Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The local electricity authority here (and it is far from unique in rural France) has maintained its network for decades without outside aid (other than standardisation, very good thing). It is part of the national network 1) by legal obligation 2) out of need to distribute half the electricity consumed from outside sources. The second constraint could change with increased local generation.

I'm not suggesting an independent local grid would be a good idea, nor that there is some magic bottom-up solution for electricity generation. Just that I think your sweeping disqualification of local potential is mistaken.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2014 at 02:06:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not dismissing local potential to do good work. I am dismissing local potential to protect you from incompetent or malicious central elites, which was the key contention of the diary.

If you want to vest enough power with local warlords that they are able to offer effective protection from malicious central warlords, then you will not have electricity.

Because your local regions won't share the same set of rules and dispute resolution systems which enable trade. Which means you will be unable to draw upon a supply chain (of both commodities and technical specialists that you cannot feasibly train at the local level) robust enough to sustain industrial production. And even if by some miracle you have the raw materials readily at hand, and you are willing to expend a disproportionate amount of effort training specialists, you will not be able to deploy the products of advanced industry into a large enough market to recoup the fixed costs of establishing the industrial production and supply chain.

Now, if you are talking about localism in the sense of the local authority being empowered to support bottom-up initiatives, then that's perfectly fine and proper. But it's not a bottom-up, local system of governance. It's a top-down, centralist system of governance which leaves room for local, bottom-up initiatives.

The key difference, and the way you tell the difference, between the two is that in the latter system the center can kill any local initiative that is deemed seriously contrary or disruptive to the center's planning or interests. (Imagine, if you will, a local authority establishing an excise on non-locally produced products. This is something the center will come down on like a ton of bricks.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2014 at 03:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great synopsis Jake.

Remember that 40 million Euro fine proposed (legislated?) in Spain for removing your solar panels from the grid and powering off batteries?

Not sure if it is/would be enforced but it's a hell of a message. A ton of bricks indeed!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2014 at 04:23:51 AM EST
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OK, completely agree. ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2014 at 05:10:52 AM EST
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I will say this: within a 20 mile radius we have two dams with 10 turbines between them. Even though Entergy, through the political process, got the right to sell power to the citizens of the city of Mountain Home, they have no generation facilities within 100 miles and I am pretty sure they just resell power from the dams that they acquire on the market. But in the event of a national disruption I still expect to have power delivered. One generator alone will more than supply all needed power for our county and the surrounding counties. Were there problems with this I would not be surprised were problems to appear in the distribution power lines - Arkies being Arkies.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2014 at 03:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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