Collaborative Energy, eCommerce, and the Smart Grid

When you apply eCommerce and enterprise software technologies to the Smart Grid and Collaborative Energy (between smart grids and responsive buildings/facilities), you can get

  • The rapid innovation approach that has driven internet and eBusiness success
  • Solutions that scale
  • High impact from proven, reliable technologies

We apply eCommerce technologies to energy and facility management and markets, and related architectural and technology issues.

William Cox has worked closely with participants in the NIST Smart Grid effort, the Electric Power Research Institute, the GridWise Architecture Council, OASIS, and the oBIX (Open Building Information Exchange) Technical Committee in OASIS, and many others to accelerate the Smart Grid. He has helped create three Smart Grid-related Technical Committees in OASIS. Details are on our Recent Updates page.

Service-Oriented Architectures provide a useful model for improving the effectiveness of enterprise interactions in the building and energy spaces. Toby Considine has written on Service-Oriented energy and buildings.

If you haven't yet heard Adam Werbach's pioneering approach to energy, green concerns, and the application of economics, you're in for a treat—here's his talk The Birth of Blue (audio, podcast, and transcript are available). He demonstrates how to align energy and building choices with economic motives to achieve sustainability, improved consumer choice, reduced consumption of energy, and lowered costs. This was a motivation for the OASIS Blue Initiative for distributed interactive energy. Cox and Considine are two authors of that white paper.

There are many opportunities to encourage effective and efficient use of energy by allowing energy pricing to be communicated more effectively, so you don't find out too late about swings in energy prices across a day, week, or month.

For devices, forward markets and clear communication of prices and energy characteristics (such as source or carbon information) are important. This applies from facilities (home, commercial building, industrial) to vehicles (the same issues apply to electric transportation) to Smart Grid-enabled appliances. We've done work in all of those areas.

Dynamic Pricing can limit peak demand, reducing energy costs—peak energy is far more expensive than base energy. eCommerce techniques, including contracts and fine-grained security, are the keys to achieving responsive and finer-grained markets and demand shaping rather than "turn off your power NOW" type signals.

Encouraging communication technologies, including AMI, to permit Dynamic Pricing signals and energy purchase decisions to be communicated reliably and securely has great potential. Watch this space, or sign up for our newsletter for updates on these issues.

Standardization of intelligent power and responsive building techniques requires expertise in enterprise architecture, economics, eCommerce, and buildings.

In addition to many presentations at leading Smart Grid conferences, William Cox also facilitated a Round Table Discussion on Blue topics at Grid-Interop 2008; see the Energy section of the Presentations area for the slides and announcement and for all of his other presentations including how to succeed in standards.

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