News & Analysis
Hiss of a Smart Grid
Britain to get smart electricity grids to cope with power surges ... Britain will get its first "smart" electricity grids after Ofgem chose four areas for research into the new power networks ... The financing is part of a £500m fund run by Ofgem for developing networks and paid for by the regulator's annual levy on utility license holders. CE Electric, owned by CalEnergy, a power generator based in Omaha, Nebraska, will receive the highest amount, £26.8m, to explore how smart technology can prompt changes in customer behaviour. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Once more, technology brings us a Wonderland.
Free-Market Analysis: Like the honeyed hiss of a serpent, the article (excerpted above) gives little clue to its deadly nature. One would never know from its tiny existence what is planned. But read closely and you will see, for an instant, the ghostly, gleaming fangs of ... Smart Grid. Here is the line: "CE Electric ... will receive the highest amount, £26.8m, to explore how smart technology can prompt changes in customer behaviour." Oh, yes, your behavior, dear reader, is about to explored and then "changed."
The illness, the sickness, of what the dominant Anglo-American elites have planned for the West – and the world – seems sometimes to know no boundaries. From the eerie, Georgia Guidestones calling for population reduction to 500 million, to the much-debated Report From Iron Mountain calling for perpetual war for perpetual peace, to Smart Grid itself, the determined malificiency of the powers-that-be leaves few traces of its overweening, psychotic ambition.
It slithers onward, leaving only damp spots that dry quickly; but the desiccation is not immediate. Let us examine the slimy trail, beginning with a definition of Smart Grid which we have already tracked in an article called "Smart Grid: Trojan Horse of the New World Order?" You can read it here: Smart Grid: Trojan Horse of the New World Order?
We were first made aware of Smart Grid by the kindly folks at the August Review. They'd written a White Paper called "Smart Grid: the Implementation of Technocracy?" We published articles simultaneously to provide more publicity for the Review's Smart Grid analysis. At the time, we wrote: "The August Review have done readers a service by revealing the depth and breadth of the modern Technocratic movement." We noted that the movement was led in part by M. King Hubbert, of peak-oil fame. (Just one more reason to believe peak oil is a phony scam.) Here's some more from the article:
Technocratic plans, this latest Review white paper seems to show, have actually penetrated America and the West under other guises and are in some cases far advanced. The evidence is fairly clear and is reported in a clinical but unambiguous way. The paper begins by describing what is necessary to implement the Technocratic system, as follows:
The Technocracy Study Course, written by Howard Scott and M. King Hubbert in 1932, established a detailed framework for Technocracy in terms of energy production, distribution and usage. According to Scott and Hubbert, the distribution of energy resources must be monitored and measured in order for the system to work -- and this is the key: monitoring and measuring.
They wrote that the system must do the following things:
- Register on a continuous 24 hour-per-day basis the total net conversion of energy
- By means of the registration of energy converted and consumed, make possible a balanced load
- Provide a continuous inventory of all production and consumption
- Provide a specific registration of the type, kind, etc., of all goods and services, where produced and where used
- Provide specific registration of the consumption of each individual, plus a record and description of the individual. [Scott, Howard et al., Technocracy Study Source, p. 232]
In 1932, such technology did not exist. Time was on the Technocrat's side, however, because this technology does exist today, and it is being rapidly implemented to do exactly what Scott and Hubbert specified: Namely, to exhaustively monitor, measure and control every ampere of energy delivered to consumers and businesses on a system-wide basis.
Having established the above, the paper turns to defining the Technocrat vision as it exists presently. It turns out that this vision not only remains viable, it is actually EXTANT and has been repackaged into something called Smart Grid, as follows:
Smart Grid is a broad technical term that encompasses the generation, distribution and consumption of electrical power, with an inclusion for gas and water as well. America's aging power grid is increasingly fragile and inefficient. Smart Grid is an initiative that seeks to completely redesign the power grid using advanced digital technology, including the installation of new, digital meters on every home and business in the U.S.
