Thursday, April 28, 2011

Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest

1The Smart Grid Innovation Contest is an open international competition to find new, sustainable Smart Grid business models and technologies for the near future.

Siemens believes in the future of the Smart Grid for a more sustainable world – a vision of intelligent, flexibly controllable power generation, distribution, and consumption. The breakthrough of Smart Grid applications, though, strongly depends on attractive business models that combine technologies and economic benefits.
The Smart Grid Innovation Contest consists of two phases: during the first phase, ideas are generated and developed in a collaborative community. In the second phase, universities are invited to submit research proposals to further elaborate and develop ideas.

Idea contest (for everyone) from April 13 to May 31 2011
Call for proposals (for universities) from October 4 to November 30, 2011. Siemens will award €15,000 and a workshop trip to Berlin together with Siemens Smart Grid experts to the five best ideas and the most valuable contributions. In a joint effort with several universities, more than €1,000,000 will be invested to translate the participants’ ideas into innovation. The contest addresses your creativity and your local expertise in making energy systems smarter and more environmentally friendly.

Watch an idea grow, through suggestions, comments and ranking, into mature and realistic innovation!

Full competition details and rules at:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Google investing in wind farm

Found at the official Google blog:

On Friday we made our first direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy project — two wind farms that generate 169.5 megawatts of power, enough to power more than 55,000 homes. These wind farms, developed by NextEra Energy Resources, harness power from one of the world’s richest wind resources in the North Dakota plains and use existing transmission capacity to deliver clean energy to the region, reducing the use of fossil fuels. Through this $38.8 million investment, we’re aiming to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy — in a way that makes good business sense, too.

To reach a clean energy future, we need three things: effective policy, innovative technology and smart capital. Through our philanthropic arm, we’ve been pushing for energy policies that strengthen the innovation pipeline, and we’ve been dedicating resources to developing new technologies, including making investments in early-stage renewable energy companies such as eSolar and AltaRock. Smart capital includes not only these early-stage company investments, but also dedicated funding for utility-scale projects. To tackle this need, we’ve been looking at investments in renewable energy projects, like the one we just signed, that can accelerate the deployment of the latest clean energy technology while providing attractive returns to Google and more capital for developers to build additional projects.

Read more at Google blog…

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Microsoft Hohm to Connect with Devices this Summer, One Day Offer Its Own?

earth2tech posted an article about Microsoft Hohm news:

Microsoft Hohm

By this summer you can expect to find the first energy devices — smart meters, energy management dashboards, connected thermostats — that can link with Microsoft’s online energy management tool Hohm. Troy Batterberry, Microsoft’s product unit manager of its Energy Management & Home Automation division, told us in an interview on Tuesday that Microsoft has just released the software developer kit for Hohm to third party device makers and he is expecting Hohm to connect with devices– likely smart meters first — this summer. Batterberry also told us Microsoft “might” even one day develop its own Microsoft-branded energy hardware, but for now is focused on connecting with third party gadget makers.

Read the full article

Google Releases API for Energy Tool PowerMeter

Google PowerMeter now goes live:


Another small step for empowered and open access to energy data. Search engine giant Google announced on Wednesday that it has released the API (application programming interface) for its energy tool PowerMeter. Opening up the API means that gadget makers can now freely integrate with PowerMeter — previously Google had only been working with a small amount of select device manufacturers for PowerMeter like Energy Inc’s The Energy Detective.

Read the full story

Friday, January 1, 2010

Microsoft MVP Award 2010 – Thank you!

Reading my mails today:

mvpDear Michael Schwarz,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in .NET Micro Framework technical communities during the past year.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership."

Now, this is my fifth MVP year started in 2006 with the Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio Development / ASP.NET. I’m really surprised that I got the MVP award again. Thank you Microsoft, a big thank you to all of you!!

2010 will be a great year with new great products! I hope I can still give my best to you and help supporting Microsoft products.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Free Webcast on Smart Energy Reference Architecture

Microsoft and OSIsoft Present a Free Webcast on Smart Energy Reference Architecture:

imageIn order to assist the 2010 planning the has begun in earnest at every utility company around the world, Microsoft and our partner OSIsoft are offering a complimentary Webcast on our Smart Energy Reference Architecture, on Tuesday, December 8 at 1 p.m. EST.

Microsoft’s SERA is intended specifically for working groups and utility executives who are focused on developing their utility’s smart grid blueprint. I believe they will discover SERA to be required reading for their transformation projects, as it provides a blueprint for testing the alignment of new smart grid information technology that’s available now with their existing business processes. The larger effort should be to create an integrated utility that makes the most of the new data coming from the smart grid data stream that’s about to come rushing into every utility.

More details from the registration page:

The Microsoft SERA is intended specifically for working groups and utility executives who are focused on developing their utility's smart grid blueprint.  We believe they'll find SERA to be required reading because it offers a specific vision, providing a method of testing the alignment of information technology with their business processes to create an integrated utility.  Please join us for this webcast to understand more about SERA and how OSIsoft can help enable your utilities organization to:

  • Identify and solve the integration issues facing grid and energy ecosystem advancement using the SERA road map.
  • Prepare for exponential increase in real-time data required to provide consumers and businesses with the tools to make timely decisions related to their power usage.
  • Understand the alignment of your information technology infrastructure with your business processes.

