Friday, January 29, 2016

Painting a Typical American Town Green

Painting a Typical American Town Green

Mike Patrick Dahlke

Building Green Community Banks With Green Building Codes

How To Build A Green Community Bank

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Curriculum vitae

We are redesigning this blog. Please stay tuned. Visit some of my essays below.

Solyndra, Brilliant Technology Lost in the Abyss of Poorly Structured Federal Energy Legislation

The fundamental truth behind a truly expansive industrial free market economy is the realization that all industrial mechanisms needed to fulfill the total obligations of that market economy must be clearly known, fully understood and actually put into place before that whole economy can expect to  work as a whole economy.

As market based economic development today in 2011 must include a most comprehensive understanding of all aspects of "emerging 21st century advanced energy management technologies", unfortunately today in 2011, none of this is actually taking place. In scattered bits and pieces, in disjointed, politically one sided arguments for one type of energy technology and against another, the much larger and all conclusive non-argument must ultimately be acted upon. As all of these technologies make up the core mechanisms that must control and coordinate the growth of our whole 21st century, mixed energy use industrial infrastructure, they in turn make up the core mechanisms of the economic infrastructure that needs to be in place for that industrial infrastructure to be built in the first place. Simply put, we as a nation cannot, will not and should not expect any form of sustained economic growth until a broad and comprehensive re-industrialization initiative is put in place.

As what we are now learning about the Obama administration is that in spite of it's otherwise very positive intentions pertaining to the development of alternative energy technologies, pursuing the collective growth of these technologies has been done through a very narrowly focused environmental and economic lense. Unfortunately, as that lense has been embellished by unnecessarily complex and one sided federal funding regulation, the vast array of new energy ideas that should be free to flourish unhindered by such over bearing economic constraints sit hopelessly dormant. Yet, regardless of whether those ideas are related to the advanced technological harvesting of energy from oil or the sun, the fact that any form of political or federal favoritism towards one energy sector as opposed to another exists, belies the larger point that all of these energy sectors must coexist at the very same level of advanced environmental and economic thought. We simply cannot have one without the other.

The failed upstart company Solyndra, funded almost exclusively by federal loan guarantees, not only did not produce the economic momentum clearly needed to launch our nation (and this company) into the forefront of global leadership in the "green energy sector", but in turn, served to continue the great interpersonal political rift between democrats and republicans nationwide. As this rift is primarily about the role the federal government should play in nurturing the growth of new, green national energy policies, hand picking certain technologies (and companies) to fund while ignoring the potential of other technologies goes to the much larger issue that the federal government should not be in the business of selecting technologies to invest in but instead, be strictly and creatively and solely in charge of assuring that all technologies related to energy production are balanced in and of themselves so that "everyone else can invest in them".

This essay is one of a series of essays designed to impart a rather complex nationwide industrial, economic and educational set of conversations. As these conversations are most certainly about assuring green energy technologies enter into our whole mixed energy use industrial marketplace, the manner in which they are able to do so is crucial to understand. Thus my essay on developing nationwide mixed energy use micro-public utility grids while at the same time developing mixed energy public transportation grids is part of this larger national conversation.

As public education is perhaps the most crucial aspect of our entire national energy dialogue, outlining and defining the framework of this public education dialogue is another essay.

As refunding (or refinancing) our national public education system is clearly needed, how mixed energy use, regionally based industrial regulation will allow for this funding to materialize is yet another essay. Finally, with our entire nationwide stock of homes, commercial and industrial buildings in need of substantial, highly technological, mixed energy use retrofitting, how will the establishment of truly substantive nationwide mixed energy building codes not only support a most sustainable/substantial nationwide building reconstruction initiative, but in turn create an unprecedented redefinition of both real property valuation and progressive mortgage lending based upon that 21st century real property valuation? You can find a link to this combined essay here.

As what must come about immediately in our whole national economic growth dialogue is an accompanying whole industrial dialogue as well as a whole public and private sector funding dialogue, I attempt in these essays to put something quite complex into definably less complex terms.

As the brilliance of Solyndra's (CIGS) thin-film technology has been its ability to successfully convert energy from direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity over its 360-degree photovoltaic surface and that brilliance enables a broad spectrum of architectural applications throughout America, the unfortunately wrong conclusion on the part of the government was to place the economic potential of this particular technology into direct competition with the economic potential of flat silicone panels that fundamentally have an entirely different technological function as that function is applied to the same or different architectural applications throughout America.

In other words, just as oil is refined to meet the consumption needs of a vast array of industries and associated technologies, solar energy technology must also be refined to successfully compete and grow within its own energy sector as well as effectively merge with other energy sectors. Thus, for our government to be involved in any manner other than assuring these technologies are regulated for "basic truth in advertisement" within the much broader framework of how all energy technologies must be regulated to assure environmental and economic cohabitation is, in our 21st green industrial century, a virtual assault on the intelligence of all (corporations) who could and should be free to build and weave their multi-faceted (corporate) technologies into complex and highly sophisticated, regionally and locally based, multi-energy source public utility grids. As the only (and I might add substantially diverse) federal level regulatory control of these multi-dimensional utility grids is to assure a tremendously accurate, reliable rate of clean production, delivery, end use and recycled use and perpetual maintenance of the end corporate energy product and accompanying corporate service(s) related to such corporate product(s), the federal governments role must be solely that of a manager.

