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This week In #CleanTech August 13, 2017

Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 13, 2017.

The home Disney World this week became the 40th US city in going towards 100% renewable energy. According to EcoWatch.com, Orlando, Florida city commission approved unanimously in supporting a move to all renewables by 2050. It’s now officially the largest city in Florida to pass such a resolution.

The First 50 Coalition, a broad-based group of progressive organizations led by the League of Women’s Voters in Orange County worked hard in making central Florida more sustainable were celebrating the vote.

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Image Credit: Disney World by BBarth via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via Creative Commons

“This is a first, important step, and we plan to continue to support and encourage the City to follow with concrete measures that solidify this commitment,” said League of Women’s Voters co-president Carol Davis to EcoWatch.com.

US cities are ramping up their obligations in going towards 100% renewables by 2050. Already 118 mayors are committed to this goal as cities are looking to meet the Paris Agreement, despite US President Donald Trump announcing earlier this summer the US will leave the accord.

US wind energy capacity increased by 8.2 GW in 2016, according to a new report from the US Department of Energy. Overall capacity advanced by 11% to 81.31GW from 2015 as companies invested $13 USD billion was invested into US wind energy. The wind producer tax credit along with other key policies were key drivers in moving US wind energy markets forward, the US DOE noted. Texas installed the most wind power in 2016 with 2.611 GW and leads the nation in cumulative capacity with over 20GW.

“The wind industry continues to install significant amounts of new capacity, and supplied about 6 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2016,” said US DOE acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Daniel Simmons on Climate Progress regarding the growth of US wind electricity as its slowly becoming more plentiful on the grid.

Despite the gains, US wind energy is far behind China which leads with 168.69GW. China is going big on renewables including promising to invest $361 USD billion by 2020 into renewables as they look to fulfill their duties with the Paris agreement.

Don’t worry. The US is still way ahead of Canada. Currently, Canadian wind energy has a total capacity of 11.9GW. Ontario leads the way in Canadian wind capacity with 4.78GW, followed by Quebec with 3.5 GW.

With more US cities going committing to 100% Renewable energy by 2050, how should Canadian cities reach this goal, specifically Winnipeg? Drop a line at salayconsulting@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter at @salayservices.

Energy As A Service Market to Reach $221.1 US Billion by 2026: Report

Although a relatively new business model, commercial & industrial (CI) Energy as a Service (EaaS) is expected to dramatically grow within the next decade, based on a new report.

According to cleantech research firm Navigant Research, the CI EaaS market by 2026 will reach $221.1 US billion.

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Image Credit via Pixabay by bykst. Under Public Domain via Creative Commons

Changes in the delivery of energy are the driving factor behind the rise of EaaS companies. In the old days, consumers would (and still do on many levels) get their energy from a central source (your local utility), be charged and billed a monthly rate. Some months your energy bill would be higher (winter and summer months especially) than others.

However, today we are seeing a shift being played out on the energy market stage. Navigant Research notes energy companies and sustainability managers are taking advantage of new business models and digitized technologies, which are helping to decentralize the energy markets.

“Navigant Research anticipates that these evolving grid and customer factors will converge to give rise to demand for vendor-based business model disruptors that can provide turnkey energy as a service solutions (EaaS),” said Navigant’s website.

Eaas has lots of potential in making the customer energy experience as un-limitless as possible. EaaS providers can manage many aspects of a consumer’s energy needs. Examples include energy supply, energy use, asset & program management, and strategy, according to Navigant.

EaaS companies can use innovative services, financial solutions & technological tools to ensure clients are happy with their energy system.

Players within the EaaS ecosystem include standard utilities, third-party vendors, and start-up companies, who are providing disruptive solutions within the technical, financing and procurement within the energy market, according to Navigant Research.

As EaaS establish themselves; energy portfolios will be outsourced to fully equipped companies “with a comprehensive set of technical financing and deployment options.” According to Navigant.

This report is in line with an overall shift in societal attitudes on energy. Concerns over a warming planet due to climate change, falling renewable energy costs, and Millennials wanting more choice in energy options will only help to fuel EaaS platforms heading into the third decade of the new millennium. Add other underlying factors including sharp price drop on lithium-ion batteries needed to make battery storage units, plus 34 billion connected devices within the Internet of Things eco system by 2020 will ensure EaaS companies are going to have very profitable opportunities soon.

As Warren Buffet said, “energy deregulation will be the largest transfer of wealth in history.” EaaS will play a part in this. Shortly, consumers may have options besides a local energy utility thanks to possible EaaS platforms.

