Energy & Environment: We cannot continue on the way we have been…

“At best, the age of cheap energy is over…”

Former energy Minister of Denmark

“You need to think of energy in a fifty-year timeframe, and our elected officials are thinking of energy in two year election cycles. That’s ridiculous!”

John Hofmeister, former Head U.S. Shell

One of our old friends sent us a link to the PBS video Earth: The Operators Manual / Powering the Planet – and what an interesting and well-done documentary it is. You can disagree with some of the program or with some of the technologies that are presented as solutions (as I disagree about large scale wind farms) – but you cannot disagree with the theme that we cannot continue on the way we have been. We cannot continue what we are doing. We must find better ways.

Where I disagree with some of the experts is in the area of self generation vs large scale energy generation. The current societal model is to have large central generating facilities – whatever the technology – and accept that over 50% of power generated will be lost during transmission. I say that smaller individual and local community power generation is not only viable, but cheaper and less prone to interruption.

This 1 hour program is well worth your time.

Thanks friend!


Filed under Barbados, Economy, Energy, Environment

3 responses to “Energy & Environment: We cannot continue on the way we have been…

  1. There are very simple ways to light your home and recharge cells phones, use radios, and small fans, without using electrical energy from the mains. All you need is 12 volt florescent cabin or yacht lights, small 3 or 5 watt solar panels, and a couple old reconstituted car batteries. You can also take most of the rechargeable LED lamps sold in Barbados, re- rewire them to be recharged by the same small solar panels. It is such a cheap way to get all the energy and light you need, and nobody can tell me there are not people in Barbados capable of doing what I have been doing for several years. I fully agree that single house installations, or village installations are the way to go. Any such large system constructed today, with be a rip off.

  2. BFP

    Hello Colin,

    We’d love to have some photos and a story about what you are doing. We’ve long thought that local power generation is the way to go. I’d love to cost a diesel generator and solar/windmills at home against being on the grid. What’s the bottom line?


    Robert BFP

  3. Robert BFP. Swing into Moncreiffe and I’ll show you what I’m doing to help save on our power bill. It is much easier than trying to explain it all by writing.
    Diesel generators are expensive to buy and run over long periods. Solar is the best way to go, over all, though wind can be a great addition, if you live in the right area. Wind generators need service every so often, and lowering if there is a hurricane around. The wind does stop almost entirety, certain times in the year here in Barbados.
    Over all, you cannot beat solar panels, if well made. You could easily cut down on your power bill by using just a couple solar panels for lights and running other small demands like radios, charging cell phones, laptops, small fans, double AA and Trip A batteries etc, recharging bright solar lamps, and off old 12 volt batteries,12 volt florescent lights like we use.

    I’m usually home these days, so get my number from the book, the only Beadon in it. Colin