Dream of a Perfect Electric System
Richard Miller is Vice President of Energy and Environmental Law at Con Edison.
In May 20, 1891, at a meeting of the American Institute of Electric Engineers in New York City, Nikola Tesla demonstrated the first fluorescent bulb. At the end of his three-hour talk, Tesla said, "We are whirling through endless space with an inconceivable speed, all around everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, humanity will advance with great strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expands our minds, strengthens our hopes, and fills our hearts with supreme delight."
Today's dream of a clean renewable electricity system, motivated by environmental concerns, echoes Tesla's speech. Tesla declared the electricity dream in its purest form, the magical energy source that will be inexhaustible and meet all our needs with no adverse impacts. Now, it appears we are on the verge of that next great energy revolution, the clean energy transition, which portends to be more momentous than the birth of electricity.