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Tag: renewable energy

LVDC and Harmonic Currents

LVDC and Harmonic Currents

NEMA, UL and NFPA sponsored a very successful workshop in Crystal City, VA during April on the topic of Low-Voltage Direct Current.  There were 17 presenters and over 140 attendees at this state-of-the-industry event.  LVDC is of interest because establishing a direct connection between distributed power generators (especially photovoltaics) plus energy storage devices (mostly batteries) and the many electronic products that operate on LVDC allows elminiation of Read more [...]
Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

This week, the deadline passed for the federal government to appeal the February ruling by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which invalidated the establishment of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.  These NIETCs were conceived in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and designed by the Department of Energy to streamline the regulatory landscape in two of the most congested regions of the country—the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic.  If progress in these areas can be stymied, what Read more [...]
Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

This week, Senators Kerry, Warner, Hutchison, and Graham came together to announce their proposal to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act, S. 652, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority - a type of infrastructure bank that would provide loans and loan guarantees.  Transportation, Water, and Energy infrastructure projects greater than $100 million and of national or regional significance Read more [...]
The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission Read more [...]
The president “has no clothes?”

The president “has no clothes?”

We all remember Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the emperor and his new clothes, right? He was swindled by two weavers into believing that his new suit is made of fabric that is invisible to those who are stupid. And so the emperor, wearing this new suit, goes out among his subjects, until one young boy cries out that he has no clothes. Well, isn’t that what is happening in the current debate about renewable energy? The president correctly advocates the production of renewable Read more [...]
Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

For those of you who were hooked by the title, sadly this is the only sentence where Marty McFly will be mentioned.  But fear not, movie quotes are still in play. As mentioned in my last blog entry, commercial building retrofits present a very cost-effective option for reducing energy consumption and utility costs.  Not only are there existing federal, state, and utility incentive programs available for these energy efficient retrofits, but energy efficiency also presents America’s Read more [...]
NEMA and Marine Renewable Energies: Is It Time?

NEMA and Marine Renewable Energies: Is It Time?

Marine renewable energies are out there and being tested vigorously everyday. Some say marine renewables are where wind energy was ten years ago. Currently, there are around 129 types of "marine" energy technologies with some more effective than others. The United States, with the help of federal funding, is slowly but surely getting more involved in this fascinating, untapped natural energy resource. But when do electrical manufacturers come into play? The answer is debatable. Should we Read more [...]
Net-Zero Energy Buildings take the Fiction out of Science Fiction

Net-Zero Energy Buildings take the Fiction out of Science Fiction

Even with all the advances of high performance buildings, I still find the concept of net-zero energy buildings (NZEB) shocking and fascinating. The technology is here (thanks in part to NEMA member products), and it feels like a realization of the futuristic buildings in science fiction movies. A few recent and upcoming NZEB projects that caught my eye: Groundbreaking recently started on Texas’s Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, which aims to be the largest net-zero public school in the Read more [...]
35% Renewables – The Good News and the Better News

35% Renewables – The Good News and the Better News

The Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS), released yesterday by the National Renewable Energy Lab, proclaims the good news: integration of 30% wind and 5% solar is “feasible” in the west. There are some minor caveats, notably a dramatic increase in forecasting accuracy along with increasing generator scheduling granularity from hourly to several times an hour. Conspicuous in absence is the lack of extensive discussion on the role of energy storage for regulation. (The authors admit, Read more [...]
Cow Computing

Cow Computing

In a Disney-esque circle-of-life marriage between high tech and big agriculture, researchers from HP have proposed powering server farms with waste from dairy farms. In a nutshell, methane from bacteria-digested cow manure would be used to generate electricity. About 10,000 cows could supply enough juice (milk?) for a 1MW data center. While co-located power solutions are not new to data centers or industry, the HP proposal is a reminder us that everything has a carbon footprint, and we’ll Read more [...]