David Bowie, Nikola Tesla and The Iron Giant

It takes Hogarth to pull down a massive off-switch to disconnect and save Iron Giant and protect grid assets.

Tesla and Edison have been depicted in a number of films over the years. “The Secret of Nikola Tesla” was a 1980 biopic made in Yugoslavia. “The Prestige” was a 2006 thriller, and in the role of Nikola Tesla, David Bowie in his final picture.

James Maxwell and Charles Coulomb

June Birthdays

On June 14, 1736, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb was born in France.

The name might seem vaguely familiar. In an electrical engineering or physics class that you struggled to keep awake in, the prof defined the unit of electric charge.

The coulomb, or just C, is the unit of electric charge. It is the charge transported by a constant electrical current of one ampere in one second.

C comes into plays in capacitance, the storing of charge. C is also the amount of excess charge on a capacitor of one farad charged to a potential difference of one volt.

The Powerwall Follies

A year later, reality is kicking in.

One year after Elon Musk rolled out the Powerwall: The real price is 60 to 80 percent more than Musk claimed. A handful (yes, I mean about five) have actually been installed in Germany and Australia. None in the U.S. so far.

Is Cleantech Coming of Age?

Analysis of investment data from the Cleantech Group i3 platform.

Private investment flows into cleantech reveal consistent signs of maturation. Cleantech is becoming more mature, diverse, and in some sectors – perhaps such as utilities – increasingly “conventional.”

Musk and Me

I signed up for a free quote on line.

With all the talk of the “existential threat” to traditional utilities from solar and other disruptive technologies (and the blowback against net metering in various states), I thought I’d check out SolarCity first hand.

From Grid to Cloud

A network of networks – in search of an orchestrator.

The Energy Cloud will change the way we generate, store, and consume energy by changing from a one-way power flow to a dynamic network of networks supporting two-way energy and information flows.

Storage Grows Up

More than just energy, it's becoming part of the grid.

One of the most striking aspects of the state's "Reforming the Energy Vision" initiative is the unique role it assigns to energy storage. Utilities may own distributed storage without concern over competitive implications when it becomes a part of the distribution network.