Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Energy Market

In this country, and in the West, we throw away about a third of the food we buy. So, I am wondering just how much energy we waste. It’s not just about insulation of buildings. What I am getting at here is the waste that is embedded in the system. We have over the last 40-50 years been sold labour saving devices – from vaccum cleaners to electric toothbrushes and for the DIY enthusiast Electric screwdrivers and Nail Guns. Then we find that the combination of this with fast food is not that good for our waistlines, so we are off to the health centre. We drive there in our car, use an escalator or lift to the second floor and then get on a 2kW exercise machine that uses, rather than generates, electricity.

The reason that this has been actively encouraged is because it is good for the illusory Holy Grail of econoimic growth. Don’t get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with economic growth, but just like cholesterol there is the good and the bad. The trouble is that they both contribute to the headline figure so beloved of Chancellors and so-called market analysts. But the Market has a nasty habit of biting the bums of its proponents.

Part of the global crisis we are now seeing is that the Globalisation project, so readily embraced by Blair and Brown, is predicated on a never ending supply of cheap energy. And now it ain’t so cheap, the system is beginning to creak. We have wasted our own reserves of natural gas and oil and are now reliant on others. There is plenty of energy out there in the form of e.g. Tar Sands and Shale Gas, but it is highly polluting, risky and very expensive - as is Nuclear, at least in the form that governments will allow it to be used, i.e. in large, remote vanity projects and not the small efficient jobs used in submarines.

But, in the end, it is the markets who will decide where we go and how we get our energy, and it is we who will decide whether or not to waste it.

The more we waste a resource the more expensive it gets.
Click on image to enlarge

Round up:

Niger delta: oil spills clean-up will take 30 years and cost $1bn

Swedish man attempts to make a domestic nuclear reactor in his kitchen.

Hinkley C – Somerset's nuclear money pit? - It was the City that ruled out new nuclear plants throughout the last 20 years when there was no law preventing their construction, and with the price rising fast, and the age of austerity with us for years, it will be the City that decides this time, too.

Day after Sellafield plant is shut, Government told to build another
The plant has been a complete technological failure, managing to produce only a little fuel

Hippy Dropout Becomes Wind Energy Mogul

EU wind energy market to triple in size this decade

New Wind turbines 300 times more powerful

Fishy theory squeezes more power from wind farms

Animal Farm gets wind turbines

Solar PV forecast brightens for 2011

Bee friendly “Sun Park”

Welsh Housing association invests £2m in solar panels

The Solar Powered Commuter

The residents of Clarence House seem happy

Energy from feet, in Shopping Malls and Golf courses everywhere…..

Energy watchdogs pocket £200,000-plus pay packets as customers are clobbered by soaring bills

The Energy White paper

2 comments:

  1. As I understand it, after the looming financial crash we will finally be able to start using new energy systems which have suppressed by the energy companies (etc).

    Over 100 years ago Nikola Tesla (the man who invented the ac electrical technologies we use 'today') was demonstrating an energy distribution technology whereby all people would need to 'collect' it was something akin to a radio. However, when his financier (J P Morgan) discovered that end users would not be able to be charged according to consumption, so the financial plug was pulled.

    Otherwise we'd all already be using small boxes in our back gardens - and we would not even know what an electric bill was!

    This technology would be 'very bad' for the stock market, especially share values of energy companies. (Which is the only reason it needs a stock market crash before can enter the public domain). But it would mean that people would be freed from the diabolical choice of being able to heat their homes or eat food (doing both being unaffordable).

    Before then however, we are poised to experience a very cold wintry spell (winter 2011-2012). Because of the recent big earthquakes the 'tilt' of the earth has changed and the seasons have shifted a little out of kilter to what we previously knew. With more and much larger quakes expected over the next few months the 'tilt' will probably change further. Whats causing all this is for another time.

    Simon

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  2. Next time the earth axis of rotation tilts, could it be the other way, please, because it's mid-August, and, despite the fact I have doned two thick jumpers, I am still frozen to my old bones!
    However, on the positive side, these ludicrous (polite term selected even if this is not the refined redbridge i forum!) over-watering plotholders are hopefully refraining from putting money into Thames Water's coffers!
    annesevant

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