It still amazes me that in the discussion of building a clean energy grid the thinking is all the same. Build big power plants and shipping power to the urban centers where the power is consumed. Insanity is defined by doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. I fail to see how these big wind farms or the hydro dams are any different than a coal or nuclear plant. Sure the generation is cleaner but certainly not any smarter, and little more sustainable.
Four years ago the city of Portland had a chance to show real leadership in this discussion when they were accepting bids for clean power generation. Instead they followed the pack and made a big investment in a wind farm in Eastern Oregon.
In my opinion the correct answer should have been and still is the agressive investment into onsite generation using a combination of wind, solar, and biofuels systems. We can use hydrogen fuel cells as a way to store energy, but a really smart grid would maximize the balance of supply and demand-ONSITE.
*does not have the negative environmental impacts,
*does not have the associated costs of transmission,
*does create numerous local jobs
*does provide the experience which drives conservation efforts
*does provide a cost competitve option when transmission costs are added
Only when the onsite production capacities have been fully developed should upgrades in transmission, and consider investing in large wind farms. not very good news to large wind and power companies but a great idea for local sustainable contractors and renewable energy installers which makes up a greater portion of our business community.
Just my two cents
There are three current Linkedin discussion regarding topics related to this issue to follow.
Energy & Utilities Network
Building The 21st Century Smart Clean Energy Grid
Utility Smart Grid to Smart Homes
posted 4 years ago
view in context