When a reasonable balance between all possible electric power generation technologies exists, America will be looking forward to a strong energy future. Centralized power towers, solar troughs, photovoltaic arrays, gas fired microturbines, building integrated photovoltaic, wind generators and fuel cells, in a balanced mix, allow a richness of American culture that will be sustainable and renewable. To reach this goal, we should simplify all designs to their most workable form and create a panoply of distributed generation provided by all the above renewable energy technologies.

The future is plug and play. Imagine being able to go to your local hardware store, buy a solar panel, wind turbine, or gas fired microturbines and install it in your home--yourself!  Suppose the ability to plug into the grid is as easy as plugging in your clothes dryer!  We have the technologies to make this possible. Electronic sensing and shutdown systems make these homeowner products safer to use and to connect to the grid.  Worried about synchronicity?  That’s a solved problem!

We need simple, plain English, fair, automatic, contracts that come with the product. There should be an easy to read owners sheet that explains responsibilities of all involved and simple instructions and methods to make grid interties.

We also need legal techniques to facilitate the transition to renewables. Besides simple, automatic, contracts that come with device purchases, there must be laws developed that affect bank financing, tax incentives, and insurance law. Unless careful laws are made in each of these areas, renewable energy technologies can be made unaffordable to all but the wealthiest people. This, in turn, would dramatically slow down the transition rate to renewables.

Net metering that is affordable to all should be in force in all states. Federal laws mandating net metering in all states have the potential to bypass the stalling procedures we have seen happen in many states in the past.

Over time, as more and more distributed generation happens, vertically integrated utilities may find themselves becoming lines maintainers and electricity distributors for most of America. 

Big, centralized power facilities will be custom sized for nearby manufacturing. We may see power grid networks custom sized to neighborhood scale or as big as small cities. We may see the end of big power transmission towers between cities if this scenario comes to pass. Net metering allows us to downsize our generation and distribution systems to the point of greatest workability.

To facilitate progression toward a more balanced energy future, many kinds of energy storage devices will be needed. Pumped water; lithium ion, and nickel metal hydride batteries; carbon nanofiber hydrogen tanks; super capacitors; and flywheels are just a few of the possibilities. 

Adequate, house sized, storage, allows the grid maintaining companies to shut down household suppliers in case of emergency. At this time, instead of accepting energy generated at a household, the energy would be diverted into a storage system that is oversized for the exact load needs of the house.

Free fuel (sunlight) but high equipment costs mean solar photovoltaic systems need to be subsidized at the manufacturers. State buy down programs add even more complications to an already over complicated bureaucracy. Wholesale cost of renewable energy products to retailers could be much lower if the manufacturers were to get sufficient subsidies to make renewable energy products competitive with fossil fuel power. 

Some claim solar technology is already cost effective if we just stop the subsidies to the oil and coal industries.

Since the first step for designing a renewable energy based home is to minimize the loads, the bottom line for renewable energy activists is to work at minimizing energy needs. You can do this even if the laws have not been clearly, succinctly, and fairly crafted to make a renewable energy future happen. You can do this whether you are an apartment dweller living with a fossil fuel landlord or you are low income and cannot afford to install renewables until the price comes down. Energy efficiency in all aspects of our lives helps assure a sustainable future.

Metamorphosizing grid cities into linear cities should be an evolutionary process whenever practical. Some things should be as revolutionary as the computer revolution or the automobile revolution. Both of those revolutions showed that we can very quickly adapt to radical changes in the way we live. Revolutions in architecture tend to happen more slowly because of the physical inertias involved. However, like a great pair of shoes, over time, we grow ever more comfortable with the changes. *******

We may be seeing ever more need for disaster relief for large populations in the future.  Many people have been made suddenly homeless by natural disasters and human caused problems.  Tower Towns can be a way of helping people made homeless have a place to live.

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