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The infographic also examines how the US stacks up against other nations in consumption, which only affirms our position as a large consumer worldwide.
Reducing the carbon footprint from your home’s power use is a theme we will post a lot on in the future. Using data from the World Energy Council we can compare how much electricity the average electrified household uses in different countries. There are numerous things that drive these differences, including wealth, physical house size, appliance standards, electricity prices and access to alternative cooking, heating and cooling fuels. By taking residential electricity use and dividing it by population we can look at how much electricity the average person uses at home in each country. Our household electricity use has been 2,000 kWh each of the last few years, which means it is about 700 kWh per person.
The heated surface area of the house is 185 m2 and includes a couple of rooms in the cellar. We hope to reduce electric use by 50% in the coming years with a new heat pump (COP for heat of 3.8), solar thermal hot water and radiators, heat pump clothes dryer, more LED lights, and maybe a wood burning insert for non used fireplace.
We heat our home with natural gas…but people forget about the power consumption of the fan to distribute the heat throughout the house.
I don’t believe in global warming, If it was true then South India is on the brink of maximum heat, We would have fled to the mountains when the volcano in iceland puked next 100 years of man made green house gasses. When developed countries have everything that they need their politicians talk about non existing problems and act as if they are resolving it. Though we Indians are amongst the minimum users of electricity, Government still insists on saving electricity.
In the UK we might not use as much electricity as say America, but we do seem to use alot of gas for heating during the winter months. So I don’t think Brits can really pat them self on the back, its just fortunate our climate is more mild.
Carbon foot print as it pertains to global warming is a tax scam to squeeze every bit of life out of its people. We are 2 living in a 2400 sq ft bungalo (includes exposed basement in sq footage) in northern Ontario, Canada. My home is less than 100 square meters and I ALWAYS turn off what I don’t use at the moment. Energy consumption has increased at a faster rate than energy production, so the difference is met through imports. Jorgen Randers published a book in 2012 called 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next 40 Years. If we compare the new book to the book from 40 years ago, we see some surprising differences. In 1972, the analysis suggested that serious resource depletion issues would occur about now–the first part of the 21st century. A person reading the front cover of 2052 might think that the model is quite close to the model used in the original The Limits to Growth analysis. A second reason why I don’t believe Randers’ forecast has to do with limitations of the original forecast. A third reason why I don’t believe the forecast in 2052 is because a model of this nature necessarily cannot model events that are important to ultimate collapse, but which happen on a smaller scale, and trigger cascading failures. A fourth issue is that the 2052 report is very much the work of a single individual, Jorgen Randers, while the earlier report was a committee report. I basically believe that we will see the same rate of technological and societal change over the next forty years as we have seen over the last forty years. Thus, Randers tells us he believes that he already knows that no swift change will take place. On page 56, in a section called “The Deterministic Backbone,” Randers explains that some variables including population, industrial infrastructure, energy consumption, and GDP growth change very slowly, over periods of decades. Dolores “Doly” Garcia published three posts on The Oil Drum related to versions of the model she was working on that ultimately was used in 2052. In these posts, especially in  New World Model – EROEI issues, Garcia explains why world energy supply now falls much more slowly than in the 1972 Limits to Growth scenarios. EROEI has only an effect on this last point, in that it’s the cause that drives the switching from one energy source to another.
What Doly Garcia is writing about is not exactly the model that is used in 2052–in fact she gives a range of outputs.
Assuming that oil supply will follow the logistic curve on the down-slope, as well as assuming easy switching among fuels and a rapid ramp-up of renewables is basically assuming a best-possible outcome.
I recently wrote a post recently called Stumbling Blocks to Figuring Out the Real Oil Limits Story, in which I talked about the common (incorrect) belief of many that M. There are some situations where such a logistic curve might be appropriate, for example, if we can make electric-plug in cars as cheaply as oil powered cars, and we don’t need to change over to plug-in electric cars until the oil-powered cars wear out, so we don’t have extra costs. If there is not a perfect substitute for oil or fossil fuels, the situation is vastly different from what Hubbert pictured.
In the above discussion, Doly Garcia mentions that the distribution of energy is determined based upon Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI).
The danger in using this approach is that a person can push off assumptions into variables in models without any real analysis as to whether such increases make sense in the real world.
