Renewable Energy

Could California Become a Leader in Smart Water Management?

August 11, 2014
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California, the Golden State, can legitimately claim a number of superlatives. It’s the ninth largest economy in the world. It has the largest living tree in Sequoia National Park. It has the highest and lowest points (Mount Whitney and Death Valley) in the continental USA. Death Valley is also the hottest and driest place in…

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Could California Become a Leader in Smart Water Management?

August 11, 2014
By

California, the Golden State, can legitimately claim a number of superlatives. It’s the ninth largest economy in the world. It has the largest living tree in Sequoia National Park. It has the highest and lowest points (Mount Whitney and Death Valley) in the continental USA. Death Valley is also the hottest and driest place in…

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Building Infrastructure Resiliency Starts With Creative Problem-Solving

August 4, 2014
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We have significant infrastructure problems in the USA. Long neglect of investment in infrastructure has left it crumbling around us. It is sometimes easy to witness in rusting bridges or potholed road surfaces. But too often, deterioration in electric, water and natural gas distribution systems go unseen until catastrophe strikes. California, right on cue, serves…

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Reimagining Infrastructure

July 28, 2014
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Walt Disney said it best:  “If you can dream it, you can do it.” That’s the challenge for this generation and the ones succeeding it when it comes creating Smart Grids out of today’s infrastructure for energy and water.  We’re much further along in terms of envisioning a modernized electricity grid than we are when…

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How One Industry Association Would Transform the Grid

July 21, 2014
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Back in January 2014 when we were still packing up holiday decorations, the Obama administration initiated a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a comprehensive survey of energy production, infrastructure, and transport in the USA. The Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting the interagency taskforce working on this initiative. The first of three reports, which should be…

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Drought and Energy – An Interesting Water/Energy Nexus

July 14, 2014
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The water/energy nexus and the ramifications of this closely intertwined relationship, particularly with energy generation, needs to gain awareness beyond policy wonks in the western states of the USA. These previous blogs about California’s water issues and the water/energy nexus provide good background about climate change impacts to water and energy. If we look at water as a…

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No More Tinkering – How Reinventing the Oven is Like Reinventing the Grid

July 7, 2014
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How do you build a better oven? That’s a question Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO for Microsoft and foodie recently discussed.  He pointed out that today’s electric or natural gas-powered oven is designed on the principle first put forward five thousand years ago to dry clay bricks.  Kitchen technologists since then have been tinkering with that…

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Recommended Beach Reading

June 30, 2014
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It’s almost the fourth of July for Americans, and that means a holiday with time to read. Two interesting reports were released in June, and while not the typical frothy-light paperback novel genre, they are good reading for the beach. Spoiler alert – both reports conclude that your beach won’t be there in a couple…

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Smart Grid and Smart Buildings Share Same Disruptive Impacts

June 23, 2014
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The annual IBcon event always delivers on thought-provoking discussions and fresh insights about the intersections of technologies, policies, and financial drivers in the commercial real estate sector. The Smart Grid itself is the convergence of IT and OT (operating technologies).  Smart commercial buildings – both office and multi-family residential – are experiencing a similar convergence…

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Four Important Lessons From the Borrego Springs Microgrid Pilot

June 16, 2014
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There is a design and configuration practice called “graceful degradation” in telecom circles.  It diverts all communications functionality to a limited group of subscribers that have the most critical needs.  Microgrids present interesting possibilities to similarly support graceful degradation of the distribution grid through deployment at locations that are deemed most important for grid or…

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