[PLUG-TALK] Risk of earthquake based nuclear problems in USA

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Sun Mar 20 22:42:40 PDT 2011


On Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 00:07, John Jason Jordan <johnxj at comcast.net> wrote:

[…]
> For example, my neighbor just installed solar panels on his roof for
> hot water generation. He claims that the payback is less than ten
> years. I doubt there is any life on his roof worth saving. His use of
> solar will decrease the overall amount of electricity or gas needed.

I generally agree with you, but I think it is risky to make that last
claim there: his use of solar could cause an increase in the overall
amount of electricity, or gas, required, if the energy consumed during
manufacture, distribution, installation, and operation of the
components is greater than the energy generated.

It will (probably) reduce the point energy consumption, and bring it
to a more central point, and consume it in a big burst now rather than
spread out over those years – and might even be an overall win if this
increases efficiency or reduces waste in the system – but it isn't
that clear cut.

Not that I am quibbling about technical accuracy where it is probably
less helpful or anything,
    Daniel
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