Saturday, March 18, 2006
And you think peak oil is the main problem? Try, try again.
When we're talking about solar, we're not talking about our "peak-oil" problem, we're talking about our natural gas/coal/nuclear problem. That black-gold stuff gets all the headlines, but we should be paying more attention to what's on the other side of that plug on your living-room wall.
If one mainly pays attention to the major media, on would think the fate of oil is the be-all and end-all of our energy problems. But hold on there! We have to look at TOTAL energy use worldwide, not just energy used for transportation. I was shaken of this oil-centric way of thinking when I found out the following facts reading in some energy book a while ago, the title of which I can't even remember, but, never fear, the information is also available at the worldenergy.org website:
roughly 30% of world's energy use and emissions problems
Commercial/Industrial electricity/heating(coal,nuclear,nat gas)roughly 50% of world's energy use and emissions problems
Residential electricity/heating (coal,nuclear,nat gas)
roughly 20% of world's energy use and emissions problems
In other words, 70% of our energy use is NON-TRANSPORTATION related, meaning it's related mainly to the production of heat and electricity for the world's homes and buildings. And this energy comes mainly from coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable sources. When I first came across this statistic--that oil represents 30% of total world energy use--I was quite surprised! Shocked! I thought oil was AT LEAST 50% if not more of energy demand. Must've been paying too much attention to the sexy oil crisis in the papers. In turn, my attention then went more toward our "electricity/heating" problems in need of solutions. So, wouldn't you say we need a few more column-inches in our newspapers reserved for reporting on reducing electricity use, increasing efficiency, and the ramping up the use of renewable sources of energy to produce our electricity. (Don't get me wrong, oil is a BIG problem, being the main input for our transportation and petroleum-based agriculture, paint and agricultural sectors. But, hey, that's for another post; we're talking electricity for now).
So, solar and renewable sources for electricity are indeed BIG parts of the total energy equation, and it's not all oil, I have come to realize.
And on the sixth day, a solarDweller was born. No time to rest on the seventh, though. Too many people to tell about solar!
Categories: solar, solar+power, peak+oil, nuclear, electricity, whatsnews