Sunday, October 17, 2010

Energy and the Economy.


Copy of my comment on Frogblog on energy.

“We have so many good options in NZ or renewable power that compared to most countries we are spoiled for choice.

Unless we are invaded for energy, food and living space which would be a strong possibility. I do not see the people who happily murder just to become richer sitting put and starving while countries like NZ and Australia are available.

I agree with Kevin. Apart from bigger schemes that work on already degraded areas like Stockton. Reducing demand with green buildings, energy efficient transport and lower energy technology is one strand.
Renewable energy. Distributive generation, bio-mass solar water heating, wind, geothermal, solar tidal and run of the river hydro are the other.

I gave an example above of how the timber industry. (To build Green houses) can produce all its own renewable energy from the waste stream.

These are only very approximate numbers to get the idea. I have some, but do not have the time to wade through all my papers at the moment. Orders of magnitude are close enough to show the theory. Changes in technology may mean more or less contribution. Bio fuels from sewerage are now looking more promising than first thought. Especially for farming which produces lots of it. :-) . Those tractors will be run on bio-methane produced on site.

Electric urban transport. (Trains and cars). Reduce transport fossil fuel demand by 50%. 100 PJ saved. Green buildings in California reduce demand by 15% 20 PJ saved.
All houses with solar heating. 40 PJ saved.
Ships and trains for long distance transport another 50 PJ saved.
Distributed generation by households on a smart grid. 50 PJ.
Council woody waste 4PJ. Bio-mass (Sewage plants) 10 PJ.
Forestry waste stream. 9 PJ short term. Up to 20 medium term.

It will require a lot of work and commitment, but I do not see why we cannot be 100% renewable in electricity and 50% in transport fuels by 2020 if we started now. Good for employment too.
Get the idea. New Zealanders are well placed to have a good life style with our current resources and technology.

There will likely even be some surplus for exports to pay for things which it is not sensible to produce locally. The French and Russians will sell us all the weapons we may need.

The caveats are. We need to start NOW.

We cannot afford to wait until politicians, who have too much invested in the current system, do something.

Carrying on as we are is not an option. Niether is a reversal to some agrarian horse drawn utopia.
This requires a change from the bottom up. Real democracy.

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