Author Archives: SolarBucket

About SolarBucket

I trained as a mechanical engineer in the 1970's and then spent most of the following 25 years doing sums and software for Oil and Gas Exploration. Current interests are the study of wind and solar resources.

A random history of energy economics (3) – The life cycle of fuels

Fuels like any other product have life cycles.  The stages of the classic life cycle are growth, maturity and decline.  For some fuels like wood, the length of the cycle is measured in millennia, that of coal looks like it … Continue reading

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A Random history of energy economics (2) – The Horse and the Lorry

By 1900 railways were the most important element in Britain’s transport infrastructure, but they only provided town-to-town communication.  The distribution of goods within a town was done with men with barrows and horses with carts.  In the rural areas “carriers” … Continue reading

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A Random History of Energy Economics (1) – Gas Engines in the Home

Over the past year I’ve been acquiring a few copies of the “The Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician” at car boot sales.  I now have about 15 examples dating from 1899 to 1919.  Models make up a large part of … Continue reading

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Learning to garden (20) – The aging dog again

The garden has always been a work in progress, mainly because I don’t know what to do with it or what I want to do with it.  However, a small vegetable plot was evolving and a few meals produced.  then … Continue reading

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The price of house coal

The starting point for this post was some old family accounts which extended, with gaps from the 1920s to the 1940s.  This was augmented by some figures found in the online version of Hansard.  Some local history material provided a human … Continue reading

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The early days of electricity in Hove (3)

As with previous posts in this series, this one is work in progress and subject to corrections and revisions. As I mess with this, I realise I am working backwards.  The story starts with an Act of Parliament of 1890 whose objective … Continue reading

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Energy Alternatives

The electricity industry took shape in the 1880s.  Initially, it was a “luxury” product consumed by high income households.  Large establishments might have had their own generating plant, but rapid growth in the demand for electricity started when companies were formed … Continue reading

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