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Hydroelectricity

 

Hydro-electricity is presently the largest contributor to renewable energy worldwide; in Australia and particularly in NSW.

 

Hydro-electricity also is more desirable than wind generation because of a higher capacity factor and ability to produce power on demand.

 

But hydro-electricity is resource constrained as it is difficult to build new dams in the developed countries that are presently heavy fossil fuel consumers.

Dams flood private property and/or National parks and have many self-interested and environmentally concerned opponents.  Hydro-electric schemes interfere with natural river flows and related wildlife, particularly when they involve extensive inundation.  It has become politically very difficult to construct new dams in Australia, even when the potential energy resource is significant. 

Nevertheless in developing countries like China, India and Vietnam there are large hydro-electricity resources that remain unexploited.

 

 

 

 


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Travel

Cambodia and Vietnam

 

 

 In April 2010 we travelled to the previous French territories of Cambodia and Vietnam: ‘French Indochina’, as they had been called when I started school; until 1954. Since then many things have changed.  But of course, this has been a region of change for tens of thousands of years. Our trip ‘filled in’ areas of the map between our previous trips to India and China and did not disappoint.  There is certainly a sense in which Indochina is a blend of China and India; with differences tangential to both. Both have recovered from recent conflicts of which there is still evidence everywhere, like the smell of gunpowder after fireworks.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Cars, Radios, TV and other Pastimes

 

 

I grew up in semi-rural Thornleigh on the outskirts of Sydney.  I went to the local Primary School and later the Boys' High School at Normanhurst; followed by the University of New South Wales.  

As kids we, like many of my friends, were encouraged to make things and try things out.  My brother Peter liked to build forts and tree houses; dig giant holes; and play with old compressors and other dangerous motorised devices like model aircraft engines and lawnmowers; until his car came along.

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Electric Cars revisited

 

 

  

In 2005 I calculated that in Australia, due to our use of coal to generate electricity, electric cars had a higher carbon footprint than conventional cars. 

There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then and now (April 2019) many are promoting electric cars as environmentally friendly, so I thought it was worth a revisit. 

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