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By Casey Talon
Published: June 9, 2015

Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the buzz when it comes to intelligent buildings. A slew of vendors are tagging their solutions and coming to market with a message of cost-effective intelligence that will redefine how we live and work in buildings. But are we ready?

In mid-May, I attended Haystack Connect, an event that brought together a vibrant vendor community tackling the reality of the development of the intelligent building. The panels and conversations circled on a vision for open-source data modelling via Project Haystack. According to Project Haystack’s website, the project is an open source initiative to streamline working with data from the IoT and to standardize semantic data models and web services with the goal of making it easier to unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by the smart devices that permeate our homes, buildings, factories, and cities. The applications the project focuses on include automation, control, energy, HVAC, lighting, and other environmental systems.

Two lessons learned: First off, big data is a marketing tagline, but building owners want to know what it does for them. Second, the IoT can generate a whole lot of information, but the key is accuracy and action.

Big Data: More Isn’t Necessarily Better

The demand for intelligence is ubiquitous, from smartphones to smart watches, and the notion of data-driven decision-making is helping to accelerate customer demand for smart buildings. Getting the data from large existing buildings and making sense of what it means across an enterprise is no small feat. As one speaker put it, “This problem is not the domain of the data scientist.” In other words, there is building technology and engineering expertise that has to be a part of the equation. In the Project Haystack world, this is about cleaning and processing system information with consistent approaches via tags that speak the same language. Without common naming, analytics can hit a wall.

The Promise of Data Granularity

The trajectory for device connectivity is impressive, and underlying the evolution in technology adoption is the maturation of cost-effective tools that make actionable building intelligence accessible to an ever-growing audience. Wireless sensors and controllers can not only add granularity to the assessment of building performance, but also open the door to smaller facilities that have been out of reach for the legacy building controls industry. The exposure of new applications to a wider audience is a critical step in the process of market maturation for smart buildings. As these solutions become adopted across customer segments, market awareness and business value will only increase.

Original article online at: http://www.navigantresearch.com/blog/the-information-reality-behind-the-intelligent-building

TAIPEI–Taiwan is working to promote renewable energy and improve energy efficiency to cope with the challenges of climate change and meet growing electricity demand, Economics Minister John Deng (鄧振中) said on Tuesday at a conference on energy issues in Taipei.

Taiwan is designing sustainable power solutions for the next generation to face up to climate change, he said at the opening of the Conference on Next Generation Power in Asia, at which local and foreign experts discussed solar energy, wind power and smart grids.

Meanwhile, developing renewable energy is an important issue for Taiwan because it relies heavily on imports of fuel and electricity demand continues to grow, Deng said.

In an effort to promote renewable energy, Taiwan has increased its target for overall renewable energy capacity from more than 10,000 megawatts to 30,000 megawatts by 2030, he added.

Taiwan has also set a target for energy efficiency improvement of 2 percent per year, he added.

Deng also noted that with the demand for electricity increasing, countries in Asia urgently need to construct a better and more efficient smart grid infrastructure.

Organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the two-day conference gathered experts and officials from such countries as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines to talk about next generation power policies in Asia, the bureau said.

The bureau said it has been promoting solar energy and wind power projects as well as smart grid programs aimed at improving energy efficiency in recent years.

Participating U.S. officials at the event include Robert Wang, U.S. senior official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and AIT Taipei Director Christopher Marut.

The event marks a step forward in U.S.-Taiwan cooperation in the region, Marut said, noting that the AIT and Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy have launched several programs in the energy area over the years.

The over-reliance on fossil fuel has had a negative impact in every region of the world, including air pollution in the Asia-Pacific, rising mercury levels in the oceans, damage to marine habitats and threats to global food security, Marut said in his opening remarks.

“All of the developments underscore the need for governments to plan and implement good energy polices and to adopt cleaner, more efficient and more affordable costs of producing energy,” said Marut, whose successor as AIT director has recently been named.

