September 8, 2009


A Power Station in Your Own Basement: Green-energy provider Lichtblick and German automaker Volkswagen are joining forces and promising to stir up the energy market with an unusual plan. Instead of relying on massive energy facilities, the average consumer may soon have a miniature power station in their basement. (Frank Dohmen, 9/07/09, Der Spiegel)

The ambitious new project could be worth billions of euros and generate enough electricity to replace up to two nuclear power stations or even coal-fired power plants in the near future. The technology required to put this plan into practice is highly complex, but -- depending on demand and the market situation -- the new setup could network 1,000, 10,000 or even 100,000 small natural-gas-powered thermal power stations and, in effect, instantly create a virtual large one.

A giant quantity of electricity could be generated by such a system. Channelled straight from the basements of individual houses, where Lichtblick plans on installing the mini power stations, it could then be fed into the public powergrid. Likewise, the mini stations could also provide a source of cheap thermal energy and warm water for each household.

It may all still sound like a fairy tale, but developers at Lichtblick have actually been testing the system as part of a field trial in Hamburg. What's more, now one renowned company has shown an interest in becoming a partner in this pilot project: the Wolfsburg-based motor- and auto-manufacturing giant, Volkswagen.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2009 6:33 AM
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