All the recent hype and investment in energy efficiency, renewable power and new technology won’t amount to much without the proper upgrades to our energy infrastructure. Thankfully, the trend points to rapid growth in this dimension, too.
While utilities across the country are plugging in solar and wind, they also are in various stages of installing intelligent grid systems to improve control, conservation and reliability. Critical to these efforts is building bulk and distributed storage capacity.
An array of 213 solar panels will soon provide electricity to homes served by Duke Energy’s McAlpine Creek substation in south Charlotte, N.C. The substation’s new solar panels will provide approximately 50 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power five homes when the panels are operating.
Wind power may have the potential to drastically alter our nation’s electricity consumption and reduce harmful emissions of greenhouse gases, but it will be of little use to energy consumers if the power generated can’t travel easily from the turbine to the plug.
Lately, there has been no small amount of rhetoric in the nation’s capital about the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable power. To be sure, the federal government is backing up its words with tangible steps.
Energy is a big focus of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus package. As a result, efforts to make our current electrical transmission and distribution system “smarter” will be getting a boost.
Not least among the many factors feeding the recent buzz about a new national energy order is the dawning of a technology that allows communication between appliances and the systems that deliver power to them.
March is an unpredictable month on the East Coast. On March 1, 2009, a massive late-winter storm deposited heavy snowfalls from North Carolina to New Hampshire. Virginia, which expects more gentle weather at that time of year, was hit particularly hard with 10 to 12 inches.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based industry advocacy organization, nuclear power plants in the United States generated approximately 805.7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in 2008, missing the record of 806.5 billion kWh set in 2007.
Most of the talk about federal politics these days has centered on the mortgage crisis and the failing banking industry. The bulk of the money in the Obama administration’s bailout packages has been for banks, investment companies, other large industries and homeowners at risk for foreclosure.
Dartmouth engineering professor and entrepreneur Victor Petrenko—along with his colleagues at Dartmouth and at Ice Engineering, LLC in Lebanon, N.H.—have invented a way to cheaply and effectively keep ice off power lines.
Electric vehicles are closer than ever to becoming a large-scale reality. Chevrolet’s much-hyped Volt is still on schedule for a 2010 introduction, despite the manufacturer’s financial woes. Toyota may be releasing its own plug-in hybrid (PHEV) to fleet customers later this year.
Energy-efficiency programs in the United States could realistically reduce the rate of growth for electricity consumption by 22 percent over the next two decades if key barriers can be addressed, according to an analysis titled “Assessment of Achievable Savings Potential From Energy Efficiency and D
The market for residential energy management will increase significantly over the next four years due to increased consumer demand and new government and industry initiatives. The number of U.S. households with a smart meter will grow to more than 6 million by 2012, according to Parks Associates.