I’m not excited about the prognostications of power utility firms.
Since the ‘Lightbulb in Every Farm’ program of Westinghouse, through the graft battles of industrial and suburban rates and metering, while voting public bond after bond to underwrite coal, nuclear, natural gas and Jet-A machinery plus building their infrastructure, power utilities have only been innovative while sending us a fatter bill or using price to push innovation or conservation costs onto regional business and private consumers.
Over many years, power utilities have merely entertained us with futurist pledges that have never been delivered. I’ve heard it all before. A link to my previous rant.
Power Utilities remain entrenched in a psuedo-market. Our best hope is that a new grid of ‘distributed power generation’ will belong to its owners, alternative power producers that are kept at least an arms length from utility managers.
Our energy farms, our rooftops and hilltops, our upcoming regenerative ‘hybrids’, our future diversity must never to managed or regulated by these firms. The intertie challenges are not so great that a new marketplace is impossible.
I recommend that we keep the utilities restrained or we remove their privileges until they are deregulated in an open marketplace.
I wrote this post as a comment to reporting by Jon Lebowski at WorldChanging of a 2007 energy firm conference.