These digital meters provide around-the-clock monitoring of a consumer's energy consumption using continuous 2-way communication between the utility and the consumer's property. Furthermore, meters will be able to communicate with electrical devices within the residence to gather consumption data and to control certain devices directly without consumer intervention.
We can see clearly the elite's evolving vision if we can bring ourselves to look. But it is why we often suggest that the global warming setback was so profound. Not only were there scarcity memes to justify (see other article in today's Bell), but the larger truth of global warming was supposed to serve as a pretext for such facilities as Smart Grid. This is how promotions work, in fact, whether planned to benefit a business, a political campaign or world governance. A good promotion is a series of building blocks, each one logically constructed on the last, until the entire edifice becomes so compelling that one believes.
In the case of Smart Grid, global warming was supposed to provide an unimpeachable rationale for tracking every single energy expenditure one might make. Presumably, even one's breathing (carbon dioxide) might over time be subject to cataloguing. Yes, examine the Smart Grid promotion – a sub dominant theme of sorts – from a distance and it becomes a piece of the puzzle slotting neatly with others.
We referred to the Smart Grid strategy just the other day in fact when writing an article about GM's ludicrous Volt auto – Motor Trend's car of the year (of course). An overpriced Hefalump of a vehicle that needs an eight-hour charge for batteries with a range of only 40 miles, Volt is GM's lead offering, and a poster-child for the pathetic government-initiative that is "green industry." You can read the full article here: Green Auto Sales Wilt as US Gov Dumps GM Back on Markets. Here's an excerpt:
Why would the elite argue for environmentally friendly activities that actually end up polluting more? There is something called Smart Grid coming on line in various regions and nations around the world. It is a new technology that will record one's power usage in great detail and we have written about it in several articles. We would offer the real reason to encourage electrical vehicles is because they will make use of the Smart Grid system.
Over time, various technologies can be introduced that will better control one's driving experience. We can even see the day where locks will be installed on certain home electrical outlets and people will not be able to remove their cars until they have taken garage-based breathalyzer test or gone back into the house to fetch a credit card to pay an overdue parking ticket.
There is always a method to the seeming madness of the elites. Even as Western governments are introducing backscatter X-ray scanners at airports and (in America anyway) intend to introduce them at railroads, sports stadiums and marinas, so electric cars are being relentlessly promoted as well. The result is a kind of security pincer movement where one's travel can be monitored at all levels – at home, driving a car or taking a train or boat, or even attending a sport event. None of this has much to do with "business."
It has to do with control. The vision of the Anglo-American elites is so vast, so intricate it is almost an art form, a kind of poetic meditation. It is a world reduced to 500 million serfs – each one monitored and microchipped. It is a world of vast open spaces and dark, restless, empty oceans. The hovels cling to larger Keeps. Each is equipped with a computerized Smart Grid system tracking the even minutest expenditure of energy, right down to the power pulse of the electric toothbrush before sleep. The moon rises on the tiny dwellings clustered round vast elite redoubts, each one miles from the next, spires gleaming: "Walls and towers girdled round: a miracle of rare device ... a savage place! ... holy and enchanted ... enfolding spots of greenery."
Conclusion: And so it continues. This small group of Western banking families has a long vision and a broad scope. They are humans, however. If one looks hard, the vision is divined. Modern electronic facilities certainly help. This is big business that the elite is trying to put in place with its advanced energy readouts and global green industries. The question for the investor is whether or not it will work. And, if it does work, will that investor, having profited from it, be able to keep and apply his earnings. The era of Smart Grid approaches.
Posted by Tiamet on 12/04/10 11:20 PM
San Dieguito Municipal Water installed Badger Meter radio-wave water meter reading systems in Encinitas, California to reduce water meter reading costs, and to increase accuracy of water meter readings. Reportedly, the readings could be used to also reduce costs for processing bills.
The low frequency radio wave runs from the road, from the water meter, up the water main to the house, and through all water pipes, some traversing under the floors of the kitchen, living room, to provide water to the kitchen and to the bathrooms.
My cats immediately responded to the radio frequencies, by refusing to walk on the floors, and were adamant about not doing so. Apparently, the radio waves were strong enough to cause them to jump up onto ceramic kitchen countertops, and they refused to leave this safe haven.
