Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Welcome to Grid Neutrality 101

Vox has an article today about electric power “grid neutrality”, in apogee to the idea of “net neutrality”, by David Roberts, link here.  Electricity would be like information, something that could be supplied by users (especially with solar panels).

I’m a bit “old” to get into putting solar into a house that could become a teardown target by developers, but I do have a generator, and can invite neighbors to charge devices during outages (like after the 2012 derecho).  It seems that about one in four homes has one – just walk the neighborhood during an outage.  And an underground gas line is much less likely to be disturbed than an overhead power line (the 2011 quake didn’t hurt it).

All of this fits into security for the grid – does decrentralization help?  I think the ability to manufacture and move transformers is still a national security issue, as is the proper grounding of power stations (but insurance companies say utilities have made a lot of progress in the last ten years in hardening the grid against most conceivable manmade or natural threats, but Oak Ridge and NAS remains concerned).

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