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Skills for Sustainable Literacy:Energy Literacy & Technology Appraisal EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University

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Skills for Sustainable Literacy:Energy Literacy & Technology Appraisal EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University presentation by Gavin D. J. Harper, B.R.A.S.S., Cardiff University

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Skills for Sustainable Literacy:Energy Literacy & Technology Appraisal EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University

  1. 1. SKILLS FOR SUSTAINABLE LITERACY: ENERGY LITERACY & TECHNOLOGY APPRAISAL Gavin D. J. Harper, B.R.A.S.S., Cardiff University EAUC Conference, 2nd April 2009, Warwick University,
  2. 2. 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!) ¢Units
  3. 3. SERVICES VS. ENERGY consume services, “not ¢People energy” – they are more interested in the amenity delivered than the means of delivery. ¢Changing to service delivery modes of provision incentivises “service suppliers” to meet the need in the most efficient way.
  4. 4. RESTORING FEEBACK anyone tell me their last ¢Can electricity bill and how many units were used? If not… why not? ¢ ¢ Direct Debit ¢ Billed Quarterly ¢ Meter Hidden Under Stairs ¢ Bills come via. Email… never read them? of Feedback! ¢Lack “You can’t control what you don’t monitor”
  5. 5. APPROPRIATE SCALES at scaling factors between ¢Look technologies of different sizes… ¢Is the relationship “linear” or a “power” relationship – how does this inform scale? ¢ 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.
  6. 6. LANGUAGE… colours how we view things: ¢Language 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”.
  7. 7. THE EDISON ILLUMINATING COMPANY ¢ Sold the “service” of illumination. ¢ Modern utility companies sell you “energy” WHERE IS THE INCENTIVE TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY?
  8. 8. TECHNOLOGY APPRAISAL ¢ We are bombarded with a myriad of green Innovations… ¢ 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
  9. 9. TECHNOLOGY LOCK-IN ¢ Path dependency ¢ Decisions taken now affect the range of possible future decisions. ¢ “Format Wars”
  10. 10. WHO USES IT? it fulfil a genuine ¢Does articulated societal need? — “Or is it like the adjacent solar powered dancing panda” ¢“Eco Tat”
  11. 11. GREEN MATERIALS DON’T MAKE IT GREEN… a thin-veneer of “green material” is ¢Often used to impart some kind of “eco- credential” to a product. should question ¢We more deeply the design ethic of the product beyond the superficial.
  12. 12. BOLT-ON RENEWABLES ¢Are they just “eco-jewellery” mounted on a moving object, would ¢If that same technology be better deployed in a stationary application?

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