How LF Energy plans to open source energy
The prospects from the UN’s most recent climate report are bleak. There are less than two decades until the point of no return for the planet’s climate, and the leaders of major countries seem to be retracting political willingness to fix the existential threat.
But, the roadblocks might not be as daunting as they first appear. Shuli Goodman, executive director of the newly created LF Energy group, hopes to fundamentally transform the way energy is distributed, reduce waste, and build new models that could be scaled out with an open source framework.
LF Energy was founded earlier this year out of the Linux Foundation, and aims to accelerate a transition to smarter and renewable energy by taking advantage of the rate of change and momentum that open source offers.
“The issue is that you have a lot of proprietary code,” says Goodman. “There’s an extremely centralised unidirectional generation of energy – coal fire generation, high voltage transmission of a steady current, and then going to buildings – and electricity in that context is either on or off.
“The process of transmitting loses 40 to 60 percent of the current, actually lost in transmission, because they’re very old systems that have not really updated their model for how they are managing current fluctuations.”
LF Energy is promoting a decentralised, variable model as opposed to the old centralised systems. Variable energy refers to sources that could generate varying amounts of energy depending on weather conditions – for example, solar and wind – and the hope of the organisation is that it builds tools that can smartly handle a decentralised energy network to reduce that 40-60 percent rate of wastage.