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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 75
Author
How smart / green are we all
lacto
3-Dec-2008
10:31:15 AM
I was in Bunnings yesterday looking for an exotic light globe and saw a couple loading up with "cheap " 100 watt globes at 45 cent each . I asked why they didnt get the 23 watt compact fluro globe and was told it was too dear . Told them 45 cents plus 100 kwh @ 16 cents came to $16.50 versus $5.00 globe and 23 Kwhs @ 16 came to $8.70 so they would be $8.00 better off and probably breakeven in 3 months when they had to pay their power bill . Their answer was to take one new globe as well as all the 45 cent bargains . Surely if the government is serious about green house gas and moderating electricity demand it should be mandatory for globe retailers to display the life cost of their products similar to the tabaco danger ads . Also begs the question of how responsible is it of the "Bunnings of the retail world " to still be selling incadescent globes . They had an absolutely massive display of down lights (all 50 watts plus massive heat givers ) when there are now slowly coming onto the market LED down lights that are about 3 watt .
I have had my 90 evacuated tubes hot water preheater now for 6 months and so far have probably peaked at saving about 60 kwh on the best day but it looks like a return of 30 to 40 percent on my capital investment of $8000 (no gov grant available though when finished eligible for selling RECs )and about to install a feed back solar electricity system which will return between 3 and 5 % on its capital which when compared with the new reserve bank rate or the massive negative returns on the share market is looking like a reasonable investment as well as cutting our bought electricity Last year we used about $9000 electricity and hope the reduce this greatly over time but there is a limit what we can cut.

Eduardo Slabofvic
3-Dec-2008
11:32:43 AM
I am of the opinion the answer lies in more regulation. Saving electricity/water/resources in general is still
perceived as being "special" in some way, shape, or form.

In a previous life, I worked in development facilitation. At a conference I heard a presentation on the
Sydney Olympic Games Village. I asked the question "Why is my In Tray not full of projects like that?'.
The answer that came back from the Private sector type giving the presentation was that more regulation
was needed.

Once upon a time there were no star energy rating system, then there was 3 stars, now it is 5 stars. The
7 star system is in development. How far does it go? 10....20...100? Answer is, it goes as far as it can.

20 years ago when I started out in my chosen field, this sort of talk was ridiculed at all levels of
Government, and it outrages me to listen to the exact same people that poo pooed these ideas 10 and 20
years ago, now extol their virtues evangelically.

The post above gives an ideological pointer to underlying problems in up take of new or (as is the case in
many things) rediscovered practices and materials. The concepts are anchored in financial terms (how
much does it cost, how much can I save). Not “is it a good idea?”

There is also a vast array of regulation that is inherently contradictory. A project that would be well
worthwhile for any public policy analyst would be a micro-economic review of regulatory barriers to
sustainability.

Once this issue stops being seen as being “Green” or being “special” and starts being seen as being
normal, we will be on our way. This area of public policy is only getting warmed up.

ajfclark
Online Now
3-Dec-2008
11:47:02 AM
Does anyone know if there are any collection points for compact fluros to stop the mercury ending up in landfills? I've heard of Ikea doing this but I don't know if that's only in the US.

evanbb
3-Dec-2008
11:50:09 AM
I hear you mate. However, the Government is not serious about Global Warming, they're serious about winning votes. Until everyone makes it obvious that they want a tough emissions trading scheme and that they're happy to pay higher prices for carbon intensive goods, we will continue to get this weak and hopeless response.

Bunnigs are also prone to selling airconditioners that run on the old, dodgy, Montreal Protocol banned CFCs. Try not to look to them for moral guidance. They're also owned by Gunns, at least in part, and Gunns are working hard to turn the Tassie wilderness into pulp for paper. Luckily, I don't think they'll be able to muster the finance.

Also, I don't think your Evac Tubes will be eligible for RECs. Renewable Energy Credits are only available for electricity produced, not avoided energy. Are you in Victoria (or any State apart from NSW)? You'll get the benefits of the higher feed in tariff for your solar electricity back to the grid.

I don't really agree with those schemes. It's not really a good way to address emissions. Solar PV is energy intensive to make and expensive to purchase. At normal retail rates payback is in the order of 20 years. State Govts have decided to subsidise it though, as a political stunt. For my mind, your far better to just buy 100% green power from Origin or someone else, and send a strong signal that you want green power, and help new plants get built. Solar thermal in particular will benefit from this sort of commitment and allow planning to build big plants and get the economy of scale benefits. Just a thought. The feed in tariff does off the advantage of encouraging energy efficiency at the same time, so maybe it's a better idea than I'd given it credit for.

kezza
3-Dec-2008
12:06:31 PM
I was on the research band wagon late last night (uni withdrawals perhaps). And was trying to find out what the increased energy consumption from residential addresses was over the festive season. All I came across was an increase of more than 1000kw a day equalling over $100 per month in excess of regular use. (I can see where this can be flawed, with air con being used and fans etc cause of the summer and not being able to destinguish between festive use and summer use) But it went on to say that christmas lights were the major contributor.

