EcoBlock team member Eunice Chung interviews Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier, Principal Investigator and co-Energy team lead of the Oakland EcoBlock project. In her interview, Sascha discusses the technical and regulatory complexities of designing the EcoBlock microgrid and shares insights about opportunities for a more climate-resilient future.
The increasing frequency of power outages, as well as the growing rate and severity of natural disasters including wildfires and extreme weather patterns, poses significant threats to our current electric grid system. These risks, along with others such as cybersecurity threats, are a good reason to revisit the the 1880’s debate over whether DC or AC electrical currents would power the future. Read on to learn more about why this famous debate is being revisited and the potential for microgrids to provide backup generation during grid failure.
The Aardehuizen Project is a community microgrid serving 23 homes in Olst, Netherlands. few other ecovillages around the globe that have been built at a scale as successful as the Aardehuizen. In this blog, Erin Yu highlights why Olst become the ideal location for a sustainable community and highlights several factors critical to the community’s success.
In 2009, a forward-thinking campaign in Portland, Oregon sought to speed up the transition towards clean energy by streamlining the installation process and reducing costs. The grassroots Solarize movement was able to foster a community invested in solar energy that could achieve cost savings through bulk purchasing. Read on to learn more about the innovative program and other more recent Solarize campaigns across the United States.
Scaling up community microgrids while ensuring equitable access to renewable power will require a range of new policies and financial mechanisms. In this blog, Kate Ringness and Miriam Aczel highlight novel legislative initiatives in CA and at the federal level that support community energy resilience and expansion of microgrids.
For nearly 50 years, the United Nations’ World Environment Day has been celebrated each June 5th. This year the event is being hosted by Pakistan and the theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’. Take a look at the history of this event and some of the most significant achievements from the past decades.
Last month, Dr. Sascha von Meier gave a presentation on the Oakland EcoBlock for Berkeley’s Science at Cal lecture series. In this blog, Miriam Aczel provides an overview of the engaging public lecture, and highlights what EcoBlock’s co-PI is optimistic about.
In the decade since the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, microgrids have sprung up across Japan to help the country meet their energy demands and build resilience. Japan’s National Resilience Program led to the development of several microgrids. This article describes the development of the first microgrid community established in Higashimatsushima.
Microgrids have many benefits, but the value of microgrid services is not well-defined in the market and represents a critical barrier to future economic growth. Andrew Rasetti highlights novel rates and tariff structures to address these barriers for microgrids.
Recently, renewable, community-scale microgrids have gained traction within the energy industry, marking a shift from remote, centralized power plants to local, decentralized generation. Eunice Chung highlights a few examples of successful community microgrids today.