Thursday, November 15, 2012

The case for a distributed, smarter, cleaner power grid post Hurricane Sandy | Cleantech News and Analysis

A truly de-centralized power grid would require local power generation through solar panels or other means like fuel cells, microgrids that can isolate a neighborhood in the event of disasters, and energy storage systems (like batteries) that can bank power for buildings. Critical systems and buildings like data centers and hospitals have emergency backup power (when it works), mostly from diesel-power generators, but these are inefficient, dirty, costly and not widely used (or needed) by much of the population with reliable grid power.

It's not as weird as it sounds to move to a more distributed power grid. Large companies in India are so used to rolling blackouts there that many of the largest have their own storage and backup systems and the biggest weren't effected by the massive blackouts in India earlier this year. Solar panels are also cheaper than they have ever been, and are being installed on the roofs of U.S. homes and businesses at a rapid rate. Of course, solar panels won't help in a nighttime storm, but if they're matched with energy storage, they can bank daytime power for the nighttime critical use.

Read more:

http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-case-for-a-distributed-smarter-cleaner-power-grid-post-hurricane-sandy/

Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com
(719)207-3097 direct

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