Waste Not, Want Not

Inefficiency: energy converted uselessly to heat of friction and incompletely burned energy residues: air and water pollutants.

The answer: Efficiency boosts–a much better solution to having more energy and less waste (including famously: greenhouse gases). Here’s a snippet from a piece by Lester Brown on Huffingtonpost.com

One crucial area of focus, a step we can take essentially immediately, is raising energy efficiency–especially in the United States.

When the Bush administration released a new energy plan in April 2001 that called for construction of 1,300 new power plants by 2020, Bill Prindle of the Washington-based Alliance to Save Energy responded by pointing out how the country could eliminate the need for those plants and save money in the process. He ticked off several steps that would reduce the demand for electricity:

* Improving efficiency standards for household appliances would eliminate the need for 127 power plants;

* More stringent residential air conditioner efficiency standards would eliminate 43 power plants;

* Raising commercial air conditioner standards would eliminate the need for 50 plants;

* Using tax credits and energy codes to improve the efficiency of new buildings would save another 170 plants;

* Similar steps to raise the energy efficiency of existing buildings would save 210 plants.

These five measures from the longer list suggested by Prindle would not only eliminate the need for 600 power plants, they would also save money. Although these calculations were made in 2001, they are still valid simply because there has been so little progress in raising U.S. energy efficiency since then.

Fred sez: When the time comes, I’ll vote against the BIGGER HAMMER approach. Sometimes LESS is MORE.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. To reduce power consumption, and increase the efficiency of use- “Raise the price of electricity” (see AEP, December 06) It will happen here…


  2. You might be interested in the website Energize America 2020,
    This is a site that has been developed by bloggers from the Daily Kos
    who started off blogging energy issues, developed a panel on energy for the first YearlyKos meeting last June in Vegas, and have continued to the point of writing legislation, some of which has been delivered to the Hill for consideration.