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Nov 5, 2012

Video: Reinventing Fire in Our Electricity System


The impact of Hurricane Sandy’s devastating blow last week to the East Coast, particularly in New Jersey and New York, is still being felt. Superstorm Sandy left at least 75 people dead, destroyed homes, created lines and rationing at gas stations, and churned through an estimated $50 billion in economic damage. Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power—and may remain in the dark for some time to come.

No electricity system would be impervious to a storm as massive as Sandy. But as my colleague Lena Hansen told Scott Tong of NPR’s Marketplace last week, a “dumb” grid has a hard time coming back online quickly and only exacerbates the costs and resources needed to restore power.

Our aging and inefficient electricity system consists of centralized power plants—many of which are nearing their lifespan—that will need to be almost entirely replaced by 2050. The question before us now is, “What kind of electricity system do we want?”

Do we really want incremental changes that will ensure it stays dumb and increasingly more vulnerable to (increasingly more common) freak weather events? Do we really want to keep using non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear energy to generate 85 percent of our electricity—which produces 40 percent of all U.S. CO2 emissions?

At RMI, we’re working to accelerate a transformation of our electricity system to one that is affordable, efficient, and distributed—and powered 80 percent by renewable energy.

Watch now, and learn:

  • How the changes we make in the electricity system are the most important leverage point for shifting the U.S. economy as a whole
  • How RMI is working with key stakeholders to co-develop new business models for integrating high levels of distributed renewables into the system
  • Where transformational changes are already beginning to unfold

Our Reinventing Fire vision for a transformed electricity system depicts a new paradigm, one that doesn’t contribute to climate change. That won’t hurt our land and water systems. A system that is smart and resilient, where blackouts caused by weather don’t result in the kind of societal and economic hardship they do now.

The tragic destructiveness of weather events is hard enough on humanity. Let’s work together to make the burden just a bit easier by building a smarter, cleaner electricity system that can get the lights up more quickly, just when it’s needed most.

Highlighted Resources

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(Video) eLab: Creating a Resilient Electricity System



A Renewable and Resilient Electricity System

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Video: eLab is Setting the Course for a New Electricity Paradigm


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einventing Fire: Electricity




Showing 1-1 of 1 comments

November 8, 2012

What you are offering is the worst solution I have seen so far. Where do you think you will get the $2 trillion from? A typical American solution that promises continued consumption for all Americans like an entitlement. Technology will fix all our ailments. You are offering a weak sustainable solution. Different from your solution, a strong sustainable solution would offer decreased consumption, as consumption is the culprit of almost all our ailments. You cannot "grow" out of the problems we have been dealing with and will continue to deal with as think tanks like yours offer ridiculously expensive solutions that not only add complexity to our systems but cost us tons of money (resources). When will you be starting to think in simpler ways, reducing complexity for the sake of gaining stability? When will you start to acknowledge human kind's limits to growth? In times like these, you cannot offer solutions such as the ones offered by you. The 21st century is the century of biology. Go take an ecology class for a change. It will teach you a ton about energy.

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