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View Diary: Wind is king, biofuels are bunk (118 comments)

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  •  Not to continue with the weasel bashing, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica, Roger Fox

    a little about the economics of network are worth pointing out here.  Loss in electricity distribution networks are a function of a number of things, but distance is probably the biggest factor.

    An "optimal network" usually involves some kind of trade-off between costs at the delivery end (a customer drop, say), some central point (an exchange in telecomm, or a power plant in generation), and "network costs" -- transmission and related plant.

    So you can't really talk about the efficient of electricity transmission without talking about the geography -- even more than that's true in telecomm (where data rates have gone up so fast that essentially none of your costs are transmission anymore).

    Until or unless that's true for electricity transmission, you're going to care (and care a lot) about where power is generated and where it is consumed.  An average hides that essential information by lumping in things like hydro-electric plants set near aluminum refining (short distances of less than a mile or two, huge amounts of electricity) with rural wind farms that might be 200 miles or more from a city where the power gets used.

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 07:49:01 PM PST

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