Decentralized energy

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Imagine a world where it’s difficult to find power lines, yet everywhere you look you see homes and businesses with working lights and proper heating/cooling. At some point in the future, this will be reality. This is my prediction. What am I basing this prediction on? My prediction is based on two companies out of California that are already doing this to some extent, plus common sense.

The two companies I’m referring to are Bloom Energy (which I wrote about nine months ago) and ClearEdge. Both have similar technologies for what is called distributed generation. What this means is that they both have systems that remove the need for centralized energy production that is distributed throughout a region. Instead, their systems are local, like your back yard and produce energy for your home. They do run on natural gas at the moment, which does come from a central source. However, they make their own electricity and in the future that natural gas can be replaced with some other decentralized source as well.

As global population continues to grow and the developing world becomes more developed, energy demand will grow immensely. Centralized energy generation (like we have today) will eventually reach its limit. They also expose people to serious security risks. Terrorists can place one bomb at one of these hydro-electric plants and cause massive outages for millions of people. If energy was decentralized, then this would eliminate that risk.

I am certain that at some point within the next 30-50 years, we will no longer need power lines to transfer electricity to our homes and work places. I don’t know if the two companies I mentioned will be the ones to do it or if it will use their technologies, but it will eventually become the norm for everyone.