I have had a great interest in alternative energy and distributed generation for many years. I am slowly working on my home out on the Olympic Peninsula and will eventually be self-sustaining out there. I plan to provide my own electricity and tap water, sewer and some food.
Here in the city, it concerns me that the distribution lines are all running at or near capacity, and will have to be replaced with larger conductors to continue on this centralized generation that we seem so locked into.
Distributed generation on a micro scale is a viable solution to this issue. With many dwellings and small businesses producing some or all of the energy they consume and trickling it back onto the lines, we could feasibly build energy sustainable communities that require no upsizing of transmission equipment and could help neighboring communities with local power as well.
With the global value of energy and it's consumption, the residential consumers have little to say about where our energy comes from and at what price unless we begin to produce some of our own energy and consume less by altering our lifestyles a little and upgrading the devices we own that require electricity.
As more communities become active in power production, and reduce consumption, it seems as though energy will loss it's luster and become a lesser issue on a global scale.
"Some may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" John Lennon