Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking Distributed Energy Seriously

Here's a bit of positive vision for your Friday: a vision of a world in which distributed energy provides lots and lots of our power, reducing our need for huge powerplants and long-distance powerlines.  Says Grist's David Roberts:

What would a new model look like? Solar panels over every parking lot, brownfield, warehouse, and residential roof. Small-scale wind turbines on every bridge, microhydro in every stream and river,  advanced geothermal in every back yard, waste heat capture on every industrial plant. Batteries that store power to be used or sold when it’s worth most. An IT-infused grid that can manage complexity; devices that display real-time use and price information; variable power pricing. Every building sealed and weatherized, every appliance and electric car net-connected.

In such a system, it’s not just energy that’s distributed, it’s social and economic power. The result is more democratic and resilient (though such benefits rarely find their way into conventional price comparisons). If “consumers” become producers, managers, and innovators, perhaps the desert tortoise and the world can be saved.

I know I can't wait to own my own home so I can install solar electric and hot water systems that power and heat our home and charge our electric vehicles.

As readers of this blog will know, I consider empty rooftops to be wasted space, so I love to read columns that promote using them to create clean energy.  Let's do this!

Read more>>

Read the NY Times piece>>

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