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Old 03-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #521 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niky View Post
In the article, the infrastructure supporting the wind farms out in the middle of absolute nowhere sinks into the damp peat and causes surrounding peat to lift up and dry out... eroding its capability to absorb carbon. Ouch.
So what does not designing proper footings have to do with its being a wind farm? If it was say a road or a gas pipeline causing the same thing to happen, would anyone be complaining?

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:58 AM   #522 (permalink)
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Nobody is laying a gas pipeline through unstable peatland. And from what I've read in the article, it's not an argument against building the farms per se, but for building them properly or in locations where it won't affect the peat's ability to absorb CO2.

Put another way... you wouldn't build a solar farm over a rainforest, would you?
 
Old 03-04-2013, 04:13 AM   #523 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niky View Post
Put another way... you wouldn't build a solar farm over a rainforest, would you?
WWF would if they could make a few $s from it, google "Silence of the Pandas", or read here.

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Palm oil dispute

Palm oil is found in many detergents and cosmetics. The run on the valuable oil only really started, when Europeans discovered it as a “renewable” plant-based energy. In Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, forests are being cleared – once for timber production, today in order to create palm oil plantations.

Huisman criticises WWF for seeing a negotiating success, when Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil company, can log 300,000 hectares – and in return, leaves about two per cent of the area as a protected area. In addition, WWF sits together with Unilever, Bayer and the HSBC Bank at a round table, that in an act of self-regulation, distributes sustainability certificates – this in turn legitimises the clearing of forests, provided they are not to be particularly worthy of protection.

But there are few forests left. Also, because no one checks whether companies comply with their standards, other environmental organizations left the round table quickly. WWF assures that it participate only to prevent the “worst”. But where is the success? A local activist concludes: “WWF greenwashes the environmental sins of the industry – and takes money in exchange.”
Anyway in related news, that great German solar renewables revolution at work...

Quote:
The Baedeker travel guide is now available in an environmentally-friendly version. The 200-page book, entitled "Germany - Discover Renewable Energy," lists the sights of the solar age: the solar café in Kirchzarten, the solar golf course in Bad Saulgau, the light tower in Solingen and the "Alster Sun" in Hamburg, possibly the largest solar boat in the world.

The only thing that's missing at the moment is sunshine. For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no electricity. The days are short, the weather is bad and the sky is overcast.

…Solar farm operators and homeowners with solar panels on their roofs collected more than €8 billion ($10.2 billion) in subsidies in 2011, but the electricity they generated made up only about 3 percent of the total power supply, and that at unpredictable times.

The distribution networks are not designed to allow tens of thousands of solar panel owners to switch at will between drawing electricity from the grid and feeding power into it…German consumers already complain about having to pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe.
Quote:
Solar lobbyists like to dazzle the public with impressive figures on the capability of solar energy. For example, they say that all installed systems together could generate…twice as much energy as is currently being produced by the remaining German nuclear power plants.

But this is pure theory. The solar energy systems can only operate at this peak capacity when optimally exposed to the sun’s rays…at an optimum angle…and at the ideal solar module temperature… – in other words, under conditions that hardly ever exist outside a laboratory.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #524 (permalink)
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Peak WIND

Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist ? The Register

Quote:
The pro-wind boffins, led by such figures as Harvard enviro-prof Michael McElroy and Mark Jacobson of Stanford, have long contended that if there is any upper limit on the amount of energy that could be extracted from the Earth's winds it is well above the amount the human race requires. They further contend that extracting these vast amounts of power from the atmosphere will not have any serious impact on the world's climate.

Both these assertions, however, have been called into doubt - and the first one, that there's plenty of wind power to meet all human demands, is particularly shaky as it ignores the thorny issue of cost. McElroy, Jacobson and their allies tend to make wild assumptions - for instance that it would be feasible to distribute massive wind turbines across most or even all of the planet's surface.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:59 AM   #525 (permalink)
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So, that is not a problem of wind farms in general. They need to find a better site for the wind turbines, or another route for the transmissions lines, or another system like maybe wave or tidal power.

Global warming is threatening to melt vast areas of tundra and release both carbon dioxide and methane. So, the knock on effect from warming will be more warming. This is not theoretical - the tundra is already starting to melt and already releasing immense amounts of greenhouse gases.

Burning fossil fuels into the future at anywhere near the rate we are now is going to be a very bad thing for all life on earth. It will cost much more money because of all the damage it is doing to the only planet we have; and we will run out of accessible oil anyway.

There is no Planet B.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #526 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niky View Post
Nobody is laying a gas pipeline through unstable peatland.
No? See for instance the Alaska pipeline, or Britain's extensive gas pipeline system: United Kingdom and Ireland Pipelines map - Crude Oil (petroleum) pipelines - Natural Gas pipelines - Products pipelines Wanna bet none of that goes through unstable peatland?

Quote:
Put another way... you wouldn't build a solar farm over a rainforest, would you?
Some people probably would. The same ones who think it's ok to build them over deserts. Solar panels belong on roofs!
 
Old 03-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #527 (permalink)
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Which is just silly in a lot of ways. But start with the most obvious: that human population and demand for energy can continue to grow without limits. Given that assumption, of course there is a peak wind - and a peak solar & peak everything else. This http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/...ets-physicist/ says it better than I could.

The bottom line is that the Earth has resources enough to indefinitely sustain a population of somewhere around 500 million, allowing them all a reasonable quality of life.
 
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #528 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf
Seems the core issue here is that there are a lot of people who put their short-term comfort & convenience way ahead of long-term survival.
Their perceived C&C way ahead of the C&C they could be enjoying in the long term, with a little thought.

Niky -- Just one more reason why windmills should be indoors.

Edit: wow, the thread moves fast. I was replying to #519 and #520. I'll got back and read the rest now.

Done.

NeilBlanchard -- Tidal power is pretty inexorable. Moon power for the win!

Last edited by freebeard; 03-04-2013 at 08:14 PM..
 
Old 03-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #529 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
No? See for instance the Alaska pipeline, or Britain's extensive gas pipeline system: United Kingdom and Ireland Pipelines map - Crude Oil (petroleum) pipelines - Natural Gas pipelines - Products pipelines Wanna bet none of that goes through unstable peatland?
I won't bet on that because I don't know. Perhaps you can find data? Still. I doubt it. Nobody likes building on unstable ground.

Okay... here... found it:


Looks like very little pipe is laid through the densest peatland. There's no gain for the suppliers in laying pipe over unstable ground in areas where maintenance people can't get to them, when you can simply go around it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Some people probably would. The same ones who think it's ok to build them over deserts. Solar panels belong on roofs!
Solar sombreros for all? I think I've found my campaign line for the next election.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Niky -- Just one more reason why windmills should be indoors.
Not in Congress or Parliament. Hot air is bad for the wiring.
 
Old 03-05-2013, 04:35 AM   #530 (permalink)
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Good one. But seriously—big 3/4-spherical volume, inlet offset on the upwind side creates an internal tornado, exit at the center top into a swivel connection that always points downwind. Exhaust into a high-bypass venturi that creates a powerful suction on the air inside. Extract energy but whatever means necessary.

Bucky Fuller pitched indoor windmills for the ease of maintenance.

Since I last posted I'm wondering about a big chamber below high tide level (somewhere there's 10-20ft tides) with an air opening above low tide level, With every change of the tides, it would be a positive displacement air pump. So I'm wondering if a big chamber could recharge a smaller chamber to a higher pressure, 'cause that's recursive and scalable.

Compressed air car, here i come. Powered by the Moon!

 
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