Getting back to Solyndra for a moment, and its' brilliance in creating 360 degree solar generation and in turn viewing the brilliance of flat panel solar technology. The fact of the matter is this simple; virtually every home in America has a spot on its roof where 360 degree solar technology could be applied. In the same breath, virtually every home in America also has a spot on its roof where flat panel solar technology could be applied. This is not only true of solar technology, but it is equally true of natural gas technology as it is true of vertical axis wind turbine technology as it is true of horizontal axis wind turbine technology as it is true of multiple applications of geothermal technology. Regardless of the technology, virtually every home in America has a physical space within its architectural footprint that enables multiple uses of multiple energy technologies to interact collectively within that footprint. As this is true for every home, it is equally true for every retail storefront, every office building, distribution warehouse and every factory housed within any piece of architecture existing in our collective United States of America.

Having said this, If a virtual kaleidoscope of energy based public utility architectural technologies were applied to every piece of American architecture, an equally diverse kaleidoscope of new building trades would emerge to expand these public utility technologies into the private sector marketplace in the process. This is not a fanciful (or fantasy filled) statement. As at the core of this statement lies the root cause of our nations' current housing and building industry economic collapse, it is perfectly clear to all who have any association whatsoever with these industries that American architecture by and large is at the very least, a redundant essay on the failure of our federal government to establish an advanced set of public utility blueprints that truly allow the building professionals of America to compete globally with their European and Asian counterparts when it comes to building state of the art, technologically advanced American architecture that wholly integrates 21st century energy management technologies into virtually every single one of our buildings.

As the dialogue here is about moving the technologies of a vast array of energy management theories into the realm of actualization - into the realm of the average American - into the realm of tangible investment potential - into the realm of doing as opposed to talking about doing, it is important to understand that micro-public utility models applied to American architecture or clusters of architectural buildings found in thousands of existing American sub or micro-neighborhoods that comprise larger towns or cities be understood as being the benchmark from which full and comprehensive mixed use energy infrastructure has the only real chance to grow and prosper.

With the great failure of the Obama administration to move virtually any form of green energy legislation forward and towards a relatively commonplace national economic dialogue and at a time when it is obvious to virtually every American that such legislative dialogue must indeed move forward, one has to ask why a supposedly intelligent collection of environmental, legal and financial experts have had virtually no impact on igniting the flame of free market excitement over the growth of green or indeed mixed use energy infrastructure here in our America in 2011.

An answer to this puzzling, mixed use energy policy conundrum is really quite simple.

As virtually every aspect of our nation's energy/public utility infrastructure is now and has been growing more and more obsolete for the past fifty years, the notion of applying the technology Solyndra manufactures or the technology any other solar manufacturer offers to this utility infrastructure is most certainly doable and quite valid, but only within the constraints of it's isolated technological capacity.

At the top end of our monolithic national energy/public utility pyramid remains of course an expected and (somewhat) reliable dependency upon fossil fuels, yet even with the most sound environmental, technological and economic management of fossil fuels, there are tremendous constraints on these energy sources as well. Yet attempting to integrate the green nature of solar, wind, geothermal and the like at this top end does virtually nothing to either environmentally or economically advance the greater potential of either fossil or green energy sources. Thus, the perpetual argument of all who represent a specific energy source as one that must compete with another energy source altogether fails to realize that within our collective 21st century industrial evolution, entirely new and dynamic economic opportunities arise when all energy sources are purposely isolated from one another and each energy source has very clearly defined parameters from which that energy source must function economically on it's own before it is allowed vivid, technologically managed cohabitation with all other energy sources.

As the above model of deliberate isolation of energy sources has as it's end goal the immediate and significant potential of creating wide spread and indeed massive consumer demand, the overarching reality of what today is being put forth to the American consumer via the Obama administration, which is the notion that eventually highly complex, federally funded and constructed public utility infrastructure will help them economically is entirely pointless.

Unfortunately, the reason why this incredibly narrow federally funded viewpoint is fundamentally pointless is the failure to realize that  as all of the additional components that make solar (or any other energy technology) work by itself or in integration with all other forms of energy production, generation, distribution and usage must first be installed not on a few acres of worthless California desert test grounds, but literally on the homes of  homeowners who live in virtually every environmental region of our United States of America, not only must this be done nationwide, but it must be done on a mass scale that includes virtually every piece of architecture located within that region before any industrial and/or economic and/or job growth in any energy sector and on any viable or measurable nationwide economic scale can or will be realized..

