Description: Comparing the cost of expensive-fuel electricity to Free-Fuel Electricity
With the exception of under used hydroelectric power (only about 7%), almost all U.S. electricity comes from unsustainable, non-renewable, highly-polluting, expensive-fuel sources (including natural gas, coal, petroleum products, and uranium).
Take a close look at your own electricity bill. The U.S. nation-wide average has recently risen to 11.6 cents per kwh. Growth-oriented locations have higher rates, due to the higher cost of building new power plants with tighter emission restrictions. Locations like Florida that must import all of their expensive fuel from out of state also have higher rates. Florida is still generating a lot of electricity from imported foreign diesel fuel - funding terrorism against the U.S.
Amazingly, the FL power plant that supplies NASA, and the NASA backup power generators, run on imported foreign oil. This is truly ironic, since NASA was a primary motivator for photovoltaic electricity from clean free-fuel sunlight.
Many electric bills now include a rising fuel-cost surcharge, to cover the growing monthly expense of their highly-polluting expensive fuels. For unsustainable non-renewable fossil fuels and uranium, this cost will only increase in the future. There will never be an expensive-fuel surcharge for FREE sunshine or wind.
Electricity rates are generally controlled by state-specific corporation commissions. Depressed, declining, mismanaged states (that do not need to add new power plants) often have below-average electricity rates for their impoverished people. They rightfully object to highly-regressive Cap and Trade (and other) energy taxes that would harm poor people the most.
California's rate restrictions have removed the incentive for electricity companies to build new efficient power plants, which has resulted in insufficient peak-power capacity, and frequent debilitating electricity-service blackouts.
When an electricity company builds a new power plant, they can NOT charge customers what it costs to produce electricity from the new more-expensive power plant - They must AVERAGE the higher cost across all of their older lower-cost plants. This yields a NEGATIVE Return On Investment for expensive new billion-dollar power plants. For this reason, most power companies do NOT want to build any new expensive power plants - They are NOT a good return on capital.
Would you lend an electricity company any money to build a new coal-fired power plant in today's risky environment? Do you have any of your money in a double-dumb bank that does? A declining number of people now do.
Peaker Power Plants
Old power companies have multiple electricity generation facilities. Peak loads only occur part of the time seasonally. They chose to use their most-efficient cost-effective power plants for 24-hour-per-day, 365 "Base Load" operations. They only fire up their less-efficient more-polluting "Peaker Plants" on a less-frequent peak-demand basis. A small increase in power consumption that requires use of Peaker Plants has a disproportional high impact on air pollution, consumer energy bills, power company profitability, and worldwide climate change.
Steam-driven electricity generators that use highly-polluting, non-renewable, expensive fuels (like coal, natural gas, petroleum, and dirty dangerous nuclear energy) require hours to heat up from a cold start after a shutdown. For this reason, steam-driven systems are generally operated 24 / 7, regardless of the load on the grid. This means that during off-peak hours they are wasting a lot of fuel and generating a lot of unnecessary pollution.
Many utility companies HOPE to find consumers that will purchase their off-peak electricity capacity (for only nickels on the dollar). Off-peak operation of an expensive-fuel steam-powered generation station is an expensive, unprofitable business.
Greedy profiteering power companies really would LIKE you to waste as much energy as possible during off-peak hours, since they have to burn expensive fossil fuel or uranium 24-hours-per-day anyway to keep their steam boilers hot. BUT, they hate it when you consume any electricity for any reason during their peak-load periods.
Some power companies sell "Negawatts" (negative watts), which means that you have non-critical electricity requirements, and you will voluntarily allow your utility company to turn off your power supply at their discretion, during peak loads. By participating in a Negawatt (or other type of off-peak power purchase) program, you receive a lower rate per kWh.
For example, some power companies will attach a remote-control switch box to electric hot water tanks. During peak loads, they remotely switch off your water heater for a time. You still have one tank of hot water, but you quickly learn not to take a long hot shower in the middle of a summer afternoon (when most people are at work Monday through Friday anyway).
Nationwide, Negawatt programs have not been very popular. They have had limited success. If inexpensive consumer energy- storage systems become available in the future, then Negawatt programs may become more popular and cost effective.
Gravity Energy Storage
One thing for power companies to do with their unsold off-peak excess power is to use it to pump water to an uphill water retention lake. During peak loads, the water valve can be opened and quickly begin generating needed extra electricity much faster than heating up steam in an inefficient older Peaker Power Plant.
