it going to solar energy. The country’s National Solar Mission aims to achieve grid parity for solar by 2022.

What happened

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), clean energy investments in India grew faster in 2011 than in any other major economy, a whopping 52% over 2010. Most of the money piled into solar investments. Grid-connected solar project boosted overall solar capacity from 18MW to 277MW.

Background

Of the US$10.3bn invested in clean energy projects, nearly half went to grid connected solar plants, a US$4.2bn solar tab that was a 7-fold increase on 2010.
The country’s solar capacity jumped to 277MW in 2011, and BNEF expects that figure to top 1,000MW in 2012. 40% of rural Indian households lack electricity and 30 million agricultural water pumps run on subsidized diesel.
India’s Center for Wind Energy Technology announced plans to create the country’s own solar atlas. This will simplify identification of solar hotspots for developers. This solar atlas should further motivate the solar market.
India’s government structured policy and regulatory plans to encourage investments in harnessing the rich potential for solar energy. These efforts have been so successful that India’s rural poor have given up the grid in favor of solar energy. Especially since the price of solar electricity has dropped below that of diesel.

What the general media said

At The Economic Times, Sanjay Vijayakumar explained that at present India’s solar power developers use NASA’s satellite images to identify solar sites that may become viable. He said CEO of Mahindra Solar, Vish Palekar, looked forward to not having to use NASA’s old images. Palekar felt that mapping of the India’s solar capacity will make it easier in the future for solar companies to further develop India’s solar generation.
USAToday.com says solar power is making tangible difference to people’s lives. Near Nada, some schools send students home with solar-charged flashlights to study at night, and the temple town of Dharmasthala, visited by 10,000 pilgrims a day, offers free water purified through solar filtration.

What the trade media said

RenewableEnergyWorld.com said “in clean energy circles, 2011 will be remembered as the moment when India became a major player across several industries.”
The article describes India as ripe for exponential renewable growth, adding that it has laid the type of foundation for solar growth that could make it a market leader in years to come.

Engerati-The Last Word

The growth of solar generation in India will have tremendous implications for the electrification of India, which could be completed without having to build expensive transmission. While everyone touts the cleanliness of solar and other renewables, one of the true benefits of solar is that it is ‘local’ power that does not rely upon far away governments and utilities for the delivery of electricity and can be in the long-run less expensive to deploy and maintain. Philip Bane, Managing Editor.

Sources: 

Asian Development Bank: Asia Solar Energy Initiative: A Primer [PDF]
Bloomberg: India clean energy investments reach $10.3 billion in 2011: BNEF
NewScientist.com: India’s panel price crash could spark solar revolution
RenewableEnergyWorld.com: Asia Report: India sees 52% increase in investments
The Economic Times: Government agency to develop solar atlas of India
USAToday.com: India’s rural poor give on power grid, goes solar
This article was written by: Leslie Pietersen  and edited by: Jenni McCann

Monday, April 16, 2012

100 million smart meters globally and counting | Smart Grid Opinions

100 million smart meters globally and counting

The number of smart meters installed worldwide has more than doubled in the past year, driven largely by policy and regulation, and will reach over 100 million by the end of 2011. North America and Europe have led the way with smart metering so far, but over the next few years the emphasis will start to shift towards other parts of the world, particularly the Asia-Pacific region. By 2015, we expect there to be over 370 million smart meters in operation globally.
 In the USA, aided by federal stimulus grants, smart meter penetration will reach over 25% by the end of 2011. Multi-million smart meter deployments are increasing in number, with some of the largest including PG&E (9 million meters by 2011), Centerpoint (1.7 million meters installed), Southern California Edison (5 million by 2012), and Oncor (over 1 million installed and 3 million in total projected by 2012). By 2015, we expect the penetration of smart meters in the USA to top 70%.
In Canada, too, smart metering programmes are underway in all the largest Canadian provinces, driven mainly by provincial mandates. While Ontario has been at the forefront of these developments, having set a mandate of equipping homes and businesses with smart meters by 2011, smart meter installation is now gaining pace in Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec. BC Hydro, for example, plans to install 1.8 million meters by the end of 2012.
The European Union (EU) nations are being spurred by Third Energy Directive, which calls for an 80% penetration of smart meters by 2020. Early adopters such as Italy and Sweden have already completed large-scale deployments, and countries such as Denmark are following suit.
2011 has seen Spain become the fastest developing smart metering market in Europe. After some initial delays, the country’s distribution system operators (DSOs) are now set to complete their meter replacements by the 2018 regulatory deadline, or in some cases three to four years in advance. Endesa, which is the leading DSO with over 40% market share, is on track to complete installing its smart meters by 2015, three years ahead of the regulatory schedule, while all E.ON’s customers will have smart meters by 2014. Iberdrola plans to accelerate roll-out from 2012, and to replace 10.6 million meters by 2018.
During 2012, expect to see smart meter deployment hot up in France as ERDF moves beyond pilots and prepares for mass installation. Seven million ‘Linky’ smart meters are due to be installed by 2014, with a further 28 million by 2018. The project is expected to cost up to EUR6.4 billion, including equipment and installation costs.
Over the next five years, the Asia−Pacific region will become a major contributor to global smart meter growth. Driven by state policy, by 2015 China will roll out smart meters throughout the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector as well as in over 50 million homes and small businesses.
Elsewhere, Brazil is leading the way in Latin America, with plans to replace 63 million meters by 2021.
Over the coming years, global annual capital expenditure (capex) by utilities on smart meters and installation will continue to rise, reaching USD8.3 billion in 2015. After 2015, global annual capex on smart meters will decline, reflecting both the increasing installed base of smart meters worldwide and declining unit costs. We expect the average cost per smart meter to start to fall as low-cost meter vendors from China, India and Brazil start to have an impact, in their home markets and beyond.