Apr 14 2014

The restructuring of electricity prices: a key issue for the California solar market

Power MeterfrenchflagLire cet article, “La restructuration des tarifs de l’électricité : un enjeu clé pour le marché solaire californien”, en français, dans les Bulletins Electroniques.


americanflag1The liberalization  policy of the electricity sector initiated by California in the mid 1990s plunged  the state,  in 2001,  into an unprecedented energy crisis. Soaring prices for electricity on the wholesale market, reoccuring power outages and financial instabilities of the three major California utilities (energy companies) SCE, PG & E and SDG & E are aware that local authorities need to backtrack. Accordingly, the State of  California has established a strict regulatory framework where electricity pricing is carefully monitored by the energy regulator, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).


Like water, electricity can not be regarded as a mere object of  consumption, making it’s pricing  extremely complex. In 2009, it accounted for 41% of the primary energy consumption in the United States, compared to only 14% in 1949. The electrification of our lifestyles has made ​​it a common good, and the most basic of necessities. Thus, ensuring cheap electricity while  providing access to the greatest number of people has become a public policy priority. But setting a price should not ignore the economic reality faced by energy companies. It is necessary that electricity tariffs cover the operating costs of utilities, in order to ensure the sustainability of the service. Between social and economic considerations, the tarification of electricity is an extremely difficult balancing act.


The AB327 law passed by the state government in the month of October 2013 proposes to modernize the electricity tariffication currently in force. This overhaul of the rates will have a significant impact on California’s electricity industry and particularly on the solar industry.

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Apr 14 2014

French American Newsletter #79, April 14th, 2014

What’s happening this week in the cleantech sector in Europe and the USA?

image Newsletter_Cleantech image (1)


American_Flag_Newsletter EU_Flag_Newsletter
Bienvenue dans notre nouvelle newsletter des technologies propres. Cette semaine, Opower a fait une entrée en bourse réussie, en levant près de 120 millions de dollars. En partenariat avec WaterSmart (son homologue dans le secteur de l’eau), la société a d’ailleurs été sélectionnée par la ville de Palo Alto dans le cadre d’un innovant projet d’efficacité énergétique. De son côté, Nest connaît de premières difficultés et doit stopper les ventes de son détecteur de fumée et de monoxyde de carbone. Le Net Energy Metering est de nouveau au cœur de l’actualité et fait débat entre utilities et acteurs du solaire. Enfin, deux constats cette semaine : les véhicules électriques voient leur nombre doubler chaque année et l’éfficacité énergétique demeure la ressource la moins chère. Bonne lecture ! Welcome to our latest newsletter on clean technologies. This week, the boom of solar panels and the associated self-energy consumption when associated with storage raise majors questions on the future role of the Grid. The European’s Joint Research Center announced more than 400 Smart Grid projects around the continent, and Accenture launched with Siemens a joint venture dedicated to smart grid solutions. The French major EDF and Philips signed a partnership to considerably reduce the LED bulb costs. Finally, the French electric bicycle’s market tends to increase. Enjoy!

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Apr 09 2014

Attend the BERC Cleanweb Hackathon 2.0 in Berkeley, CA – April 18-20, 2014!



The purpose of this coming hackathon is to build software-based solutions and open-source code by introducing talented UC Berkeley hackers to today’s energy and resource challenges.



Why you should attend:

  1. Expand on your hacking skills: This year, there will be added hacking workshops to the Saturday morning session on API’s, open source code standards, web app basics, and data visualization.
  2. Choose from water and energy tracks: Whether you’re interested in solving California’s drought or helping invent the next generation of buildings, there is a track for you! In addition to creating apps, there will be an open-source coding track.
  3. Create game-changing apps: Unleash the power of software and data to solve critical energy and resource challenges. Just check out last year’s winners WattTime and Thermostatly!
  4. Network: You’ll be able to meet and work with students from other departments (business, information, energy and resources, computer science, and more), LBL scientists, local companies working in the cleanweb space, as well as Cleanweb and InfoEnergy Nexus communities at BERC.
  5. Win prizes: Details are being finalizing on prize pool and corporate sponsors, so stay tuned!

Free food will be provided for registered hackathon participants throughout the weekend. There will be a kickoff event on Friday night, hacking all day Saturday, and hacking and final judging on Sunday afternoon. More information on the hackathon challenges to be announced in the coming weeks. Click here for a draft schedule –http://berkeley.cleanweb.co/schedule/

Register here: http://bit.ly/BERCHackRegister  
And read more about last year’s hackathon here. Questions? Email sustainablejohn [at] berkeley [dot] edu

Apr 08 2014

HCI-Aero 2014 : International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aerospace, July 30-Aug 1, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA

HCI Aero 2014

The Office for Science & Technology is proud to relay the information on HCI-Aero 2014 where Europe and France will be well represented by Pr Guy Boy, Chairman of the Program Committee  and many members of this program.

The purpose of HCI-Aero 2014 is to highlight research and advancements in automation integration and function allocation in airspace operations. Integrating innovative aerospace technologies enables new ways of allocating functions between humans and automation in flight and ground operations.

HCI-Aero 2014 will take place in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the birthplace – and last resting place – of many innovative ideas.  In this setting, the conference intends to inspire researchers and practitioners to engage in a dialogue on how functions, roles and responsibilities of air traffic personnel, flight operators, flight crews, airborne and ground-based technologies can be reshaped to meet the near and mid-term goals set out by NextGen and SESAR and to transform the air transportation system beyond the mid-term.

HCI-Aero 2014 will continue the discussion of transitioning science to reality which was the theme of HCI-Aero 2012 in Brussels. It will also invite papers on visionary and transformational ideas and “out-of –the-box” thinking that can move air, space and ground operations in new directions. HCI-Aero  2014  will  bring  together  manufacturers,  operators,  government,  research  establishments  and  academia  to focus  on  improving  the efficiency of the airspace system without jeopardizing safety.

More info and registration, here.


Apr 07 2014

Science Exchange, la plateforme devenue chevalier blanc des expériences scientifiques

science-exchange-logoEn 2011 Science Exchange fut lancée en fanfare suite à son passage dans le programme d’accélération Y-Combinator. L’idée de départ était de faciliter la tâche aux chercheurs en sciences de la vie qui souhaitent réaliser des expériences sur des équipements rares et coûteux se trouvant disséminés sur l’ensemble des laboratoires universitaires américains. La jeune société a alors l’ambition de réinventer la façon dont les scientifiques externalisent leur recherche, et ainsi de la rendre plus efficace.

Lire la suite dans les Bulletins Electroniques.

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