Distributed Energy-WAKE UP!

Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:01.

For me, the most inspiring part of yesterday's Sustainable Cleveland Summit was the appearance
and presentation by Jeremy Rifkin via teleconference.

Rifkin does not beat around the bush.  We are screwed.  He is not going to sugar coat it. We have to CHANGE our ways NOW.
Inertia is killing us.  But, he offered some hope with a mantra of distributed versus centralized energy supply.  He pointed to success in Germany to address energy generation and to the distribution model demonstrated by the Internet, which has changed our overall mentality and capacity for immediate change.  He offered an immediate energy strategy with five pillars:

  1. Adopt a 20% renewable mandate
  2. Use Existing Infrastructure
  3. Provide storage for intermittent energies (solar, wind) with hydrogen fuel cells
  4. Build maintain an Energy Internet (Smart Grid) so software can manage energy distribution|sharing
  5. Logistics platform.  Don't build pilot projects-build connectivity.  Connect-Store-Share

Digitize the GRID for lateral control and sharing (This obviously will not sit well with the power and $$ hogs we live with in NEO--but appreciative inquiry...look to our strengths...not our weaknesses):

Rifkin closed his presentation with a model (San Antonio) that shared Cleveland's history of maintaining a separate municipal utility company (Cleveland Public Power).  CPP has the potential to build connectivity and to share distributed energy production--one neighborhood at a time. 

Rifkin encourages us to think as a human family for the sake of our children and our collective future.  I hope that our leadership will heed his advice.



Waste to Energy

David Karpinski NORTECH, Alan Frasz Dovetail Solar, Larry Davis CMHA, Aaron LeMieux Tremont Electric, Jon Ratner Forest City

In the break out sessions--Jon Ratner from Forest City discussed his company's Quasar Project.  He also somewhat picqued the solar presenter Alan Frasz from Dovetail for the subsidies offered to solar and wind energy projects. 

I asked Jon to commit his model of public-private partnership to a distributed energy model that capitalizes on our wastewater treatment plants.  I have some hope that he might consider this potential.


Vimeo of Jeremy Rifkin

Lincoln West Students-our future

I was thrilled to see Lincoln West students were at the Sustainability Cleveland 2019 event and not afraid to be heard:

Dean Hodges above asked Vita-Mix presenter Jodi Berg to award her offer of the healthy
smoothy program to his school Lincoln West. 

Brother and sister from Nepal Damodar Pyakuzel and Sudarshni Pyakuzel and Lincoln West students--volunteered to share their experience with water and hygiene in their native country and the water chemistry projects they work on with their teacher Olga Gueits with our table in the event that included Jan Kious, Susan Reese and Carrie Solomon.

MCstem engineering teacher Phil Bucur is challenging his students to design new energy systems with teams in geothermal, solar and wind.  I was thrilled to see that one of his promising students Robert Williams remembered me and greeted me at the break out session.  We have so much potential here.  Thanks to Jenita McGowan, who I know engineered this great event.

Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydrogen, Methane digesters

All of these options have to be harnessed now and connected to share the energy produced through an energy internet--Cleveland Public Power can provide this connectivity.  

distributed energy-SHARE and CHAIRS...

 From GCBL-after Rifkin's presentation:

Distribute generation is more effective at market-scale transformation than trying to repeat the play book of ‘elite’ power.


“None of us are opposed to big wind farms, but you cannot run entire economies on these wind parks,” he said. “Why are we trying to centralize energy production in one point? Buildings are where the energy is being used. It is where we should be harvesting this energy.”

Rifkin recommends that Cleveland Public Power exit the business of selling electrons, and set its sights on managing energy flows. A big energy efficiency program on the residential side, for example, can lead to a surplus of energy savings that can be shared with commercial customers.

“(CPP) should set up partnerships with all residential and business clients to manage their energy flows,” he said. “To the extent you can reduce electricity needs, the commercial clients share in the savings. Shared savings contracts. There’s way more money to be made in sharing saved energy then in selling electrons.”

“Solar panels are going to be as cheap as cell phones and PCs are today. The sun off your roof is free once you have the panels up. This jump starts business. Think about converting every building in Cleveland to power plants in the next 40 years. You’re talking about a lot of jobs.”


Third Industrial Revolution -Five Pillars of Change:

  1. Shifting to renewable energy
  2. Transforming the building stock of every continent into micro-power plants to collect renewable energies on site
  3. Deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and through the infrastructure to store intermittent energies
  4. Using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy-sharing intergrid that acts just like the Internet (when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of energy locally, on site, they can sell surplus back to the grid)
  5. Transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in anbd fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid.

SEE: p. 37 http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/705568508


Ratners and Energy Change

Ratners should make this happen in NEO. 

It would go a long way towards improving their legacy, which is not so great at this point: Quasar development is part of their effort to gain energy independence.  It's pretty forward thinking, so why not make it work for everyone.

Solar traps

  God - we need a miracle and we need to change our lifestyles before it is too late:

Michael Sallah reporting -CLE connection

C. Boyden Gray

C. Boyden Gray served as White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and was one of the principal architects of the 1991 Clean Air Act Amendments. He teaches a seminar on energy security at the New York University School of Law and leads the Washington-based law and consulting firm Boyden Gray and Associates. His firm has clients in the nuclear and natural gas industries.


 Quotes from Washington Post:

 In the United States, electricity is transmitted on regional grids that work like auction houses. Different energy sources bid to get “on the grid,” and the wholesale cost of electricity is the price from the lowest bidder, be it nuclear, natural gas, coal or wind. At times of peak demand, when all available energy is needed, the market-clearing price is highest. At off-peak times, the price is lower. This means that a kilowatt-hour that can be produced on demand is worth far more than a kilowatt-hour produced intermittently or off-peak.

Electricity, like politics, is local. The hard truth is that wind does not blow on demand. No amount of political will or congressional hot air will alter this scientific reality.

We should forgo the haphazard approach of isolated subsidies and instead focus on modernizing our transmission infrastructure to create a nationwide, networked grid. If wind energy could be transmitted from Texas and used to meet peak demand in California, it would not be wasted, and no subsidy would be needed to make it profitable.

Modernizing the grid would allow our nationwide energy production to be cleaner, more sustainable and more secure. It would also help the economy, as increased competition among energy sources would lead to lower costs to consumers, higher profits for wind producers and savings of billions of dollars in government payouts.