The model, when it was originally constructed in 1972, was more a model of amounts of industrial production and amounts of pollution, and numbers of population. Recent research (Secular Cycles, by Peter Turchin and Surgey Nefedof) suggests that when civilization collapsed in the past, it was generally for financial reasons. The fact that we seem to be reaching very similar symptoms gives a hint that resource depletion may, in fact, already being playing a role in the economic problems we are seeing today. Randers assumes that Labor Productivity will continue to grow in the future, but that it will grow at a slower and slower rate, following a linear pattern. A strong case can be made that a shortage of one energy product will have cascading effects throughout the economy, which is closer to what the original Limits to Growth model assumed. We don’t know exactly what thought process went through Jorgen Randers head in putting together this projection. Or did Randers pick his estimate from a range of estimates, knowing full well that it is optimistic, but feeling that this is all the American public can be told? Sounds like a best case scenario that ignores the interactive effects of population and resource depletion. Lack of awareness of the skewness in the production function has misled many investigators who have attempted to employ Hubbert’s model.
IMO the real value of Limits to Growth models is a What if?, but using these types of models for predictions involving humans is likely garbage in garbage out. Sure, you can use tools like Vensim to model physical processes, such as a bathtub, and get predictive results because you can measure input and output. Based on the many failed predictions that have been made over the last decade, I have concluded that I will not pay much attention to predictions of future behavior of complex processes because man is an intelligent being that will respond to dynamic changes in his environment with unknowable actions.
IMO a alternative and perhaps better choice would be to model these complex processes using the techniques of war gaming where you have different teams of people playing sector roles and responding to actions by other teams. I guess the plunge in depth of aquifers, the dramatic dropping of large reservoirs are not serious.
Energy businesses are scrambling to make the last bit of profit from the ever declining (in quality and amount) and more difficult to get sources.
I think the biggest declines in resources are the resources of good leadership, good sense and good future planning. We seem to have no lack of selfish, agenda driven, people with little thought for any future but their own. Hubbert’s curve is the PDF, (probability density function), it is the first derivative of the CDF (cumulative density function).
Most states in Australia currently have or have had some sort of Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme in place.
Please note that all the FiT schemes described below are net schemes, which means that customers only get paid for excess electricity that they export to the grid.
At the time of writing, Queensland, Victoria (for systems under 5kW under the Transitional Feed-in Tariff), and South Australia (plus certain areas of the Northern Territory) offer bona fide Solar Feed-in Tariffs to residents planning on installing new eligible solar systems.
These Feed-in Tariffs improve the Return on Investment (ROI) for solar systems and shorten payback periods significantly. New solar customers in the ACT (ActewAGL) and Tasmania (Aurora), plus Horizon Energy customers in Western Australia are elegible for this kind of 1-to-1 Solar Buyback scheme. With any grid-connected solar system, customers have the option for either self-consumption or export to the grid, and the finance-savvy system owner will endeavour to 1) minimise electricity use at home and 2) endeavour to get the best value out of the solar system’s production.
A set, guaranteed Solar Feed-in Tariff rate gives the solar system owner some sense of confidence regarding the returns they will receive from their solar power system as the years go on.
In this scenario, it makes more sense to self-consume as much as possible, as this will offer the greatest value for each kWh of solar power produced.
About Latest Posts James Martin IIJames has been working as analyst and online development manager for Solar Choice since 2011. I am in NSW, our main consumsion of electricity is the form of a 3.5kw split level reverse cycle. Last summer from November through to Febuary, we exported 960kw of electricity to the grid, but for this quarter (because of obviously shorter days, but also many overcast days as well, oh also sadly the western facing panels at this time of the year are also being shaded by a tree), we have only exported about 100kw to the grid, thus causing even our daytime consumsion has increased because the drop in solar power that our system generating at this time of the year, as well as our night time useage (as mentioned above).


Could those extra 6 panels be connected up with the other 6 that are facing west to the same inverter (2.2kw)? The rate you can receive for your solar power as you export it to the grid depends on the retailer that you have and the deal you’ve struck with them. Since you’re only getting this nominal amount per kWh (which is less than what you pay for power you buy from the grid), you want to be on a net metering setup. Your installer should have warned you about any shading that they expected you to get on your western roof. Provided your inverter has spare capacity and dual maximum power point tracking (MPPT) (and a 2nd input for another string of panels), you could theoretically install more panels on the east roof and it could function all right, giving you a bit more power in the mornings.
Personally, I think the best option (if at all possible) would be able to remove the upper branches of the trees that are shading your roof. Forgetting all the arguments about better to self consume, which is a bonus if it happens to coincide at the right time, assume that all solar power is worth 25.8c per kWh and is exported and work out the return on investment. Trevor resides in NSW where there is no mandatory feed-in tariff and customers are doing well if they can secure 8? per kWh, in this instance it makes sense to purchase a system that closely meets the needs of the household as it effectively makes the value of what is produced the savings on your energy bill. Have you also looked into energy efficiency, in your case since you have to heat a lot, insulation and air sealing windows, doors and any cracks?
