Monday, March 12, 2007


Not the kind that allows me to get up in the morning and go for a walk, but the kind that powers my house, etc. I've been thinking a lot about cleaner energy lately and I've taken a couple more steps towards being less wasteful.

I've been using 100% Green Power for almost two years. I signed up with Jackgreen then found out that they were using already established hydro power and weren't actually contributing to establishing new renewable sources of energy. Not what you want to hear when you just signed up for a three year contract. I recently discovered that they now use mostly wind turbines for their electricity, but still use some hydro as backup. Good news.

I'm not against mining coal because we need it for producing steel and cement. As for the production of electricity. Do we really need coal for that? Can't we build more sun and wind farms and create (or at least replace) jobs in the process?

The problem for Australians is that coal is our largest export and the economy would collapse without it. When is this clean coal production supposed to get here? How clean is it anyway? If only we could not use it at power stations or sell thermal coal. If we could sell fuel cells containing solar generated power instead... how awesome would that be?

I suppose I should mention nuclear too. I can't get my head around the fact that everyone, all of a sudden thinks it's great again! We'd be moving from one finite resource to another. It is a far more dangerous option than renewable resources, for those who work with it and those who live near the reactor, where it's being transported through and where it's being buried. It produces radioactive waste and we still haven't figured out how we fix emissions from coal! I don't think that burying radioactive waste in the ground and hoping it isn't disturbed for a long time is a very good solution. Also, how do you replace parts at a nuclear reactor? Parts become contaminated over time. Do we bury all that as well? At what time do we run out of low-seismic ground to bury everything in. What if that ground does eventually become active? Erg. I don't like it.

In nicer news.. On the weekend we changed all our incandescent bulbs to compact flourescent bulbs. Just on replacement value they end up being cheaper than incandescents. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner given that it costs less to use these. I'm also very interested to see how it effects the energy bill.

I did an energy comparison between my little car and a Toyota Prius. The Prius uses 4.4 L/100km and my car uses approx. 6.5 L/100km. That's not that bad. I'm not super motivated to go for a hybrid car just yet because my car doesn't guzzle a lot of fuel, I'm not ready to buy a new car anytime soon, hybrid's are so expensive, the batteries only last eight years (Honda only guarantee their batteries for 5) and cost approx 3k to replace. How does the rest of the car go after ten years? I'd probably sell a car after owing it for ten years, but this will effect resale value. I'll revisit the issue when I'm thinking about buying a new car.

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