Peer-to-Peer Power Economy

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Jock Gill:

"Electricity is a huge problem. How shall we, for example, get it to where it is not? It would appear that the centralized production and distribution model has failed 25% or more of the world’s people. Perhaps it failed because its core organizing principle is flawed. It also wastes 80%, or more, of the energy it uses. Bad design. It also exports energy dollars out of the local community to who knows where and whose benefit.

A better approach, as the Europeans know, looks to be combined heat and power at the points of demand, at all scales from micro to industrial. It can be as much as 95% efficient in the best cases. It is also naturally and organically peer-to-peer in nature as one unit connects outward to another to form a micro grid for mutual self help and community security. It also re-localizes power generation, keeps energy dollars in the local economy and so forth. It is well know that dollars retained in local economies have a 3X or better multiplier effect on the local economy.

This is what I call the Peer-to-Peer Power Economy. The P2P model is quite possibly the most efficient way to manage many of our resources. The P2P use of the internet—Skype is a fine example—is a fine proof of concept of the efficiency advantages that P2P can offer. Further, it supports the idea that every citizen can be all of producer, distributor and consumer—actively engaged in the enterprises of society.

Unfortunately, the Peer-to-Peer Power Economy, at least with respect to electricity, is actually illegal in the USA. Only those who have “patents” from the government are allowed to sell electricity across private property boundaries! We need to change these laws and regulations to enable P2P mutual aid societies very much akin to Ben Franklin's 18th century creation of mutual insurance companies, fire departments and so forth." ([1])

More Information

  • Gill, Jock, “Neo-Colonialism or a Peer to Peer Power Society?”