Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

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6 thoughts on “Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

  1. no ..wrong. Well not totally… Just a nice idea but not really solving the problem.

    It is not a new invention for a battery that we need, it is a new financial structure to the power industry. Your energy company has no incentive to reduce selling you energy.

    It is called Decoupling. “Under current rate-making practices, the vast majority of an electric company’s revenues are tied to its sales. Proponents of decoupling revenues and sales believe that this gives electric companies a disincentive to vigorously promote energy conservation, since this can hurt them financially. ”

    First we need to decouple then put in the battery system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decoupling#Utility_regulation

    “Ideally, utilities should be rewarded based on how well they meet their customers’ energy service needs. However, most current rate designs place the focus on commodity sales instead, tying a distribution company’s recovery of fixed costs directly to its commodity sales.”

    Until there is a DIS-incentive for power companies to sell increasingly more energy, nothing will change. Inventing a hardware solution means electric power companies will never encourage conservation.

    This is consistent with TED dreaming… that new technology will solve everything.

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    1. I agree with your points regarding energy providers, but not with the technology or with TED being trapped in the delusion of technology solving all our problems.
      From what I’ve seen, there is a wide spectrum of speakers, from the strong new tech advocates to those who insist we have the tools already at hand, but what needs to change is cultural aspects of societies. Jared Diamond is a great example of the latter as is Gore and others under the climate category.
      Even in this presentation, although what his team has done is new, he admits it’s really a reinvisioning of similar technologies in existence.
      While existing energy providers may not have the incentive to take on this tech, there is the potential for others to take another approach or, as is the case in developing nations typically with low reliability of energy supply to adopt this tech or for individuals or communities to get themselves or the grid. In losing customers, power companies are also provided an incentive to adopt new approaches.

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      1. I agree with your points regarding energy providers, but not with the technology or with TED being trapped in the delusion of technology solving all our problems.

        From what I’ve seen, there is a wide spectrum of speakers, from the strong new tech advocates to those who insist we have the tools already at hand, but what needs to change is cultural aspects of societies. Jared Diamond is a great example of the latter as is Gore and others under the climate category.

        Even in this presentation, although what his team has done is new, he admits it’s really a reinvisioning of similar technologies in existence.

        While existing energy providers may not have the incentive to take on this tech, there is the potential for others to take another approach or, as is the case in developing nations typically with low reliability of energy supply to adopt this tech or for individuals or communities to get themselves or the grid. In losing customers, power companies are also provided an incentive to adopt new approaches.

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    2. Hear, hear.

      It’s great to hear that tools are being developed, but without the incentive to implement, we’re no further along.

      Personally, I still don’t understand the problem with siting windfarms near hills (pump water uphill with excess capacity when the wind blows, let it drop to provide hydroelectric power when it doesn’t). No technological innovation required: just the will to do it.

      ‘When the railroad comes you lay track or get out of the way,’ but we had the electric car (1900s), then we didn’t, then we did again (1970s), then we didn’t, now (2012) we do again — but for how long this time?.

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      1. I couldn’t agree more. A while ago I wrote a post arguing that we should desal water along the east coast and pump it up the great dividing range all by renewable sources (because the amount isn’t essential). From there it runs through a hydro plant into the Murray Darling system. Seeing the river system is slightly saline, the water won’t need to be processes to drinking level.

        More water for the Murray. Renewable energy converted into a more continuous forms. It’s a win-win

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  2. Is the objective to reduce energy consumption or to reduce GHGs???

    If the incentives were put in the right place, the market would take care of the technology. Instead of funding big technology (top down approach), actually pay people and companies for saving GHGs (bottom up approach)!

    It will do wonders for the economy (green or otherwise)…

    DaveW.

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