It takes a most comprehensive understanding of the industrial interactions between a wide body of existing and emerging energy sources, information management technologies, public utility regulatory and overall financial frameworks from which all of the above must be intricately tied to.
Whereas today it is fairly obvious that virtually every aspect of our nation's public utility infrastructure is both obsolete and overburdened, what is equally obvious is the fact that for the most part, American architecture (our entire collection of residential, commercial and industrial buildings) is in the same state of overall industrial decline. As a result of both of these scenarios, our American economy is operating from within the same state of structural disarray - all of which is contributing substantially to the broader collapse of our nation's once dynamic and fluid industrial mindset.
As all anyone needs to do to find proof of this disarray is glimpse the dismal year over year growth of GDP and the resulting dormancy of an economy that once produced substantial job growth in every construction sector, it is again, a most comprehensive understanding of the industrial interactions between a wide body of existing and emerging energy sources, information management technologies, public utility regulatory and overall financial frameworks from which all of the above must be intricately tied to that must finely be fully understood.
Towards this goal then, a rational starting point from which all such industrial interaction flourishes, must be brought forward. As such, it is my firm belief that this starting point must come at the residential architectural level for it is only at this point where truly measurable and long term sustainable job creation in a broad range of energy based industries serves to not only foster such construction sector job growth but foster as well, a significant expansion of all aspects of manufacturing pertaining to our nation's whole combined energy infrastructure.
Thus today, as a given neighborhood in any area of the country can only be characterized as being both industrially and economically insolvent, once every house on any given block is fully retrofitted to receive the true multi tiered functionality of a broad host of energy based infrastructure, that house, the advanced power, municipal utility and transportation infrastructure leading up to that house actually has a fully revived economic marketplace from which to flourish.
While at the core of this whole endeavor a set of uniform regulatory standards must be applied and such standards would best be demonstrated by the orchestration of truly progressive building codes, such codes cannot in and of themselves be expected to produce the potential results if in fact the industries that can only grow as a result of such code applications are not modeled to substantially commingle with one another as well. In other words, while advocates for solar energy most certainly want their technologies to flourish economically, unless the technology of solar is designed to fully commingle with the technologies of rainwater management and the technologies of these two industries are designed to commingle with the technologies of natural gas, or, the technologies of advanced building thermal insulation and ventilation systems, all technologies ultimately remain economically under developed.
With the above being said, there are of course certain technologies that stand out as being integral to the development of other technologies. Two in particular are Smart Meters and Battery Storage.
With the Smart Meter essentially being the brains of the overall successful operation of a truly advanced set of engineering technologies that must be placed into every home in America, Battery Storage is essentially the recipe box from which all such information pertaining to the management of advanced residential engineering technologies can be retrieved from when in fact the family living in that home has a certain energy need or larger energy demand.
A case in point here would be rainwater management.
Given the obvious that it simply does not always rain, and, given the obvious that many rain events are very much normal in occurrence and require little to no technological intervention to manage, the fact that rainwater can and in fact does need to be either collected or rerouted suggests that all known industrial fail safes should be in place when in fact a much larger and more threatening rain event is forecast. In the same breath, even with a normal rainwater event from which rainwater is collected for future irrigational use, both the Smart Meter and Battery Storage are crucial to the successful management of the rainwater by the homeowner and the municipality as well as the growth of the industries that manufacture rainwater system components for the homeowner and the municipality or the commercial or industrial architectural entity affected by the fall of rain in the first place.
As residential rainwater Smart Meters will inform the homeowner of water volume and enable the homeowner to program the use of stored rainwater, Battery Storage enables the homeowner to do so without necessarily overwhelming the larger electric utility grid in the process. Whereas a normal rainfall seemingly has the capacity to be absorbed into the natural lay of the land, the rainfall accumulated in advanced technology residential reservoirs simply places a new demand on the larger electric utility grid, and, as such, Smart Meters enable again both the homeowner and the electric utility provider both the electrical co-generation and economic option of switching back and forth between zoned rainwater rooftop solar (per say) with or without Battery Storage backup, or, traditional line voltage if in fact no other larger energy demand is present at the moment. Either way, the larger and clearly more dynamic economic outcome of this cross technology commingling is the birth of new utility regulatory mandates as well as new public electric utility rate revenue streams, all of which benefit every industrial sector having anything whatsoever to do with the systems mentioned above.
