In the California energy crisis, conservation is the obvious answer!
provided by ZPG.org
he headlines continue to blaze in Cali- fornia about the energy mess. Politi- cians continue to posture with crazy ideas to create more power plants. The oil and gas industries continue to use this crisis as an excuse to drill in Alaska, to develop clean coal (an oxymoron if I ever heard one), and to bring nuclear power back on the table.
But the answer is so simple! CONSERVATION and Solar Energy can easily save us. At Real Goods Renewables (800-919-2400), phones continue to ring off the hook with new folks interested in solarizing every day. They've had over 4 media interviews every day over the past several weeks, including CBS and NBC national news and the NY Times.
FACT: There are 1,000 power plants in California putting out 53 MW (megawatt, 1,000,000 watts) on average for a total combined output of 53,204 MW. With 24 hours in a day, the average California power plant can put out 1.3 GWh (gigawatt-hours; one gigawatt is 1,000 MW) per day.
FACT: There are 34 million people in California and 15 million households.
FACT: If every household in California replaced 4 (average 100 watt) incandescent light bulbs with 4 (equivalent 27 watt) compact fluorescent light bulbs, burning on average 5 hours per day, we would save 22 GWh per day or enough energy saved to shut down 17 power plants.
FACT: If the State bought these lamps for every household at $2 each, total cost would be $120 million. Could we build the same 17 power plants for $120 million? Not by a long shot!
FACT: If every household in California replaced 1 average-flow shower head with an energy-saving shower head, we would save 1.3 kwh per day per household or 19.2 gWh per day enough energy saved to shut down another 15 power plants.
FACT: If the State bought these low-flow shower heads for every household at $1 each, total cost would be $15 million. Could we build the same 15 power plants for $1 million each? Hardly!
FACT: If every household in California installed a solar hot water heater that saved 5.8 kwh/day, we would cumulatively save 87 GWh/day enough energy saved to shut down another 67 power plants.
CONCLUSION: These very simple conservation measures would enable the State of California to shut down 100 average sized power plants out of the 1,000 we currently have, or better yet, leave them running and eliminate any need to construct new ones for years! For a mere cost of $135 million, the state could pretty much solve this crisis!
FACT: With over $250 million available in rebates for solar-electric (photovoltaic) systems in California (and much in other states as well), the payback time for an average home solar system is now only 10 years and falling rapidly as electric rates continue to skyrocket. Solar energy is now a GREAT investment!
When will our government come to its senses? The time for Solar is now and Conservation will solve this energy crisis!
Energy facts were derived from California Energy Commission's website: www.energy.ca.gov. Jay Keller, National Field Director, Zero Population Growth, 1400 16th St. NW Suite 320, Washington, DC 20036; (800) 767-1956; jayzpg.org; www.zpg.org