Energy Datapalooza

Energy Datapalooza

Good morning. Morning. Hello. How’s everybody doing? Good. Fantastic. I’m Todd Park, U.S. CTO, and
I’m incredibly fired up about the 2014 Energy Datapalooza. So welcome, welcome, welcome. For those of you at your first Datapalooza,
let me give you some background. The president has been committed to opening up government
data to the public since his first day in office. Inspired by the success in decades
past of opening up government weather data and GPS, actions that have spurred multibillion
dollar ecosystems of entrepreneurship, companies and innovation, the Obama administration has
been opening up data across a growing number of high-priority areas: In health, education,
public safety, finance, global development, energy, and most recently in climate, we’ve
been releasing and improving troves upon troves of viable data that were previously hard to
access to use. A year ago this month, the president issued
a historic executive order and launched the administration’s open data policy, making
the new default for government information open and machine-readable while continuing
to rigorously protect privacy and security. Agencies are now cataloging their data resources
and publishing lists of data that are or could be made public. Data is a valuable national asset that should
be open and available to the public, to advocates, to entrepreneurs, to scientists and innovators
everywhere instead of being trapped in government systems. Taxpayers paid for these vast troves
of government data. And wherever possible, these information resources should be accessible
in machine-readable form to everybody. But the president’s open data initiatives
aren’t just about making government data available in liquid. They’re also about
collaborating with entrepreneurs and American innovators everywhere about the beneficial
use of the data. In addition to traditional feedback mechanisms, we’ve also been engaging
with the public, with challenges, hack-a-thons and brainstorming sessions we call data jams.
In fact, I see a lot of familiar faces here today from past energy data jams. And to highlight
al this innovation, we’ve held summits like this, otherwise known as Datapaloozas. Open government data is fuel for all kinds
of private sector innovation and economic growth. In fact, McKinsey recently estimated
that open data can help unlock over $3 trillion of economic value per year, including over
$480 billion in global value in the energy sector alone. And New York University recently
put together a study of 500 representatives companies that use open government data, including
some of the companies here today. By leveraging freely available government
data and tools, entrepreneurs and innovators are helping to build the Clean Energy Economy.
Innovations like those featured today here at the Energy Datapalooza can help Americans
conserve energy, save money and advance a safer a cleaner future. And I can think of no one better to talk about
our energy and climate future than our next speaker. I’m pleased to introduce to you
Counselor to the President John Podesta. As many of you know, Mr. Podesta was chief
of staff in the Clinton administration. Immediately prior to foregoing his retirement and re-entering
government service, John was a national recognized voice as founder of the Center for American
Progress, where he built CAP into a thought leader on the critical issues of our time. John now serves President Obama with a vital
portfolio that spans big data and privacy, environment and climate issues and, of course,
energy. John, we’re absolutely thrilled to have
you here. Thank you so much for your leadership and for taking the time to share your expertise
with us. Please welcome John Podesta. Morning, everyone. And thanks, Todd, for kicking
things off and firing us up. We’re of course blessed to have Todd as our fabulous CTO.
On behalf of the White House and all of our federal partners, I want to thank all of you
for joining us today for the 2014 White House Energy Datapalooza. Actually got the word
out. Today we’re hearing about innovative data-driven
tools that help make buildings more efficient, make our electric grid smarter and that accelerate
the adoption of renewable energy solutions. I know you’re all excited to hear today’s
speakers and see today’s demos, but I want to take a few minutes to put a context around
this and talk about why these efforts are so important to President Obama and to the
country. Climate change is real, it’s driven by human
activity, and it’s happening right now. Earlier this month the White House released
the third national climate assessment which laid out in stark detail how climate change
is already reshaping our country. Streets in Miami are beginning to flood, even on sunny
days, because of sea level rise. Spring is coming earlier. Heat waves are lasting longer.
Rainstorms are becoming deluges. That’s why President Obama believes that
we have a moral obligation to act now to curb climate change. He believes we have a responsibility
to leave our children a planet that isn’t damaged and degraded. That’ll take a lot
of work and a lot of innovation. Last June the White House released the president’s
climate action plan, an ambitious and wide-ranging policy agenda to cut greenhouse gas emissions,
drive international cooperation and make our communities more resilient to the climate
effects we won’t be able to avoid. At the White House and across the administration
we’re determined to execute that ambitious plan. We’ve created a strategy to reduce
methane emissions from a wide range of activities and enacted standards limiting carbon pollution
from new power plants. Just a few weeks ago the president announced
a huge series of commitments from the public and private sectors to deploy more distributed
more solar power and improve energy efficiency across millions of square feet of buildings,
both public and private. We started a task force of state and local and tribal leaders
to make recommendations on how we can boost resilience to climate impacts and local communities. Internationally, we’ve worked to end public
financing for new conventional coal plants overseas, except in the poorest countries,
and other public credit agencies are taking up that call. Most recently the Netherlands
and the U.K. have joined the U.S. in that effort. And we’re doing what the United
States is best at. We’re using data. We’re promoting innovation. We’re building technology
to face this challenge head-on. Back in March we launched a climate data initiative.
That effort pairs open government data and ambitious federal challenges with private
and philanthropic commitments to develop, user-friendly climate planning tools for local
communities. The first release of climate data focused
on coastal flooding and sea level rise and included more than a hundred high-quality
and tools for local communities and innovators. For the first time mapping information about
hundreds of thousands of infrastructures and geophysical features across the United States
was made public by the USGS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense
and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. This data will be crucial in helping communities
plan for floods and other climate impacts. But the Climate Data Initiative is about more
than opening up government data. The open data releases were amplified and made more
powerful by partnerships with the private sector. As part of the first Climate Data
Initiative release, Esri, the company that makes the ArcGIS software used by thousands
of city planners, plans to leverage its platform to help communities better prepare for climate
impacts. Intel pledged to host hack-a-thons in New Orleans, San Jose and Chesapeake Bay
region. Google pledged to make huge amounts of cloud storage available to developers to
house and experiment with climate data. Those are just three of more than dozen of great
commitments from groups as diverse as Microsoft to the Rockefeller Foundation. And the Climate Data Initiative won’t stop
there. The next set of data and commitments will be announced over the summer will focus
on agriculture and food security. The power of data is something else President
Obama has long recognized, as Todd noted. Recently the president asked me to lead a
90-day review of big data to examine how new methods of data collection and analysis are
reshaping our lives. The technologies underpinning big data from new methods of collection, through
sensors and other technologies, to the declining cost and collection of storage and processing,
to powerful new predictive analytics, present important opportunities in virtually every
sector of the economy. We of course must be vigilant about protecting
personal privacy and other core American values in a world powered by big data. But we must
also take advantage of these tools to fundamentally transform how we power our homes and businesses,
how we manage our electric grid and our energy sources and how we transport people around
the country. That’s what today is all about. Just as climate data will be central to helping
communities in the United States and around the world predict and prepare for future impacts
of climate change, energy data can help us reduce the harmful emissions that are driving
global climate change. The generation, transmission and distribution
of electricity in the United States produced huge amounts of greenhouse gases. In 2012
the electricity sector was the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the
U.S., accounting for about a third of our total emissions. That means effort like those
on the agenda today – improving efficiency, deploying more renewable energy resources,
and building a smarter electric grid – are all essential to our efforts to reduce the
threat posed by climate change. Climate change is a central environmental
economic and security challenge of our time. Taking it out will require an all-hands-on-deck
effort from the public and private sectors, from the American people and from every nation
on Earth. But looking around this room, I can’t help
but be optimistic. The challenges we face are serious, but so too is our commitment
to innovation, to technological progress, to finding a better way, to proving that we
can grow the economy, create jobs and save the planet all at the same time. You know, history tends to repeat itself.
Time and again government is pressed forward to set standards to protect human health and
the environment. Time and again the same old suspects have said that the rules would destroy
the American economy. Time and again, from the smallest startups to the largest corporations,
we’ve proven those skeptics wrong. A few years ago the Obama administration enacted
the most stringent fuel economy standards in history and issued the first-ever standards
for heavy-duty trucks. Those standards are expect to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion
at the pump over the life of the program and reduce projected carbon emissions by 6 billion
metric tons over the lifetime of those new vehicles. That’s more carbon pollution than
the U.S. emitted from all sectors in all of 2012. Last month the EPA released an update
of how U.S. auto manufacturers were doing, and they found that not only had the auto
industry met the targets, they had actually surpassed them by about 10 grams of CO2 per
mile. And about 20 percent – 28 percent of vehicles sold in 2013 meant the most stringent
greenhouse gas targets for 2016. That’s why it’s foolish to bet against American
ingenuity. Maybe if the naysayers spent more time in rooms like this one, they’d come
to realize that. Early next week the EPA will announce proposed
rules to limit for the first time carbon pollution from existing power plants. We already limit
how much arsenic, mercury and lead pollution these plants are allowed to release into the
air we breathe. But power plants can release as much carbon as they want. And they do.
Power plants are the largest single-source contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas pollution,
giving off fully, as I noted, one-third of our carbon emissions. I can’t speak to the details of that proposal,
which are under final review, but I can say that states left significant flexibility to
meet the standards using the energy sources that work best for each state. I could say
that limiting carbon pollution from power plants will protect public health today and
in the future. But to make this effort work, we’re going to need the innovation and the
ingenuity that’s in this room. All I can say is that modernizing our power
plants will continue our progress in cutting carbon pollution, spark homegrown clean energy
innovation to create jobs and lower energy waste to save families money. That’s what
this Datapalooza is all about too. So thank you all for joining us today. Thank
you for all that you do to help out as we transition to a world that is using cleaner,
more efficient energy, today and in the future. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Good morning, Morning. My name is Nick Sinai, U.S. deputy CTO, and
I’m going to be the emcee for the remainder of the morning. So we have a fantastic set
of lightning presentations from private sector and few public sector innovators and entrepreneurs,
really fantastic morning we have planned. So without further ado, let’s just jump
right into it. The first speaker is with a company called
Nest. Nest, as many of you know, is really doing a tremendous job in pioneering a product
category that for so long has been a staid category, really exciting story of innovation,
of harnessing data in so many fantastic ways. So without further ado, Ben Bixby. (Applause.) Cool. All right. Great. I promised Nick I’d
talk a little bit about the history of Nest and data and what the future holds. And, you
know, I thought I’d start by appropriating a slogan of many of my colleagues’ former
employers: We think different at Nest. And as far as folks who get together to build
thermostats go, we’re a different group. You know, we hail from Google, from Apple,
from Tesla, from Twitter, from academia to agencies to startups from coast to coast and
around the world. And we’ve all gotten together to build the conscious home. But more on that
in a little bit. So we decided to tackle a problem in a product
that hadn’t seen meaningful innovation for decades, the humble thermostat. Now, I notice
that increasingly, when I go to events like this, a number of the folks attending are
maybe too young to remember what it was like to program a VCR. And well, you know, long
after the VCR had given away to the DVR and to all manner of Internet dispatch of television,
your thermostat just kind of sat there, you know, frozen in time, locked into a 20th century
interface that had never consistently yielded to the will of the masses. You know, research,
experience, common sense all showed that the overwhelming majority of conventional programmable
thermostats are just sitting on walls, severely suboptimally programmed, if they’re even
programmed at all. I – you know, and as inventors and purveyors
of consumer electronics and as aficionados of the great Pixar film “The Brave Little
Toaster,” it saddens all of us at Nest to see a product fail to fulfill its destiny.
