The supergrid needs political advocacy and technology development

Ziad Alaywayan of Tres Amigas thinks enough of my elpipe concept to have nominated me for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. In spite of that, and many other small victories, I have struggled to get funding for Electric Pipeline Corporation, my business vehicle for pursuing elpipes, for the past 3 years. Every single VC says the same thing: too big and too long term for me. At present, I am taking this out to individual investors who are motivated to do their bit for the environment, and I am looking to move to CA because I believe my chance of finding funding is better out west. California seems to be the only part of the US that is charging ahead with renewable energy, and if I move there, I intend to become active in state level energy politics.

I have regularly in my life had periods where I was primarily a political activist, starting with being full time on George McGovern's 1972 political campaign; the last time I plunged in was 1991-92 in Wisconsin where I ran for the US Senate in 1992, in the Republican primary (I called myself a "Green Republican" and ran against Bob Kasten, a sitting senator, and got 20% of the vote). Leading up to that I was a registered lobbyist in 1991, and had a seat at the table in the Advance Plan 6 process before the WI PSC, as the first ever individual Public Intervenor accepted and funded by the PSC.

I started talking publicly about underground high capacity HVDC electric pipelines in expert testimony from Professor Willis (Bill) Long in the Advance Plan 6 hearings. (Arguably, Bill Long is the earliest prominent advocate of HVDC in North America). I also presented expert testimony on externalities, via expert witness State Senator Joe Leean, at the time the ranking Republican on the Senate Joint Finance Committee. (This was the first time in WI that a member of the legislature had testified before the PSC.) The externalities testimony was effective, and lead to creation of a rollover investment fund for energy efficiency improvements in state-owned facilities that were paid back into the fund on future utility bills. (Governor Tommy Thompson ultimately took the credit for the program, even though he opposed it at first; he was later awarded the Honeywell Prize for innovative energy policy.)

I believe the supergrid concept dates back to Buckminster Fuller (it does for me personally, and that is true for Peter Meisen, Executive Director of Global Energy Network Institute in San Diego). Since Bucky, Peter Meisen carried the supergrid torch alone, until joined by Gregor Czisch, now a prominent EU supergrid activist, and the  source of the idea that nucleated the Desertec Foundation.

I think Sir Eddie O'Connor caught the bug of the supergrid because a supergrid is essential to make offshore wind power viable as a basis for the energy economy; Sir Eddy's activism has been very effective, since Eddy is rich from selling Airtricity for ~2B euros in January 2008. He founded Mainstream Renewable Power on the for-profit side, and Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) on the political activism side. FOSG works at a high professionalism, utility-friendly level, and in my opinion is more politically effective than Desertec.

My life has been mostly about science and technology, but always with a focus on solving problems for humanity. I do really believe that a supergrid can usher in an era of abundance on Earth, and advocacy of that vision has become my mission in life. Right now, I am ready to take a short break from my technological/entrepreneurial life to jump into the political fray for a while, if I can find the right venu.

I have so far found that US-based venture capital investors will not take an interest in the elpipe because it is "too big, too long term." I have therefore put my startup Electric Pipeline Corporation onto Wefunderhttps://wefunder.com/elpipes 
in hopes that I can get started on this important (and expensive) development soon. It would help me move this forward if you will "follow" me on Wefunder; I expect the US Securities and Exchange Commission will be issuing rules by May that will allow me to raise funds though Wefunder (this is not legal yet, but by following EPC, you will help move me to the front of the queue when the final rules are announced). 

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