|Details for: Decentralized energy|
What is decentralized energy?
Decentralized or Distributed power generation is the technology and practice of generating energy where it is needed. By using locally available energy sources and utilizing the waste heat from any combustion process, one can increase efficiencies to over 80%. Often used on a small scale at local schools and in community supported energy systems, distributed power solves many of the problems of centralized systems. By generating energy where it is needed we eliminate the transmission losses of sending electricity through the grid, we are able to use the waste heat byproduct to heat or cool the work or living space.
We actually can enhance the grid by lowering the peak demand caused by the centralized model of energy generation and usage. Since electricity is generated where and when it is needed, grid and infrastructure upgrades are not required.
Because our society is so heavily dependent on centralized energy production
derived from expensive fossil fuels, it makes sense to seek out
alternatives. Energy from a variety of sources ensures a plentiful supply and
prevents us from being overly reliant on a single source. Using locally produced energy is less expensive than building new centralized power plants and allows opportunities for reducing emissions by reducing the need for coal fired plants making electricity, polluting the air we breath, and destroying mountain tops
Decentralized energy can include a wide range of technologies from small- to intermediate-scale fossil-fuel conversion, such as micro-turbines, to renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, wave energy, solar energy, and the conversion of biomass- and agricultural-residue into energy.
Decentralized energy projects involving small utilities, micro-power producers, industrial power producers, homeowners, commercial project developers, cooperative and grassroots organizations, and non-governmental organizations, all provide a framework for stability, that will serve to lower energy costs and give Americans a more reliable energy supply system.
The Drawbacks of Central Power plants:
Guerrilla Solar Defined
Energy is freely and democratically provided by Nature. This century's monopolization of energy by utilities both public and private threatens the health of our environment. Solar guerrillas believe that clean renewable energy should be welcomed by utilities. But utilities and governments continue to put up unreasonable barriers to interconnection, pushing common citizens to solar civil disobedience. Guerrilla systems do not endanger utility line workers (see HP71, page 58). They share clean, renewable energy with others on the utility grid, and reduce the need for polluting generation plants. When interconnection for small-scale renewables becomes fair, simple, and easily accessible to all, there will be no more need for guerrilla action.