What do you think of EaaS? Will they become a serious option for consumers within the energy market over the next decade? What has to happen for EaaS to grow not only in the US but Canada/Manitoba? Feel free to email at salayconsulting@gmail.com, or follow on Twitter at @salayservices.

This week In #CleanTech July 16, 2017

Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of July 16, 2017.

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Image Credit via Pixabay via Real-Napster. Under Public Domain.

Apple announced this week they are building a second data centre in Denmark, which will run on 100% renewable energy. According to Fortune, the southern Denmark city of Aabenraa will house the centre. The centre, will house power for the App Store, iTunes, iMessage, Siri, and Maps for Europe. Apple Nordic Manager Erik Stannow said to Fortune they are excited to increase their data facilities while supporting clean power in Denmark. Apple has ramped up renewable energy projects recently. This includes building a data centre in China, which will also run on renewable energy. Apple has been supportive of the move to clean power, going against US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw out of the Paris climate accord. This makes sense considering the information technology, and cleantech sectors are closely connected with each other, as our energy system is becoming more digitized,  like the Internet.

California is one step closer to running on 100% renewable power. According to Climate Progress, a bill sponsored by Senate President Kevin de León (D), passed through a legislative committee this week. The proposed bill, if it becomes law, would require the state’s electricity to come from 100% renewable sources (wind, solar, hydroelectricity) by 2045, while bumping up the 50% requirement from 2030 to 2026. Hawaii is also targeting 100% renewables, while other states, including Massachusetts, are contemplating similar policies as states attempt to modernize their energy systems.

And lastly, a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) suggests climate change will have severe repercussions on Asia. If emissions are not cut, the ADB warns, temperatures could rise 6C by the end of the century, setting the stage for many shocks. This includes a 3C increase seeing grain production decrease by 10%; More health risks from waterborne diseases; further migrations into already sprawling populations, which would add further strain on dwindling resources.

What do you think of Apple’s push to on going towards 100% renewable energy for its data centers? Or is 100% renewable electricity possible for California in our lifetime? Drop a line at salayconsulting@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter at @salayservices.

This Week in #CleanTech- July 9, 2017

Welcome to the first of what were some of the hottest, most interesting stories related to cleantech, and climate policy. This column will appear at the end of the week.

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Image Credit via Pixabay. Under Public Domain Via Creative Commons

France this week announced they were banning the sale of combustible engine vehicles by 2040. Germany and had followed suit last year, banning sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, and, while Norway is targeting for zero emission cars by 2025. No word if Canada or the United States plan to do likewise anytime soon, and its very unlikely this will occur. However, anything is possible given a study last year points to 2025 were all vehicles sold will be electric, and this year seems its electric vehicle’s (EV’s) watershed moment, with all these news stories that keep occurring.

Tesla announced this week it’s building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility. According to TechCrunch.com, the plant will be completed by December 2017 at Australia’s Hornsdale Wind farm. Tesla Commercial battery storage PowerPack will store total capacity of 100 MW/129 MWh, while capture the wind power during high points of the day and use when necessary. Tesla revealed its PowerWall for residential consumers, and PowerPack for commercial users, to revolutionize the battery storage market, which is critical for resolving intermittency problems with the wind and solar power.

Minnesota gave its blessing to Xcel Energy for the largest expansion of wind energy in the north US MidWest. According to Electric, Lights & Power, Xcel plans to build a total of 1,550 MW of new wind farms across North, South Dakota, and Minnesota by 2020. Xcel will own 1,150 MW, while the remaining 400 MW will be bought by Xcel, thanks to long-term Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA).  When completed in three years, the 1550 MW of wind power will provide 800,000 homes with a clean energy source. Currently, Minnesota ranks sixth overall in the US installed wind capacity with 3,499 MW, while North Dakota has 2,846 MW, and, South Dakota with 977 MW, according to American Wind Energy Association.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared on Thursday his city has more at stake than any other city in the world when it comes to climate change. Climate Progress notes the mayor released a climate policy plan which targets eliminating its cities carbon emissions in half by 2030. Twelve years ago, category three storm Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans and cost insurance $41.7 billion USD. The storm also kickstarted a serious discussion between extreme weather events and climate change in North America.

And finally, in the cute story of the week, China Merchants New Energy Group decided to uniquely design their latest solar farm in Datong China, to look like a panda. Business Insider said the cleantech firm plans to build more panda style solar farms, like the 248-acre one just built.

