Microgrids must be a part of the decentralization of electricity

To buy humanity additional time on earth before climate catastrophe hits us all – see IPCC’s latest report – we ought to restructure the electricity industry from the ground up, drastically. Today’s electricity production by burning coal is among the largest pollution creators in the world.

Worldwide, “Coal is the single largest power source on the planet, with China, India, the US and Japan responsible for more than three-quarters of the world’s coal-fired electricity“ and “the fuel still remains the world’s single-largest power source, generating 34% of global electricity in 2020 (8,736 TWh).” This is irresponsible, and ought to be challenged in the global public interest, including at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland in October-November 2021. Along with pledges of carbon pollution-free electricity, the world should announce decentralization metrics and measures, too.

Microgrids must be a part of the decentralization effort.

Yes, we ought to use renewable energy and storage, but equally, we ought to consider novel topologies for the electricity infrastructure of the future. It is neither bold nor good enough to simply replace coal-based power plants, representing centralized generation, with renewable power through solar panels on acres and acres of land, and installing transmission cables to move that power to customers. It is important to foster distributed generation – on rooftops, terraces, sidewalks, parking lots, and more

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