Friday, July 2nd, 2010
And now for a dose of reality.
No doubt smart meters are a good thing, but even their most ardent fans must admit that a degree of hoopla surrounds these little digital boxes. We hear that if consumers can just see how much power they use in real time, and what it costs, our energy woes will be no more.
Smart meters will even cure the blind. The energy blind that is.
“It can be difficult to separate the hype from legitimate claims,” said the American Council for an Energy- (more…)
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
While renewable energy often captures most of the cleantech headlines, if anyone doubts why energy efficiency must play a significant part in the cleantech effort – as significant, if not more so, than the role of renewable energy — just examine the energy flow graphic developed by McCall and Bassett and reprinted in the June edition of Technology Review. At least half of U.S. energy consumption goes to nothing more than creation of hot air through waste heat. And, when one realizes that much of the 13.9% of electricity output from power plants shown in the graphic also ends up as hot air from our computers, lights, etc., the portion of energy consumption going up in hot air is actually greater than 50%.
Couple this with the following facts… According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on a worldwide basis renewable energy currently supplies roughly 10% of the energy consumed. (more…)
Friday, May 14th, 2010
We’ve been hearing a lot about a drop in energy consumption as a result of the economic downturn. In fact, U.S. energy use per person declined last year to its lowest level since 1968.
Economic activity and energy use are directly linked. But lately, several reports have noted that the economic slowdown is not the only reason energy consumption is falling. Aggressive energy efficiency efforts also have impact.
That impact will be “major” in the years to come, according to the Energy Information Administration, the chief energy data collector for the U.S. government. The agency this week released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2010” with projections to 2035.
The federal report shows us decreasing energy use significantly if we employ best available efficiency technologies over the next 25 years – that is if we buy the most energy efficient appliances and build homes to the highest efficiency standards. Under this scenario, energy consumption could drop by as much as 27 percent. But if we stick to the status quo, homeowners will increase energy use by about 0.2 percent. (more…)
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
What is the current smart grid infrastructure? How will we deploy the smart grid? Answer these questions and more by joining some of today’s leaders in the smart grid movement, next Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at Greentech Media’s The Networked Grid conference. The morning and afternoon keynote speeches will be given by PG&E’s Andrew Tang, senior director, smart energy web, and Oracle’s Linda Jackman, vice president of product strategy and management, utilities business. Also joining them will be speakers from California’s big three utilities and its public utilities commission, PG&E, SDG&E, SCE and CPUC, as well as companies such as ABB, Cisco, Control4, Coulomb Technologies, Enernex, Google, GridPoint, GTM Research, Intel, Oracle, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Stanford Research Institute, Tendril, Verizon Wireless.
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
umissgym: Is it just me, or is it hot in here?
The social media craze has hit building automation, as the campus at the University of Mississippi will soon be broadcasting its energy consumption via Twitter and Facebook updates.
In partnership with smart grid company SmartSynch, Ole Miss has created online feeds (also via RSS) detailing several of its main buildings’ energy use, ostensibly to “alter behavior to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions.” The UMiss project will study consumption from lighting, temperature controls, and appliances. The organizations have created an online application to monitor and report the energy draw so that building operators can learn where energy is being wasted and implement new conservation strategies.
Monday, February 9th, 2009
I’ve had quite the relationship with my energy company. When I moved to New York, we fell in love. I would always pay attention to her needs – buying “green” energy when she installed wind turbines and reading my bill every month to compare usage to the previous month and 12 months prior, and she rewarded me for my efforts with a bill that required less and less every month.
But over the past four years I’ve started to settle down, and I’ve started to take my dear energy company for granted, and I feel like she’s beginning to take me for granted as well. I still keep my consumption low and pay on time to keep us both happy, but she’s stopped expanding into wind and solar technologies and now the spark is gone (pun intended). Our underlying relationship hasn’t changed – she still uses the same fundamental business model and I still only see my electricity usage once a month when the bill comes. To say the least, neither of us are doing anything new and the relationship has grown stale.
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
The World Bank has recently published a book that might be interesting to fellow CleanTechies. “Financing Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Brazil, China, India, and Beyond” says that aforementioned countries will more than double their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within a single generation if they fail to implement successful energy efficiency efforts. Given the increasing energy demand from these three developing nations at a time of skyrocketing worldwide energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions, there should be a general interest to reduce energy consumption in these countries.
China, India and Brazil are three of the world’s top 10 energy consumers. Together these countries are expected to represent 40% of the world’s population and be responsible for well over 50% of all energy demand by developing countries. By 2030, they are expected to account for 42% of growth in energy demand worldwide.