Alternative energy - some numbers

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"Let's get real about alternative energy"

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/05/13/mackay.energy/index.html

"The public discussion of energy options tends to be emotional, polarized, mistrustful and destructive. I hope that focusing attention on the numbers may make it possible to develop honest and constructive conversations about energy."

Good article. But entirely omits demand side management, which effectively reduces required energy generation capacity. I'm also wary of the focus on centralized renewable energy generation, rather than smaller, distributed generation models.

He addresses demand a bit -- his estimates for required renewal resources in the US assume a 50% reduction from 250 to 125 kWh per person per day.

Agreed that local distribution is important (I like this analogy to the internet: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/start.html?pg=7). The numbers are still big, though -- even if only a third of supply comes from local solar installations, that's still 80 sq meters per person, or a 30'x30' set of panels.

Hey! Since you've expressed an interest in this stuff (and I loooove spreading this info to those who've expressed interest), have a look at the link. The doc is a bit dated but remains 100% relevant. It's too bad the FCM doesn't do more with it's so-called "green infrastructure" budget. That program has so much un-tapped potential...