The April issue of Wired Magazin had an interesting article about one aspect of president Obama's energy challenges - the grid.
- 40% of all the energy used in the US (coal, oil, gas, wind,nuclear) is converted into electrons that travel the grid
- "considering how wasteful, unresponsive and just plain stupid the grid is" it not surprising that outages cost 150 billion a year. "The real shock is that the damn thing works at all."
- demand for electricity is expected to increase with as much as 40% in the next two decades - more than twice the population growth rate - another 214 gigawatts needed (equals 357 large coal plants).
Sobering - especially when we know that the energy consumption = equalling CO2 mostly is so much higher in the US than elsewhere already now. So fixing the grid is needed - and politically more challenging nuclear power.
But also using less. From Megawatts to Negawatts - measuring usage, feeding solar power to the net, cutting the peaks (10% of generating capacity exists to meet the last 1% of peak demand...). Much space for sense-making investments.