Original article online at: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan-business/2015/05/13/435896/Nation-committed.htm

Published: February 18, 2015

As the market matures, demand is growing for more integrated solutions, report finds

A new report from Navigant Research assesses the global market for building energy management systems (BEMSs), including global market forecasts for revenue, segmented by region, offering type, and customer type, through 2024

Several market trends, including growing corporate awareness of the Internet of Things and rising demand for data-driven decision support tools, are accelerating the adoption of BEMSs. As the cost of monitoring and control technology falls, BEMSs are becoming more cost-effective options for a broader set of customers. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from BEMSs is expected to grow from $2.4 billion in 2015 to nearly $10.8 billion in 2024.

“Building energy management systems represent an important evolutionary step in the approach to facilities and operations management,” says Casey Talon, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “As the market matures, more integrated and sophisticated BEMS solutions are delivering energy efficiency improvements while also enabling comprehensive business intelligence and strategic management.”

BEMSs include offerings in four categories, according to the report: visualization and reporting, fault detection and diagnostics, predictive maintenance and continuous improvement, and optimization. Solutions may span these categories or provide tools within one specific category, and they vary in technology maturity based on functionality and integration. This variability in solution design and functionality reflects the newness of the market and diverse customer needs, the report finds.

The report, “Building Energy Management Systems,” assesses the global market for BEMSs, including the software, services, and hardware components. It analyzes the current state of the market and provides insight into the future direction of BEMS offerings based on the functionality of emerging technologies, shifting customer demands, and other market dynamics. Global market forecasts, segmented by region, offering type, and customer type, extend through 2024. The report also examines variations in the adoption of BEMSs across geographies and customer segments, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Original article online at: http://www.navigantresearch.com/newsroom/revenue-from-building-energy-management-systems-is-expected-to-reach-nearly-10-8-billion-by-2024

Commercial sector energy bills will increase by 31% and industrial sector bills by 26% to 2030 due to low-carbon policies.
Source: Information Management
Dec. 26, 2014, 10:19AM ET
By Joe Caserta

It’s the time of year for looking ahead and gaze into the future to ponder where data management and analytics technology are headed. As I have done for the past few years, I step up to offer my vision and make predictions for what’s to come in 2015. I also look back at 2014 to see how my predictions for that year held up.

First, a look at 2015:

1. 2015 is the year of the Chief Analytics Officer (CAO). As companies of all sizes look to not just gather data but to strategically apply it to all corners of the enterprise, the CAO is gaining in importance and quickly achieving Rock Star status. It is the “ultimate big data job” and with good reason: Increasingly, organizations strive to turn their data into strategic assets, and the CAO position supports the move from traditional data warehousing and business intelligence to applying data analytics practices upon its data for business benefit and bottom-line gain. For assurance of this prediction, we can look at New York City Mayor Bill de Lazio’s recent appointment of Amen Ra Mashariki as the city’s first CAO.

2. The Healthcare industry will leapfrog other industries to become the model for the effective use of technology. From saving lives to managing medical records – and powered by The Internet of Things (IoT) – the healthcare industry will blaze ahead with technology that taps into the power of smartphones, social media, electronic medical devices and wearable sensors streaming big data. I belive 2015 will be the year of “disruption” for the Healthcare industry as existing and emerging technologies allow for faster and more efficient patient care and service delivery.

3. Heightened demand for Consulting Services for Big Data Engineering, Big Data Governance, and Data Science. This trio of services will be top priority for any data-driven organization and key to the Big Data paradigm. Increasingly, businesses understand that preserving the integrity and consistency of their data is a non-negotiable if they want to remain competitive. As Big Data becomes an even more integral part of the enterprise and backbone of the business, there will be higher demand for smart data consulting services.

4. The IoT will mature from acronym to changing the way businesses capture data. It’s said that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. That measurement is about to be dwarfed as by 2015, some 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet and it is the power of their capability to create their own streaming data that promises to transform the way we live. The idea of manual transaction data capture goes away and dynamic, real-time ingestion and application of information will dominate.

Now let’s look at the predictions for 2014 to see how I did (with some updates for 2015):

1. Relational databases will be further challenged by NoSQL databases.

Prediction Status: Accurate

Data projects need schema flexibility and ability to scale out. While relational databases are still prevalent, NoSQL columnar databases such as Cassandra and Hbase are used in data environments where high speed and volume is required. Installations of document databases like MongoDB are now widespread, and key-value databases like Redis and Riak are unbeatable for reference data lookups. The enterprise is finally thinking polyglot persistence – using different database models, depending upon the use case – instead of sticking with just one technology. Look for standardization around the NoSQL paradigm to mature in 2015.