In other words, as the Obama administration has become obsessed with inventing the perfect green infrastructure model, it has done so on the premise that federal money will continue to fall quite magically from the sky and in doing so award the likes of upstart companies such as Solyndra with a set of wonderfully half ass federal funding initiatives and an equally half baked industrial recipe as to what Solyndra might actually be able to do with the meager amount of federal dollars the federal government actually has in it's hopelessly in arrears, federal savings account. While this might sound humorous, the fact of the matter is infrastructure is infrastructure and with every generation of new technological invention that broadens the definition of infrastructure, the definition of how to finance whole infrastructure improvement becomes equally broad. But as we are now a nation poised to integrate a vast array of technologies that manage an equally vast array of energy sources, the manner in which we as a nation bring these technologies on line does not have to be as complicated as either futily waiting for two to three decades before solar cell technology is priced competitively with any other form of energy management technology or foolishly expecting the federal government to subsidize a particular energy sectors' economic growth if and when either member of two redundantly opposed political parties agree. When all energy technologies are essentially public infrastructure technologies, they are as well public infrastructure utilities that when fully and properly structured can be invested in by the stockholders, employees and homeowners who are involved in the ultimate manufacturing, use and maintenance of this whole body of energy technologies right now, today, here in 2011 as opposed to some hopelessly obscure time in 2033.

In order to actually activate all of these energy technologies simultaneously, a strict code of multi-use energy discipline must be applied uniformly across the entire spectrum of energy sources now available to us in our whole United States of America. As no singular expert who works in any of multiple and varied and cumulatively dynamic energy sectors has ever really taken the time to actually look at how coal per se can interact with wind energy for the mutual benefit of both industries, the question becomes; what would such an ambitious 21st century energy blueprint look like if in fact someone actually did?

To tackle the question above, consider the possibility that such a scenario is really not all that difficult to figure out especially when we take the time to understand one basic engineering principle - "every energy source has it's "economic melting point" or perhaps more precisely, it's "environmental merging point with other sources of energy".

The technology of solar can only go so far in it's capacity to sustain "collective energy co-efficiency" before recognizing it's need for help from a much larger family of energy sources.

As it is virtually impossible for solar energy technology to produce enough electrical generation to consistantly provide all of the power needed to truly operate all of the electrical devices found within a truly advanced technology 21st century home, it is economically counter productive to assume that natural gas or any other individual fossil fuel source can or should be able to do the same. As it is (due to constantly fluctuating temperature) virtually impossible for solar energy to provide the year round passive or active heating needs of a home in Vermont, it is economically redundant to assume that natural gas or fuel oil or propane can do any better in and of itself(s). Yet once the two energy sources are combined, they immediately produce a much more non stressful energy and economic environment for one another as well as the consumer who lives in that home. If natural gas knows that solar will relieve it's energy load and vice a versa within the architectural footprint of any given building, excess capacity from either energy source can be diverted to other buildings that are perhaps experiencing either more or less energy stress. This economic cohabitation of multiple energy sources is then the measure of where each energy source reaches it's negative economic melting point and thus meets it's proactive economic and environmental merging point with other sources of energy.

As the greatest industrial and economic as well environmental calamity in our nation's early 21st industrial century is clearly thus far, the obsessive socially oriented bickering among our collective experts in hopelessly separated and nationally estranged environmental and energy fields and as the cause for such bickering is fundamentally about who is bigger and better, who is environmentally conscious and who is not and/or who (in quite the absurd fashion) is more morally bound to idealisms that mean virtually nothing to our nation's much larger and urgent 21st century industrial imperative, who or what ideal (they represent?) will get the most federal funding to improve their or its' isolated vision of individual infrastructure is then, meaningless.  But, as single source energy infrastructure development is proving quite clearly to be well beyond the funding capacity of either the private or public sector, multi-source energy infrastructure development simply eliminates our national counter-productive and indeed industrially negative emotional response to these funding problems while at the same time, generates an enormously broad social momentum devoted entirely to multi-source energy sector job creation.

In both the manufacturing sectors charged with producing and the on site construction sectors associated with installing "multiple energy sector technologies", the greater and historically positive and progressive American industrial social principle of "economic co-habitation" or simple "United American Industrial Teamwork" remains as the benchmark from which we as all Americans can all actually turn our now misguided and negative industrial emotions into a vast array of clearly positive emotional and economic outcomes. In addition, this same cohabitating set of industrial principles leads directly to technological management of information technologies required to produce multiple energy sector coordination in every bit the same manner as it leads to the direct establishment of both public and private sector education and training models.

To put the above paragraph into perspective, please consider this:

While natural gas is clearly one of the cleanest fossil fuels on (or inside of) our planet, getting that natural gas via pipeline from where it is drilled and where it is used is quite costly in and of itself. But, the moment the cost associated with the installation of that pipeline is shared by the cost of installing the infrastructure of solar, wind and geothermal, multi-capacity infrastructure development turns immediately to multi-capacity job creation and multi-capacity investment and investment return in and from the multi-capacity infrastructure being installed.

