Renewable energy's 'dirty little secret'

Tools

By Peter Gardett

Managing Editor, AOL Energy

 

The power industry can use information technology to handle the volatility of renewable energy resources rather than having to back up renewable generation with duplicative fossil fuel power.

"Don't spend twice by building renewables and then building spinning natural gas reserves on top of that," Honeywell Vice President of Global Energy Services Jeremy Eaton told AOL Energy. "It's a little more complicated than saying 'just add renewables.'"

The focus of smart grid implementation has been on a large scale deployment across huge service areas, Eaton said, and while widespread uptake of data-collecting technology is an important first step in energy companies becoming more responsive and efficient, the next generation of technology should focus on more-targeted solutions.

The green use of renewables
Honeywell has a number of projects currently ongoing around the world that can boost the efficiency of energy investments and usage, including a smart grid project in the Thames Valley area west of London that is part of a larger project awarded to Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution by the UK energy regulator Ofgem.

For more on that project, as well as Honeywell smart grid projects in Hawaii and China, read more here.

While further smart grid and demand response technology implementations at a time of tight budgets for both governments and consumers can be a challenging case for companies to make, Eaton said access to the right demand response technology can limit or delay the need to invest in even more-expensive large-scale transmission and generation upgrades.

The industry, governments and consumers have to ask themselves what additional investments they need to make to take advantage of the investments already made, Eaton said.

 

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