bc on Sun, 24 Feb 2002 06:06:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] <nettime> Re: the development of a solar infrastructure

  [have not checked out the websites mentioned
  in your post on voting for solar (bonds), but i
  had a thought or two that was newly formed,
  given the change from the solar economy and
  the rhetoric roughly 30 years old now, with
  books and books about solar, much research,
  and still, as you mention, a mixed-energy-use
  issue. here is the conundrum i see in 2002...

  with global warming, or chaotic changes in the
  weather, say; the statistics which planners and
  architects use to calculate wind speeds (for the
  lower limit needed for profitable wind farms of
  which California and Minnesota both have good
  spaces for megawatt generation facilities), and
  also with sun-hours and partly-sunny and also
  cloudy-days, and their percentages to gauge at
  what level the solar needs to be implemented to
  make that magical pure-profit payback after so
  may years, viable in some places, where the
  weather patterns are studied, known, and are
  not rapidly shifting, then returns can be seen as
  they were 30 years ago, prior to the real-life
  silent springsummerwinterfall that is now going
  on and about, el nino redux, 250 million chaos-
  theory butterflies deaddropping in .mx foretells
  patterns that may not be traditionally predictable.

  meaning that with solar, say, if in the US, that
  as San Francisco goes guts out, berzerkely-like,
  and uses that ingenious solar roofing ontop of the
  industrial factory tar roofs, basically making a
  big energy shield/field, to harvest- and, if two
  things, either of which were to happen, what the
  effect would be on a massive rollout of solar, or
  preferably 'energy bonds', for the multipurpose
  agenda of energy as a future economic foundation,
  electrons equaling euros, as Enron was trading to
  do, making energy the 'e' in e-commerce, into coin.

  what if california/SF has a ton of rain again in a
  cycle of el Nino, and there are more and more and
  more (statistically) cloudy days than solar would
  generate on a prerated basis for building such new
  systems, as a result of chaotic weather systems
  and new patterns. that is question 1. question 2 is
  to what effect, benign as solar power en masse is
  not, would large amounts of solar panels in a land-
  scape have on the environment, just curious, as it
  has elements of the urban heat-island effect often
  found in cities with lots of tall buildinds and concrete
  and reflective materials. is it possible that solar in
  some cases might encourage weather instability by
  its deployment in large numbers, just as windmills
  can churn up birds in good numbers given a chance.

  so too, for another example, in the Midwest USA,
  it has been stated that the weather of the South,
  desert really, texas-style, could move northward
  and the south could become more tropical. given the
  givens about winters with no snow, rains with no
  end, barometeric pressure acrobatics enough to make
  the heartiest fall over with a side-ache from pains,
  might the major weather patterns be, sad to even
  imagine saying this, but, difficult to roll-out large-
  scale changed energy in chaotic systems, that is a
  large-scale investment that does _not pay off, as it
  would more likely do if the weather was more of more
  of a predictable nature? it seems that the weather, as
  it is a part of the sustainable energy equation, and if
  it is to be a grass roots effort, to buy into new energy,
  better systems, all around- that to make it pay, one
  has to know what even the experts do not today- and
  that is the patterns of weather to an extent that rain,
  water, wind, are predictable in certain climates.

  in contrast to this, it is probably possible to do small
  scale systems, with traditional readings of weather
  patterns. but longer term, it is hard to imagine that
  the way things are going, that 15 years from now the
  weather will be the same as today, when it is already
  chaotic and unpredictable by a day (prior to 3-5 day
  forecasts with some accuracy). also, i imagine large
  scale investments (.gov, .industry, .int) would be able
  to invest in large scale (not the small decentralized
  systems that would be able to make payback with some
  high level of shareholder/banking certainty. every watt
  in the system is in check, 24 hours a day, and it can be
  costly if one system is not working as planned, as the
  other less-optimal one may cost more to run as a primary
  system. which is not an ideal way of seeing this goal of
  investment, which is well worthwhile. but economically,
  selling solar or alternative energy seems much more of
  a difficulty than it did 20 years ago, for larger scales.]

  any comments on these energy-economics are appreciated.

  public energy network

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