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Electricity

What Can We Expect from the Smart Grid?

April 21, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

Smart Grid Expectations

There’s no doubt that the smart grid is coming, but it’s not well understood by most people. What will it look like? How will it help us? At a recent Women in Cleantech and Sustainability event, a panel of smart and well-informed women was on hand to shed light on the mysteries of the smart grid.[read more]

Will Utilities Control Behind-the-Meter Solar Batteries?

April 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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Ken Munson, CEO of Stockton, Calif.-based startup Sunverge Energy, doesn’t want you to think of his company’s product as a “battery in a box,” backing up a roof full of solar panels -- even if that’s one very accurate way to describe what it packages up into a closet-sized, UL-certified form.[read more]

Java for the Grid Edge: From Blu-Ray Players to Smart Grid Devices

April 19, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Java and the Grid

The long-promised goal of embedding open, flexible computing power in all types of smart grid devices is starting to be realized in 2014. Open platforms are being introduced. Multi-vendor partnerships driven by utilities are creating new ways for technology to interact on the grid edge.[read more]

Excitons Observed in Action for the First Time

April 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Advancements

A quasiparticle called an exciton — responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits — has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed.[read more]

Study: Weather-Related Blackouts Doubled Since 2003

April 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

I think it was either Cheech or Chong who said, “I’m fed up and sick of this.” Well that’s how many people here in the Northeast where I live feel about power outages caused by storms. If people are sick of it, that’s because they’ve been losing power a lot more often over the last decade.[read more]

Report Challenges EIA's Renewable Energy Projections

April 18, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
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Renewables and the Future

New research that was recently released by the SUN DAY Campaign challenges the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) assertion that only 16 percent of United States electrical generation in 2040 will come from renewable sources of energy.[read more]

Building Genome Project: Retroficiency Takes a City-Wide Approach to Efficiency

April 17, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Building Genome

If more than 30,000 commercial buildings in New York City adjusted their thermostats just one degree upward in summer and one degree lower in winter, the savings would add up to $145 million dollars annually. That finding is just one gleaned from Retroficiency’s new Building Genome project.[read more]

Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

April 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Floating Nuclear Plants

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to a shutdown of all power, that caused the harm.[read more]

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Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia

April 17, 2014 by Willem Post
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According to Russian leaders, after the demise of the USSR, when Russia was in disarray under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Europe and US leaders, brushing aside historic Russian geo-political interests as irrelevant, took geo-political advantage by steadily expanding NATO and the EU into East Europe.[read more]

Abbot's Systematic Destruction of Solar Energy Support in Australia Continues

April 17, 2014 by Nigel Morris
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The rationale behind the Abbott Government’s incessant unravelling of support for solar power is unclear. What is clear is that almost every single day, we find another example of their systematic destruction of an opportunity that many countries would be jumping at.[read more]

Fossil Fuels are for Making Stuff

April 16, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson
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Fossil Fuel Makes Stuff

The IPCC has just recently released its third assessment report on mitigating climate change. I have spent the morning reading the full summary, and to help you save a little time I have whittled it down to a six word summary: Fossils fuels are for making stuff.[read more]

The Smart Grid and Multifamily Dwelling Challenges

April 16, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

There are many disconnects and dysfunctions in the multifamily real estate market that are beyond the ability of renters or property owners alone to resolve. There are multiple challenges in a market segment that includes stakeholders with sometimes vastly different financial perspectives.[read more]

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs a lot of balancing resources during times that renewables dominate.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Coal

April 15, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Coal Cost Consensus

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of coal. Please chip in with your opinion so that we can gather a statistically significant sample size and get a meaningful indication of the current consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

A Molecular Approach to Solar Energy

April 15, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Innovation

 

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround, a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store energy in chemical form.[read more]