Thread: Wind turbines
View Single Post
Old 09-06-2018, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 943
Thanks: 233
Thanked 342 Times in 239 Posts
Wind, sun and hydro.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
What pollution results from renewable energy?

Distributed energy generation is a BIG advantage.
These are your idea of renewable energy. And I am a supporter of them.

I am a supporter of them. I just warn you that the clean running power has a dark side.

In another post, I mentioned that the majority of solar panels are made in Asian countries with almost no environmental regulations. They are also recycled or buried with no regulation. Much of the electronic waste in the US ends up being sent to bidders in Bangladesh and such places. A concerted plan needs to be enacted now to stop the pollution on the front and back end of solar power use or an environmental issue arises in the future.

The same for wind. The sheer volume of concrete, steel and electro-mechanical materials will become a problem as you must build renewables in a large number. A huge number. And they will never provide continuous power. So you over build. And build storage capacity. That will need to be huge and costly and will produce its own waste streams.

You naively assume just because renewables run clean, that they miraculously appear and disappear when their lives are done. They don't. And just like your computer, they cannot be just thrown in a dump. There are too many dangerous materials that can and will leach into the environment. And unlike your computer, the volume of tech-trash will be huge.

And your renewables will not meet the needs of the majority of people who now live in densely populated areas. If you have land and sky aplenty, you can work out a scheme to live on renewables. If you live in the middle of New York City, you need to generate a concentrated amount of energy and transmit it into the city. Diffuse energy at erratic amounts need to be base lined by constant stored power schemes.

I don't oppose renewables. I ask that you be pragmatic in its application. A balanced set of power sources base lined by nuclear power is a logical solution. A good plan to build and recycle our solar and wind devices is also needed now, not later. A way to store our excess renewable energy and transport it is a good thing. There will be no silver bullet.

The other argument is one Frank Lee keeps reminding us of. Reduce what we use. Economizing.

I grew up on a pacific island riding a water buffalo and carrying water up to our tin roofed house to cook our food on charcoal made from the trees that surrounded our ranch. We grew all our own food and traded our excess down in the town. My wife on the other hand? Her family is from Texas. All yall better know that her idea of simple living is a condo by the beach, a house in the mountains and a Fiat 500 turbo for the beach condo and a 4x4 for the mountain house and a Mercedes to drive between. I argue for a simpler lifestyle but she's way too cute to win an argument with.

The average American will not settle for a simpler life. The rest of the world wants to live like Americans. How do we prevent this wish from happening? You can't. So we must power this wish. With clean renewable power base lined by nuclear, geothermal, hydro or what ever baseline source makes sense.

  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to RustyLugNut For This Useful Post:
redpoint5 (09-06-2018)