If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canada Light Bulb Heat and CO2 Emissions

More on Canada light bulb heat issue:
As per the recent previous post Government's own research shows savings are negligible when room heating is welcome.
The point of course is not "to heat your room with light bulbs", simply the benefit when light is wanted and the heat is useful, as at most times when it is dark in Canada.

Several more Canadian and other country studies at http://ceolas.net/#li6x.
These also include the CO2 emission issue:
That "clean" bulb electricity lowering the need for "dirty" room heating source can save CO2 emissions rather than increase them, as usually supposed
(A further reason that CO2 or other emissions are not increased is that coal plants, the main emission source, effectively burn the same coal anyway at the evening-night times when incandescent bulbs are mostly used.
This is from operational factors, their minimum night cycle level, as they are slow and expensive to power down and up including wear and tear, compared to simply keep burning coal at reduced levels that still cover what bulbs people may or may not want to use.
No - there isn't any politician or energy savings agency that takes such practical factors into account, just another reason for the pointlessness behind banning bulbs, as per the end link below).

A recent January 16 article on Canadian Energy Issues website by Steve Aplin again points out the emission saving fallacy when a non-CO2 emitting electricity source replaces an emitting source of ordinary room heating.


Incandescent ban illuminates urgent need for public carbon education

If I can get heat from a low- or zero-carbon source, I am more than happy to choose it over stuff like gasoline or wood. And because I know something about the carbon content of each watt of heat from the different things that make heat, and because I live in Ontario, I would choose Ontario grid electricity over every other source that is available to me.

This is why I shake my head when governments buy into the pseudo-green groupthink that produced the ban on incandescent lightbulbs in Canada. Incandescent lightbulbs convert most of the electricity running through them into heat; only a small percentage—as little as five percent, according to this Popular Mechanics article—goes into producing light. My take on that is: who cares.

In Toronto, Ontario’s capital and Canada’s biggest city, artificial heat is used pretty much from September 15 to June 1. (A city bylaw requires landlords to provide artificial heat to rented homes so that their indoor temperature is maintained at at least 21 °C.) That means that from Sept. 15 to June 1—i.e., in 259 days out of the year—the heat produced by an indandescent lightbulb is actually useful in Toronto residences. Who cares if an incandescent lightbulb turns most of the electricity running through it into heat.

Now, what is the environmental upshot of that electric heat?
You can measure this very easily. Table 1 in the left-hand sidebar provides the hourly carbon content of Ontario electricity. [see the original article, which also provides the calculations to arrive at the data below] This is given in the bottom row of the Table, and is called the CO2 intensity per kilowatt-hour (CIPK) of grid electricity. At eight a.m. today (January 16 2014), Ontario’s CIPK of grid electricity was 54.3 grams. The CIPK varies from hour to hour, depending on the generators that feed the grid in each hour. With the current mix of generation sources, Ontario’s CIPK averaged over a year is around 82 grams....

Using the Ontario average annual CIPK of 82 grams, that 0.95 kWh of electrically generated heat comes with 77.9 grams of CO2.....
Using a natural gas-fired heater to provide the 0.95 kWh of heat, assuming perfect efficiency (which in the case of a combustible heat source is thermodynamically impossible), you would produce 167 grams of CO2

So here is a question for David Suzuki and all those applauding the ban on incandescent lights:
Is it better to put 77.9 grams or 167 grams of CO2 into the air?

It is pretty clear that for 259 days of the year in Toronto Ontario (and more than 259 days in points further north), the heat from an indandescent light is actually beneficial. And with Ontario grid electricity being as clean as it is today, that heat from the incandescent light is demonstrably and provably cleaner than that from the next-cleanest dedicated heat source.

The author is Vice President of Energy and Environment at the HDP Group Inc., an Ottawa-based management consultancy

How Regulations are Wrongly Justified
14 points, referenced:
Includes why the overall society savings aren't there, and even if they were, why alternative policies are better, including alternative policies that target light bulbs.



Paul Borrelli said...

I love my red wine. Enjoyment of wine is part olfactory, part taste and part visual.

All senses are integral for a proper wine experience. Regrettably, the very important visual aspect is virtually distorted by the led and especially florescent light devices. Under these lights all red wines take on a non descript and obscure dark hue.

It's a tragedy that our right to enjoy a simple glass of vin rouge is now obliterated by draconian and heavy handed government intervention on individual rights.

"Big Brother" I guess I'll have to buy wax candles to enjoy my next bottle of Bordeaux.
A shame that the "do gooders" know what's best for me even if it means taking away my fundamental rights and enjoyment.

Paul Borrelli. Windsor Ontario

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is that if you can get 40 watts worth of incandescent light out of a 6 watt LED bulb, it's a no brainer to switch! Times that by millions and yeah, only an idiot would disagree.

Charles Smith said...

Product Reliability & Longevity of a LED lighting fixture is crucial. LEDs claim to have a “long life” and as they are much more expensive than traditional fittings and long life is crucial to justifying the capital investment.

Lighthouse said...

Your argument is typical of those favouring LED bulbs

1. If they are great, people can by them voluntarily
2. Energy saving is not the only reason to choose a light bulb
3. Supposed savings don't hold up, and even if they did, there are also the environmental issues of complex LED bulbs using rare earth minerals and with safety issues
4. Even if incandescent bulbs still had to be targeted, alternative market stimulation and taxation methods are better

See the 14 point argumentation link at end of post

Lighthouse said...

Paul Borrelli

RE "the appearance of red wine under LED and fluorescent lights"

Well, there's one to add to the 14 point argumentation list ;-)