The E-Cat and the Grid

One of the big attractions of the E-Cat for many people is that it’s power density offers the potential for home based-electrical generation. There are many attractions to off-grid living. Anyone who has had to deal with an extended power outage in the wake of severe weather or other disruption can appreciate how convenient it would be not to have to depend on the power company for electricity.

There’s also the case that in many parts of the world that the grid does not even exist. The benefits of abundant, reliable electricity are simply not available to millions of people. Individual E-Cat generators would be hugely attractive in these areas.

We don’t know how long it will take for Rossi and his associates to be able to create reliable home-based generators, but it does appear that they are working hard to make this possible. Assuming they achieve this goal, an interesting question arises. Should consumers who own an E-Cat generators have the ability to hook them into the grid and sell the electricity back to the utility? In many countries consumers have the legal right to do this, and receive a feed-in tariff as payment. If this was allowed for E-Cat technology, owners of home-based E-Cat generators could not only save electricity, but make money from the surplus power they feed into the grid.

At the moment the amount of electricity fed into the grid by consumers is small, and feed-in tariffs are really government policy mechanisms designed as incentives for alternative energy deployment. The whole tariff system could change dramatically if there was truly a competitive alternative to fossil and nuclear fueled power plants. So initially, E-Cat generators might qualify for feed-in tariffs, but if they became very popular the tariff system would need to be reevaluated or the E-Cat could bankrupt the utilities if most consumers were selling, not buying their electricity!

When Andrea Rossi was asked recently about connecting the E-Cat to the grid, he responded, “When we will have production of electric power we will see. I suppose that we will either go directly to the loads of the Customers, or to the grid. To go to the grid takes substantial work for the interconnections and the authorizations. We know very well the issue, because we used to manufacture bio-masses fueled power plants, many of which have been connected with the grid.”

Just as there are many places in the world where land-line based telephony does not exist because cellular phone systems are used exclusively, we could eventually come to a point where the grid may be unnecessary if power generation is done on a micro-scale.