Interview Marko Delimar, IEEE

There are a number of concrete issues that Delimar wants to talk about with policymakers. As a smart grid specialist, he warns that the term “smart grid” does not really mean anything. “There are different issues involved here. It’s about making transmission and distribution systems work better. It’s about smart metering. And about demand response – about making our appliances able to adapt to market signals.”

If there is one important point that Delimar wants to stress, is that “smart grids” should not only be about electricity. “We have to stop looking at smart grid as electricity network. It has to grow towards a smart energy system. This should include all the utilities coming to the consumer – thermal, gas, even water. All combined can make the system much smarter.”

The Energy Post

That smart-grid is an empty term was one of the most shocking revelations I had as well. There isn’t a single, well defined, standardised, concept of smart-grid, interoperable anywhere. And probably never will. It is in fact more the conditions for a “smart-energy ecosystem” than anything else. Each Utility, each “actor” can use the IT/Energy basis to build its own set of added-value Energy Services for the consumer of the “traditional” utilities.

Cord cutters 2.0

Energy Utilities should be researching thoroughly the current “cord-cutters” movement, regarding mainstream household “multimedia providers”. The way this disruption is happening and is being responded, can be, and must be, researched and analysed so that Energy Utilities don’t fall in the same traps the large multimedia providers are falling right now.

The costs of a heavy distribution infra-structure being divided by fewer consumers and energy units, will lead to increased and rising regulatory tariffs, which in turn will exponentiate the number of consumers who change mostly or entirely to self-produced energy. Leading, in turn to rising regulatory tariffs, who in turn will lead to less consumers who in turn…

6 Characteristics of Successful Thru Hikers

1. Stubbornness

Those who aren’t stubborn are likely to call it quits when the going gets tough. The thought of sitting in your favorite spot on the couch, watching the newest season of your favorite show with friend or a loved one is nearly enough to convince you to call a taxi at the next road crossing on some days. But when the trail calls for a three day stint of hiking in the rain with still soaked clothes every morning and rivers in the trail every afternoon, you have got to be stubborn as a dim witted mule to power through and not give in.

2. Flexibility

On the other hand, you’ve got to be very flexible to make it to your end mark nearly 2.200 miles away. Over six months and that many miles, there are a lot of punches that will be thrown your way and a lot of wrenches thrown in your spokes. A successful thru hiker has to be able to bend and shift their plan due to weather, injury, or the promise of beer and pizza on a day hiker in the a town you didn’t plan to visit. You will be happier and more comfortable if you are able to be super flexible.

Appalachian Trail – 6 Characteristics of Successful Thru Hikers

Things that apply to a thorough hiking experience as the AT, applies to professional life as well.

The political economy of Russian oil and gas

From less than 50 percent in the mid-1990s, the share of commodities in Russian exports has grown to 70 percent today, with oil accounting for more than half of the export income. Representing up to 30 percent of the country’s GDP and half of its GDP growth since 2000, hydrocarbons provided at least half of the state’s budget revenues last year.

Five years ago, Russia needed oil prices of $50 to $55 a barrel to balance its budget, but Alexei Kudrin, former first deputy prime minister and finance minister, estimated the breakeven price at $117 per barrel last year.
Russia’s dependence on energy exports—and, consequently, its economy’s vulnerability to commodity price fluctuation—was highlighted by the 2009 world financial crisis. As oil plunged from $147 to $34 per barrel, the resource-based economy contracted by almost 8 percent—the largest drop among the G20 top industrial nations.

Russia has begun to exhibit the signs of what economists call the “Dutch disease,” when overreliance on commodity exports depresses other sectors of the economy by starving them of investments and modernization while the increasing value of the national currency makes exports of other goods and services more expensive and thus less competitive in world markets. Industrial stagnation has even spread to the military-industrial complex, which, like in Soviet times, continues to be the state’s favorite sector and enjoys its continuous and very generous support. Despite this, according to a recent survey, only 20 percent of the Russian defense enterprise qualified as “modern.”

Leon Aron – American Enterprise Institue

Tributo a um amigo

image Hoje, e só hoje, os Renault são , sem qualquer sombra de dúvida, os melhores carros e melhor relação qualidade preço.

Oil industry on borrowed time as switch to gas and solar accelerates

It is a fair bet that scientists will have conquered intermittency by the end of the decade, at which point the switch to renewables becomes a stampede. This is where great fortunes may be made, perhaps the mirror image of the wealth to be lost on fossil defaults.

Brokers Sanford Bernstein call it the new order of “global energy deflation”. Technology momentum is unstoppable, and one-way only.

Big Oil is trapped, gradually running down legacy reserves. The longer that geopolitical eruptions disguise this erosion of competitiveness by propping up prices, the more emphatic the shift to renewables. Yet if prices do drift down to $80 – as many expect – they will lose money on their exotic ventures.

The energy group Douglas-Westwood says half the oil industry needs prices of $120 or more to generate free cash flow under current drilling plans and shareholder dividends. Leverage may catch up with them, a risk flagged recently by Standard & Poor’s.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard –  The Telegraph

Consulting 101

A PowerPoint is not a presentation!

Could terrorists really black out the power grid?

Why the grid is ‘inherently vulnerable’

The U.S. electrical grid was not designed with today’s complexities in mind — let alone the ability to withstand terrorist attacks. 

“The power grid is inherently vulnerable because it is spread across hundreds of miles, and many key facilities are unguarded,” the report prepared for Homeland Security found. “Electric systems are not designed to withstand or quickly recover from damage inflicted simultaneously on multiple components. Such an attack could be carried out by knowledgeable attackers with little risk of detection or interdiction. Further well-planned and coordinated attacks by terrorists could leave the electric power system in a large region of the country at least partially disabled for a very long time.”

Another big reason the grid is vulnerable is that it takes a long time to replace equipment — such as large boilers, turbines and transformers — underpinning the nation’s critical infrastructure. It could take months or even years to replace such equipment, according to estimates.

Utility Dive

Another reason why a distributed, resilient architecture such as the promoted in the Smart-Grid concept makes sense.

Even if not by deliberate acts of violence, that the destruction of so few key points in the electrical system can completely blackout a coutry of the size of the US for over a year is downright “frightening”.

LEDs Will Get Even More Efficient: Cree Passes 300 Lumens Per Watt

LED maker Cree announced this week that it had achieved a new record in terms of lighting efficiency, harvesting 303 lumens per watt from a white high power LED at room temperature.  This represents a 10% increase over last year’s record of 276 lumens per watt, also held by Cree.

For comparison’s sake (though admittedly not a pefect example), the traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb (now essentially outlawed as a consequence of new lighting standards that took effect in January, and which utilized 95% of its energy to produce heat), typically yielded 750-1150 lumens, or between 12.5 and just over 19 lumens per watt. The warm white LED from Cree that you can currently buy at Home Depot in some markets for as little as $5 (with utility subsidy included in the shelf price) yields 800 lumens for 9.5 watts, or 84 lumens per watt.


Gás natural como combustível para transportes

Quase 5 anos depois de ter olhado com profundidade para este assunto pela primeira vez, espanto-me com a possiblidade de economia e vantagens que o uso de Gás Natural como combustível para veículos pesados tem, e com o que tem sido menosprezado/ignorado.

Há aqui um potencial enorme à espera de ser aproveitado.