Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
We fret about turning off the lights to save pennies on energy. Meanwhile, electricity worth billions of dollars gets lost or stolen on the world’s power grids every year.
In industry jargon, the problem is known as ‘line loss.’ A certain amount of electricity generated by a power plant never makes it to the consumer – or at least (more…)
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Will new technologies democratize energy much the way the Internet did information?
Industry movement seems to point in that direction with the rise of the smart grid, time-of-day pricing, distributed solar, and the electric vehicle. Together these technologies offer a vision of a less centralized energy system, one where communities and households ‘vote in’ or shape the (more…)
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
We don’t think about energy until something goes wrong, and this week things went wrong on an historic level. As a result, the public and pundits are again focusing on the fragility of big electric grids.
Ten percent of the world’s population – more than 600 million people – lost their power in India on July (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…)
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Exhilaration swept through the energy efficiency industry as city after city, state after state and nation after nation set aggressive energy saving goals over the last several years. But with target dates nearing in certain jurisdictions, a more sober attitude now permeates. Some governments are asking: Are we reaching too high? (more…)
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
The US economy is three times larger than China’s, yet when it comes to developing a clean energy industry, China keeps besting us. The US came in second – again – to China this quarter in Ernst & Young’s much-watched renewable energy ranking released February 28. (more…)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
A UK report says that nearly half of the electricity consumed by British businesses is wasted when employees are not at work.
In an analysis of more than 6,000 smart meters, British Gas found that 46 percent of electricity use occurs from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., when most businesses are typically closed. Common examples of (more…)
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Utilities worry about a lot of things, such as keeping the lights on, earning a return for investors, and making regulators and customers happy with their service.
Now there is a new worry: How can they protect customers from what one utility refers to as “mental fatigue?” (more…)
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
A new report predicts that 100 million new smart meters will be installed across Europe between now and the end of 2016 as nations continent-wide aim to achieve greater energy efficiency and increased reliance on renewable sources of energy.
According to GTM Research, European investment (more…)
Friday, December 9th, 2011
Electric utilities operated under a rarified business model for decades. Their customers were captive so they rarely had to think about what motivated them to buy. New government energy efficiency mandates have changed that, and done so with an ironic twist. Now utilities must figure how to get their customers to refrain from buying. (more…)