Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What would the world be like if

  1. Oct 23, 2004 #1
    Electricity cost almost nothing to use. Not only would our monthly bills be erased, but almost every realm of production would be made more efficient. Im having trouble fantasizing this scenario. What else would happen? Would free electricity pave the way to a new type of technology that are now limited by the cost and availability of electricity? Would near free electricity make less war? To my knowledge, most of the time war is fought over rescources. What kind of things would happen if electricity was both nearly free and nearly limitless?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well, I'll give you what happens in Norway (due to waterfalls, we have an overabundance of sources for electrical power; it has been very cheap, by world standards).

    Recently, the power production was privatized.
    The result is that all power plants in order to maximize their personal profits sell out of Norway all their produced electricity during the spring/summer when little is used nationally (because of hot weather).
    When winter comes, there's a (purported) shortage of electricity, so the power plants sets in unison up the price level to whatever they like (they're a mafia).

    Earlier, there was planning&storing going on, so that it was a fully adequate supply of electric power throughout the year for a very low price.
    In addition, the municipalities had a healthy profit from the proceedings (no tax-payer money was spent on keeping the prices low).
  4. Oct 23, 2004 #3
    Actually, the deregulation has been quite succesful. Look at Figure 1 one here:
  5. Oct 23, 2004 #4
    That stupid rabbit would be going and going and going to the unemployment office.
  6. Oct 23, 2004 #5

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yeah, if electricity were free, you would get a lot of annoyed power plant workers.
  7. Oct 23, 2004 #6
    ever met a power plant worker who wasn't annoyed?
  8. Oct 23, 2004 #7

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have never met a power plant worker... except Homer Simpson, so no. But I could imagine that they would be even more annoyed.
  9. Oct 23, 2004 #8
    I seem to recall early advertisements wherein nuclear power was being promised to be very inexpensive.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?