2. Search technology will dominate Business Intelligence

Prediction Status: Accurate, but still evolving

As Big Data technologies mature, the use of traditional methods of BI tools on top of a relational database is questioned. The convergence of BI and search technologies on your corporate data has become a reality so businesses can “Google” their structured and unstructured data to get the business intelligence they are looking for. Products like Microsoft’s PowerBI now include a search-based graphical BI solution. Attivio is another tool in the BI market that uses Search technology.

Being able to ask questions in plain English and get the answers you want is a scarce reality – but there will be more adoption this year. Look to LucidWorks and other emerging companies to offer more products in this space in 2015.

3. IT will move to Hybrid Cloud solutions and Hybrid IT Organization:

Prediction Status: Accurate – still evolving.

Migration to the Cloud by the enterprise is in full-force! However, because of privacy and security concerns, there is hesitation in some industries. The Hybrid Cloud, in which a business uses both private and public cloud storage solutions for their data, offers the best of both worlds when it comes to low-cost and elasticity of the cloud, as well as the safety of your own infrastructure. With the hybrid cloud, quicker and more agile development projects are possible with the stability and confidence of a private production environment.
Original article at: http://www.information-management.com/news/Big-Data-Internet-of-Things-IoT-2015-10026385-1.html

Commercial sector energy bills will increase by 31% and industrial sector bills by 26% to 2030 due to low-carbon policies.
Source: edie.net Newsroom
Dec. 10, 2014

The industrial and commercial sectors could see a 30-45% increase on energy bills to 2030, according to latest projections from the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

In its third assessment of the impact of carbon budgets on energy bills, the CCC estimates an average increase of 31% in commercial sector energy bills and 26% in industrial sector energy bills to 2030 due to low-carbon policies.

The report also states that the annual bill for an average dual-fuel household was £1,140 in 2013 and is estimated to fall to £1,100 in 2020 and rise to £1,305 in 2030.

However, ‘while all energy users have experienced large increases in both electricity and gas prices since 2004, the majority of this change is unrelated to low-carbon policies’ and is more related to ‘increases in the wholesale price of gas.’

CCC states that these increases can be offset through energy efficiency measures, which can cut energy bills and may provide savings larger than those costs.

Competitive pressures

Head of climate and environment policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, Gareth Stace says that it is vital for government to take a long-term approach to minimsing costs, especially for energy intensive industry.

“The report lays bare the potential impact of climate change policy on industrial energy prices over the next decade, estimating that it could add 100% to electricity bills by 2030. This would place serious competitive pressures on heavy industry.”

“The package of protection measures announced by the Coalition Government could reduce these costs by around 80% but at present it does not stretch beyond 2019/20.”

“It is crucial that in future industrial considerations are placed at the centre of energy policy formation, rather than something to simply tag on at the end,” he said.

Commenting on the report, Friends of the Earth senior climate change campaigner Simon Bullock said: “There is a clear message for politicians – if they are serious about cutting the cost of punishing energy bills and tackling climate change, making the UK’s heat-leaking housing stock energy efficient must rise rapidly up their to-do list.”

“This report is further evidence that the last decade’s whopping energy bill rises are overwhelmingly due to gas costs going up, not support for renewables – which has added just £35 of the £490 increase since 2004.”

“Our bills would have been even higher, if not for cuts in energy consumption – energy saving has in fact been protecting people from the decade’s stratospheric gas price rises.”

Low-carbon energy

Aldersgate Group executive director Nick Molho said: “This report from the Committee on Climate Change clearly shows that we can meet our carbon targets affordably, a conclusion that many other reports have also reached.”

“To do so, the next Government must pursue energy efficiency policies to a much greater extent than has been done to date and show its support for the clean energy sector well beyond the end of this decade if businesses are to invest in our low carbon power stations at a reasonable cost.”

“With the General Election fast approaching, our political leaders should remember that meeting our carbon targets isn’t just about tackling climate change, it’s also about equipping our nation with modern homes and building an efficient and low carbon energy system fit for the 21st century.”

