Monday, November 14, 2011

Good news for Manitoba Hydro

 By Good news I mean of course double plus ungood news.

According to this article and many others I've read and heard about recently, we're about 3 to 5 years away from solar power being able to provide almost 100% of the electrical needs of the average home.

Imagine a world where Hydro builds a brand new dam and even spends extra money to distribute that power along the west side of lake Winnipeg, and the price and efficiency of solar power once they're ready to go basically kills all their profit (nevermind the money they're not going to be getting from the USA)

It should prove interesting to see how it all plays out.  Electric heating and solar power (I assume using some sort of energy retention system.. batteries or otherwise) will be fascinating.

When everyone stops having to pay for their utilities, I wonder what will happen.  My guess is the price of a hookup for backup power will go through the roof despite lower and lower use.  In fact the government will likely look for reasons to ban solar power if it becomes to popular and cuts off a source of profits.  Just like they're attempting to shut down the free internet worldwide to protect the interests of a small monopoly of media cartels.

But maybe the solar power breakthroughs are just wishful thinking by its proponents.  Still, considering how the price of energy, internet, cable and phone (and any other utility monopoly) goes up every year while the original investments made have been paid off for a while, imagining a world where people can once again be self sufficient and not spend their entire paycheck paying to their feudal lords the government and its appointed monpolies.

Nevermind electrical, in my opinion we're totally wasting much of the radio spectrum.   Wouldn't a society with an internet completely set up as an unstoppable and uncensorable mesh network be neat.

Also, now I'm on a tangent.  I feel now that the digital changeover has occured we should expand the FM dial to cover 76-88 MHz as well in North America.  (Channels 5 and 6 VHF).  Maybe as part of a plan to switch to DAB/Eureka-147 digital radio on a proper spectrum.  that would allow for an FM band of 76-108 MHz.  76-88 MHz has been used in Japan for years, and they've been known to make tons of radios.  It could work to expand the radio dial.  If there was anyone intelligent working for the government of Canada it might be profitable..  But everything I said probably sounds like gobbledygook to them.  Sigh.

Anyways, tl;dr.  Solar Power is gaining efficiency and could be a contender in 5 years, magically transforming Hydro's business plan into toilet paper.  Radio dial could be expanded and service improved if someone forward thinking existed in politics.  But they don't. 

I wonder though how solar power users in Canada deal with snow.    I should do some research on that.


Anonymous said...

Solar power is definitely NOT going to be the norm in 5 years. 100 years, maybe. Just like you said, the existing utility cartels would make sure that never happens.

Riverman said...

At the present time a home solar system can not generate enough power to cook or provide hot water during the summer months. Forget about winter.

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

riverman, apparently there has been tremendous advancement in solar technology coming over the next few years. also its a fallacy that winter is bad for solar collection.snow reflection of sunlight can increase efficiency nof a solar array tremendously. . and concerns over snow accrual can be mitigated by angle of the panels. they can even charge with ambient light at night apparently. you're right its not there yet, but in combination with windmills and suitable battery storage it could minimixe your energy footprint.

Riverman said...

It's no fallacy. Have you not noticed the sun is below the horizon for longer periods in the winter? It may be possible in the future in California, but not here. Not a chance.