Smart Grids: Why go local

Based on this post below, someone needs to come up a Smart Grid, prove the concept on a macro level.   Link energy sources together and enable intelligent transmission.  We will never get away from our need for oil, if we cannot learn to move Solar, Wind and other sources of energy efficiently, much like we have with data.   Oil is pretty easy to move around, same with coal, to use the next generation of energy sources we need to reinvent our grid to avoid transmission loss and to allow localization of energy.   The more we can create energy sources near the demand and take more communities, cities and even homes off the grid.   The more we will enable solving the future energy crisis’s.
This essay was from a Ben Jervey:

A dummy’s guide to the “smart grid”

Wind turbines and solar panels may be the sexy, new stars of a clean energy future, but they’ll be nothing but a side note unless the grid that powers them gets a much-needed makeover.

While it’s widely noted that a new, national “smart grid” is a fundamental step in the spread of clean, renewable energy projects, there’s little chatter about building the grid itself. Why? Well, as Worldchangingfounder Alex Steffen notes: infrastructure is boring. He has a point, but we better start talking.

Last month I listened to a panel of energy experts explain to the New York City Council’s Infrastructure Task Force that Gotham’s grid simply couldn’t handle a proposed new supply of electricity flowing in from rooftop solar and offshore wind. Why? Because our current grid is dumb and wildly inefficient.

A blind system of transmission lines and converters, today’s grid funnels electricity one-way—from big centralized power plants to our factories, streetlights, shops, and homes. The utilities can’t detect fluctuations in energy demand; so, to ensure there are no shortages, the power plants run at full tilt, burning greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels around the clock. Not to mention, there is a lot of juice lost from coal-fired plant to the socket–5 to 10 percent due to “line loss” in the transmission wires alone. It’s also dreadfully vulnerable to disruptions, whether a break in the system—like a heavy branch taking down a roadside line—or an influx of power from an unexpected source. That’s bad news anyone who wants to plug his solar panels and sell electricity back to the grid.

The Internet of electricity— Al Gore coined the term “electranet” in an op-ed for Newsweek a couple years back—a smart grid would be networks, microprocessors and digital sensing technologies, a “web” of clever, hi-tech components that will be as flexible as it is intelligent. (The Wall Street Journal recently drew up a handy interactive model of such a system.) Supercomputers will let the utilities predict and manage system-wide demand and capacity, with batteries and other storage mechanisms ensuring that there’s always enough power to handle consumers’ needs. Power from distributed carbon-free sources such as rooftop solar, wind turbines, and combined heat and power systems will feed into the grid without causing breakdowns, so customers will be able to buy electricity for their homes and businesses, as well as sell power they generate back. “Smart meters” in buildings and homes will show the real-time cost of energy and assure that those that energy contributed to the grid—whether from a suburban family with photovoltaic panels on its roof or a Great Plains rancher with a wind turbine—receive payment. These distributed energy sources will require power to travel less distance, eliminating some electricity waste or “line loss.” Finally, internal building controls will adjust power demand, and new substations will take feedback from sensors along the transmission lines to better route electricity flow.

The smart grid won’t only be able to handle plug-in hybrids (the most realistic “car of the future” candidate), it’ll benefit from them. A national fleet of hybrid batteries will help provide storage capacity that our current distribution system sorely lacks. This is a key point: Solar and wind sources produce electricity in spurts—when the sun is highest, when the wind blows hardest.  When you plug in your 2012 Volkswagen Golf Hybrid, its battery—along with all the others plugged-in around your neighborhood—will draw power when there’s plenty, and pump it out when the grid is lacking. (And don’t worry about your neighbor’s gaudy Christmas light display sucking your car dry—that’s why we’ll have smart computers.)

Can such an integrated, comprehensive system ever actually get built?  Ask the people of Boulder, Col., which Xcel Energy announced earlier this year–through this campy video—would be the nation’s first “Smart Grid City.” There’s also heavy speculation floating of late that Google is going to train its brains on the grid. Last year the Internet giant announced an ambitious initiative to make “renewable energy cheaper than coal” (RE<C), which includes investments in a number of clean energy startups and labs whose innovations will ultimately rely on a new, smarter infrastructure.

But, before Google, or anyone else, can usher us closer toward a clean energy future, this mythical, digital backbone for the energy technology revolution—the smart grid—needs to become a reality.
(Photo: Xcel Energy)

If some of you know of companies working on solutions like this, I would love to hear.   If you can add a technical dimension to the topic I would love to share with the readers.   Thanks again, as you all know green energy is the next BIG thing.   Learning about it now will help every company as sustainability is coming into focus.


Going Completely Digital

I am going completely digital, no more paper anywhere.   I am going to save as many as 60-80 hours a month as well.   How much is your time worth?

