Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The great power down

Image : Electricity Pylons near Charles de Gaulle Airport, France (c) Rhys Jones 2008

I was thinking the other day how much energy is wasted and was wondering if it might be able to construct a global experiment to see how much the demand for electricity generation would change if people just took a day out from their computers, TVs, Games consoles and other electrical devices.

Electricity is of course essential for hospitals, emergency services and I am not advocating a global switch off for anything essential.

The power down could start on a Friday by switching off computers and lights in offices and homes and continue over the week-end by using electricity only for essential things. Have a week-end doing something else like talking to friends, seeing your family, going for a walk, go out and take photos, go and see live music or the arts, plenty of things to try.

How would one organise such a global happening - a Facebook group is one way but ironically this is one of the tools that keeps us using electricity! How would we measure such a happening ? The hope would be that once we see the effect on demand for a scarce resource we might then be tempted to lower our consumption all the time.

Anyway I'm ranting - but I'd be interested to hear the opinions of someone else.


Mistlethrush said...

Closing night clubs at 12.30am and telling young people to go home would suit me. Not sure everyone else would agree though.

Rhys said...

I'm not sure I'd want to be the one to suggest that in our house with two teenage boys! 12.30 - 1.00 am is not an unreasonable time to shut up shop - I'm sure it would save energy! I remember our headmaster telling us to work hard during the week but always make sure you have a night out on Friday and Saturday. He probably wasn't thinking of nightclubs - I guess he was thinking that we should get the work/life balance right. Not sure what he'd make of blogs and facebook and texting!