Distributed Generation- John Stivers

Video Transcript:

Distributed generation is a concept where more and more people start to provide not only their own power, but share it with other people on the grid. It’s sort of the “dream” of the smart grid. And the thing that detractors from distributed generation are often times saying is these alternative sources of energy aren’t always available. So, when the winds blowing, may not be when the air conditioner is asking for the electricity. So what we need to remember is those people that are making those claims often times for nuclear power aren’t telling us is that their industry produces the same volume or amount of power nonstop. Whether the demand is above their production level or below it.

So what we need to really talk about is how to put capacitance into our electric grid. Now what does that mean? That means the ability, like a battery, to store it up and then turn around and let it go when we really need it. And the nuclear power industry has been doing that. Just a couple of miles up the road from us is a stored water facility. Where the utility at night when more power is being produced, pumps water up to the top of a big plateau and reservoir and then in the afternoon when it is hot in the summer time and the demand is the greatest, they turn around and it runs a turbine and produces electricity. Now that capacitance power, is it something that not only those people that are advocates for wind and solar need, but if we also had the strategy for more nuclear power going forward, we need it as well.

And one of the things that hasn’t come into the conversation is that in the United States only about five percent of the power that we use has gone through this capacitance for going into the battery and coming out. But in Europe, it’s six times that. It’s about 30 percent of the power that they use. It’s set up that way. That’s the discussion that we need to be having, is how do we provide incentives in the marketplace for that type of service connected to power generation. Then the discussion as to what we use can be based on the true cost to our society. And the cost to build those facilities for capacitance aren’t nearly as much as the cost to put up the wind turbines or definitely cheaper than the nuclear power plants.