One high-capacity example of this "gravity energy storage" concept is the Pyramid Lake / Castaic Lake system north of Los Angeles. The two-lake connection is a 30-foot-diameter water pipe that can lower the 12,000-acre Pyramid Lake by ten feet in one day during peak demand loads. This is a huge amount of "potential energy" for peak power demands.
Physics defines the "Work" done by lifting an object up (on Earth) as its: "weight (mass) times how high it is lifted." Lifting one pound one foot higher is "one foot pound" of Work ("mechanical energy"). Lifting one gallon of water ten feet higher is 80 foot pounds of Work (8 pounds times 10 feet).
One foot pound of Work converts "mechanical energy" to one foot pound of "potential energy" (in a system that is 100% efficient, which rarely happens in the real world). One foot pound of potential energy can be converted into horsepower or kWh of electrical energy, (minus any overall efficiency losses that take place in the conversion / generation process).
Gravity is an excellent method for storing off-peak energy for variable, peak-demand usage later. No new miracles required. It does not require expensive chemical batteries. It is ancient off-the-shelf proven cost-effective technology.
Gravity potential energy storage also works well for free-fuel solar and wind energy, which are not available 24 hours a day. The gravity potential energy storage uphill water pumps may or may-NOT be powered by electricity. Solar-powered Stirling Engines, or old-fashion windmills can drive water pumps directly, without less-efficient electricity generation.
For many good reasons, power companies would prefer to NEVER have to use their least-efficient highly-polluting expensive- fuel Peaker Power Plants. Most peak electrical consumption loads in warm climates occur on hot summer afternoons. Therefore, power companies would like to help their customers LOWER their inefficient summer air conditioning requirement.
In places like hot southern California, electricity companies have for decades been subsiding energy-efficient building retrofits (like roof radiant barriers) that passively zero energy) reduce SUMMER peak-load air-conditioning requirements, so they will NOT be forced to build unprofitable new peak-capacity electric power plants. For good reason, high-cost-of-living California has some of the most-efficient homes and buildings in America (although most still fall far short of Zero Energy Design®).
California allocated $3.2 Billion in state subsidies (much more than the George Bush $148 million federal solar energy budget) for adding rooftop photovoltaic (PV) electric power generation systems. Many CA homeowners and businesses have taken advantage of this wise opportunity. It is good for building owners, good for the power companies, AND good for the struggling CA state government. Since PV output is the maximum during the hot part of the summer day, power companies love it when building owners install PV systems, which reduce the need for utility company Peaker Power Plant construction and usage.
The forward-looking Microsoft campus in Mountain View CA generates 480 kilowatts of subsidized free-fuel PV electric power, while the nearby leading-edge Google campus generates an impressive 1.6 megawatts of power from their rooftop PV systems - Google.org is an exemplary clean, free-fuel role model for the world. We appreciate Google's valuable energy education effort.
Free Fuel Energy Systems Return On Investment
Expensive-fuel power generation systems have a high initial cost, AND high, increasing, economic-and-environmental costs. In stark contrast, Free-Fuel Systems ( like solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal ) have very-low ongoing operating costs, with zero harmful emissions, never burn anything, zero pollution, and Zero Environmental Damage in Harmony with Nature.
In states (like the home of the Bush dynasty) whose governments are too dumb to subsidize residential solar power generation,
the electricity companies themselves (like Austin Power) are now subsidizing residential PV, so they don't need new expensive-fuel peak-power electricity generation plants. Imagine that! Power companies profitably paying people to NOT use their product.
It is a great economic deal for the customers AND for the power companies (which is not understood by the mediocre majority).
Texas power companies ( that BADLY MISMANAGED finite Natural Gas resources ) had plans to build more new coal-fired power plants than any other state. They are now shifting their emphasis to free-fuel solar and wind energy systems (led in part by huge investments from wise-return-on-investment billionaires including T. Boone Pickens and Warren Buffet).
Many cost-effective solar installations are in less-than-Excellent sunshine locations. Emerald Eco-City's high economy of scale solar power generation facilities will be much-more cost-effective than flat-panel photovoltaic systems, AND they will be located where solar radiation is "Excellent", which will greatly lower our equipment cost, and yield a Superior Return On Investment.
