More on the power issue

Power and Control

A reader commented on my post about deregulation of power sales. He says

What if the problem is a system that is not under control for transients of under one second.

and directs me to a piece he wrote about the way electric power is distributed and some issues that crop up when doing so over long distances. Obviously, the practice of importing electricity involves long distances (that’s the whole point) and has been encouraged by the deregulation that has occurred to date.

It’s a very good article. Check it out. The summary is, basically, that blackouts like the recent big one will continue unless either local generation (meaning shorter distribution distances) or effective local storage (to offset the irregularities caused by longer distances) are built. Until they are, we don’t have enough control over a complex system that everyone depends on.

He also comments

What bothers me most about all the commenting on the subject is that everyone with a light switch is an electrical power expert.

Although I never claimed to be an expert, I am a proponent of increased de-regulation of the electricity market, despite not understanding exactly the mechanics of importing electricity.

His article refers to an earlier piece of his about high-speed flywheels, his suggestion for effective local storage. If you don’t check out the above article, at least check this one out.