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Renewable Energy

Pricing PV Energy; The Tomato Wins!

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy 2 Comments
This post is brought to you by Midwest Energy News; in particular, the opinion piece, Time For Monopoly Reform in Minnesota.  It is written by Tea Partier Debbie Dooley from Atlanta.  You may have heard or read that the Tea Party and solar advocacy groups (a strange alliance) have been singing photovoltaic folk songs around southern campfires. I am not anti-renewable, but I am very much anti-misinform and mislead.  That is what The Energy Rant is all about.  To prove my love of renewables, as I was driving back from my mother’s over the Fourth of July weekend on a…
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Energy Storage v Storing Energy’s Benefits

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff 4 Comments
As we march along with the nation’s rather massive build-out of renewable energy resources, questions emerge for how to fill the gaps when the sun sets and the wind stops blowing – i.e., when it’s nice to be outdoors, especially in the summer.  So there you have it – turn off the lights, grab a drink and go out on the deck to hang out with your friends and family.  Now there is a behavior program to get behind!  Patent underway.  Unfortunately, the discussion is focused on energy storage rather than “quality time”, a term that predates “work-life balance”. Once…
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America to Construction Guy – Drop Dead

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
Remember the old kooks who thought they knew better, gave you stupid rules, and warned you about things you would come to regret because you ignored them?  They were your parents.  If you are old enough, maybe a parent yourself, or maybe not, you should realize that OMG!  I’ve turned into my parents!  It’s wisdom through experience and in particular from making mistakes and failure. As a supervisor, one thing I learned, and is unfortunately a fact of life, is that you have to let staff make their own mistakes because no matter how many times you tell people not…
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Peer Review This, Please

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
This week I provide my own analysis of raw data to nail this Jell-O to the wall, and I’m done.  It’s all good.  Does anyone know what the “O” stands for?  Orama?  Jell Orama? First a recap from last week from which I got some blowback.  But would you believe it if I told you I received substantially more support and backslapping from critics of climate change?  As with any highly charged issue, readers/observers tend to attack on a hair trigger anything that challenges established positions and assign you to a broad group of in-duh-viduals to which you do not…
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Bombast from the Heresiarch

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
I’ve moaned about global warming, aka, anthropogenic climate change, aka man-made global warming off and on over the past couple years so this week let’s get down to business. I’m all in favor of cost effective, as in benefits/cost ratio, reasonable environmental policy, resource preservation, and the minimization of irreversible damage.  I wouldn’t be passionate about what I do or spend Saturday mornings doing this rant every week if I weren’t.  I am also a professional engineer, which carries ethics of protecting the public health and well being.  Well being would include financial soundness, which is where the cost effectiveness…
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Water-Boarding Over Picasso, Any Day

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy No Comments
I had a really bad week last week – nothing significant occurred to me in the world of EE, and nothing really enraged me or even made me snicker, although I could always rant about federal spending on EE and renewable energy.  Actually, if you are so inclined, Kim Strassel from The Wall Street Journal takes it to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, if you are interested.  Who would name their kid “Mitt”?  What kind of a name is that?  Is that short for Mitchell?  Mitt for short, with two ts?  Or is it short for Mitten?  Why are there…
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The Super Genius Grid

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff 3 Comments
The barrier to having a decent energy policy is very similar to the barriers of solving illegal immigration.  Both the left and the right have their own vested interests in not fixing the problem.  I see the political spectrum as a circle, not a line from far left to far right.  It is a circle because when views get so extreme, they are supported by both the far left (e.g. Dennis Kucinich) and far right (e.g. Ron Paul).  Personally, I respect both of these guys and I have no doubt they are sincere in their beliefs and want the best…
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Beware the New Guy

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Stimulus, Sustainability No Comments
One thing I’ve learned many times over with approaching or ongoing energy efficiency projects with clients, mostly end users, is that when the decision maker is replaced for whatever reason – the guy took a different job, retired, moved to a different place in the company – you name it, it is time to pull over to the side of the road. The most common thing a new guy (androgynously) does upon taking over the helm of whatever ship he’s driving is say no, to everything.  I’m not sure why this is but I think it possibly has something to…
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Blackouts for a Rounding Error

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Utility Stuff One Comment
This week features an overload of potential topics but let’s start with this one: Can we put some adults in charge in certain seats of power in Washington.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the EPA is running wild when it comes to mandating emissions requirements from power plants.  Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA and her cronies make policy in a vacuum sometimes with no regard to implications, at all. People can govern with the carrot – providing incentives to do the right thing; sugar – handouts to politically favored, typically dead end technologies or businesses (see tidbits below); and…
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No Policy?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff No Comments
As administrations and congresses come and go, one thing remains the same: “there is no clear energy policy”, and “we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil”.  Neither one is ever addressed. First, what the heck is a clear energy policy anyway and are we sure we want one?  When the government messes with any market, the result is always negative for consumers and in some cases bordering on catastrophe.  The only exception I see is utilities, which lend themselves to monopolistic efficiency.  You may need to lie down after that head-spinning oxymoron.  But seriously, in order to have…
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