Utility scale (100+ megawatt) solar electricity generation in "Excellent" locations is now about 3 cents per kWh using current technology (compared to the national average retail price of 11.6 cents per kWh for electricity). Expensive-fuel electricity rates are going UP, while the one-time capital investment for free-fuel electricity generation equipment is going DOWN (as new technology emerges, and solar energy generation equipment production volume economy-of-scale increases).
Why do you think that President Obama could not get the extremely-corrupt fossil-fuel-funded U.S. Senate to support his forward-looking plan to rapidly develop cost-effective, job-creating, clean, safe, free-fuel energy systems in 2009?
Walt Disney: “I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible, because dreams offer too little collateral.”
Despite the massive economic success of Disney's Dreams, and proven free-fuel energy systems, the same shortsighted stupidity dominates mental morons today. Suppose you were a greedy, self-centered, profiteering, parasitic commodity speculator who cares nothing about your own children or the environment. Suppose you could buy a commodity for only 3 cents that you could immediately sell in an existing growing-demand market for 6 cents to 9 cents - with an instant return on investment of 100% to 200%. How much of the 3-cent commodity would a rational intelligent investor buy?
Our obvious problem is that we lack rational intelligent investors who understand the basic math of free-fuel technology ROI.
The lessons demonstrated by Emerald Eco-City will benefit Earth thousands of times more than ALL Disney efforts combined. It is an economic opportunity that is far beyond ALL Internet-related businesses put together. It is almost the ONLY way for our foolish world to avoid the current unsustainable suicidal path of human self-extinction. How can Emerald Eco-City possibly fail if ALL of our future decisions are based on Wisely Living in Harmony with Nature? The Universal Force will ALWAYS be with us.
Why do you think Billionaires like T. Boone Pickens, and Warren Buffet are investing billions of dollars in free-fuel energy?
Why did Warren Buffet invest heavily in China's BYD plug-in rechargeable electric car manufacturing company (as we did)?
Those who are badly addicted to Suicidal Unsustainability, Ignore Scientific Truth, and Resist Change will suffer the most.
Energy is the Essence of Everything. Intelligent future Free-Fuel Energy must radically revolutionize our world very soon.
We MUST have a Cost-Effective, Working, Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (as Walt Disney wanted to do in 1966).
"Every generation must have its own revolution." - Thomas Jefferson (USA Founding Father)
Can you begin to see the extremely-powerful economic-and-environmental motivation for Emerald Eco-City Energy Systems?
We will be the largest-scale dramatic demonstration for the entire Earth to see for free. Do you want to share in our success?
Suppose you had access to a time machine, and you could go back and invest in today's most-successful explosive-growth technologies, BEFORE the rest of the world realized how valuable they would be to society. How much would you invest?
ZED is NOT asking for your money (we have already done quite well). This website is Totally Free to the entire Earth. Zero Energy Design® has paid for its development and ongoing operation as our legacy. What we do need is for YOU to tell your concerned friends and elected representatives about www.EmeraldEcoCity.com and www.ZeroEnergyDesign.com
Work hard to defeat all corrupt incumbents who subsidize burning anything. All future development must use Clean Free Fuel. Live an Unselfish Worthwhile Life in Harmony with Nature that is worthy of praise from your grandchildren.
Plato and many others believe that death is the separation of the soul from the body. The body is clearly finite, but the timeless soul is immortal. Plato's apprentice Aristotle believed that immortality was the set of works of knowledge that one left behind. In this sense, Plato and Aristotle are immortal. The great question about the value of life is: "How will WE be remembered?"
Can we do things that will radically reverse the stupid suicidal unsustainable path that humanity is on in the 2010's?
Can we prevent profiteering politicians from destroying our national economy, or worse yet, exterminating all of humanity?
The urgency will remain very high as long as idiots keep funding-and-building foolish, deadly, expensive-fuel things.
We are very pleased that in 2010 President Obama finally proposed ending $40 Billion in U.S. Federal Fossil Fuel Subsides.
His energy policies are quite a mixed bag of good and evil self contradictions. We support only his clean, safe, free fuel ideas.
STOP BUILDING and BUYING DEAD-END THINGS THAT BURN ANYTHING! Focus all of our future energy on FREE FUEL.
Lifelong Learning In An Ever-Expanding Universe Of Endless Possibilities TM
We invite constructive suggestions and collaboration from others
E-Mail To: ZEDMaster@ZeroEnergyDesign.com