“Moving to a low carbon economy could unlock important employment and economic growth opportunities if the next Government shows a long-term commitment to this much needed transition and could significantly improve the UK’s energy security by cutting its dependence on fossil fuels.”
Original article at: http://www.edie.net/news/6/Energy-efficiency-vital-in-offsetting-energy-bill-rises/

By Marie Bahl McKenna
Dec. 10, 2014

Mark my words: 2015 will be all about energy.

Of course, energy has always been here, keeping the lights on, keeping us warm, keeping us alive. But the industry has been largely stuck (not entirely of its own fault) for nearly 100 years. In 2015, it all will change.

Next year, energy will come to the foreground as the leader in innovation, showing the world how one-to-one marketing can revolutionize product delivery and customer service. Other industries will look to energy as the model for how to market.

The transformation we’ll see in 2015 is not without precedent. We’ve seen some progress in 2014: forward motion that set the energy industry on its path to change. But in 2015, it will blaze its trail to the front, writing a new chapter in utilities’ history, one of customer personalization that increases profits, expands energy efficiency and sets a new standard to which other industries will aspire.

Let’s look ahead to some things we’ll see in the next 12 months:

1. Personalization that optimizes big data. Here’s where energy earns the spotlight. Increasingly more consumers desire meaningful, personal connections with one another and with their technology. Data analytics gives energy providers (and all other service providers) the means by which to cater to today’s customers. Energy will set the example by taking into account customer preferences for nearly everything: home temperature, appliance settings, access to their energy consumption data and bills.

Home data factors in, as well, including where customers live, the types of structures they inhabit, those structures’ insulation and the weather in the region at any given time. Using all of these markers, energy providers will be able to deliver customized products and services to their customers. This shift in marketing will all happen automatically through enhanced energy management technology.

The technology aggregates, analyzes and delivers useful data to energy providers so they can design programs that use customer preferences to improve energy efficiency and cut costs. These programs make energy management something that’s simultaneously effortless and fully within customers’ control.

2. A new way to market for utilities. This new era of personalization, in which customers expect enhanced services from their core providers and data analytics makes it possible to deliver these services, demands dramatic change from utilities.

Until recently, utilities have served as pure-play energy companies that offered electrons over a network of wires. It has worked, but times are changing. Customer expectations coupled with competition from companies such as Google with personalized, varied offerings are forcing utilities to provide the same.

To grow and succeed, utilities must start acting like energy service providers (ESPs). As ESPs, they will create a marketplace of energy-related goods and services that build new revenue streams and keep customers satisfied. Satisfied customers will stay utility customers instead of taking their energy needs to other independent providers.

In 2014, some utilities began to experiment with adopting the ESP model. NRG Energy unveiled a retail solar strategy and partnered with Green Charge Networks to deploy electric vehicle charging stations. Likewise, Arizona Public Service proposed a solar utility business model.

In 2015, we will see more utilities moving toward the personalized marketplace approach. It’s best for them and their customers.

3. Revolutionized regulatory boundaries. In April 2014, the New York State Public Service Commission launched its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. Its magnitude is staggering, and its influence will come full circle in 2015. The REV aims to lead regulatory changes that improve energy efficiency and open wide the door to renewable resources.

Wind and solar will find their places, as will the wider deployment of distributed resources like microgrids, on-site power supplies and storage. It doesn’t stop there. Promotion of advanced energy management tools and demand response technologies is also key, as is empowering customers to control their electricity consumption. New York has started a powerful trend.

Already in 2014, we saw other states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota — start to revamp their regulatory practices, and their actions should prove contagious. As GTM research says, these states are “laying the groundwork for revolution” and the shift to a more viable and robust energy market.

4. Solar as an opportunity for utilities. In 2015, utilities will shift their perspective on solar and other alternative sources of energy, and it won’t happen just because of new regulations. They’ll have to offer these resources; if they don’t, they will lose customers to independent renewables providers.

A study published in the Journal of Economic Geography notes the power a phenomenon called “peer effects” already is having, particularly with solar. It’s simple: Someone notices the neighbor’s solar panels and decides to invest, as well, followed by another neighbor and another, and then most of the neighborhood has gone solar. The question utilities must consider is who’s providing the power?

