January 2022 Smart Energy News

By Pilgrim - January 17, 2022


  • Nominate your top woman in EV today - deadline imminent. Perhaps yourself!
  • Nearly 50% of new car sales in UK in Dec were EV or hybrid - an astonishing shift in 2 years. Are we starting to see the “Osborne effect” - once your vendor of choice announces an upcoming EV, you delay your next ICE purchase forever?
  • 2.5 years after I bought my first EV I discovered that today could sell it second-hand for more than I bought it. Truly this is a new world.
  • March 31st sees the end of the UK’s OLEV/OZEV £350 home charger subsidy, which might cause a short-term boom/bust in installations. But industry folks reckon this might actually help shift the industry forwards to long-term service relationships rather than one-off product sales.
  • Another UK legislative change this year is the requirement that chargers be “Smart”, i.e. connected for remote management and DSR. The government’s approach learns lessons from the Smart Meter rollout, specifying only high-level “functional requirements” and avoiding getting bogged-down in low-level technical specifications. The pervasiveness of the internet in 2022 means that no-one should have to care too much about how connectivity happens. Yay. The government is also mandating comms security and the ability to change supplier, with references to a couple of new BSI Standards:
  • The EV Fleet Association is a collection of UK retailers, comms providers and charging providers lobbying a coherent plan to electrify vehicle fleets.
  • If you’re considering an EV and need to tow a trailer or boat then this is a great list.
  • A welcome aspect of Daniel Craig’s last Bond film was the return of the baddy’s island lair. On a completely unrelated note, as grid carbon falls we see attention turning to the carbon footprint (and human rights) of manufacturing EVs, and especially of battery production. Tesla’s new battery formulation is cheaper and removes problematic cobalt, but requires even more nickel. So it’s bought ⅓ of the output from New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific which hosts the world’s largest nickel reserve, and will set about greening its operations: summary video.

Smart Energy

  • Tado:
    • I was very impressed with their Christmas promotion: used thermostats, reconditioned and fully guaranteed, at a 40% discount. A welcome step away from disposable consumer culture.
    • Also, their aggregated data shows the appalling insulation levels of UK homes vs. rest of Europe.
  • China achieves two world-firsts:
  • Vattenfall launch high-temperature heat pumps capable of like-for-like drop-in boiler (furnace) replacement. This seems particularly important because most boiler replacements are “emergencies” when your fossil-fuel boiler dies in the winter, with no time to plan ahead and fit bigger radiators etc.
  • Driven by global gas prices (and late renewables) the UK is heading for a huge energy price crunch in April which will almost double household energy bills, and see those living on state support handing-over one third of their benefits to pay energy bills ("heat or eat").
  • Fascination to see how well Wind and Solar production balance each other out seasonally in Europe (given a bit of storage and interconnection to deal with short-term lulls).  


  • The Achilles heel of so many IoT devices is batteries, so I'm always interested in new energy-scavenging technologies. Everactive looks like a coherent platform, although like its peers it sadly does have a proprietary wireless layer. When standards do arrive for ultra-low-power wireless they will really open-up so many applications.
  • Telefonica plans to connect 650k water meters using NB-IoT in Spain.
  • As Digimarc completes its acquisition of Evrythng I was reflecting on their journey, which started-out with powered IoT devices then shifted to printing custom IDs to track product provenance (“Auto-ID”).
  • Google loses its patent case with Sonos and strips functionality. 
  • If your IoT devices are critical to the functioning of society, perhaps bear in mind what the Russians and Chinese are up to with Adversary targeting of civilian telecommunications infrastructure
  • I've tried - but failed - to find anything interesting to say about this month's annual CES show. Some slow progress on the stuff that matters (like the Matter standard), but apart from that it was just more junky tat.

Until next month,


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