Friday, September 12, 2014

#256 / Grid Defection

I am quite a fan of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Pictured is co-founder Amory Lovins

The latest edition of Solutions Journal, published by RMI, is exceptionally good. I definitely recommend it, and it's free to read online. If you'd like to read a print edition consider making a tax-deductible contribution to RMI. In fact, consider doing that in any case!

In the most recent edition of Solutions Journal, you will find out about a production car that gets over 230 miles per gallon (it is a VW, but it's pricey), and a home that uses just 96 kWh of power per year. The average American home uses 10,800 kWh of electricity per year, just to give you the comparison. 

Other articles are equally good, including an article that compares the cost of various financing options for the installation of home photovoltaic solar systems.

What I liked most in this issue, however, was a new term I learned, "grid defection."

As massive solar installations in the desert incinerate birds in the air (see yesterday's post), we should be trying to find ways to decentralize our energy system. That's what "grid defection" is all about. What Lovins and his compatriots at RMI are arguing for is an energy system that utilizes the abundant energy resources that Nature makes available, everywhere, instead of trying to "build it ourselves" with huge, human-constructed and industrial scale energy factories. 

In Monterey County, California the Board of Supervisors will soon be considering a proposal to pave over 3,000 acres of natural lands to build a photovoltaic farm, turning a part of southern Monterey County into an industrial zone. 

Grid defection, I'm convinced, is a better way!

Image Credit:


  1. Why don't you do the world a favor, and defect from the grid, yourself?

  2. You should cut your losses, arguing about dead birds in the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. The facts just don't support your anti-technology world view. Give up. Move on.

  3. I've done the math, and it turns out Ivanpah causes fewer bird deaths per GWh than fossil fuel, nuclear, and even wind power. Read more:


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