Tag Archives: power

India’s Blackout Affects Us All

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Try calling an 800 number for any larger company.  You’ll likely wait for hours.

If you’re in the web business, try getting a hold of some of the programmers you hired for a few bucks an hour just aren’t available.  Your web projects go on hold until things recover.

Of course, if you’re a client of one of these web services or larger companies, you should start asking about their strategy to ‘farm out’ so much of their business to the other side of the world when there are perfectly talented and unemployed workers here.

Within a few months, shipments of all of our cheap clothing and other products may be delayed or may not even show up when we’re expecting them.

In the near future, India’s demand for solar power, wind power (despite Stephen Harper’s attempt to malign this important renewable industry) and nuclear will shoot through the roof as they reassemble their antiquated electrical infrastructure.

People in India may even demand change, as certain castes continue to have their own power 100% of the time while corruption and greed prevent decent-sized hydro projects from coming online to serve the mass of the population.

And when that happens, what will be the impact of India turning into itself as an investment and priority as opposed to spending money around the world on investments?  Will we suffer or will we benefit from new projects that we can bid on?

We’re going to feel India’s pain, whether we like it or not.  The question is, how are we going to help them move forward?

Is it time to look into more serious energy programs that will significantly reduce the cost of power for all citizens of the world while also reducing the impact they have?  Should we lift the lid on research done by people like Tesla 100 years ago or invest in fusion or better batteries for renewable resources?

The answer is ‘hell yeah’ and don’t let the Cons and their crooked carbon conundrums slow us down.

Category: economics | Tags: , ,

Canadians To Get (Digitally) Screwed Again

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Internet access for all Canadians is about to get more expensive (again), as Bell, Rogers and the rest of the media jackals stand poised to hike usage fees for Canadian browsers.

More related to this story can be found here.

Don’t forget, though, that this isn’t just about making stupid amounts of money at the expense of all Canadians, business and other organizations that come here for digital services.

This is about controlling THE MESSAGE.

The message is that we’re not allowed to stray too far from the media octopus that strangles all Canadian communications, including the Internet, wireless & cell phone communications, print media, radio and other forms of communication in this country.

It’s about being in our faces all the time with their massaged message about how Canadians don’t want an election or how we ALL seemed to elect the most corrupt government in Canadian history or how it’s OK to support countries like Israel despite the genocide that they commit against Palestine or how we don’t need information from the long-form census or how it’s OK to double or triple the cost for a bunch of useless paper airplanes.

It’s about control of mindshare as well as our wallets.

A small change in the ability to control that conversation came recently from a little company in the US called Netflix.  How dare Canadians use something that might actually cost less and offer up more variety?  Don’t worry … we’ll charge them for it!

You can still post your feedback concerning these decisions by joining organizations like OpenMedia and sponsoring them with donations or volunteer work.  You can also submit your name to the CRTC, but unless your last name is ‘Rogers’, you will likely be ignored.

Another thing you can do is to pull the plug.  Cancel your cable or satellite subscription.  Find an ISP other than Bell or Rogers (an impossibility, I know, given that they still own the infrastructure) including companies like TekSavvy or Acanac.

The Best Option: Real Competition

Finally, the best thing to do is to support real infrastructure alternatives to Bell and Rogers.  Contact your local MP, MPP or city councilor and ask them to investigate the installation of Broadband over Power Lines, or BPL.

While there are issues and some potential inefficiencies from this kind of service, the full-fledged public pursuit of a genuine alternative to Bell and Rogers will open up endless possibilities for Canadians and the businesses that they own and operate.

No New Nukes in Ontario Please

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Dalton McGuinty is trying very hard to erode any support he has from the middle and left core that supported him in the last election.

The latest blow comes now to current voters, but to voters for the next 1,000 generations.

It’s very likely that Dalton McGuinty will announce a massive and glutonous investment in nuclear power later today.  The word is that Dalton’s plan will be to greatly increase the dominance (and spending) on nuclear, likely to the tune of $30-$50 billion dollars over several years (likely decades).

This translates to a cost of roughly $3,000 to $5,000 for EVERY SINGLE ONTARIO RESIDENT.

This is a waste of money and is a foolish way to develop a hydro plan and future for this province (and for Canada).

Instead of tossing good money into technology that has yet to work efficiently in this province, there are changes that the McGuinty fiberals should consider implementing immediately that will put a cap on electricity demand in this province.

