Many permaculture garden visitors ask me why I have no solar panels?
My stock answer is that I cannot afford them…but that hides all the other reasons why solar panel are not high on my wish-list of add-ons to Bealtaine Cottage!
I see the issue in much more simple terms…frugality!
Over the past ten years of developing Bealtaine Cottage, I have successively scaled back on my use of electricity.
From getting rid of many of my original electrical appliances and refusing to replace those that have given up along the way, I have the equivalent of a roof load of solar panels!
We are a wasteful society that is easily swayed towards consumerism, failing to take responsibility for our waste, indeed our excessive waste!
Studies in America, for example, have shown that 20% of all electricity produced is wasted. (Dr Helen Caldicott)
This is interesting as Nuclear power represents 20% of all the electricity produced!
The correlation between what we waste and our environmental concerns can be very revealing!
According to statistics produced by the WWF “Power plants typically only turn about 30% of the energy input into usable electricity.
We are losing up to 75 % of the energy in the fuel at the start of the process. Energy companies could do much better – combining power and heat production can lift efficiency to over 70%.”( http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/cause/wasting_energy_eff/ )
In a detailed study in 2001, the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that from 3% (Switzerland) to a scarcely credible 13% (Australia) of residential electricity used in OECD countries was standby.
“I was amazed when I first learned the dimensions of standby power,” said Robert Priddle, IEA executive director. “In my own home, appliances that I thought were ‘off’ were actually consuming considerable power.”
You have immense power…the power to choose!
Your power to consume is there as a choice.
Understand power…but more importantly, understand YOUR power!