Hawaii’s solar boom is so successful it’s been blocked from further expansion

Rooftop solar on a house in Hawaii.

William Walker and his wife, Mi Chong, wanted to join what’s seen as a solar revolution in Hawaii. Shortly after buying their Oahu home earlier this year, they plunked down $35,000 for a rooftop photovoltaic system. The couple looked forward to joining neighbors who had added panels, to cutting their $250 monthly power bills and to knowing they were helping the environment.

 

 

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Researcher Shows How the Next-Generation Smart Energy Grid can be Hacked

pge-smart-meter

Smart meter

One researcher shows how your house’s power could be shut down remotely, but the threat is only theoretical–for now. Components of the next-generation smart-energy grid could be hacked in order to change household power settings or to spoof communications with a utility’s network, according to a study of three pilot implementations.

 

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Plug-And-Play Solar Panels By Veranda Solar

Plug-And-Play Solar Panels

Veranda Solar Panels 

Solar start-up Veranda Solar wants to change the world of solar power the way Apple changed computers. Veranda got a big head-start on financing the start-up when the company was awarded 100,000€ as runner-up in the PICNIC Green Challenge, funded by the Dutch postcode lottery. The solar panels Veranda uses are nothing special. The prototypes were developed in cooperation with Stanford University and SunPower Corp. No new photovoltaic advances, no biomimicry.

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ShowerStart: Smart Showerhead That Doesn’t Waste Hot Water

ShowerStart:  Smart Showerhead That Doesn’t Waste Hot Water 

ShowerStart 

Here’s a smart shower head that stops wasting hot water. The Evolve shower head uses ShowerStart technology, stopping the flow to a mere trickle as soon as the water gets hot enough. Instead of 2.5 gallons of hot water going down the drain every minute (or more if you have overclocked shower heads like we do, or a multi-head shower), ShowerStart waits for you to flip a switch or pull a cord, and then begins the flow of the hot water.

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Japan Utility Ad Forecasts Impending Robot Takeover

Japan Utility Ad Forecasts Impending Robot Takeover

Considering Japan’s reputation for odd erotic animation/manga and advanced robotics, many are waiting to see what kind humanoid robots the country will produce in the not-too-distant future. If commercials are a barometer of local culture, then it looks like we have our answer thanks to the new Tokyo Gas commercial featuring a man who brings an alluring wayward robot into his home to teach him about…gas utilities.

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Existing Power Grid Limits Potential for Renewable Energy

 Existing Power Grid Limits Potential for Renewable Energy

Where is Tesla’s wireless power when you need it?

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not. The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads.

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Hacking the Power Grid

 

Hacking the Power Grid

Cracking a power company network and gaining access that could shut down the grid is simple, a security expert says, and he has done so in less than a day.

Ira Winkler, a penetration-testing consultant, says he and a team of other experts took a day to set up attack tools they needed then launched their attack, which paired social engineering with corrupting browsers on a power company’s desktops. By the end of a full day of the attack, they had taken over several machines, giving the team the ability to hack into the control network overseeing power production and distribution.

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