Monday, April 24, 2006

A "Down to earth" question

TheStar.com - Down to earth

Have you ever wondered why some technologies don't seem to receive the same government support as others? Take a look this article and start wondering.

Why can't the provincial and federal government understand the need of reducing power consumption more than one way? Currently the governments want us to use lower wattage light bulbs, more energy efficient appliances, have environmental home audits and so on and so forth all in the bid to reduce energy. All of these methods only reduce what we currently use through either natural gas or electricity.

Why doesn't the government start investing in ideas like thermal heating exchange units similar to thos mentioned in Tyler Hamilton's article referenced above. That article points to a technology that could reduce electricity and natural gas consumption quite considerably both in the immediate and long terms. So why won't governments do it in the name of trying to achieve the targets set out by the Kyoto accord and reduce greenhouse gases?


In Canada quite a few of the local municipalities are in the electricity business. So having all of these homes and businesses switch over from being electricity consumers to possibly even being energy producers. How could they be energy producers? One is obviously by reducing the amount of electricity being used quite considerably by installing the thermal idea referenced in the article. The second might be to either install an electrical generator to use the heat in the summer being forced underground in order to produce electricty. Or the second might include the installation of solar panels and/or a wind turbine to create the necessary energy that the home or business might require. However, if an over abundance of electricity is generated because of the seventy percent energy reduction as well as the energy production, the home/business could sell the excess back to "the grid." In other words the hydro (electrical) companies could end up paying to the home or business owner for electricity produced instead of billing the homeowner/businessowner for energy used. If enough buildings convert, then some municipalities wholly owned hydro companies may start to have to pay out more than is coming in. But that is more likely to be long in the future.

Could it be that the local hydro companies want us to reduce our power consumption because they cannot build generation fast enough? Probably. Do these same companies want us to reduce our electricity consumption by as much as seventy percent? Not likely. Why not? Because that just might put them in a financial hardship if the money starts to slow while the electrical company gets stuck with the bills for maintaining the infrastructure required to maintain "the grid."

But then again bureauracy, as we all know, takes sometimes to recognize the most obvious things. I just hope that the bureaucracy of the government notices this twenty-five year old technology pretty shortly and comes up with a way to fund the installation of it before the ice caps of the Artic become an endangered species.

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