Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Google your energy usage?

Note: I've also posted this to the Open Remote forums so some of you are seeing this twice.

Here's something I just read with interest and fear; Google and energy information (Google's Powermeter). The news industry is calling it Google and Smart Grids. I haven't seen the hardware yet and I'm trying to find out what the details are but it looks like the smart grid will provide us with ways to track our energy usage. I've been discussing this from time to time and I suspect others have also. The basic theory is that if we, as the consumers, know our energy usage we can do something about it. I agree and I extend the theory that with additional smart software we can extend when it's economically in our best interest to replace various equipment because it's to inefficient. With this smart technology and software we can predict when we should start saving for new appliances before an something runs down.

So far I haven't read all the articles but the details seem a little thing. I have a lot of concerns as to why Google is doing this. I don't believe their do no evil mantra, they have investors. I'm wondering if this will be near real time. Worse is that while I may be able to see the energy usage I won't be able to tell what I'm looking at. If appliances a - g are running, suddenly appliance r then q start running, which appliance caused the spike? I think we'll need much finer detail than the overall energy usage will entail. Still it's a start.

One more thing to note. I believe that the future of energy usage on this planet hinges on a great many things. First a lot more human power (walking, bicycling and other human power vehicles). We're running out of all our resources on this planet. That means we'll need to mine stuff in space and that won't be cheap. The other alternative is to recycle everything and make everything recyclable. Mining space is very problematic in that it will be expensive and resource intensive. Oh, and this little problem that we're no were near ready to do it.


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