Great op-ed in the Houston Chronicle. It starts off with how coal sucks and renewables are better (yeah, yeah), but then gets into distributed energy, which I wish a lot more people would talk about outside the environmental tribe (which I assume is rather small in Houston).
So what is distributed energy? Essentially, it means local generation of power — small power plants typically constructed to serve individual hospitals, campuses, apartment houses, factories or entire neighborhoods. The plants have an efficiency level double or better that of regional power plants, because they practice cogeneration — producing electricity and steam simultaneously.
That’s a slightly narrow definition — distributed energy is more than cogen — but whatevs. We need to get this stuff out there.