Posts for category "Outlier"

A massive solar eclipse will hit Germany on March 20th. This data shows why utilities worldwide should pay attention.

  • By Barry Fischer and Ben Harack
  • March 2, 2015

The world’s most sun-powered nation is about to encounter an unusual complication: the moon.

When a solar eclipse sweeps across Europe on the morning of March 20th, the moon’s passage in front of the sun will cast a sudden and giant shadow across Germany — a country whose reliance on solar energy is, by international standards, astronomical.

Although Germany is no bigger than the state of Montana, it boasts more than a quarter of all the solar electric capacity installed on earth. Its 1.4 million solar energy systems produce nearly 7 percent of the nation’s electricity. (In the US, solar provides about 0.5 percent.) And during the sunniest hours of the year, photovoltaic systems have satisfied up to half of Germany’s power demand.

Germany Eclipse

That raises an interesting question: when the moon blocks up to three-fourths of the sun shining on Germany later this month, how will electric utilities and the power grid respond?

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May the most energy efficient team win: New England edges out Seattle in this year’s Efficiency Bowl

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • January 29, 2015

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Is it true that Tom Brady — one of the most efficient passers in NFL history — may have schemed his way into the big game?

That’s the well-documented controversy surrounding the kickoff of this year’s Efficiency Bowl.

We aren’t NFL insiders, so we can’t formally comment on the pigskin pressure problem that is “Deflategate.”

We are, however, experts in utility innovation. And there’s no deflating the fact that both Massachusetts and Washington are national leaders in clean technology, consumer engagement, and energy efficiency. So, with Super Bowl XLIX just days away, how do the two teams — their stadiums, fan bases, cities, and states — stack up when it comes to getting the most out of their energy use? Let’s take a look.

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10 energy numbers to remember from 2014

  • By Barry Fischer, Aaron Tinjum, and Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • December 13, 2014

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Sometimes energy makes headlines, sometimes it doesn’t. But it almost always has important implications for the global economy, the environment, and our day-to-day lives.

Here are 10 energy statistics from 2014 that capture some of the most noteworthy trends of the year, and that will shape the energy world in the years to come.

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About Outlier

Outlier explores trends in how people are using energy in the US and around the world. Pulling from an unprecedented (and still growing) amount of energy data—currently drawn from 50 million homes—Opower crunches energy-use information from more than 90 utility partners every day, and cross-references that with weather, household, and demographic information to produce compelling analyses in the Outlier series.