When one really thinks about the above statement for awhile, it is easy to realize that the capacity we as a nation have to benefit financially from such infrastructure co-development is virtually astounding. Thinking just for a moment about the single goal of installing the single infrastructure for a single source of energy all across America, think about this. How many household appliances actually require the consumption of natural gas? The answer is relatively simple, there is the furnace needed for heating our homes, the dryer for drying clothes, the hot water tank we retrieve water to bathe in and the stove and oven needed for cooking our food. That's about it. Yet, the very moment we place an entirely new technological need for natural gas into our broader national mixed use energy equation, an entirely new definition of mixed use energy infrastructure emerges.

Obviously in our nation's current economic environment, very few homeowners can either afford to replace their old energy inefficient furnace anymore than they can afford to replace their ancient clothes dryer or stove and oven or water tank. Even if Americans nationwide were living in an economy that was thriving, the fact of the matter is that upgrading the furnace or the clothes dryer does not justify the cost associated with constructing a nationwide natural gas infrastructure to supply the fuel needed for these appliances to actually do their job. The simple math of diminishing returns simply applies and as it does, in no time, it becomes abundantly clear that natural gas development does not in the end, pay for itself without enormous federal government subsidizing. As too much government subsidizing of virtually every energy sector(including green as in "Solyndra") has already brought our nation to a virtual economic halt, it is fairly obvious that buying furnaces and clothes dryers designed to operate solely on either natural gas or electric probably won't solve any of the varied and massive structural economic problems facing our nation here at the close of 2011.

So, if federal funding of separate or "single source" public utility energy infrastructure isn't working, what might be the outcome if instead of a too narrowly focused federal policy on public utility infrastructure funding, federal regulation of a truly mixed use national energy policy were to be put in place?

If, instead of the federal government buying into or showing undue favoritism towards a particular new energy technology all energy technologies were properly placed into new and dynamic micro models of public utility infrastructure, what would the overall economic outcome be on the one hand, and, on the other, what would such an advanced 21st Century Industrial Infrastructure Blueprint actually look like?

Let me suggest the following:

If we know (and we do) that production and distribution of natural gas has a limited economic shelf life within the constraints of our twentieth century single use industrial and economic infrastructure model as that model pertains to supplying this gas to our nation's immense collection of buildings that make up neighborhoods, towns and cities, what happens when within our 21st century infrastructure model, natural gas is freed up to leave home?

The answer to this question is really quite exciting.

Knowing (as we do) that virtually no one in America can continue to afford to purchase appliances powered by natural gas without also being employed in the industries that manufacture natural gas appliances, the answer to the question above clearly becomes a threefold question in and of itself;

Question Number One

When and how does a stationary natural gas appliance grow wheels?

Question Number Two

When that natural gas appliance leaves the homeowners garage on wheels, does that vehicle enter into the realm of new public utility transportation infrastructure?

Question Number Three

If the infrastructure is on wheels, then doesn't it appear somewhat obvious that we as a nation have created a substantially new public highway improvement funding mechanism?

I will explore my version of these questions in my next essay entitled:

Our Next American
Public Utility
Infrastructure Model

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Curriculum vitae

Please take the time to visit some of my other essays.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Real Flint, Michigan Water Pipeline.

The Flint River Water Company
The Real Flint, Michigan Water Pipeline

Thanks for stopping by.

Mike Patrick Dahlke

Curriculum vitae

We are redesigning this blog. Please stay tuned. Visit some of my essays below.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Restructuring Public Utility Industrial Demand Response.

in the



Industrial Demand Response


Mike Patrick Dahlke

If someone were to suggest the notion that until our entire American public electric utility grid is entirely reworked, our overall economic momentum will come to an unmistakably abrupt stop, would you believe them?

Let me suggest, that if you don't, you might want to think about picking up a good flashlight so that you can spend the next several years wandering around your neighborhood in the dark searching for everything that was once considered as being readily available, but, no longer is. Don't forget to use some very long life batteries in that flashlight by the way.

Industrial Demand Response is the notion of developing an extraordinarily complex system of information exchange as that information is crucial to the integration of a broad host of energy sources into what today can only be considered as a public electric utility network that is in desperate need of such integration.

As it might sound a bit odd to suggest that of all things, it is electricity or the lack there of that will ultimately serve to undermine every aspect of our domestic America economy, the fact of the matter is simple, electricity is essentially, the final measure of our nation's collective ability to work together to keep the lights on in every other industrial sector.

In other words, the economic success of America's cabbage industry is not about getting people to eat cabbage any more than the economic success of America's transportation industry is to distribute cabbage, or the economic success of America's agricultural industry is to grow cabbage. No, the economic success of all of these industries, is their collective ability to throw a switch that will turn on a light bulb so that whatever it is that anyone is doing with a head of cabbage can be done in the most efficient manner possible. As efficiency then is the issue, and, our collective ability to constantly define, or, redefine efficiency is what continues to bond us together as a functioning American industrial society, reshaping the manner we produce, manage, distribute and profit from as well as charge for our collectively efficient use of electricity is again, crucial to our economic survival. “Industrial Demand Response” then needs to be looked upon not necessarily from the point of view of how to more efficiently monitor and manage the use of our existing electric supply, but, how, through extraordinarily seamless information exchange, a broad host of new energy sources, and, an equally broad host of architectural as well as transit based endeavors bring the body of industries who deal with the cabbage into an entirely more dynamic economic relationship with electricity to begin with.

