Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Say good bye to the grid

For whatever reason, I pay a lot of attention to alternative energy solutions. It's not like I'm a hard core environmentalist, but I still find it compelling to create energy in ways other than burning fossil fuels.

I've talked a bunch with people I know about setting up a collective energy generation station type deal where a group of people would all fund a power plant that they could all benefit from. So, for example they could set up a big windmill or a big solar array or a big natural gas powered fuel cell. This way they would not be dependant on the grid and would be able to sell excess power to the power companies.

The problem is finding a group of like minded people and then organizing, buying houses near each other, etc.

The alternative is to do green power on your own. This is possible in some cases, in NJ you can do solar really cheaply if you have enough South facing roof area (like I talked my family into doing at a house of theirs in NJ). In other cases you can do wind if you have a bunch of money to throw at it, or geothermal if you have the right location, etc.

Now, in Massachusetts, there is a pilot program being set up to test single home power plants that use natural gas to generate 1Kw of electricity and generate heat as well. This is a growing thing in Japan where 20,000 of these units are now in use.

This is cool stuff. I wish we could get our PA lawmakers to push for something like this. PA, unlike NJ is really behind the times with alternative energies and when I build my new house in a few years I may actually do it in NJ since I can get so many credits and cool rebates for doing it Green.

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