Two large customers are now deploying DevicePilot Core to deliver high-quality smart energy service at scale.
- Achieved my lifetime ambition by charging at 256kW.
- Australian ICE manufactures hatch a secret plan to delay the transition.
- Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting revealed it’s now made 3m cars, is close to a 2m annual run rate, is aiming for a 2m run-rate per factory, has the highest operating margin of the whole car industry, will soon announce another factory, and Gigafactory Nevada is now recycling 50 batteries/week.
- Oh - and Tesla superchargers now achieve 99.96% uptime (estate is about 33,000 devices). If that's where you need to be too then of course very happy to chat about how we can help you get there!
- Our Smart Energy People blog this month has an interview with SunAmp CEO and Founder Andrew Bissell with a fascinating insight into how their magic phase-change materials shift heat (and cool) and interact with other smart home energy.
- Cambridge, UK where I live is supposed to be a green and pleasant land - but right now it's that scorched bit on the right.
- Yes, the world can reach 100% renewable energy by 2050 say leading researchers.
- Dogma vs. physics: Average UK energy bills were £1,200 not long ago. Now analysts Cornwall Insight predict that when the next UK price cap takes effect in October, the average energy bill will rise to £3,500 and then £4,400 next year. That's more than UK Defense and Education budgets put together. Whereas France is seeing only 4% rise having fully re-nationalised EDF at a loss for shareholders (which made EDF shareholders unhappy).
- Great infographic on how it's the gas production companies (not the retail utilities) who are raking it in, as UK electricity is paid at the gas price even though all other generation is now cheaper.
- For new build integrated PV is becoming cheaper than installing slate tiles (apropos of my interview last month with Martin Davies of integrated PV company Viridian)
- A Stanford paper claims that across the world renewable investments will repay their investment in just 6 years. And in the UK, domestic PV & loft insulation now pays back in 4 years. Sadly though, £1bn of home insulation funding is the victim of the UK’s current political chaos.
- Has the US govt finally found its climate change mojo? The Inflation Reduction Act includes $369bn for climate solutions by 2030, including energy security and environmental justice. Useful breakdown here. Although as Michael Liebreich points out, this is only as much as the US spends on vitamins. But maybe the other big bill passed recently - the so-called CHIPS Act - could be even more influential.
- I like the wording in Geo’s HEMS manifesto: “it’s not either/or, it’s and and”. The same applies for insulation and heat pumps. Did you know that some people think insulation makes a house warmer in summer? British PM candidate Sunak is rumoured to be contemplating scrapping the “boiler replacement scheme” which he launched just 3 months ago, in favour of insulation. The right answer of course is “and and”.
- Better late than never… Germany is ending subsidies for gas boilers
- UK narrowly avoided a brief black-out in July by paying a 9,000% premium to import from the Belgium interconnector.
- Britain is now planning for 4-day blackouts this winter in a “reasonable worst-case scenario” due to low gas.
- Flying in the face of assurances from grid operators that everything’s fine, in parts of London developers are being told they can’t build new houses because of grid capacity limits.
- The UK govts BEIS Review of Electricity Market Arrangements consultation shows that the UK will need 4x our 2020 electricity generation by 2050 (p27) - no small challenge.
- But Monsieur Carnot, he say that burning stuff is never more than 60% efficient, one reason why fossil fuel “primary energy” use is so much larger than actual energy consumption at the point of use. An analysis by Nick Eyre of Oxford Uni confirms that efficiency gains from moving to electricity will reduce overall primary energy demand by ~40%. Also did you know that 40% of all cargo shipping is fossil fuels?
- As if 10GW+ of planned offshore wind in the North Sea is not enough, RWE now plans to float offshore solar panels there too.
- Spain now requires businesses to set aircon to ≥27C and heating to ≤19C to save 7% of gas. And Iberdrola’s 1.5m panel solar farm is going live.
