Watt Next? - Power Share - One Person One Volt!
Watt we need – and soon – is complete Dev-OIL-ution of Power (for Social Justice, Community Economic Resilience, and Ecological Sustainability)
Say YES to Alternative VOLT
Yes to Fairer Volts!
Starting to Put Long Term Solution Above Short Term Pollution
Self-control is the ultimate answer… self-(energy)-control that is. This is THE only ever-lasting (energy) solution currently on offer for humanity - that is compatible with the physical Universe - and with future life aboard Spaceship Earth.
Only Local End-User Empowerment – (i.e. ‘growing up?’) each one of us – of and by ourself - will deliver and unleash self-responsibility, real energy education, local creativity, and respect for limits. Local energy freedom will make life’s energy riches fully visible once more – and reconnect us into the ‘natural grid’ of the sacred eternal circle of life.
Energy is good stuff. Amazing stuff. The stuff of life.
But like power, it can corrupt. Absolutely it can. Absolut energy.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be harnessed and shared.
Energy is the ability to do work. ‘Work’ is a big idea. So is energy. And power.
The deep underlying importance and significance of all forms of energy is usually massively downplayed and underestimated. We fear power cuts and lights going out - only because we have had all responsibility (for meeting our own energy work and power needs) taken away from us. Our ancestors became state-(energy)-dependent. Now we have been spoon fed energy ‘too cheap to meter’ for so long we have grown uselessly dependent on centrally fed power. We are utterly lost without it. We have even forgotten, cultutrally, how to grow our own energy locally, like timber, sailing ships, tides and windmills.
The True Free Energy of the Great British people!
Energy is the stuff of life. It is far too important to let governments or companies or other nations or even ‘other people’ control it on our behalf.
The battle for the control of energy / power is more of an upstream battle – than almost any other form of battle for power that we might think of – s/he who controls the 'oil' controls the (oil-addict) nation. It is upstream even of the battle of ideas – it oils all wheels.
Silently, invisibly, unobtrusively (and cheaply), and to all intents appearing all innocent, shiny, clean and pure, central energy – from ‘those in power’ and ‘those into power’ enters our homes quietly, via wires and fuel pipes. Metered of course so that we can all be ‘milked’ and revenue (tax?) raised by the centre.
We don’t see the military power or civilian casualties behind the power struggle as governments ‘do our dirty work for us’ to deliver ‘security of supply’ and acquire adequate reserves for our nation – via military might.
We don’t see the tonnes of coal oil gas and fossil being gulped down whole by the far-distant angry dirty ‘power station’ – doing our (dirty) work for us.
We don’t see the fumes, the ash and the tonnes of carbon dioxide being belched out either. The bonfire of the fossil fuel (ancient life cremation – the destruction of all of our multi-million year old ancient sunlight fossil fuel reserves – up in smoke – ‘once and for all’ – (or more accurately ‘once and for just the lucky few’) It is only taking a few hundred years of mindless mass orgy oil consumption – a planetary closing down sale – mass bonfire. The bonfire of our children’s future for the sake of today’s vanity – our desire not to lose face - or lose cheap dirty power.
Under socio-political extreme pressure like this – it’s no surprise governments and energy companies (same thing) make a dash for the magic nuclear wand / pipedream. But the pattern is the same. We don’t see the reactor hidden somewhere expendable. We don’t see the fighting for territory that has the fissile raw materials. We don’t see the side-effects of radiation. ‘Those in power’ hide the news about the covered-up leaks. Hide the sickness and deaths. Hide the waste stream. Hide the long-term price tag that future generations – if they survive it all – will have to pay.
This all adds up to a huge toxic energy debt – mortgage around the children’s necks – for a few barrels more? Is this who we are? No thanks. Oil - carbon - was the currency of C20th. NOW - Renewable energy is currency of this century and by definition - of all time:-
This is The Solar Century as Jeremy Leggett tagged it.
Bring On The Sun!
After the apparent abundance of what was really ‘finite’ (fossil fuel) during the decades of the energy glut – we will soon discover the true abundance of what we were told there was a lack of - (there wasn’t) - renewable energy power! We confused a one off glut for true abundance and we confused (steady state) natural limits – everlasting annual energy income – for ‘lack’
The transition however will be challenging – as we will experience the severe cold turkey aftershock and an unprecedentedly sudden energy detox – an apparent energy lack – with shortfalls, shortages, short supply… and short tempers.
But we will find a way through… we have to… we owe the kids that…
As for good clean ever-lasting renewable energy – it’s the new (solar) gold rush. We will farm it, store it, appreciate it, but most of all we will take control of the means of production – and we will discover the need to share it out fairly. Or fight. And who better to make the tough decisions about who gets WATT – other than local people on the ground – making life or death decisions in their own community.
Energy, by the people, of the people, for the people – locally! Women and children first!
We will need many many many more renewable energy generators.
Ideally these should be located everywhere where we want to use energy. And that's everywhere we are of course. Yes, sometimes we may need to locate (wind) farms offshore, (solar) farms in deserts, or otherwise separate power a short distance away from us as end user. But that won’t be the norm, or the ideal solution for energy security and autonomy, without the added cost of protecting the connected territory and the power cable. That will appear as foolish as having a garden allotment 100 miles from home.
Generally the word 'superhighway' is from the Old Power Engineers Bible and will soon be confined to the past – it is lazy thinking in this century. Don’t be fooled by it. If they invest all of our money into (rebuilding or upgrading) the old-school super-grid then it will appear much more costly to create a peoples power grid – a community power interconnector web:
The world wide power web.
As individual citizens and communities and regions are progressively empowered (in both senses) and take responsibility for (and can generate small profit from!) power generation that is devolved - downwards - from dirty old 'Central Power and Grid Control' model, the new energy highway we will need will look more like a lots of spiders WEBs – a web of spiders webs - than a spinal chord or a UK Motorway route map.
In the spiders web - in each thin strand - joining individual homes or SMEs or towns - the various cables only have to carry their share of the local excess – the ‘export’ - or soak up this excess - when there is local energy shortfall. The web just has to fine trim the national balance – generators and users - with a few kW flowing from Sid’s home to Sarah’s one moment, while she boils her kettle, then back from Sarah to Sid the next.
Similarly a town like Henley may agree to share a few megawatts with Marlow during Marlow regatta, and Marlow will send back a few megawatts during Henley – ( a different week of course!) Each node on the grid will be power sharing and time sharing all the time, but the steady state condition will be ‘IN BALANCE’ - consisting of zero nett energy flow – as each and every node will generally only bother to generate enough to meet their own local needs, which will in turn define the total demand of the entire system.
Thus we will empower ourselves, take responsibility for WATT we need, and learn to share and respect limits, and submit to others needs when they are greater than ours, so that they will one day do same for us?