[LINK] Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car in Canberra

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Fri Apr 3 11:22:57 AEDT 2009

Jan Whitaker wrote:
> At 09:36 AM 3/04/2009, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>>  I think this is the stuff Obama is excited about - smart grids and 
>> small scale solar
>> panels on houses, wind turbines that feed into the grid. There is also a
>> suggestion, that the power can be fed back into the grid. Presumeably the
>> electricity could also be used to power public transport Light rail/Trams.
> That's all well and good, but energy is needed also to build all 
> those 'personal' power plants. I'm still not convinced. It's sort of 
> like the 'behind the scenes' costs/energy/components inputs that are 
> never accounted for. That's what I meant by the 'full chain'. The 
> system is much broader than any single end product. Maybe it's all 
> just too complex and that's what's gotten us into the mess.
True there are embedded energy costs in the components needed to utilise and
store renewables. It is the maintenance of the personal power plants and the
Lithium Ion batteries being used in electric cars  - the same ones with 2-3 year
lifespans in computers that bother me .

But it is also true that cutting down trees and clearing forests does not help.

The simplest comparison would be telecommuting, walking, maybe cycling and using
public transport vs private motor vehicles and travelling long distances through
surburbia. This has all kinds of obvious benefits to the environment and the
individual. You might be interested in this book:
> Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change
> By Peter Newman, Timothy Beatley, Heather Boyer

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

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