Drawing Distinctions in the Huge Smart Energy Industry

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Smart Grid: 101

A closer look at smart grid's potential and obstacles.

One of the challenges of tracking the smart energy industry sector is that it is so broad that it is difficult to get a handle on, whether it is doing well or poorly. Indeed, there is no definitive answer to that question: One area can thrive and another can struggle.

News of the past few weeks is a good example of the confused and amorphous nature of this segment, which covers a huge swatch - in short, anything that uses the power grid.

On one hand, Google said it will terminate the PowerMeter Web energy management tool as of Sept. 16. GigaOM writer Katie Fehrenbacher said that her information was that it had only 11,000 users. The project was never designed as a revenue generator and, she tartly points out, "that turned out to be true." She adds:

Turns out it's difficult for a large Internet company to convince utilities to partner with it, and it's also hard to get consumers to care about energy consumption. At the same time, PowerMeter was closely tied to smart meter data when it was first launched, and smart meter installations were still in an early stage back in 2009 (and still are).

The fact that a company such as Google couldn't make the project work - and even in an atmosphere where revenue wasn't an issue - would seem to put a damper on the overall concept of marrying advanced IT, telecommunications and power distribution.


But it isn't so. For instance, Pike Research reported this week that the Asia-Pacific smart-grid market will reach $28.8 billion by 2017 and cumulative investment tops out at $171.3 billion. The annual investment this year is $11.9 billion. That type of investment belies any, though that segment is struggling.

Smaller signs abound as well. The city of Burlington, Vt. and Washington state have announced smart-grid-connected projects. Reuters reports that the federal government is pushing smart grid through, but the piece suggests that it is having difficulty finding private matches for the funding that it is offering.

It is possible to draw a line between the soon-to-conclude PowerMeter project - which is a consumer-level initiative - and the seemingly healthier utility-level initiatives. But, in the big picture, they all are in the same game. Each contributes its bit to the health of the overall sector. In any case, the public doesn't recognize any distinction.



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Jul 1, 2011 7:10 AM RobertWilliams RobertWilliams  says:

MISREPRESENTATIONS OF WIRELESS SMART METERS.

1. The utility information generated by Wireless smart meters is NOT real-time and it is NOT formatted for customer use so it does NOT assist customers to use less energy or lower their utility bills.  The information only assists the Utility Company to bill customers and shut off customer power remotely.

2. In countries where Wireless smart meters are being installed, energy use is NOT decreasing, customer UTILITY BILLS ARE INCREASING, there are problems with SECURITY, HACKING, ELECTRICAL FIRES & ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE.

3. The Utility companies are salivating over eliminating the jobs of the full-time-with-benefit meter reader employees and replacing them with phone operators in India and the Philippines who read scripts to customers over the phone for $4 per day with-NO-Benefits.  And the savings are NOT passed on to customers.

4. Wireless smart meters are NOT mandated by the US Federal Energy Program, as California's PG$E pretends.

5. Wireless smart meters transmit radiation 360 degrees approximately 23,000 times per day, every day, 24/7, NOT for only 45 seconds per day as Utility companies advertise.

6. Utility companies based their false claims of Wireless smart meter safety on the World Health Organization.  But now (May 31, 2011) the World Health Organization has linked Wireless smart meter non-ionizing radiation with Cancer.  So Utility companies are now ignoring the World Health Organization.

7. 42 Cities & Counties in California have taken positions AGAINST Wireless smart meters and 13 have passed Ordinances prohibiting Wireless meter installation.

ALSO: every appliance has or will have its own electronic signature, so yes, Wireless smart meters will give your exact activity information to the utility company and the government will have access to every move you make in your home.  Existing analog meters only provide total usage and therefore protect your privacy.

High-tech home robbers (and HIGH-TECH CHILD MOLESTERS) will also hack this information and know exactly our habits and when we are not home (and WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE HOME).

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Jul 1, 2011 7:11 AM RobertWilliams RobertWilliams  says: in response to RobertWilliams

SMART METERS LINKED TO CANCER.

Utilities and Health Departments based previous safety claims on World Health Organization (WHO).

But June 2011, WHO says Wireless Smart Meter radiation is linked to CANCER (possible human carcinogen-same as Lead, DDT, etc), and that means it also damages bodies & brains (including children's) in many ways, sooner than cancer.

1. WIRELESS SMART METERS-100 TIMES MORE RADIATION THAN CELL PHONES.

Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes).

http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/04/20/daniel-hirsch-on-ccsts-fuzzy-math/

2. WIRELESS SMART METERS-CANCER, NERVOUS SYSTEM DAMAGE, ADVERSE REPRODUCTION AFFECTS.

Video Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean of Public Health, (2 minutes).

http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=3946

3. THE KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE IN STOCKHOLM (the University that gives the Nobel Prizes) ISSUES GLOBAL HEALTH WARNING AGAINST WIRELESS SMART METERS.

2-page Press Release:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48148346/Karolinska-Institute-Press-Release

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