I didn't get a chance to read the articles, but I did have a quick point to
make...I hope it is not completely irrelevant.  "Distributed" is not
exclusive of small or large.  A large industrial operation can have a power
plant on site that may be "large", a resident may have a solar power plant
on their roof which is "small", and a commercial building may have a CHP
unit which may be "medium".  The biggest issue in my opinion is that by
locating the power source near the demand, the system is more efficient and
robust.  The nature of all energy resources is that they are
distributed...especially renewables; why not be more like nature and convert
them for our benefit with a distributed system.  It also has other
intangible benefits like bringing the reality of finite energy resources and
energy conversion "into sight, into mind" so-to-speak...something many could
benefit from.

My BEST to you all,

Nate Mitten
PhD Program
University of Florida, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Chair, ASES Clean Energy and Water Division
Phone: (717) 303-9424
Email: [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Hurford
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Does a Big Economy Need Big Power Plants?

A couple of points.

The economy of scale resulted in the larger electric utility companies
(e.g. FP&L) being able to sell electricity considerable cheaper than
the existing distributed power plants that where often owned by the
local municipality (e.g. the Town of Stark). People always want to get
commodities as cheaply as possible. That why Walmart is one of the few
still making a profit.

Small distributed power systems are not able to cost effectively power
industrial operations. As an example, an aluminum processing facility
in northeast Alabama that turn aluminum ingots into rolls of flat
stock required a dedicated 300,000 kVa power feed.

See the link below for the Government's Electric Power Industry 2007:
Year in review.

On 2/10/09, Jason Evans <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Very interesting "Freakonomics" post by Amory Lovins.
>  Does a Big Economy Need Big Power Plants?
>  By Amory B. Lovins
>  --
>  Jason M. Evans, Ph.D.
>  Postdoctoral Researcher
>  Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
>  University of Florida
>  Newin-Ziegler 319
>  (352) 846-0148 - office
>  (352) 328-1199 - cell