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Nov 15, 2012

Lovins On How To End Blackouts Forever

 

Originally published on ideas.time.com

NY BlackoutCome hell or high water — and Sandy brought both to many Americans— most of us can’t get the electricity we need. More than two weeks after the storm’s departure, 25,000 homes were still without power. We live high in the Rockies and were unaffected, but a couple of Februaries ago snowstorms knocked out our neighbors’ electricity on five different days. But ours stayed on — by design. Our house’s efficient lights and appliances save most of the electricity. This shrinks the solar power system that runs our meter backwards and sells back its surplus to the grid.

But unlike most solar-powered buildings, ours is wired to work with or without the grid. That’s where the Pentagon is headed with its own power supplies. Warfighters need their stuff to work. They’ve concluded that the vulnerability of the commercial power grid is far too great to ensure mission continuity. So they’re switching to efficient use, distributed and often renewable energy sources on or near their bases, and reorganizing their wiring into “microgrids.” These neighborhood power systems normally interconnect with the larger grid around them, but can stand alone as needed, disconnecting fractally and reconnecting seamlessly.

Read the full article at ideas.time.com.

Join the Discussion


Showing 1-5 of 5 comments

November 16, 2012

Dear Amory I agree with most everything you say. Energy efficiency is the most under engineered field in our country. If you want to see how my patented heat transformation system is the same as reinventing fire and accomplishes everything you are proposing including vehicles, electric power generation and eliminating the grid I would be happy to discuss and disclose this proto typed systemto you and/or your group,
sincerely, Rod Nelson pegisist@earthlink.net


November 16, 2012

Sounds good so when are we going to start burying or improving protection of the power lines?


November 16, 2012

We have the technology and have had it for a long time (Nicolas Tesla), but are not using it.Why? Follow the money!


November 16, 2012

Remember that DARPA created the internet. The fact that DoD sees smart, microgrid technology as the way forward is likely to spill over into the civilian economy.


November 18, 2012

Have you considered setting up a "sign the petition" feature such as CREDO uses for political activism that would channel comments to state regulators and utilities and thereby put pressure on them to update and modernize their thinking and policies? Seems to me this would greatly leverage your efforts to bring about urgently needed changes.

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