In term of ROI there is no incentive to feed back to the grid and we advise all customers who live in a state with a below retail value to install as system that closely matches their current energy needs.
We’ve sent to an email about alternative routes you can go down if you have land available for development. We have recently started working with a building designer who has a keen interest in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), depending on your budget and design requirements he may be a good point of contact – as he works in partnership with ourselves he also has access to our network of installers which will ensure you get a good deal.
However I was thinking a 5kw system still makes economic sense are my calculations correct? It will cost me roughly $2k more to have 5k system instead of 3kw so I lose $100yr in lost interest (5% after tax – if I am lucky) plus if it lasts ten years depreciation is $200 a year. Here is a link to an article we wrote this time last year about investing in a solar PV system in Perth, WA. To get an idea, you can see a list of appliance energy use estimates on the US Department of Energy website. On a slight tangent–this is really the way solar systems should be used in order to maximise the financial benefit. I am in the progress of building an investmant property, standard 4 bedroom house in North Brisbane.
These days, it definitely makes more sense to install a system on a home that has occupants in it. We generally recommend sizing a solar system to meet your daytime electricity needs, with the idea of forecasting your savings before the system is installed so you have a good idea of what sort of returns you can expect from it.
Please download the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Windows Internet Explorer browser. But I guess we used ~1000KWh more than normal due to moving in January, having the doors open for workmen on frequent occasions and a few small teething problems with the heat pumps – both for warm air heating and for the warm water boiler. But there may be little room to do this, short of either installing a wood burning stove (which never pays itself back, even with heat recovery from the heating system) or installing solar thermal water heating (which again, will never pay itself back). That also means we only have about 8 hours of daylight in the winter (it doesn’t balance out in the summer by having longer evenings). We use Air conditioner only for Bed room 2 to 3 hours at night on Summer months followed by a fan. If children can be trained to live without Air-conditioners and Washing machines (I never saw them till I got a job at age 24), they will be healthier and pay less for energy throughout their life. It’s just me, so I did an experiment to see how much money I could save on electricity. But how many of us know how much electricity we’re using throughout the day, the week, or even the year? These limitations did not make much difference back in 1972, when researchers were trying to estimate approximate impacts 40 or 50 years later, but they do now, when resources are becoming more depleted. That is because the drivers will be the same and the organization of global society is unlikely to change discontinuously. But looking at the data from the spreadsheet associated with 2052, it is clear that some approach similar to this is being used.
It is basically assuming that a shortfall of oil won’t be a problem, because there will be a way around it–substitution and new fuel sources, until investment capital runs short. King Hubbert  claimed the downslope of world oil supply would follow a slow curve, such as the logistic. If oil supply drops (perhaps in response to a drop in oil prices), the world economy must quickly adjust to a lower energy supply, disrupting systems of every type. For example, hydroelectric is mostly built out in the US, and it is our largest source of renewable energy. It did not include much of an analysis of the economy, other than investment and depreciation, and these may have in fact been in units of production, rather than as monetary amounts. A shortage of resources per capita led to increasing wage disparity, with falling wages for the common worker. Perhaps analyses today should be examining the financial health of countries–the ability of countries to find enough jobs for potential workers, and the ability of these workers to earn adequate wages.
The existence of this issue is a major reason why models assuming rapid substitutability are likely optimistic. Is this truly Randers best estimate, based on an optimistic view of substitutability, rapid ramp up of renewables, and assumption that no unforeseen problems will come along? In a perfect world we would all work together to conserve, substitute and transition at a good pace, as well as keep population down. Even though application of the normal logistic function gives solutions that are almost correct in many areas, it fails badly in others. However, when you try to model more complex processes especially involving human actors, such as EROEI for USA ethanol production that involve hundreds if not thousands of companies, you immediately run into measurement problems, lack of data, bad data, and even questions what include or not include in the model.
Fortunately, the decisions that I have made in my life were the ones that I would have made anyway, although I did come close to making a really stupid decision.
If not for the wholesale money printing being done by the world’s central banks we would be seeing a small, but steady decline of a little less than 2% per year. Best I can find is about 25 years … IF we can continue to recycle what we have mined before.
Solar Feed-in Tariffs, which pay solar system owners a premium per kilowatt-hour for the power that they feed into the grid, are one of the key incentive mechanisms for the promotion of renewable energy generation across the globe. Australia’s only gross feed-in tariff scheme, the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, is no longer open to new applicants. Bona fide Solar Feed-in Tariff schemes are initiated by the state government, and effectively value solar power a rate that is greater than the rate that electricity customers pay for energy from the grid.
