smart grid

Shift to renewable energy driven by economics

Investment and success with renewable energy will be driven, ultimately, by economics. Today’s stories focus strongly in the arena of value, as we shift from a fossil-fuel dominated world to one dominated by clean renewables. Solar home systems have been mostly driven by personal philosophy and incentives. However new research indicates that solar systems add significant value to a home. But home systems are not nearly enough. Investments in transmission are needed to […]

Microgrid community coming to California, Gargantuan Turbines, and Thin Films

First Micro-Grid, Distributed Energy Resource Community Coming to California As the first private commercial micro-grid project of its kind in California, the project, called 2500 R Street, will enable homeowners to achieve net zero energy efficiency at an unprecedented rate of affordability. At the same time, utilities will gain the ability to dispatch and control their renewable resources discretely or in aggregate; improving utility transmission and distribution, deferring capital asset investment, improving grid […]

The First True Smart Grids are Being Built Today – in Alaska

But they aren’t where you would expect.  It is not Boulder Colorado’s much-hyped SmartGridCity, built by Xcel at a cost of $140 million dollars.  That is little more than a collection of smart meters and a fiber optic network. If you want to see a smart grid today with distributed load control, energy storage, and extremely high penetrations of renewable power you need to go to remote Eskimo villages in the Alaskan bush.”

Clean, Smart Micro-grids

Despite recent experiments with deregulation, the current top-down utility paradigm has remained essentially unchanged for a century. Large central station generators provide an undifferentiated power product over a high voltage transmission system. Consumer needs are not undifferentiated in two important ways. Electric applications vary dramatically in terms of the value of reliability. Consumers vary dramatically in their willingness to pay to reduce the environmental impact of their energy consumption. Utilities have started to […]