Storage is the missing link that will enable renewables to become a reliable supply of mainstream energy. It is no wonder then that, as renewables expand in their reach, new and innovative forms of storing that energy also become more relevant.
In this digital world, we’re never far from our smartphones and tablets. Shopping on the web has become the new normal, and though we know left from right, our GPS is at the ready. That’s a lot of information, and we need data centers to house, organize and transmit that big data.
As alternative-energy sources become more commonplace, the need for infrastructure to support their expanding reach into mainstream energy markets is also on the rise. Microgrids have emerged as an ideal technology to meet this growing demand.
Perhaps nothing showcases technology’s ability to innovate and change lives better than the science behind renewable power. Solar power’s high cost is well-established, but scientists at CalTech are developing cells with such hyper– efficiency they could potentially eclipse the question of price.
If the United States stops burning coal, shuts down one-quarter of existing nuclear reactors and trims its use of natural gas by 2050, the resulting increased reliance on wind, solar and other renewables will not result in a less reliable electricity grid.
It is interesting to monitor how the biennial “Profile of the Electrical Contractor” research study has changed over the years. It shows how the EC evolves with the times, including adding communications work to their offerings. Those who responded to market shifts made the move to profit.
Are wireless controls taking market share from their wired brethren? A report released by Navigant Research says they are. Growth in the sector is expected to continue, with annual worldwide shipments of wireless nodes for building controls forecast to surpass 36 million by 2020.
As electric vehicles (EVs) gain momentum in the race to win over motorists, one thing is still slowing them down: Many would-be owners can’t warm up to the idea of the long charging time.
If some analyst projections are correct, slow charging EVs may soon be outdated.
Double energy production by 2030 is the message that Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and a blue-ribbon panel of 20 energy experts recently drove home at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Consider it a luxury. As a particular technology matures and becomes widely accepted, a new set of challenges emerge. Such is the case for the smart grid, which is passing the point of being a novelty and entering the realm of accepted practice.