On-site power generation will grow and energy storage will be the hot smart grid technology this year, forecasts Verdantix in a new report.
Eight Predictions for Energy Management in 2013 says companies will ramp up on-site power generation, from pilot projects to multi-site deployments. The report says Ikea has already installed solar PV at 40 of its stores across seven countries, and has funding for an additional 124 projects, while BT plans to install 250MW of renewable energy across its UK sites by 2016.
Other predictions include:
- EV sales will take a backseat until 2015. The report attributes this to lack of charging infrastructure, long charge times and high sticker prices. It uses FedEx as an example: the logistics company has a worldwide fleet of more than 40,000 vehicles and only 43 EVs.
- Energy consumption management will filter down to supply chains. HP reported that, in 2011, 12 of its suppliers in China had reduce energy consumption by a total of more than 6 GWh. Verdantix says other big consumer electronic brands like Apple and Sony will be forced to follow suit in 2013.
- Utilities will deploy big energy data analytics to protect grid and customer assets. Colorado’s Fort Collins Utilities already uses load forecasting and baseline calculation analytics from Aclara and Calico Energy Services, according to the report.
- Grid energy storage will garner the most attention of any smart technology. As an example, the report says Italian firm Terna has allocated €1 billion ($1.3 billion) to invest in up to 240 MW of battery capacity over the next four years.
- Companies’ employees will hit refresh on energy-efficiencies. They’ll move beyond turning on lights and monitors and follow the likes of Shari’s Restaurants, which hired Ecova and saved $700,000 in a year.
- Shale gas in Europe won’t match the growth seen in the US market, which drove down gas and electricity prices. The report says smaller projects — like the Cuadrilla Resources developing test wells in the UK and exploratory drilling by Chevron in Lithuania and Poland — will move forward. But overall strict regulations, limited tax breaks and less favorable geology will limit shale gas development.
- China will dominate global smart meter installations as it launches its plan to install 300 million smart meters by 2016. Verdantix says this will provide huge opportunities for manufacturers such as Elster and Itron, and firms offering meter data management capabilities and services, such as Deloitte and IBM.
A Verdantix study published earlier this month said CA Technologies, CarbonSystems, IBM, Schneider Electric and Verisae lead the global market for energy management software.