Sources of Power on the Playa

The functioning of modern society makes power a critical amenity.  Often, a venture to the desert does not lessen the demand for power sources.  In fact, 12.7% of Burning Man participants reported on the 2013 Census that they chose to forgo power usage.  The remaining majority used a combination of power sources throughout the week.  Batteries, renewable-energy, generators, and the Black Rock City Grid embodied the energy sources generating power in 2013.  Battery usage was predominant at Burning Man, with 59.5% of individuals pursuing this type of power.  Some individuals, constituting 30.2% of the population, opted for renewable energy sources.  Solar and wind-power made up this category with 29.4% and 0.8%, respectively. 

CampPowerGenerators were also popular, being used by 58.6% of people at Burning Man.  Nearly 60% of generator use was tied to camp operation of the system.  Individuals also reported their own vehicles or another camp to have also been their generator’s origin.  Lastly, a small group of individuals utilized the power grid in Center Camp, about 3.7% of Burners.

A few days back, the Black Rock City Blog provided some information on how people arrive in Black Rock City.  Entrance, number of people per car, and date of arrival were covered wonderfully.  Here, we will finally address some of the modes of arrival.  With so many people reporting use of generators, it was natural to also wonder how many people stayed in a Recreational Vehicle (RV) or camper-trailer. 

CampRVIt turns out that 29% of individuals choose to do so, leaving seven out of 10 others to report not having stayed in an RV or camper-trailer during their week. The interesting statistic was the 1% who weren’t sure whether they were staying in an RV. Perhaps they had a little too much fun at the burn 😉

Written by:

Veronica Santistevan

Edited by:

David Nelson-Gal aka Scribble


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