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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Renewable Energy Action Agenda

Renewable Energy Action Agenda

It would be interesting if each of the 'experts' making commentary about various renewable energy options were to actually state if they have any actual experience beyond the theoretical. There are actually not many people who are utilizing renewable energy in their every-day lives outside of perhaps solar hot water heating. Those of us who have been using these technologies for decades are often bemused but frustrated by the obvious misrepresentations about cost, utility, user-friendliness and affordability that frequently arise in these commentaries.

At first I thought it was people with vested interest in the old technologies, but I think that is just a part of the problem. There also seem to be a subset of people trying to create an identity for themselves by venturing opinions on subjects that they have no first-hand knowledge of. They can often be identified by how sure they are of themselves.

We need to get over these kinds of competitive debates. We need to get to work to bring technologies that work to the market. We need less 'experts' and more entrepreneurs and visionary investors. These problems are not going to be solved by venture capitalist slight of hand nor those 'experts who can deconstruct anything. The technologies that already overwhelm the world are riddled with problems that make them improbable successes. Just because we can identify problems does not mean we should abandon the effort to develop technologies that overcome the problems. The alternative is mass extinction, including, possibly, of the human race.

Jonathan Cole

1 comment:

  1. I provided power/light for my wife & myself for about 30 years> 10 years on a boat & 20 years on an island. We in the end were able to bake bread in a convection oven, run a crock pot, pump water, look at TV, run Sat. internet, use power tools, small fans, sometimes run a vacuum cleaner & a blower for a small spa bath. Our water heating was solar.

    One year we only used between 20 & 40 ltrs. of diesel for welding, heavy power tools, & top up battery charging.
    Up to the last few years a person needed to be handy with tools & have a simple understanding of electronics/electricity to be reasonably successful. Now it really only needs money & some restraint

    I don't remember in those years being without power for more than a few minutes.

    We have moved in our old age to a rural home on the grid, we have recently put 1 kw of panels on the roof with a connection to the grid. This is only very recent so we don't know how it is going but it looks promising.The tech. installing the system said the panels were able to produce 80% of their power after 20 years. My interest is likely to be small then as I will be, if still here, 104

    We used a combination of new & second hand equipment to do this. We ended with a house wired for 240 AC, 12 & 24 V DC, a nightmare of wiring for all including the installer.

    Being retired,[unemployed according to my wife] the whole exercise was of great interest to me over these years. The money cost over the years may have been 2 to 3 hundred dollars a year or less but the labour cost if priced at a minimum would have astronomical, as are most hobbies.

    Old Man