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Evolution of the modern grid opens up new market opportunities, new business models and new pricing dynamics. Watch this section for key trends and developments.

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The good news for solar that could be bad news for utilities (including much higher efficiency)

solar power, rooftop solar, smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utilities, electric utility future, smart grid trends, smart grid markets
Solar may seem like a threat utilities don’t really need to worry about quite yet, if ever in areas that don’t get a lot of sun and costs are high. But recent developments in the solar and energy storage industries could mean the time when today’s utility customers start generating their own power is coming soon.

No million by 2015, but electric vehicles are surging

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric transportation, EVs, plug-in electric vehicles, EV sales
While the numbers make it clear that President Obama’s goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 won’t be met, that’s no reason for disappointment. As Pete Danko of Breaking Energy found, plug-in EV sales are growing at an astonishing rate… if more slowly than many had expected.

Keeping up with smart grid companies: new projects and developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
This week’s collection of smart grid projects covers a lot of ground: Silver Spring Networks and Trilliant expanding their presence in new and existing territories and GE’s Solutions as a Service implementation for example. And there’s more news from Itron, Siemens and Plug Power.

Smart grid market research: China’s renewables growth surge and more

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets
Smart grid market forecasts are always interesting because they change so regularly. This week we share research on a variety of markets to let you know what the forecasters are expecting over the next few years. Read the story for a quick look at the EV charging stations market, smart city technology, home automation and China’s explosive renewables growth.

Quinone-based batteries could reduce need for metals, but project costs are high

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, flow batteries, Lux Research
Battery costs must drop if the stationary energy storage market is to grow as hoped over the next few years. New technologies look like promising ways to get around the need for metals like vanadium, but two Lux Research analysts report that project costs remain a concern.

Market Trends Digest: July 2014

The Newton-Evans Research Company has published a series of 18 electric power distribution market two-page snapshot market summaries. The new series of market overview reports (executive market summaries) includes supplier listings, representative products, and estimated market size for each topic, vendor market share estimates and market outlook and growth factors through 2016.

Why nanogrids may be bigger than microgrids (in some places it's true already)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, nanogrids, microgrids, grid optimization, electric utilities
Nanogrids don’t get a lot of attention even though they are “big business” compared to microgrids, according to current research. In addition, they could have a significant impact on the future of microgrids and our electric grids. Read the story to learn why.

Proof that fuel cells are starting to catch on

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, microgrids, fuel cells, electric utilities
Smart Grid News ran a story last week reporting that many microgrids would be powered by fuel cells rather than renewables or gas turbines. Some responses made it clear there is skepticism in the energy industry about that point of view. Click for details from another source on how widespread fuel cell technology adoption has become.

Want to know the past and the future of renewables? Here it is at a glance

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, wind energy, renewable energy trends
As the accompanying story notes, distributed renewables are a major issue for electric utilities. We thought you might be interested in an infographic from Ventyx that pinpoints some key developments in the renewables sector. For example, while solar gets the headlines, most renewables growth in the past four decades was from wind energy.

Smart grid market research: Renewables, smart cities, demand response and more

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, markets and pricing, renewable energy, home automation, demand response
Our smart grid market research roundup is heavy on renewables this time around, but it also includes news on markets for global smart cities, home automation and demand response. Click for details on how those sectors are performing and forecasts for the future.

Solar City's latest plan to help Americans lose their utilities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, solar power, rooftop solar, Solar City, utility divorce, electric utilities
Solar City has already proven its little or no money down rooftop solar financing program is catching on. Now, the company is working with Groupon to offer the program online. Jump to the site to learn more about this new wrinkle and why, at the very least, utilities should consider putting more effort into customer service.

Why Barclays just downgraded the entire utility sector

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, solar power, energy storage, electric utility threats
In yet another challenge for utilities, banking and financial services firm Barclays has downgraded the U.S. electric power sector, contending that solar + storage could become cost-competitive with grid power… and that utilities may fail to re-assess their role in the energy future and adapt. Click for details.

The next phase of the smart grid is... streetlights?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart street lighting, smart grid companies, Silver Spring Networks
Silver Spring Networks isn’t the only smart grid heavyweight to expand its horizons, but it is certainly making serious moves to establish itself as a major figure in the Internet of Things. In addition to its venture in smart street lighting, the company is delving into several other sectors. Click to learn more.

Solid growth expected in several smart grid markets

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, renewable energy, outage management
Current market research reports have good things to say about renewable energy, building energy management systems, smart grid as a service and other smart grid sectors. The reports were selected at random and don’t reflect on all smart grid markets. But they’re still encouraging.

The real reason for grid divorce? It's not cost reduction or green energy

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid trends, grid divorce, distributed generation, renewable energy, grid reliability, electric utilities
Grid divorce isn’t a new concept, but it has been attracting a lot of attention recently. While a lot of the discussion about customer-owned power plants has focused on cutting costs or the desire for greener energy, there is a more compelling reason why some customers choose to go off-grid. SGN Chief Analyst Jesse Berst shares his thoughts.

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