So basically say NO to christmas lights. Your house doesn't need to look like tulla airport!

(I went as far as making pamphlets on reducing festive energy consumption, if your neighbour needs a reminder let me know, i'll email you the pamphlet and you can deliver if you see fit) -definate withdrawals-
psd
3-Dec-2008
12:07:08 PM
On 3/12/2008 evanbb wrote:
>I hear you mate. However, the Government is not serious about Global Warming,
>they're serious about winning votes.

spot on

>Also, I don't think your Evac Tubes will be eligible for RECs. Renewable
>Energy Credits are only available for electricity produced, not avoided
>energy. Are you in Victoria (or any State apart from NSW)? You'll get the
>benefits of the higher feed in tariff for your solar electricity back to
>the grid.

Check out the planned VEET scheme - it will create a market for permits created as a result of registered reductions in energy consumption (a similar one is planned for NSW).

>I don't really agree with those schemes. It's not really a good way to
>address emissions.

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will cause a large increase in electricity prices which is the best way to get people to cut consumption. Also the MRET scheme (particularly now it will require 20% of all electricity to be from renewable sources by 2020) has facilitated a lot of wind farm development that otherwise wouldn't have got off the ground. Forcing energy retailers to buy electricity from more expensive renewable sources also drives up electricity prices. So they aren't all bad evanbb ...
Atomic_Tomatoes
3-Dec-2008
12:12:32 PM
On 3/12/2008 ajfclark wrote:
>Does anyone know if there are any collection points for compact fluros
>to stop the mercury ending up in landfills? I've heard of Ikea doing this
>but I don't know if that's only in the US.

In NSW I believe you can dispose of them the same as the council chemical waste collection.

http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/waste/lamp-mercury.html#question3
devlin66
3-Dec-2008
1:47:07 PM
My wife asked me the same basic question the other night. Made a comment about how the government doesn't really do the utmost to make changes that really have effect. Legislation and financial incentives are usually the only way to make people sit up and take notice. One that could work is that all new homes from a certain date must have solar power and onsite sewerage treatment installed. One effect this has is to enable more units to be sold and the price would come down.
I think the whole carbon credits scheme is a crock, to my basic understanding of it. From what I can work out is that a large company can buy credits from another company so it can keep emitting the same pollution (someone correct me here if I am wrong). All I can see it being is another 'thin air' commodity, like 'futures', that the greedy rich cats will make money from.

bluey
3-Dec-2008
2:18:06 PM
Re say no to Xmas lights - well, there are solar powered fairy lights around that are quite lovely i think. Resources are still expended in the production of this largely useless item, but they make me chipper when i see them twinkling round the front yard.

Btw, i bought mine from Bunnings *gasp*

evanbb
3-Dec-2008
2:24:54 PM
On 3/12/2008 devlin66 wrote:
>One that could work is
>that all new homes from a certain date must have solar power and onsite
>sewerage treatment installed. One effect this has is to enable more units
>to be sold and the price would come down.

At the risk of lecturing you, here is a lecture on the topic.
Financial incentives are the only thing people listen to. However, there is not a direct relationship between increase in price and decrease in use. Water use for example, (I work for SydWater) has been found to virtually not change, even with a doubling of price. But you're right, financial and legislation (but still money, in the form of penalties) are the only levers the Govt can pull to make things happen.
The massively decentralised idea has some merit, but all is not as it seems. Electricity wise, Solar PV is a scam and will not form a meaningful part of the final solution. It's too expensive and too inefficient. The raw materials are hard to make so it's energy intensive. In terms of cost effective emissions reductions Solar Thermal is about a third of the price, and strongly benefits from scale. So rather than individual PV on houses, a community/suburb/council SThermal would be far better.
Water wise, we're studying it at the moment, but there's some pretty good info to suggest that decentralised water treatment (and sewage) is much more energy intensive than centralised. The main problem is pumping losses. Many small pumps will use a lot more energy to pump a known volume than one big one. The problem is friction. In a small pump a higher percentage of the surface area/volume is friction than a bigger one. Because of this, really big pumps are super efficient.

>I think the whole carbon credits scheme is a crock

There are parts of the scheme which are a crock, but it will reduce emissions. It is a "cap and trade" system. So, the Govt releases XX credits for carbon emissions (not just CO2, but CH4, NOx and others) and gives/sells them to industry. Then they release emissions. At the end of the year, some business will have done a good job, and not used all their permits. They can sell these to companies who have done a bad job, and that's the trading part of the system. If the right number of permits are released in the first place, it should work.
The scam, in my mind, is that they're giving permits to the highest polluters, because they're 'trade exposed'. IE, aluminium smelters (which use 25% of NSW power) think their costs will go to high when the price of power goes up, so they're getting given credits to protect them. This distorts the market badly, meaning that it's an advantage to be a high emitter!

Interesting times lay ahead. The White Paper, which sets out the targets and prices will be released on the 15th of December. Expect a firestorm from both sides in the press when it's released.