Please refer to the following lists:

“Barriers to Demand Response Programs and Recommendations for Overcoming the Barriers”
“A number of barriers need to be overcome in order to achieve the estimated potential of demand response in the United States by 2019. While the Assessment lists 25 barriers to demand response, the most significant are summarized here.

Regulatory Barriers. Some regulatory barriers stem from existing policies and practices that fail to facilitate the use of demand response as a resource. Regulatory barriers exist in both wholesale and retail markets.
  • Lack of a direct connection between wholesale and retail prices.
  • Measurement and verification challenges.
  • Lack of real time information sharing.
  • Ineffective demand response program design.
  • Disagreement on cost-effectiveness analysis of demand response.
Technological Barriers.
  • Lack of advanced metering infrastructure.
  • High cost of some enabling technologies.
  • Lack of interoperability and open standards.
Other Barriers.
  • Lack of customer awareness and education.
  • Concern over environmental impacts.”

The list above comes from this link: DEMAND RESPONSE which is a link to – Office of Electricity Delivery And Energy Reliability.

As it does, this list, which can be found on page 18 and 19 of this 254 page report, pretty much sums up what in fact this whole report is about, which is, how, through the inoculation of some rather sophisticated information management based technologies, our existing American electric utility grid would become that much more efficient as a result of doing so. But, as what I am talking about in this particular essay has to do with the much larger potential of integrating a wide variety of mixed energy based technologies into our whole national electric utility grid, the above list and associated report offered up by does not, in my opinion, seem to address the potential interaction of all of these mixed energy based technologies into either the grid or the tens of thousands of American communities that would benefit industrially and economically if in fact that grid was substantially diversified by those same sophisticated information technologies from the get go. Going further, as the above list characterizes the obstacles that are currently preventing an overall grid modernization nationwide, and, in fact these obstacles are valid, it is again, in my view, the narrowness of identifying the problems needing to be solved that is leading to the identification of such obstacles to begin with. In other words, the report has been crafted by people who are simply not thinking holistically and far enough outside of the box to grasp fully the total potential nature of 21st century electrical supply and demand.

idrcab (1)

Getting back to the cabbage conversation for a moment.

Let's say you are a cabbage farmer.

Let's say you and your family have been farming cabbage for the better part of the past 100 years.
Over the course of those years, what began as a very quiet ten acre rural farming operation located twenty miles away from a major metropolitan area is still a ten acre farm, you and your family are still growing cabbage, and, in fact, the electrical wires connecting the few outbuildings to the regional utility grid that provides electricity to that farm are the very same ones that were first installed one hundred years ago. Whereas the original electrical wires are there as are the original fuel tanks for the farm equipment, as is the original rain water cistern and original water well used to irrigate the crop are still there, the very quiet ten acre rural farm setting has long been replaced by urban sprawl as the serene and lightly traveled country road passing your farm has turned into a four lane suburban parking lot. While the farm was once surrounded by hundreds of acres of natural open space, today the farm might very well not be noticed at all due to the sheer volume of industrial and commercial as well as residential build out that has occurred via the passage of time. But, as all of this has occurred over the course of several decades, the manner in which electricity has been connected to all of this new build out is still more or less the same as it was when your family first built your farm's outbuildings 100 hundred years ago. In fact, not only is it the same wiring process, but, more than likely all of those additional wires are connected to the original source of electrical generation as well.

Knowing all of this and having to live with the fact that while your small farm has been absorbed into the abyss of what can now only be defined as urban sprawl turned to urban decay, you still grow cabbage because people still eat cabbage, and, of course, you still need to make a living even though the cost of doing so has becoming increasingly difficult due almost entirely to the fact that the infrastructure you must use to transport your cabbage on has become both increasingly congested and financially redundant to use as a result. As all you really want to do is to simply stay on the farm and grow cabbage, get the cabbage to market and repeat the process year in and year out, due to the overwhelming over growth of everything including the public electric grid; you are, just like everyone else, stranded in a late 20th century industrial graveyard with virtually no way out staring at a light bulb that was once considered to be the justification for building that industrial graveyard in the first place.

With our nationwide public electric utility grid in every bit the same state of structural decay as our nation's roadways, as our homes and neighborhoods are more or less in the same state of disrepair; the business models we have utilized for decades to originally build all of this stuff are themselves collapsing meaning, that collectively, as a nation, we have simply and entirely consumed every single industrial idea or angle that could possibly have been of use to us in our 20th century industrial lifetime.

While at the very end of our 20th century, a whole new industrial idea began to emerge and that idea was encapsulated within the framework of “information technology”,thus far in our 21st mixed energy based industrial generation it is only “IT” stuff that seems to be gaining any real financial headway whereas a massive amount in technological information pertaining to a substantially diverse new generation of American industries seems to be waiting on the sideline for the “IT” people to do their thing before America as a whole gets to do its thing, which of course is the task of rebuilding everything that fell apart in the 20th century.

