Tiny Watts – Solar Power For Everyone

Robert McGrath

Tiny Watts is an exciting initiative for many reasons.  It is a great way to learn about sustainable energy, not to mention a lesson in how small things can add up. Just by registering a personal solar device, you have to learn a bit about solar technology (Watts, efficiency, available sunlight, hours of usage, and so on.)  It’s pretty cool to do these real calculations for yourself.

But to me, Tiny Watts has even more potential for two reasons:  community and agency.

“We want to create a community…”

The basic idea of Tiny Watts is to create a community of people around the world who share knowledge about and a commitment to sustainable energy.  There is pleasure and power in connecting with lots of other people who share a vision, and Tiny Watts connects people through action—Tiny Watts shows us that we all generate our little bits of power.

The second important aspect of Tiny Watts is agency: getting tools in the hands of the people. An abstract vision of solar power is nowhere near as powerful as the experience of having my own solar power generator, however small.

When I register a device with Tiny Watts, I am registering my device, I am documenting my own contribution to sustainable energy.

I did it. And as part of the TW community, we did it.

Going farther, in the future I would love to see Tiny Watts encourage a community of DIYers, who make our own small solar devices. Tiny Watts could be in every local maker communty.

In this future Tiny Watts could go beyond registering a personal device.  We could register a device that I made myself, perhaps from plans we designed and shared together.

Now that’s even coolerl