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electrification Archives - Michaels Energy

Fork in the Road

Middle Actors Take the Fork, Customers Take the Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
When I stick my neck out, it’s often nice to discover others are on board to slow down the machete. I stash potential topics in an electronic pile, and when something triggers a need, I’m ready to go. This time, a co-presenter triggered me as I was delivering an electrification presentation for the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute’s Utilities Basics Course. The co-presenter was Erin Monroe-Nye, who discussed and provided the essentials of energy efficiency programs. Erin described a scenario in which she wanted to install a cold-weather heat pump. She got resistance and a runaround from her HVAC contractor. I...
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image of a group of buildings

Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Part 4: Utilities Ask, Why?

By Energy Rant No Comments
This is the fourth in a series of posts on grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs). Here is a summary of the series: August 23 – Why GEBs? What is it, and why do it? August 31 – GEBs are difficult to achieve, beyond efficiency that should be done regardless. September 7 – What will customers think of this madness? Let’s peek at where we’ve been and where we are going. This series is based on a list of challenges noted in DOE's National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings: Consumer awareness (Covered 07SEP21) Complexity (Covered 31AUG21) Utility interests (Today) Regulatory models Policymaker...
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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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electricity storage - climate change

Innovative Electricity Storage Crushes Batteries; Death Sentence for Duck

By Energy Rant One Comment
I’m not in the electricity storage business, but I can recognize lousy ideas when I see them. Grid-scale battery storage is a bad idea. It will never be anything more than a frequency and voltage regulation technology, although I have to say these are critical functions that batteries can provide. Innovation comes out of left field while everyone else is trying to make a pig fly. And when I see it, I think, “Wow, why did I not think of that?” The Roots of Sound Storage Thermal power generation, particularly from coal, and to a lesser extent, nuclear, have enormous...
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electric vehicles

Get People into Electric Vehicles Through the Zone of Acceptance

By Energy Rant No Comments
A few weeks ago, I observed a webinar [1]sponsored by the Advanced Energy Economy to help me triangulate what the next great trend(s) might be. That meshed well with the electric vehicles (EV) post of last week and this week. The webinar featured two electrification apostles and two critics. The apostles led off with the no-brainerisms of the EV. The economics are hysterically bullish. It costs a tiny fraction to power personal transportation with electricity, primarily through cheap renewable energy, versus petroleum-based fuels. Point taken. Technological Determinism Later, when the critics came onto the scene, one of them noted that...
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Brain Function, Sparrows, and Storage

By Energy Rant No Comments
A recent webinar delivered some interesting facts to me. The average human brain weighs three pounds, as verified here. The presenter said the brain represents 2% of an average person’s weight but consumes 20% of the blood flow and calories. I thought, wow – that is interesting. The inverse of 2% is 50.  The average person weighs 150 lbs? I would say that is quite generous! The large part of the brain in charge of logic, reasoning, reading, writing, and thinking is the neocortex. Indeed, engaging that large portion of the organ for a long time wears a person down....
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Peas and Carrots – AMI and Electrification

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we looked at the value of advanced metering infrastructure made possible by interval meter readings at least every hour. This opens the door to many forms of demand response, including time-of-use rates, demand rates, and interruptible rates. These three can be summarized using airlines as an example: Time-of-use rates: it is very costly to book the first flight Monday morning to Los Angeles, as I just learned. The reason – business people don’t want to leave Sunday night, and they can have some part of their work day remaining after spending three hours in the air and another...
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Electric Utility Meet Amazon.com; Legislators Wake Up

By Energy Rant One Comment
This post, and the next couple, were spawned by an article written by John Hargrove in the latest edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly. The article’s title is, Utilities Can Do More to Partner with Customers. There may even be a follow-up to this article a few months from now. Wink. Wink. Anyone interested in this blog knows big changes are happening in the electric utility industry. For instance, I could write a series of posts on each of the following: State and federal subsidies are loading the grid with micro to utility-scale distributed energy resources, namely wind and solar photovoltaic...
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