Via technology and innovation, we’re executing main capital initiatives designed to yield many years of vitality. The issue is, we’re still not measuring electricity digitally, constantly, utilizing actual data about real electrons passing by way of wires. We’re still utilizing the same analog methodology we’ve been utilizing for the reason that Nineties, when electrical meters came into wide use to track the electrical energy going into buildings. It took an amazing deal for me to get past my own skepticism. Reporting this story, I used to be repeatedly reminded of science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s well-known dictum that any sufficiently superior technology is indistinguishable from magic.” However I’m satisfied that this thing is not magic. It’s real, and it is a big deal.
Clarifications: A reader notes that we represented the zero.eighty four quads of T&D losses on the DOE chart as a percentage (namely 2.2 p.c) of whole power consumed to generate electricity.” The more typical method can be to represent it as a share (particularly 5.eight %) of gross era of electrical energy,” i.e., the electrical energy that actually enters the grid after the conversion losses at generation.
We also mentioned that theoretically, SDE may open the potential for a lossless electrical energy system. In fact, even good power will experience resistive losses when traveling by metal wires, so to be exact, SDE may make sure that one thing like 96 to ninety eight % of renewable energy reaches users — a virtually lossless electricity system.
For the remainder of us, the cost of technological comfort could also be coming due. Wetmore, who has studied the Amish intensively (pdf), suggests that modern society needs to take a brand new approach to technology—one that weighs the value of our new tools earlier than welcoming them into our lives. Quartz spoke with Wetmore about the classes that the Amish, a spiritual group of simply 200,000 within the US, maintain for the rest of the world.
After observing a given technology’s effect on outdoors society, Wetmore explains, each Amish community can vote on whether or not to accept or reject it. If an individual is severely unwell, checking into a hospital is appropriate. So is accepting a journey in a Ford F-150. But the Amish refuse to own television or vehicles because they’ve decided these technologies erode their neighborhood and neighborliness.