As again all of this is anchored to the architectural upgrade of Americas existing housing stock and is as well tied to the upgrading of entire neighborhoods of houses, such an endeavor is equally tied to the overall real property valuation of said residential dwellings and is therefore tied to the letting of municipal, industrial and public utility bonds that ultimately serve as the guarantor of overall neighborhood based economic renewal.
With rainwater management being but one example of how a multitude of seemingly unrelated technologies are in fact very much related, the list of industrial entities having the need for substantial redefinition as such defining pertains to the entire building sector/ public utility sector is quite endless.
Passive Solar architectural design and engineering is of critical importance to grasp within this overall energy/economic dialog.
It is due to the fact that as virtually every dwelling built has the capacity to at least in part benefit from passive solar heat gain as well as heat retention and storage, relocation of passively gained heat from one area of a building to another is yet another example of how Smart Metering and Battery Storage when combined with geothermal heat pumps, traditional HVAC technologies and building air handlers serve quite effectively as a mechanism that transforms an otherwise static architectural dwelling into a whole functioning mechanical system that has very precise points from which the actual square footage in one area of a dwelling is maintained by one heat source whereas another would most assuredly be be maintained by another.
As the end result of such advanced energy retrofitting is the overall reduction of energy use from an existing and traditional public electric or natural gas providership entity, the broader result is the combined growth of all industries associated with overall energy management which of course expands the demand for non traditional energy supplies from the initial public utility to begin with.
To be a bit more specific here, and, in doing so focusing strictly on residential dwellings that were built in America during the Victorian Age of America Architecture (1860 – 1930), these dwellings represented the maturity of virtually every form of industrial function created during America's first industrial age. From coal and wood fired furnaces generally placed in basements that relied on the basic non mechanical principles of heat rising to the strategic placement of windows and doors, floor thru ceiling registers and transom windows that relied on natural wind currents to move air room to room and floor to floor - to the actual siting of a building on a specific building site, America's Victorian era represented a flawless embrace of organic architectural design principles commingled with the advanced technologies of furnace based heating at the time. Utilizing kerosene and later natural gas for lighting, such mechanical lighting technology was again offset by the organic placement of very tall windows, windows that adorned staircases and closets and vestibules that were placed to benefit from natural day lighting in every bit those same windows benefited from evening sky and moon lighting, mechanical lighting was essentially balanced with an overwhelming sense of organic common sense when it came to the relatively miserly use of such mechanical lighting. In turn, while there was no such thing as thermal insulation, the design of roof overhangs, heat absorbing masonry trombe walls and the strategic placement of plantings utilized either to shade a dwelling or block prevailing winds from striking the dwelling head on, all served as some rather advanced energy management criteria that among other issues created a rather dynamic labor force and of course, regional and national economies as such economies grew from within the urban areas created my human settlement.
Whereas I could go on and on as to the historical significance of this architectural era, the larger point here today in 2016 is that if again passive solar, or perhaps more specifically, cumulative solar engineering or re-engineering of all residential dwellings was indeed the benchmark for determining advanced energy management of our entire American housing stock, residential lighting as it now has the capacity to be defined by LED lighting technology, that is in and of itself managed by Smart Meters and co powered by residential solar and Battery Storage, would serve to again diminish traditional electric line demand on one hand while on the other, foster the growth of either neighborhood micro electric grids that specifically power low voltage neighborhood lighting needs or individual residential power centers as such needs are defined by the specific functions of an individual home. With such needs more or less being the same today as they were during the Victorian era and those needs being defined as either egress and/or general or minimum purpose interior or exterior evening lighting, high voltage task specific lighting as would be found in kitchens, bathrooms, offices, garages, workshops and so forth would remain dependent upon the larger public electric grid interface. Hence, just as in the example of rainwater management outlined above, and, from within the same overall framework of both Smart Metering and Battery Storage, the public electric utility provider has at its disposal the ability to strategically off load a rather sizable amount of electrical current from its standard power mainframe while in the same breath, the ability to expose itself to the equally sizable growth of micro utility generation as such generation is and/or can quite clearly be better managed at the neighborhood residential level.
