Sunday, April 29, 2012

Advanced (re)volution in energy delivery (Bloomberg)

I am fascinated by this article from several perspectives.  Probably because it validates so much of what I have been thinking over the last several months and longer.  From this story I have taken:

  1. distributed generation is rapidly gaining favour - I have been an advocate for decades -   small localized organizations manage their own energy needs inc. supply/demand.
  2. rural cellular networks are enabling modern convenience in full absence of most all other typical infrastructure - real e-commerce in rural India.
  3. renewable energy displaces kerosene and the related black market, and costs approx. $1/wk at the consumer level.
  4. changes erupt in productivity, social exchange, and opportunity.

Established utilities should take note.  While this transformation will be decades in motion, wholesale changes can occur very quickly when operating in an environment of like thinking and mutual benefit.  The impediment to western society is twofold; (1) the massive built infrastructure that would become redundant and (2) the challenge of reliability. interconnectedness and redundancy for safety and meeting expectations of productivity.  The first will become relegated to the past, and the second is entirely (and possibly even more) manageable on a smaller scale.

Farmers Foil Indian Utilities Using Cell Phones to Access Solar
Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg
A Selco solar panel is seen on the roof of a house as women work on a rice paddy in Halliberu village, Karnataka, India.

Farmers Foil Utilities Using Cell Phones to Access Solar
Bloomberg Markets Magazine
On a January evening, Anand is shelling betel nuts by the light of an electric lamp in Halliberu, his village in India’s Karnataka state.
As his friends gather on the lamp-lit porch to swap stories, children play in the yard, Bloomberg Markets reports in its May issue. Inside, after decades of cooking in the dark, Anand’s mother prepares the evening meal while a visiting neighbor weaves garlands of flowers.
When his balance runs low, Anand pays 50 rupees ($1) -- money he would have otherwise spent on kerosene. Then he receives a text message with a code to punch into the box, giving him about another week of electric light.In October, Bangalore-based Simpa Networks Inc. installed a solar panel on Anand’s whitewashed adobe house along with a small metal box in his living room to monitor electricity usage. The 25-year-old rice farmer, who goes by one name, purchases energy credits to unlock the system via his mobile phone on a pay-as-you-go model.

No comments: