Infrastructure 4. Power.

One of the most interesting features in “green” power sources is the capacity for localisation.  Oil-fired or nuclear power stations are situated at a single location to which the fuel is delivered, after which the generated electricity must be distributed (sometimes over enormous distances) by cable.  Most environmentally friendly power sources, be they wind farms, solar farms, geothermal power stations, or even satellite solar reflectors, can be located close to or can deliver directly to the communities or operations that they serve.  The reverse is also true, in that the presence of a power source (geothermal, hydroelectric), or an attractive site for a farm of some kind (wind, solar) may also prompt the location of a settlement.   In other words, instead of losing a lot of power to lengthy delivery lines to distant locations, we should follow the power.

Railway trains can readily be powered from these sources, whether by having solar panels on top of all vehicles or by charging and exchanging batteries at stations.  A slightly less environmentally friendly power source would be bio-fuel of some kind, which is better than, say, diesel-electric but can be refuelled from local stations where the biofuel is manufactured.

Ideally, all domestic and commercial buildings should be autonomous; i.e. they generate their own power from solar panels or possibly windmills.  On occasions, they can even feed back excess production into a network.  Whether the same can be said of industrial buildings depends upon the power demands of the processes that they house. One can suggest, however, that the only customers for oil-fired or nuclear power-stations should be those industrial enterprises which have very high power demands, such as desalination, smelting of ores and (let us not forget!) the machinery and products for environmentally friendly power supply.

About jimthegeordie

I was born in the north of England and am a Geordie. Geordies are celts who are noted for having long bodies with short arms and legs. After working in UK, Africa and Australia as a civil engineer and IT contractor I am now retired and living in a beautiful wine-making area. I am the patriarch of a wonderful family, of whom I am inordinately proud.
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