The kitties refused to walk on the floors thereafter, and refused to eat from their bowls of food situated on the kitchen floor.
They slept on the countertops, and refused to budge, move onto the floor or to be carried anywhere in the house.
They lived on these countertops until I could arrange for alternative living arrangements, prior to my vacating the house.
Believe it not, the kitties also used the kitchen sinks as litter boxes, disgusting but true, for kitties that were wonderful pets, well trained, loving until the water meter radio wave technologies emanated through the house.
The kitties would not even let me pick them up to take them with me on the couch or to me bed. They were terrified they might have to walk on the floor.
Perhaps, some military entity in San Diego County was testing another type of technology within the radio frequency water meter apparatus.
I vacated the house; a friend took the kitties prior to the move.
Targeted Individuals, and kitties.
Posted by Weeble on 12/02/10 10:46 AM
@ John Danforth
Thanks. It is good to be back. I looked at the Edison battery and it works well for short term back-up, as it loses its charge without regular regeneration. Much like me. It seems to be a huge wet capacitor, also much like me.
Click to view link Numan?l=0
Posted by John Danforth on 12/02/10 07:38 AM
Thanks for your reply. Lots of people working on PV and battery technology. Maybe something will come up. For now, the Volt is mediocre because of battery limitations. You might notice how they don't talk about performance in the Great White North, we're not supposed to notice battery performance degradation with decreasing temperature. What is the range in below-freezing conditions? (Blank-out)
I think Edison batteries might present a home-grown alternative for stationary storage. Something you could make yourself if you have a machine shop, as an interesting toy. That's one plus, another is that they don't suffer a lot of the drawbacks of other technology. Not magic, but they were used for a lot of years for some very good reasons. If I were retired, I'd start making and testing them. They are apparently only made in China any more, and they are expensive. Business opportunity? Maybe, if the cost can be brought down to less than lead/acid.
On the PV front, maybe someone will come up with some new dopant or something. It takes a LOT of energy to grow the crystals, though, and that helps set a limit on payback time.
@Weeble, it's nice to see you back. A battery with a built-in specific gravity indicator sounds pretty nifty.
Posted by Iddy on 12/02/10 06:59 AM
Yeah you got this right. It will come to pass ,people just want new cool stuff. Learn to live without. Disconnect is a possibility.
Posted by Kaboom on 12/02/10 03:17 AM
@ Virg " re: Water Meters
Almost 20 years ago, I was living in a city in South-East Queensland, Australia, whose local-level Councillors were famously corrupt (buying farmland, and re-zoning by Council member vote to "industrial" or "residential") " but that's another story.
In either 1991 or 1992, compulsory water meters were installed throughout the city. The first year, the system worked fine. No additional costs.
The second year, 1993 I believe, I came across numerous people, including myself, who suffered an "excess usage" charge. It was fairly minor, and cost about AUD $30-$50 extra per year.
The following year, the additional water that I and thousands of others were "apparently" using now, put us into significant excess water charges, of AUD $100-$200 per year.
The funny thing was that my day-to-day usage practices had not changed one bit. Nor had anyone else's practices.
I did a bit of asking around, and had one of the Council water technology engineers admit to me that the meters installed had a design flaw, and if there was a sudden pulse of water pressure at 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m., the pulse would hit the residential meter, and spin the dial like a slot machine, without any water going through.
He did not say that this was happening, he just "pointed out" a design flaw.
After a bit of agitation, and a Council election, the problem did not recur for another five years.
These days, I just pay my "excess" water tax. Bastards.
Posted by Vauung on 12/02/10 01:46 AM
@ John Danforth
Brilliant and irresistible Tax Pig analysis. This also seems right to me: "As someone who deals with overcoming technical barriers for a living, I can confidently predict that the next society-changing energy technology will necessarily be a truly unexpected breakthrough, not any incremental gain in existing technology."
