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Posted by Al on January 27, 2008, 8:07 am

Well yes, and no. Yes we need a lot of roof-space to accomodate
today's demand. but if demand keeps increasing at today's rates
worldwide then there are *no* solutions! However, if we get
significantly smarter and use a lot less power, then solar can become
a realistic, relevant and sensible *part* of the solution. A much more
significant part must come from energy efficiency measures first,
otherwise the whole range of potential energy options will add to "not

For example, the Australian national average energy consumption is
~6,000kWh p.a. (Australian Greenhouse Office,
http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/local/strategic/chapter3.html ) yet it is
easily feasible and not at all difficult to live using a whole lot
less. We use 2.3 kWh per person per day in Sydney. Average number of
persons per household in Sydney is 2.7 (ABS). So this equates to:
2.3 * 365 * 2.7 = 2,270kWh per annum if you normalised my household.

Not a particularly good figure according to many people who live
off-grid! Yet compared with the average Aus. househld we're doing very
well. We have achieved this relatively low consumption by a handful of
relatively painless changes to our routine. At this stage more than
2/3 of that usage is for hot water (easily separated in our bills as
it's the only thing billed off-peak) but we're planning to install
solar hot water soon. Once the solar hot water is installed I expect
to reduce that component by 2/3 or so.

The solutions to our problems are already available; we already have a
range of technologies which can reverse the problems we face. What
we're currently lacking is not technology, it's political will and
public information. But it's not all gloom either: programmes like
ABC's (or is it SBS?) Carbon Cops and others are just one part of the
"thin edge".


Posted by Arnold Walker on January 27, 2008, 10:24 am

Start building refineries ,remove all offshore drilling bans,eliminate
government spenting measures, question the eco hog wash like" 40 years solar
is going to make it
someday ,if we can kill every option off and government support it into

Posted by J. Clarke on January 27, 2008, 11:20 am
 Al wrote:

It has occurred to you has it not that if the Third World is going to
progress to First World status then its people are going to want to
live like people in the First World and that means that they are per
capita going to want to be increasing their energy consumption.

If you want to live off-grid more than you want to live comfortably
that's fine.

If more than 2/3 of your energy usage is hot water then you're
fortunate in your choice of climate.  I understand that 4C is unusual
enough to be remarkable in Sydney.  It hasn't been above 1C here in a
week or so, and we're having a mild winter--some winters I see -20
with regularity.

Actually what we lack is economic incentive.  Oil, coal, and natural
gas are still the cheapest way to provide electricity, heat, and
transportation.  Nuclear is also in that ballpark but until the
greenies freeze to death in the dark or enough of the rest of the
public does to induce the survivors to tell the greenies to go hug a
tree it's not going to be politically viable.  As prices continue to
rise other means will become more attractive.

to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)

Posted by Vaughn Simon on January 27, 2008, 2:43 pm

   So of course today's always-increasing demand for energy is not sustainable,
we knew that.  Part of the "solution" to this mismatch between supply and demand
will be obvious to anyone who has taken economics 101.   The supply and demand
curves will simply readjust themselves as us humans readjust our priorities to
reflect the new worldwide reality.  These readjustments may or may not be
traumatic.  For example: Many of us will probably quickly choose smaller
vehicles than what we drive today.  Housing stock is slow to evolve, but it is a
good bet that future homes will be smaller, will be closer to where we work &
shop, and will be built with better insulation and other energy saving features.


Posted by Morris Dovey on January 30, 2008, 2:25 am

It might be just you. :-)

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

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