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electric cars

From Crazy to Rational; Slow or Fast(er)?

By Energy Rant One Comment
We’re picking up where I left off a couple weeks ago with the dead kWh. That post was based on the Public Utilities Fortnightly article, cleverly titled, The Kilowatt Hour is Dead – Don’t Send Flowers. For that, I focused on whether or not customers will get involved and make a significant impact on a boring 1.3% of their life expense. That 1.3% is the slice taken up by electricity costs of the average consumer. This time, I'm training my laser on an old-school thought from utilities AS EXPLAINED BY[1] the author, Mark Gabriel, the CEO of the Western Area...
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Low Electricity Prices – Impacts and Longevity

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As I’m sitting here reading about topics including electricity prices, electric cars, and utility innovation in Public Utilities Fortnightly, it occurs to me: why are so many organizations and companies in the utility industry named after Edison when the electric car company is named after Tesla? This makes no sense, whatsoever. Edison was the vehement direct current[1] advocate, and Tesla was the alternating current[2] advocate. They were fierce rivals. But the car uses Edison’s direct current, while the utilities, of course, produce and deliver Tesla’s alternating current. I can only conclude that Edison was a better marketer, but I’ll bet...
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Things You Need to Know Re Electric Vehicles

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Last week I wrote about understanding the customer and knowing what they want, whether the customer is the utility, regulator, or the end user of energy. Taking this a step beyond, the customer/client may not know what they want. For example, a hypothetical customer may want to control all energy use in their house from a smartphone, 100% renewable energy, and a smart-grid connected electric car. I am convinced once the hoopla settles, customers will want (1) cheap, reliable energy, and (2) any help to be more successful. Three weeks ago, I wrote about Messing with Near Perfection. That post...
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Distributed Energy Resources – Messing with Near Perfection

By Energy Rant One Comment
A couple years ago at an AESP conference, we had a fascinating speaker and topic. It was one of those that had me thinking deeply and philosophically. The subject was technology and the future. The takeaway: every problem is either a technical problem or one of human flaw. As for technical problems, there is nothing short of violating the laws of physics, including the second law of thermodynamics, that humans can’t and won’t someday solve: cancer, heart disease, failed or destroyed body parts, and of course, energy, and even aging. As we say at Michaels, (although we are not yet...
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Electric Vehicles; I’ll Take the Bus, Thanks

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 2 Comments
When consumers are considering the purchase of an electric vehicle, what are they thinking?  Good question. I would be thinking, how can I fully utilize it and what are the limitations?  The limitation nearly anyone would consider include the limited driving range.  What can I do with the 70 mile or so cap between charges?  Obvious (I think) answers include driving to work and running errands around the city.  But there are a boatload of other owner and societal issues no one mentions – not this article from Green Tech Media, which is based on this report from the Edison...
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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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The Nebulous Green Job

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, LEED, Renewable Energy, Stimulus, Sustainability One Comment
“Green jobs” have been all the buzz for quite some time, probably before Barack Obama was elected president, but I don’t know for sure.  What the heck is a green job anyway?  Some real answers include those like we have at Michaels Engineering with 20+ engineers working full time on real energy-saving projects.  Another example is the guy who operates the humongous crane that helps erect humongous wind turbines. But politicians and academic eggheads aren’t talking about jobs like we have at Michaels, although they probably do agree the crane driver has a green job, but it goes far beyond...
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