Courtesy of Slashdot, and following up on Mike’s spectrum auction post from earlier this month, the 700 MHz spectrum auction has come to a close. From the New York Times blog post mentioned in the Slashdot article:
The winning bids totaled $19,592,420,000. That’s nearly double the amount the commission had hoped to raise from the spectrum being abandoned next year as television stations switch to new frequencies. On the scale of billions, the total has hardly changed in a month. But bidding continued on little blocks of frequencies around the country that cellphone companies are using to fill in gaps in their service. The last bid in the auction was $91,000 for frequencies around Vieques, P.R.
Have you seen the Galvin Electricity Initiative Sad Socket ad?
In the half-century since our electric power system was completed, little has been done to update it — and it shows. We’re relying on an obsolete electricity grid that is dangerously vulnerable, even to forces as predictable as thunderstorms and as tiny as squirrels. And blackouts and power interruptions cost public facilities, businesses and households at least $150 billion a year. Power plants generate as much pollution as they do electricity, and then two-thirds of this energy is lost before it ever reaches the end-user. Meanwhile, consumers are no more than passive participants without real choice. [emphasis added]
The technology already exists to address these unhappy circumstances, save you money, improve the quality of electricity service and give you control.
But regulatory policies stand in the way of progress.
The Galvin Initiative’s website suggests five things you can do to help accelerate the transformation of the electric power network:
1. Use the power of the purse
2. Demand control — by federal law, your utility is required to provide you with a time-of-use rate and an enabling meter. Call them and ask for it!
3. Call for policy change — write your elected representatives
4. Use less power
5. Share your business story with the Galvin Initiative, to show how widespread and dispersed the inefficiency of the existing electric power network is
Mike’s two recent posts about turning animal waste in to electric power and John Doerr’s focus on methane recovery from animal waste prompt me to mention one of the innovative entrepreneurs in this space: RealEnergy. RealEnergy builds, installs, and manages distributed generation and combined heat and power (CHP) systems, and can do so within a local microgrid if the regulatory barriers to interconnection and to the construction of microgrid power lines across roads are removed.
Real Energy has done many projects ranging from urban installations in San Francisco to dairy farms. On dairy farms they turn animal waste into biogas, which is pretty much a methane conversion, as far as I understand it.