Whereas again this whole discussion is centered upon neighborhood based residential housing revitalization, once the principles defined within the framework of residential housing are expanded upon to include neighborhood commercial buildings as well as neighborhood light industrial environments, the size and function of the larger grid associated with commercial and industrial whole building energy retrofits, simply lends itself to larger and more diverse delivery of electric power from within a new micro grid infrastructure dynamic. As the key to this whole discussion is more or less the understanding that a traditional electric utility provider is today very much incapable of providing either the larger electricity capacity required for all segments of American industry to truly flourish without spending a magnificent and non existent financial fortune to upgrade its entire electrical generation and transmission framework, the larger key is that with the advent of Smart Metering and Battery Storage, the need to do so is entirely redefined as is the ability to create entirely new fortunes in the process.
Once an electric utility functionally off loads sizable electric demand via the use of Smart Metering and Battery Storage as such technologies pertain to the use and distribution of neighborhood based architectural electricity, that utility's truly larger 21st century regional mixed energy industrial and economic function becomes that much more capable of being both fully defined and fully implemented. As that larger function is in part the substantial redefinition of natural gas delivery and consumption, it is as well the capacity the electric utility has to bring even more diverse electrical generation technologies online from within a highly specific regional blueprint. Including larger industrial/community scale solar and wind, geothermal and hydro electric plant development that in and of themselves remain micro in scale and scope, LNG and CNG place the distributed potential of natural gas into a clearly much more diverse service area and definition of use framework which includes the fueling of vehicles in virtually every vehicle class with the exception of aviation.
Going once again back to the single, fully retrofitted house on a single retrofitted block of now high level neighborhood based electrical co-generation functionality, the model for residential based natural gas functionality becomes decidedly more mobile. As the now truly advanced energy efficient residential home has reduced its overall demand for conventional electricity while in the same breath being renovated with a much more dynamic emphasis on overall architectural thermal efficiency, such thermal efficiency takes an enormous heat load away from the traditional residential based natural gas delivery and use model. As such, as the use of natural gas for residential heating has essentially been reduced to the point where a home that once relied upon the consumption of sizable natural gas volume to comfortably heat a 2,000 square foot home can now be heated by the effective residual heat coming off a natural gas fueled kitchen oven or the combined heat of a natural gas fueled boiler for task specific radiant heat for now fully measurable individual room heating requirements, such overall natural gas volume reduction reduces substantially the financial burden of upgrading/retrofitting a natural gas utility's own traditional in ground natural gas pipeline delivery infrastructure with traditional residential natural gas rate payment modeling – upgrading/retrofitting that infrastructure instead with now both stationary and mobile natural gas rate payment modeling.
Thus, the moment the natural gas rate structure is turned mobile, or more precisely, split between residential and residential transit based billing of natural gas consumption, is then the moment where the construction of transit based natural gas fueling infrastructure is re - funding natural gas infrastructure improvements serving residential heating needs while in the same breath, providing sizable financial fuel for the growth of natural gas transit based infrastructure going into and coming out of communities nationwide.
Whereas the obvious is then the commingled nature of public electric and natural gas delivery and use serving as an overall model of advanced energy efficiency in the residential architectural (and associated construction and manufacturing sectors), equally obvious is the economic support structure enabled to form as a result of such highly focused energy management. With that support clearly enabling the growth of the residential building trades and subsequent expansion of the commercial and industrial building trades, the moment natural gas transit infrastructure is introduced, the same and quite sizable and measurable growth will be revealed in the construction sectors charged with re-engineering and rebuilding all segments of our nation's highway, passenger and freight rail system.
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