It’s almost an axiom of technology that some of the greatest innovations in consumer electronics come from the military. For example, microwave ovens are linked to the first radar technology developed by the military in World War II.
With all of the help and all of the hype they have enjoyed in the last few years, renewables are starting to get their proverbial legs underneath them. That is not to say they have progressed beyond the point where they could use some assistance from the public sector.
Despite continued uncertainty about the economy, Americans are showing increased confidence in the housing market and the direction of the economy, according to Fannie Mae’s November 2012 National Housing Survey.
In the ongoing national conversation about the role of clean, alternative sources of power, various measures exist to gauge the success of these industries in grabbing a bigger share of our nation’s total energy consumption.
A recent study by the consulting firm Clean Power Research showed that solar power in New Jersey and Pennsylvania delivers value to the electric grid that exceeds its cost by a large margin, making it a bargain for consumers.
There will always be a little bit of the outrageous in renewable power. Yet, every day, in the realm of energy, what once seemed like the exclusive domain of fantasy becomes an accepted part of our lives.
Just as every new technology thrives on its own promise, drawbacks and flaws in the initial design also hold back progress. For example, computers were once the size of a room. Calculators were initially too expensive for most people to own.
I’d like to tell you that 2013 will be the year the economy comes roaring back, with prosperity for all and customers lining up to acquire our services without any effort on our part. I can’t do that (but don’t let that worry you too much).
While the smart grid has been the topic of much conversation lately, specifics on what this supposed technical marvel will do, cost or look like in actual utility installations have been notably lacking.
With all of the attention given to new, clean sources of power in this country, it is sometimes surprising, if not a little disheartening, to learn that other countries actually have bested us in one measure or another.