The Shift To Clean Energy: M2M Plays A Vital Role

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M2M clean energyClean energy benefits are becoming widely known to include reduced carbon footprint that is sustainability-focused and home solar systems that essentially turn consumers into paid energy providers. Significant shifts are happening in this sector; business model and financial innovation and the need for seamless integration of technology makes M2M communication key to adoption. M2M device management pioneers Mformation spoke to Clean Energy expert Jigar Shah (author of Creating Climate Wealth) to discuss insights into the important role M2M technology plays in the quest for more sustainable energy systems.

What are the most exciting technological innovations you are witnessing in your industry at the moment?

Today, technology is accelerating based on its deployment. The most significant innovation in the past 10 years has really been business model and financial innovation. Today, there is so much money chasing resource productivity solutions that researchers are more confident in spending their time on improved solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, smart grid, software, energy efficiency and other areas.

How big of an impact do you see machine to machine communication having on communities that would otherwise not have access to clean energy?

The impact has already been enormous in the continuous commissioning work in mature markets. When you think about bringing new markets on board, the integration of many technologies into a seamless framework for utility companies is really the key. Machine to machine technology is key to this integration.

What is the potential for M2M technology to help clean energy initiatives on both a climate change level and on a revenue level?

Initially M2M technologies will be deployed in basic ways to simply make individual buildings and the overall system more efficient. Some estimate that with very little effort M2M can help folks reduce energy consumption by 20%. Once the intelligence is on the grid, the integration of solar, combined heat and power, wind, and other intermittent sources can be done fairly easily.

As consumers adopt solar power and become energy providers, how important is remote management and monitoring of usage and distribution?

Today, data is very difficult to centralize and the data that is coming in has significant gaps in it. Much of the new work is focused on make sure that approaches we have now are implemented in such a way that the data is actually of actionable quality.

Machine communication within smart grid and smart meter solutions mean that real time data can be received and decisions be made quickly — what impact could this have on energy management and what role does it play in avoiding an energy crisis?

There has been amazing work done here and projects like Pecan Street in Austin have shown that by simply collecting and reviewing data you can focus your attention on what really matters. Most interested participants today are pulled in 20 different directions, have this real time data can focus the human capital that we have in the most productive directions everyday – especially during an energy crisis.

What aspects of the smart grid and smart meter are most important to reducing emissions?

The intelligence does not directly reduce emissions, but it refocuses the precious resources we are already paying for. The money is there but it is not being spent in the most efficient manner to reduce emissions.

What are the biggest barriers to smart grid and smart meter solutions being successful in having a positive impact on climate change?

Today, the biggest barrier to smart grid is that there is a gap between the cost of the rollout and the value to the ratepayers. This can be simplified greatly for the public service commissions if the purpose of the rollout were focused on the value streams.

About Mformation ( The pioneer and leading global provider of management solutions for wirelessly connected devices. Since 1999, Mformation’s solutions have been deployed by the largest mobile operators and managed service providers worldwide. Mformation’s platform has been tested and proven to be able to manage billions of wirelessly connected devices of all types, enabling operators and solution providers to manage devices and the applications and services on them, over any wireless network. Mformation’s award-winning technology provides innovative solutions for managing M2M and the Internet of Things, along with device certification, smart customer interaction, automatic device detection and data offload.

About Jigar Shah: The author of Creating Climate Wealth, Founder of SunEdison, first CEO of Carbon War Room, Jigar Shah is an executive with broad experience in all aspects of the renewable electricity and climate change solutions.

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