The Weekend Wonk: Jeremy Rifkin on the Distributed Energy Revolution

June 24, 2011

Clip from a much longer interview – Rifkin does a good job describing the transformative power of new, distributed grid technology.

“Every building is a power plant….everyone under 40  gets it  –  everyone over 4o has a little problem with it.”

The interview was clearly conducted some time ago, in the Netherlands, before the Copenhagen conference, but the ideas are only more relevant.

(apologies that the sound gets a little out of synch towards the end)

UPDATE: Crock supporter Jane Talkington recommends another illustrated Youtube lecture by Rifkin – on the “Empathic Civilization”.

4 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Jeremy Rifkin on the Distributed Energy Revolution”

  1. otter17 Says:

    While a distributed grid would have some policy and safety issues to work out, they taught me in engineering school that a larger number of smaller generating sources would create a reliable grid that is also resistant to frequency fluctuations.

    I’m going to try my best to get my company to put solar and wind outfit on top of our office building, maybe even geothermal heat pump if we have enough land space surrounding the building. Part of our business is happens to be renewables, so we really ought to advertise.

  2. otter17 Says:

    Ugh, after re-reading my oddly-worded comment above, I need a nap.

    • neilrieck Says:

      No need to apologize, the message got through.

      I’m a big fan of renewables but can tell you that a ground-source heat pump will give you the biggest ROI. I did some contract work for WaterFurnce Inc back in the 1990s and was surprised to learn that they manufactured products with a COP (coefficient of performance) greater than 4 (means that you get the equivalent of 4 watts of heat for every watt of electricity consumed by the system). Depending on the loop medium (dirt or pond), some of today’s systems can get a COP of 6. Think about cooling for a moment: why not dump waste heat into the ground which is always 80 degrees F. Two other noteworthy companies are ClimateMaster and Hydro-Temp but I’m sure you will find a plethora of others.


  3. […] you have not heard Jeremy Rifkin riffing on distributed energy, put that on your to-do […]


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