And so we wanted to help the humble thermostat fulfill its destiny, and so we re-imagined
it, you know, we connected it, we gave it consciousness. And now it’s all over the world. You know,
there are millions of Nest product out there, and they can be found in over 90 countries.
And that last statistic is particularly remarkable when you consider that we only officially
sell Nest in, you know, three countries. Now, I’d say that the thermostat had become
cool again, but I’m not completely sure that the thermostat was ever really originally
cool in the first place. But now – you know, now you can even see hip outdoor advertisements
for thermostats on bus stops in trendy neighborhoods. And, you know, it’s this way that kind of
the transformation becomes complete. You know, the humble thermostat is now consumer product.
It’s an object of desire. It’s something that makes your life better. You know, it’s
not something that you need to program, something that programs itself. So it makes the world
better, the country better, and our economy stronger too. You know, you see that – Nest celebrates
reinvention. We see things that are unloved, and we reinvent them. And of course, if you
are in the business of reinventing unloved things, you have to start somewhere, and the
world, you know, viewed through Nest’s eyes and from the perspective of energy impact
opportunity steers straight to – straight to thermostats. You know, over 50 percent
of the energy used in the home goes to heating and cooling the air. How’s that for a data
point? It means – it means about a thousand dollars a year for most folks and multiple
thousands for many. So let’s delve deeper into that. It’s data that drives conscious home, sensors
on the inside, the Internet from the outside. You know, this is – this is what your home
looks like to your Nest thermostat. You know, this is how living your life automatically
becomes Nest remote control. Now, Nest works whether it’s connected to the Internet or
not. You know, Nest sets the standard, we like to think, for what it means for device
to be a smart device. Its onboard sensors feed its onboard microprocessor, and it makes
informed and conscientious choices just by, you know, noticing you walk past or by noticing
your touch or by noticing maybe that you haven’t touched it a while. You know, it’s a device
with intelligence baked in that continues to work for you, the consumer, or anybody
else, for that matter, you know, even if none of you ever give Nest another (day ?). And
of course, remember Nest is a giver. The average home with Nest saves more than $179 each and
every year on their energy bill. That’s meaningful money. You know, this is Nest in its own world, but
like many things in life, it does get more fun with others. As the administration succeeds
in unlocking interval and rate data for customers and any consumer electronics providers that
they may wish to connect with those data streams, the whole experience gets even richer, you
know. And you the consumer get richer too. You know, meter data such as that unlocked
by the green button and related technologies make it ever more possible to precisely make
the right choices, you know, between comfort and conservation and at the right time. And that’s why we’re so excited at Nest
to be celebrating innovation and energy data together with you all today. We can’t wait
to partner to add evermore informed consciousness to the home and to share in the cleaner, greener
and stronger America that results. Thank you very much. Please joining you today.
(Applause.) OK. One quick logistical note I forgot to
mention. We’re – the hashtag for today is energydata. I know we don’t have fantastic
reception here, but for those who are able to connect, that’s what we’re using. OK. So our next speaker is Letha McLaren from
iControl Networks. Letha? (Applause.) So while you may have heard of Nest and you
may have seen Nest thermostats of the ones that have – he mentioned have been deployed
in all of those countries, iControl Networks, you may not have heard of, so I’ll spent
a couple of minutes just talking about who we are as a company. We are a software as a service company, kind
of the software application behind the scenes for a number of products in the market around
the connected home applications. So I’ll mention a couple of those names, just you
can kind of put the pieces together of who we are. We really focus on bringing together applications,
data and services into a single unified experience for end users, attracting mass market residential
homeowners. Our market focus really is through service providers, so companies like broadband
service providers or ADT home security companies and tel cos, also, again to deliver the connected
home services. We’re a platform approach, so we are technology-agnostic.
We’re really just a software application that runs in a set of hardware devices inside
the home offering a set of services. And we’ll talk about some of the services that are driving
the mass market residential consumers today. These are some of the companies that we work
with. So we’re the software that powers these solutions. So you may have seen commercials
on TV, or you may live in one of these service provider territories – but Comcast Xfinity
Home, TimeWarner IntelligentHome, a number of other smaller broadband service providers,
also ADT Pulse – we’re the software that powers that solution – and a number of other
security companies. Also we have a new direct consumer product, again targeting sort of
the same use case for the end consumer. And then we also target telecommunications companies. So this is a slide I was going to build out
with some animation, so it wasn’t so overwhelming, but this beautiful graphic really describes
where – the mind map, if you will, of the connected home, what’s driving the connected
home. If you start in the center – many of you are probably familiar with light – right
brain, left brain philosophies; if you’re – you know, with the proliferation of quizzes
on Facebook, you’ve probably taken the quiz, and you know that you’re right brain or
left brain centric. But what we find kind of the same school of thought is that there
is really two different use cases that are really driving people to purchase a connected
home. And so on the right hand side, peace of mind
value proposition. So the right brain is really associated with, you know, people who are
very good at expressing or reading emotions, very emotional, creative-driven. Peace of
mind really is associated with that type of a purchase where you’re really purchasing
comfort and trust and peace of mind. The number one use case around peace of mind
is monitored security. And again, this is a solution that goes in the house that does
a number of other things, but it’s really anchored on people saying, oh, I need monitored
security so I can protect my family or my home or my property. And so they’re purchasing
their connected home solutions but then getting all of the other use cases also. Another use case around peace of mind is interactive
video, so a lot of innovation coming to market around active video, being able to know what’s
going on inside your house, who’s coming and going from your house while you’re away. And then also device monitoring, so the peace
of mind of knowing that your, you know, refrigerator is running properly or other types of devices
inside your house are running properly. Kind of on the other spectrum is the quality
of life. There is a certain segment of people who are purchasing connected home solutions
to improve their quality of life. The number one use case for that type of a
purchase is energy management. And so energy management is really driven today, you know,
either from ecoconscious or, you know, ecofriendly kind of value proposition, or energy cost
savings. So these are the reasons that people are, again, starting with energy management
but getting a lot of the connected home functionality also. And then the other use cases are around automation
and intelligence and remote control. So how does this relate to the data that we’ve
been talking about this morning and that more speakers will talk about later? Really, this
is a word heat map, so just one graphic that shows – and it’s really relative – the
size of the word is really a representation of the focus that we’re seeing, both from
the poll, from the consumer, as well as the compelling use cases that are being offered,
based on the data that we’re receiving, both the public weather information as well
as utility information around energy pricing and usage information. So a lot of these feature sets are very compelling
from the end user perspective. Occupancy detection is a very valuable thing and something that
is driving a lot of the other value offerings. You see some of these energy management solutions.
For instance, in ComCast Solutions Xfinity Home, they have an ecosaver product, right,
which uses the learning algorithms, it uses the public weather information all to – and
occupancy information all to drive energy efficiency for the end user. Another example,
ADT polls has done some public announcements around integrations with utilities through
smart meter integrations, getting some of that energy and usage information and packaging
it up for the end user so they can save money and so that they can be ecoconscious, which
is per – or per their value propositions. So these are just some examples of what we’re
using the energy data for today and for the mass market appeal that we’re – that we’re
going after. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Letha. That was fantastic. So the next company speaking is actually a
hometown favorite. This is one that the president has visited and talked about, and it really
pioneers in taking behavioral science and applying in to consumers in real kind of simple
and useful ways. So without further ado, Alex Kinnier from Opower. (Applause.) Hi, everybody. Let me get the clicker. Today I’m going to talk about data versus
the peaker plant. We all know that smart meters have brought
a tremendous amount of data to the energy industry. We all know that this data has unlocked
operational efficiencies inside the utility and enabled new engaging consumer experiences
to be created through things like Green Button. The question is, is whether or not this data
can be used to decrease peak demand. Now, traditionally, peak demand has been met
through a peaker plant. This is an incredibly reliable piece of equipment. It stands idle
for about 95 to 98 percent of its life with a crew that cycles every day to test the equipment,
to make sure that if a call comes, it can be turned on to produce power to meet peak
demand. But what does data look like? Well, this is
the face of data. This is an email communication, one of multiple forms of communication that
went out to all of the residents of Baltimore last summer. If you were in Baltimore on a
peak day, you got either an email, a phone call or an SMS based on your preferences with
BGE. If your phone rang, you picked it up. It said, hello, this is Baltimore Gas and
Electric. Tomorrow is a peak day. On historical peak days, you used 20 percent more energy
than your neighbors. Tomorrow is a peak day. We’d really appreciate it if you could follow
several of these tips to reduce these energy usage, and then we gave you some tips. After
the peak day, your phone would ring again, and it would say, this is Baltimore Gas and
Electric. Congratulations. You reduced your energy usage 10 percent yesterday. We appreciate
that. However, you were still 5 percent more than your neighbors. Here are some tips for
you to follow. Traditional peaker plant versus data. Let’s
take a deeper look. The peaker plant is made out of concrete,
steel and aluminum. It takes years to build and get permitted. This is the face of data.
It’s coming from our smart meters, our phones, our computers. When we turn on the peaker plant, it costs
$203 per kilowatt year. When we turn on data, it costs a lot, lot less. When we turn on that peaker plant, it emits
all kinds of nasty stuff into the environment. And while it is cleaner than many coals plants,
it is still emitting some nasty things in the environment. When we turn on data, it’s
practically emission-free. Let’s turn to the Twittersphere. What do
people think about their peaker plant? Well, unfortunately, if you go to Twitter, the only
time a peaker plant is mentioned is when it’s either turned off or not permitted to be built.
