Thinking About the Grid

| 5/1/2009 4:54:32 PM

This week, NPR has been running a series called Power Hungry: Reinventing the U.S. Electric Grid. There’s a whole lot of good information there about renewable energy and the need for improvements to the grid in order to get wind and solar power into our homes. You can find the whole series at the link above.

Or, for one quick highlight, here’s a link to one great graphic on Visualizing the Grid. This map shows just about everything you might want to know about electricity in the United States. What does the grid look like now? Where are new power lines being proposed? Where are the best solar and wind resources? Take a look and find out.


5/1/2009 9:41:12 PM

You know, from a layperson's perspective anyway, that map explains two things very nicely: Why FL and CA have so much trouble with electricity (not a problem of resources at all, but a problem of moving the product), and why my buddy the Republican, whose dad happens to work for Appalachian Power right around Huntington WV, and his whole family voted for Obama. Makes me think. I still believe that updating the grid is a good thing. Updating the means of our power generation is definitely a good thing. But a far better thing would be to make some major changes in our ways of living. And making more power available all the time-- especially at cheap prices-- is not the way to encourage those changes to happen. I don't expect many people-- starting with my TV-addicted 7-year-old and the 28-year-old suburbanite who still b*tches about being asked to turn out the lights when he leaves a room-- to agree with me. But we're fat, greedy, lazy creatures. That's not going to change as long as we view all these recently introduced luxuries as both necessities and birthrights.

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