The same technology underlying the efficiency of bitcoin transactions and largely responsible for the online currency’s success could be the key to developing a smarter energy grid. Blockchain, a shared, encrypted ledger maintained by a network of computers, gives bitcoin transactions their unique peer-to-peer quality, making the entire system decentralized without a central repository or single administrator. While the electricity grid still relies on centralized plants generating power sent over long distances, blockchain technology could help modernize the system, making it easier for smaller, distributed networks to connect to the grid and exchange power locally.
This year is proving to be the year of investing in innovative energy technology. Mercom Capital Group reports that in the first half of 2017, over $1 billion in venture capital and private equity funding has been invested in battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies worldwide, exceeding the first-half funding benchmarks in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, surveyed the combined venture capital funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) and mergers & acquisitions across 89 companies in three separate sectors – Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency. Total investments in these areas amounted to $1.03 billion across the first half of 2017, a marked 25% jump from $807 million in the first half of 2016.
By: Tom Burton
In 2007, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick began the “Leading by Example” program that established energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals for all state government operations. Since then the program has collaborated with businesses, including the Massachusetts-based EnerNOC, to achieve these goals. This year, the Association of Energy Engineers gave the Project of the Year Award to the collaboration between EnerNOC and Massachusetts to meter energy consumption and maximize efficiency at state facilities. Continue Reading EnerNOC’s Partnership with Massachusetts Wins “Project of the Year” Award
Last week, the Senate passed a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 (S. Con. Res. 8) by a 50-49 vote. Although the resolution is non-binding and likely to change in the upcoming weeks, the resolution amendments that the Senate passed could offer insights as to the full Senate’s stance on key energy issues. In a 62-37 vote, the Senate approved the establishment of a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth through the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, the Senate voted to increase funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by $50 million over 10 years. Continue Reading Early Indications of Senate’s Stance on Energy Issues: Keystone and ARPA-E – ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environmental Update