Market Research and Insight

Electronic skin could enable ‘smart’ prosthetics
The concept of electronic skin might sound far-fetched, but it’s closer to becoming a reality with a wide range of potential uses. So-called smart gloves, for example, could allow medical students to practice virtual surgery that felt like the real thing. Flexible material embedded with circuitry could also be... Read more
UK deploys sensor ‘army’ aimed at building a better energy grid
GE and the UK-based electricity network distribution operator Western Power Distribution (WPD) plan to measure demand and voltage data across southwest England and south Wales to develop “templates” for utilities working to build modern, lower-carbon energy grids. The research effort is among the projects being funded by a £500-million... Read more
With more jobs a goal, US to fast-track grid modernization projects
The Obama Administration says it is fast-tracking seven proposed electricity grid modernization projects to “speed the creation of thousands of construction and operations jobs.” The projects are designed to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and increased cooperation at the federal, state and tribal levels. The proposed... Read more
Convergys, Plug Smart partner for real-time EV charging data
Convergys and Plug Smart are teaming up to provide real-time rating, billing and data management support for electric vehicle charging stations. The partnership pairs Zephyr, Plug Smart’s charging station technology, with Convergys’ “Smart Revenue” billing solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging. “The billing challenges utilities face in the wake... Read more
ABB’s programmable logic controllers are helping to run what is believed to be the world’s first zero-emissions data center, a facility in Iceland that gets its electricity from hydropower and geothermal energy. The Thor Data Center near the capital city of Reykjavik recently opened its first data storage container... Read more
What better way to revive an industrial infill site in urban California than to use it as site for showcasing an innovative, zero net energy (ZNE) building design? That’s the motivation behind a new competition sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and... Read more
Canada is now generating more than 4,600 megawatts of electricity from wind power, enough to power more than one million homes … which sounds like quite a bit until you realize that’s just 2 percent of the nation’s total electricity demand. Not that the country is a slouch in... Read more
As the European Union rolls out smart electricity meters and other grid-modernizing technologies, utility companies are facing more challenges than ever. To help them better manage outages, bring on renewable energy sources and juggle a host of new applications, Echelon and Oracle are teaming up to offer them a... Read more
A growing number of business owners are coming to understand that energy-saving, efficient technology is good for the bottom line. But at a time when enterprises — commercial or otherwise — are watching every penny, it can be hard to justify the upfront expense, even when such improvements more... Read more
Think about the uses solar energy can be put to, and what comes to mind? Solar panels for making electricity, certainly. Solar thermal for heating water. Solar chargers for powering up cellphone and laptop batteries, maybe. But what about using solar energy to help pull more crude out of... Read more