Monday, April 30, 2007

A Bright Future?

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

-- John Lennon, Imagine

Yesterday, I wrote about recent trends in solar energy collection. Specifically, it looks like the cost of converting your home to solar energy may soon become affordable. If this happens, the future may be very bright indeed.

Some who've converted their homes to solar energy express a certain amount of satisfaction at selling their extra power to their local utility. Granted, a single home probably doesn't add much to the grid, but consider what might happen if entire neighborhoods begin creating power, as opposed to consuming it. One house would become two, ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, and more...each adding a few watts to the global power supply.

At some point, the entire electrical economy could be turned on its head as most homes contribute more electricity than they consume. Can you imagine the possibilities? In some respects, the generation of electricity becomes a democratic process.

This would also help with global warming because it would obviate the need to use fossil fuels to generate electricity. Oil wells could be topped off. Strip mines could shut down. Nuclear plants could go offline. Indeed, this may be the cleanest way to solve several environmental issues.

Once this goes effect, the grid becomes an ideal mechanism for connecting homes to whatever passes as the Internet, which in turn could help bridge the digital divide. Suddenly, the World Wide Web truly becomes available to everyone on the planet. (Well, OK, everyone with a power outlet.)

Oh, I'm sure all of this a pipe dream. But wouldn't it be cool if this particular dream came to pass?

Photo credit: U.S. Dept. of Energy

5 Comments:

Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Very very cool idea. Here in Australia, it looks loike we will get some rebate of some kind if we do install solar panels. We were goign to do it anyhow, as we are also setting up to make our own biodiesel too.
With 4 kids that we want to have a secure future in the World, we hope we are on the right track with teaching them things you know.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Shaz said...

Sounds amazing, dreams become reality when we all work together.
xx

6:02 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Yes indeed, that would be very cool.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

I look forward to the day we can build our own home and be a part of this :) xx, JP

8:39 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hey Footpad, I have this resturant at the end of the universe why don't you and the missus come round?

2:56 AM  

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