How cheap gas, weather & fuel cells are driving the consumerization of energy


Last year I wrote an article on the “Consumerization of Energy” in which I compared a growing trend towards distributed energy to the “Consumerization of IT.” I predicted that:

“Distributed energy technologies . . . will soon be able to provide electricity at costs and reliability levels that are competitive with grid power. For the first time in 100 years these technologies will enable consumers to bypass their local electric utility company.”

This article examines what has and hasn’t changed in the intervening year.

Low natural gas prices

Let’s start with one of the biggest factors driving this trend — one that hasn’t changed — which is the availability of abundant cheap natural gas in the U.S. Natural gas spot prices generally stayed below $3.50/mmBtu in 2012, reaching a low of $1.95/mmBtu in April, and prices are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future according to EIA forecasts.



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By s.marilyn Posted in Posts

Teen critic takes on Vatican over ‘war on women’

Teen critic takes on Vatican over ‘war on women’.

Erik Baker, the 16-year-old Evanston (Ill.) Township High School student whose essay regarding the liturgical changes on NCR‘s blog in the fall elicited about 300 responses, has produced a new combative essay. This one, based on considerable research, lambasts the Vatican on a wide range of issues, including contraception, the ordination of women, child abuse and the recent chastisement of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. All these issues are linked, Erik writes, because “the empowerment of women has always been perceived by church authorities as a threat to their power.”

By s.marilyn Posted in People

Natural-Gas Spill: How Bad Is Methane for the Environment? – TIME

Natural-Gas Spill: How Bad Is Methane for the Environment? – TIME.
The clean, green claim is more than just hype. Natural gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide as coal does when burned. But it’s not quite that simple. Some amount of methane will always leak away during the production of natural gas — particularly during the process of drilling or transporting via pipelines. And that means more warming. If enough methane leaks, natural gas loses its clean reputation — and the billions of dollars of new natural-gas infrastructure now being built could end up making the climate worse, not better.”



My Favorite Music

I love music, so I listen to different types: music of the 70s & 80s are a favorite, but I also listen to classical music, instrumental music, new age music… I love rock ballads, soft rock, Christian songs, and international music!

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By s.marilyn Posted in Posts

The Voxox Universal translator

Excellent tool to communicate with speakers of other languages.

Amplify’d from

With the Voxox Universal Translator™, you can hold a 2-way translated conversation across popular chat and social networks, SMS and email. It requires only one person to have Voxox® for this to work. The translator spans more than 50 languages, and remembers your language settings for each individual contact, even if you log out. And all translation is free!

How to Start Translation

  1. Select a Voxox contact from you contact list (or add a new contact).
  2. The Voxox messaging window will pop out. Press the globe icon at the bottom of the messaging window.
  3. Select the language you’re typing in and the language your friend will be typing in, and press “OK.”
  4. When the translator is turned on the globe is green. You’ll see text in your language only, but as long as the globe is green it is being translated on the other side.
  5. To view how your message was translated or the original message in the other person’s language, click on the line of text. The dialogue will expand to show both languages.
  6. At any time you can change over to translation for SMS or email by simply clicking on the down arrow in the lower right corner of the messaging window.

(Tip: You can have multiple ongoing translated conversations in different languages simultaneously. Voxox remembers language settings for each individual contact.)

  1. To turn off translation, click on the green globe and un-check “Translate All Messages.”

How to End Translation

(Tip: Voxox will continue to translate conversations with any given contact ongoing until you turn off the translator.)

Voxox Universal Translator works with Social Networking too!

You can translate a 2-way Facebook chat by selecting a Facebook contact and following the steps above.

(Important Tip: translations work best when your chat partner on the Facebook side has their default language set to their native language. For example, if you’re typing in English and translating into Spanish, your Facebook friend should set their language configuration into Spanish on the Facebook side.)

You can translate Twitter @ replies by selecting a Twitter contact and go through the steps above.

Visit our Knowledge Base for additional help on how to use Voxox features.