I don’t know why, but I love the line: “So here we are, on your actual brink,” from the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact. In 2010, NSA Chairman Victor Milson was talking about the imminent threat of World War III; but I think of those words whenever I read a new article about something new we’ve discovered or developed about battery technology, energy storage and solar photovoltaic improvements.
You may not realize how close we are to a paradigm shift in energy collection, storage and distribution.Continue reading
In 2009, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (disclosure: I was once an employee of a Beltway Bandit working for the FHWA… so I know for a fact that they exist), seeking a way to deal with the high cost of building and maintaining the American road system, contracted a husband-and-wife team to develop an idea they’d already been working on, a mass-produceable road tile that would not only provide a suitable surface for vehicles, but actually generate power to create heat and light for itself, and to pump back into the nation’s energy grid.
Most people who set up “grid-tied” energy systems for their homes—solar cells and wind generators, mostly—think of the excess energy that they pump back into the grid as pay-back to the utilities, to offset their own energy costs and save them money. But it’s more than that. Grid-tied systems help support the energy grid during stress or peak load periods, often keeping them from failing.Continue reading