The fuel of the future, according to many, is hydrogen. And recent announcements from California to Canada suggest the West coast will be the first to embrace this vision.
The present commodity nature of electricity is being replaced by a decentralized model where homeowners can supply their own power using their own equipment. This changes the variable and volatile cost of electricity in a "fixed" cost which never goes up.
Fuel cells will be one of the key components in the hydrogen economy. They will replace the internal combustion engine and will convert the future main store of energy (hydrogen) to power when it is needed.
We can lower our healthcare costs, reduce our air, water and thermal pollution, develop a more stable economy and become a far more secure nation if we just begin this inevitable process of evolution toward renewable energy sources.
In the long term we need to move toward a distributed/decentralized power generation network.
Solar energy is part of the solution and is a key to America's long-term energy supply. After all, fossil fuels have a long history of issues with respect to stability of supply and cost.
All the world really needs is a power supply that has no fuel costs, no pollution, and is available to everyone, everywhere, and relatively all at once. There is a technology which makes this possible today.
Consumers are demanding - and advances in semiconductor technology have enabled -- bigger and better color screens, more intuitive user interfaces, faster performance, more wireless interconnectivity, and smaller and more portable form factors. This means that for the same battery size and battery lifespan, all types of electronic products must take advantage of low power semiconductor devices in order to incorporate more features while consuming less power.
Expect cautious incursions into the world of deployed energy management solutions in the beginning. Eventually, however, we believe that commercial deployments in larger numbers will be the norm, at least in certain markets. After 30+ years of watching a market evolve at a painstakingly tortuous pace, the next few years should provide some interest and excitement.
In a survey of high-end entertainment households, when asked about the usefulness and interest of PC-based control services, respondents ranked energy management as the most attractive service option with 54% indicating that they had a strong interest in such a service. Utilities are aware and energized by this new demand, and as telemetry services become more widely available, Parks Associates believes consumers will be receptive to such services.
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The addition of energy storage to an existing or new utility-scale PV installation allows system owners and operators the opportunity to capture additional revenues. Traditional storage plus solar applications have involved the coupling of independent storage and PV inverters at an AC bus or the use of multi-input hybrid inverters. An alternative approach - coupling energy storage to PV arrays with a DC-to-DC converter - can help maximize production and profits for existing and new utility-scale installations. DC-Coupled Utility-Scale Solar Plus Storage leads to higher round-trip efficiencies and lower cost of integration with existing PV arrays and at the same time, opens up new revenue streams not possible with traditional AC-coupled storage, including clipping recapture and low voltage harvesting, while being eligible for valuable tax incentives.