6884Re: Powering a carfree city
- Feb 11, 2004If you are going to reply, please read the entire post and make a good
faith effort to understand before you begin.
All this talk of electical generation source for a car free city is a
bit beside the point. A modern city does need electrical power, but
the issues of this group were originally building a city without cars
and the exclusion of cars from cities. For other people, the source
of power IS their issue and they are only interested in powering the
proposed city with or without nuclear, depending on their inclination.
As far as I'm concerned, the only thing of worth to come from this
discussion is the reminder that there are a numerous necessary inputs
to a city and energy is one of them.
Electrical generation capacity already exists. I'm not moved by
advocacy for more electrical generation capacity when it comes from
someone who argues as though ever more energy for heating and for
running machinery is virtue itself.
How should society decide how much capacity to build? The market is a
pretty good guide. Building more capacity has costs, and if the costs
of building and operating aren't recovered from ratepayers over time,
the investors have to figure they made a mistake.
If a carfree city were built within this generation, its population
would immigrate from other areas. Some of those areas would be
supplied by the same grid that the city could tap into. It seems
that, while the car-free city's per-capita energy demand would be well
below the national average, the demand for electical power would
likely rise because of the mass-transit system. Even if overall
demand rises, that doesn't assure that the cost of building and
operating a new power unit would be justified by the market.
Of course since the building of domestic nuclear facilities in the US
ended some time back, conditioning a car-free city on a new nuclear
facility might be an assurance that no car-free city would happen for
many more years. I don't favor inviting more impediments.
As far as wind and hydro power, the unquestioning acceptance of these
is no better than an over-reaction against or for nuclear (no pun
intended). Not everyone believes that a unit of electricity
generation should take precedence over the wildlife by harmed by dams
and killed by windmills. Hopefully the environmental oversight
process won't be gutted for the sake of erecting someone's favorite
type of generating station.
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