Energy harvesting from thermoelectric sources

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The cost of electricity around the world has steadily been rising for over the past 40 years. With the exception of a few periods of flat rates and a handful of minor downwards, the cost of electricity has risen almost every year since 1970. There are a number of factors which have contributed to this trend including a growing population and the e

Energy harvesting from thermoelectric sources
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mergence of the digital age. And while history can serve as an indicator for the future, there is a whole new set of challenges facing utility companies that is laying the groundwork for much higher rates in coming years. The combination of these factors will likely result in residential electricity price increases with the potential for significant price hikes in later years. Utility companies are corporations with investors and shareholders just like any other publicly traded company. They are expected to earn returns for their investors in the form of profits and as their costs rise, they will pass on these costs to their customers. Infrastructure Investment has been lagging behind growth for quite some time. The electric utility industry is one of the most capital intensive sectors and capital costs related to improving the grid factor heavily in determining retail electricity prices. To compensate for decades of underinvestment, utilities have begun reinvesting in their core infrastructure including building new power plants and reinforcing the delivery system, specifically, the high-voltage transmission lines, substations, and distribution systems which deliver electricity to the home. In the USA for example, the Edison Electric Institute estimates that by 2030, the utility companies will need to spend $1. 5 – $2. 0 trillion on infrastructure growth and improvement. Additionally, the cost to make the system smart ”,...

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