-Tanner Kenney, Fellow
As Discussion Leaders, stakeholder members, and attendees prepared for the Advanced Energy Group’s Q3 2017 events in Washington, D.C. (9.21), Chicago (9.27), and New York City (10.5), the AEG team has been presented with myriad city- and topic-specific inquiries. These questions were expounded upon during the inaugural Boston Advanced Energy Stakeholder Breakfast on September 14th, and the most salient point that comes across, from even the most granular of examinations, has been that of the speed of change taking place in renewable energy generation, storage, and the technologies associated with the ‘internet of things’ (IoT).
As it relates to energy and sustainability, IoT is catch-all term for the proliferation of communication-based technologies that allow for the exchange of information between people and devices in any given location. And more than ever before, these technologies are increasing the efficiency of energy generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization. And the marketplace for advanced energy technologies is constantly and consistently growing whilst pushing the boundaries of innovation.
IoT has provided a space for smaller, yet positively disruptive technologies such as actively-monitored workstations and lighting fixtures to be paired with elevator and ventilation systems to reduce overall building energy consumption. However, at the Q2 2017 New York Advanced Energy Stakeholder Breakfast, Phil Skalaski, Vice President of Engineering and Energy Services for the Durst Organization, lamented the then-current state of truly “smart buildings” due to the lack of a ubiquitous master-communications system that could be used by building managers, landlords, owners, and/or tenants to maximize the potential energy savings.
However, the innovation taking place throughout the energy sector is not limited to efficiency gains. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuel consumption are being reduced at an ever-increasing pace, thus reducing the end-use impact on global climate change, and can be seen in the fuel-sourcing transformations taking place in previously-polluted metropolitan areas like New York City. Form biofuels and natural gas to solar photovoltaic and wind power, American power providers are flocking to renewable sources of energy as intermittency is reduced and overall efficiency is increased through various communications tools through IoT.
The Advanced Energy Group is proud to hold events in multiple cities at the offices of Holland & Knight, a strong proponent of AEG’s mission, and to host Discussion Leaders from energy companies like Schneider Electric that have been working to promote the same through the utilization of “big data” coupled with technologies such as the aforementioned building management systems, energy storage, and beyond. Diligence in implementing these technologies will be key, moving forward, as a recent Schneider Electric study “found "appetite yet hesitation" in moving towards smarter, more efficient workplaces.”