A little bit on this same thread,
In the April issue of Physics Today, they discuss some
energy alternatives. Most of it covers ground we've
discussed here before, although it did offer some
encouraging points in technological development such
as improved efficiency of solar, wind power through
technological development. It also covers some next
generation nuclear power plants, and a bit speculative
proposal on hydrogen power.
However, one thing left me a bit mystified. In introducing
this issue they posted a graph on page 39 which indicated
the "annual per capita electricity use" and in that
graph it show Canada of all places at the top of consumption
list. No surprise the US is second, Australia was third,
and Japan next.
Night time in Tokyo is so polluted with light, that you cannot
see the stars [period]... OK maybe Sirius, but anyway,
very little else. However, there are 30 M people living in
a densely populated area here, so that bright beam of light
emanating from Tokyo doesn't surprise me. The San Francisco
Bay Area is also bright but contains only 15 M people and they
are far more spread out than Japan. LA is roughly the same
in intensity and population. Over all Japan
is 120 M people, the US 250 M. Twice the consumption for the
US is at least predictable in that sense. The UK, is maybe a
little out of proportion, but basically proportional to
population. Developing countries is a whole other thing.
But this leads me to my question that maybe some folk can
answer on the list here. Australia is an anomaly (about
30 M people as I recall), but I might guess that excessive
consumption is due perhaps to problems with fuel efficiency.
But why does Canada appear as the _top_ electricity user in
the world? Is electricity extremely cheap? Likewise, what
is the source of electricity in Canada: fossil fuels,
nuclear power, hydroelectric .... ? .... ? Finally, what is
all the electricity being used on?
by Grace we proceed,
Wayne (puzzled in Japan) Dawson
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