From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Crowd Funding an Emergency Solar Electric Grid for Puerto Rico and Other Islands

Solar lights and cell phone chargers are now $1or less production costs and selling around the world for $5 or less retail.  Add bicycle generators and you have independent indigenous emergency power now, day or night.  AA battery to car battery and better microgrids.

It is conceivable that we could crowd fund a basic emergency electrical system (lights, cell phones or radio, computers) for Puerto Rico (as well as the other islands destroyed by the recent hurricanes) within less time than the established grid can come back on line.

There are examples of islands which are planning and working toward 100% renewable power:
El Hierro, 7,000 people, one of the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, uses wind and pumped hydro energy storage to supply 50% of its power

Kodiak Island, 15,000 people, in Alaska has been running its grid with wind and hydro power since 2012

Samsø, 4,000 people, in Denmark has spent over the last decade moving towards zero carbon with wind, solar, and biomass

Bornholm, 14,000 people, also in Denmark, is working towards a CO2-neutral society based on renewable and sustainable energy by 2025 and was the site of the EU’s Grid 2.0 project

and Hawaii, 1,400,000 people, has the goal of using renewables like wind, sun, ocean, geothermal, and bioenergy to supply 70 percent or more of Hawaii's energy needs by 2030

How about an ad hoc global online design charette and hackathon to rebuild Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin / St. Maarten, the US Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos, Dominica… ?

That might be a good thought experiment.  Perhaps we could run it through the Small Island and Developing States UN organization

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is It Time to Talk About Solar Civil Defense?

Solar power for the flashlight, communications, and extra batteries we are supposed to have on hand in case of emergency and disaster is also entry level electricity for those billion and more people around the world who don’t have access to power.

With solar lights now available at a retail price of $5 @ or less all around the world (this Mini Portable Hand Crank Dynamo 3 LED Solar Powered Flashlight Camping Torch CM ( for example), Solar Electric Power to the People ( is not only practical but affordable.

The next step is Solar Swadeshi (, using solar the way Gandhi used the spinning wheel.  Nonviolence requires practice and the practice of swadeshi, local production, every day was, according to Gandhi, the heart of satyagraha.

As we rebuild in the face of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose…. and the fires in forests in the Pacific Northwest and Greenland and other places…  the floods, landslides, earthquakes…. we might want to start thinking about a solar civil defense, personally, socially, politically, economically, and culturally.