Having said the above and shifting this conversation back to the topic of Industrial Demand Response and the role information technology can play in the management of existing electrical supply, the much more dynamic function of IT will be found in the role of integrating static (existing) electrical generation coming from say coal or gas with fluctuating electrical generation coming from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. As some people seem to think that the marriage of these two different types of electrical power into the grid is crucial to the sustained growth and long term collective maintenance of the grid, I am of the belief that while such an accomplishment is essential for the whole retrofitting of our nations electric grid, such an endeavor does not address the whole retrofitting of our nations whole energy grid. Whereas our nations electric grid addresses electric need as such need pertains to our buildings, our nations whole energy grid pertains to the energy needs of everything else that exists outside of the building, and, in an awful lot of instances pertains to multidimensional energy use inside of a building as well.

A case in point here would be compressed natural gas used inside of a building to fuel either a piece of mobile industrial equipment inside the building or a vehicle that would leave such a building to deliver a component of a manufacturing process to another point along the path of that manufacturing process to another light manufacturing facility located down the road. Whereas the natural gas can be used to generate electricity to run the manufacturing equipment needed to make a specific part and is therefore considered to be an energy source managed by a public electric utility, due to the fact that it is as well a transportation fuel source, natural gas simply possesses the properties of regulatory duality meaning that again before one can realistically expect to fully define Industrial Demand Response, Industrial Demand Diversity must first be fully understood. As any given manufacturer will indeed require both the associated rate structure for and of the electric utility and the associated rate structure for and of the regional transportation authority are simply not mutually exclusive if in fact all technologies pertaining to the growth of advanced infrastructure models in these very much related sectors is not fully grasped.

This model very much applies to solar energy as well, but, in a much more consumer, and therefore, neighborhood based “touchy feely” manner, if you will.

In my view, while solar electrical generation is clearly enjoying extraordinary growth in the US, such growth would be considerably more if the product was marketed not simply as a cost effective alternative to conventional electricity but instead part of a retrofitting system of technologies that brought the architectural footprint of an entire home or a entire block of homes in a residential setting in any neighborhood fully up to any conceivable green energy building code in any town in America.
In other words, for a building to have the type of roof slope and direction to support the installation of an active solar electric array is one thing, that buildings ability to utilize active solar hot water arrays as well as additional passive solar technology in its overall design and construction is something that is is just as crucial to grasp if not more so. As the issue here is to both upgrade our nation's electric utility grid as well as reduce the load upon that grid, if economically clean and efficient electricity is entering into an economically dirty home or an equally redundant neighborhood of economically dirty homes, the drain on the electrical grid becomes quite obvious to the neighborhoods overall utility rate structure as well as overall real estate valuation.

Thus, when solar technology is enjoined with a system of retrofitting technologies that would include such entities as rainwater management on the outside as well as whole air purification technologies on the inside of the home (to name a few), the grid, if you will, becomes that much more “touchy feely” on one hand while becoming that much more intergratable on the other. As it is again the whole definition of Industrial Demand Response that is being sought, requiring both private and municipal sector electric powered water pumps to ultimately redirect rain water, rain water management as a new municipal public utility has along with its responsibility to mitigate flooding the need to purchase electricity for such mitigation management to work. As in this particular instance, battery back up technologies would be of considerable benefit, again advances in solar electric storage technology would serve the whole community energy grid perhaps more efficiently that say natural gas powered mechanical pumps might in the event of sustained torrential rains. Either way the subsequent industrial fail safes are in place and integrated into the appropriate utility which is again the purpose of Industrial Demand Response.

Below are links to two articles published I think just as recently as 1/19/16. These articles address the concerns the Nevada Public Utility Commission has with the growth of rooftop solar in the State of Nevada as well as the concerns three manufacturers of rooftop solar arrays; Solar City, Sun Run and Vivint who do business in Nevada have over the rate structures needed to assure that those who choose solar and those who do not have an equitable and fair cost sharing framework from which to operate in and from.

Nevada PUC May Be Setting State On Path Toward Grid Defection

What The New DNA Of Future Energy Markets Looks Like

As the gist of both of these articles is about rate structure, rate structure is determined by the overall cost of maintaining not singular aspects of the grid that may benefit some more than others, but, the cumulative cost associated with both the continued maintenance of the whole grid as well as the anticipated improvements the utility as well as the people in the state who rely on the insight of the utility as their representative, sees as being viable cost wise for the whole state in which that utility operates.

Based upon what I have been able to gather about the Nevada PUC decision , it would appear as if the Commission took the time to look at two different regulatory issues that it felt where more equitable for the few and less equitable for the many, and simply took the steps necessary to rectify the problem.

As under the old rate structure solar customers paid a fixed monthly charged of $12.75 per month, which was the same non solar customers paid, the new structure for solar customers only jumps to an initial $17.90 per month in 2016 and finally settles to $38.51 per month by 2020. whereas the rate for non solar customers stays at the current $12.75 monthly rate.

