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News:Grid:2008-2009

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An archive listing of news items from 2008 through 2009 pertaining to the Electrical Grid.

For current news, see: News:Grid

2009

  • From Smart Grid to Big Brother? - The main stated benefits are: A more efficient use of energy, and a higher capacity to handle intermittent renewable power sources. But there is another important issue that gets shoved under the rug: Privacy. These smart meters and appliances will be sending lots of data to power companies. (TreeHugger; Oct. 14, 2009)
  • Conspiracy >
    Get ready! Here come the energy police - Google is developing an Internet-based power monitor designed to monitor energy usage inside homes. As a result, the meter will provide utilities and any government regulators access to data on a household's energy footprint and carbon footprint. Such access will also enable them to bill and/or control any offending appliances. (WorldNetDaily; Sept. 21, 2009)
  • EVs > Plug-ins >
    Delaware Paying Electric Car Owners to Power Grid - A newly signed law is said to make Delaware, USA, the first entity in the world to reward owners of electric cars with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, making V2G vehicles work like an electrical sponge, capable of absorbing excess energy when demand for power is low, and returning some back to the electric grid when the demand for power is high, paid/charged at the same rate. (Newswise; Sept. 21, 2009)
  • Natural Gas >
    Distributed Natural Gas Power - VW plans to put thousands of workers on the assembly line to make home-sized natural gas furnace/hot water heater/generators. These generators, based on a natural gas engine already used in the Golf, are 92 percent efficient (because they can use the waste heat for heating water or homes) and can either produce electricity for home use or put it out on the grid. (The Atlantic; Sep 17, 2009) (Thanks Phil Vogel) (P2P Comments)
  • A Costly and Unnecessary New Electricity Grid - While the smart grid approach makes sense, plans to string new high-voltage lines to bring wind power via a power interstate from the midsection of the country to the coasts, where most of the demand is, could be expensive and unnecessary, and a distraction from more urgent needs -- a boondogle. (Technology Review; July 14, 2009)
  • Meralco says planning broadband via power lines - The top electricity distributor in Manila plans to use its power lines to deliver broadband Internet service. The move is expected to make the Internet more accessible in the country, where only 20 million out of the population of 90 million can go online. (PhysOrg; July 13 2009)
  • What exactly is a smart grid? - A 5-page primer by Carnagie Mellon University, The Many Meanings of 'Smart Grid' presents an accessible, circumspect explanation of the smart grid concept and all of it's major components. "Some of the things that get talked about are relatively inexpensive and can go a long way toward solving key problems. Others will likely be very expensive, and at this stage may better be left to the realm of research." (Treehugger; July 8, 2009)
  • Why the Microgrid Could Be the Answer to Our Energy Crisis - The evidence is growing that the privately owned, consumer-driven, small-scale, geographically distributed renewables (=microgrid) could deliver a 100% green-energy future faster and cheaper than big power projects alone. Why the big utilities are fighting it with all they've got. (Fast Company; July 1, 2009)
  • 'Smart grid' is new buzz of electric power industry - What smart grid visionaries see coming are home thermostats and appliances that adjust automatically depending on the cost of power; where a water heater may get juice from a neighbor's rooftop solar panel; and where on a scorching hot day a plug-in hybrid electric car charges one minute and the next sends electricity back to the grid to help head off a brownout. (Globe Gazette; June 7, 2009)
  • Featured: Grid > Smart >
    NIST presently setting grid connectivity backbone - Right now at this very instant of time and for a very short period of time in the near future the standards for the transmission, formats and processes for all of the data handled in the Smart Grid are being written. Everything that proceeds for decades after this time will hinge on what we do in the next approximately 25 days. (PESN; June 13, 2009) (Comment at Examiner.com)
  • Bio-Energetics >
    Cattle respond to magnetic fields from power lines - Researchers, who reported last year that most cows and deer tend to orient themselves in a north-south alignment, have now found that power lines can disorient the animals. When the power lines run east-west, that's the way grazing cattle tend to line up. (Salt Lake Tribune / AP; March 16, 2009) (Nature)
  • Smart Grid: Government spying targets Rural America - Smart Grid is closely related to the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and both programs are designed to spy on Americans. Even more disturbing than the purpose of these government-condoned intrusions into our lives is the fact that the Obama Administration feels that Smart Grid is so important that it had to be funded in the stimulus package—which is supposed to be used for emergencies only. (InfoWars; March 7, 2009)
  • Lifeline for Renewable Power - Without a radically expanded and smarter electrical grid, wind and solar will remain niche power sources. (MIT Technology Review; Jan.-Feb. 2009)
  • Alternative energy faces power line "bottleneck" in U.S. West - How much "green" power will come from the U.S. West is uncertain if the sunny and wind-swept region cannot overcome a shortage of power lines. For years the rule of thumb was $1 million per mile, but a recent project in Southern California cost $16.5 million per mile. The "bottleneck" is Federal land use and bureaucratic delays. (Reuters; Jan. 21, 2009)