Here are some solutions worth considering:

Mail to text by Earth Class Mail:

Earth Class Mail

Earth Class Mail

I can even mail all my important documents here for safe keeping (and) if I wanted have an address on Park Avenue.

Voicemail to quick text by Phone Tag:


Put all your documents in the cloud:


I also scanned everything on a Canon Scanner in my house: pictures, CD’s, documents, video’s (DVD’s) and put them into a cloud that I can access from anywhere.   All is this can be accessed on my iPhone.  I even have a SlingBox, where I can access my DirecTV on the road.   Yet, Hulu is gaining my attention to watch TV.   All of this is environmentally friendly and smart business, keeps me tidy and focused.  No wasted time.  I’m living like I have a team of 10 behind me, team BARE.    Finally, I also have my personal assistant at GetFriday.   They access my schedule, obtain business appointments, create proposals, research leads, organize all incoming communications including email, voicemails (PhoneTag), mail (Earth Class Mail), buy tickets, act as my concierge, count my calories, remember birthdays, send out Thank You cards, manage my house keeping, buy groceries online and have them delivered.   So just about anything that takes time can be done my team of assistants overseas.   Other things that have changed my life, online banking and debit cards – budgeting and organizing my purchases is great for month end financial analysis (all on my iPhone) and then there is LifeLock, which is protecting my credit and guaranteeing it.

All of these services combined are less than $500 a month and make my life easy.   I can focus on the important task.   Many people ask how I get it all done.   Now you know.   I can literally work from anywhere and get 3-4 times accomplished.   Now if someone could do my Thunderbird MBA homework for me.

Record your life

Life is getting simpler as we begin to use more complex technologies in smarter ways to record nearly everything we do:

Voice Notes – iPhone application to record notes to self, to do list, etc.

Flip Cam – Flip it out and film, quick and easy edit and upload.

LiveScribe – Audio and notes recorded for every meeting and class you take.

Semantic Calendar – tie it all together, save dates, events, ties times of Voice Notes, Live Scribe and Flip Cam into a series of events.

Facebook reminds me of friends Birthdays. reminds me of their preferences, adds leads for business automatically and passes information universally among my domains.

iPhone calls will all be recorded, transferred to text, text will be logged too.

Video conferences – WebEx can log and save all conference calls, video of it and PowerPoints.

Slideshare – all PowerPoints can be logged and shared

iTunes – Music played or listened to with iTunes tag and/or digital plays.

iPhoto pictures – time and location stamped, so record where you are in pictures.

Documents – time dated and organized within a calendar.

Web History – what sites have you gone too. – tracks financial life in one place.

Lose it – tracks health nutrition and exercise in one place.   Soon energy will be tracked for peak performance with intake and outtake of calories, exercise and heart rate.

geo-tracking – every step we take can be tracked now.

RFID Inventory will assess wardrobe, furniture and ownership of everything, creating a virtual assessment of everything.

Purchase and Spending habits can be analyzed with

All of this information can be organized in an effective way to remember, track and create a world of organization.   As we get more sophisticated, we will be able to automatically semantically match all of these various recording devices together.   Automatically organizing your digital life, which will be your life.


Curriculum for the future…

Creative Writing, Storytelling, Visual Thinking & Behavioral Economics…(right brain thinking, because the left brain just is not enough anymore…)

Hyper Island
Ritz Carleton Customer Service

Disney Institute

Creative Writing…

Creativity Workshop…


Visual Thinking…

More cool stuff…

Second City…

Wizard Ad School

Travel Channel Academy

Behavioral Economics…

Design Processes…


Design Thinking…

and there is so much more that this leads to, these are the subjects that will define our future and the winners in an over-marketed world…


Leading Interactive Marketing

I work with Fortune 500, Hospitals and leading Startups to put together Social Media, SEO/M, Dynamic Landing Pages, Micro-sites, PURL’s, Persuasion Architecture and more.

Yet, here are a few things that can make a huge strategic difference.

1.  iPhone App

2. Twitter Announcements

3. You Tube Channel

4. Facebook Communities

5. iTunes Podcast Subscriptions

6. Word Press or another Blogging technology

7. PB Wiki

8. Ning or KickApps Social Networks

9. Google Labs

10.  Desktop Apps or off the network mobile apps

Using just a couple of these well can create a major impact on your interactive marketing.


Left Brained

This explains a lot to me, since I am left handed.  I was never meant to get a A in Finance.



IDEA #25: SEM Spend?

Who is spending the most money on SEM Services?   What are they buying and why?   Information is power and this would help lots of sales people, marketers and companies learn about SEM spending online.   The  information could be invaluable.