Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 06:51 PM 12/9/01 -0800, James Rogers wrote:
> >>Wouldn't it be smarter to try and create
> >> energy consumers that are more efficient?
> >[No], Because we are pretty close to the upper bounds of energy efficiency
> from a
> >physical engineering standpoint. ...
> >There are some systemic improvements that would improve efficiency (e.g.
> >distributed power rather than centralized in certain cases)
> I'm no expert in this, but I don't believe that statement can be correct.
> The energy that First World nations squander on air conditioning, for
> example, could surely be slashed by some simple design/fashion
> changes--roads and roofs that reflect heat in summer, tree planting for
> seasonally appropriate cooling and pleasurable viewing in one convenient
> package, wall & floor heat sinks, optimized air flow, all that.
Not really. Modern homes are extremely energy efficient. They are so
airtight that many such homes need CO and radon detectors to warn of
dangerous buildups of these gasses, and their R values are extremely
high. That is not to say that there is a lot of older housing that could
use help, but since 1980, the average US home has doubled its efficiency
with the help of retrofits of insulation, lighting, HVAC, window
replacements (gone from single pane to triple pane with glazings).
The market decides what efficiency gains are appropriate. If you spend
more money on an efficiency gain than it is worth, you actually wind up
wasting more energy as a result (money = energy).
As seen in the energy markets of late, the recent high oil prices are an
entirely fictitious construction of a monopolizing syndicate with a
political agenda. Now that Russia has become a more effective supplier,
it is mitigating the influence of OPEC in the market, and so the era of
artificially inflated energy prices may well be over. I would predict
that the price of oil will not go over $26 pbbl for another decade, if
not two decades or more.
The mass marketing of hybrid automobiles will be the most significant
change in consumer efficiency for the next decade. Next will be the
application of fuel cell technologies to home heating and energy supply.
Then, as nanoassembly techniques become commonplace, the whole lighting
infrastructure will be replaced with electroluminescent technology, as
nano assembly is needed to overcome the arc stability problems that
technology has at high brightness and large surface areas.
These changes will cause oil consumption to drop by another 50% over the
next 10-20 years (unless, of course, that much more of the human race
develops a modern western industrial infrastructure, a distinct
possibility) and thus prices will remain relatively stable, if not drop
to permanent prices in the $10-20 / bbl range.
The next huge change will be the development of CO2 dessicant
technologies using nanoreplication biospheres. This will start with
brute force seeding of oceanic plankton (which has the added benefit of
boosting the human food supply as well)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:25 MDT