Poor peaker. Let’s turn to the Twittersphere. Last summer, with data, an unbelievable outpouring
of interests and passion for the program BGE ran. It’s not often that the utility gets
a lot of positive tweets in the Twittersphere. But the peaker plant is reliable. It is very
reliable. However, for every unit of energy we put into it, we only get 20 to 40 percent
out of it. The question is, is how will data perform?
This is – you’re looking in from the harbor at Baltimore, OK? It’s a map. Peak event
is called. We blanket Baltimore with emails, SMS and phone calls. These are the real time
communication going out across the entire population in Baltimore. And this is the real
time heat map of the energy reduction that is achieved. Red is more energy reduction
to blue, which is less energy reduction. Five events called last summer. Five events percent
reduction across the entire service territory across all five events, all driven by data. Unfortunately, the peaker lost, and data won. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Alex. It was fantastic. So this celebration, this Datapalooza is a
celebration of entrepreneurs and innovators using energy data. That’s open government
data, it’s Green Button data, and it’s also crowdsourced data. So this next one is
a great example of the power of crowdsourcing energy data. It also has a pretty neat founding
story. So without further ado, Eric Graham from CrowdComfort. (Applause.) Thanks, Nick. So I’m Eric Graham, CEO of
CrowdComfort. A little over a year ago, I was participating
in a – in a clean web hack-a-thon that was talked about earlier, and this was Nick leading
an ideation session about how do we better use data to manage buildings. And we were sitting around a table, a group
of us. And shortly therein, good friend of mine, Galen Nelson (sp), posed this idea:
What if we could use smartphone technology to unlock occupant comfort information to
try to identify overheating and overcooling situations? And for me, that just sort of struck a chord.
I immediately thought that this was an idea that was super simple and could work and could
have a big impact. So what I did and what the team did was, the
first thing we had to do was figure out how to better geolocate where people are in buildings.
When we looked at everything that was out there, we felt that there was nothing as simple
as a – (inaudible) – marker, and we innovated around how we could use that better geolocate
where people are. Simple, ubiquitous and, in fact, became incredibly useful for all
kinds of reporting from occupancy buildings. The second thing we had to do is we had to
create a real simple interface to allow people to report to unlock those human sensors in
buildings. And then we brought it to the market and we
talked to facilities teams and real estate, and we kept hearing this common theme of a
communication disconnect between them and occupants, and they were seeing our solution
as a way to bridge this gap to help streamline the process and gather better data. So we added functionality. We started with
the world’s first CrowdSource thermostat on the left. And then we had this request
to gather other information in buildings, so we added the ability to attach a photograph
and some text and then aggregate that information for environmental compliance reporting purposes. And yes, this sounds very, very simple, and
it is. But in fact, we may have found a way that will change the way buildings and people
interact forever. So what we found in the last eight months
is that we get lots of users from all kinds, lots of people reporting on information, on
their comfort in particular. And this is one of our heat maps. And we found
lots of situations where energy is being poorly used, not for comfort, not for better energy
management. And you can see the red circle on the top right next to a very big blue circle
on the bottom. We’ve identified lots of situations like this in buildings, and we’ve
been able to provide little tips, piece of information that helps better manage the energy. And when you go into it – this was Internoc
(ph) space in Boston. It’s a three-story building and a larger 20-story building. And
when you look at the aggregated report, you kind of see it’s relatively evenly balanced
between blue and red, hot and cold. But when you go into it and you look at the fourth
floor versus the fifth versus the sixth, you’ll see the blue slice gets smaller as you go
up. So this – we identified this almost immediately
when we – when we set this up at Internoc (ph). There was a heat wave in September,
and we immediately noticed that there was a thermal (climb ?) in the space. The next thing, when we look at it over a
longer period of time, you see something really incredible. And when I looked at this most
recent report, you could almost visualize. So at the top – you see the elevator bank
right in the middle, but that is a reception area with a big open stairwell. And you can
almost visualize the air coming down the stair – (inaudible) – left-hand turn and cooling
the entire south wall of the building. This is all data that’s been collected with
human sensors, with people that’s been telling us what’s going on. Not a single wire or
mechanical device has been installed. So this is proof positive that not only can
we get this user feedback and create really great analytics but that the human network
of things plus the Internet of things is a scientific breakthrough in comfort, energy
and, most importantly, happiness for people in buildings. So what’s happened since then? We’ve got
a pipeline of companies that we’re moving very, very quickly through a process of leads,
qualified, to inbound, to customers that are signing up. We’ve been getting – you know,
we try to keep up with the demand for this kind of service. So our six-member team, which is soon to be
about a 12-member team by the end of this year, is revolutionizing the way people in
buildings communicate. We’re leveraging this geolocated time-stamp data and providing
actionable information to facilities managers. And we look forward to bringing our unique
solutions to the buildings that you all work and play in. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Eric. Fantastic stuff. Great
startup growing quickly. So the next thing that we wanted to highlight
was public sector innovation and local government partners. We work closely, the Department
of Energy works closely with a number of cities, and the District of Columbia really has been
a fantastic partner to the Department of Energy using our open energy data but also our open
software. So that’s really exciting stuff and some pioneering work on disclosure. So
without further ado, Marshall Duer Balkind from the District of Columbia. (Applause.) Thank you. Good morning. So my name is Marshall. I’m going to talk
about how the District of Columbia is managing building data from across the city using the
standard energy efficiency data platform. So the problem fundamentally, when we get
people to care about energy – oh, my animation is not working. Oh well. So imagine what it
would be like if when you went to buy a car, you went to buy an appliance, you went to
buy food, you didn’t have a way of evaluating whether that product was going to be good
for your health, good for the environment, good for your pocketbook. Of course, we do
have these ways. We have labels that help us decide these things. So maybe that’s
what we need for buildings. Now, I’m not actually proposing that we
stick giant labels like that on the sides of buildings. But you get the idea. The idea
is that by making public information, ratings, on all large buildings, people are able to
decide when they want to lease space by a building, by a condo, decide based on its
energy efficiency. The market evaluates that efficiency, driving – creating pressure
for owners to compete, to improve their efficiency, creating a virtuous feedback loop. The data
itself creates market transformation. But how do we actually make that happen? Sounds
difficult. So DC has passed a law that required all large
buildings to annually measure their energy performance and disclose that to the government,
to my office, which makes it public online. And these laws are now spreading around the
country. There are now nine cities, two states and one county that have benchmarking of disclosure
laws, and these laws are coming to more and more cities around the country, and soon,
it will be all over. And this unlocked a treasure trove of data,
more granular data on energy use than building policymakers or citizens have ever had access
to before. But of course, data is only as useful as it
is usable. And frankly, right now, usability is somewhat lacking. You can go now to New
York City or DC’s website, you can download detailed energy use on thousands of the largest
buildings in the city. You can download a spreadsheet – a spreadsheet. OK, now, so
for some of the energy nerds in this room and researchers, spreadsheets are really,
really cool. But frankly, no one should have to go to a government website and download
a spreadsheet to get this data. There is a better way, which is what I’m here to talk
about today: the SEED solution. SEED, the Standard Energy Efficiency Data
Platform, is an open source online software tool being developed by the – funded by
the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, developed
by Building Energy, Incorporated, with support from Institute for Market Transformation. It’s an online tool that an organization
can install to merge multiple data sets, manage them, track and share information about large
massive portfolios of buildings, hundreds, thousands of buildings. The SEED workflow, basically, is you take
multiple data sources, some directly imported, others from Energy Star Portfolio Manager
or audit or asset tools, you put it into your local or cloud instance of SEED, which you
can then access directly. This would have been much greater with – but anyway, you
can access directly or you can look through various SEED plugins, add-on features, or
you can use the SEED’s APIs to connect directly to your own city organization software tools.
It also connects the building performance database, which is an anonymized decisionmaking
tool using statistical analysis from U.S. Department of Energy and third party visualization
tools, and the public can access it via all of those methods. So what does then end up creating, and what
are we going to do with it? So today I’m proud to announce that the
District of Columbia, the city of Philadelphia and the city of San Francisco are publicly
committing that we will be using SEED to manage our benchmarking data, and we are further
committing that once the SEED APIs are available this summer, we will be using SEED to public
that data out. And it will be published out, as I said, to the BPD, which now has over
– (inaudible) – 750,000 building records in it, largest database of its kind anywhere
in the world. But with granular – (inaudible) – data,
we can do so much more. I want you to imagine the future. You can look at a building level
or a heat map across the whole city. We could even have virtual augmented reality applications.
You hold up your phone, you look at the building, and it tells you how much energy that building
uses. That app doesn’t exist yet, but maybe someone in this room will make it. This is
the power of open data, made possible by SEED and various city governments. I want to thank you very much. Building Energy
will be at the table this afternoon to answer more questions, and I’ll be there as well.
Thank you. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Marshall. So our – we’re going to shift into the
grid portion of the speaking session. And so our next speaker is one of the co-founders
of Oracle. He then went on to found Siebel Systems and grew that to be a very successful
company that he then sold back to Oracle, a pioneer in Silicon Valley, and now the CEO
and founder of C3 Energy systems, Tom Siebel. (Applause.) Good morning. This is my fourth decade in
the information technology business. And in this incarnation as C3 Energy, this is a relatively
large-scale, private sector effort to apply the science of big data, cloud-scale computing,
machine learning and analytics and social human computer interaction models to the value
chain associated with power generation delivery. So this value chain is going through an upgrade
globally where this decade, you know, order of 2 (billion dollars), are being spent to
make all the devices in this value chain remotely machine-addressible. The most – the device
that we’re kind of most familiar with – oops, let me see – hit the right button here – would
be the smart meter. And so – but we’re sensoring – these entire networks from generation
through to the thermostat are being sensored so we can remotely sense their state. Now, if we – if we look underlying these
value chains, OK, there is a plethora of enterprise information systems that have been installed
that are, oh, generation management, meter data management, customer care and billing,
outage management, demand response. And these are all enterprise information systems in
the way the enterprise systems will go as they don’t communicate with one another. So this is a relatively large-scale effort
where we’ve spent, oh, last five years and $150 million so far building this technology
platform. OK, that allows us – basically I think this is without question the larger-scale
use case of what’s going on with the OpenADE XML standard that came out of the Green Button
Initiative, OK? So what we’ve done is we’ve built a technology
platform where we can go into a grid operator like Exelon and now GDF Suez, PG&E and take
the union of the operational data and store this in a federated, normalized cloud image.
We load these data at the rate of 6 ½ billion transactions an hour. OK, and then we run
this data through – I think of it as kind of a nuclear after level analytics engine
that does batch and stream processing, applies machine learning to look at – for patterns
and relationships across the data. We then manifest the insights from these analyses
in a family of grid applications, what we call smart grid applications, that address
the entire value chain from supply through demand, energy efficiency, what have you.