2008

  • Europe Backs Supergrids - Brussels-based environmental consulting firm 3E mapped out 3,500 miles of underwater HVDC cables crisscrossing the North Sea, forming a network capable of hooking up 68,000 megawatts' worth of new offshore wind farms - enough generating capacity to meet 13 percent of the region's power consumption. (MIT Technology Review; Dec. 2, 2008)
  • Power Optimizer - Reduce energy consumption in a business environment from 8% to 25% through better efficiency using a patented semiconductor chip that utilizes specific wavelengths of infrared light to stabilize the vibration state of "spinning" electrons, reducing heat and improving current throughput. Video (Power Optimizer; Nov. 18, 2008)
  • The Matrix Overloaded: Clean Energy Will Depend on a New, 'Smart' Grid - The current electric grid has two basic shortcomings. It's not big enough to accommodate all the new electricity and it's not flexible enough to handle the inconsistencies of renewable energy, which is less steady than the workhorses of coal and natural gas; the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. (Wall Street Journal; Oct. 24, 2008)
  • An Intelligent Electric Grid - In this video, Peter L. Corsell, founder and CEO of GridPoint, talks about the problems inherent in today’s electric grid and describes how GridPoint’s technology improves the system’s efficiency, flexibility, and reliability. (Technology Review; Sept. Oct. 2008)
  • Beacon Power > Making Electrical Grids More Efficient - Rather than marketing its flywheel-based energy storage systems to utilities, which move notoriously slow in adopting such innovations, Beacon Power Corp plans to build its own merchant flywheel plants that move power on and off a power line to stabilize the grid. (MIT Technology Review; Aug. 10, 2006)
  • Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Maple Ridge Wind farm cost $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, but at times, regional electric lines have been so congested, that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down, even with a brisk wind blowing. (Slashdot) (New York Times; Aug. 26, 2008)
  • Massive Electricity Storage, Part 1 - Electricity is generated and consumed instantaneously. Unlike other energy supply systems--oil, natural gas, or coal-–the electricity power grid or the generation plants that supply the grid have essentially no storage or "surge" capacity to smooth out peaks and valleys in demand or to provide reserve capacity during sudden spikes in demand. 23-minute Panel Discussion (Power Engineering; August 5, 2008)
  • Massive Electricity Storage, Part 2 - The huge size of the U.S. grid with a wide diversity of power generation sources provides stability and minimizes the impact of fluctuating renewable power on the composite system load profile. In comparison, weaker grids, covering isolated areas not connected to major grids, are much more sensitive to, and less able to tolerate, the fluctuating renewable power. (Power Engineering; August 5, 2008)
  • Gore wants U.S. electricity grid to run on renewable energy by 2018 - Military-intelligence studies warning of "dangerous national security implications" tied to climate change, including the possibility of "hundreds of millions of climate refugees" causing instability around the world, and Al Gore said the United States is dangerously vulnerable because of its reliance on foreign oil. (International Herald Tribune; July 17, 2008)
    • Al Gore's Inconvenient Plan - "Al Gore said that the United States should produce all of its electricity from carbon-free, renewable energy within 10 years. Although he didn't lay out specifics, he seems to want to do it with wind, solar, and geothermal, although it's not clear from his speech whether nuclear would be acceptable. Can it be done? It isn't likely." (Technology Review; July 18, 2008)
  • Extra water, wind strain Northwest power grid - The Northwest is awash in electric power this spring. Rivers are swollen. Columbia River dams are running full bore. Wind farm blades are spinning. "If you have electricity but no one needs it, sometimes you have to pay someone to take it." (The Oregonian; June 27, 2008)
  • A Power Grid Smartens Up - A $100 million project launched in Boulder, Colorado, by Xcel Energy, will equip homes with smart power meters that help people reduce demand when electricity is most expensive; and will allow the utility to reroute power and take better advantage of renewable power sources. (MIT Technology Review; Mar. 20, 2008)
  • Hydraulics > Hydristor > Transmission of Grid Power Using Pressurized Air - Instead of transmitting electricity over high-voltage cables, Kasmer suggests transmitting power via high-pressure air, which would be pressurized and depressurized via his infinitely variable pneumatic conversion technology, which would serve as the transformers in the system. (PESN; Jan. 23, 2008)

2004 - 2007

See News:Grid:2004-2007

See also

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