Ending Energy Ignorance – Part I


Shortlink – http://wp.me/pfF9G-8R

I would like to discuss, what is generally considered my open opposition to “Solar”, in particular its primary and growing implementation in the United States. “Solar” is often the buzzword for PV (photo voltaic), which is the generation of electricity through capturing part of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.

This discussion cannot occur, unless we all understand and agree upon the basic fundamentals of energy, specifically electricity as it pertains to our energy collection, distribution and consumption needs. “Solar” on almost all accepted premises has a leaning towards electricity production, hence the need to understand where we are currently with electricity generation, portability and uses.

Author’s note: Please excuse ongoing design & content changes, I’m composing this as I go. ~Hans 7/21/14

How aware are we?

It is readily obvious, many of us, especially in the United States, have lived in a sheltered bubble regarding the true costs of energy. We have been blessed with ample, almost unlimited cheap energy, although it is and has been heavily subsidized on numerous fronts. We also have had access to ample availability of natural resources, either home sourced or imported, over the past 150 years. A lack of continuous scarcity on both fronts, at the present time, can in many regards be considered a partial curse that followed the long standing blessing.

We collectively have only experienced a few small bumps along the way; the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s, followed by implementation of CAFE standards for vehicle fuel efficiency labeling; deregulation of the Grid and the subsequent ENRON manipulation in the 90s; and most recently the doubling of gasoline prices during the middle of the oughts (2004 – 2009).

However, those speed bumps at the entrance ramp to the freeway, were quickly crossed and shortly forgotten as general prosperity accelerated our consumption forward.

Of course, if we’re talking about electricity in the United States, it’s almost a misnomer to be considering oil prices, as almost all petroleum we consume is for transportation or petrochemical consumption, primarily plastics.  Very little is for electricity outside diesel-electric locomotives, generators for backup/emergency electricity or pumping, and remote locations too costly to expand electric infrastructure for connection.

In Part II, I will be outlining the history of how we arrived where were are today. Please join me.

Feeding demand, the supply could be from a NIMBY coal plant, a distant wind farm or the NG peaker 5 miles away.
Feeding demand, the supply could be from a NIMBY coal plant, a distant wind farm or the NG peaker 5 miles away.

 

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