We’ve done some work McKinsey and Company to estimate the economic benefits. So this
is about, you know, unlocking data, OK, and cloud scale computing, big data machine learning,
which would automatically increase the reliability, the safety, the efficiency of power delivery
that dramatically reduce the environmental impact associated with those processes. And so these are where we’re deploying these
applications today all over the world – Exelon, PG&E, GDF Suez. And now – I’ll give you some examples
– there is two primary sides to this. There is the supply side, the grid side, which is
by far the largest side of the market. The applications that would bring the market there
– for example. You know, AMI operations manage these whole smart grid networks. Revenue
protection identifies nontechnical loss, theft, OK, and theft in the United States would be
about 1.5 percent of energy produced. In southern Italy it’s like 30 percent. In Brazil, it’s
like 50 percent. And you can use analytics. You can look at these data in real time and
target exactly who’s stealing energy and how they’re doing it. System asset and risk looks at real time at
the millions of assets in a grid infrastructure, put a real-time risk index on every asset
that’s in the infrastructure so that you can – you can basically deploy protective
maintenance, OK, and prevent failures by identifying – (inaudible) – that are going to fail
before they could. Demand response analytics. This is about reducing
peaks so that – using analytics to reduce peaks so we don’t have the peak power problem
that Opower people imagine. Volt – (inaudible) – optimization. By
balancing voltage across the system you’ve reduced the amount of – this is managing
– (inaudible) – in the infrastructure. By balancing voltage, you have – you generate
– you – the grid operator can operate the grid with 7 percent less power, 7 percent
less water that’s boiled, OK, 7 percent less coal, natural gas, whatever it may be.
So that’s a big savings, 7 percent. Customer reliability and safety, the benefits
are obvious. OK. Outage prediction, analysis and restoration
to either predict weather events or whatever the (nearest ?) option may be and bring the
system back up live quickly. And then grid investment planning. If we have
real time – (inaudible) – associated with all the assets in the grid when we’re doing
investments. For example, a large company in the United States would be Duke. Duke will
spend order of $12 billion in grid investments in the next three years without – they can
– if the – if they understand every asset, they can use a very finely pointed instrument
to invest those assets. Grid energy intelligence. This is real-time
predictive analytics across all the data in the grid infrastructure. OK. Then the – on the customer experience
side, this would be on the demand side, these are energy efficiency programs. OK, for example
– and this would be the left side – residential, commercial, enterprise energy efficiency programs,
relatively a soft segment of the market, I think. OK, highly subject to – you know,
it’s highly dependent upon public funding. I think this is about 10 percent of the market
opportunity, maybe five. That means that we play in this market, and we play pretty significantly. So these are about – these are the recently
energy I suspect will establish – the game that we’re playing like we played at Oracle,
like we played at Siebel systems, is to establish and maintain market leadership position in
smart grid analytics worldwide. It is about a $1.5 billion market segment. It’s growing
at a 24 percent comp on annual growth rate. So it’s a pretty big market, pretty short
period of time. You know, this is – you know, we all know
what these programs look like. I think in the last four months we’ve went almost all
of the – all of the grants in the United States – (inaudible) – just small business
enterprises. This would be particularly applicable, for example, for the GSA to perform kind of
deep energy analytics, you know, on any building or GSA infrastructure. Customer segmentation and targeting, very
important application, 360 degree surround sound communications with consumers. Quick example, BGE. You know, the economic
benefit of this to BG&E, to Exelon – what we’re doing in Exelon is $2.7 billion a
year in recurring economic benefit. We have 2 million meters deployed there. We did this
in six months. We integrated, you know, basically 12 systems. This is 35 billion rows of data
loaded in a seven terabyte cloud image, OK. And these are the systems that we – all
the legacy systems that we – that we – that we integrated, enabled by the government open
ADE XML standard. And so these are the economic benefits $400 million per year, the expected
accruance, $400 million per year that accrued, society to the environment and to the customer
of Exelon. So this is the game we’re playing, and it’s
a– it’s an exciting game, and it’s very much enabled by the work that’s being driven
by DOE. So thank you for those efforts. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Tom. So now, the interesting
thing about energy is that it is a pretty regulated market, and a lot of that regulation
is actually at the state level rather than the federal level, and so we are pleased to
celebrate and highlight the kind of regulators who are thinking about energy data – about
customer energy data, about system data – about all of the different ways that data can be
harnessed and used to have a safe, reliable and cost effective grid in their particular
state. So I really – excuse me – I’m really pleased to announce Commissioner Catherine
Sandoval from the California Public Utility Commission. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you for the kind
invitation to be here. So, trying to stick to five minutes, I wanted to share with you
a few things about what we’re doing at the California Public Utility Commission regarding
data, and particularly, focusing on some of our data access principles, resources, and
also, opportunities for action. (Off mic.) All right. (Off mic.) So one of the things
that the CPUC has done is that we adopted data privacy principles. So California has
privacy in the California Constitution; there are about eight states that have privacy actually
in our state constitutions, so it is not in a penumbra, as in the U.S. Constitution, but
in our constitution. So we need to be sure that whatever we do with regard to data and
publication of data is consistent with this privacy value. So to that end, the California Public Utilities
Commission adopted fair information practice principles for energy usage data. So this
was adopted in 2012, and there are a number of principles – I won’t go over reading
each one of those – and although each of the principles are equal, I wanted to highlight
a couple of principles, including transparency, and also, individual participation, access
and control, and especially, the principle that it is the individual – the customer
who controls and owns the data – data security, and also, data minimization is an important
principle to collect only what you need to, and then be careful with, as well, how you
publish that data. So last month, the CPUC unanimously adopted
a decision and that is going to increase access to California investor and utility customer
energy usage data, and we did this to promote research and conservation, as well as education
in a way that also protects privacy. So we are generating data that will be publicly
posted and that will include a monthly sum and an average of customer electricity and
natural gas use, and this will be done in a way that’s consistent with our privacy
policies. So we also have a number of databases at the California Public Utilities Commission
and the sister agencies are using; one of our databases is the DEER database – database
for energy efficiency resources. So we heard about some of the resources, such
as lighting and different types of things that can be used to promote energy efficiency.
We also have renewable portfolios standard project data. So California is one of the
states that we have a 33 percent goal for renewable energy as our energy resource base.
We already have, with the investor-owned utilities, over 20 percent of the energy is renewable,
and we are well on our way to meeting the goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.
Governor Brown also signed legislation that said that the 33 percent goal is a floor and
not a ceiling, so we look forward to being able to exceed that goal, and of course, grid
optimization is going to be part of that. So in addition to developing it and taking
steps to publish aggregated data on customer usage, we are also using the advanced meter
infrastructure and the green button data to facilitate grid management. And one example is, as the previous speaker
mentioned, is Volt/VAR information, which is really critical to be able to integrate
renewables, and also, manage the grid and resources. And I met with a company in Palo
Alto a couple of weeks ago that is actually doing some very interesting stuff with regard
to Volt/VAR optimization – using the AMI data and coming up with some new solutions
so that you could actually have regulators either at distribution nodes, or even, at
some point, incorporated into meters to help with Volt/VAR optimization to ensure that
we can run the grid optimally and to also be able to better integrate renewable resources. We also worked with our sister agencies, such
as the California Energy Commission, to produce an energy policy report – the (EPA ?) report,
which is data-driven. And on building standards, I saw someone walk in with a bag on standards
– so, very important – and the California independent system operator also puts out
a lot of information on grid reliability, demand and market data. So again, also an
important source of data. So one issue that I wanted to also talk to
you about – and I gave the title of, what we don’t know does hurt us, and that this
is an example of something where we don’t have data. So this issue really came to my
attention as I had been working on a proceeding looking at rural telecommunications access
in California, and I was also honored to speak at the FCC on the rural telco workshop a couple
of weeks ago, and one of the things that we’d begun to realize and really think about how
we can take action on is that there are many Californians – thousands of them – actually,
part of the problem is that we don’t know how many – who don’t have access to the
electric grid, because they live beyond the reach of the electric grid, and many of them
are in tribal areas, but some of them are not in other rural areas. And they also lack
access to telephone service and broadband Internet service. And, in fact, there’s
an interrelationship between the two; as anybody who has sent inside a central office for a
telephone system knows, you can’t have the telephone system without access to reliable
power and electricity as well as to the public switch telephone network, and the same for
cell phones and cell phone towers. Cell phone towers are connected to electricity. And what’s happening is that many off-grid
users are using diesel generators. And in some cases, they might have solar, but also,
depending on where you are, like in the Yurok Tribe, which is near Eureka, there is not
enough solar gain. We could try to promote solar and storage, but also, the use of diesel
is being done at a high financial cost to the users, a high environmental cost, and
also, health cost. And so, I’m proposing to have us collect
data, and especially, work with the tribes to collect data on off-grid diesel generation
and analyze the mechanisms to increase grid access, renewable energy storage access, and
including to use California’s carbon market to look at how we can increase access. So you see here an example of this of this
– of the Yurok Reservation – this is California’s largest tribe; they’re in far northern California.
There’s over 5,000 members of the Yurok Tribe. And on the left is a picture of a school
– it’s a K-8 school that is run by these two diesel generators. You can see the school
bus in the back left, and I’ve met teachers who talk about the constant hum of these generators
all day long, because there is no electricity in this area. So the CPUC funded a project, along with the
Rural Utility Service, to bring access and electricity to many parts of the Yurok Reservation.
And so we have, now, for several parts, but there are some people who are still not connected.
And when I visited there a couple of weeks ago, we were walking around in one area, talking
about electricity and what we’re going to do, and this one lady said, hey, you forgot
us down here! We don’t have electricity! And she’s still running on diesel generators. So we had the opportunity to visit with this
family – the Thayers (sp) – and you see his kids hanging onto his legs down there
as he’s making a phone call. He got telephone service – this whole area got telephone
service last month. They don’t have cell phone service; they face the wrong side of
the mountain to get satellite service, and so, now that he has telephone service, he’s
already, in a month, called 911 to report a brush fire and (really ?) stopped a wild
fire, and his blind father is using the phone to call a service called (Tellme ?) You can’t
have the phone access without electrical access, so PG&E is completing the electrical access,
which is critical to enabling the phone access. So two last issues I want to quickly mention,
because I know my time is running short, is also the role of data in water management.