In addition, the rate that solar customers pay for grid-supplied power declines slightly from 10.8 cents per kWh in 2016 to 9.9 cents, while the rate they are paid for excess power delivered to the grid falls sharply from 9.2 cents to 2.6 cents, or from roughly the retail rate to the wholesale rate.
The new rates took effect on January 1, and—incredibly—will retroactively apply to all solar customers, even those who bought their systems under the old tariffs. (Such customers are typically grandfathered in.)

The new rate plan was a response to the complaints of the utility NV Energy, which has a monopoly in the state. The utility claimed that the old net metering tariff shifted roughly $16 million in costs annually from Nevada’s roughly 17,000 solar customers to non-solar customers.”

The above three paragraphs were extracted from the link below.

Nevada PUC May Be Setting State On Path Toward Grid Defection

Regardless of how one chooses to interpret the ruling however, there remains, across the board, in the solar industry, as well as the industries, old or new, that represent our whole future American electric utility provider framework potential, some rather persistent pauses or lapses in overall industrial logic as that logic pertains to the highly specific applications of certain technologies as compared to the equally specific applications of others. The understanding of the geographical nuances that exist in either the states or regions from which an established electric utility provider operates from within are an example of one such lapse in logic.

As it would appear to be pretty much a given that the state of Nevada, which is more or less drenched in sun, would be a natural landing spot for the rooftop solar industry, and, in fact it is, the larger fact is that the state of Nevada has been living with its sunshine and associated heat for one hell of lot longer than the solar collector has been around. With this being the case, the issue of cooling down Nevada has a considerably more sense of public electric utility urgency than the generation of electricity from a solar collector, particularly when one considers the fact that a state full of air conditioned buildings would squelch any possible solar storage model within seconds of turning the things on to begin with.

While all of the above is most certainly true, and, all of this demonstrates a certain lapse in logic as such logic pertains to building an “advanced public electric utility grid”, when considering geothermal energy, the advanced public electric utility grid suddenly turns instead into the “advanced public energy utility grid”. In the process of doing so, the cost of both maintaining and improving the original electrical grid diversifies as do the industries that have a very much direct financial relationship with the utility grid manager to begin with. Simply by replacing the word “electric” with the word “energy”, the grid finally becomes the mechanism from which all energy technologies can begin the process of entering into the realm of whole neighborhood based industrial, economic and environmental revitalization.

In relationship to geothermal cooling then, not only is the electric demand far less than conventional HVAC, but meeting the demand via highly specific Industrial Demand Response modeling enables a much more seamless load shifting dynamic between solar and more traditional, or, static fossil fuels all of which is accomplished on micro-grid frameworks that are statewide in connectivity but very much regional in demand and diverse by form base utility code design.

Here is a link to the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

As to the discussion of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), whereas geothermal energy used as it is defined above for its cooling properties is in fact not an energy source, the collective municipal or neighborhood wide capacity of this technology in the state of Arizona or in any of a number of different states or geographical regions within conceivably all states, or, (at least such states that experience full four season climatic fluctuations) clearly suggest this technology has the capacity to become a nationwide public utility in every bit the same manner it has the capacity to become a mainstay industry standard in overall building design across virtually every construction sector in the country. Needless to say, as it does, the ease of which such holistic industrial functionality can be immediately woven into our overall national energy grid while simultaneously being woven into our national construction frame of mind is as simple as the manufacturing of a meter, that may or may not have the capacity to interact with an existing house electric meter currently in 2016, but more than likely could much sooner than later if in fact geothermal energy was so comprehensibly addressed in the first place.

Getting back to DERs.

Solar PV, battery storage, and other distributed energy resources (DERs) are becoming cheaper by the day.”

This quote comes from the article below:

Fixed Charges Don’t ‘Fix’ the Problem

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) as they pertain to either solar or wind, have to be considered as valid, if, for no other reason than to acknowledge that at some point in time along the evolutionary path of our entire 21st century national energy grid, the ability to store power does become somewhat sensible and somewhat necessary.

Whereas beyond anything other than emergency situations, battery storage can and historically has been considered to be “well ok fine”, I have a flashlight for emergencies, but, beyond that, the only thing it is good for is playing flashlight tag, for the most part, integrating (DERs) into our broader national utility grid is pretty much viewed from within that same childlike, and, therefore hopelessly abstract and animated industrial as well as economic context. As such a viewpoint has in this author's opinion, prevented a far more sophisticated industrial dialogue from being brought front and center, I think that the reason this remains so is in fact related to misguided attempts to utilize battery storage capacity as a means, or, an attempt to place solar and wind energy in particular into the static architectural based fuel class of oil and natural gas as opposed to quite specifically placing (battery) storage technology into the highly evolved and multi-faceted transit based fuel class in which it (battery storage technology) actually belongs.

As in my view, until (DERs) are viewed for the only thing or mechanism they actually are, which is temporary but critical, mobility oriented storage capacity that enables high efficiency, light to medium duty, industrial cross functionality to flourish, our broader national energy grid will remain functionally illiterate. Transit based battery technology as such technology pertains to comprehensive neighborhood based public energy utility re-blueprinting then, is simply a means to intelligently transfer data from an individual solar array or neighborhood solar cluster to a neighborhood geothermal cluster to a neighborhood natural gas vehicle refueling network (cluster) to a neighborhood based electric vehicle charging network (cluster) to a neighborhood rainwater management grid (cluster) – all of which without the battery and the subsequent minimum charge the battery can actually hold would be virtually impossible to accomplish without.

