“On your actual brink”

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batteryI 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

The debate over solar (freakin’) roadways

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solar roadway artist's conceptIn 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.

So began the entertaining saga of Solar Freakin’ Roadways. Continue reading

Consider generating your own power

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solar homeMost 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