So, just a little extra preaching to the converted: about solar panels. I am repeating well known information here only because there has been a subtle but significant shift in the technology and the pricing (lower) meaning the argument to make the jump to solar is just getting stronger. That shift is: panels used to be 17% efficient now they are 22/23% efficient and, even better, more efficiency is already on the market – just not competitively priced. Not yet. We will likely see 40% efficiency within the decade.
Portugal reported they recently went four days straight without consuming any fossil fuels for power generation. Germany claims to be approaching 80% non-fossil fuel power generation year ’round* (cars and trucks not included). Many countries are announcing all sorts of electrical generation coming on line with less C02 generation than coal, oil and gas. The world seems to be responding to the pleas for alternative energy. That’s gotta be a good thing.
I suppose a good portion is nuclear and I see more and more ugly industrial windfarms all over, but, really, solar is the way to go. Especially for the single household. It works for me. And no power outages! Solar panels are a proven concept and are now pretty affordable. Well, the ‘generation’ part is, anyway. Storage capacity is still prohibitively expensive and not consumer friendly. They will eventually have to improve batteries by a factor of 500% and they have yet to get there. But they are working on it.
Typically, sadly and stupidly, Canada is not doing anything on any front. Canada does nothing to assist the alternative energy shift. According to one recent report, Canada does the least of all the developed countries in this regard. Our government does not even give sales tax relief. California used to pay for half of an installation by way of a household grant. And, of course, we lament publicly and practically daily the poor oil prices Alberta and the petro-industry are suffering. Poor babies.
Personally, I don’t care.
Oil is something like 3% of GDP (don’t quote me. I know it is much lower than is portrayed but it may be 5% or something). It is NOT the biggest portion of Canada’s GDP by any stretch. And we domestic oil consumers pay world prices anyway. Canadians don’t benefit from pumping their own oil. But Canada subsidizes the private companies that do. Canada sends the oil industry billions in subsidies and grants and tax breaks. So that they can charge us higher prices than they do the countries they export to? We are so tragically stupid that we are now contemplating doing the same thing with LNG on behalf of such private companies.
Canadian governments are managed by the most crooked of politicians or the stupidest of Troglodytes. I am thinking a combination of the two.
Still, it matters little to me that we pay more for everything, are taxed more than many and receive even less for our money than say, the USA. So long as the bastards leave us basically alone, I will pay the exorbitant premium to be a Canadian and be relatively quiet about it. But, really, we can do something on a personal household basis about that giant rip-off if we want to.
A good start is investing in solar panels. Even with the battery problem still being unresolved, it is a good way to get the corporate monkey off your back. Get enthused and improve your house insulation, get more efficient appliances and swap out your lights for LEDs and you can almost shed the giant monkey that is BC Hydro.
And, make no mistake: the corporate and government leeches are sucking more, not less. You owe it to yourself to give alternatives another look. Jus’ sayin’…………