New Net, New Grid – FiRe 2015

In October this year I had the pleasure of having an in depth conversation about how the new energy grid and the new Internet grid is starting to evolve – and about the interesting similarities and overlaps that are evolving between the two.

A key thrust of the conversation related to the way that scalable energy storage is the transformative physical component driving changes in how the energy grids of the world will work in the future.

That conversation was undertaken between myself and Larry Smarr.

Larry was the perfect partner for this conversation. He is someone I have had the pleasure to have known in various contexts for some years now, and (as you will see in the video), we share some similar views on the topics concerned. I had a great time riffing with him on these topics.

The video of this conversation is available for your viewing pleasure here.

It is a 15 minute video that was excerpted from a half hour session at the Future In Review conference held in Park City, Utah in October 2015.

The Future In Review conference is pretty amazing – I’ve been a part of it for many years. This year I was (of course) wearing my Redflow hat loudly and proudly at the event :)

 

 

The New Power Game: Grid-scale batteries hit an inflection point

I’ve written a letter recently called “The New Power Game”

It looks at:

  • The rise of renewable electricity generation at grid scale
  • How grid scale renewables are starting to do the grid more harm than good
  • Why the addition of batteries at grid scale is the key to resolving that challenge
  • How this combination can replace (not merely augment) fossil-fuelled generators
  • Why new battery types – especially Flow Batteries – are ideally suited to this task

I found this very interesting to research and to write, and I hope that you find it just as interesting to read.

Please click on the link below to read ‘A New Power Game’.

The-New-Power-Game

This letter was written originally for subscribers to the Strategic News Service (SNS). It is posted here with their kind permission.

How an Australian glider pilot obtains a US Glider Pilots License

I want to be able to fly gliders as “pilot in command” in the USA via a US FAA license issued reciprocally on the basis of my Australian one.

I also want to be able to fly powered aircraft in the USA on the same basis, but that is actually fairly simple. It is the glider part that isn’t, due to some unique aspects of the way gliding is administered in Australia.

Because the process turns out to be surprisingly hard (and non-obvious in places), I have documented it here, in the hope that it might help someone else in the future.

That said, please – only read on if you enjoy the sheer masochism of aviation paperwork… along with the unavoidable acronym soup involved in anything specialised…

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Tesla Model S cup holders learn a new trick

When I took delivery of my Tesla Model S, I knew that it had a lot of cool hardware that was slated to be enabled progressively in future software updates. Forward looking radar, steering-wheel control servos – all sorts of nifty things.

This morning, my son Felix found out about a very cool piece of hardware that has been quietly built into cars manufactured since late last year that include the ‘cold weather’ (or ‘subzero’) package.

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Tesla Model S as a software innovation platform

iphone version 1Back in 2007, I was fortunate to be in the audience in San Francisco’s Moscone Center when Steve Jobs stood up and released the first version of the Apple iPhone.

That device genuinely raised the bar. It was a watershed in the design and interaction model of a portable computing device. No mobile device company has designed a mobile phone or tablet device since then, without some level of reference to and comparison to the iPhone.

Model S is the product of a company lead through the rare talents of another visionary entrepreneur, Elon Musk.

When looking at this vehicle, it becomes immediately clear that this product – and its design team –  will have a comparable impact in the transport sector over the coming few decades.

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Tesla Model S arrival

Its been a long time coming. Back in 2012 I ordered a Tesla Motors Model S, on the day they were announced. I believe that my car was order #69 in the world, and at the time there was no guarantee when – or if – they’d be sold in Australia.

A few weeks ago, and around 60,000 Model S vehicles later, my shiny new Pearl White and Carbon Fibre Black P85+ is finally in its home in Adelaide, South Australia.

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15 Megabits Is Not Enough

There are a lot of bogus memes – false statements claimed to be statements of truth – that are doing the rounds about the Australian National Broadband Network.

In addition, as this classic xdcd cartoon says, it is always the case that… Someone Is WRONG On The Internet.

This post is about one particular bogus meme that I have noted in respect of the NBN. Continue reading