Posts Tagged ‘Solar energy’
Unless you’re well loaded, financially, things are starting to get very difficult for many people due to various factors.
This cyclical nature of the Western economy is, like the solar cycle of identical length, something we take for granted, but it needn’t be that way. Despite living in the ‘free’ West, most people are not really liberated. (This whole blog is all about such a state of affairs and is what motivates me in my work too.)
So, unless you are in absolute power, meaning you won’t have to concern yourself with such matters, I’m willing to bet your typical Brit is worrying about the following:
- Paying the mortgage
- Paying the car loan
- Paying the electricity bill
- Paying the council tax
- Paying the water bill
- Paying the food bill (How much?!)
- Paying for the kids toys
And so on, silently, like a slowly ticking time bomb.
Always hoping your ship will sail in tomorrow, such that the stress that tugs at your soul 24/7 will finally be lifted. The strain it puts on your personal relationship(s) all gone.
Sadly, things are not engineered to occur like that. There is no Hollywood ending in reality. (As per most British directed movies that tend to feature a more realistic 3rd act.)
The part solution to this is as I have been saying for 15 years or more and why a NASA image of the sun is my universal avatar, is for as many individuals and businesses as possible (Mrs May won’t have the government do it, she’s in bed with big carbon/nuclear) to fit as many solar panels as possible to their home or garage.
Instead of buying that 42″ LG 4K OLED TV, (next year?), buy two 150 watt solar panels (£300), a leisure battery or two (£85), two regulators (£60), and get your basic gadgets off grid 24/7. As solar panels come down in price, you’ll be able to add more, get some more batteries (maybe a Tesla Powerwall?) and then take some major white goods appliances off grid too. A solar powered fridge eh? The irony!
By doing this, you’ll spend a bit, but then reduce your power bill and even be able to feed back into the grid once your output exceeds your input. Either way, you’ll benefit the environment and be setup to survive a power cut when the End Of Days apocalypse comes to pass.
Light back club: Invest in this…
See this and then that. (Sorry, both paid links.) One refers to the ‘problems’ associated with ‘too much’ solar energy overloading the grid (#excuses), the other, that the government is to arrange power blackouts in the UK to save energy. You could not make it up!
The once cash rich energy industry has had years to invest in low maintenance, clean, sustainable energy. They have not. Why not? Because resources like shale gas (obtained through as yet unproven fracking) will make those who invest in it a fortune very quickly. So they have resorted to the oldest trick in the book, fear, to persuade (frighten?) the British public to back shale gas. No matter that with cancer effecting more and more people today already and concerns about access to clean drinking water by farmers, the energy companies (read, The Government and their paid off ministers) are more than happy to choose a path whose consequences will include both using huge quantities of potential drinking water and pollution of the ground water in the locality, rather than more ethical, viable and clean alternatives.
Here we are in 2013 (‘the future’) and we have crusty greedy visionless people running our lives in such a manner that make the clean, almost utopian (without the dystopian!) future we were promised and worked hard at engineering college to bring about far off, or even, simply doomed. It is almost as if our leaders want to keep us (who is ‘us’ is another debate!) repressed and with as little hope and freedom as possible. Reminds me of the 70s, but what makes it worse, is that today, as recent events have proven, we’re all being monitored 24/7 (both ‘on the street’ and online), so trying to protest against such policy will lead to the authorities arresting people before they even get marching. Freedom? Puh! (At least abroad they still have the freedom and passion to revolt.)
A degree in economics is not required to know that energy is what effects the price of all else, from food to clothing to building materials, not to mention your actual electricity bill. Yet the government is holding us hostage by forcing us to accept quick and dirty solutions, rather than take a more long term approach that will neither pollute or require expensive exploration.
Fight frack club: Just as you may choose not to buy your clothing from sweat shops or your bananas from a dictatorship, so, find out where your energy is sourced from, and if it isn’t clean, shop elsewhere. I’m doing my part by researching (and possibly developing) practical clean energy solutions, such as storing solar generated energy close to where it is needed, for on demand access, no grid or over fed politician required.
In business, smart companies know when their core market is threatened and act accordingly. Some of the world’s best known brands started out producing things that have little to do with their current product portfolio. For example, Nokia started out in rubber. Rank made movies, but eventually diversified into bread! Hence, Rank Hovis McDougal! There are many other examples of this, including to a less extreme extent, Apple, who saw the end of the PC era (error?) and invested in the iPhone and latterly, the iPad. They win, we win.
What a contrast to big energy. It is 2013 (the future!) and today, we are not surprised to hear, that energy prices are going to rocket over the coming years because we failed to invest in alternatives.
I sit here watching Arsenal get thrashed by Bayern Munich and the very first sponsor logo to appear before the game was Gazprom. Yes, we won the cold war, but now the West has been pawned by the very countries we clandestinely fought for over 40 years because they have their hands on our balls.
If we had done what smart business does, we would have taken our oil war chest and invested it on a Manhattan Project scale in sustainable energy technologies. Initially, this blog praised (having suggested it a while back) the UK Government recent investment in graphene, but when you think about it, the amount provided is a drop in the ocean to that invested in a single fracking test drill and many other short termist (more harmful) concepts. Solar panels made from graphene could be mounted on all large buildings to provide a large enough percentage of our energy to make up for the rising costs associated with our migration to foreign owned gas.
Yes, the green movement (of which this blogger is part of) killed off nuclear energy with a little help from Chernobyl and Fukushima, (the one carbon free source that could keep prices down), but that is no surprise, – nuclear also killed itself by failing to invest in safer cleaner alternative (nuclear) technologies, always choosing the least expensive at the start path.
So why didn’t we invest in sustainable energy when we could? Because even allowing for the failure of nuclear, the people who own our energy are so wealthy, even a quadrupling of prices would make no difference to their lives. And the politicians are in bed with the same people so you know that nothing will happen, unless you do something about it.
My employers forthcoming (albiet delayed) venture, lifemachine.com (@lifemachine) will suggest a robust but gentle path to a sustainable way of life and business, because you have always been free to harness that great big ball of fire up there.
Fight back club: Why wait? Mount your own solar panels and gradually get more and more of your household and business electrical and electronic items off the grid. Even if the initial investment hurts, you will be independent of price rises and so can at least plan your cashflow. And best of all, solar panels last a long time, so you’ll be able to rely upon them for decades.
I don’t mention wind farms, because there are so many issues with wind turbines, although new bird friendly designs positioned off shore – as the UK government has proposed to their credit, are a viable option too.