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... will inform him when lightning strikes St. Peter's Cathedral, goes down the (stranded) down conductor past the window, flashes over to the bell cable and rings the bell!
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By Roeland De Meulenaere and Bohdan Soroka
Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption in Europe, so their inherent efficiency is very important.
Efficient space heating requires a properly insulated and sealed building, together with a correctly sized heating system. The choice of system is also important; best practice includes gas-fired condensing boilers and ground-water heat pumps.Read full article
How should we cope with this complex phenomenon?
'What is the use of supporting energy efficient appliances, when rebound effects cancel out all net energy savings?' This kind of scepticism regarding energy efficiency is being heard more and more in public debates.
The rebound effect occurs when energy efficiency of products improves, but then people just use more of these products. The net effect is thus cancelling out any overall savings. The rebound effect can be both direct and indirect. For instance, a direct effect can occur when consumers buy a fuel efficient car, but then discover that they can drive much more for the same cost and alter their previous driving habits. The rebound effect can also be indirect as when people use the money they save by driving more efficiently for other energy services, such as an extra holiday by air to Spain.
While this rebound effect certainly exists, it is being overused 'as another reason to do nothing', argues Bill Thompson in a post on WattWatt. Jumping to the conclusion that the rebound effect makes all energy efficiency measures useless is indeed an oversimplification that cannot be justified.
The price elasticity of energy
The rebound effect is directly linked to what economists call price elasticity: that is, the degree to which a given population will buy less or more of something as the price goes up or down.Read full article
Leonardo ENERGY launches its video channel where you can watch interviews with sustainable energy experts around the world. In this interview, Bill Howe shares the vision of EPRI on PQ research for the next 10-20 years, and also presents a renewed and vigorous vision for the role that PQ can and should play in enhancing the economic performance of modern electric power suppliers, manufacturers, and other key industry partners.Read full article
As the fifth in a series of tutorials on the power system, Leonardo ENERGY introduces its minute lecture on voltage and frequency control, using the analogy of a metal/rubber plate to demonstrate the centralised nature of frequency control, whereas voltage control is more a local matter.Read full article
To counterbalance unexpected fluctuations in electricity production or consumption.What if users consume more electrical energy than scheduled? Or less? Since liberalisation, the Transmission System Operator has been responsible for keeping the balance between generation and consumption. This is done by the so-called 'spinning reserve'. The following minute lectures present you a short overview on the spinning reserve, how it is defined, and how it operates.Read full article
Recently the IEA has issued its World Energy Outlook 2007 and IPCC its 4th Assessment report. Comparing the two shows that:
- Present and planned policies and measures are not sufficient to halt global warming (WEO)
- The technologies, policies and measures needed are known. They just need to be applied (IPCC)
- The conclusion is obvious. We need a radical break in policies. The WEO even has an interesting note on that, called “What is stopping governments from implementing new policies?” (page 98). The answer is simply that stakeholder interests are blocking them, but now it is time to release the brakes!
The EU Strategy – out of pace.
With this need in mind, the EU communication on a strategic energy technology plan sounds thrilling, but the result is disappointing. Read full article
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Well, if you are left in a non-smoking room and want to smoke without risk of setting off the alarm, this is what you can, but should not, do!
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And is already here in parts of California
The role of solar power is still negligible in the world’s overall energy system. It accounts for a mere 0.3 per cent of the energy production in Germany and even less in the rest of the world. According to industry leaders, energy producers are waiting for price parity with fossil fuels before making the necessarily massive investments. They simply cannot rely on politically fickle subsidies in their long term planning.
Until recently, this so-called grid parity still seemed very far away. Solar electricity was calculated to be at least five times as expensive as fossil fuels. Today however, new reports claim that in the sunny parts of the United States, Japan, and southern Europe, parity with fossil fuels could very well be reached by 2012. Even more, in certain parts of the State of California, grid parity is already reality.Read full article
I’ve heard that introducing massively high efficiency lamps like CFL may produce a quite negative effect on the public grid and power quality due to the reactive power increase, and the dropping of the power factor below 0.8.
I’d like to ask you whether this is correct, and, if so, how to avoid such problems without impacting incentives for the implementation of high efficiency lamps?
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