Articles about electricity

Australian flying foxes - Shutterstock

Snakes and bats cause more blackouts than criminal haxors

Blackouts in Australia can be caused by snakes, birds, bats, and cats, but precious few by Russian hackers. That's the conclusion from power system outfit Eaton's annual analysis of Australia's power system, the Blackout Tracker. Ever since South Australia's 2016 megastorm, “energy security” has been a political catch-phrase …

Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

Sorry, Elon Musk: if you want to ship 100MW or so of battery so Atlassian's founder Mike Cannon-Brookes can save the Australian State of South Australia, you'll have to go through the boring process of a public tender. The State today announced it will spend AU$150 million on the country's biggest grid-connected battery bank, …
Solar storm - Shutterstock

Energy market operator used urban data only, undershot heatwave forecast by 3°C

Another revelation has emerged that won't reassure large-scale electricity users in Australia: the market operator missed a coming heatwave because it didn't consider State-wide weather forecasts, relying instead on data from just two urban weather stations. That snippet emerged in a report issued by the Australian Energy …
fail_parking_meter_648

Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

The UK government has insisted it is effectively communicating the benefits of its controversial smart meter programme – despite MPs having identified a "lack of clarity" over the "problem" the scheme is trying to solve. In its response to the committee’s “Evidence Check” report on smart meters in September, the government …
Kat Hall, 7 Dec 2016
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

Amazon guarantees bitterly contested Ohio wind farm project

Amazon has taken on a stalled wind farm project in Ohio to power its data centres because, as we all know, intermittent and flaky power supplies dependent entirely on the randomness of the weather are just what mission-critical data centres need. "We remain committed to achieving our long-term goal of powering the AWS Cloud …

Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Britain signed off on the most costly energy deal it has ever made this week – but the price we agreed for energy from Hinckley is still lower than the peak prices that will hit British wallets even harder, and sooner. Current commitments to renewable generation will cost each household £466 by 2020/21, the centre-right think …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

South Australian mega-storm blacks out whole state

An “unprecedented” storm in South Australia blacked out the entire state yesterday, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is warning another low pressure system will cross the state today. The attack by the Syrian Electronic Army's weather control unit – no, that's not right – the storm took down high-voltage power …
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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

There has been yet another delay in the ongoing saga of cash-burning that is the UK’s national smart meter initiative. While the communications infrastructure was due to be switched on today, the £11bn project’s turn-on has now been delayed again until September, the BBC has reported. The Data and Communications Company (DCC …
Seattle skyline

Seattle Suehawks: Smart meter hush-up launched because, er ... terrorism

Smart meter makers are battling to keep Seattle's power grid designs under wraps – claiming that if the details are made public, they could be exploited by hackers to plunge the US city into darkness. Sysadmin-activist Phil Mocek requested documents from the city on its smart meter system under the Washington Public Records …
Shaun Nichols, 25 May 2016

Irish electricity company threatens to cut off graveyard

Those readers who believe that death will finally deliver them from the attentions of utility companies are advised not to pop their clogs in Ireland, or at least not in County Kerry. That's the lesson to be learned from a letter allegedly dispatched by Electric Ireland to "The Occupant, Killiney Graveyard, Castlegregory, …
Lester Haines, 23 Nov 2015
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 9M-MRO

Hate noisy jets above you? What if they were charging your phone?

A researcher with Boeing has floated a plan to convert the noise from departing planes into a power source. A US patent application filing by Chin H Toh of the Boeing Company published earlier this week describes a method for using the energy from acoustic waves made by jet engines to power a turbine and generate electricity …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Sep 2015

Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

Software developer Santeri Paavolainen says the code powering today's websites is taxing browsers so much, it's having a significant impact on power consumption. The programmer came to that conclusion after a casual examination of news sites including the New Scientist, the BBC, Forbes, The Guardian, and The New York Times, as …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jul 2015
Power generators, Holborn, photo: Gavin Clarke

The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

A fire in the Victorian tunnels beneath Kingsway in central West London on Good Friday, in April, pulled the plug on thousands of businesses in a small area. The blaze – which burned for a day and a half – succeeded in damaging 19 high-voltage cables, leading to a significant loss of load on local utility provider UK Power …
Apple's solar array in Maiden, North Carolina

Want to go green like Apple, but don't have billions in the bank?

Going Green: Strategy (Part 1) How much energy is required to power the ever-expanding online world? With data centres the factories of the 21st Century, this may be a conundrum high on the environmentalist’s agenda, but what about those building the new Satanic mills? Last year, Greenpeace estimated that the aggregate electricity demand of the cloud ( …
Rachel Willcox, 17 Apr 2015

Oz energy company AGL promises to decarbonise by 2050

Australian energy generator AGL has published a new Greenhouse Gas Policy (PDF) in which outlines “a pathway to decarbonisation of its electricity generation by 2050.” The policy means the generator will do the following: Continue to provide the market with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy options Not build …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

The UK's National Grid has planted the first of its new "T-pylons" — an elegant alternative to the traditional steel lattice monsters currently straddling Blighty's green and pleasant land. The T-pylon was born from a 2011 competition won by Danish architects Bystrup, who came up with a 35 meter-high monopole base design, …

A truly SHOCKING tale of electrified PCs

On Call Welcome back to On-Call, our soon-to-be-less-occasional look at the odd things Reg readers have experienced when being called out to client sites at odd times. This edition features a reader called Jon's adventures on a day trip to Belgium in the 1980s. The trip was the first time Jon had ever flown commercially, and he …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2015

White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

Worstall @ the Weekend This year's Nobel Prize in Physics went to the three Japanese guys who worked on, and got right, the blue LED. It's an excellent piece of work, enabling a whole new ensemble of energy efficient lamps and colour LED screens, and fully deserving of the prize. And yes, it might well change society in wondrous and wonderful ways. …
Tim Worstall, 11 Oct 2014

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