And so, water is the largest user of energy in the state of California, and conversely,
energy is the largest user of water nationally. So in California, at the Public Utilities
Commission – we have a proceeding that will consider the nexus between water and energy.
We’re calculating the energy in water, and also considering actions to address California’s
historic drought. And so, using technology communications and
data, you can do things like leak detection, and, for example, identify when a user’s
water never goes to zero, and that they probably have a leak, and enable action, as well as
to use remote sensors. So the Internet of things will also include the Internet of crops,
and again, one of the primary barriers to that is the lack of access to electricity
as well as communications. So we’re also using data through the California
Lifeline Program, and we’ve expanded our state Life Fund Program to mobile and also,
encouraged the electric utilities to – and the gas utilities to work with lifeline providers
to encourage participation and low-income energy efficiency programs. I should also
mention that, for people who are totally off-grid, like those people running on diesel – because
they’re not utility customers, they’re ineligible for energy efficiency programs
or other subsidies. So there’s different things that we need to address with them,
and also, we’ve been very pleased to work on several apps for energy hack-a-thons with
the Department of Energy and Matt Thiel (ph) and Nick Sinai, so – and I was very pleased
to be able to be a judge for the DOE Apps for Energy hack-a-thons – some terrific
apps. So, the last thing I’d like to mention is
also how we can use data to not only identify communities with high environmental burdens
– and so, this was a map that was put together by Cal/EPA and it’s our enviro-screen map.
And it identifies pollution burdens, including air quality, pesticide use and a variety of
other factors and sensitive populations, and then, it could also be overlayed with other
things, such as areas that lack robust access to internet, which is something that we’ve
been mapping in California, high wildfire danger, high diesel generation use, lack of
access to electricity, tribal areas, et cetera. So by using data, we can help to identify
policy priorities and opportunities for action. So thank you very much. I really appreciate
the opportunity to be here. (Applause.) Thank you, Commissioner Sandoval. That was
fantastic. There’s so much great stuff going on in California. I’m a little biased; I’m
a native of California. So our next speaker is from a company that
is helping uncover a dirty little secret about energy. And so, energy efficiency – the
industry actually isn’t that efficient. It’s very manual. And so there’s a whole
cluster of companies, including this one, in Boston, that are attacking this problem,
and how do you take a very manual process, and, with big data – building analytics,
science and the cloud, really transform this in fantastic ways? So I’m pleased to introduce Swap Shah from
FirstFuel. (Applause.) Good morning. Hopefully everyone is still
awake. It’s great to be here again at the second Datapalooza, and my name is Swap Shah;
I’m one of the cofounders and the CEO for FirstFuel. We’re an energy data analytics
company based in Boston – about three-and-a-half years old, and we’ve grown quite substantially
– about 75 people across the country. We focus primarily on driving very large-scale
energy efficiency in the commercial building sectors – the nonresidential building sector. In the last Datapalooza, we talked about – there
we go – we talked about how we approach this problem of scale. You know, no longer
if you have 5.2 million commercial buildings in the United States that need to be analyzed,
understood and made efficient, we can’t enter every one of them with an highly qualified
engineer and months later get a 50-page report that typically sits on the shelf collecting
dust, never to be acted upon. So we have to change the game on how we approach the whole
market, and we use data to do that. So by combining high-frequency meter data
with third-party open government data sources such as weather data, GIS data; federal, local
and state databases, as well as private databases, we could take all of that open available data
and run some sophisticated analytics on that to create a very deep energy performance profile
of the buildings’ energy consumption. And the output of all of this is a very accurate
and appointed set of recommendations on how energy performance can be improved in every
specific building out there. So that in the last 20 months, since the last
time we presented this, I’d like to share with you this morning what we’ve actually
accomplished in a very short amount of time that would have been very difficult to accomplish
in the traditional approaches. In the last 20 months we’ve analyzed and
audited more than a billion square feet of commercial real estate space out there. We’ve
also identified 2.6 billion kilowatt hours of energy savings, which is the equivalent
of taking almost a quarter million of – million homes off line, off the grid, for almost a
year. To compare this, if we had to accomplish the
same thing using the traditional approaches, it would have taken a hundred auditors almost
10 years at a cost of a hundred million dollars to come to the same point. We accomplished
it in a lot shorter time and at a fraction of the cost. And along the way, we actually learned some
very interesting things about how buildings behave and how they consume energy. For example,
these are two buildings in the Chicago area. They’re essentially identical in many respects.
They’re about the same size, have similar systems, built around the same time, and they
also have a similar energy footprint when it comes to a per-square-foot basis. If we
were to look at these buildings in the traditional simulation-based approach, we would dictate
that the buildings have a very similar energy savings profile and the recommendations would
be quite similar in terms of how to improve the energy saving and energy performance of
these buildings. However, when you analyze a year’s worth
of consumption data, you get a very different story, right? Where the energy’s going and
what recommendations one – would come up for each building are quite different. Now
why is that? Well, the reason for that is because who uses
the building and how the building is operated has a significant influence on the building’s
energy consumption and its consumption profile, and understanding that profile leads you to
very different conclusions of what needs to get done in each building to improve its energy
performance. So the moral of the story here is no two buildings
are alike, even if they physically seem to look the same. Another really interesting insight which has
huge ramifications on how – the commissioner talked about how money gets spent to achieve
energy efficiency programs – has to do with where the energy efficiency opportunities
actually lie in buildings. So the conventional wisdom in a large percentage
of the investment in energy efficiency today goes into retrofits, in upgrading the lights,
in upgrading the HVAC equipment, in fixing the exterior of the building. However, by looking at thousands of buildings
across the country, what we’ve identified is that a significant portion, almost half
the energy savings potential in buildings, are related to the operations of the buildings.
So low-cost/no-cost actions, such as turning the lights off, turning off HVAC equipment
on weekends, sequencing equipment – one of the largest wastes happening in buildings
today is the simultaneous running of heating and cooling in the building, and that’s
similar to, you know, you’re driving down the highway with your gas – with your foot
down on the gas pedal and using your brake to control the speed. So this has huge ramifications on how money
gets spent. So last year utilities in North America spent north of $10 billion on energy
efficiency programs, but guess what. Only a small fraction of that money was actually
spent on helping improve the operations of the building. The majority of that money went
to upgrading the physical aspects of the building. So this data – through the lens of the data,
when you look at the buildings, the suggestion here is that a large percentage of that investment
should go into low-cost/no-cost improvements because they’re the low-hanging fruit of
building energy conservation. And we’re applying this right here in Washington,
D.C. In this very building that we’re sitting in, which we analyzed last year for the GSA,
we uncovered opportunities to save and then to save almost a half a million dollars a
year, which is already being saved by the GSA. And so far, working with the GSA, we
have analyzed 101 of their largest buildings, representing about 54 million square feet,
and they’ve started saving $5 million a year just within the course of a – course
of the last 12 months, through the work that we’re doing with them. This morning we just announced one of the
largest deployments and the first deployments of the Green Button initiative, working with
the GSA. So we’re really proud of what open energy
data has allowed us to energize and drive large-scale energy efficiency in the commercial
building sector, and we look forward to helping achieve the president’s agenda in reducing
commercial building energy over the next few years. Thanks for your time. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Swap. Fantastic presentation And so you’ve been hearing from a number
of largely private sector entrepreneurs and technology companies, but we thought it was
important for also recognize innovation inside the utility. And so National Grid has been
a big supporter of the Energy Data Initiative and the Climate Data Initiative and a number
of administration efforts, and so we’re really excited to present Cheri Warren from
National Grid. (Applause.) Good morning. You’re probably wondering
why there’s a utility executive standing up here onstage talking to you about innovation,
and I’m guessing that probably a number of you just thought about technology as I
said that word “innovation.” And I would submit to you that it’s actually a whole
lot more about human behavior, and if we think about human behavior – and we heard Seth
this morning – what really drives people? They want to be normal. In fact, if I find
out my neighbor’s using less energy, odds are I’m going to use a lot less too, and
Opower’s research showed that, so it was good to have Seth up this morning. So if you think about that human element,
that human element, that human behavior, how do we start to drive a new energy normal?
Well, National Grid thinks you got to get started with three key things. First thing,
you’ve got to put the customer in the driver’s seat, and you’ve got to truly listen to
them. Secondly, we’ve got to shift our regulatory models, and as you heard, there’s 50 different
ones, plus the feds. Everybody’s got a slightly different view. We need to get focused on
the customer. And thirdly, we need a much more resilient and technologically capable
grid in order to start that journey towards that new normal for energy. You guys remember cellphones about 15 years
ago? And I know some of you are pretty young, so maybe you don’t remember the bag phone
there on the right, but that bag phone was quite large, pretty expensive, emergency personnel
used it, and it was great at the time. And I bet at that moment in time no one could
have envisioned a time where text messages – you could buy that plan, they’d throw
the voice in for free. Right? How far have we come in that new normal that got created
via cellphones? So – anybody have a teenager or interact
with a teenager? What do you see? Right? All they do is look at their screens. And when
they’re looking at their screens, what are they actually doing? Well, they’re searching
for data. They’re searching for information. They’re finding their friends, and they’re
asking whatever question pops into their head: Do zebras have brown stripes? Yup, when they’re
born. What’s their new energy normal? And we’re
pretty convinced it’s going to be data-driven, and we’re going to need a lot more real-time
pricing and ability to charge their apps and their devices wherever they are, whenever
they want to be there. So we’re standing at the beginning of a
journey, and we believe that that journey needs to be taken with customers, regulators,
legislators, vendors and with people of all different descriptions, and that if we can
co-create a future for energy, that that’s the journey that we need to be on. You guys might recognize some of these folks.
