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Do Watt John?


Do What John?

Do what John? Do what John?

Come again do what?

Do what John? Do what John?

Do what? Do what? Do what?

Do where John? Do where John?

Wiv what, wiv whom and when?

Trific; realy trific.

Pardon; come again.

Do what John? Do what John?

Come again do what?

Do what John? Do what John?

Do what? Do what? Do what?

Do where John? Do where John?

Wiv what, wiv whom and when?

Trific; realy trific.

Pardon; come again

(From Monty Python Contractual Obligations)

With all this talk about prices going up and up and stuff with the advent of carbon pricing, I had to ask myself just what is the cost per households in say energy prices.

First, I needed to find out how much electricity a power plant produces for every tonne of coal it uses.

I did a search and found this. It’s a short piece on how much energy is needed to power a 100w light bulb continuously for a year.

A typical 500 megawatt coal power plant produces 3.5 billion kWh per year. That is enough energy for 4 million of our light bulbs to operate year round. To produce this amount of electrical energy, the plant burns 1.43 million tons of coal. It also produces:

Pollutant Total for Power Plant One Light Bulb-Year’s Worth
Sulfur Dioxide – Main cause of acid rain 10,000 Tons 5 pounds
Nitrogen Oxides – Causes smog and acid rain 10,200 Tons 5.1 pounds
Carbon Dioxide – Greenhouse gas suspected of causing global warming 3,700,000 Tons 1852 pounds

Okay. So for 1.43 million tonnes of coal, 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 is emitted, or for every tonne of coal, you produce 2.58 tonnes of CO2.

We are also told that a 500 mega watt plant, for that coal, and for that CO2, will generate 3.5 billion kWh per year.

All good so far I hope.

Now we need to find out what the average yearly household kWh usage is! So I found this.

It’s about a year old but it tell us the average household Australian usage figure is 6500kWh per year.

We then need to divide this into that 3.5 billion figure a coal power plant produces.

3500000000 / 6500 = 538461.58 homes serviced by that plant that use average Australian household usage.

Therefore since the plant uses 1.43 million tonnes of coal a year and 538461.58 homes use that coal, then

1430000 /538461.58 = 2.66 tonnes of coal per house.

Fine. Now one tonne of coal produces 2.58 of CO2 per year. So it comes to 6.85 tonnes of CO2 per household using an average 6500kWh of power per year.

Now the carbon price I am told applies to tonnage of CO2 produced. So if the carbon price was $30 a tonne, then that is an additional burden per average household of $30 X 6.85 or about $205 a year.

Remember this is for electricity cost only. So don’t ask me about petrol etc.

And this is NOT the price a house may have to pay.

Say the energy company is at 25% green power. That means if I was to use this company for my power, of the 6500kW I use on average, 25% is CO2 tax free.

That lowers the cost from $205 to around $150 annually.

Use more power, spend more money. Note the first link re the light bulb. If one was to change that bulb from a 100w bulb to a 75w bulb, we reduce all usage and CO2 emission costs by 25%.

This is only a simplistic look at things here. And it assumes the power company is going to pass on the increase directly to the users.

Okay that is all for today boys and girls. Next week, how to travel at the speed of light!

A. Ghebranious  2010  (All Rights Reserved)

  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Good luck! my Friend you will need it.

  2. Feral Skeleton permalink

    To be consistent with your Global Warming action theme, I would have used the figures for an Energy-Saving light bulb that is equivalent to the old 100W incandescant. I think it is about an 18W. Which brings the price down again how much?

    • It would drop the price and cost of running that 100w down by 82%!

      Now if we can only get the same reduction in electrical items, then we would not need to worry about emissions so much.

  3. debbiep permalink

    From a student that spent many-a-day daydreaming out the school room window, I thankyou Mr Ash…

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