Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
Energy Conservation Through Smart Building and
Smart Cities Will Take Centre Stage in 2014
There is an old Irish joke in which a traveller asks for directions to
Limerick and is told that, ‘well you wouldn’t want to be starting from
here!’ That is the major problem facing the CleanTech industry today.
Capital intensive renewable power projects are now at a place where governments around the world are delaying their commitment to spend; at a time of economic austerity and fear of political suicide if they allow electricity charges to go up. In addition the centralized structure of the electrical utility industry through which most of the renewable power will be traded is not the most appropriate and is not yet fully onboard.
there is a more appropriate direction in the relative short term; which
is to take us down the path that will allow us to reach our destination
of a low carbon economy in the 21st century and that is by simply
putting a lot more effort into reducing CO2 emissions in buildings and
We expect that in 2014 this will be the direction and route that
governments will take through providing more attractive financial
inducements for all those that install plant equipment and controls
which reduce energy consumption in buildings and combine this with more
stringent regulatory targets. This can be achieved through private
investment with technologies that are now well proven, and a capable
competitive supply structure that can deliver.
New York State’s clean energy industry announced a few days ago a $210m
investment in initial capitalization for the New York Green Bank; a new
initiative created to leverage public funds into private investment to
boost clean energy projects. The key to its success is moving from
government subsidies to a self-sustaining clean energy engine.
In 2013 Memoori published three world reports that show the practical benefits and profitability of installing; Building Energy Management Systems and Enterprise Energy Management Software, the Market for Connecting Smart Grid with BEMS and the Business of LED Lighting in Buildings. This will be supplemented in January with a report on Lighting Controls.
They all have one thing in common. They can achieve in many cases a payback within two years, their cost and technical risk is minimal compared with renewable power and they are independent and can be installed today. They can also achieve more long-term benefits through their connectivity with each other and through Smart Cities, wringing out further added value services to offset the investment cost and further reduce CO2 emissions.
To make our case for more concentrated effort to be applied, we have given some examples from the Lighting Controls study but equally we could have used examples from any of the four reports.
Having struggled for the last 15 years to get these environmental services to work together we have now reached a point where connectivity can be achieved directly through IP allowing the “Internet of Energy” to become a reality. Memoori’s Lighting Controls report shows how LED Lighting controls could act as a stratagem for the “IoE” in buildings.
Historically, building controls applications have been HVAC centric
since that was the element of the building where controls could add
significant value, particularly in new construction applications. In
many retrofit situations the return on investment rate for HVAC
oriented building automation has not been compelling, so the majority
of buildings around the world are still waiting to be converted to
The case for retrofitting buildings with LED lighting has become very compelling and wireless technology has negated the need for control wiring so reducing the installation cost. This will result in LED lighting controls being installed in many more buildings that don’t have building energy management systems. Our report has identified instances where bus-based lighting controls have taken the responsibility for controlling HVAC services but this has been on relatively small to medium sized projects where heating and cooling has been achieved through a combination of chilled beams and natural ventilation. This has required blinds to control solar gain and this falls into the low voltage category and has been engineered and designed through the electrical contract and not the mechanical, as is the case with BEMS.
The technical synergy across the four subjects combined with the fact that
the supply structure is becoming very interrelated is further
strengthening the ability to provide both more efficient and lower cost
solutions. Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) and Enterprise
Energy Management (EEM) are working together to deliver Distributed
Energy and Demand Response services connecting across Smart Buildings
and Smart Grid.
This reinforces that together they can also reach across associated applications. There is no doubt that through alliance, acquisition and integration; these two separate businesses will play a vital role in maximizing energy conservation in buildings whilst generating income and reducing operating costs.
Leading BEMS companies have massive heritage estates and are amongst the world’s major Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). They are therefore in a strong position to help EEM suppliers get a foothold in the Smart Building Market. However BEMS suppliers and ESCOs are also intent on taking a piece of the EEM business. Although not particularly well known for their prowess in EEM, they have been acquiring companies with this expertise for the last five years. BEMS / ESCO companies active here include Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Siemens and ABB. They are the world’s leading suppliers across both businesses and the last three are also leading international suppliers of Smart Grid products and services.
The supply side is investing heavily in developing both hardware and software products to ensure that they have the solutions that will make the investment in energy conservation in Smart Buildings and Smart Cities a “no brainer”.
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