We’ve got Tesla, Edison and Westinghouse up there. They developed the power system
back in the late 1800s, and of course the scary part is they’d recognize every single
component that I still have in play in today. In fact, I’ve got a line Thomas Edison built
still in service in upstate New York, and there’s pipe that was laid at the time Abraham
Lincoln was president. Hopefully you agree with me it’s time to transform this grid
to become an innovation playground. It’s got to start to change and re-enable all of
our lives, the way we live, on our terms. And part of that’s got to be multiway power
flow. It’s got to have a lot more open-source data and actionable information. That regulatory
model has got to shift from the monopolistic regulatory view to a really customer-based
innovation focus, and we’ve got to get that grid ready to go. So I get excited about tech, right, and doing
a lot of innovative work – we’ll tell you about that in a minute – but at the
end of the day, that whole technology suite has got to be about giving customers actionable
information, whether it’s what they connect to our grid, how they use our energy and what
decisions they may make over time, or that their appliances may make, as you heard this
morning. That’s why Green Button’s so important,
and so we signed up for the Green Button initiative, even though we don’t have a lot of AMI meters
yet, and trying to make it work with the information that we have. And when do you need information most? Well,
you need that information in times of crisis. Something like Superstorm Sandy – you need
real-time actionable information in your hands. And that’s why National Grid’s developed
a number of innovative projects, and if you want to see them, come see the booth later
on. The first one is with MIT we developed a predictive
model that can actually tell us where the damage was going to be on our system ahead
of the storm. Today we fed it six storms, and it’s 85 percent accurate. Secondly, we developed a damage assessment
tool off the back of the Esri platform and we’re able to send folks in the field, get
data, come back through the cloud and make a very different prediction about where we
need to send crews. And then finally situational analysis tool
– so we went from a situation where we gave customers that was – data that was eight
hours old to 15-minute real-time. Now they can take action in their lives and make the
decisions they’ve got to make in times of crisis. And that’s why I’m really proud to announce
today that along with a number of other utilities, we’re working very hard to make an open-source
approach for power outage data, so when the next Superstorm Sandy comes, hopefully a lot
of the utilities will be putting that info out into the public domain, so people can
take action. And of course we need to modernize that grid.
So I mentioned one-way power flow. Today you want to put distributed generation – solar,
wind – on our grid, (made it able ?) to pervasively provide that opportunity for everyone,
because the power flows one way. We’ve got to get ourselves into a very different situation. So if you agree with me that we’re moving
towards a new energy normal and that if customer’s in the driver’s seat, we start to change
that regulatory model, and we make the grid a little more resilient, then I hope all of
you, with all of the data that we have out there, will work together to find that new
energy normal, and I’ll have some nifty picture 10 years from now that shows the transformation
in the grid. Thank you. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Cheri. It’s a really exciting announcement of a
number of utilities collaborating together to do open data, taking power outage data,
and I think it’s – the potential is really fantastic. A lot of folks go to utility websites
in times of crisis, but you can also imagine that data making its way to Google crisis
maps and other platforms. And really, that’s the whole idea behind open data, is how do
you kind of power that kind of innovation? So it’s really exciting stuff, and thank
you, Cheri. We’re going to take – (coughs) – excuse
me. We’re going to take a quick break, 20 minutes. We’re going to start promptly back
at 11:15. The restrooms are back that way, and there is a food court, if you’re dying
for a quick coffee. But we’re starting in 20 minutes, so stretch your legs. (Break.) Well, I am super fired up for the second half
of the Energy Datapalooza. Reminder: Hashtag is #energydata, and please keep tweeting it. And so before we get started with our next
set of lightning speakers, I did want to say a thank you. Thank you to all the folks across
the White House and General Services Administration and especially the Department of Energy. The
Department of Energy has been a huge partner in putting this effort on, and so if everyone
could join me in – with a round of applause for all the staff. (Applause.) These are really
fun events, but they – but they – a lot of work behind the scenes. And so now we’re going to go to renewable
energy lightning speakers. The first one is Jason Riley from Genability. And this is a(n)
energy data company helping the solar world deploy solar better, faster, cheaper. So, Jason. (Applause.) Good morning. I hope everybody enjoyed the
break. So as Nick mentioned, Genability is an energy
data company. We help solar companies, we help electric vehicle companies, we help collected
home companies and a whole slew of new energy companies understand exactly what you’re
spending and what you may be saving when moving to the new, cleaner, more renewable, smarter
energy future. But when I go home, I’m not in charge of
the energy, it’s my kids. They’re the energy managers. Here’s Lily, my daughter.
She’s head of facilities, as you can tell. (Laughter.) Here’s Elliot, he’s on transportation.
(Laughter.) Until very recently, Elliot drove us around in a Toyota Sienna, but he became
increasingly frustrated with rising gasoline costs as well as – actually, that should
be $3,000, so it’s rising even faster – as well as the fact that his carbon footprint
was not where he wanted it to be. So him and his sister blew their college fund on buying
this brand-new Tesla. (Laughter.) As you can imagine, Dad was not particularly
happy with this. Elliot, on the other hand, is absolutely over the moon, as you can tell.
It’s not just that he blew his college fund, but he’s actually saving the planet in doing
so. And he’s actually saving himself $1,100 on fuel savings by switching from gasoline
to electricity. Genability calculated that number So why are the kids so frustrated and why
are they still concerned-looking? Well, like you and I in this audience, they are avid
readers of green-tech media and they absolutely understand some of the challenges they’re
facing as we move to this new, cleaner, smarter energy economy. They’re particularly concerned
with the duck, and they’re worried that when they drive home from soccer practice
and with all their buddies and everybody plugs in their electric car in the neighborhood,
that they’re going to stress the grid, maybe cause some instability and ultimately cause
rates to increase. They don’t like rates increasing. They have to afford college, after
all. So what we really need is a world in which utilities are providing smart price
signals for smart EV charging that ties nicely into on-car and on-phone applications, rather
like this one that BWM’s rolling out to its i3 drivers, which, again, is powered by
Genability. So here’s Elliot. He’s pretty happy. He’s
actually switched over to PG&E’s EV-A rate plan, which significantly incentivizes him
to charge his new Tesla at night-time when the load to the grid is lower. And in doing
so, he’s actually managed to ratchet up to about $4,000 in savings, so he’s pretty
happy. They’re cruising around the neighborhood in their brand-new electric car, looking good.
They’ve completely reduced their carbon footprint from driving. And Lily, the facility manager, has decided
it’s time to look at the building, too. So she called up a local installer and, using
some tools from Genability, the installer was able to correctly size the system, right
around 77 percent of their load, to optimize their additional savings. It’s $41 for them,
which isn’t, you know, a lot of money, but every little helps when you’re trying to
get back to college. And what kindergarteners all around the country
are finding is that energy from the solar panels is becoming more and more competitive
with the grid every day. But what’s incredibly exciting for a company like Genability is
that we can do much more than we are doing right now. If you look at this grid data from
NREL, another open-data company, open-data institution, you can see that 64 percent of
the current cost of the solar system is actually tied up in what are so-called soft costs,
which are a data-rich opportunity. And there’s lots of companies that are part of the SunShot
challenge, that are trying to tackle some of these, Genability being one of them. And with that in mind, I’m pleased to announce
that today we’re starting what we’re calling the Open Solar Savings Initiative. As you
would imagine from something called open solar savings, it’s about publishing open solar
savings data, available via API to anybody who wants to use it. We’ll also be building
a Web tool on top to kind of showcase the data that’s available. And we’re really
interested in seeing energy educators, solar marketers, energy installers, et cetera, using
this data to further reduce those soft costs down to a level as low as we possibly can. So here’s my kids chilling. They’re on
top of their new Tesla. They’ve lowered their energy footprint. They’ve managed
to start saving some money. They may actually make it to college. I think it shows the power
that open data and energy data can do to transfer us to this new, cleaner, more smart renewable
energy future. As anybody knows who’s got kids, if the kids are happy, Dad’s happy. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Jason. That was fantastic. Our next speaker is in the theme of Small
and Distributed is Beautiful, a trend in a lot of energy. Typically we think about distributed
solar, but this next speaker is speaking about distributed hydropower. So Michael Kerr from
the New England Hydropower Company. (Applause.) Thank you. Well, good morning. New England Hydropower
is a designer, developer, implementer, owner and operator of small-scale hydropower facilities
in New England. And I’m going to talk this morning about how we use open, white-hot source
data to affect an ancient technology. Most people’s view of hydropower is massive.
Here’s 200, 2,000 megawatts, 4 billion kilowatt hours of power, hydraulic head of 590 feet.
Our view is a little more modest. This is a 50-kilowatt screw, operating in a neighborhood.
This is local. Most turbines look like this, 700 kilowatt turbine. We do the economy version.
This is a 20-kilowatt turbine, 25 feet long, five feet in diameter; less capital, and easier
to implement. Their machine sheds require massive, massive
investment. This actually is the Three Gorges Dam, 32 turbines, each 700 megawatts in size.
Ours is just a little smaller, requires a little less investment. Most particularly,
it’s local, it’s distributed and it operates at a very low levelized cost of energy. Now, our hero in all of this is a Greek, born
in Sicily, working in Egypt 2,000 years ago, and he invented something that has yet to
pass its sell-by date, the Archimedes screw, originally used for raising up water, in this
case wind-driven, somewhere in Holland. What New England Hydropower does is it turns that
screw on its end, sticks a gear box on the top, a generator, controls, and then creates
three-phase power. Those tanks are big, slow-moving tanks of water going around about 30 to 40
revolutions a minute, obviously geared up to get to distribution power, but the benefit
is that fish can pass safely through them by going down in big tanks of water, and there’s
a very low environmental impact. Well, that’s all interesting, but how on
Earth are you going to find a place to put this technology? We are the first implementers
of this technology in North America. It is almost the de facto standard now in the U.K.
and in France and in Austria. Well, we need to find, you know, the data
to allow us to repurpose this old technology. Well, the good news is that there is a ton
of data out there. It abounds. And, you know, back in, I think it was – well, the Army
Corps of Engineers maps, which say there are over 80,000 dams across the United States,
that – 800, that’s the height of a dam, down to about five or six feet. We’re interested
in sites where they are under 30 feet for this technology, very specific. And then in
April this year, Oak Ridge came out with a study that said if you looked at the resources
available across 3 million rivers and streams, there is enough potential energy there to
develop the same equivalent capacity of hydropower as exists in the U.S. today. And that sort
of goes and complements a study that DOE EERE produced in April of 2012, which said there
were 54,000 non-powered dams. So then you take it down to the local level,
the state dam statistics provide another layer, 10,000 dams in New England. And then you can
take it down one step lower. There are hundreds in every state. This is the legacy of the
water-powered era, the era which built our industrial revolution. So we’re just doing
what they did so well a hundred years ago. And I think the other key point is here that
this is in your backyard and it’s all supported also by a hundred years of water records.
So the USGS stream stats give you a hundred years of records. The last 30 years would
indicate that the stream flows have increased. NOAA data would indicate that it’s going
to continue to increase. So what do we do with all of this? That data
informs our field work. For the last two summers, we’ve had a bright, very bright bunch of
engineers, paid, trained interns, who have used our software, our data, and analyzed
the market down to the 12 characteristics that we see essential for our technology.
