COMMUNITY-BASED DECENTRALIZED RENEWABLE ENERGY
Present-day life is virtually hinged on the enormous electric networks to power everything we use daily. In spite of remarkable advances in high-tech innovations, the existing power network is largely built on an aging design of centralized grid architecture that is based on power generation stations in distant locations which are then connected to consumers through complex labyrinths of transmission and distribution (T&D) grids. Electricity, distributed in alternating current (AC), and delivered to consumers through complex T&D network is managed by regional or independent system operators (ISOs).
The ISOs, who must balance electricity production and consumption in real time, will have to ensure the electricity generated remotely gets to customer sites on the vast T&D network without running into congestions. Though the existing electric power grids are a genius engineering accomplishments, this colossally multifaceted centralized power network design is becoming obsolete when faced with significant challenges of providing safe, reliable, secure and aﬀordable energy services.
CENTRALIZED POWER GRID: Environmental and Public Health Problems
On October 23, 2015, the second-largest natural gas storage facility in US, located in Aliso Canyon (Los Angeles) that supplies gas to electric power generation plants throughout Southern California, had a massive leak. The problem was so dismal the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, had to declare a state of emergency. This incident generated an environmental disaster that was said to be greater than the Macondo Blowout of the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010. The power utilities in Southern California executed an emergency plans in anticipation of the gas shortages required for powering the local electric plants. The weeks that followed saw residents complaining of headaches, vomiting and nosebleeds with over 40 Children seeing school nurses daily for nosebleeds. Nearly three thousand households and thousands of people were temporarily relocated as another 6,500 families have fled for assistance.
Another event worth mentioning happened in, now- abandoned Pripyat, in Northern Ukraine (April, 1986) where, during a late night safety test, a station black-out power failure was stimulated that automatically turned off safety systems which resulted in an uncontrollable reaction condition that led to a destructive steam explosion and an eventual open-air graphite fire. Another is Fukushima Daiichi Power Disaster (March, 2011) in Japan. These few instances attest to the fact that centralized power grids pose increasingly insufferable impacts to the environment, well-being and security of the populace. The current power network’s ability to surety safe and consistent energy services looks increasingly challenged.
In the anticipatable future of environment change, cities around the world are projected to experience growing episodes of grid failures due to hostile weather conditions. From heat waves in Australia to frigid wintertime spells in the northeastern US, and hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Rita or Maria, we have seen recurrent incidents of massive grid failures due to the system’s incapacity to adapt and absorb the interferences brought about by climate-change-induced happenings.
DECENTRALIZED AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
With the natural disasters, population growth and climate change challenges, new methods to energy production and distribution are needed. The solutions must merit vibrant and continuous growth for all. AI Grid Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Singapore, advocates for the employment of decentralized renewable energy as a probable pathway to address the sticky centralized AC grids. The Foundation collaborated with global organizations and local communities to develop the Eloncity Model, a polygonal solution that uses decentralized renewable energy means to eliminate barriers to attain safe, vigorous, lively and justifiable energy future.
Decentralized renewable energy is engaging available renewable resources, like solar or wind to produce electricity locally where it is consumed. When the energy consumers in a locality harmonize with each other to exchange energy and share the energy equipment costs-benefits (solar PV, BESS, energy management system, and others) so as to access more dependable and cost-eﬀective homegrown energy supply.
The projected Eloncity Model mixes cutting-edge technologies, best practices and experience to create an accessible and replicable technique for community-based renewable microgrid to attain a more vibrant regenerative energy future. The Eloncity Model builds a decentralized renewable energy architecture of high-performance blockchain technology platform that provides an open, secured and distributed ledger for eﬀicient recording of high-volume and high-speed energy transactions in the community.
A crypto utility token (Eloncity Token, ECT) eases local energy exchange and incentivize investment in battery energy storage system (BESS) for storing harvested renewable energy and also making an open global marketplace that allows global communities access cutting-edge renewable energy merchandises and services. It Leverages social and community development, economic viability, technological advancement and regulatory responsiveness through the project. This complex framework guarantees that planning and implementation are systematically informed, justifiably tested and locally responsive while leveraging the best of technologies.
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