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View Diary: Utilities on Solar & Distributed Power "€œIt's a potential threat to us over the long term" (307 comments)

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  •  It isn't a matter of "if" (8+ / 0-)

    It's a matter of "when".

    I said upthread that I didn't really think I'd see a decentralized power grid (both production and transmission / distribution) in my lifetime, but we're a very short distance from reaching that goal right now.

    I can predict with some degree of certainty that there will never again be another major ( > 250MwE ), non-peak load centralized power plant approved and actually built in this country.  

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:06:36 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Decentralized, but still utility owned (3+ / 0-)

      and provided with wind farms and natural gas plants.

      I'm all for roof-top solar as a supplement to utility-provided electricity, but it's a lot more efficient to have shared power distribution than everyone having their own little back-up generator. That's especially true for wind power.

    •  Yes. Germany has proved (0+ / 0-)

      that we don't need large "baseload" power plants.

      What we will need, at least for a few decades, is "back-up" power that can come on and go off quickly to make up for gaps in the production/demand ratio. Natural gas turbine peaker plants can do that.

      In fact, according to the German energy experts, the presence of large baseline power plants is blocking the installation of more wind and solar energy infrastucture.

      And if we can develop wave energy, we might not need many peaker plants.

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