That's a reason to concentrate upon the commercial environment, including consumer-controlled consumption monitoring, payment systems, and transmission networks, to enable frictionless market entry to entrepreneurial suppliers with innovative technologies, services and business models.
Unless physical reality prohibits it (I'm too optimistic to believe that), impressive batteries or their functional equivalent will arrive in the market at some point, and even the scale economies of the energy business could be radically transformed by new technologies / products.
From a strictly physico-technical point of view, there's a clear potential for vastly superior (and cheaper) photovoltaic units, for instance, following an explosive development track comparable to the microchip industry (which shares many of the same features).
That said, your basic point is absolutely crucial and undeniable: alternative energy hype has been part of a horrible tax-gorging mercantilist swindle, and anything serving to perpetuate that is part of the problem.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 12/02/10 01:06 AM
"I asked why he just didn't go around with his junk hanging out for the month."
Interesting solution. You of course know already that an underused prostate is an unhealthy one.
Posted by Weeble on 12/02/10 12:23 AM
One of the people in associate with became what seemed to be a village person for November. When I asked why, I ended up prostrate on the floor laughing. On recovery, I asked why he just didn't go around with his junk hanging out for the month.
Click to view link Tom Club?l=0
Posted by Weeble on 12/02/10 12:14 AM
@ John Danforth
The best battery I have ever seen was used in an AT&T cellular switching station under construction at the time. The cells were stacked like pizza plates in a clear plastic cylinder somewhat like a water jug that you invert, splash all over the floor, and are the joke of the office. The plates initially take up 1/3 of the container, then rise up as the plates "get junk on them", to put it technically.
I tried to buy a few for $100, but the security guard would not sell them to me.
I was just kidding, by the way. You are 3.25 smart metres tall in my books.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 12/02/10 12:07 AM
"I tell my kids to throw the transfer switch back on down the basement and plug in the charger at 10pm, then wake them up at 7am to reverse it"
You're just lucky Lincoln wasn't a Canadian. You do know that they now make machines that do this? I suppose you still split your own wood, eh? BTW, it's December. the WSJ says you need to lose the facial hair. Even the Ausies are doing it :)
Posted by John Danforth on 12/01/10 11:55 PM
An isolation transformer will act as a most efficient filter. If you put power factor correction capacitors on it, it will also stop the power company from penalizing you for running a motor (because of the power factor from the inductive load), with the side benefit of removing most spikes and other junk from the incoming power line.
Nice job on helping out the nuclear power station. If you get yourself a few Edison batteries, you won't have to deal with that battery acid eating all those holes in your carpet.
Posted by Weeble on 12/01/10 11:31 PM
It seems to main problem with the usage of electricity, is the fact that we use it.
To better understand that sentence, you should refer to John Danforth's 10:03 am "translation into technical terms" 4th paragraph run-on after point 4, as follows:
"Electric vehicles are not new. They make sense where they make sense. They don't make sense where they don't make sense. It's the cost and other usage factor details that determine whether they make sense or not. And you can't wish these factors one way or another".
Once that paragraph cycled through my mind about 60 times, my brain hurtz so bad I needz to grind me up some beanz and relax with a little java, even though it is as bad for you as shockwave flash frozen corn, re-heated in a nuker.
Speaking of nukers, that is where the real problem lies. Coal plants are easy to shut down, but nukes tend to not want to take a load off at night.
Click to view link your eggs/3544067/story.html
If you consume at night, then the problem is solved. That is why the power is designed to be cheaper at that time. I foresaw that problem, so I designed a jolly good solution that does not affect our lifestyle one iota.
I purchased 4 x 150Ah batteries (deep-cycle), connected to or disconnected from municipal power automatically (I tell my kids to throw the transfer switch back on down the basement and plug in the charger at 10pm, then wake them up at 7am to reverse it). That's 600Ah @ 12VDC, or 60Ah @ 120VAC. That means I can use 60 amps for 1 hour, varying down to 1 amp for 60 hours. There is some lost power to heat from the invertor, which is utilized by my family sitting around the strategically placed invertor in our living room. Yesterday, we toasted some marshmallows just before bedtime. Yummy. My wife programs the oven to come on at 10pm and it cooks our dinner while we sleep. Our dinner is usually ready at 2am or thereabouts. We eat very well, then retire for another good few hours sleep.
