Macro vs micro power generation

It’s electrical energy day on the Alternate Blog. I just ran across this guest post by Amory Lovins on the Freakonomics Blog. In it, Lovins argues that the day of gigawatt-scale power plants has passed; economics now favor smaller, neighborhood-scale plants that produce electricity and use the waste heat to produce heated or chilled water for district heating and cooling systems. Key quote:

Central thermal stations have become like Victorian steam locomotives: magnificent technological achievements that served us well until something better came along. When today’s billion-watt, multi-billion-dollar plants retire, we won’t replace them with more of the same.

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