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Is it likely that grid coverage will drop in remote areas because the cost of distributed generation is falling?
by Jute on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 05:16:04 AM EST
The logical (i.e. efficient) way to deal with that is for the body which has responsibility for grid coverage to contract with "remote" users (individually, or communities) to set up autonomous distributed generation. But only if it becomes cheaper than maintaining grid connection.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 06:01:05 AM EST
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Hi Jute. My expectation is for local citizens to take the management of the grid themselves (e.g. through municipalities). This will make it far more easier to get the alternatives going. Here where I live the city council owns the local network, we pay less 0.01 /kWh than in the rest of the country and a full 0.06 /kWh less than in Germany.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 04:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While Enron was bragging about the 'rape of the grandmas' in much of Southern California a decade ago, Los Angeles enjoyed stable, low prices due to having the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. They are huge, with hydro from the Sierras and gas fired generators. Adjacent cities with their own power departments were not all so lucky, especially those that relied on purchasing power at spot. The Republican State legislature was unable to break DWP up, no matter how they tried. The worst they could do was privatize those portions of the grid not owned by DWP. Libertarian stronghold San Diego paid a high price for their views, with some of the highest electricity prices in the state those months.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 02:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that issue has been under discussion for quite a while. Example: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5484387&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ie ee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5484387

But you also need your night-time base load, so maybe there is a pumped hydro station somewhere, or a wind turbine farm. The energy has to flow into the hydro plant, or from far distant turbines, so it's not so much a reduction in the grid requirements, as a change.

Domestic solar does have  big impact on the generating environment, because you fundamentally need less centralized generation. But then if you have more electrified trains or electric cars, then you're potentially increasing again the need for electricity generation to compensate for the reduction in diesel or gasoline. And then the grid topology changes yet again.

The way to think of the future energy system is not as a reduction or an increase but as a change and, hopefully, improvement.

by asdf on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 09:06:19 PM EST
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