Click here to register for this Webcast.

Source: Microsoft Power and Utilities Blog

Thursday, November 19, 2009

SmartPrivacy for the Smart Grid - Embedding Privacy into the Design of Electricity Conservation

From the foreword of the study about SmartPrivacy for the Smart Grid:

Recognizing that a multiplicity of forces act upon an organization’s ability to protect its customer’s data or subject’s privacy, I developed the term SmartPrivacy to describe the holistic approach necessary to realizing the objective of all encompassing data protection.

SmartPrivacy represents a broad arsenal of protections, encapsulating everything necessary to ensure that all of the personal information held by an organization is appropriately managed. These include: Privacy by Design; law, regulation and independent oversight; accountability and transparency; market forces; education and awareness; social norms; data security; and fair information practices. Each of these elements is important, but my concept of Privacy by Design represents its sine qua non. Those who fail to envision privacy requirements early in the development of technology, business practices or physical space and infrastructure will be less likely to provide comprehensive protection, despite the presence of the other elements.

Privacy by Design or PbD is a concept I developed in the ‘90s. Building on the elements discussed, it ensures the protection of privacy through the use of privacy-enhancing technologies — embedding them into the design specifications of information technology, business practices, physical environments and infrastructure — making privacy the default. Recently, I evolved the concept of PETs, extending it to PETs Plus by adding a new dimension of a positive-sum paradigm to replace the traditional zero-sum approach. Building on PETs Plus we advance the view that it is not necessary to trade off privacy against equally important goals such as security, transparency or other functionality.

Have a look at this document: Smart Privacy for the Smart Grid

You may also be interested in Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wind Power in Germany

I found interesting on Wikipedia:

In Bavaria, Germany, we have a new wind power park producing renewable energy: Clean power for more than 25 million people and 90,000 new jobs in the wind

Germany, Mexico, US top smart energy list

Germany, Mexico and the United States have crafted some of the world's smartest policies for improving energy use, according to a study released on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN climate talks here.

Making buildings more energy-efficient and providing tax breaks and tariff guarantees for renewable sources topped the "green new deal" policies scrutinized by two environment groups.


Germany grabbed the top two spots with a program to beef up energy efficiency in buildings through tougher construction standards supported by loans and grants, and with a "feed-in tariff" by which suppliers of renewable energy enjoy guaranteed price levels for 20 years.The two initiatives scored 17.2 and 15.0 points out of 20, respectively.

Mexico came next with an urban bus system launched in Mexico City in 2005 that started to phase out creaky old buses. Even though the program was low technology, its environmental and economic effectiveness was extremely high when compared with the investment, earning 14.2 points out of 20.

In third place was the United States, which won plaudits for its "weatherization assistance program" to insulate the homes of low-income families, and for its tax breaks for energy from wind, solar, geothermal and bio-energy. These rated 13.8 and 13.7 points respectively.


Read the full story at

Smart Homes, Smart Grid, and Not-so-Smart Consumer Electronics Association

There was plenty of “whine” on November 4, or to be exact, at 4:55PM on November 3, when the CEA sent a 91 page document 5 minutes ahead of the 5:00PM deadline for comments on the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) proposed TV energy efficiency standards. In order to review this and other comments that arrived at this 11th hour, the CEC has postponed its hearing until November 18th.

The CEA comments oppose the proposed standards, citing that energy efficiency standards would increase the price of TVs. According to this industry association, the average digital TV uses the same electricity as two light bulbs – incandescent light bulbs. The average 42 inch LCD TV consumes 203 watts, and the average 42 inch plasma TV guzzles 271 watts. The average California home has three TVs. It appears that the CEA is strongly advocating for not only increased operating costs for consumers, but also construction of more expensive power plants and increased electricity rates to pay for increased power generation.

It’s a shame that the CEA can’t take the bold step of working cooperatively with the CEC to reduce consumers’ operating costs of TVs and reduce carbon footprints as well.

Read the full story at Smart Grid Library

Could Car Batteries Back up Our Electrical Grid?

Today I read this interesting article:

In the quest to supply electricity for millions of future electric cars, engineers have stumbled upon the most unlikely of energy prospects — the car itself.

If that sounds like a bit of tangled logic to you, then you're not alone. The very idea leaves most intelligent people scratching their heads.

Still, the concept is being examined by auto companies, utilities, universities and industry consultants. And many believe the electric car battery could turn out to be one of the most important sources of current for ... well, the electric car battery.

"This is very doable," says David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research and one of the industry's most respected consultants. "We're still in the early stages because we don't have high-volume battery production yet. But when that occurs, everything will change."


Still, automotive experts say they're optimistic over the long term.

"The technology is here; no invention is necessary," Cole says. "Don't bet against it."

Read the full story at