Decentralization of Energy Distribution Equals Energy Efficiency
What does that mean? The energy used should be produced/generated/collected at the end users location/home/business. Solar energy collected is used to charge batteries for local storage or used directly as heat/hot water/greenhouse. An internal combustion engine drives a dynamo to generate electricity to be used or stored and the waste exhaust heat that contains the original 75% of the energy is captured for central heating or heating of potable water. A windmill is used to generate electricity for battery storage or pump water for storage or use. A night soil generator produces methane for cooking or heating. The wood cook stove or heating unit chimney pipe is tapped to collect wasted heat in water or a change of state material for heat storage capacity. The exhaust system of your car heats a change of state material with wasted hot gases to be tapped when the owner returns home in a reverse change of state heating process and stored or used in the owner’s facility/home/work area.
These processes all have one thing in common. The decentralization of energy distribution. Power/energy is not shipped to the end user with continual and multiplying losses. For example, the waste heat from a small electric generator becomes the central heating plant for the same home. Seventy five percent (75%) of the gasoline used in internal combustion engines is currently wasted as heat to the atmosphere (global warming). If we can store that heat, bring it home with the car and move the heat into storage in the home, then we could bring the efficiency up considerably. If the home is well insulated and has ventilation control, the final loss to the atmosphere will be minimized. Using solar power, wind power, methane from waste, biomass, and other renewables has always been for local distribution and usage.
Our current usage patterns for Petroleum and Natural Gas are abominable. We only use about 12-15% of the energy in the fuels and the remainder is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat. Is there any advantage to this decentralization? If we could collectively increase our efficiency and perhaps achieve 50% actual efficiency, we would only use one-third (1/3rd) of the world’s current annual usage of petroleum and natural gas. That would significantly affect the Global Warming scenarios. This efficiency would translate to dollar savings to be spent in the locales saved, benefiting twice from the same efficiency. Many jobs would be created at the local level implementing the energy decentralization efficiencies, thrice benefiting. This is the National/International plan to mitigate Global Warming and promote local economies. Could there be a down side to the decentralization of energy distribution?
The status quo of centralized energy distribution, such as existing nuclear, coal, petroleum and natural gas utilities, and the refiners/processors delivering current fuels to these status quo utilities would suffer reduced demand. The hue and cry from an entrenched bureaucracy that can afford big media coverage would be deafening. A group that promotes war for energy would certainly not give up easily. Power to the people would be the equivalent of revolutionary behavior to this well bankrolled elite. Think central bankers and large corporatists when you think elite. That would be the people who buy many of your politicians. What are you going to do?
And batteries are poison in a box. Who will recycle the billions of batteries needed?
BUT, I am conserving. My energy bills are a lot smaller than most of my neighbors.
Not going to have a greenhouse either, not as long as I can get food at the grocery store.
We aren't going back to an agrarian society, it just won't work...
The advantage of a large grid is being able to get power even if the local plant has to shut down for repairs, or a storm knocks it offline.
A certain amount of centralized grid is a necessity.
Yes, a lot of energy is wasted during transmission, hard to avoid that.
Got any idea how much energy would be required to build the systems you want? Will there be a payback within an average lifespan? And how many of us have the funds to do such a thing? Banks won't lend money for that kind of thing, not even local banks.
Oracle of Utah
Truth rings hollow in empty heads.
Personally, I don't think its an "either/or choice". I think we need to do everything we possibly can onsite, and have the grid as a backup but there will be much less load on that grid if we are producing a sizable portion of our power on-site, which is entirely cost effective even with today's techology and knowledge of passive solar design.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb