Ramping up renewable energy, tweeting down home energy use

by G
9 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I'm lucky to live in a state that's a leader when it comes to renewable energy. In fact, Schwarzenegger wants California to get 33% of our energy from renewable sources come 2020 -- and many of us want the switch to happen even faster!

That's the good news. The bad: We've got a lot of serious challenges holding us back. For one thing, we first need to meet a 20% renewable energy by 2010 goal -- and the outlook on that's rather bleak. Reports the L.A. Times

:

As of 2008, Southern California Edison Co. posted 15.5%, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 11.9% and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. only 6.1%, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The three companies aren't expected to hit 20% until at least 2013.

In that article -- "California renewable energy goals: The devil is in the implementation" -- The L.A. Times points to in-state, out-of-state issues as the main quibble:

The main argument is over how much of the new green power must be generated within California's borders. Another point of contention is which is more expensive: in-state renewable energy or wind and solar power from facilities elsewhere in the West.

KQED's Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid illuminates many more challenges also facing the renewable energy mandate. Watch the half-hour program to see how scaling up renewable energy not only means battling NIMBY groups, but also answering difficult questions about preservation of natural habitats and environments, using a whole lot of resources to build out new infrastructure, and much more.

Climate Watch also talks about getting individuals like you and me involved -- with smart devices that show us exactly how much energy we're using. Basically, research seems to show that if we see how much electricity we're sucking up -- and relatedly, how much we'll be paying for our uneco ways -- we'll start conserving naturally.

That explains the growing popularity of new smart grid end user devices! You've probably heard of Tweet-A-Watt, the Kill-A-Watt device that's been modified to tweet home energy use. Other devices too have gotten tweeting! Energy Circle hacked a device called TED, The Energy Detective, and got it to start tweeting its sleuths. For the less geeky, Springwise found the Yello Sparzähler" smart meter, which comes tweet-ready, no hacking skills required.

Last but not least, Lynne Kiesling at Knowledge Problem's put together a long list of smart gadgets, both available now and in the pipeline, that'll let you see where your energy's going, and/or control that energy flow remotely. Knowledge is conserved power!

Photo by abraham_neben
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.

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