What are the uses for renewable energy?

Great question. Your question highlights a question that 90% of Americans would probably be too embarrassed to ask. I’m one of them.  After decades of being a ”guru” in the energy space, I was writing something that suddenly triggered the question “What is electricity?” I’d been surrounded by people who could answer that question from 6 perspectives and since I could depend on them for those answers I never really asked such a totally dumb question.

When I realized that electricity the work that a giant herd of electrons can do when there’s something to a power, it really changed my perspective quite a bit. Whatever the source, the amount of electric current to be produced needs to match the amount of current being used. If those two don’t match, and particularly when the production exceeds the capacity it turns to heat and starts melting or starting fires till the connection is broken. That’s why we have “circuit breakers” everywhere there is a system of wires. Like your house. When the flow gets beyond the capacity of the system, the breaker flip before anything starts melting.

Once I started understanding that, I started understanding why some wind turbines aren’t turning even though there is plenty of wind.

Then when I started seeing things from that whole circuit mindset,  I realized that we now have zillions of ways to make an electric current, but unless we find a way to use it when the weather is making it we just have to disconnect whatever is sending the outbound current. And I also realized that OMG, sometimes electricity is the absolute least cost raw energy on earth.

And I realized why it was a hundred years between learning to make a current and the dawn of the electricity age. Edison didn’t have anything to do with the invention of electricity, he invented ways to use it.

So, to get back to your question, renewable electricity can be used for anything that fossil electricity is used for IF there enough electrical devices on to complete the circuit without melting.

This is why I’ve been investigating ways to put electricity to work when it’s available.

We’ve made some excellent progress, but the routes through the regulatory briar patches are just now being cleared enough to assure that it really is economically viable to start putting the finding in an unbiased environment where the viability can be demonstrated.

I do intend to be publishing the result in the language of each of the very diverse expertise groups with hopes of starting to create the common language that we can use to cheer on accelerating progress.


©William Ross Williams


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