‘Distributed power’ Promises lower emissions among other benefits, supporters tell Congress

Authors

  • Randy Showstack


Abstract

During the back-to-the-land movement in the 1960s in the United States, a common rallying cry was for people to unplug from the electricity grid. Now, a number of companies and energy experts are touting “distributed power”—a power model whereby electricity is supplied in close proximity to its end user, as opposed to a central generating station with a network of long-distance, high-voltage wires—as a way for businesses and individuals to gain some energy independence while reducing electricity costs and the chance of blackouts during a power outage, and cutting down on the amount of greenhouse gases and other emissions that are pumped into the atmosphere.

Advocates for distributed power say it represents a change from the traditional, centralized energy structure that is comparable to the switch from mainframes to personal computers.