What if We Had Just 10% More Energy Producers?

If memory serves, the internet was originally developed as a national defense mechanism. A way to keep communications – in a distributed manner – flowing after a nuclear attack.

Each node a client and a server, a receiver and producer.

Today, not only are the vast majority of Americans online (receivers), but a good chunk – 10% – are actively engaged in making online a better place (producers).

While our communications and communities are distributed, our energy is still centralized.

Broadcast if you will.

From where you’re sitting, can you see the power plant generating the electricity you’re using to read this?

Probably not.

So, we don’t see energy being generated, it’s far away, feedback takes a billing cycle, and our only way to reduce costs is to reduce demand.

And we’re surprised selling energy efficiency to the American public is an uphill battle?

But what if?

What if, just 10% of us were also putting energy back onto the grid.

1 household per block (another take on the block-by-blog idea) sucking down solar, wind, or geothermal. Covering their energy needs and putting the surplus on the grid.

Reducing demand by increasing the number of suppliers – even if they’re only nano-suppliers, cover a few households.

This may even minimize the outages from minor disasters.

The economics are tough from a private citizen doing this on their own, so I wonder – what if this was part of being a energy customer. The energy company finances and maintains the solar panels on your suburban roof. Like sitting in the exit row on an airplane. But for your neighborhood’s electricity.

Hmmmmm.

(citations forthcoming)

One Reply to “What if We Had Just 10% More Energy Producers?”

  1. I love it. I got really excited the other day when I saw that Philippe Starck is doing some work with ecodesign. His new roof-top wind-powered generators are not only transparent, they’re affordable. Put one (or two?) on your house and you’re looking at up to 60-80% of the energy you need (double for two).

    Color me intrigued. I’ve also been looking at solar-powered water heaters. I think the future of all of this is in incremental changes that work together to tackle the whole. There isn’t a single solution on a national/international level, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that there is one for single family dwellings either.

    Great post, Garrick. I love your musings.

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