Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some more the scale of the problem

The estimates are that in the next 20 years we will need to generate a lot more electrical power for all of our electrical gadgets, this according to the International Energy Agency. They are talking about another 1 000 000 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year by 2030. IF the gadgets can be made to require less electrical power, the need would fall to about 750 000 GwH.

We need to add about 40 000 GwH or green power a year globally just to keep pace with the demand for electronic gadgets. If we are not adding that much, we are falling behind. If only add that much we are not cutting into the existing coal fired power base.

Tyler Hamilton has a good article on this in the Toronto Star.

Globally governments have to remove the barriers to the development of a lot more private green power. Government has been the biggest block to increasing green power since the 1960s. We need to work towards a carbon tax on coal, this alone will push the vast majority of green power ideas from marginal into profitable.

I would like to see the money from carbon taxes used to remore green house gases from the atmosphere. I would like to see the tax go high enough that companies find it cheaper to be carbon neutral than pay the tax.

But back to the point, demand for electrical power is still rising and is no danger of falling anytime soon. We have to plan on the standard of living of China and India rising dramatically over the next generation and with that electrical energy use. To pretend that it is not going to happen is to stick one's head in the sand and ignore reality.

By 2030 I expect China and India to have 2 000 000 000 iPhone (or much better) moblie phones in use. I expect that there will be 500 000 000 computers, gaming systems and other electronic equipment to be in use. I also expect there to be a lot more air conditioners in use, one per household by 2030.

There is a huge demand for electrical power coming. Every watt of green power will be one more carbon free watt produced and we need huge amounts to come online very quickly.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I would like to see building codes changed to encourage or mandate solar panels on every new building. This what is happening in Gainseville, FL. and also in Germany.

This puts a lot of the production of power in the same community where it is consumed and saves the wastage of power from resistance over long distance power lines.

It also creates security by massively decentralizing and localizing production. In the event of a grid outage, each building will still have a certain amount of power available for necessities.

If more US cities take up this idea, it will reduce the demand for run-of-the-river power projects in BC.