Solar Energy Beats Coal On Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says US Dep of Energy
The new pot of $46 million is coming from the perspective that on-site energy generation is the most efficient way to ensure that the lights stay on at critical facilities.
Somewhat ironically, coal used to fulfil that on-site energy function, at least for heat and hot water. Coal chutes and smokestacks were once a common feature of hospitals and other critical infrastructure around the US, including military facilities. Whatever happened to that? Who knows!
Anyways, that was then, this is now. The new funding will go to a program called “Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure.”
The Energy Department defines critical infrastructure as “the essential services that are vital to the economy, security, and health of the nation,” which leads to this statement of confidence in solar energy:
Solar generation can play a critical role in ensuring continuity of service at these sites during widespread disruptions from either man-made or natural threats.
If that thing about security is starting to ring some bells, there’s a good reason for that. The US military is all over on-site renewables as a means of improving energy security at its facilities. That trend is beginning to intersect with and help drive renewable energy and resiliency initiatives in communities that host military installations, too.
CleanTechnica just spent a few days over at Schneider Electric’s Digital Innovation Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, and the takeaway from that event was pretty clear: today’s microgrid technology can seamlessly coordinate multiple distributed energy resources including storage, and also enable grid-connected facilities to go into island mode without an interruption in power.
It's a growing trend we are seeing now. A centralised power distribution network (whether grid power, fossil fuel for vehicles, etc) can be disrupted for long periods of time during natural or man-made disasters. The innovation drive that comes out of this DOE investment will benefit all countries and help drive improvements in solar PV, wind, grid storage technologies.
|Solar Energy Beats Coal On Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says DOE | CleanTechnica
Despite Trump's pro-coal rhetoric, the US Department of Energy promotes solar energy as a key element in grid and critical infrastructure resiliency