Successful utilities will realize soon that renewables are not threats; rather, they are critical components of comprehensive and personalized energy programs.

A Year of Change

As the New Year approaches, the energy industry has lots to anticipate. It’s an exciting time with much potential for change and growth. The technology and resources exist to make this change possible. Now it’s a matter of utilities and energy providers’ adopting the infrastructures and partnering with the right companies to deliver the services customers want.

Come December 2015, there’s no reason we can’t be writing year-end wrap-ups replete with developments that have repositioned energy as the industry to watch. Jan. 1 is right around the corner. Let the innovation begin.
Original article at: http://www.elp.com/Electric-Light-Power-Newsletter/articles/2014/12/2015-predictions-the-year-of-energy.html

By Howard Baldwin
Nov. 24, 2014 11:06 a.m.

It’s become clear in the past few years that few technologies live in a vacuum. They’re more likely to be connected or related and sharing data, which is why it’s always better to think of the enterprise holistically rather than in silos. (Imagine how much more efficiently the federal government would run if it stored one record of each citizen, rather than one at the Internal Revenue Service, another at the Social Security Administration, another at the Transportation Security Administration, and so on.)

That’s also why you’re hearing the term SMAC bandied about more recently. That’s the amalgam of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud, because the four work better together than individually.

Similarly, the close sibling of analytics, big data, also feeds off the Internet of Things. Admittedly, I think we’re much further along with big data than we are with the Internet of Things, especially since, as Forbes contributor Gil Press noted wryly earlier this year, the Internet of Things has surpassed big data on the Gartner hype curve.

But once the Internet of Things gets rolling, stand back. We’re going to have data spewing at us from all directions – from appliances, from machinery, from train tracks, from shipping containers, from power stations. I loved the infographic on the Big Data Startup site about all the ways we’ll come to collect sensor data. If that doesn’t get you thinking about how to handle real-time data feeds, nothing will. But here’s a suggestion: start now.

You may still have time. GigaOm’s Derrick Harris noted last week that the Internet of Things isn’t producing a data deluge … yet. But the analytics challenge is nonetheless looming. As Harris rightfully says, after citing Cisco’s prediction of 21 billion connected devices by 2018, “the companies that will be storing all that device data are less concerned [about] sheer volume and more concerned about making it usable.”

Some companies are already starting. As Drew Robb noted in his Enterprise Apps Today article last week, How IoT Will Change Big Data Analytics, Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology office is thinking about how to take advantage of communication from buildings, vehicles, people, power plants, and smart meters.

As one of Robb’s sources noted, “Every enterprise needs to factor in how the Internet of Things is going to affect them and their business, and must respond by establishing the right infrastructure to support this level of Big Data and analytics. If they don’t, they will fall behind.”

On the other hand, there are others who aren’t responding with any urgency. According to Jeff Bertolucci’s news report in Information Week last week, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) released a survey showing that while a shade over half of respondents believe “Internet of Things opportunities justify the hoopla,” an almost exact percentage, 48%, “see more hype than substance.”

Bertolucci suggests, quite accurately, that IT executives may be hesitating because of a lack of standards and the potential inability of sensors to share data. But as a CompTIA executive notes – also accurately – that this little thing called the Internet “required certain protocols to become commonly used” before we started deriving full benefit from it.

But no matter when you start – today, tomorrow, this weekend, not later – remember this sound advice from a Booz Allen consultant, quoted by ZDNet’s Larry Dignan last week. “Machines do analytics; humans do analysis.” Dignan added, “Computers are good at detail and examining the past, but real data science requires imagination and cognitive ability.”

The moral of the story: you can have all the sensors in the world, but you’re still going to need someone to figure out what they’re telling you.
Original article at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardbaldwin/2014/11/24/a-match-made-somewhere-big-data-and-the-internet-of-things/

The consumer Internet of Things may be hyper-competitive, but at least it’s easy to define. The average end-user wants relatively few things of their IoT right now: a smart home, a smart car, and maybe a bit of healthcare information. If you’re selling a hot new security or energy management or fitness app or device, there are only so many places to look for partners. But what about all the other “things?”

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