Friday, July 19, 2013

Decentralization: The Next Big Thing in Energy

It wasn't too long ago that I remember the excitement that came with going to the library and opening the new copy of my favorite magazine. We are information consumers to the core - we love to exercise that rational part of our mind and learn new things about the world. Aristotle called it a simple curiosity. Fortunately, we no longer have to be only consumers of information. The information revolution has enabled each and every internet connected individual to have the ability to create original content and contribute to the global collective of human knowledge.

In much the same way, we seen to be on the verge of another revolution. You could say this one is much more important, as it tickles not only man's curiosity for knowledge - but rather his future survival and ability to thrive. Energy decentralization, albeit in its very early stages promises to provide a means for millions of consumers to produce energy in a peer-to-peer network of consumers and producers working together to escape energy poverty and distribute it as needed. Think of technologies that already exist, like residential combined heat and power (resCHP), which waste heat from furnaces is harnessed in a local network and used to create energy. 

I for one and excited to start being a small, but key player in the decentralization of energy. Maybe it's time we all started thinking beyond the walls of our own refrigerators and homes - into the neighborhood and community we live in. The means will soon be upon us - are we ready to make the world a better place? 
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