Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Recently I had the chance to tour the Island of Alcatraz, once the site of one of America’s most famous prisons. The prison was closed in 1963 due to the high cost of maintenance in such a remote location, but it remains a top tourist destination.
My justification for this junket was an invitation from (more…)
Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Imagine this scenario: you get an SMS saying there’s a problem in your home of excessive power output (“power leak”) and that an electric company rep is on his way to fix the problem. Sounds incredible? Well, apparently this scenario is not far from being realized. This is what Itai Brezis, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Cellcom, claimed at (more…)
Monday, June 18th, 2012
Consumer backlash against smart meters continues to create a small but ongoing drag on utility rollouts, with new opt-out schemes aimed at allaying fears.
The issue: some consumers want nothing to do with smart meters, either because of health concerns about the wireless technology or because of the potential for privacy invasion; and they do not want (more…)
Friday, June 15th, 2012
A recent Leadership Conference hosted by eMeter (a smart meter company purchased by industrial giant Siemens in December 2011) in south San Francisco, revealed how entrepreneurs are trying to bring the staid electric utility industry into the 21st century. Under the theme of “disruptive technology,” six different companies were featured in an eye-opening panel on (more…)
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Ask most people to describe vanguard energy technology, and they’ll name LED lights, certain forms of solar energy and new electric storage methods. But how about this – generating energy from a living body?
The Journal of the American Chemical Society is reporting a “real-life scientific tail of the first electrified (more…)
Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Who among us has not eagerly described the smart meter to a non-energy person only to be greeted by a blank stare, or worse the retort: “Why would I want to track my electricity costs all day?”
You try to explain the profound applications: smart appliances that talk to the power grid, consumer (more…)
Friday, May 18th, 2012
For much of renewable energy’s history, consumers adopting renewable energy systems faced have two very different options when it came to solar power. They could remain tied to the power grid and use their renewable energy source to offset their electricity use. Or, if they were brave enough, could take the plunge and try going completely off-grid. (more…)
Friday, April 6th, 2012
The success record of smart grid renewables integration is a mixed bag, with European countries boldly plowing forward while many utilities in the United States exhibit what a former California state regulator called “electrotrophobia” – the fear of change linked to greater reliance upon intermittent renewable energy resources. (more…)
Thursday, April 5th, 2012
The electric industry is good at building things. That’s how it solves problems. Is there a threat of blackouts? Develop a new natural gas-fired plant. Worried about climate change? Build wind and solar power. Does electricity cost too much? Install a transmission line to import cheaper power. (more…)
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
One of the most promising aspects of energy storage is that it’s used to make an existing system more efficient. If you think of the grid as the system, then energy storage can help make generation, transmission, distribution, and even customer energy use more efficient.
How many different systems are there? The grid is the (more…)