What did you think was the biggest or unique story in the cleantech world? was there anything missing from this list. Feel free to reach out. Follow us on Twitter at @salayservices, or by email at salayconsulting@gmail.com

Slow and Steady Will Win the IoT Race

You know the saying, “It’s more of a marathon than a sprint.” That’s especially the case with the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is one of the hottest emerging technologies today which offers a lot of promise. From improving logistics to creating smart energy systems and cities, IoT may provide some solutions to some of the biggest social and economic challenges facing today’s society.

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Image Credit by geralt via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

However, just like any up and coming technologies which debut in the past, there is always some unexpected bugs. From the early days of the Internet, cell phones, to renewable energy. IoT is no different.

Take last fall. In October 2016, a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) showcased the vulnerabilities of a connected world in the IoT age.

Botnet malware, played a role in these attacks. Many IoT-based devices were affected in this attack, as chaos ensued, and many top websites to faded to black temporarily.

Adjunct Senior Fellow on Cybersecurity David Fidler from the Council on Foreign Relations told The Guardian right after the attacks showed massive security holes currently seen in IoT on a large-scale by non-governmental groups.

“Imagine what a well-resourced state actor could do with insecure IOT devices,” Fidler added.

As cyber security risks remain a concern within the IoT space, failure to finish projects is also a challenge for IoT developers.

A recent Cisco study suggests 60% of IoT ideas fall flat at the beginning. They also pointed out 26% of all businesses surveyed had 100% success with their IoT projects.

While these recent events and studies give IoT a slight back eye, let’s keep in mind these are very early days within the IoT ecosystem.

It was only just 18 years ago in 1999, the phrase “IoT” was coined by Proctor & Gamble’s Kevin Ashton. That’s ten years after the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) by Tim Berners-Lee. This was back when the WWW and Internet infrastructure was in its infancy and slowly maturing. Today’s Internet and WWW has far more capabilities compared to 1999 where there were only around 248 million global users. Now in 2017 its nearing 3.8 billion.

As author Jeremy Rifkin said in his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society, three Internet components (communications, energy, and logistics) are the backbone of IoT, which is helping to create a “third industrial revolution.” Significant ramifications will occur for many industries with their fortunes turned upside down. As we see new exciting opportunities, in smart homes, block chain, fintech, and 3D printing thanks to the IoT space.

Anywhere from 20 to 34 billion connected IoT devices are expected online by 2020. Total economic activity will reach worth $3.7 billion, according to McKinsey.

Security concerns have and always will remain a top concern amongst IT personal. It won’t get any easier with more devices flowing ubiquitously. But security experts are keen on learning to reduce security risks. Blockchain technology may provide some of the solutions required to limit security risks within the IoT ecosphere.

As for failures within IoT concepts, Cisco said 61% of participants have only started to realize the potential of what IoT technologies for their companies. Once people become more educated about not only what IoT is, but what it can do, then you will start to see more successes. You will start to see the cream of the crop rise within this industry. New and exciting out of the box opportunities will spring up, including in marketing, as businesses look to provide their customers with an ever-present connected experience.

The rise of the Internet had many trials and tribulations during its first marathon in transforming society in the 21st century. IoT will see the same thing as well as it overcomes the pressure to sprint to the finish line.

What do you think? What will it take companies to invest in IoT development, while cutting security concerns and possibilities of failure? Feel free to contact me at salayconsulting@gmail.com or on Twitter at @salayservices.

 

 

 

 

Promise and Potential Abounds within the Social Media/Internet of Things Nexus

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a lot of promise for marketers within social media. With 34 to 50 billion devices online by 2020. IoT gives lots of new possibilities for social media managers to lick their chops into.

Dubbed “social media for machines” by analysts because of its machine to machine (m2m) learning capabilities, IoT will change the conversation on how we look at social media. It’s no longer just snapping selfies, liking, or sharing. Here is where social media advocates can capitalize on IoT.

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Image Credit by geralt via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

Improving Customer Experiences: One way where social media can leverage IOT is through maximizing customer experiences. Uber and Spotify have teamed up where Uber users can use their Spotify premium account to personalize their rides. Uber CEO Travis Kalernick said Uber is delivering a unique experience by teaming up with Spotify by allowing passengers to customize their rides more.

The marriage of social media and IoT will also provide a better client experience with showing how much money customers can save on their utility bills. SolarCity’s MySolarCity mobile app allows customers to see how much they are saving by going solar while using their social media accounts to show off to their friends on how much they are saving by going solar while building a community.

Improving Data Management: Better management of data is without a doubt the most valuable lesson which social media managers need to understand and capitalize on IoT’s potential. Marketing Journal suggests IoT will provide multiple ways of communicating between machines, brands, and customers. This includes real-time observation on customer behavior, with customer resource management (CRM) tools, while social media marketers can use these tools to improve their products. For example, Google’s Nest smart thermostat, which allows for consumers to adjust their home temperature using wireless Internet, is the epitome of IoT devices. Nest analysts can then compare the data, which can help provide their customers on how to improve their energy, while at the same time enhance their products for future development.

