This article was brought to my attention by a friend and it merits mentioning here. From Energy Pulse
Distributed generation has long been the domain of the solar industry where small scale solar thermal arrays and photovoltaics (commonly known as PV) are installed at consumer locations where direct retail offset of the retail energy supply is accomplished. This distributed generation provides a venue for the mitigation of centralized plant supply shortages and transmission and distribution infrastructure constraints. The world of consumer based supply technology has been quietly evolving as centralized plant facilities and technologies have taken center stage.
Today, with the demand for electricity growing and aging and insufficient transmission and distribution infrastructure becoming a serious concern for everything from the basic availability of power to the reliability of the centralized grid, distributed generation as an alternative resource in its own right has become a topic of interest, discussion and debate. It is also a topic for discussion as we contemplate the potential for renewable energy supply for the urban environment or for areas where demographic density limits the availability of open space and inversely impacts the cost of land. Unlike rural environments where large tracts of relatively inexpensive open land are available for the installation of large scale wind energy, or centralized power facilities a shortage of available vacant land renders the utility scale model difficult and costly. Hence, the potential importance of distributed structure mounted generation, as an alternative resource.
According to recent publications by the British Wind Energy Association, distributed renewable energy generation in small scale solar and wind energy resources represent a significant potential electrical supply opportunity for the built environment. In the urban environment the potential to incorporate renewable energy into building architecture represents a vast untapped marketplace.
The article goes on to discuss the potential for urban wind turbine generation. Being an active proponent of wide scale distributed energy systems I have been learning a lot about the regulatory side of energy and feel blessed to be living in rural Oregon where proving the concept will not meet with too much resistance. Meanwhile oil is predicted by some to reach $120 a barrel by year’s end.