Metering.com highlights some of the noteworthy headlines in smart energy this past week: RWE looks to distributed energy to transform its utility business model, IEEE announces an open call for municipality applications under its Smart Cities Initiative; Honeywell and Weatherbug develop Wi-Fi smart home thermostat and UK residents are ‘unaware’ of smart city developments – survey.
RWE's distributed energy model
Germany’s second largest utility RWE, is looking to distributed energy technologies to transform its business model, by piloting several projects in a bid to avoid succumbing to the so called “utility death spiral”.
According to The Energy Collective, RWE’s central power plant business is losing a large amount of money as a result of Germany’s aggressive push toward renewable energy generation.
In order to modify its current business model and provide relevant services to its customers, the Essen-based utility has embarked on the rollout of numerous pilot projects across Europe in efforts to bring together large-scale renewable energy, customer-sites energy resources and local control system to identify new cost-effective and reliable methods of integrating clean energy into it operations.
IEEE smart cities initiative
In the US, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has announced that it is accepting applications from municipalities worldwide involved in the process of planning smart cities. Two cities will be eligible to receive funding under the IEEE’s Smart Cities initiative.
Through its Smart Cities Initiative, the IEEE assists municipalities in managing the transition to urbanisation and works with government to employ the most advanced technologies to create smarter economies, smarter living environments and smarter governance.
Two cities will be selected from submissions received by 14th August to receive funding and support from IEEE experts to host a workshop in their city before the end of 2015.
Owing to the global move toward the development of smart cities, Gilles Betis, chair of the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative said: “As cities worldwide are affected by changes in population, climate, congestion and more, challenges continue to rise.
“The workshops hosted by IEEE Core Smart Cities focus on these ever-changing factors and the investments needed to fuel sustainable economic development for citizens’ energy, water, transportation, communications and public health and safety.”
Honeywell-Weatherbug Wi-Fi thermostat
Climate monitoring company Weatherbug has partnered with global conglomerate company Honeywell in a bid to extend the reach of its jointly developed Wi-Fi smart home thermostats featuring weather-tracking technology.
The Wi-Fi enabled smart home thermostats are able to determine ideal energy outputs for every moment during the day, conserving energy and saving users money.
The weather-tracking technology is capable of adjusting room temperature based on local weather information and data about the home itself.
UK residents ‘unaware’ of smart city developments
A survey conducted by British telecommunications company Aquiva and YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm, revealed that 96% of Britons were unaware of any smart city plans by their local city councils.
The results of the survey showed that 48% of UK adults felt that the smart city concept was still five or more years into the future. 23% of adults also revealed that they were unclear on the primary objective and how a smart city would benefit them.
The Computer Business Review stated that smart IoT initiatives generally went unnoticed by most people residing in the UK. 29% of respondents surveyed provided a definition of a smart city, which was classified as ‘a better living environment for residents'.