They are not ordinarily state-sponsored, but rather agreements between electricity retailers and their solar customers. Instead, they are voluntary payments that retailers make to solar customers in states where no mandatory Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme exists. Depending on the rate offered through a FiT or solar buyback scheme, the actions taken to manage the volume and timing of household electricity demand will differ.
Right now, with electricity prices lower than the bona fide FiTs, this means that it makes more financial sense for homes and businesses to favour export to the electricity grid, and strive to use electricity as much as possible when their solar systems are not producing. The key here, then, is to focus on reducing electricity use in general, because it is not possible to optimise the timing to obtain greater savings. While solar does make sense for some households and businessses in NSW, provided they can find a way to use all their solar power as it is being produced.
He holds a master's degree in Environmental Management from UNSW, and a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Bridgewater State University in his native Massachusetts. In winter is when it uses the most electricity, and at night it uses the most, which is obviously when there is no electricity produed by our solar panels. I hope that you can help, as I am just a little disapointed with the results from the setup that we have.
As the other 2.2kw inverter has 12 solar panels connected to it, and they are facing north, or would having them facing in oposite directions cause a problem for the inverter.
If the above system was now installed at say $ 10400, which seems reasonable as costs have come down, the return on the investment is 4400 x 25.8c = $ 1135 or 11 %. So if you save around $1,200 on your annual energy bill the annual return on investment is $1,200. These measures will have far more return on investment than any solar installation to heat your house, especially since you have to heat at times when you don’t produce that much solar kWh during winter.
I have power on my property 1.5km from the house and have been considering a feedback at this location simply to generate power for feedback. If your house is very energy efficient (good insulation, energy efficient appliances, no air conditioning) then you’re energy bills will be lower in the first instance and you will need a smaller system.
If you scroll down to the bottom you’ll find the ROI calculator which should help you work out what the better option for you is, 3kW or 5kW. If you do not, I would advise checking the labels of your appliances to see how much power they use.


This should be about the same as those in Australia, but check your appliances anyhow to make sure. Those who have the time and concentration to pay this much attention to their power usage and alter their habits will reap the most reward. To get better returns on my investment i have been thinking about install solar power as i feel this would make the house more marketable. IE: In Canada our power has to travel further and there is some loss as it travels, so more power needs to be produced to counteract this problem. We do not use Airconditioners or heaters as weather is moderate in our region and use natural gas geysers and gas stoves. With smart meters I can see hourly consumption and note that the basal level of energy useage at my house is 500 watts continuously. I live in Republic of Panama and last month they claim I used 971kWh I find it hard to believe. There is a large refrigerator in my apartment, but I don’t buy enough food at one time to fill it. According to Randers’ current analysis, world GDP growth will continue to rise through 2050, and energy consumption will continue to grow until 2040.
The book talks very little about the workings of the model, so doesn’t let us know what changes have been made. Using the revised approach, oil supply now declines relatively slowly, from an assumed peak in 2025 (Figure 1 and 2) and other fuels (coal, natural gas, renewables) rise in consumption relatively more quickly than in reports published by other forecasters (IEA World Energy Outlook, BP Energy Outlook, Exxon Mobil- A view to 2040). The drop-off in oil as well as other fossil fuels is likely to be much faster than the symmetric Hubbert curve would suggest.
Charles Hall and various others, with respect to the amount of energy needed to create new energy, with the idea that the types of fuels that need relatively less energy for new production will be exploited first.
Unless analysis is done using disaggregated data, with some tests for reasonableness, one can get very much overstated renewable energy estimates. The new model has something called GDP (which Doly Garcia says she added), and something which is called “demand,” based on an estimate of the quantity of energy products which people might use, but which does not correspond to what people can actually pay for, (which is likely quite different). The government was called upon to provide more and more services (such as bigger armies), leading to a need for higher taxes. Human productivity reflects a combination of  (a) human effort, (b) the amount of capital equipment people have to work with, and (c) the amount of energy products at the disposal of humans. This law says that if a particular process is missing some essential ingredient, it won’t happen. Or did he not understand how optimistic the forecast was, perhaps because he was unaware that one cannot count on energy declines to follow a logistic curve? That is why the peak in world petroleum production occurred somewhat later than a direct application of Hubbert’s model would indicate. These numbers are just pulled out of the air and adjusted to get the results that the modeler thinks is about right. Again if you are just asking what ifs, you may gain some understanding of the system, but for prediction it is more likely garbage in garbage out. Petroleum prices are now doubling every seven and a half years, and that will continue to slow economies until we have reached the end of the oil age. FiTs are what enabled Germany to become the unquestioned world-leader in rooftop solar power, and even China has introduced a national FiT program in an effort to expand domestic demand for solar PV systems.
