The Just Economies of Small Scale
A distributed generation system is a local electrical distribution system that serves itself. Distributed energy is generated or stored by a variety of small, grid-connected devices referred to as distributed energy resources (DER). DER systems are decentralized and small.
DERs can get all of their energy from renewable resources. And they’re local. Jerry Brown wants California’s renewables electric grid to look like this.
Since they’re a small grid they’re called microgrids. They provide a solution to a critical piece of the local distribution puzzle – how do you get renewables into the grid?
Energy producers, and big ones, too, are field testing DER systems in communities all over the world.”
I’ve since learned that you don’t necessarily need to get home-grown electricity into the big grid, although you can. Lots of people (and rightly so) sell their excess solar energy to PG&E.
We’re all familiar with the grid vicissitudes (interruptions in service, voltage flux, brownouts). These just don’t happen to microgrids. Small scale equals stability.
According to Wikipedia: ’Multiple generation sources and the ability to isolate the microgrid from a larger network … provide(s) highly reliable electric power’.
Elon Musk, inventor of the Tesla electric vehicle, has developed a system (manufactured by SolarCity) that uses a Tesla battery pack as storage for excess solar energy. SolarCity offers batteries for homeowner and for businesses. More on Solarcity next.
Justice for All!