Comments on: Renewables to spark U.S. grid revolution Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Brian Bigelow Fri, 24 Apr 2009 07:37:35 +0000 One thing that will help us meet the goals presented is to conserve where possible. If you’re not using as much electricity to begin with you won’t need as much infrastructure. In my own apartment I did knock down the electrical usage by one seventh, and we’re a family of five. If the government further encouraged conservation they could lower the cost to be invested by a similar amount.

In my case, why I started on the route to conservation to the extent I have is saving myself money. It pays off big time. Our budget isn’t as stretched as it would have been otherwise. More savings have also been realized by turning down the thermostat, installing LED nitelights and other technologies. Saving money on the utilities has allowed me to further invest in even more items that save money, like NiMH batteries.

By: B.Free Wed, 22 Apr 2009 19:31:32 +0000 what is wrong with the idea of solar/wind/geothermal energy production distributed throught the housing industry. Let new homes be constructed with these built in and the government can give rebates on older homes to convert. In much of the south and west these homes produce more power per year than they use. The excess could be sold to business and provided to a developing electric transportations industry. I could be way off base since I am no expert but, it looks like this would eleviate a lot of the stress on the current grid system.

By: Alabarmy Mon, 20 Apr 2009 17:22:41 +0000 Don’t mean to snub the people who are contributing to the debate, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem many people who’ve posted actually is in the industry. And we talk facts.

If we continue our reckless fossil fuel burning rampage, eventually we’ll run out.

Till then, fossil fuel prices will be pushed up, and they will be passed onto the consumer.

It will be beneficial for the consumer to try him/herself to start making real changes, how soon, time will tell.

They’ll be pressure on the governments to start to act, and by then it’ll be likely too late. There WILL be an energy crisis in the next 30 years, or maybe a bit further down the line, but it’ll come.

Someone posted an article whom the writer is an expert on the matter, and it just can’t be done.

We can’t meet future energy expections without more salvaging of fossil fuels.

Scientific breakthroughs will come, and maybe if we’re lucky perhaps the golden egg to our woes.

So, till then, just keeping ringing your providers and asking them why your bill is extroadinarily high.

By: Evie Futura Mon, 20 Apr 2009 14:31:38 +0000 The privatized utilities want the government to pay billions to upgrade them into this super consolidated network, how about a simpler route, they make their connections easier and smart, and smart vehicles take energy when there is surplus and intelligence and information visibility substitutes near term for an expensive network (electricity itself has no intelligence).

Sometimes simpler and decentralized is easier, so smart meters might improve things quite a bit, and information on rates and capacity timing so the devices react to the network and not the other way around

By: Pierre Henri Mon, 20 Apr 2009 08:17:38 +0000 John,
Thanks for raising this topic. It seems to have triggered an active debate with a lot of factual information, which bears testimony to the fact that current worries are indeed extremely actual and deserve far more attention that they get. It is amazing to see how comments posted reflect that many people may be looking at the same issue at the same time with vary different angles. Sometimes, one would hope, and preferrably sooner rather than later, this could result in a democratic drive providing new directions to studies, solutions and budget spending of the world economies. One of the key issues is probably: how to convert millions of unformal individual debates such as this one into concrete influence on policies for realistic goals to be set,respected and translated into law? I particularly liked the comment of one of the readers on university / teaching. Such topics should become widely taught by praticians and theoricians of the field to educate more engineers and generate the brain resources that will have to carry on research on the topic in the next decades. If massive amounts have been spent on space exploration related projects in the 50s and 60s culminating with man being sent on the moon (was it really needed?), one could hope that at least a similar attention and money would be devoted to environment related energetic issues (for which solutions are badly needed to preserve human life). All the more so as money spent on research and its applications, new industrial sectors and education with identified objectives and adequate budget monitoring is seldom money badly spent.

By: Don Mon, 20 Apr 2009 05:07:39 +0000 I’m not an electrician or electrical engineer. Just as a wild guess off the top of my head, I suppose if we ground different degrees of rotation and create ionic bridges in the soil, there might be offsetting differentials that can contribute to brownouts. The same is true with the atmosphere if it becomes more conductive since transfer voltages are generally quite high – such as 10,000 volts – leading to a greater likelihood of jumping. It will be a good read when somebody corrects me as far as these plasma events. I’m not sure how many plasma people read these articles.

But diversification is positively critical to survive any kind of prolonged power outage. I remember when we lost power for a few days one summer and lost everything in the refrigerator. It is far worse though losing heat in the winter. Electrical infrastructure is getting old. We are placing heavy demands on what we have. We are using more power not less. Plus we have placed our faith in computer control systems with lots of complicated software coding. If we could canvas the cities of tomorrow to learn what triggers all the electrical loads and when, develop adaptive algorithms to automatically adjust, we might be okay. But just by accident we can get hit by the electrical version of a rogue wave. We could be under attack and not even know.

By: walt hauschildt Sun, 19 Apr 2009 19:19:07 +0000 would someone who understands the issue comment on the vulnerability of the grid to a solar plasma event and its relationship to diversification. thanks

By: The Real Deal Sun, 19 Apr 2009 17:40:04 +0000 As many have commented already, the principal problem is not grid. It is source.

We still struggle with generation. Existing sources cannot be scaled with a sustainable and affordable economics. Yet new sources remain a challenge of the highest order. There is yet no solution.

Unless finance and the stock market, one cannot play with nature. It is governed by physics, and the physics say NO. All the greatest engineering and designs of mankind cannot say yes when the physics says no.

By: Robynne Sun, 19 Apr 2009 15:28:02 +0000 The article makes an important point: Development and management of the electric grid and power generation for that grid are important.
Did the projection figures they made include the rise in demand that is likely when electric cars will be more common? If not than the investments in the grid are probably higher than the 1trn they projected – if it can deliver the capacity at all.
There is another point: Do the investments include the hardening of the grid against potentially crippling solar flares?

By: Sunny Wyo Sun, 19 Apr 2009 14:42:22 +0000 There’s a topology of solutions using CO2 sequestered coal electrical generation and coals to liquid processes. Basicly take generated H2 by coal gasification (esp. off-peak) and synthesize methanol and ethanol to create potential energy in liquid form. H2 can also be produced by electrolysis during peak-wind generation non-demand moments. Methanol and ethanol can be further processed to gasoline.

BTW geothermal electrical generation should be great for peak trimming too.