[nSLUG] Measured wattage of atom system

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 16:40:27 ADT 2008

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Option 1) we won't know unless we try.  With such a sparsely populated
> country, I wouldn't be surprised if Canada were able to produce all its
> electricity from renewable sources (I'm including hydro electricity in this).
> Don't forget also that the next generation of PV solar cells might be either
> dirt cheap, or highly (75%) efficient.  If we're lucky, the generation after
> that will be _both_ cheap and efficient.

What I last learned about solar panels is the raw materials to make
them do not exist in quantities to power high quanities of homes.
This was said on Quirks and Quarks a few years ago.

> Option 2) The 20th century will be remember as the time of plenty.  We WILL be
> returning to usage patterns closer to those at early part of this century (per
> capita)... no choice about it (except for the elite few).
>> Electricity is going to power cars,
>> home heating,

> Man, I hope not.  Electricity is a high-grade energy; using it for heat is a
> poor choice.

Have you tried drying your clothes on the line in winter?  How about
walking from Chester to Wolfville as some people did years back?
Or if you can afford a horse and the space to keep one or two,
are you up for the daily commute on an animal?  If you want to bring
back trains, we need an energy source other than coal.  I can't see
us going back to how we used to do things.  There will be power mowers,
laundry machines, chain saws, electric well water pumps, lights,
plus stuff that never existed before, demanding more electrical power.

You can't put the genie back in the bottle, unless perhaps it is preceeded
by a great amount of social and infrastructure breakdown and chaos.

The one thing I can see changing is the global nature of the economy.
It could mean the end of the bargain "loonie" stores and the return
of things built right in your home town, more local foods, less trawler
dragging.  It might be a sort of blessing.

I don't think solar, tide and wind power are bad.  I wish they
could do it all, but I'm afraid the picture many have is based on
the status quo where we merely displace the coal generating stations.
I think the media and political types gathering around windmills
and the like are political stances and nice talk about a
positive view of our future, but they are not grounded in a realistic
estimation of our energy needs.  This is partly because talk
about nuclear freaks people out.  Well, it will be much easier to
sell when gas is $10/litre!

BTW, I wonder why they plant just one windmill at various locations.
It is almost like a sort of sign post that tells everyone "don't try this
at home - you can't afford one of these", while in reality smaller
scale wind power solutions are available.

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