Light the Way

2 min read

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - Alan Kay
 

That’s how Bill Nussey, a presenter at this year’s TEDxPeachtree conference, sees the world. Nussey spoke to the TEDsters in the audience, including the Vista team, about a topic he’s passionate about—energy.

If Bill Nussey’s name sounds familiar, you probably know him from Silverpop, the Atlanta-based marketing automation software, which he sold to IBM in 2014. After leaving IBM as VP of Corporate Strategy in 2016, Bill founded The Freeing Energy Project, whose mission is to accelerate the shift to cleaner and cheaper energy.

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At TEDxPT, Nussey unveiled his first developed thesis on energy—the future is local. Local energy, as he refers to it, is what it sound like: generating energy in the same area where it’s consumed. He likened it to the farm-to-table movement, explaining that the current energy grid is too big and bureaucratic to make any sort of change fast. The key is to start local with small, independent systems.

Why should people be focused on alternative energy sources with independent systems? He served up three main reasons:

Security:

The current infrastructure is aging. There is always a danger of blackouts when natural disasters strike (as we’ve seen happen with the recent hurricanes). The grid is also a security threat in that it’s vulnerable to hackers. These facts are troubling to those of us who depend solely on the grid. Alternative sources of energy would be reliable, more secure, and allow for independence.

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Cheaper:

Did you know that ⅗ of your electricity bill goes towards the maintenance of power plants? And as the infrastructure ages and fossil fuels dwindle, the cost will only continue to rise. Because solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries are technologies, however, the more time that passes and the more that they are manufactured, the cheaper they will become.

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Cleaner Energy:

Every year 110 million tons of ash is produced by coal plants, ending up in the air, water systems, and natural environments. Wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries, on the other hand, produce no emissions.

  Coal ash spill in Kingston, TN. 

Coal ash spill in Kingston, TN. 

Bill wrapped up his talk with a challenge: The key to change is the creation of local electricity markets. Who will lead the way into the future? You can. I can. We all can. As a community. Let's leave the dark ages and step into the secure, economical, clean light.

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