Smart Meter Backlash, Again: This Time in Texas: Uh-oh, another local backlash against the installation of smart meters — and this time it’s not in Bakersfield, Calif., the home of the original smart meter lawsuit that rattled utilities nationwide late last year. The Dallas Morning News (hat tip Green Inc) reports that “hundreds” of Texans who received smart meters in Oncor’s service territory are complaining about the accuracy of the meters after receiving unusually high energy bills after the meters were installed.
Utilities Not Ready for Coming Customer Engagement from Smart Grid: A report from research firm IDC Energy Insights, and sponsored by telecom firm Telus, finds that utilities “have not thought through the implications of new technology and products on customer relationships or the business process.” In other words utilities are not at all prepared for the increased amount of communication, education and interactivity that will be required from installing new smart grid technology.
How Toyota’s Prius Troubles Will Shape the Green Car Market: Not too long ago, Toyota reigned as the seemingly untouchable hybrid leader. That dominance — in terms of both market share (50 percent of hybrids sold in the U.S.) and mindshare (no alt-fuel vehicle on the market is better known or more widely recognized than the Toyota Prius) — means that as the Prius image takes a beating, other models across the spectrum of green cars will also get bruised.
Bloom Energy, Fuel Cells, Not A Good Match For Utilities — Yet: An administrative judge with the California Public Utilities Commission made a preliminary decision to reject requests from utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison to buy $43 million in fuel cells from FuelCell Energy and Bloom Energy for 6 MW of electricity. The CPUC can either accept or reject that judge’s recommendation, but still, it’s not a good sign for the pairing of fuel cells with the power grid anytime soon — fuel cells are just too expensive right now.
7 Startups Building Green Car Tech for a Pre-Electric World: There are a raft of startups working on technology that could help boost the fuel efficiency and reduce the emissions of the world’s vehicle fleet long before electric cars go mainstream. Here’s 7 of them.
4 Lessons For Fuel Cell Makers, Amidst the Bloom Boom: Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy faces a long road that’s already been littered with a variety of lessons from fuel cell pioneers including UTC Power, Ballard Power Systems:, Plug Power, FuelCell Energy, and many, many others. Here are some of the key lessons to be learned from the experience of fuel cell makers, past, present and future.