The storage of DC electricity (Direct Current) is the most important element of any renewable energy system and it will work extremely effectively in reducing the cost of electricity if it were the only part utilized. We must change the way we think about how electricity is generated and distributed. Instead of primarily starting at large power generation facilities and transmitting and distributing power to end-users, we need to start with the end-user and work outward. This is how microgrids are created that can operate idependent of the main electric grid when needed. To start the process, we should add DC power generation (solar/wind) and battery power storage equipment at local substations throughout America. This will ensure that power is always available to U.S. consumers at their home or building even if the main grid power is cut due to storms, blackouts, or terrorism.
Thomas Edison George Westinghouse
Thomas Edison demonstrated DC power in Lower Manhattan in 1882 and by 1887 he had created 121 power stations in America. DC electricity was still being used by 1600 customers in New York City as late as 2005. Thomas Edison also patented DC electricity third-rail subway systems in 1882. Today, this is the most common system used in subways worldwide to power commuter trains because it is less expensive and more reliable than AC (Alternating Current).
AC was first developed by George Westinghouse in 1886. It gradually replaced DC because during those early years, DC could only be sent efficiently 1.5 miles. Today, modern equipment can send DC 100-2500 miles more efficently than AC power. We should use a combination of AC and DC electricity as well as battery power storage to reduce energy costs as well as lower pollution which will improve water quality. These efforts will strengthen and flatten the world's electric power grids and lower energy consumption. That will naturally reduce climate change, global warming, and rising sea levels. China is currently in the process of changing their electric infrastructure from AC to DC electricity and this will help them achieve them goal of switching from fossil fuel vehicles to all-electric vehicles within 30 years. This will also lower the annual costs to operate their vehicles.
In 1910, there were more electric vehicles in the United States than gasoline vehicles. This gradually changed over the next 10-15 years to favor gas vehicles because of the discovery of large crude oil deposits in several states. Thomas Edison made three prototype electric vehicles starting in 1896 and he worked with Henry Ford, a former Edison Electric employee, in trying to deveop electric vehicles. The main reason that gas vehicles eventually prevailed by 1920 is that the cost to build them was usually 50% less than electric vehicles and they were typically faster which was due to the increased weight of the lead acid batteries in electric vehicles.