One exception is the Victorian Standard Feed-in Tariff, under which new solar customers with systems 5kW and above are are eligible for a 1:1 solar buyback.
When a household opts to export their solar power to the grid, this means that they avoid using electricity when the system is producing–the excess is automatically exported. We don’t have any other means of heating other than what I have just described to you. Can you advise me on what would be the best offer available, which system (net or gross) would be best, and have you any information on a new user pay system for electricity (independant of whether or not solar electricity is available) used from the grid (eg charges, rates, and any fees), and does it have to be used in conjuntion with a net meter, or will it work with a goss meter if it was being used. I have even considered adding another 6 panels facing east ( I know that would be even less efficent than those facing the west, but they would provide a boost in electricity being generated at the start of the day (when we would be using a considerable amount electricity, eg electric jug, stove etc), when at the moment very little is being produced with the 12 panels that we have facing north, thus forcing us to use electricity from the grid. Doing the sums though with the terrible feedback tariff in NSW it would seem that there would be no benefit even with the STC(?) discount. Just wondering if I’m better to run appliances (such as washing machine,dishwasher etc) in off peak times or if I should be running them in daylight hours when its sunny when power is being generated by the panels?? If a system could be installed to cover the average power bill how much monitoring would be required for this type of system not comtriled by the person living in the house.
Other countries might have poor infrastructure, or use poor conductors for their powerlines. On summers months March to October (its hot most of the time) temperature can range from 28 to 42 (max). There are new fridges which use a motor fan to remove frost, they consume 1 Kwh per day more. These Provincial governments have historically encouraged home heating and cooling with electricity.
It is winter, so I put the perishables on a ledge outside my window and didn’t run the frig for an entire month. A related issue is that there is no true calculation of demand, based on what consumers can afford. When population has risen because of the use of these resources, even a slowdown in supply is a huge problem, as we recently witnessed with the Great Recession that accompanied the 2008 run-up in oil prices. The increasingly impoverished workers could not pay these higher taxes, and it was this clash between needed taxes and ability to pay these taxes that brought about the collapse. If there is a shortfall at all in the energy products, we could see a big cutback in labor productivity. Thus, if delivery trucks don’t have oil, the effects will cascade throughout the system, causing what will look like a major recession. Barring magical occurrences, the Randers scenario is in the least likely to occur group of scenarios. By adding up the yearly production, and plotting the sum against time you get a nice smooth curve. 1-to-1 solar buybacks are schemes similar to Solar Feed-in Tariffs, but which offer rates equal to the retail rate for electricity. With further inflation of electricity prices, it will eventually be the most sensible option self-consume as much as possible. There fore with minimum temps getting as low as -2 degrees celsius, if the air conditioner was to be turned off (because there is no solar), then our home would become unbearable. However, since your system is a 1.5kW system, as much as possible you want to make sure that your consumption does not exceed the output of the system. Whether you could use a solar system as a selling point for your rental property would depend on how well you can show how much money it would save the occupants on their electricity bills. When it does happen, it will occur sufficiently slowly and incrementally that other fuels can replace its loss, apparently without disruption.
The model also omits debt, and the role debt plays, both for investment purposes and in order for consumers to afford products made with oil and other energy products. The population each of these countries has now grown, so there are now many more mouths to feed. In such a situation, there was more of a tendency toward resource wars and revolutions, leading to deaths  of workers.
Already, countries with intermittent electricity are finding that their production drops as electricity availability drops.
Not to mention the US of debts notorious QE-infinity program(and the US is not alone in this). Changes in yearly production have actually been quit small (a few percent); they only appear pronounced because with the PDF you are looking at one year at a time. It would be much easier to keep track of how close you are exceeding this amount if you have some kind of in-house monitoring systems set up, so that you can see with your own eyes how much power different appliances use. We have gas burners here and gas heating, so I ended up just paying for the electricity used by my computer, lights, and cell phone. Research regarding past collapses indicates they were financial in nature–the model should not overlook this important issue. Unfortunately, without oil exports, the financial situation is such that it is not possible to provide the level of food subsidies and other benefits that an oil exporter can provide. The result seems to be serious civil disorder that threatens to spread beyond the these countries’ own borders.
Workers weakened by poor nutrition because of inability to afford adequate food also had higher death rates from disease. The 1972 Limits to Growth book warned readers that the report likely missed issues of this nature.



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