LESS POWER TO THE PEOPLE

According to a recent study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, there would have been 184 more electric power plants in the U.S. today if the country hadn’t adopted semiconductor-based technologies starting in the mid 1970s. Without that change, the U.S. would be using 20 percent more power than it did in 2006.

The study said the U.S. economy could expand by more than 70 percent through 2030 and we would still use 11 percent less electricity than we did last year (2008). That would eliminate the need for 296 electric power plants. Translating that into money (often a good thing to do), the nation’s electric bills could be reduced by $1.3 trillion. This and still more statistical power projections are available at the Council web site: ACEEE.org.

These numbers made Bob think about the impression people have that chip technology was invented in California. In fact, the integrated circuit was invented by a couple of guys in the Midwest. It increased calculating and numerical control power by an awesome factor of one million times. The integrated circuit was based on the transistor of course, which was invented in New Jersey.

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