Tag Archives: electricity

  • Blog
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    The Electrical Grid May Well Be The Next War’s Battlefield

    Crippling the US without firing a shot
    by Chris Martenson

    Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:38 AM

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    We talk a lot about Peak Cheap Oil as the Achilles' heel of the exponential monetary model, but the real threat to the quality of our daily lives would be a sustained loss of electrical power. Anything over a week without power for any modern nation would be a serious problem. 

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  • Blog
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    The Obama Administration’s Natural Gas Policy Is Tragically Misguided

    Waste that will haunt future generations
    by Chris Martenson

    Thursday, May 9, 2013, 11:26 PM

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    The Obama administration has come out in support of the idea of exporting U.S. natural gas.  This stance is counterproductive, short-sighted, and if followed will prove harmful to domestic manufacturing (i.e., value generation) not just now, but for future generations of Americans.

    While exporting natural gas would certainly prove to be an economic boon for a very select minority of companies and individuals, it makes no sense from an energy standpoint and undermines our national interests. All it will do is enrich a few, while boosting prices for all domestic consumers and shortchanging the energy and environmental inheritance we pass along to our children.

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  • Daily Digest
    Image by Images_Of_Money, Flickr Creative Commons

    Daily Digest 4/6 – Canadian Housing Downturn Evident, Turning Off The Power to Run the Grid

    by DailyDigest

    Saturday, April 6, 2013, 5:33 PM

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    • The 1% Bug-Out Plan: Why Third-World Billionaires Are Buying Fortresses in London, New York and Miami
    • Our Parasitic Fed is Triggering the Five Stages of Collapse
    • Wall Street on the dole: America pays out millions in jobless benefits to millionaires
    • Signs of a Canadian housing downturn are everywhere
    • Stockman feels force of Washington fury
    • Turning off the Power to Run the Grid
    • Linking clean energy sources solves blackout conundrum
    • Monsanto's Dark History: 1901-2011

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  • Insider
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    Reducing Your Exposure to Oil Prices

    Get the global shift to the powergrid working in your favor
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 3:23 PM

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    Executive Summary

    • How to cut household exposure to oil prices
    • Spending is shifting from road to rail transport. You need to get out in front of this.
    • How to take advantage of the energy arbitrage that rail transport will offer in future years
    • Important case studies of what's to come
    • The big change ahead (and the argument for optimism)

    If you have not yet read Part I: Getting On The Train, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    Portland, Oregon is a city well known internationally for its commitment to sustainability. Over the years, the downtown area has been wisely restored into a very pedestrian-friendly streetscape. And while Portland continues to have problems – mainly a weak economy that could benefit from greater diversification – the city continues to attract people from all over the world who are looking for a better place to ride out some of the problems now facing developed economies.

    Over the past year, since moving to Portland myself, I've had a chance to do some accounting of how much I've reduced my own exposure to oil. Let me first say that getting oil out of the household budget was not my only reason for moving to Portland. However, as someone who started looking at these issues 10-15 years ago, the prospect of greatly reducing my oil consumption was a key factor in my decision to relocate.

    Now, while it's true that reduced oil consumption is more common for everybody living here in Portland, the other important element (and this will seem obvious) is that living in other cities and regions typically means a greatly increased exposure to oil. So while the cost of food, medical care, and many goods is just as expensive here in Portland as elsewhere, it is now rather sobering to consider the burden of high oil prices in other regions from my new vantage point – especially given that oil has found a new equilibrium price around $100 a barrel.

    By moving to Portland, we completely shifted the core of our energy consumption to natural gas and also electricity, which in the Pacific Northwest is largely sourced through hydropower. Electricity rates in the Pacific Northwest are either the lowest or among the lowest in the United States. Also, because of the rich offerings in public transportation choices, we were able to drop one of two cars. But there's more…

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  • Blog
    © Alptraum | Dreamstime.com

    The Demise of the Car

    Doomed by escalating oil and infrastructure costs
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Monday, August 20, 2012, 3:37 PM

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    India’s recent series of power blackouts, in which 600 million people lost electricity for several days, reminds us of the torrid pace at which populations in the developing world have moved onto the powergrid. Unfortunately, this great transition has been so rapid that infrastructure has mostly been unable to meet demand. India itself has failed to meets its own power capacity addition targets every year since 1951. This has left roughly one quarter of the country’s population without any (legal) access to electricity. That’s 300 million people out of a population of 1.2 billion. Indeed, it is the daily attempt of the underserved to access power that may have led to India’s recent grid crash.

