Remember the General Electric TV advertisement from the 2009 SuperBowl? It showed a scarecrow dancing from line to line on Power Towers without getting scorched? Don’t try it at home. This guy did. (more…)
People wonder why the power grid goes down, causing massive outages with tens of millions of homes cut off.
Is it the antiquated generating systems, or the inadequate transmission systems? No to both of those.
Its the trading in energy that is causing gridlock on the grid. Huge amounts of futures contracts cause energy to be switched this way and that, not because it is needed by consumers, but because it is being bought and sold many times over.
As I explain in my book Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America like any gridlock, the problem is too much traffic. The power industry lobbyists have been contemptuous of my arguments ever since the book was published, refusing to debate the accusations in public, and warning that if they withdraw from the market, the consumer will suffer. Ever since Enron, the US Grid has been hijacked by the banks and big money. Now their lobbyists are fighting hard for the Smart Grid which will cement into place this conspiracy against the interests of ordinary consumers.Also, by the way, against the interests of many corporate customers, although not the biggest users who cut their own sweetheart deals. (more…)
Further evidence in favor of Micro-grids and against the so-called Smart Grid.
The runaway take-up of rooftop solar panels in Australia has undermined the electricity supply system, feeding so much power back into the network that it is causing voltage rises that could damage household devices such as computers and televisions. This means we should either rewire every home and every street, to suit the convenience of the big Utility companies, or rethink the way the nation’s energy delivery is organised. What applies to Australia is true elsewhere in the world. (more…)
A call for more “microgrids” in America from Amory Lovins, one of the country’s leading thinkers on renewable energy.
Lovins issued a plea for a cellular approach to energy – and so do we – where mini-grids around the country make it impossible for a vast outage like the ones in the NorthEast last month or the mega-outage in 2003.
In Time Magazine this week, Lovins calls this idea (proposed last year in my book OFF THE GRID) a way of saving the US Grid. I prefer to see it as a way of superceding the grid, and the whole business model that goes with it.
Lovins does not get into who would own the tiny microgrids that we and many others think should be built. (more…)
Australian power companies have been caught trying to grab an extra $500 million to pay for its smart meter roll-out.
Smart meters are being promoted s around the world, as the energy industry tries to cement the present system into place via the massive investment required to build the smart grid.
In Britain, fear is growing that the big six energy suppliers (more…)
Imagine the papers give column-inches to a car company calling for more roads subsidies, or a criminal calling for nicer prisons. Something analogous seems to be happening in a speech to the grandly titled Royal Academy of Engineering.
Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid plc, is arguing the case for a £200 billion ($320b) investment in the new smart grid. This technology allows power to be rationed at peak times for selected customers (probably those least able to pay). £200b is a large figure – enough to keep Mr Holliday in bonuses for many years to come. And it might be a surprise to learn that the National Grid would be one of the principle beneficiaries of the proposed investment. (more…)
Consumers increasingly believe that the so-called Smart Grid is a scam.
It appears to operate more in the interest of the power companies, at the expense of the consumer. And the Smart Grid has some nasty privacy implications.
As well as putting UP your power bill, the smart grid does not merely or mainly reduce energy use, so much as shift it to a different time. See the video (click “Keep reading” just below) for an example: (more…)
Only the rich will be able to afford energy for heating/cooling when the Smart Grid goes nationwide. At least, that is the logical conclusion to be drawn from an early example of the Smart Grid – in Colorado, where the budget has tripled in two years.
Xcel Energy has begun charging customers across the state to recoup some of the skyrocketing costs the company has incurred building its smart grid project in Boulder,according to local media. (more…)
The man who runs one of the largest Energy retailers in America (and Britain) has signalled the death of the traditional utility company. He is typical of a new breed of Energy executive which will try to take the mantle of environmentalism to keep the profits rolling in and keep control of the industry firmly away from end users.
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