Re: photochemical advance

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 09:41:16 MST

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Dec 2001, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> > On Mon, 10 Dec 2001, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > > Even at the 30% efficiencies of the best man made solar panels, this
> > > would require that 10% of our arable land be occupied by solar collectors,
> > > something which I am positive would trigger an enormous Luddite/NIMBY
> > > backlash so as to make the Inquisition seem like mere cliquishness.
> Even assuming 10% (where did you get that figure? and 15-20% is more like
> it), why on earth "arable"? There are roofs and facades, rairoads,
> roadsides, parking lots, deserts which receive too much insolation for
> crops.
> Fully self-reliant single-family houses have been demonstrated -- with no
> external panel surface. I think it's somewhat a stretch, and it ignores
> the energy demands of industry, but I'm not sure about 10% of total land
> mass.

The power consumed in the family home is a small fraction of the total
per capita power consumption of an individual in modern technological
civilization. Far more is consumed in the recovery, refining,
production, and distribution of the products that each and every
individual uses. Migrating all of the production of this power to the
individuals property would rapidly bring home how significant this is
compared to the miniscule amount of energy used in the home.

There is no such thing as a 'fully self reliant single family home' in
the modern world. Even the act of building such homes leaves the
individual in debt for their lifetime paying the energy cost of creating
all the materials used in it's construction.

It is also for this reason that further advances in consumption
efficiency will be getting progressively more expensive: industry has
gone much farther than the homeowner in investing in efficiency.

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