The first thing to do is shift the mind-set from provincial generation and wasteful distribution to local independence.

These may seem like a pipe dream, but it can be a very simple reality.

Now that they have a majority (and it’s unlikely they’ll return to office given the volume of SNAFUs that have affected this government), they should create a legal mandate that ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT (residential housing, industrial, manufacturing and other activities that will increase future demand) be 100% sustainable and capable of producing energy rather than demanding it.

This is a simple implementation and all it takes is the will to make it happen.

There is no new investment required.  There is no new cost to taxpayers.

People that complain can stuff a sock in it.  If you aren’t interested in never paying for electricity again, then don’t bother looking to Ontario to invest.  This is a unique opportunity and we need to jump on it.

Renewable technologies and sources are ubiquitous and this legal mandate would create a turbo-boost to the renewable energy sector.  It wouldn’t just include major suppliers, but also instigate small and medium-sized businesses to respond to the challenge.  Installers, engineers, electricians and mechanics – just to name a few professions – would all have the opportunity to rise to this new challenge and to do what’s right for this economy.

New housing developments would become local power grids.  You wouldn’t need vast and wasteful distribution systems because the ‘node’ approach would satisfy local demand and would in fact be developed according to what might be demanded by a local community.

The core production would be based on solar, some wind and lots of geothermal.  Most of our residential costs in the summer are related to air conditioning and most of our costs in the winter are related to our furnaces.  Geo-thermal eliminates the need for both of these excessive formats.

Houses would have better standards applied and would cost more, but again, most people could be convinced to pay more if they weren’t confronted with monthly bills for the following:

  • Natural gas
  • Gas for your car
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • etc

Over the life of a mortgage, the cost is marginalized and the potential revenue opportunity from excess power could easily outweigh the initial upfront cost.  If you don’t like the extra cost, rent an apartment downtown.

Of course, this strategy doesn’t account for existing property, be it residential or commercial.  Again, this problem could be solved with legal requirement, but there are admittedly a lot of issues that arise from this.

  • What about those on fixed incomes?
  • What about businesses that simply don’t have the cash-flow for an initial outlay?
  • How do you find qualified people?
  • What if my house or building doesn’t have room for geo-thermal or doesn’t face south for solar?

And so on.  I don’t have a magic bullet solution on this, but I’m sure a few dozen smart policy wonks would be able to cobble together some ideas.

Despite that potential road-bump, I’ll remind you that there are two other ways to look at this broader strategy:

  • Encourage local communities to become net energy producers for the oncoming age of electric cars
  • Complete transfer of power to individuals

As we enter the age of the electric car, this will prove to be an excessive point of demand for electricity.  This is why McGuinty and the fiberals are panicking and why they’re ready to dump good money into the world’s most wasteful electrical production method (nuclear).

The only way to satisfy demand for electric cars is to make individuals responsible for creating that energy.  More importantly, communities that are effective at encouraging local production will become magnets for new investment, as people will seek out those communities that are making it easy to produce your own energy.

19th century laggards will get punished and will suffer a long slow economic death.

Finally, the most important realization in all of this is that power will be transferred to the people in more ways than one.  Giving people the ability to generate their own independence translates to exactly that:  independence.  A bold government will realize this and give the people what they should have.

If they don’t, they’re just another pack of control freaks that see us as peons rather than people.

No New Nukes for Ontario Please

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Nuclear power is an incredible waste of taxpayer’s money.

Rarely have we seen the full promised potential of nuclear power, the cost overruns have always been well beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and the risks of dealing with waste greatly outweigh any described benefits of nuclear power.

However, it’s very likely that the McGuinty government in Ontario will sign agreements in the spring of 2009 to bring on 2 new nuclear power plants in this province.

Nuclear power has everything to do with energy consolidation, something that is inconsistent with the general direction of markets, diversification and consumer behaviour.  Any portfolio analyst will tell you that you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  Why should the people of Ontario?

More importantly, we stand at the cusp of a golden opportunity to make Ontario one of the world’s greatest and dynamic markets for independent power generation – if the province lets it happen.  Making the production of cheap, efficient and green energy is the future of this province.  Relying on an old monopoly is exactly the reason why manufacturing in Ontario has lost a lot of its cost advantages.

Please petition / attend meetings / write Smitherman and do what it takes to encourage our provincial leaders to spend $50-60 billion on renewable power generation.

Start here and spread the word .

Also, read up on Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s recommendations for a green energy future.


Category: environment | Tags: ,