Post by Tony Post by Firu
The big drawback to fossil fuels is they are finite. And amount of
cunning tech and propaganda will change that.
I am no lover of the continuation of fossil fuel use. My issue is that there
are serious downsides to the alternatives at this time. Solar and wind are in
their infancy and until we fix the problems they have we only have two choices
unless a new alternative is found, those choices are use fossil fuels or cut
energy use dramatically. I don't believe his agenda was the defence of fossil
If the problems with renewables are around efficiency and energy
conversion its worth remembering that losses are inherent in any
When you take into consideration the three conversion processes,
thermal, mechanical and electrical, used to extract the energy from
fossil fuels the overall efficiency of a modern fossil fuelled
electrical power generating plant will be about 40%. This means that 60%
of the energy input to the system is wasted. Efficiencies may be as low
as 30% in some older plants.
In NZ geothermal and hydro are other possibilities that don't use finite
resources and are suited to local microgeneration plants. So a few more
bits to add tot the mix.
When we get onto energy savings, you are dead right. We need more
efficiency in homes, workplaces and schools. This shouldn't be seen as a
temporary measure till we sort out the generation side, but rather a
thing we just do all the time.
When I came to NZ I was amazed at the lack of insulation and the general
thermal inefficiencies of property here. When I eventually built my own
home I added lots of insulation and temperature control ideas into the
building. So minimal heating requirements and no cooling requirements.
By using natural light the need for electrical lighting was reduced and
any lighting is now 100% LED.