Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
W.r.t. bullet 2, I think you're wrong about that. The alternative to tapping the energy of the wind is to let it blow all the way to the North (or South) Pole - where the kinetic energy it carries will be converted to thermal energy, thus heating the system. I.o.w., you just redistribute some of the heating. And given the quantities of energy in play here, I'd guess that you'd need to cover the planet in windmills to get a significant effect.

W.r.t. bullet 5, the only household appliances I can think of that absolutely must have power continuously is the lighting and the refrigerator and freezer. Well, washing machines might have to be re-jigged a bit to cope with intermittency too. And while all these appliances must have power above a certain threshold more or less continuously, they are not that sensitive to voltage or current. Computers require a stable power supply, but putting a UPS in a computer is relatively straightforward, and may become standard issue if the grid starts acting up.

Big consumers, like factories and hospitals, will need separate solutions, of course, but the advantage here is that they are located in one place.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 20th, 2008 at 03:03:24 PM EST
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