- Germany has cut its summer gas consumption by nearly two thirds - though of course winter will be a different matter.
- As Germany strongly considers keeping its remaining nuclear plants operating over this winter (11% of grid), the UK has recently closed 2GW of old nuclear plants with another 3GW to close by 2025. Low river levels are forcing some French nukes offline.
- First subsidy-free wind farm is going live - 1.5GW in the Netherlands.
- In California, on 20th July, for 10 minutes, batteries delivered more power than nuclear.
- In China and South Korea renewables+storage is now cheaper than gas.
- Heat pumps
- Nesta calculates the UK needs 27,000 heat pump engineers - we have 3,000.
- Geo and Vaillant dive into protocols such as Matter and EEBUS, and work through a number of DSR use-cases in part 3/3 of their white paper on DSR & heat pumps.
- Controversy over the R-32 working liquid in some heat pumps after claims that a leak causes the global warming equivalent of 1 year’s use of a gas boiler. In his interview Andrew from Sunamp told me that the move to R290 propane refrigerant means any leak will cause only 10,000 times less global-warming than a gas boiler emits in its lifetime - though ventilation regulations apply as propane is flammable.
- I do love a Sankey diagram. Interesting to see how big an energy source ambient energy becomes, once we have lots of heat pumps.
- BG Hive is dropping support for home security peripherals, to double-down on smart home energy.
- I’ve been experimenting with Intelligent Octopus at home, a tariff offering electricity at 12% of peak cost for 6h overnight - if you relinquish control over your car charging:
- I discovered it can choose to charge at any time, even on-peak, in which case it adjusts your smart meter or nets off the difference so you don’t pay on-peak costs.
- Not a problem per se, but my home battery needs to know about this too so it doesn’t try to charge the car at these random times. I could write some code to solve this (Octopus has great APIs) but baulked at creating tightly-bound, fragile connections between systems, so have reverted to their statically-timed 4h off-peak Go tariff for now. Kudos to Octopus though for making it super-easy to change tariffs and experiment.
- This seems to support Geo’s assertion that there should be only one home energy manager for each home. Or at least that all systems need to be able to a) publish their status, b) present a control interface, and c) be able to drive others’ control interfaces. Now is when Open becomes critical.
- I’ve also been experimenting with machine learning to set the charge level of my home battery during night-time off-peak, to avoid:
- a) reaching 100% when charging from PV causing a spill to grid, or
- b) reaching 0% when discharging into the home causing import from grid.
- I've got a 3-layer neural network mapping today’s weather forecast into a prediction of actual PV generation, based on history and despite a small data set, results seem to be within +/-10% for predicting generation. Though predicting consumption will be a whole ‘nother ball of wax.
- Speaking of ML, fun to see it imagining how an Octopus would install a heat pump.
- Previous “satellite” global coverage offerings (e.g. for maritime use) required a local gateway to translate between satellite uplink and a local area network such as LoRAWAN. But it seems that LEO satellites can now support the 5G NB-IoT cellular devices directly (can this really be true? seems like an astounding game-changer if so) startup Sateliot is launching a trial with Telefonica.
- Semtech acquires Sierra Wireless for $1.2bn which will presumably bring more integration between cellular and LoRAWAN
- Having succeeded in building a massive US-wide LoRAWAN network incentivised by blockchain tokens, Helium is now gunning for 5G. Here I was, thinking that this is the only successful use of crypto to date … but not so fast, look at the economics, Helium has raised more than $300m but receives only $6k/month in revenue.
- Amazon buys iRobot (and your personal data?) for $1.7bn.
- Very interesting idea: A “software bill of materials” to declare the provenance of all the code in your device.
- Those Unitree mass-produced walking robots? Of course someone put a machine gun on one. Luckily they have a 433MHz kill-switch receiver which can be activated by a Flipper Zero (“tamagotchi for hackers”). Terminator Salvation meets Hitchhiker’s Guide.
Until next month,
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