Democratising Electricity

The Scottish Government have previously opined on the potential of having a state-owned power company. But what if we could go further than that?

If you haven’t already read my article on Broadband infrastructure, I suggest you read it first because it informs this article – you can read it here:

So, we have radically rethought how we deliver utilities to customers by ensuring a proper underground infrastructure to make the deployment of those services easier. Scotland strives to be greener every day with bold targets on becoming carbon neutral, but what if we could go further and deliver much lower prices for people in terms of their home electricity by utilising an existing resource.

We obsess in the 21st century about power stations and wind turbines, but we’re ignoring a valuable resource. Under my plan from the utility infrastructure, it would make it easier to provide services to homes, but it would also be easier to deliver services away from home.

By introducing a dedicated set of powerlines through this new underground network with the sole purpose of carrying electrical power away from homes (not to them) we would have the opportunity to launch a state-sponsored power-generation scheme.

The scheme would work like this. Homeowners can apply for free solar panels from the Scottish Government. Those panels (regardless of the size of the roof) would be provided to the home resident. They would be connected with a grid-tie inverter to the new power network and all power generated exported to the grid.

For the first 3 years, the homeowner would have no claim over the energy, it would go to pay back the cost of the panels. At the conclusion of three years, homeowners would be given credit for each unit exported, which would then be applied against the units from the energy they consume in a 1:1 ratio. Those producing more power than they use would end up carbon neutral with zero bills. Those who have to use a small amount of energy from the grid because they consume more than they use would have much lower bills, and those who have no panels would receive cheaper energy.

There would be redundancy in this model because we would use the entirety of Scotland to generate power, there would be no single power station that could suddenly fail, it would also offer protection in the event of a major power line going down because power could be diverted locally to provide energy to homes in the event of a power cut.

Legislation could be passed that any new home built would have to have panels and that they are connected to the new network – this would incentivise homebuilders to think about being green in the design of their homes, it would also offer a good selling point to prospective buyers because they would be walking into a home already outfitted for lower energy bills.

For the benefit of there being no doubt, I am advocating turning the whole of Scotland into one massive green power generator.

Scotland will no doubt produce more energy than it consumes by a vast amount, especially when you add on the wind, wave and hydropower generation which stands Scotland in good stead for independence – by making us the battery of Europe and exporting energy to the continent.

It’s a bold plan but one which is highly achievable. Democratised green electricity provided by every home in Scotland for every home in Scotland – and Europe.

I am talking about true energy independence.


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