Skills for Sustainable Literacy:Energy Literacy & Technology Appraisal EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University
SKILLS FOR SUSTAINABLE
Gavin D. J. Harper, B.R.A.S.S., Cardiff University
EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University,
UNDERSTANDING ENERGY UNITS
¢Some understanding of “quantitative”
methods essential in energy literacy
to avoid being branded as
“emotional” or “unscientific” when
addressing energy arguments.
¢Energy vs. Power – Crucial Distinction
and scaling of units (SI prefixes!)
SERVICES VS. ENERGY
consume services, “not
energy” – they are more interested in
the amenity delivered than the means
¢Changing to service delivery modes of
provision incentivises “service
suppliers” to meet the need in the most
anyone tell me their last
electricity bill and how many units
If not… why not?
¢ Direct Debit
¢ Billed Quarterly
¢ Meter Hidden Under Stairs
¢ Bills come via. Email… never read them?
“You can’t control what you don’t monitor”
at scaling factors between
technologies of different sizes…
¢Is the relationship “linear” or a
“power” relationship – how does this
¢ Solar Cells – Twice as many cells, twice
as much power (linear)
¢ Wind Turbines – Twice as windy eight
times as much power (cube power) also..
Twice diameter (pr2) swept area.
colours how we view things:
Alternative Energy vs. “Ambient Energy”
Long term – is there an alternative?
Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent vs. Gigawatt Hours
Technology neutral terms…
Carbon Capture Ready?
¢ Ready for what?... Someone to prove CCS works?
Nuclear talked about as “Zero CO2”…
¢ …what about the uranium supply chain?
¢ Subtlehalf truths advanced by technology
promoters. As educators we should be mindful
to them and more “critical”.
THE EDISON ILLUMINATING
¢ Sold the “service” of
¢ Modern utility
companies sell you
WHERE IS THE
¢ We are bombarded
with a myriad of green
¢ Are all of them “really green”
¢ Is it “bolt on” green for green sake?
¢ How do we appraise “green-ness?”
Illustration: JVC “Plant Pot” HiFi Speakers
¢ Path dependency
¢ Decisions taken now affect the range of
possible future decisions.
¢ “Format Wars”
WHO USES IT?
it fulfil a genuine
— “Or is it like the
adjacent solar powered
GREEN MATERIALS DON’T
MAKE IT GREEN…
a thin-veneer of “green material” is
used to impart some kind of “eco-
credential” to a product.
more deeply the design
ethic of the product
beyond the superficial.
¢Are they just “eco-jewellery”
mounted on a moving object, would
that same technology be better
deployed in a stationary application?