Friday, May 30, 2008

Radical Changes for Energy Business

A big supplier of gas and electric in Britain, reports that it sees big changes ahead for the energy business, according to an article from the Guardian newspaper:

Centralised fossil fuel fired generation would have to give way to a combination of energy efficiency and diversity of generation.

"The days of meeting an unchecked demand for energy through monolithic carbon intensive power stations are coming to an end. Increasingly the emphasis will be on energy efficiency, renewables, cleaned up fossil fuel plant and micro generation," the company said in a statement accompanying its full-year results.

My sense, too, is that energy providers will need to become facilitators of power generation and delivery, and that power will be distributed in thousands of smaller and larger locations, including residences and businesses.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Signs of the Times

This spring, with the latest spike in gas prices, and the steady rise in food prices and numerous food riots around the world, there's seems to be a broad recognition that change is coming, and that we need to change our behavior to adjust to a reality which has been predicted for a long time -- though largely ignored -- but which clearly is now arriving.

Here's a news snippet showing that American driving habits have changed in the last year, with a 10% reduction in total driving miles from one year to the next. This story points to a bus company in North Dakota, which is thriving as cities like New York and Houston increase their orders of buses to accommodate greater demand. Incidentally, the buses are diesel/electric hybrids. My local paper, the Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts, reported today that local bike shops are reporting spikes in sales, as more people choose to bike rather drive to work and around town.

But then there's this longer piece, presented at the Seattle Green Festival in April, which forecasts how a broad change in perspective may pave the way for significant cultural, political and economic revision. Take some time with this story, because I think it paints the way out of the hole we're in as well as anything I've seen lately.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Calculus of LED Light Bulbs

I think compact fluorescents are a flash in the pan, and that they'll soon be replaced by the even more efficient, durable, varied and less environmentally unfriendly LED. Here's "Ask Pablo's" take on the math at Site pass required, which means you may have to look at a billboard ad before clicking through to the article.