Whether you believe the proponents of climate change, are a non-believer in the science or simply are undecided, you still have to make a living and provide for self and family. While the academic and the ignorant argue, the vast majority of us plod on, paying for heat, fuel for our vehicles, groceries, necessities and those damn taxes.
Taxes now form half of the expenses the majority of working Canadians have to pay. With half the income taken, everyday costs create an enormous burden on working families. In the west with the oil sector being smothered in excessive regulation, litigation, and judgments, citizens are reeling over hardship and headwind. Small businesses are failing left, right, and center.
Personal responsibility is how the average entrepreneur is geared. Industrious, hardworking people would rather look after their own destiny, financial or otherwise. They savor the freedom in self-determination.
In the realm of energy independence consider a home that produces all its needed energy.
Technology has the products required, right off the shelf. Granted, Canada is not exactly as stocked up as would be desirable, but this equipment is available, admittedly even if the majority is imported from elsewhere.
A solar array of approximately 10 kilowatts is currently the most reliable item to form the heart of the system. Inverters, which allow grid tie and/or stand-alone power, use the array’s energy to power the home and then feed any excess back into the grid. A battery bank could optionally store power for night operations and those times of low solar input.
In a rural setting, the increased area would allow for a wind turbine and a gravity storage mechanism. If 5 kilowatts of energy is used for the home during the day, the other 5 kilowatts of the 10-kilowatt array could power a winch to lift heavy weights to form this gravity-based storage. At night this weight would be lowered, when the photovoltaic array is not producing, to power the home and feed the grid any excess electricity.
A large diameter pipe set 9 meters in the ground, hinged at ground level for “layover service” with another nine-metre section would form a framework in which the weight would travel.
Conductor pipe is a pervasive item found in oil country. “Ratholers” set conductor before the commencement of the majority of drilling operations.
Such an alternate energy system would provide power day and night. Grid-tied, the home would contribute “green power” almost 24/7. The homeowner would see his energy needs met, reduce his cost of living, and make a contribution to the reduction of the nation’s carbon footprint. The purchase of an electric vehicle would compound these savings, particularly if the electricity needed for transportation is provided by his own alternate energy system.
A pipe dream, to most probably, but the equipment and the technology are readily available, the process is “do-able.” The question is with the burden the Canadian citizen is under can we afford it? But, then again, can we afford not to?
Lorne Oja can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org