Oh, I forgot where I was going with this. I think what I was going to say was.... Maybe it was that the lighting circuits cost $1000, or was it $4000? to re-wire onto the transfer switch slash distribution panel, the batteries cost $1000 and the 1kW invertor cost $400.
Darn, I forgot. I have to go now, as our social worker is here (again), due to the hospital phoning them about some electrical burns that looked suspicious. I need to concentrate. Bye.
Posted by John Danforth on 12/01/10 11:31 PM
Interesting, on the way home from work tonight there was an interview on radio with a guy who wrote a book about energy markets, specifically about electric utilities.
He was asked about smart grid technology. He replied point-blank that the technology has nothing to offer the utility. He stated that they have sophisticated load monitoring technology and that is all they need for reliable power delivery, there is no use for information from individual meters. He said the real smart grid is in communications between switching stations and generating plants, and between the plants themselves. This was in response to the great power outage of 2003, and allows sane recovery from an outage with rapid, automatic load balancing and synchronization. This kind of smart grid (where there is a reason for monitoring and control) was badly needed (because taking days to power back up was insane), and it is mostly already installed.
Sorry if the things I said sounded like a blanket denial. It would be nice if we could evolve to a model with competing power suppliers, and even nicer if they could be small-scale and decentralized. There is a technical problem, though. That problem is that power generation gains a lot of efficiency when you scale it up to huge proportions, not least of which is economy of scale on purchase of fuel.
Small scale power generation with decent efficiency has been a holy grail for engineers and inventors for a century now. Even free power falls on its face because of high purchase cost, flea-powered capacity, unreliable supply, and the ever-present bugaboo of storage (except where no alternative is available, but the power is expensive). Perhaps I should have laid out this context in my original message.
An ongoing PE promotion is that if we just tax the snot out of energy usage and pour money into research by rent-seekers, we will Soon Be Blessed With Wondrous New Green Energy, and we should be basing our economy on it now (since manufacturing of anything else is dead, we need to look forward with hope to our new post-industrial economy). I hope the problems with this scheme are as obvious to you as they are to me.
As someone who deals with overcoming technical barriers for a living, I can confidently predict that the next society-changing energy technology will necessarily be a truly unexpected breakthrough, not any incremental gain in existing technology. The math just doesn't support it. The propensity of professional Tax Pigs in the field to lie about the technology is not encouraging, and makes it almost certain that no net gain will be gotten from any of their activities. That includes 'smart grid' meters, which in their current incarnation can have only the purposes I outlined above, and which the Tax Pigs are lying through their teeth about.
Posted by Vauung on 12/01/10 08:22 PM
Very helpful and interesting comments, thanks. IMHO your highly specific criticism is useful in articulating a liberty-oriented position viz Smart Grid developments, something more than simple blanket refusal, hopefully.
The principle of 'dynamic pricing' is, or could be, a good one, IF it accomodates consumer choice between suppliers, and not merely a more elaborate utility-consumer contract (let alone nightmare big-brother enviro-statist bullying). If it contributed to the dissolution of the utility-consumer relationship (on the model of personal computing) it would be positively exciting. Some version of this future is coming, and its worth fighting over (non-violently, of course).
Your type of entrepreneurial intervention is exactly what will spare us from a macabre outcome. I think Austrian-influences perspectives should at least allow room for optimism, because the deep implication of the Calculation Problem is that any effective techno-institutional intelligence tends to the dispersal of control.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 12/01/10 07:22 PM
It's nice to see an optimistic voice around here now and again, thanks. I can assure you that there is at least some effort going towards the network model, I have a device called a "Sunny Web Box" that lets me monitor and control my PV array from just about anywhere, it's connected to the 'net and also to the inverters an controllers that run my power system. At present it isn't allowed to speak with anyone outside the building.
