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JakeS:
Electricity is time-critical infrastructure, like railways: It has to work and it has to work all the time.

Air travel is not, for the most part, time-critical infrastructure: You do not have cascading failure or other highly non-linear, highly inelastic costs of brief interruptions in service. So a system that imitates air miles will not necessarily work for electricity.

I did not say anything about imitation of Air Miles.

The point about unitisation is that it makes payment, and the securing of price, entirely discrete from the securing of supply.

An Air Mile is redeemable in payment for air travel provided by a supplier who is a member of the system, in accordance with system rules.

An electricity Unit is redeemable in payment for electricity supplied by a producer who is a member of the system, in accordance with system rules.

Electricity Units already exist - and work - in the US as a prototype in paper form, and were recently launched in Holland as an electronic currency.

JakeS:

Furthermore, air miles are not a currency in the sense that you seem to imply. For one, they are not really convertible. For another, their primary function is neither as a store of value or as a means of transaction.

I didn't say either Air Miles or Club Card points were convertible/fungible: both are proprietary currencies.

I only say that anyone capable of understanding Air Miles or possessing (say) a Tesco Club Card is capable of understanding the concept of a Unit redeemable in exchange for value. The problem is that people are looking for complexities that are not there.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 3rd, 2010 at 07:28:57 AM EST
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