First round of research

Hello, this is my first round of research. For this round, I looked up the current state of electricity, how we are making it and how other countries are making it. Most of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels (67%), which are non-renewable. Just under 15% of the electricity we use is from hydroelectric dams. (1) Nuclear power, is very effective, but is a very dangerous component to electricity generation. 13% of our electricity comes from nuclear power. Our generation relies so much on non-renewable energy that we are going to run out of fossil fuels by 2088, and it is damaging our atmosphere. (2) Today, the average household consumes over 900 kWh of electricity every month. This number is growing exponentially because of more usage of electronics. In this round of research I will first talking about the methods we are using electricity. Then I will be looking into the cost of our electricity, and finally I will be talking about the different electricity companies around the world and what their main source of making electricity is. (3) 

The world gets power from many sources such as fossil fuels and renewable energy, but how are we obtaining electricity from them? For fossil fuels, we burn the fuels in a boiler. The steam that comes from these fuels go into a different chamber where it spins a turbine. This turbine turns the generator, which then converts into electricity. (4) This system is extremely bad for the environment and governments around the world are ignoring this factor. Nuclear power plants use nuclear rods to heat up the water that flows through the chambers. After this, it is exactly like fossils fuels where the steam powers the turbines. For hydroelectricity, we built dams on rivers to build water pressure. The water flows through pipes to spin the turbine and comes out the other side of the dam. The turbines then spin the generator, which creates electricity. This renewable method is widely used among our country since we many rivers and mountains. This method is better than fossil fuels and nuclear power because it doesn’t pollute the air, but the disadvantage is that it still creates artificial lakes and blocks the path of freshwater fish. Site C is a very negative hydroelectric dam project because the cost is too high and it is claiming aboriginal land. (5)Other methods to create energy is not very effective such as solar energy. These are our current methods of generating electricity and may change soon.  

In our province, we have a 2 step system for our electricity bills from BC Hydro. (6) For most residential plans, the cost is $0.0858 per kWh for first 1,350 kWh. After the 1,350 kWh mark, the price increases to $0.1287 kWh. Pricing of electricity has increased dramatically: BC Hydro’s electricity rates have gone up 28% over 5 years. (7) This is because BC Hydro is in an 18 billion dollar debt. The government has been very clever of covering BC Hydro’s price increases of electricity rates and to not tell the public about it. (5) I wonder if these prices will rise even more in the future.  

In BC, BC Hydro's main source of electricity is hydroelectricity. (8) More than 90% of the electricity we use in British Columbia is from water, and it is because of our rivers and lakes. Our neighbours: the United States has their electricity from the western side of the country from Pacific Gas and Electric. (9) This Californian company's portfolio has a lot of hydroelectric dams, a couple nuclear power plants, a few fossil fuel plants and solar electric power. (10) The western side of the U.S. has several small companies that provide power to every state. In India, they have similar percentages of usage of hydroelectric dams as we do. (59%) (11) European countries such as France depend a lot on nuclear power for their electricity (72.3%) because of how effective it is. In South Korea, they are dependent on mostly fossil fuels because they have exploited a lot of land for mining. (13) China is the T largest thermal power capacity, the largest hydropower capacity, the largest wind power capacity and the largest solar capacity in the world. (16) The Netherlands are very focused on renewable energy as they are running trains with wind power only. (15) 

This round of research summarizes the methods of how we are making electricity, the cost of B.C.'s electricity and how other countries in the world are making electricity.  

I am changing my action from my project plan. For my action I will be comparing if smaller loads of laundry is more energy efficient than bigger loads of laundry. I will only be calculating the washing machine. I will switch off power from all of the rooms except for the washing machine room, then I will start the washing machine with a small load of clothes. I will then go to the side of my house and time the electric bill counter for a minute. I will take note of what number the counter was at when it started and what number it was at when the minute ends. This will give me a kilowatt per minute result. I will do this for the first two weeks for accurate results, then the next two weeks will be trying out bigger loads and see if there will be a difference in the amount of electricity I used. I will make sure that the amount of clothes that I use will be consistently separated into big/small loads. The purpose of this experiment is to figure out if bigger loads are more effective than smaller loads. (vice versa) 

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/sou...-electricity-1182554
  2. https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/o...-end-of-fossil-fuels
  3. https://www.bchydro.com/search...d=1429&ir_type=3 
  4. http://www.world-nuclear.org/n...are-the-options.aspx 
  5. http://policyoptions.irpp.org/...d-electricity-rates/ 
  6. https://www.bchydro.com/accoun...sidential-rates.html 
  7. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...er-5-years-1.2440437 
  8. https://www.bchydro.com/energy...stem/generation.html 
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...s_electric_companies 
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...Generation_portfolio
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...city_sector_in_India 
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ity_sector_in_France 
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_South_Korea 
  14. https://www.theguardian.com › World › Rail transport 
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...city_sector_in_China 

 

Original Post

Hi @Yihoi Jung (Charles Best - Alumni)!

Great to see you on-board! You have lots of information, which is on an important topic that nowadays everyone basically depends on: electricity

Suggestion that you could look at is, how about other areas aside from BC? (Provinces, outside of this country, Kenya) 

Links to kick start this^: https://www.adaptelec.com/inde...&products_id=213

https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-fair-hydro-plan

http://www.energy.alberta.ca/O...ness/Electricity.asp
Keep it up! 

~Jim
CA
CBSS

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