They then went out and spent fieldwork time looking at over 800 sites across New England
and New York State. With that, we then get our information that we can then create to
engage with FERC, with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, with the local communities. We develop repeatable
processes. And at the end of the day, it’s allowed us to raise – that data has allowed
us to identify a market, to raise capital. We always need more capital. This is a capital
business, but it’s a long-term annuity business. So starting with 80,000, we get down to 500
sites in New England alone where we think this technology is applicable. And you say,
well, does it really count? Well, 40,000 homes could be powered by this. That’s one-half
of 1 percent of the home usage energy in the New England states. For us, it’s enough
to build a business and for the society in general, while using this data, to then repower
an old technology and ultimately contribute towards the renewable energy mix and climate
– and help reverse the effects of climate change. With that, thank you. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Michael. Next, our final lightning round presentation
from an entrepreneur. This is a company that is helping attack the soft costs of solar
with data, really exciting stuff, Aaron Woro from Solar Census. (Applause.) Good morning. Thank you very much
for having me. My name’s Aaron Woro. I am the founder and CEO of Solar Census. We have
developed the first commercial-grade software to enable automated rooftop surveys for solar
PV over the Web. Fifteen years ago I set out, like many of
you here today, to confront global warming and Big Oil. Along the way I began selling
residential solar, and I was amazed when people all over California wanted to make the switch.
As I learned the trade, I discovered that for each individual rooftop, I had to perform
something called a site survey, which requires a lot of precise measurements due to shade
from trees and geometry of rooftops. And – true story – one day I’m in San
Francisco, I load up my ladder, I drive out to the customer’s house, I’m standing
on his roof, I’ve got a tape measure in one hand and a shade tool in the other, and
I’m kind of contorting myself to get all the correct measurements, and I fall off the
roof, and I hit every branch and bush on the way down. I lost the sale, and I lost my job
that day. And the very next day, I sat out to eliminate the process entirely. And at
Solar Census, with generous support from the DOE SunShot program, we’ve done it. So why does this technology matter? The answer
is location, location, location. Solar Census locates energy. Just as technology is used
to locate oil and natural gas before drilling, coal before mining, this technology finds
precisely where solar power can be produced. Accuracy is everything. And the National Renewable
Energy Laboratory concluded that our software was scientifically equivalent to a physical
site survey. So how do we do this? Perhaps the best way
to think about this is that we map the world in 4D. Our patented algorithms insert time
as a function into a preconstructed three-dimensional model. The information about the sun’s daily
path, weather patterns, climate records, are all open data resources from NREL, NOAA and
others that are essential to our product’s accuracy. We integrate all of this open data
into our software so that we can view the world as the sun sees it. It can take over a week to provide a quote
that involves a physical site survey. But with our technology, in the cloud, it takes
less than one second. And that radical increase in efficiency is reflected in serious dollars.
NREL estimates that a tool like ours will reduce soft costs by 17 cents per watt at
scale, which is 30 percent of all customer acquisition costs in the solar industry, totaling
over a thousand dollars off the cost of a residential system and saving over 130 million
(dollars) in the U.S. this year alone. And you stretch that over 15 years, given the
astounding industry growth projections, and we’re talking about eliminating a $50 billion
pain point with this tack. Those savings go straight into the pockets of homeowners who
go solar and the installers across the country that get the job done. In the hands of solar companies and search
engines, our technology can drastically reduce costs and accelerate adoption, but what truly
drives us is that we believe this technology platform will catalyze a revolution in solar
software development. Companies and governments can build all of
the necessary tools on top of this platform to finally bring together what I would argue
to be the two most important innovations of our time – solar power and the Internet.
In the ‘90s, Michael Dell delivered a model to deliver customized personal computers directly
to the homeowner over the Web and made it cost-effective. The way to accomplish this
mass customization was what Dell called virtual integration. In this model, a core technology
platform coordinates across company boundaries, and the consumer seamlessly benefits from
the specializations and expertise of each component in the supply chain. With the global map of solar potential measured
down to the square foot, virtual integration becomes possible for the solar industry. A
customized system is designed for the consumer by the time Google or Bing sends back a results
page. The ROI for every PV system is certified geometrically. The site survey is already
done, so multiple installers can bid for the job instantly. Major technical barriers are
removed, so contractors and electricians can enter the solar industry faster and with higher
margins, creating more green jobs and broadening the workforce. Banks are likewise able to
guarantee generation potential; with additional software – with additional financial software,
can securely commit financing directly to the homeowner. Bringing a solar – buying
a solar system should be as easy as buying a PC, we think. So to sum up, once solar energy is located
remotely and the preferences of the homeowner are captured, the rest of the engineering
can be completed. The installation labor and the financing are available. Everything is
customized for the homeowner, from the initial search to the close. Mass customization, virtual
integration. Thank you. (Applause.) Great. Thank you, Aaron. That was fantastic.
OK. So now, we’re turning to the final piece of the morning speaking session, after which
we’re going to have a technology showcase – much more informal, science fair style,
with live demos of apps and chance to continue the interstitial conversation which is so
valuable and interesting on a number of different fronts here. So the next speaker, I’m pleased
to introduce – started his career the White House in the Office of Management and Budget.
He then moved to local government, was the – at District of Columbia. He was then at
the Department of Treasury, was actually the senior sustainability officer, among other
roles, at the Department of Treasury. And now he is the administrator of the General
Services Administrations. And he really has been a public innovator on both the digital
side as well as the building side; he’s America’s – at least, the federal government
– landlord and he’s really doing just tremendous and innovative work on all of these
fronts. So I am humbled and pleased to introduce Dan Tangherlini. Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s really
great to be here. I want to start by thanking the Department of Energy and the Office of
Science and Technology Policy. I want to thank all of you for being here and contributing
to what we’re trying to do here today. When I heard this morning – when I was reminded
this morning that I was going to get to come over here, I was really – I was really psyched,
to be perfectly honest, because I was going to work on three of my favorite things – we
are going to deal with three of my favorite things: First, energy. Second, data. And third,
paloozaing. (Laughter.) Woo, exactly. So I hope you’ve had a great palooza so far.
Some of these presentations have been fantastic and I realize I’m standing between you and
a couple of main events so I’m going to try to be fast, be punchy and try to sell
you on the idea that the General Services Administration is more than just the people
who brought you this auditorium. In fact, the General Services Administration
– part of the administration – recognizes the value and the importance of really approaching
energy sustainability and energy efficiency. Now, it helps that there’s an executive
order, 13514, which is about federal leadership on environmental, energy and economic performance
which set aggressive targets for all the agencies. But we knew that, given the size of our building
portfolio, that we were going to need to play a particularly significant role in the way
these – the requirements under that EO were met. We made it one of our key priorities,
as well, as we looked at how we could better deliver services to the American taxpayer.
And with 375 million square feet of office space, we’re one of the largest commercial
real estate management operations in the world. And $60 billion – more than $60 billion
of contracting going through the General Services Administration, including the management and
administration of over 200,000 automobiles as part of the federal fleet; we recognize
that we stand in a very important and significant place within the federal government for the
ability to make a substantial impact on energy sustainability and energy efficiency. Now, the other thing that’s really driving
our issue of interest and concern across the federal government is the fact that we need
to make our financial position more sustainable. And the simple fact is, by going green, we
save green; we bring those two lines in closer – in closer proximity to each other. Hopefully
getting the green line to intersect the red one at some point very soon. We also have
to recognize, though, that the world in which we are operating in has changed dramatically.
In the last six years, there’s been a real transformation in the way people relate to
information and, frankly, relate to each other. This is the tip of the technological iceberg
that we all carry around in our pockets now, we – the smart phone. And what it has done
for us in the way we relate, the way we go to market, the way we share information and,
frankly, the access to information that we have, each one of us is changed dramatically.
Which means that we’ve had to think about ways that we free that data, we democratize
that data. One of the things we’ve been a leading proponent in within GSA is moving
more of our data to the cloud and making it more accessible in real time to everyone. We’ve also been a leader within the government
of making data – federal data – available to smart people, to everyone within the U.S.
through We’ve had over five – nearly five million unique visits to We
have 105,000 data sets representing 227 federal organizations. And GSA has also recognized
the power of the internet of things and cloud to go and capture data continuously from building
systems within our operating environment. We’ve started something called GSA link,
a cloud-based system that allows us to engage in continuing commissioning of our buildings.
That allowed us to find this, right here, in this building, a rogue fan – rogue fan.
You can imagine this giant rogue fan just running in the – in the parking garage,
chewing up $800,000 of energy that didn’t need to be spent. So we recognize that with a massive inventory
spread all across the country that there is an opportunity for us to use smart systems
like the Green Button to have access to information gained from utilities that allow us to have
a better understanding of how things should be running, what things are running and what
things need to be turned off. And that allows us, then, to better understand not only the
easy to find or easy to identify issues, like a rogue fan in a big building in the middle
of downtown Washington, D.C., but even how things are operating, how we’re spending
money, how we’re maintaining an asset such as the Port of Calais, the land port of entry
up in Calais, Maine, about as far away from anything as you can get in the lower 48. So GSA is committed to working with our partners
at the Department of Energy. We’re committed to being a great steward of the assets that
we get to maintain and operate for our federal agency partners and we’re really committed
to getting the benefit of the conversation and the paloozaing that’s happening here
today. Someone who I think understands paloozas on several levels – at meta levels, with,
you know, his incredible brain power, his incredible skill, his incredible commitment,
frankly, to these kinds of issues; to sharing data, to getting the most out of data, is
someone I am truly honored to be able to serve with, and that’s John Holdren, the president’s
science adviser and the person who’s up next. John. (Applause.) Well, thank you very much, Dan, including
– not just for that introduction, but for your incredible leadership in advancing innovation
across the United States government – really inspiring performance on your part. And thanks
to all of you for being here. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which
I direct, did not bring you this building, but it did bring you Todd Park and his team,
and with him, the very notion of paloozaing in government. So we’ll happily take credit
for that. And I do understand that today’s event has really been extraordinary so far,
with passion, commitment, energy, creativity, literally oozing from the walls of this auditorium.
So it is a particular pleasure to be here and to thank you on behalf of President Obama
and all of my colleagues across government for the extraordinary private and public sector
innovation and the innovators who are here today who’ve been doing it to share their
enthusiasm and to demonstrate their ideas. As I think you all know, President Obama’s
All of the Above energy strategy recognizes that we need to fully tap American assets,
innovation and technology in order to safely and responsibly develop our domestic energy
sources, in order to ensure that we maximize the efficiency with which energy is used to
deliver the goods and services that we want and require and to ensure that the role of
the resulting technologies and capabilities in the world energy economy continues to increase.
