More efficient pumps and pump controls would save many billions of kilowatt-hours of electricity and heat in homes, businesses and industrial plants. But this change would require decision-makers to be better informed and tradespeople better trained; in addition, we would need an investment philosophy that accepts higher investment costs in return for lower operating costs.27
These three examples make it clear that a solar energy supply is easier to reach and less expensive if conservation measures are simultaneously exploited.
Towards the goal of 100 per cent solar energy, Example 2 does not seem that convincing. If we want to go further, we can do the following:
• Use more solar energy. A larger solar array would cover a larger share of heating demand (see 2.3).
• Use greater efficiency. By further improving insulation and ventilation systems, we can do without heaters altogether (see 4.6).
• Use other types of renewable energy. A combination of solar collectors and wood heating can provide renewable heat all year round (see 4.8 and 5.4).
These options represent a good starting point for the transition to the Solar Age.
Figure 1.8 Solar strategy requires energy conservation
Source: The authors