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View Diary: Energize America - A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security (Fourth Draft) (311 comments)

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  •  Think local (4.00)
    1. focus on end uses - in typical home or office 90% of energy used for cooling, heating (including hot water) and lighting. There are well-understood,  cost-effective design approaches and technologies - passive solar orientation, solar thermal, dehumidifcation (in humid climates), daylight harvesting, hydronics (using water rather than air to distribute heat/cold) - that provide much more bang for the buck than many of the strategies that you highlight. In the next 25 years almost half the US housing stock will be built new.

    2. highlight the importance of land use & transportation and tie it to public health

    when I was a kid most everyone walked to school, the candy store, their friends house etc. Diabetes and obesity are soaring in kids not only because of diets but also because they are driven everywhere. Retirees are flocking to FL and buying into developments where they have to drive everywhere to get anywhere. They are unlikely to improvide their driving schools within the next 20 years.

    1. think Distributed Generation (DG) rather than centralized energy production. Clearly we will need both (just like we still depend on mainframes and super-computers). But DG can substantially increase energy reliability (less likely to fail in hurricane, decrease tranmission and distribution losses (7-15%) and increase energy yield since waste heat can be used to drive heating, cooling and dehumidifaction (the biggest peak load drivers in most parts of the US). NG is being used for centarlized power plants but might be more ideally suited as the fuel of choice for DG.

    2. rethink our transit network to include a slow-go grid that would make those on bikes, Segways, golf carts etc feel safe on the road. Most trips are quite short.

    3. reduce truck volume on interstates (this increases the overall energy efficiency of the whole network)

    Have Wal-mart, large grocery chains etc deliver via rail to their large distribution centers.

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