Electricity from a Grid: Not a Panacea

Electricity from a public grid is hailed as one of the key technological advancements of our generation. Electricity has replaced the need to make dinner on log-powered stove, and has allowed factories around the nation to extend worker hours by using electricity driven bulbs. There is certainly a segment of people that call for 100% adoption of electricity across all businesses and even homes. In this post, we want to discuss why such a strategy is flawed and ill-advised. We also caution that people calling for full adoption of electricity from a public provider may have vested interests.

Consider the following drawbacks of electricity from a grid:

- Putting all your eggs in one basket. If electric grid were to suffer an outage, you will not have an alternative, because by following electric grid advise, you would have gotten rid of your old equipment that runs on coal or logs.

- Lock-in: Often your choice of getting electricity is limited to one provider and they will lock you into them for life. Lock-in restrict you from adopting new technologies if and when they are available.

- Security Considerations: Electricity from grid is still not proven enough to be deemed secure enough for your organization. What if grid provider can not control the fluctuations in voltage and ends up damaging your equipment or worse yet cause injury/death to an employee? Is your business ready to accept these risks?

We believe electricity from a public grid is not suitable for all use cases and majority of our customers should instead adopt a hybrid electric model. In a hybrid electric model, you will manage your coal and log powered equipment and when needed can burst to consume electricity from grid. This allows you to leverage your existing investment and also gives you best of both worlds. You have safety and security of a proven technology while scalability of electricity from a grid provider. In fact, leading industry analysts have published research papers calling for Hybrid electric adoption model. In addition to hybrid electricity adoption, enterprises should also consider local generators that are emerging. These local generators are built by a consortium of vendors under OpenGridGeneration project. While OpenGridGeneration project is yet to produce a working generator, it has very important patterns for you to build your own generator on campus.

In Summary, while electricity from grid is good technology, it is not fit for all use cases. We urge caution of adopting electricity from a public grid.

If you are interested in electricity native appliances, please checkout an upcoming webinar from our consortium.

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Parody + Tech commentary.

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