Did you know these 16 surprising facts about clean energy?

  • Did you know these 16 surprising facts about clean energy?

I’m a long-time Harper’s Magazine reader. My two favorite features are the insanely hard cryptic crossword, and the Harper’s Index. So for your data-digesting pleasure, check out this mini Harper’s Index of some of WattTime’s favorite facts about building a smart, clean grid!


Year that the number of smart devices on Earth surpassed the number of people : 2008 [ref]

Predicted number of smart devices on Earth in 2020, according to Gartner : 26 billion [ref]

Percent of electricity use that could have lower emissions through smart timing : 70% [WattTime]

Frequency of power market auctions, and therefore the frequency at which the marginal power plant supplying your home can change : 5 minutes [ref]

Number of US households that participate in a “time of use” program and pay their utility a different price for electricity used at different times of day : 4 million [ref]

Number with access to such a program : 65 million [ref]

Number with access to WattTime data for their location : 114 million [ref, ref]

Pounds of CO2 emitted for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by the marginal power plant on a typical New York winter day at midnight : 1.7 [ref]

At noon : 1.0 [ref]

Percent of randomized survey respondents who say they would choose a smart thermostat for their home that automatically uses cleaner energy if they don’t have to pay extra for it : 90% [WattTime]

Year in which renewable electricity from wind power became cheaper than electricity from coal plants in Michigan : 2012 [ref]

Percent of wind energy that was wasted (“curtailed”) in Texas in 2009 because demand for energy was too low at windy moments : 17% [ref]

Date on which California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 350, establishing a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030 : October 7, 2015 [ref]

Number of curtailment events California grid operators anticipate in 2024, “risk[ing] not producing enough renewable energy to meet the targets” : 822 [ref]

Number of electric vehicles that it would take to prevent curtailment of one wind turbine, if they could all charge at the right moment : 278 [2.5MW turbine, 9kW EV]

Total number of EVs sold in the US between January 2011 and September 2015 : 367,212 [ref]


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