Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Want Power When it Storms? Here's Some Ideas

When I designed Bluedog's data center, I made sure it was a tier II facility, with adequate power conditioning and backup generator capabilities. But what could consumers do to keep the lights (and AC!) on when Mother Nature throws us a curve ball?
Government needs to help, by writing the rules so it makes sense to go green. And not penalize you if you invest in new technologies -- if you install solar or other supplemental power systems in your home in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC, you can not sell power back to Pepco (the local utility) if you are net producer (make more electricity than you use). Unlike many other jurisdictions. This is a major reason recovery costs for investment in green or other alternate power solutions have such a long payback period in Maryland.
In Germany, specific pricing guidelines that encourage investment have helped make that country a leader in the uptake of solar.
The government should re-evaluate all the perks Pepco receives -- and incentivize them to bury lines, maintain repair crews on staff, etc.
Getting power from solar farms in the west would be practical with a nationwide power grid made with a superconductor-based grid.
Another approach might be to utilize fuel cells, small hydro or micro-nuke generation facilities spread out in neighborhoods to Decentralize power production -- making terrorists ineffective in attacking big infrastructure, lowering costs, and making our grid more resilient.

1 comment:

  1. I agree w solar farms n decentralization (v imp!).. hv seen this huge solar farm at Masdar - a green city in the UAE..