I find myself becoming increasingly interested in the possibilities presented by micro-generation. Jamais over on World Changing points to a recent report from Greenpeace UK, called Decentralising Power: An Energy Revolution For The 21st Century. It suggests the current system in the UK is horribly ineffecient, with 2/3 of the energy power stations generated lost before it reaches the end users.
The report, Decentralising Power: An Energy Revolution For The 21st Century, argues that a reform of the electricity system is urgently needed to end this environmentally destructive wastage - the power sector is the single greatest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. The solution is to generate electricity close to where it is needed, or 'decentralise' it.
A decentralised energy system would see everyday buildings playing host to devices such as solar panels, small wind turbines and combined heat and power boilers, which generate electricity as well as providing heat and hot water. The electricity created would be used directly by the house or workplace, and the surplus would be fed into a local network. This electricity would then be locally distributed, avoiding the significant loss that occurs when electricity is transported long distances.
The Greenpeace press release points to some decentralized energy trivia.
Since switching to such a system, Woking Borough Council has slashed its emissions of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas, by almost 80%. And Holland meets 40% of national electricity demand through decentralised energy.