Those goals require, among other things, harnessing every ounce of America’s creativity and
ingenuity in order to provide consumers with choices that will enable them to reduce cost,
to save energy and, at the same time, to protect the environment. As we’ve seen – as you’ve
seen already on the stage today and as we’ll see at the innovation showcase shortly, entrepreneurs
and innovators have been rising to that challenge; you have been rising to that challenge by
unlocking the promise of open government data as fuel for innovation that benefits society.
You’ve been using open government data and open source software to build new apps, services
and even entire new companies that cut energy waste in buildings, strengthen the grid, deploy
renewables faster and achieve a variety of other important goals in the domain of energy
and sustainable energy. We’re really – you and we, I think, are, together, unleashing
a torrent of innovation in service of a sustainable energy future and, perhaps the most intractable
problem in the way of achieving that sustainable energy future, is the challenge around the
intersection of energy and climate change. Most of you know that earlier this month,
the Obama administration released a third national climate assessment. It’s an 800
plus page scientific assessment which lays out, at an unprecedented level of breadth,
clarity and geographically and economically granular detail, how climate change is affecting
every part of our country, all major geographic regions and key sections of our national economy
and our society. And the bottom line all the way across this very detailed but still accessible
report is that climate change can no longer be characterized as a distant threat. It is
affecting the American people now, as well as other people around the world, in important
ways. Summers are longer and hotter with longer periods of extended heat. Wildfires are starting
earlier in the spring and continuing later into the fall. Rain is coming over nearly
the entire United States in heavier downpours. People are experiencing changes in the length
and severity of their seasonal allergies, me among them – if I sneeze during this
presentation you’ll know why. And climate disruptions to agriculture and water resources
have all been increasing. But I think particularly germane to this audience:
The assessment also looked at the effect of climate change on key sectors of the economy,
including the energy sector. The national climate assessment found that extreme weather
events are affecting energy production and delivery facilities, causing supply disruptions
of varying lengths and magnitude and affecting other infrastructure components that depend
on energy supply. It found that higher summer temperatures are going to increase electricity
use and particularly cause higher summer peak loads – and of course, as you already know,
the summer peak load is the one that dominates the annual peak loads for the electricity
system. And it found that, depending on the character of changes in the energy mix going
forward, climate change will introduce both new risks and new opportunities. And I need
to tell you again that President Obama recognizes the urgency of addressing those risks and
seizing the opportunities. That’s why, in the climate action plan that he issued last
June, he laid out a comprehensive road map to cut carbon pollution in America, to prepare
America’s communities for the impacts of climate change that we can no longer avoid
and to lead global efforts to address global climate change. The plan includes important
measures, many of which are already in development or underway, to ensure a secure and reliable
electricity grid for Americans in a changing energy landscape. So it’s particularly gratifying to see industry
collaborate on this endeavor, including in the crucial are of standards. Standards for
power outage and restoration data help ensure that first responders, public health officials
and the general public have the energy-related information that they need to have at their
fingertips. Standards can reduce the risk that sizeable public and private investments
will become obsolete prematurely. And standards are at the heart of the Green Button initiative,
launched in 2012 by the Obama administration in partnership with the electric utility industry.
Green Button provides families and businesses with easy and secure access to their own energy
use information using consensus-based industry standards. Including the seven utilities that
announced their new commitments to Green Button today, 55 utilities and electricity suppliers,
serving more than 61 million homes and businesses, have committed to enable their customers with
Green Button access to help save them energy and shrink their energy bills. That means
more than 100 million Americans now have access to their own Green Button data and the opportunity
to use new private sector tools and services like some of the ones being demonstrated here
today. And that is a really big impact. So let me stop there and introduce you to
my good friend and close colleague, the Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernie Moniz, who will say more
about why the kinds of efforts you are undertaking are foundational to our progress towards a
clean, secure and sustainable energy future. I can’t say enough about Ernie Moniz. He
has had such an extraordinary background that suits him to be Secretary of Energy. I think
he’s probably the best qualified Secretary of Energy we’ve ever had and he’s burning
up the track over there at DOE. So it is a great pleasure to introduce Dr. Ernie Moniz.
(Applause.) It’s really great to keep working with John
Holdren. We’ve been working together for a long time with every permutation of one
or the other or both of us in government or out of government. And right now, obviously,
we’re both in and – John and I have worked together on energy and on nuclear security
issues for a couple decades at least so it’s been great. And I have to say, John has done
a terrific job, which I saw when I was serving on the president’s PCAST Committee early
in the administration and the president’s deep engagement in science and technology,
of course, helps, but John has done a – done a tremendous job in having the president strongly
engaged in these – in these issues. And of course, now we both have responsibility
for helping move along the president’s climate agenda as a – as a very, very strong priority.
The – clean energy is obviously a big part of that in terms of mitigation and the energy
Datapalooza is part of that. So – really pleased to be here. Clearly, we understand at DOE and the administration
that working with the private sector as partners is critical if we are, in fact, to achieve
our energy environment objectives through innovation. And I know today, particularly,
the focus on data and IT and software is a very, very important part of the transformation
that we are – that we are looking for. So we will continue to work with you and, obviously,
the subject of a lot of what you’ve been doing today in terms of open data, open tools,
open source – open source software and – in fact, today let me just summarize a few of
the things that DOE has underway in using big data, maybe not so big data, in supporting
private sector innovation to advance clean energy. I’ve been called in this town as
a data driven cabinet member – that’s not always said as a positive thing in some
of the circles I travel in, but we do think it’s actually quite important. But as you
know, the issue is not just compiling data but it’s also making it accessible, usable;
protecting sensitive data while one is doing that. So making , you know, making open data,
again, you all know, easy to find and widely available wherever possible is critical and,
again, even as we work to protect data that needs to be. So – but you, know we will
continue to be driven by the philosophy that freely available government data, certainly
about energy, is an important national resource and important to many of you to help you in
your – in your innovation. So let me talk about some of the progress
we are making and some of the directions we’re going in. Again, as you know, we are certainly
working to inventory our data resources and tools across the department, engaging with
the private sector about improving our data assets through challenges, codeathons, brainstorming
workshops and much more. We’re big supporters of the Energy Data Initiative and the Climate
Data Initiative, which are both multi-agency efforts to organize and liberate energy and
climate data for beneficial use. Now, clearly, we have to keep the momentum going and, for
example – so today, we’re announcing that our buildings performance database has reached
a milestone of three quarters of a million buildings, making it the world’s largest
public database on actual energy use and building characteristics. So we think it is, you know,
it’s out there enabling, benchmarking, building energy performance as was not possible only
a few years ago, really, and it’s helping energy managers to understand the most promising
energy efficiency retrofits that will get them big bang for the buck. Also announcing
the national geothermal data system, accessible to the public. Its geoscience raw data can
pinpoint geothermal sweet spots for researchers and developers, and hopefully will help drive
our engineered geothermal opportunities to full potential. We also released a detailed
data on untapped hydropower potential across the United States. We identified the most
promising sites for this form of clean energy. And we think that there are the order of,
you know, certainly 65 gigawatts or so of opportunity with micro-hydro and other forms
of hydro. The – in the solar regime we’ve known
for a long time that, particularly as the costs go down for solar modules and we can
really say we are at or below a dollar a lot, that these – a lot of the soft costs are
now part of the issue, especially for distributed solar. So our Solar Energy Technologies Office
is launching the SunShot Catalyst Initiative, a contest which any team – which any team
can propose software solutions to challenges as defined by industry. We’ll provide some
prize winners with some funding to get to the prototype stage. In fact, with follow-on
prizes of up $100,000 for advancing these solutions toward the market. There are a host of data initiatives at DOE
besides these that I’ve just described, many under the umbrella of our American Energy
Data Challenge. It’s all about harnessing ingenuity of many of you and your – and
your – and your colleagues, again, for a cleaner and more efficient economy. And to
keep going, again today we’re announcing the third chapter of this American Energy
Data Challenge called the Open Data by Design contest. This challenge invites the public
to make DOE’s energy data resources more accessible, more usable, more valuable. And
we want the best designers and developers across the country to really help us unlock
the value of our public data resources. So this competition will formally open to the
public in one week, on June 4th next week. So keep your eye out for that. Our Apps for Energy contest has challenged
software developers to build innovative applications. And we held five regional hack-a-thons across
the country. And the submissions have been great. Over 3,500 people took part. It wasn’t
easy to down select, but we did select four finalists. And from them, a second and first
place winner. So our – and it’s time to announce them. Our Apps for Energy finalists
are, in alphabetical order: e-Lite Power, a use planner with green button usage data
– very catchy name; enACT, which uses your own data to show efficiency investments in
financing options. The third is How Clean is Your Shirt? by PowerHouse which shows seventh
and eighth graders why doing laundry off-peak matters. And fourth, and Watt Buddy, which
shows your energy usage, educates you and lets you evaluate electricity providers. So the winners: Second prize in the Apps for
Energy contest is e-Lite Power use planner with green button data. Congratulations. Maybe
you should stand up. Where – there you are. OK. (Applause.) And we’ll be able to give
you your certificates in the showcase coming up. And the grand prize is Watt Buddy. Stand
up. Where are you? There we go. (Applause.) Oh, all sitting together. (Laughs.) So again
– so Watt Buddy lets you use green button data from their – from the utility on your
smartphone, showing usage graphically, helping you find places to save energy and money.
Watt Buddy will also let you evaluate competitive electricity supply offers with the same app
for users in different states. So I’d like actually, again, the two winners, but also
the other two finalists, to all please stand up so that we can – we can congratulate
the whole – all four of them. OK. (Applause.) They are – they are clustered down here
near the front. So – anyway, so those are some of the – some
of the things that DOE and, of course, the president are looking at in terms of data-driven
energy solutions for what really is the central problem of our time – climate change. And
of course, working to try to get private sector innovation as an essential part of the solution
to that climate challenge. We’re going to need all hands on deck to approach both the
mitigation and adaptation challenge of climate. You’ve all seen the recent assessment document
following IPCC reports. And so all that we can do, particularly in driving renewable
energy, efficiency and grid investments is critical. And of course, those are the subjects
of today’s lightning presentations. So we’re going to look forward to working
together with you on these data-driven initiatives. Again, very, very critical to what we are
doing. And I look forward right now to heading to the showcase and to getting to see some
of these – not only the winners, but other projects, and having a chance to meet with
you as well. So thank you very much. (Applause.)

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One Reply to “Energy Datapalooza”

  1. Not,to happy about the not being able,to customize your character so much but being a beta we shall see in the full game hope,it is tweaked a little,better

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