Category: Emerging Technology

April 7, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology

Throwing Caution to the Wind

by Katie Schultz

Renewable energy is on the mind of every energy professional out there today — what non-traditional types of energy are going to help meet the needs of our ever-changing world? continue

April 1, 2011 • Current Events, Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Perspectives

Cautionary Tale or Rude Awakening?

by Ann Barczak

I call home a unique little place in northern Alabama.  My home town of Huntsville has a small feel with an unexpected aspect of cosmopolitan.  The school system is impeccable, the cultural arts will rival any larger city, and at last count, there were more Auburn fans living there than Alabama fans.

Huntsville, Alabama, has a special link to the U.S. Space Program, of which we are exceedingly proud. Huntsville is home to Marshall Space Flight Center, where the Saturn V or “America’s Moon Rocket,” was developed by a team of engineers and scientists led by Wernher von Braun.  The Saturn V Rocket sent astronauts into orbit around the moon for the first time in history. continue

March 30, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy Innovation, Energy's Lighter Side

Residential Demand Response is Gathering Momentum

by Chad Holder

Twiggy, the Water-Skiing Squirrel

Like a squirrel on water skis, technology never ceases to amaze me. The fact that I can program my DVR from my smart phone or track my pizza preparation online really brings out my inner geek. For my latest blog post, I decided to research the effect of technology on Demand Response (DR). From a discussion standpoint, DR has raised its redheaded stepchild status to Sustainability Servicesgolden child. As it happens, Demand Response is steadily moving from being a lucrative initiative for select companies to becoming an increasingly important cost-saving concept for residences. continue

March 18, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

Winding Up Wind

by Dominic Barbato

I start this blog post from the proverbial “30,000 foot view,” namely because I am at cruising altitude in an Airbus A320 headed west toward the Pacific — Seattle bound, to be specific (whoa, that rhymed). The Rocky Mountains outside Denver litter the landscape below me like autumn leaves on a forest floor, countless and undeniable in beauty. My headphones just blasted out two of my favorite Journey songs, “Wheel in the Sky” and “Edge of the Blade,” Neal Schon’s fanatical guitar riffs outdone only by Steve Perry’s insane vocal prowess. So, with blades and turning wheels in the sky on my mind, I decided to dedicate this post to … drum roll, please … wind power! continue

March 17, 2011 • Current Events, Emerging Technology, Perspectives

The Changing Energy Landscape

by Kevin Cowart

As we look to the future of our energy landscape, signals increasingly seem to point to a dynamic reworking of the face of energy. Here are just a few indicators warning of markets primed to shake up conventional wisdom.

Political Discourse
Politicians and lobbyists are increasingly focusing on energy management and energy sustainability policies. Perhaps the prominence energy played in President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address is the best indicator of the impact energy is set to have on our political, social, and economic futures.

President Obama’s energy thesis: “Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

Nuclear Power
Signs had been pointing toward much of this investment going toward nuclear power. That is until the recent tsunami caused a potential nuclear plant meltdown threat in Japan. Now, voices are being raised on both sides of the debate: continue

March 7, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Perspectives

What are Smart Meters?

by Brandon Dickerson

With the recent event on Jeopardy in which Watson the computer decimated its human competitors, I thought it would be fun to start today’s post with a Jeopardy question:

Answer: This rhyming term refers to a utility employee who looks at electric, gas, or water consumption and records the volume used. continue

January 22, 2011 • Current Events, Emerging Technology, Energy Innovation

Nuclear Energy: Made in China?

by Kevin Cowart

Worried about the Chinese New Year? A growing number of American businesses are. This year, the annual tradition of workers returning home for the holiday may yield disruptive effects on supply chains that provide “Made in China” products to American stores. continue

January 18, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Perspectives, Sustainability

Going Nuclear: Version 2.0

by Dominic Barbato

A couple weeks ago, my colleague Wyatt Taylor posted Whither the Nuclear Power Revolution?in which he questioned if the expected rebirth of nuclear energy in the United States is still in progress. I too question, and at times am frustrated with, the stagnation of growth in nuclear energy domestically. I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject, as well as discuss some emerging technologies that may hold promise for the future…Nuclear Version 2.0, if you will.

Let us face it, nuclear energy is not well understood by the public, the science is complex, and there is a lot of inflammatory rhetoric surrounding the subject. History has shown we humans tend to fear what we do not understand. continue

January 11, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Perspectives

New Year’s Confession

by Roger Durham

I’ve got a confession to make. I work for an energy management company that offers, among other things, energy sustainabilityservices, but I have been, for most of my life, largely agnostic about “green energy.” I know. It’s not comfortable to say out loud. But it’s true. And based on my background, being agnostic about renewable energy is probably a generous position. You see, I grew up, and still live, in a coal-producing state. I am married to a woman whose grandfather was a coal miner. My Dad started a family petroleum business which put bread on the table and paid the country club dues and sent me and my 3 siblings to good private universities. When I succeeded my father in that business, I grew fond of the sweet smell of diesel fuel, and the nice things it afforded. I have always liked petroleum. continue

December 2, 2010 • Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Where in the World is … Renewable Energy?

by Hannah Miller

A favorite show of mine years ago was “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” At the beginning of every show, an eccentric thief would steal a priceless treasure and go on the run. You never knew where in the world you’d find them at the end of the show – maybe France, maybe Argentina. Maybe Egypt, if you were lucky. These days, if you look for what’s going on in the world of renewable energy, you’ll find yourself in much the same situation: You never know where in the world you’ll end up.

You could, for example, end up in Philadelphia continue

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