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demand response

Illustration of man standing next to building

Grid-Interactive Buildings Part 3: Customer Perspectives

By Energy Rant No Comments
The first in this series of posts on grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) described the intent of GEBs. The objective is to use buildings to shift, shave, or shed load to improve grid reliability without making expensive investments like peaker plants or electricity storage. Sounds great, but there is more than enough complexity to make that happen, and that is what we skimmed last week. The list of challenges as noted in DOE's National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings is repeated below. We’ll attack the list from the top. Consumer awareness Complexity (Covered 31AUG21) Utility interests Regulatory models Policymaker ignorance Consumer…
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clown

Grid-Interactive Buildings Part 2 – Funny How?

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week in the Opening Salvo, we studied the desired results of grid-interactive efficient buildings, aka GEBs. The desired outcomes include shaving, shifting, shaping, and shimmying electric loads to better match the supply provided by intermittent renewable supplies. This week, we’re going to examine barriers and difficulties on the way to these desired results, with solutions to come, of course. A single paragraph from the Executive Summary of DOE's National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings provides plenty of fuel for this fire: Consumer adoption of this technology will require overcoming a lack of consumer awareness of participation incentives, mitigating perceived…
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energy industry predictions

Soothsayer Says: Eight Predictions for the Energy Industry

By Energy Rant No Comments
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing now. That quasi-cliché is why I have never had a New Year’s resolution, and I’m not going to start in 2021, but I can review the past and forecast (guess) the future. Soothsaying is part of my job, and I’m at least as accurate as next week’s weather forecast. At the start of 2020, we had just reorganized, defined who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Sounds simple, right? What is your personal purpose? What do you value? What makes you tick? Keeping it concise is very hard. Our…
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ouiji board

Performance Programs, Ouija Boards, and Mark Twain

By Energy Rant No Comments
I could not compete with my former self and Gene Simons from last week, but I went back to the Gallup psychoanalysis barrel for more inspiration. I don’t want to write about myself unless it helps you understand why I’m so, uh, peculiar. Like Mr. Simons, I’m an insatiable consumer of information, maybe not books so much – although I’m sure I broke personal records since the Covid – but digital publications, interviews, conference papers, and journals. The psychoanalysis says, “It’s very likely that you rely, to some extent, on your passion for reading to help you launch conversations. Engaging…
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NMEC Jedi and NRE Troopers

By Energy Rant One Comment
In theory, normalized metered energy consumption, or NMEC, would allow demand-side resources, whether dispatchable (demand response) or non-dispatchable (efficiency, demand rates, time of use, peak rates, etc.), to be precisely measured with equipment customers have already paid for – smart meters and the advanced metering infrastructure. It would work like this: What does the meter say before intervention (like a bathroom scale)? What does it say after intervention? The difference of the two is the resource. What could go wrong? Plenty. Last week I suggested we need protocols and not just user’s manuals for deploying NMEC. This week, I deliver…
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Electricity Subscriptions For Trouble – A Baker’s Dozen

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
The recent edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly features an article that showers virtues of subscribed energy – an all-you-can-eat energy bonanza. There is a reason I’ve grown to crinkle my nose at buffets! Consumers subscribe to Amazon, Netflix, SiriusXM, and per the article, even Lyft is offering a new subscription service for all the rides you want in a month. In the1990s, one token would allow me to ride the New York subway all day – forever actually. Now there is a subscription for you – all the toe fungus, gout, and hair implant remedy ads you can stand for…
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How About Some D in DSM?

By Energy Rant No Comments
I have always found it interesting that “demand-side management,” the term that is generally used synonymously with energy efficiency programs, includes virtually no demand management whatsoever. The term “demand-side” simply means the energy consuming side of the energy transaction, whereas, “demand” is an instantaneous power draw from a device, building, feeder line, substation, power plant, or an entire power grid. To date, energy efficiency programs have primarily been in search of any kWh (energy) savings at any time. I call these kWh “dumb kWh”. So, we have dumb energy efficiency savings from a supposedly smart grid. Discuss. This has got…
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Excess Power

Electricity Storage by the Other NWA; Chum v Beluga

By Energy Rant No Comments
Energy storage is easy and cheap. Grid-grade electricity storage is complex and expensive. Definitions of energy storage vary. Some consider hot water, chilled water, or ice to be stored energy. It’s really storing the benefits of energy consumption. For phenomenal refreshers and mental strolls down memory lane, see Storing Energy v Storing Benefits and Something Old, Something Old. Why is grid-scale electricity storage so expensive? To answer this question, let’s consider the forms of storage and the hurdles that must be overcome to make it cost effective. Electricity Storage Challenge #1 = Inefficiency First, we have the storage of potential…
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Untold Story of Disappearing Energy Jobs

By Energy Rant No Comments
On the subject of electricity generation sources and price, I’ve been reading numerous articles from various bona fide sources and started connecting dots. Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF) has written about historically low electricity prices, as a percent of GDP or household spending, numerous times in the past year. Electricity price escalation has not kept pace with the consumer price index. As of last August, Steve Mitnick, of PUF shared data, which I plotted on the chart below.A year ago, I wrote about this topic as well in Low Electricity Prices - For How Long?. In that post, I explained how…
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