First update. Original comment and its response on the EWPC Blog
State Legislatures need to give a new mandate to state regulators to enable truly politically correct Microgrids. By trying to go the easy way out, microgrid proponents’ ongoing strategy won’t work; it will reveal state governments’ lack of vision that sets the poor to bid against the microgrids.
Enabling Truly Politically Correct Microgrids
By José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Ph.D.
Creator of the EWPC-AF
Systemic Consultant: Electricity
First posted in the GMH Blog, on March 23rd 2010.
Copyright © 2010 José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without written permission from José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio. This article is an unedited, an uncorrected, draft material of The EWPC Textbook. Please write to email@example.com to contact the author for any kind of engagement.
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Without any loss of generality, it can be said that there are only two broad National Energy Policies available to the power industry.
1) The no so smart Super Grid, which is the last of a large series of, increasingly complex, incremental extensions of the century old and thus obsolete Investor Owned Utilities Architecture Framework (IOUs-AF).
2) The Smart Power Service, which is based on the emergent, holistic, simplified, Electricity Without Price Controls Architecture Framework (EWPC-AF), which is the truly politically correct way to replace the IOUs-AF while enabling the migrogrid architecture.
As far as can be determined, microgrids proponents’ strategy is to convince state regulators for an exception to allow the deployment of microgrids, while leaving the rest of the retail customers under the corresponding state regulations. Let’s review if that easy way out is a real politically correct strategy by comparing the situation at the time of deregulation.
The late Dr. Donella Meadows, a remarkable systemic thinker and a true global citizen, spelled out back in 2001 essential elements of an effective National Energy Policy in the article Electricity Restructuring and Faith in the Market. Her conclusions back them were:
How do we help this vital system make the transition to a decentralized future, with power supplied by gas, sun, wind, and hydrogen instead of coal, oil, and nuclear fission? No one fully knows. But some general rules are obvious. Plan far ahead, and plan for the welfare of the whole system, not just the utilities or the big consumers. Remember that demand reductions are as effective as supply increases and cheaper and cleaner. Don't set up the poor to bid against the rich. Don't try to control prices in only one part of the system. Don't hide real costs. Throw away comfortable myths about how the market will do everything for us and start thinking.
Above all don't allow anything as critical as electricity (or health care or airline safety or food or pharmaceutical safety) to be restructured by power brokers in back rooms.
Reading Dr. Meadows insights, it is perfectly clear that to update her suggestions we can simply replace where is says big consumers and the rich with microgrids. That way we will be planning no far ahead, nor for the welfare of the whole system, but for just the utilities and the microgrids; similarly, we will be setting up the poor to bid against the migrogrids. Is that politically correct? I don’t think so.
Microgrids are a perfect fit with the heterogeneous transitioning architecture EWPC-AF based National Energy Policy which is the only effective way to be truly politically correct. However, state regulators are bound to apply their specific regulations based on the IOUs-AF. The way out is spelled in the post A Breakthrough in National Electricity Policy, which can be implemented one state at a time. One paragraph of that post says:
One of the key architecting characteristics of the SPS is demand integration to the power system. To do that, I have proposed a paradigm shift to the emerging Electricity Without Price Control Architecting Framework (EWPC-AF), which is introduced in the EWPC Blog post States that Implement a Heterogeneous Grid are Poised to be the Winners.
José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Ph.D. - LinkedIn