This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← The world has forgotten the real victims of Fukushima

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Reckless Monkey

Comment 20 by mmurray Nah. Why bother developing industry when you can just shear a sheep or dig something out of the ground and sell it off cheap mate!

Exactly.

As for storage, there are a few options solar thermal plants using pressure vessels. But as electric cars become more popular one of the solutions is to use the batteries as a bank. In this situation the proposal is you lease the car batteries off the power company. In doing so the company uses an agreed upon amount of those to even out the fluctuations from other power sources. You use your phone/computer to program how much power you want and when. So if you are driving to work and you need 40% charge for that it makes sure you have enough and utilises the other 60% overnight or when you are at work. Its based upon the fact that our cars sit idle for 99% of the time so provided you have some idea of when you will need a charge and how much this can even out spikes in power production from different sources. Apparently you only need about 15 - 20% of the population to have electric cars before the storage problems are sorted from a mixed model of wind/solar/gas. There are already neighbourhoods around me that can't have any more photovoltaic cells because hooked up to the grid they can't be turned off at will and the power companies don't have anything to do with excess power.

Another issue with traditional coal or nuclear in Australia is water. We don't have enough of it and power station throw a lot of it away in the form of clouds over cooling towers. In the last big drought I heard for the first time that the major concern was not running out of drinking water but running out of cooling water for the local coal power plants.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 09:17:22 UTC | #920676