Friday, December 13, 2013

Distributed Power vs Grid

Here is a November 2013 Atlantic magazine interview with the chief of a large American electricity conglomerate: This is a MUST READ for you and your friends.

President and CEO of NRG Energy, David Crane believes that within the next 20 years the national Grid and local distribution via wooden poles will become insignificant.
Businesses and home-owners will have the opporunity to be their own utility when the Beacon 10* (a Dean Kamen invention) hits the market in a year or two. By collaborating with Kamen, NRG hopes to be a survivor in the coming energy shake-out.
See Mr. Crane's viewpoint here. He doesn't see "wind" as a significant part of the future energy mix because of cost. Expensive and risky atomic plants do not get honourable mention. And, LENR is likely omitted because it has not yet been demonstrated commercially.

Elsewhere, Finland's large electricity consortium (Forum) has just announced divestiture of its electricity distribution business (18% of revenues). A press release says such action gives more straegic freedom through strengthening of its balance sheet, and opportunities may arise that only financially strong firms can seize. Vatenfall, is another Nordic energy company with a cut and run strategy in an already disruptive energy market. See Reuiters assessment here.

* NASA has just revealed that they are testing a smilar natural gas unit suitable for home generation of electricity,

Update Nov 24 2014
The NYTimes gives an overview of NRG's carbon reduction activitiess over the last 12 months. For Mr. Crane's customers and shareholders,(and NYtimes readers), 2030 and 2050 are a long way out; by 2050, stand-alone electricity and heating units will have made gas and petroleum pipelines, electricity transmission towers and nuclear plants obsoleite. Above ground and below ground grids will have disappeared by mid-century.


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