Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As much as some people like the concept of being completely independent, there are such things as economies of scale.  Decentralization down to the level of households is lunacy.  For one thing, who's going to maintain (or operate, for that matter) thousands of individual PV H2 producers scattered everywhere?  The homeowner?  
by tjbuff (timhess@adelphia.net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 01:49:42 PM EST
... of the individual household is fine for those things that do not have substantial economies of scale and scope. After all, they make for a more robust, resilient system.

But the notion that those things that do not have substantial economies of scale and scope will add up to Energy Autarky is silly, because a substantial economy of scope comes from harvesting a wide variety of sustainable renewable power sources over a wide area and moving surpluses from one area to meet immediate demands in deficit areas, instead of ever storing it in the first place.

And the diary makes an important point that deserves highlighting.  Energy autarky requires that everyone live on a property large enough to provide their energy needs ... which is an incentive to larger houses and larger energy needs. We are better off with four households living in their individual residences in the form of two pairs of stacked townhouses, than with four households living in four separate ranch plan houses with the same floor space, even though the total roof area of the four separate ranch plan houses is larger.

After all, the smaller area per square foot floor space of the side by side stacked townhouses that sacrifices the roof area for photo-voltaic cells also reduces total energy demand to heat and cool the rooms of the residences to any given level.

There is a given per person energy budget that can be renewably sustained, and side by side with ignoring commercial scale economies is ignoring scale economies in Energy Return on Investment.

This is all to the side of the point that the claims regarding the energy efficiency breakthrough of this new technology do not appear to have any foundation (Oil Drum).

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 11:44:28 AM EST
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