Below, two possibly relevant articles, both utilizing biomass.
BTW: Speaking of decentralizing power, I wonder what Stewart Brand would think of it . . . Why do I wonder? I’m now reading a 2009 book of his, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, which at least so far, looks like it confirms continued centralization as the only pragmatic survival strategy. Which of course, makes me nervous and uneasy.
That’s the hardback title. I just noticed that the cover of the paperback reads like this:
Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary
Ye gods! That title says it all. Had I come across the paperback version first I wouldn’t have even opened the book, so hardened has been my own unnoticed conceptual helmet to most of the ideas mentioned in the paperback title. Hmmm. I bet Stewart Brand would feel right at home in Davos! Hell, maybe he’s there this week!
However, I did open the book, and now I can’t seem to stop reading it; for no matter how anathema his conclusions, the journey Brand has taken to get there is undeniably interesting and provocative. This book helps me to understand that well-meaning people can actually subscribe to, if not Agenda 21, then something close to it. In short: it helps to fuzz the edges; it helps me to consider various attitudes and ideas that, though so different from my own as to even appear contradictory, help me to remember that we are not necessarily engaged in a battle between good and evil in our common effort to harmonize the human presence on this beleaguered planet.
In fact, I can just hear my late husband Jeff talk in just this way, to me. I need his wise, patient, moderating influence. Maybe he sent me to the Brand book.
Powered by solar panels and biomass, microgrids are spreading slowly across India, where 300 million people live without electricity.
This next, via email, from Julia.
The GEK project is an experiment in collaborative science and open source engineering. Since 2008 we’ve gathered enthusiasts from around the world to advance the science of gasification, and the engineering solutions to implement it meaningfully for today’s users.
Our motivating goal is to deploy at scale a new type of energy product– a personal scale waste-to-energy appliance. Imagine a “PC of energy”, or a “washing machine of power”; a machine which intakes the waste biomass all around us, and converts it to multiple forms of power and products, right where they’re needed. Instead of hauling the biomass to a central utility for conversion, we’re bringing the machine to where the fuel already is, right where the users and needs already are.
This emerging “magic box” of multi-mode conversion, we call the Power Pallet. The Power Pallet uses the GEK gasifier as its core technical component, but extends its functionality and features far beyond the basic gasifier. Like an engine alone does not make a usable car, a raw gasifier is far from a usable power generation system. These many details of “productizing” and “user interface” around the core gasifier are how we’re moving this technology from DIY curiosity to transformative energy appliance.