Lorenzo Zemella

Reducing Carbon Footprint with Energy Boards

Novele is helping companies and cities go carbon negative. By utilizing Energy Board technology, cities and businesses are able to curtail their electricity usage at peak times, while future proofing their infrastructure for resilience, the mass adoption of electric vehicles, new age connectivity, and renewable generation. 

Since Energy Boards do not generate energy, we have to look at the big picture on how it affects overall electricity usage, distribution, and ROIs in combinations with renewable energy like solar. A building that installs rooftop solar right away sees a drop in their utility usage, which significantly drops their carbon footprint if that utility is mainly fossil fuel based. But if that same building additionally installs Energy Boards, then this reduction of grid power and carbon emissions drop even further, potentially multiplying it several times. 

Quantifying carbon reduction per Energy Board is tricky as it is heavily dependent on many external factors. Generally, we have seen that installing Energy Boards in commercial buildings reduces the carbon footprint between 0.5 and 3 tons annually per Energy Board. The range is due to market conditions, utility rates, energy sources, and if renewables are used. 

Half a ton per Energy Board is saved annually when we just reduce peak building loads, which saves a lot of carbon from reducing the load on the grid with its own high transmission-loss rate and shutting off dirty “peaker” power plants. When we add Energy Boards to a solar installation, we see averages around 3 tons of CO2 per Energy Board. This scales into the millions of tons of carbon when we look at entire regions in the US. 

Progressive cities and states are now focused on zero-emission buildings, squarely intent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the entire building, including from the use of grid-electricity, natural gas, and other fuels. Local renewable-sourced energy, delivered without long distribution runs, tied to Energy Boards, enable the zero-emission objective.

In the US alone, batteries could overtake peaking plants in as little as four years, a recent study by GTM Research and Wood Mackenzie suggested. Battery energy storage will compete head-on with new gas peaking plants—and by 2027, new gas peakers "may become a rare sight," or not get built at all, according to the report. [2018 Oct]

Energy storage is a lot easier to install when you have a lot of space and don’t have to sacrifice rental income, as there is always pushback from price sensitive building owners and managers. This becomes a huge issue in dense, urban environments, yet also in suburban environments where the living environment has expectations of cleanliness, aesthetic appeal, and freedom from ugly infrastructure eyesores. Energy Board can be retrofitted or designed into the building from the ground up. 

The benefit to Novele’s Energy Board technology is that we make it accessible for buildings that don’t have any available space to utilize energy storage, a key to driving adoption.  There are millions of buildings around the world that fall into this category. Energy Board technology not only makes it feasible to utilize a renewable energy source but it also creates an intelligent network of resilient devices that future proofs the energy infrastructure.