Half a month ago on D*, I commented this post, then I got an idea, then another…
And I couldn't stop !
Depending the way you make your calcutations, we spend between 25 and 40 % of our energy in building (in large views : construction, heating, maintenance, powering…). And 50 % of this previous energy spending goes directly into heating itself. I must admit I am not sure of the figures…
What I am sure is that it made 25 % of our energy that does nothing usefull but just help us feeling better in our living-room and is wasted in nature ( heating ) !
Then I remember a second thing : energy production in France is extremely inefficient in itself as it comes out of nuclear reactors that barely reach 30 % efficiency.
A thermal power station is actually a gigantic device used to boil water and the produced vapor is going to run a steam turbine. But finally, only 30 % of this heat will turn into electricity. The rest is wasted, goes in nature in the vapor clouds getting out of the cooling towers or in the rivers.
Here is the idea : if we crazily isolate our buildings with 20 to 30 cm of glass wool (or sheep wool, or duck feathers…) on all faces, we would really decrease our heating consumption !
We knew it before, but it's always good to remind it to common people : please isolate massively your house ! It's the best thing you can ever do to save the planet !
And if we used this around 60 % of heat produced by power plants but wasted to just heat this building, we would have win !
We would have free heating (sort of) and saved the environnement (same time).
The next step
So now, the idea is to use heat produced by power plants to heat buildings. To do that we need to build and setup a heat transport network (power plant can be 50 km far, if the heat pipes are well isolated, heat loss is minimum).
Why not profiting of that to place fibre wire to every connected building in the neighborhood ? Suddenly, every house, flat, office get through a unique installation heat, power and internet !
Isn't that powerful ? (sic)
Obviously, there is some problems realted to privacy, has this would allow to follow exactly your energy consumption… These are the critics to the “smart” Linky power counter in France.
A public network
To make it work, you have to do it with politicians.
Because there is to many people involved : local authorities, ISP, power providers, landlords, all in a democratic fashion.
I believe that at the end, local authorities would be owners of the network but delegate running it in a way already used for water networks : the operator can be non-profit (public agency, public local agency, cooperative, association) or corporate business.
And access should be granted to ISP in a neuter manner.
Denmark makes massive use of heating networks with a heating loss of just a few percents.
I believe that same time power providers build and maintain the network, they placed fiber, which leads to crazy internet connection 10 km far of Aarhus while my parents are still on a poor adsl connection 3 km of Dreux.
Australia build a National Broadband Network.
Here is the smart grid we are waiting for !