RP Siegel

RP Siegel
RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.
Rain Mountain LLC
14 607
Rochester, NY

Posts by This Writer

1 week 12 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) We’ve been hearing about the potential wonders of the Smart Grid for several years now. It will save energy, make utility operations more streamlined, support renewables and save money for consumers. All these things are true, and they will be even more important in the years ahead as the impacts of climate change are felt more strongly. But blackouts are happening right now, and they are costing utilities money. That seems to be the primary driver for many power companies to begin investing in technology today.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), power outages cost US businesses $150 billion per...

1 week 3 days ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - We see a lot of analyses and projections showing why renewables, despite their rapid growth will not be able to provide sufficient energy to allow us to get off fossil fuels or nuclear for decades to come. Those analyses are based on assumptions regarding population growth, economic development and rate of energy consumption on a per capita basis.

But if you look at disparities in energy consumption, not just the obvious ones—developed vs. developing countries, but rather between countries and states with similar quality of life, we can see that there are still tremendous opportunities to be in exploited...

1 week 5 days ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) As an engineer, I was immediately impressed by the potential of supercapacitors in a clean energy future once I became aware of their capabilities. Much of that insight came from a conversation I had with Chad Hall, founder of supercapacitor maker Ioxus.

The reasoning goes something like this. We can get to a cleaner economy by substituting electrical devices for fossil fuel powered ones. Technically, that’s not a problem as long as we can...

2 weeks 14 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Most businesses will tell you that their reason-to-be is to meet their customers’ needs. So when a group of major corporations that use a great deal of energy get together to sign a pact asking their utilities to provide more renewable energy, one would expect utilities to take notice.

That is the rationale behind the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, which focuses on buyers’ unmet demand for more renewable energy. The...

2 weeks 2 days ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - We’ve talked a lot here about the energy-water nexus, which refers to the complex interdependency between energy and water. The fact is that it takes a good deal of energy to collect, treat and transport water, while at the same time, it takes a great deal of water to produce energy, especially when using the thermal power plants that dominate today’s electricity supply. But even more important is the fact that not only are both of these essential, but they are also experiencing critical shortages that can only expect to worsen as the impacts of...

1 month 1 day ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Two new reports from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) summarizing energy usage trends for the first part of 2014 were released this week.

The first was EIA’s Electric Power Monthly, which provides data on electricity usage through the end of April. The second was EIA’s Monthly Energy Review, which provides usage data in all sectors (including transportation and heating) for the first quarter of the year.

In a nutshell, renewables are growing quickly, but not as quickly as carbon...

1 month 2 days ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - I’ve written a number of articles here on the subject of electric vehicles. At the time I wrote them, whenever I mentioned EVs, it was pretty clear that I was talking about electric cars. As of today, that presumption can no longer be taken for granted. Harley-Davidson just announced the launch of their first electric motorcycle (video).

The bike, which is not yet available for sale, is what the...

1 month 1 week ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - We have, over the past couple of weeks, written about the impact of the rapid growth of renewables, particularly, rooftop solar, on the economic outlook for electric utilities. First we described the downgrade, by Barclay’s investment bank of the entire sector based on fears of a downward spiral, precipitated by massive grid defection among residential customers.

A follow-up piece described a report by the American Council...

1 month 1 week ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There is a famous tale in the Bible of King Solomon’s wisdom. When confronted with two women claiming to be the mother of a certain baby, the wise king proposed cutting the baby in half, and giving half to each. When one woman refused, he gave her the baby, since it was clear to him that she must be the real mother.

A State ...

1 month 2 weeks ago

((3BL Media/Justmeans) - We ran a piece a week ago about Barclay’s downgrade of the utility industry. The move cited fears of rooftop solar undermining the industry profitability the way that internet downloading has disrupted the music business. Once people have solar on their rooftops, they will buy considerably less electricity from their utilities, using it only as a dynamic storage mechanism, providing power when none is available from the sun. Solar panels are most effective at mid-day when air conditioning needs are highest, which is...