Priligy online now, save money

APR 17

Recent Comment

" :) Very helpful.. makes a good case to keep the term "smart grid" It..."

View all Comments

What is The Electranet?

Al Gore didn't invent the internet, but he did support it in its early days. Al Gore isn't inventing the electranet either, but he is officially its first champion.

So what the heck is the electranet?'s like the good choice cialis medication internet for electrons.

Once upon a time (can you even remember) there were only a few places to get information. The major TV stations, maybe a few local papers and national magazines. Gigantic corporations created that information, and we consumed it. Now, just a few years later, we all create and share information. There are millions of news outlets, anyone can contribute and anyone can consume. It's great for everyone...except the mega-news conglomerates.

The electranet would let anyone become a power producer as well as a power consumer.

If I install a power plant in my basement, I can reduce the amount of money I pay the electric company, but I can't make money. At the end of the month, if I've pumped more electricity onto the grid than I've used myself, the electric company isn't going to write me a check. And that's pretty lame, because all that power is out there, powering stuff.

This completely crushes any incentive consumers have to maximize their power production. But if households, individuals, and neighborhoods could sell electricity back to the grid, then that creates a huge incentive for adoption of new technologies. As solar, wind, and fuel cell power become more inexpensive consumers could, in theory, put power companies out of the business of creating power. Now this doesn't mean that power companies won't be useful, marking up the cialis blood thinner cost of energy they purchase in return for infrastructure improvements etc. But it could mean a heck of a lot fewer coal power plants.

Power Storage
Another awesome possible effect of the electranet would be incentives to store power. As utilities have become more technologically savvy, they've actually been able to charge more for power in times of high demand. The electranet would allow individuals to store power at night, when it's cheap, and sell it to their neighbors in the day, when it's expenisve. Power could be stored in a variety of ways, most interestingly, as hydrogen.

So folks could either convert the hydrogen to electricity in their homes, selling it to their neighbors, or pump it into their cars for their morning commute.

And Beyond
As the electranet becomes more advanced, appliances could be hooked to an information grid that constantly monitors the price and availability of electricity. Refrigerators would occasionally turn off, dryers would suggest you find a better time, and water heaters would opt to cool down instead of drawing high-priced electricity. If the home had a power storage or generating device, those devices could start pumping energy onto the grid when power demand was higher, in effect becoming an excellent source of income for families while stabilize the power grid and shaving the peaks off of daily consumption.

An Exciting Future
The electranet would create incentives for folks to invest in power generation and storage devices. It would make the gird more stable during disasters. It would eliminate wasted electricity production and it might just help usher in the hydrogen economy.

But the internet didn't happen without a fight and discount cialis cannada neither will the electranet. We need champions like Al Gore to fight against the coal conglomerates who see no gain from the creation of the electranet. In the end, those corporations can only slow the pace of this change. If it seems like science fiction now, talk to me about it in ten years. It won't be long untill we're all producers as well as consumers. And that will be a better world.

Photo Via Flickr Creative Commons

Hits: 20429
Comments (8)Add Comment
Already Available?!
written by Ross, April 18, 2007
In the UK, you can already sell any excess power back to the grid! Admittedly only some providers offer a buy-back scheme, and you receive less per kWh than you would pay, but it's still an option! I believe that many places in Europe (Germany for one) you can sell for the same price as you buy!
Positive price discrimination in Germany
written by Rob, April 18, 2007
I believe in Germany you get more for electricity that you generate than you buy it for!

And in the UK one supplier, Green Energy, will pay you even for the electricity you generate and use yourself, as well as the excess you provide back to the grid (admittedly only at a reduced price though). The issue in the UK that stops network operators paying a fair price, or anyhting at all, is that they themselves do not directly benefit from the electricity you generate, it simply gets spread around the levitra canada online pharmacy grid (or electranet) - this is due to the liberalisation of the electricity market, so re-nationalise the "national" grid!
Net Metering
written by Chris Wondra, April 19, 2007
There are similar programs in the States as well--though not as widespread or connected as the concept of the electronet (cool buzzword). It's called Net Metering.

If you produce small power (solar, wind), and use less than you produce, your electric meter then runs backwards. If you are over a certain amount at the end of the month, your electric utility then pays you (or credits you) whatever you pay per KWH.

It's like banking power.


written by sergio, April 26, 2007
You can also produce and sell electricity in Spain. The main problem is that the installtion is order levitra now so expensive and electricity companies put a lot of problems to accept your energy, so, actually, nobody wants to assume the risk.
written by Michael Hirasuna, April 27, 2007
The "Electranet" is a great idea but may be a poor name. Just try to google it to see why. The name is being used by an Austrailian electricity transmission company (, an EU electronics association (, a Connecticut electrical construction company ( and a UK cable installation company ( There is also the potential confusion with "Electronet" which I have seen in some reports on Al Gore's talks.

The more commonly used name "Smart Grid" will respond well to an internet search. You will find that much work has already been done, and is just waiting to be integrated in a comprehensive national energy policy. The earliest use of "Electranet" is in a Gore "My Turn" article in Newsweek, in December 2006, and has not been used except when reporting on one of Gore's talks. A newbie to the this field might get the impression that this was just a 'blue sky' idea just being thrown out to stimulate discussion. This is certainly not the case. "Smart Grid" technology is real and could be the cornerstone of a renewable energy strategy.
written by steph, May 02, 2007
The main issue in the U.S. is how our utilities are set up. Our plants are free to set up net metering or not. In other words, whether or not it is available to U.S. homes is cialis generic based upon where you live.

In theory, net metering should be taking place anywhere that has a power plant working near/over maximum capacity. I don't know how it works in practice in terms of efficiency.
written by Ivan Storck, May 04, 2007
Microgrids, which are “a collection of small generators for a collection of users in close proximity”, could be a key part of this approach:
RN retired
written by Eleanor Gavin, February 11, 2008
:) Very helpful.. makes a good case to keep the term "smart grid" It is important that we use one word that cannot be used for anything else. During the Campaign entitlted the US/USSR Nuclear Freeze on the Testing, Production and Deployment of New Nuclear Weapons.. the newspapers would start using the word FREEZE in headlines for all sorts of canadian pharmacy online cialis subjects. This must not happen with this concept. This is really something that must happen, it is our only chance to slow down global warming and create a sustainable world. We have to have complete transparency on the debates raised on cheapest prices for cialis how to viagra online address global warming.

Write comment

security code
Write the displayed characters


Are you an EcoGeek?

We've got to keep 7 billion people happy without destroying our planet. It's the biggest challenge we've ever faced....but we're taking it on. Are you with us?

The Most Popular Articles