Sunday, October 13, 2013

Better Energy Efficiency Is Useless Without Overall Consumption Decline

Red Arrow -> Record no. of recipients for this year's energy efficiency awards

A common approach to high oil prices is better energy efficiency to reduce usage. According to economist Jeff Rubin, better efficiency has often led to increased energy usage thus making the situation worse. He cited the example of better materials, design of cars & aircraft bodies & engines bringing the cost of travel down.

As the cost of travel gpes down, it becomes more affordable to the masses which led to increased driving & flying. Hence Jeff Rubin stresses the point that we ought to focus on energy consumption for a car/plane over its lifetime.

To make it simpler we just need to look at our lives. Many of the electrical appliances in our homes have energy efficiency certifications/ratings. Those appliances now are more efficient compared to many years ago but we are actually consuming more power.

  • Instead of analog camera with film, now a hell lot more pictures are taken with digital cameras as cost/picture have shrunk to negligible level.
  • Instead of 1 computer, some families now have 1 computer & 1 laptop.
  • Instead of 1 dumbphone, many people are now smartphones addicts & more are buying tablets.
  • Instead of cable activated gear shifters for bicycles, electronic shifters have appeared on the market.
  • Instead of simple watch, expect people wearing power hungry iwatch in the future.
  • Instead of simple glasses, expect people wearing power hungry google glasses in future.

With those examples listed, we are going to be using more energy over our lives compared to our parents lifetime although we are using devices more energy efficient compared to our parent's lifetime.

The hybrid regime can enhance energy efficiency in whatever ways they want to make the country more energy efficient to deal with the threat of triple-digit oil prices which will hurt the regime's businesses greatly. However in the bigger picture, it is clear this tiny island nation is consuming more & more energy.

High energy prices will lead to the hybrid regime's demise, there's no escape.

Related blogpost:
- Algae as Biofuel, Not Crops As We Ain't Enough to Eat

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