Gird, Not Gridlock!

We at AllEarth are passionate advocates for renewable energy, and not afraid to take a stand around regulatory and legislative issues. We are also passionate about our AllEarth dual axis solar trackers (to the extent of over 7,000 built right here in Vermont!), yet know that they are but one small part of building a sustainable world while we still have that chance.

The electric grid that serves us is a remarkable reflection of ingenuity and hard work, serving us through decades of Vermont winters and major changes in our ways of living. But today’s grid cannot be the grid of tomorrow. What is needed? Many different things, among them:

  • Stronger and newer transmission and distribution systems, to serve a vastly higher level of demand. If you’re inside, look around your Vermont home or office. How many things can you see plugged in right now? How does that compare to the number in the living room in your grandparents’ house?
  • Even greater physical resilience, to withstand the impacts climate change is already having in Vermont.
  • Greater technological sophistication, to accommodate solar, wind and the other renewable energy we need, along with measures to control demand and lessen our energy use.
  • A high level of security. As we all know, more data can create more risk to the privacy we value as Vermonters, and we must protect that privacy.
  • A grid that serves the needs of all without undue economic burden, and with mindfulness of the needs of those who have been undeserved in our present way of doing things. This cannot be an afterthought, but must be part of an inclusive and collaborative discussion from the outset.

An exciting body of work? Honestly, it probably isn’t for most of us, and we know that the work will not be easy or cheap. But the path to sustainability needs a work plan and not mere sentiment, and designing the grid is a huge part of that plan. What are your thoughts on next steps?