Archive for February, 2009

The smart grid, cleantech

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

In order to make room for new green and sustainable energy we have to focus on modernizing and expanding the electricity grid, integrating energy efficiency and distributed generation into operation and regulation, and improve our steering systems.

The smart grid means a grid where we can control the operation so that we get nearer to optimal efficiency. All power grids are subject to immense inefficiencies that arise from the interplay between centralized power generation, local power consumption and on demand utility service. Electricity demand fluctuates on both a daily and seasonal basis.

The concept of the Smart Grid has been introduced. The goal of the Smart Grid is to maximize the efficiency of existing generating facilities and accommodate the integration of renewable power resources. A new important factor is storage devices where we can store energy for later use as part of an efficiency/load balancing procedure. Many energy producing systems can not easily be turned on and off and storage would be advantageous – large scale and across borders: pumping water up for later use, compress air, flow-batteries, swing wheels, electric condensers, hydrogen production and storage…

Smart meters could also be introduced to show consumers the way to lower costs as well as reduce risk of blackouts. Standards are also needed so that systems can easily interconnect.

The cleantech concept for green and renewable energy is being introduced and increased weight is placed on the digital netbased control systems to make the smart grid work.

There is also the question of transporting lots of power over long distances which will require a strengthening of the grid.

(Seeking Alpha)

Open-standards based smart grid networks will promote innovations in the use and production of green energy. Is a gradual transformation of the industry on the way?

Badly governed states

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

A number of states in the world are not doing so well in one way or another. This can be a problem for others as well.

A number of situations can rise: chaos, suffering of many kinds for its people, room for terrorists, internal conflicts, lack of freedom, forced migration, smuggling, disease, rise of warlords, reduced output of goods, pirates…. The variations are endless.

An unstable situation can spread to other nations and areas and harm other countries interests. 

A persistent unstable situation in a country should be helped by the world community, not just one of the big powers. Both USA and China and others have been active on the world arena, and the UN have several presences in troubled areas. Many intelligence operations are following developments.

As part of a civilized development international cooperation should be tried, less big power arm-twisting, politicking and more use of dialog principles, may be via the UN.



Saturday, February 14th, 2009

What is the cause of the financial breakdown we have seen? One factor could be new markets for financial products that are not fully understood, and which are traded privately between parties with no open exchange or market involved.

All sorts of products can be derived and synthesized, which is inherently good if allowed to be grown well. It also makes possible customer customisation.

Examples: many kinds of futures, collateralised-debt obligations, interest-rate swaps, credit-default swaps, ….

Regulatory control should be considered involving centralised clearing and infrastructure, some standardisation, measuring volume of transactions and types of risk. This fosters transparency and accountability, makes parties interests visible, letting the public know what is going on.

Innovative technologies and products should be allowed in principle, but large risks of consequence to society should be monitored by regulators. An example: How do we treat dark pools?

(Wikipedia:Dark pools of liquidity (also dark pools or dark liquidity) are crossing networks that provide liquidity that is not displayed on order books. This is useful for traders who wish to move large numbers ofshares without revealing themselves to the open market. Dark liquidity pools offer institutional investors many of the efficiencies associated with trading on the exchanges’ public limit order books but without showing their hands to others. Dark liquidity pools avoid this risk because neither the price nor the identity of the trading company is displayed.)

International cooperation is a must!

Imagine the future

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

“Imagine potential futures with Malmö ́s new Parascopes: Starting today, three Parascopes will help you imagine how life in a future Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden, might be. The Parascopes, also called Future Binoculars, show panoramic images based on proposals from the citizens of Malmö on how to reduce car traffic in the city. 

A Parascope resembles scenic viewer binoculars but instead of showing the here and now, it displays several visualisations of how things might be in the future in that particular place.”

Environmental plan of action based on facts

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Many activities are now taking place to improve the climate and environment. A number of countries, communities, companies, international and national organizations and many individuals are now spending time and money on improvements- progress is made! There seems to be many reasons for the participants to do this: stop global warming, make your environment nicer and cleaner, improve your company profile, save money, combat poverty and many others.

This activity is based upon the information that has been published over the last, say, 20 years. But the description of the problem, with corresponding facts, necessary activity and/or voluntary activity and its coordination is not there – it is ramshackle. There is no cost/benefit analysis – no first things first, just a bit of everything.

Many of the big emitters – USA, China – are not taking part. The situation is rather absurd, and we must ask if this is just about emissions or is there a wider agenda involving the world´s eco-system. There seems to be more politics involved than required problem solving for the earth and its inhabitant´s benefit.

How urgent is this – are we going to do die next year or is it just about making the world a better place – sometime?

We must have the basics on the table. Facts must be established, there must be wide consensus about the situation, autorithy must be found, timelines must be established, international cooperation among all nations is a must. This will not happen in the near future so we must conclude that the problem is not very serious?

Meanwhile all nations must establish their own framework for environmental improvement: Facts, autorithy, participants and roles. Both lawmakers, companies and households must take part within a set of requirements that will lead us in the right direction. 

We now have a limbo – little facts, no established authority, partial cooperation, no regulation, no standards, no comprehensive law on climate change, no caps on emissions.

A new regime must be built up gradually so that there is time for adaptation, research and development.