Keeping in mind that anything with a battery attached to it has but two options and both options become useless once the battery can no longer be recharged. Keeping in mind as well that for a battery to be recharged it must have the ability to be attached to an architecturally anchored “static” power source. In turn, keeping in mind that whatever the vehicle it is that the battery is powering can only go so far before it must find another “static architectural place” to plug in to, both architectural places must possess the same multi-faceted transit based electrical charging inter connectivity capacities. In turn, when considering now in 2016 what appears to be substantial static based architectural limitations that are preventing this advanced utility based energy management dialogue from occurring , due to the fact that the power we are discussing that can enable this dialog to flourish is both battery and mobile, interchanging voluminous GIS information pertaining to both the cost of static architectural electrical charging in one place and the mileage traveled to justify the cost of charging for that transit based traveling expenditure to the next place coincides completely with the electricity, static or renewable being either generated and distributed in both places to begin with.

Once then, all of these cluster factors are known, intelligently transferred data from an individual solar array or neighborhood solar cluster to a neighborhood geothermal cluster to a neighborhood natural gas vehicle refueling network (cluster) to a neighborhood based electric vehicle charging network (cluster) to a neighborhood rainwater management grid (cluster) enables substantial economic growth in the entirely new 21st century industrial sectors associated with the subsequent “and quite significant” lateral expansion of the original 20th century electric and natural gas utility provider.

Getting back to the Nevada PUC decision then, the route this commission took in its demand for equitable financial reciprocity as such reciprocity was being challenged by the solar industry, was and is more than justified. The existing Nevada state public utility, regardless of whether or not such a utility can or should be considered as a monopoly, has, within its regulatory mandate, the responsibility to guarantee affordable and reliable electricity to Nevadan's. Whereas the “solar industry” has within it's technological dynamic, the capacity to substantially modify the nature of how electricity is generated, and, such electrical generational capabilities are indeed much healthier for all who occupy our earthly environment, such capabilities cannot be considered as being either affordable or reliable until solar energy technology is interfaced completely with a broad host of equally impressive energy sources and energy management technologies some of which are very old and some of which are quite new and just as exciting to develop as solar is. Either way, the benchmark for all such development remains the operational framework of the original public electric utility grid that should, within it's regulatory authority, have the capacity to modify that grid substantially and quickly to accommodate the speed of which new energy based generation and management technologies are coming on line.

Battery storage technology is a crucial link to the accomplishment of all of this, but, again only from within its ability to be mobile as opposed to being static. As perhaps a better term than mobile would be unplug-gable, the point is that if a solar array has been determined as being an integral part of a cluster of other energy management systems, it is essentially the capacity to store power derived primarily from solar that will in fact enable these other systems to perform at their best as intermittent energy demand fluctuates from either one system to another or from one form of peak demand to another.

An example of this would be a solar powered electrical system, (backed up by battery storage) that provides all power to a neighborhoodrainwater management grid during typical or moderate periods of rainfall. As it rains and the rainwater cisterns fill, a moderate amount of electricity would be required to send the rainwater through a basically gravity fed network of water storage cisterns. As such moderate solar power would come into use more so after the rain and after a few days without rain, battery stored electricity could be utilized to power the pumps that draw that rainwater from the cistern out on to the lawns and gardens that would need such rainwater during dry spells. A minimum amount of water managed by a minimum amount of “on demand solar electric power.”

On the flip side of a pleasant rainfall is the torrential downpour, which is the type of rain where rain drops are replaced with rain buckets (or barrels) for an extended period of time to the extent that the accumulation of water can cause tremendous damage to an entire neighborhood if in fact, all systems designed to prevent such damage, are not either in place, or, fully synchronized with one another. Either way, at the core of this synchronicity is the technological memory cell that needs constant power during periods when such power can be very much disrupted, if not gone altogether.

Somebody simply needs to be standing there with a very good flashlight powered by very good batteries until a more dominant power source can be restored or a secondary dominant power source more powerful than either solar or the battery can come on line and deal with the high level of water management torrential rains demand of a collective rainwater electrical or mixed energy management infrastructure to resolve.

Once again, it is the mobile battery to the rescue of the secondary dominant power source. As 21st century Industrial Demand Response simply demands response, secondary neighborhood based natural gas powered auxiliary electric emergency generation comes directly into play. For what can be an extended period of perhaps days until static power can be restored, the battery originally charged by solar power brings to the whole rain water management system the ability to simply communicate from within the framework of a very fluid, uninterrupted, neighborhood based infrastructure dynamic until the whole grid is once again online.

How utilities and regulators differ in their approaches to distributed energy.

Thanks for stopping by.

self awareness

Mike Patrick Dahlke

Curriculum vitae

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