5 November 2010

Unintentional side-effects of local renewable electricity production

An interesting point from a VentureBeat blog post "Smart grid could mean your energy bill goes up". Click here to go to the original post.

It points out that a homeowners who can afford solar panels and wind turbines create their own self-sufficient local energy and storage clusters that this may mean that many residents and even whole neighbourhoods disappear from the current national grids meaning that energy utilities will have to charge the remaining customers more.

This is likely to mean that it will be the less well off who a) don't benefit from the tax incentives and savings that local renewable energy systems may bring as well as b) paying more for their electricity from the major energy utilities.

So while sustainable energy use increases health and social inequalities may widen.


  1. My brother in law who is an electrician argues convincing that if the people around you get lots of solar power that feeds back into the grid, then the voltage in local and in-house network goes up and consequently this means you will seem to be using more units of electricity because of the way household electricity is measured.

    This troubling law of physics will need a policy tweek if the this becomes more widespread.

  2. The whole post is based on a couple of suppositions. If batteries can be adapted to handle all housing needs during the night and if excess energy is not continued to be sold back into the grid.