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Thread: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

  1. #1
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    lets talk about them!
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #2
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    Lady,have you been at the brain juice again...keep them coming...
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

  3. #3
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    In Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation Trilogy, the mastermind of the backstory, predicting the collapse of a galactic empire, established a "Foundation" of intellectuals on a planet with very few usable natural resources.

    This led directly to the development (over a long period of time) of highly efficient technology, as per the plan.

    I think (hope) we are now at the point where we can skip the collapse of a galactic empire and go straight to the development of highly efficient technologies. Very good batteries are in development, solar cells are increasing in efficiency, wind farms are cropping up even here in the wilds of Northern Michigan, tidal hydroelectric plants sound good, highly wasteful light bulbs are being replaced by highly efficient LEDs (my aquarium light bulb is a LED array. It is very bright, uses only tiny amounts of electricity, and generates no detectable heat. I find it almost as fascinating as the plants and critters it illuminates).

    I even hear tales of the development of artificial chlorophyll!

    I'm not an engineer so I don't know much and can't make predictions, but I think we are headed down the right road at last.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Member neráida's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    I'm very excited about the cost decline for LED lighting. We've begun to replace the few non-CFLs we've had lurking around with LEDs. We usually leave our light bulbs behind when we change apartments, but I think we'll take these with us!

  5. #5
    Head Above Water habbalah's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    Thalassa is on a mission to replace every subject on the boards with her own!

    On the subject of alternative energy, I really like the idea of solar power. What I had is that it's still not terribly efficient. Places that have solar panels, which are extremely expensive, often use regular power or wind, if they're lucky enough to be able to afford that too/live in a place that they can do it.
    “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

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  6. #6

    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    I think right now, the most practical method would be to power the whole world using threads thal started.

  7. #7
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    Quote Originally Posted by habbalah View Post

    On the subject of alternative energy, I really like the idea of solar power. What I had is that it's still not terribly efficient. Places that have solar panels, which are extremely expensive, often use regular power or wind, if they're lucky enough to be able to afford that too/live in a place that they can do it.

    The efficiency of solar power has increased from somewhere around 1-7% collection to 44% in the past 40 years (this depends on type of panel), and the the size and cost of a panel has decreased just as dramatically to produce the same amount of electricity (and continues to do so). The theoretical maximum of current best technologies is somewhere around 65%. The problem of solar has never been about efficiency--there's more than enough sunlight available, provided one has enough surface area. Solar cells have also come down in price significantly, plus tax incentives and grants, etc can often cut the cost quite a bit. Considering the savings in bought electricity, the system in the long run can pay itself off in about 10 years (give or take a few depending on where you are, what you use, and what you bought, what incentives you got, etc)...and even if you don't plan to stay put, in increases your home value for resale quite a bit (more info).
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #8
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    Puts Thal on the thread treadmill...awwww,look how cute she looks all doing cogitation and everything ...
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

  9. #9
    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    Puts Thal on the thread treadmill...awwww,look how cute she looks all doing cogitation and everything ...
    Speaking of treadmills and energy production ... I remember reading about a low security prison that had kinetic doo-hickies attached to a series of exercise bikes. The deal was that for whatever time spent pedaling away, and thus helping to generate power for the facility, the inmate would receive equal time in early release. Get fit, lower costs, and get home sooner.

  10. #10
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources

    We have tried to use energy efficient techniques with building our house, within the limits of our budget. Passive solar design can make a big difference to heating and cooling costs, which reduces energy usage. We are double glazing the whole house and have ramped up the insulation. Even seemingly innocuous things like the colour of our roof and the type of roof ventilation were chosen with energy efficiency in mind.

    Solar power is on our list of upgrades, but wasn't quite manageable up front. My parents' solar panels actually earn them money for most of the year... and when their new house is built down the farm they will actually be off grid and solar-only (the current shed weekender is run 100% on solar already, but there's no actual house there yet). They are also building with straw bale walls and double glazing, for improved energy efficiency.

    I would love to be able to do geothermal heating rather than a traditional system. One day perhaps.

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