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Today most of our energy production is centralised with large electrical power stations situated on or near coal fields or near coal fields or near gas pipelines. This energy is then transmitted and distributed to our homes by electrical cables or pipelines. Whilst this is the most efficient form of generation and supply of energy supplied by fossil fuels, it does require a large infrastructure and leads to substantial losses of the order of 20%.

The reintroduction and uptake of renewable energy sources is most efficiently done at point of use as such sources are widespread and abundant. The losses in transmission and distribution can then be avoided. The electricity grid and pipe lines then perform a different role in which they supply energy if insufficient renewable energy is available locally or transfer energy if supply exceeds demand. In particular the electrical grid lines can link local sources together so that lack of supply in one area can be met by supplies from another area where the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.

In the longer term, we may need to adapt our lifestyle so that we work when energy is available and so this may mean going to school some days and staying at home on other days when no renewable energy is available. This could be quite an enjoyable experience.

[link to CwC activity #4]



 

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