Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Power To and From the People
I hear far too many people argue that solar power is too expensive, impossible to store for any length of time without toxic batteries and unreliable. I really want someone to tell me HOW it can be done, not argue for our current situation's limitations.
This is why I was so grateful to read an article in the most recent issue of Ode Magazine, entitled, 'Talkin' 'Bout My Generation". The lights have come on! This isn't your grandpa's centralized power system - it's a power grid remade in the image of the internet.
"Can you imagine the generation that grew up on file-sharing, Wikipedia and MySpace surrounded by coal-fired or nuclear power plants?" asks Jeremy Rifkin, alternative energy activist and advisor to the EU and many European governments, in this article.
This future includes what are known as energy positive buildings - good guess - it means that these buildings make enough power to cover their own needs plus give back energy to the system. These building are being constructed now!
This future also includes energy distribution that mimics the internet - a smart grid that senses where the energy is needed or not needed, where it is in surplus at any given time and how to shift it to places with a deficit. Rifkin notes, "We can take IT to the power grid, too, and it will exceed anything you could produce with centralized coal-fired or nuclear power plants."
There's alot more good stuff in this article, more than I can quote here, so I recommend you visit the Ode Magazine page and read the entire thing. Then I highly recommend subscribing - the magazine's tagline is 'for intelligent optimists'. Wouldn't you like to be one of those?
Then, send us YOUR story about your sustainable choice today! Include your first name, last initial, general locale and what your choice was. We list you among our Friends For A Green World and believe that by joining together we can educate, model and inspire others to join us in Repowering America.