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Major industrial-level generation is surely much more needed for the large urban areas.
Then wiring towards the houses must be done by a local craftsman. As would writing and enforcement of safety regulations.
OK, I'm not actually trying to piss you off. So I'd better stop.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
Wiring towards consumers, maintenance, etc are done by the local network employees. Writing software or regulations at local level is not impossible, though obviously standardisation would be desirable.
But my point was not to say that there was no need for largescale industry. Just to counter the local=candlelight theme.
You can do a lot of things bottom-up, but maintaining a reliable electricity network is just not one of those things. For the same reason a deregulated market of small tradesmen cannot do it.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
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.
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.)
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
For the same reason a deregulated market of small tradesmen cannot do it.
A deregulated market of large corporations can't do it either (q.v. Enron et al) so I'm not entirely sure what your point is here.
That this regulation protects the interests of the large corporations and their immediate stakeholders is of course unsurprising. And that these interests do not coincide with electricity for everyone is equally unsurprising.
So my point is that if one likes having both electricity and democratic accountability, then one needs a central authority which is democratically accountable and strong enough to come down on major corporations like a ton of bricks.
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