As we transform into a high-tech, renewable-powered society, so must the grid we rely on to deliver our energy. Concurrent with those changes, the smart grid has emerged as the power delivery system for a new age.
In the long-running battle for the nation’s energy soul between green power and fossil fuels, victories are taken in measure. Despite their emergent success in recent years, renewables still have a long way to go to become the predominant power source.
As the global population grows and its energy use expands, consumers, policy-makers and utilities look to city leadership for models of effective program planning, design and implementation that help tackle the challenges that accompany expansion.
Innovation and support, both popular and political, have helped make renewables more competitive than at any other time in their history. Still, cost is the biggest stumbling block for businesses and homeowners who want to retrofit their property with energy-efficient power.
Wireless has rapidly emerged as the predominant communication technology in the digital age. It has redefined the way we connect to the Internet, our devices and each other, giving an entirely new meaning to the concept of independence.
When the economics of residential solar panels are up for discussion, the phrase “grid parity”—meaning the point at which solar-generated electricity is as cheap as the energy the local utility supplies—can quickly dampen enthusiasm.
Many companies will remember 2011 for its ups and downs, but history might also label it as the year electrical contractors (ECs) embraced social media. Cupertino Electric Inc., San Jose, Calif., got into the game in a big way last year.
Renewable power has the potential to transform our energy consumption, but like most innovations, it has a downside. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to a renewable-powered society is the intermittent nature of its generation.
Nothing is sacred in the digital age. Innovation is the driving principle. The operating mindset is to strive for quality, speed and efficiency. Along those lines, it was only a matter of time before the Internet set its sights on the TV.
The last energy services column (January 2012) introduced an 11-step energy services project delivery process. Electrical contractors can follow the process systematically, thereby developing a comprehensive program to help their customers identify and achieve energy and sustainability goals.
At an event in Albuquerque, N.M., U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the Solar Decathlon 2013 and unveiled the competition’s location: Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.
With all the popular support and government subsidies that renewable power enjoys in the United States, it seems that it would only be a matter of time before they completely take over the nation’s energy markets.