The public utilities on the other hand don't seem to be going that direction, they're using cell phone modems to talk to their meters and I'm pretty sure the interface is proprietary. They have a Net Metering system connected to me, but it doesn't talk directly to the PV system and I would rather that it didn't.
What bothers me are the recent advances in powerline networks, which would allow a utility to talk to any device in your home; in my opinion that's not ok. The internet has firewalls, we'll need the same for the powerline network. The simple solution is the filter I mentioned earlier. We should be thinking about the demarkation points now, before we find out that our power company is talking to our refrigerator behind our back :)
Posted by Vauung on 12/01/10 06:06 PM
@ John Danforth
If the Smart Grid is implemented as structurally resilient one-to-many (broadcast) architecture, then you (and DB, plus others) are right. It's Statist and authoritarian to the core. To remain like that it would have to avoid the temptation of Internet linkage altogether (which seems unlikely IMHO), since any articulation with the net inevitably turns it into a many-to-many system.
One reason to suspect the latter is the more plausible path is the paradox of cybernetic control: adaptive control requires feedback, but feedback compromises authority. In technological terms, since one essential purpose of the Smart Grid is monitoring ("spying") it must be open to distributed data-feeds, and thus -- architecturally -- open to network-type multi-directional communication.
Furthermore, unless Smart Grid is sold as a pure security play (DHS command bunker organized) -- surely unlikely -- it will require a basic architecture compatible with commercial exploitation, including potential substitution between competitive providers at all key nodes (the Internet model beckons again).
Finally, while you are absolutely right that gasoline-to-electric generation from private vehicles is not going to be a game-changer in itself (or anything close to one), it once again has profound architectural implications (many-to-many energy transmission) that weigh against the purely negative predictions typifying this thread.
What Smart Grid makes possible as an imaginable, if by no means inevitable energy infrastructure, is vastly more compatible with dispersed, experimental free markets than what we have today.
Posted by RB on 12/01/10 03:58 PM
Another Gold Star to The Daily Bell.
The following link documents HOW the PE advance control:
Click to view link
Note that their methods anticipate, make use of predictable riots for the PE's benefit. The so-called "Smart Grid," as all their methods, is merely another dimension of planned, complete control.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the link ...
Posted by Timur The Lame on 12/01/10 03:39 PM
Been there, (they) done that. Here in Absurdistan they already tacked on the cost. Some people dug around and found that the meters were made in Mexico and are faulty.
One person living near a cell tower had his bill increased by $1000.00(normally $250.00 so $1250.00). Upon complaining was told by the customer service department that the 'smart' meter determined that he had been undercharged for the last decade and it was an adjustment. No satisfacion forthcoming. Lawyer time, good luck.
Too many stories even more ridiculous than the one mentioned.
The public finally rallied, only because of the sheer amount of faulty meters/increased bills and were told by the Premier here that they may reduce the bills by 10% for a while but that the net increase in five years will be 48%. Delivery charges mostly exceed usage charges and there is also a 'debt retirement charge' which has a value added tax on it!
I repeat, look at the implications of refusing a smart meter. At least this way it cannot be remotely manipulated. Unbelievable!
Posted by Goodlime on 12/01/10 03:17 PM
"Smart Grid: Trojan Horse of the New World Order?"
How about: "Off-grid: Middle finger to the New World Order?"
Just make sure that whatever you build will resist drone attacks. That's likely coming your way, after their smiley faced minimum-wage (minimum-ration by that point) bureaucrat fails to convince you, that hooking into their happy grid of love and rainbows is in your best interests.
May I suggest a steel reinforced concrete structure, inside a Faraday cage, inside of a hollowed out volcano.
Posted by Concerned Citizen on 12/01/10 02:21 PM
Zenbillionaire has it right. Power bills go up when these meters are installed because they now meter the consumption of electricity differently (in the power company's favor). To add insult to injury, they are also contemplating raising rates to pay for this intrusion:
Yesterday the Texas Public Utility Commission agreed to hire a third-party tester to see if they can find any problems. The hilarious-but-not-really part about that is:
"Eventually, the commission might hike electric delivery rates for all consumers to pay for the program."