    But the story of India’s inadequate infrastructure is only one part of the difficult, global transition away from liquid fossil fuels. Over the past decade, the majority of new energy demand has been met not through global oil, but through growth in electrical power.

    Frankly, this should be no surprise. After all, global production of oil started to flatten more than seven years ago, in 2005. And the developing world, which garners headlines for its increased demand for oil, is running mainly on coal-fired electrical power. There is no question that the non-OECD countries are leading the way as liquid-based transport – automobiles and airlines – have entered longterm decline.

    Why, therefore, do policy makers in both the developing and developed world continue to invest in automobile infrastructure?

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  • Blog

    Portable Solar Generators & Hybrid Emergency Backup Systems

    by Chaz Peling

    Saturday, February 11, 2012, 4:53 AM

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    What do you do when the power goes out?

    In the past two decades, non-disaster-related electricity blackouts have increased by 124% in the US. These numbers are further compounded by the increasing incidence of large disasters that knock out power for extended periods of time in the US and longer wait times before you see your electricity back on. Furthermore, lots of folks have been in situations where grid power is either not available or impractical at the location in need.

    Portable solar generators and hybrid emergency backup systems can be solutions to the increasing power reliability issues. However, there are some key points that must be addressed for the success and efficiency of such products. These critical ideas include the current state of fuel-based generators, trends in solar, understanding kwh and electricity terminology, the benefits of solar power, rethinking your power usage, measuring that usage, incorporating hybrid systems for prolonged activity, and utilizing knowledge to make informed buying decisions.

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  • Blog

    Combating Peak Oil with Wind and Smarter Electric Power

    by Adam Taggart

    Saturday, January 8, 2011, 8:07 PM

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    We spend a lot of time on this site discussing the risks posed by Peak Oil. It’s important to us that you understand the magnitude of our national/global predicament and take appropriate preparations.

    But in addition to tracking the gathering stormclouds (of which there are many), our info scouting efforts also look for developments with potential to change the situation positively.

    In the podcast below, Chris and Willett Kempton explore the potential of wind power to reduce the energy pinch threat posed by depleting fossil fuels. Dr. Kempton is an electrical engineering professor at the University of Delaware and director of the Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration. Turns out, while still early in the game, there’s action going on in wind and electricity-management that offers real promise.

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  • Blog

    Installing a Solar Energy System

    by rhare

    Saturday, November 27, 2010, 4:51 AM

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    Like many of you reading this article, I am fairly new to the realization that our future may not turn out the way we originally planned.  A little over two years ago, after the financial turmoil set in, I began to wake up from my comfortable, relatively uncomplicated life and take a closer look at what was going on around me. 

    I was first introduced to the Crash Course by an attendee at the 2009 CPAC Liberty Forum in Washington, DC where I had gone to hear Ron Paul speak.  Little did I know how dramatic an impact that one conversation would have on my life.  After watching the Crash Course a couple of times, many pieces of the puzzle started to fall together, and I quickly progressed to Stage 4 – Fear.  (See The Six Stages of Awareness for more on that topic).  A few weeks after I attended Dr. Martenson’s Lowesville seminar, I decided it was time to take immediate action.  I’ve also had to deal with the challenges of convincing my partner that these changes were really worthwhile and necessary and that I wasn’t a raving lunatic who would soon be wearing a tin foil hat!

    I hope reading about the thermal and photovoltaic solar systems we have installed will encourage you to think about actions you can take to prepare for our uncertain future.  Since it would be impossible to even begin to give every detail about how the systems work or how to put one together, my goal is to show what can be done, give you things to consider, suggest rough costs, and provide links for further research.

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