Besides Nest, another scenario could be a Samsung smart fridge tells when a customer is running out of apples; the fridge would tell its customer to buy new ones. The data could provide both supermarkets and apple producers on what apples consumers stock their fridge with, and help assist grocery stores in catering to certain demographics.

The Melding of Industries: If there is one wild card, social media marketers need to take heart on the rise of IoT will shrink time, space among industries. In his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, & The Eclipse of Capitalism, author Jeremy Rifkin said the merging of three Internets: Communications, Energy Internet, and Logistics Internet laid the foundation for IoT. Rifkin also argued in The Third Industrial Revolution, communications helped spearhead past industrial revolutions in human history. It’s important for social media managers to grasp this moment currently being played in front of us, and understand how communications, logistics, and energy, now more than ever are weaved through technologies fantastic bow. We have seen this through the World Wide Web, and social media’s infant stages, as consumers were becoming producers (re prosumers). We saw this initially with the media industry. We are now seeing this with both energy and finance. Mosiac was a great early example of utilizing social media renewable energy and crowdsource finance to produce affordable solar ownership for investors. Now with blockchain technologies on the way, this will make financial options more secure for crowd funding options, as consumers look to become both investors and users of their products.

Conclusion:

If done correctly, IoT can open a bevy of opportunity for social media managers who are willing to find a bonanza of opportunities for forward thinking marketers within the insights of finance, communications, and technology nexus.

 

Analysis: REthinking 2017 Accelerating the Global Energy Transformation

Reports are key indicators of where modern trends are going. That’s especially true with developing industries like renewable energy. Report after report have only confirmed renewable energy is shaking up traditional energy markets.

The International Renewable Energy Association’s (IRENA) REthinking Energy: Accelerating the Global Energy Transformation confirms these trends. IRENA recently released their findings in energy and policy development.

According to the report, global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached 219 gigawatts (GW) in 2015, more than five times the capacity in 2010 (40 GW). This trend is expected to continue with new global PV capacity in 2017 supposed to reach 79 GW, according to an IHS technology report. By 2030, solar PV capacity could account for 7% of total global power generation.

What’s been helpful for solar energies rise to the top has been sharp declines in prices. In many countries, solar prices have reached new lows, according to IRENA. Solar energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels in many nations. Solar PV prices have fallen by 80% since 2009, said IRENA.

Wind power is also strong. Currently according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), global capacity reached 432.33 GW in 2015, 63.48 GW more than from in 2014.

IRENA said wind turbines prices have fallen by one-third since 2009. Even without government support, onshore wind farms are cost competitive or less than gas-fired power plants, oil, or coal, according to IRENA.

Falling prices in both wind and solar have not only increased capacity but investment, as these two technologies captured a whopping 90% of 2015 global renewable energy investments.

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Photo Credit via Pixabay by Steppinstars. Under Public Domain by the Creative Commons.

While the wind and solar power’s growing energy prowess is necessary, battery storage units, which can store both these technologies when needed during non-peak periods will play a critical role going forward. By 2020, IRENA expects this growing market to reach USD $14 billion, up from USD $2.2 billion in 2015. Falling lithium-ion battery costs, along with Tesla’s Powerwall are giving glimpses of its potential. By 2030, IRENA projects battery storage for electricity could reach 250 GW, nearly 250 times more than currently.

Policy-wise, the move towards cleaner sources of energy is helping move nations in the right direction. Currently, 170 countries have created renewable energy targets, while 150 have a policy in place to boost renewable energy investments, IRENA said.

This strong support by countries overwhelmingly to transition to renewable energy has seen strong global investments this century. In 2004, this figure was USD $50 billion. In 2015, renewable energy investment reached a record USD $348 billion.

Emerging market countries including China and India have been serious players. China recently has said they are committed to spending USD $361 billion through 2020 on renewables. Meanwhile, accounting firm Ernst & Young’s 2016 report pointed to developing nations including Egypt, Mexico, and Chile are becoming hotspots for renewable energy investors compared to European markets.

There will be challenges, including the new US administration lead by Donald Trump who has vowed cut backs in renewable energy investments and may pull out of the Paris climate accord.

However, countries, including China are promising to pick up the slack and pull away in the cleantech race.

IRENA’s analysis of the cleantech market proves renewable energy on the global level, will only become more competitive and transform energy markets.

To read IRENA’s full report, view here.

 

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