Cookie
3-Dec-2008
2:31:14 PM
i like bunnings, its like officeworks, but ... toolier.... its a mecca for all things spak-fillery and half-dead-overpriced-planty goodness.

oh yes, i'm quite fond of going to bunnings, wandering around getting hoplessly lost whilst looking for the perfect hinge or grade of sandpaper, loading up those rediculous trolleys with hundreds of dollars worth of cow poo and finishing off the day with a sub-par coffee sitting on those swinging lounges of doom listening to hyperactive kiddy screams echoing throughout the complex and smelling the branded bunnings stench of minced-what-sausages and burning onion.

if only they had an indoor rockclimbing wall it would be perfection.

*dares someone to take this seriously*




ajfclark
Online Now
3-Dec-2008
2:46:04 PM
On 3/12/2008 evanbb wrote:
>Electricity wise, Solar PV is a scam and will not form a meaningful part of the final solution. It's too expensive and too inefficient.

Though advances are being made: http://www.electricalengineer.com/index.php?option=com_zippynews&id=236&task=detailnews&cid=

evanbb
3-Dec-2008
3:15:07 PM
On 3/12/2008 ajfclark wrote:

>Though advances are being made: http://www.electricalengineer.com/index.php?option=com_zi
>pynews&id=236&task=detailnews&cid=

Bah! I say. I've read a "breakthrough in solar PV means prices will come down XX" article every week for the last 5 years, and still, they're 3 times too expensive to be cost effective.
psd
3-Dec-2008
3:17:25 PM
On 3/12/2008 ajfclark wrote:

>Though advances are being made: http://www.electricalengineer.com/index.php?option=com_zi
>pynews&id=236&task=detailnews&cid=

Catalyst had a programme about Origin's PV Sliver techology (apparently too expensive to be commercial as yet). Basically consisted of using a whole stack of very thin PV threads that are light, flexible and extremely efficient compared to conventional PV panels (they were talking about potential applications like being woven into fabric for example). It looked pretty cool.

kezza
3-Dec-2008
3:20:46 PM
bluey, I put solar powered lights on my pamphlet, as well as other compromises. like lowering the number of hours they are turned on for etc. I'm not ALL bah humbug :P

I will begin my pamphlet distribution soon, targeting overthetop houses first, anyone else on the bandwagon? I'm trying to find a way to print on recycled paper without the cost..

Anyway I need to find a better hobby...
psd
3-Dec-2008
3:23:09 PM
On 3/12/2008 evanbb wrote:

>
>Bah! I say. I've read a "breakthrough in solar PV means prices will come
>down XX" article every week for the last 5 years, and still, they're 3
>times too expensive to be cost effective.

When the cost of electricity from carbon-intensive sources increases by 3 times solar will be looking good! ;-)
devlin66
3-Dec-2008
3:29:47 PM
On 3/12/2008 evanbb wrote:
>At the risk of lecturing you, here is a lecture on the topic.

I don't mind the lecture at all. Obviously you do have more knowledge and understanding of the why's of the big picture. I on the other hand just see the big picture. I do have a vested and personal interest on the subject. Vested because I am a member of the community that both use and abuses the environment and because my taxes and utility bills pay for the infrastructure. Personal because being of the engineering type I like to know how things work and also because I have a faimly to look out for.

The big problem I think is that the broader community really hasn't got a clue as to how it all really works. Therefore very easy to dupe and coerce us into how the authroities see fit. Big companies want your money and politicians want your vote. One day we will have to pay for teh indulgent lifestyles we live. Economically that is kind of happening now. Environmentally we are still to reach that point. Problem is the $1 we don't spend now is going to be $1,000,000 down the track. Everybody is sitting around waiting for the panacea to magically appear. Some one thing that is going to make it all disappear and they won't have to put any real effort into. It's not going to happen and until the government feels the need to legislate a new way of life for us then it will never happen. I know that sounds a little alarmist but in truth we should be a little bit more concerned with where it's going.

What do we do as an individual? Try to minimise our own impact in what we do make our own little efforts. Thanks for highlighting some good points Evan.

evanbb
3-Dec-2008
4:03:03 PM
On 3/12/2008 devlin66 wrote:
>What do we do as an individual?

I reckon the best thing individuals can do is:
1. Switch to 100% Green power
2. Install solar hot water/evac tubes (depending on where you live)
3. Vote Green. They are unlikely to run the country, but it's the strongest signal available to the major parties that green issues are important.
4. Ride your bike
5. Insulate your house
6. reduce/re-use/recycle
7. Go climbing.
Atomic_Tomatoes
3-Dec-2008
6:16:57 PM
If more people "Buy" 100% green power where does it actually come? Surely there must be a very limited source of green power.
Origin states that it comes from solar or wind generators. They don't state where the sources are or what Kw capacity they are. The same goes for some of the others as well, does anybody know what the actual output capacity is of Greenenergy sources?

kezza
3-Dec-2008
6:27:51 PM
But if more people buy 100% green power, they will be forced to build more green energy makers, more wind turbines etc
It all comes down to the customer, we pay for what we get.

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