Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More Grid Talk

[me commenting on a 2006 blog post by journalist William Shepherd]

Interesting post. The argument about insurgents seems off base as we already have plenty of long line transmission where that's not really a problem. Generally insurgents want to make a political point, want the PR, and have other more visible ways to attack than to head for Alaska or Siberia. When was the last time the Alaska pipeline was blown up?

The idea that we get plenty of energy is more compelling, and will be the strategy of smaller communities. However, huge urban areas often snarf so much Kwh that the only realistic way to provide is by importing from a long distance away. Hauling coal by locomotive is a chief way of doing that today. Economies of scale should be compared, apples with apples.

Would the Siberia connection make it more affordable to power Calgary or Detroit? These are the kinds of questions (some of them already answered in the minds of the author's "monopolists" I suspect, given recent patterns of investment).

I like the point about the war with Iraq not really being about oil, but the spread of western banking. I wouldn't call that initiative "victorious" at this point however. It's more of a blending that's going on, like a Vulcan mind meld. Telling "east" from "west" is becoming increasingly difficult and those who over-indulge in such talk brand themselves as children of the 20th century (Fuller was more from the 21st).