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Electricity: Can we rely on it being there?


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(Inspired by this comment/& discussion from OilDrum):

 

AlanfromBigEasy on November 4, 2008 - 11:24am

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...If we were to lose electricity in major cities...

 

...Suburbia will lose electricity first and electrified transportation last. If the grid begins to fail, people will flock to where the power is, the major cities. In your case, Atlanta will have air conditioning when the Suburbs are sweating in the dark.

 

MANY more feet of distribution wiring/capita in Suburbia (a consequence of devoting large % of land to the auto plus large yards and large homes). More to maintain. (Note: During Gustav I was without power for about 11 hours. Suburbs went without power for weeks). Priority is given to the higher value and then higher density power lines. Suburbia is at the bottom of the list.

 

Apartments/condos with shared walls and less sq ft use much less power/capita. In a power short reality, they will get more service.

 

Utilities CHOSE who to blackout when demand exceeds supply. Transportation (and hospitals) are never voluntarily blacked out. Suburbs are a lower priority than cities when rotating blackouts occur (lower demand/capita in cities and higher value users are embedded in the urban structure make them the last to be chosen for blackouts#).

 

The early failures of the grid will force people out of Suburbia, not out of cities.

 

Best Hopes for Realistic Appraisals, Alan

 

/see: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4720

 

(2)

AlanfromBigEasy on November 5, 2008 - 8:56am

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Please note the down thread post by Whitis. US cities use half the per capita electricity of non-urban populations and NYC uses 1/4th the electricity.

 

Surely a benefit and should be encouraged if maintaining a 99.99% reliable grid becomes problematic.

And does a utility chose to blackout 10,000 Suburbanites or 20,000 city dwellers for 50 minutes in a rotating blackout ?

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Unless suburbia has a large population that regularly use dialysis machines I don't think periodic lack of electricity would do much. No electricity for a week would not bother me much nor anyone else really.

 

 

Suburbia is safe, especially now that petrol is 25p a litre again.

 

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Unless suburbia has a large population that regularly use dialysis machines I don't think periodic lack of electricity would do much. No electricity for a week would not bother me much nor anyone else really.

 

Suburbia is safe, especially now that petrol is 25p a litre again.

I think that running water generally relies on pumping stations which run on electricity. No running water (affects toilets also) for 24 hours is a pain but 48 hours or longer and it could be worse than a pain.

 

Last one to get cut off, switch off the lights. :P

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