Ming the Mechanic:
Small is Profitable

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Small is Profitable2002-11-14 23:59
19 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

Rocky Mountain Institute argues that it is no longer economical to generate electricity in large centralized plants, because the distribution grid is more costly than the plants.
"In today's electricity market, however, the economies of scale that justified building big coal-fired and nuclear power plants have been outrun by diseconomies of scale, both in the grid and in generating plants. Mass production of smaller generating units offers greater economies than big plants can gain through unit size. Centralized power generation is no longer cheaper even on its own—and when supply is expanded, new power plants now cost less than the grid linking them to customers."


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19 comments

15 Nov 2002 @ 11:46 by neolux : economics vs. security
It may be more financially viable to decentralize power production, but what about security issues and environmental concerns? Wouldn't the security risk of 1,000 little nuclear power plants nullify any cost savings that may be realized? Or mercury poisoning from coal fired plants now being spread over a wider area? I think if we could find a way to go totally hydro, solar and wind powered, then decentralisation would be a more attractive alternative for the power consumer and the producer.  


15 Nov 2002 @ 14:21 by sharie : costly grids and giant generators
I worked in the Energy Conservation Department of San Diego Gas & Electric as a company rep. I was provided with a company car because my work took me all over the district, to power plants, various company offices, and numerous private homes.

One day I was sent to tour the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant with a few of my colleagues. There was a number of bicycles parked inside the plant, which looked rather odd, but we were told that because the plant is so large, it would be a waste of time for the maintenance crew and engineers to walk from place to place... so they rode bikes inside the nuclear power plant.

Nuclear power plants have a short life span, there's no place to dispose of the remains, and it's extremely costly, plus it's lethal potential is catastrophic. Because of this, nuclear power is a bad deal for everybody. The power company investors thought it was the best choice only because they were handed a marketing campaign full of lies and disinformation, that didn't include all the costs, which they just push off onto the customers, while reaping in the (kickbacks?) for themselves. I see no other explanation.

Energy-efficiency and clean power sources should be our priority, not polluting the plant and destroying our water supply.  



15 Nov 2002 @ 15:17 by ming : Clean Power
Yeah, it would be silly of course to think of distributed power plants as being the messy kind, nuclear or coal or something. But solar or wind is perfectly reasonable.  


17 Nov 2002 @ 04:02 by maxtobin : Free Energy
There are sources of clean free energy to be had. The problem is that initial costs and the need to organise to get production of these units into the public arena has bought the technology to the attention of those powers that wish to retain their energy monopolies at all cost. Stanley Meyer died just as he was about to put his water technology (produces H2 from water and burns it to make water) into production. Others have been scared off. We are tracking technologies and there are people quietly running their cars on water here in NZ, I guess there will be other places also but no one will be making too much noise about it any more. "Get smart and keep quiet" seems to be a useful mantra! Back EMF has a secret when combined with modern switching technologies, add a flywheel and you have free power for as long as you wish! I should have a link for you on that one to follow up (the original inventor is from the USA but he seems to have gone very quiet after demoing the car that never stops!)some time soon. The answer will be "free" (once initial machine is in place) and "clean" , only draw back is how do the energy barons put the meter onto it??? 'Tis a strange society we call civilized is it not?  


18 Nov 2002 @ 13:29 by sharie : free energy links
Sounds interesting Maxtobin. Looking forward to the link(s).  


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