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Old 09-24-2008, 11:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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"I'm T. Boone Pickens, and this could be further from the truth. We need to line my pockets... I - mean reduce the largest transfer of wealth by building wind-power generators and allow an easement for my natural gas pipeline -- I, mean clean energy, blah - blah."

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Old 09-24-2008, 11:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Nuclear power plants put out about 1/3 the carbon that a natural gas plant does:
Says a study that's probably from the same think tank that "proved" that a Hummer has less environmental impact than a Prius :-) Which shows that the intellectually dishonest can "prove" anything they want by careful selection of facts, and the gullible will believe, because it's what they want to believe.

Try thinking about some of those claims. Seems to me that the amount of concrete needed to build a nuclear plant isn't all that different from what it takes to build a coal-fired plant of the same size (or for that matter to pour concrete footings for enough wind turbines to generate the same amount of power), and in either case is utterly trivial compared to lifetime generation & emissions. (Otherwise, it wouldn't be profitable to build the plant.) Likewise, t takes about the same effort to mine one ton of coal as it does to mine a ton of uranium ore, but you have to mine maybe 0.001 times as many tons for the same amount of power. Then there's the transport: the fuel to run a nuclear plant for a year can be hauled on a few semis, while your coal plant will have long trains pulling in every damn day...
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:43 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Hiya,

Renewable energy is easily the best way to go. If solar, wind, wave, geothermal, biomass & biofuel all could split the funds that we've spent on nuclear -- we would not even need to be discussing it! We would be sitting pretty -- warm and well lit, in a secure economic situation, with a lot fewer wars, and the environment would be a lot healthier, too.

Renewable energy is everywhere, and no company or country can control it. It doesn't burn a fuel at all, carbon or otherwise. There are no smokestacks, much smaller (or no) tailpipes, and no radioactive wastes at all.

Why would we NOT use renewable energy? It's a no-brainer...
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Someone suggested pumping water back up during the off peak hours....

It would actually take more power than would be made...this is very inefficient.

Not all dams are the "holding water type"....many are roller dams that allow most of the water to continue to flow down a river and only bring what is useable into a forebay that flows through the turbines and then on downstream. There is a lot less initial environmental impact in this sort of dam. (no flooding out thousands of homes)

The largest hurdle facing large scale power changes, whether they be nuclear, renweable or conventional is the NIMBY issue. people want them built, but always "somwhere else". I live in a state that produces a lot more power than it's population uses, and we have and are putting in more windmills, have several high power dams (flaming gorge, fontenelle) as well as conventional power plants. They are bringing in a lot of money to the state. Even then, we have people that do not want them built, but they still seem to want the power.....

People even complain about the noise of windmills (noise polution) and that they might injure or kill birds and bats.

Basically, something has got to give someplace....

Any one item is not the answer...it is going to have to be a combination of them all.

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
We need to use renewable energy!

Nuclear power plants put out about 1/3 the carbon that a natural gas plant does:

mining the uranium
processing the uranium
building the power plant (concrete is very costly in terms of carbon!)
storing the spent fuel and other radioactive items
decommissioning the power plant
Typical piece of anti-nuclear propoganda, do you think you can snap your fingers and windmills and PV panels appear and errect themselves. Do your homework before spewing this crap. Here are 2 refs that show nuclear is better than wind and 3 that it is better than PV on a lifecycle basis.

Energy Balances and CO2: WNA
http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Mag...2/article4.pdf
On Global Warming: Is nuclear power carbon-free?

Also the manufacture of PV panels is an enviromentally ugly process as well.

Last edited by Duffman; 09-25-2008 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:11 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Why would we NOT use renewable energy? It's a no-brainer...
You need to look into the reliability aspect of wind and solar as well as baseload vs peak generation.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:45 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Renewable energy is easily the best way to go.
Not so easily. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the side effects (which the proponents like to sweep under the rug) are so serious that a particular application ought not to be considered. But of course the proponents won't see that: they're stuck with an "Omigawd it's nuclear, we're all gonna DIE!" meme which they can't get out of their heads long enough to consider the possiblity that that meme might be just another big lie.

All you really need to do is switch one little word: it shouldn't be a question of nuclear OR renewables, but nuclear AND renewables. We need all of them: nuclear and solar and wind and geothermal and whatever else we can come up with, so we can start shutting down some of the coal-fired plants while we still have a chance of keeping this planet liveable.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Hello,

I'm well aware of the issues surrounding renewable energy sources. Solar heat plants do not have the issues with silicon PV panels, and there are thin film panels that do not require silicon. The materials to make a wind turbine are all recyclable.

There can be heat storage with a solar heat plant -- molten salt in insulated underground tanks work very well. Also, with high voltage DC transmission, electricity can be efficiently moved (~10% loss coast to coast) and so solar and wind can be gathered over a wide geographic area (for diversity) and/or it can be gathered where it is very consistent to where it is needed:

southwest USA for solar -- Scientific American released a study recently saying that 70% of all our electricity could come from 10% of Nevada.

northern and central midwest USA and the coasts for wind -- 33% for the whole country of all out electricity could be generated in South Dakota alone.

coasts for wave and tidal -- the moon is always orbiting the earth, and wind is almost always blowing over some parts of the oceans

geothermal where it naturally occurs close to the surface or where ever a deep hole is drilled

biomass and biofuels can be done anywhere they are produced -- this can be methane, alcohol, biodiesel, biofuel cells, etc.

heat can be extracted from the ground, or from sewage pipes, or even from composting plant material. Heat and electricity can be gotten from compost and plant trimmings.

Fertilizers can all be organic.

There is so much energy available from all renewable sources, it is staggering. Please read Guy Dauncey's book "Stormy Weather" or watch his DVD "The Great Energy Revolution".
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:34 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I am aware of heat plants, they are a great technology, they supply electricity during the summer peak load times of day. But they are only good in Desert regions with low latitudes around the equator, there are a garbage solution anywhere else.

Wave generation IMHO is currently a theoretical pipe dream technology. There is a multitude of offshore windfarms but diddly for tidal, I don’t know why but it just is that way.

Wind is good, but wind cant stand on its own, there is not a grid in the world with more than 20% wind supply (Germany and Denmark) and they have very real issues with reliability of supply and end up importing power from Nuclear Powered France (80%), plus their costs are significantly higher than those of France.

HVDC is very much real and a good technology. Doing what you propose is not without problems. First the infrastructure will be costly. Second when you generate your power away from where you use it you run the risk of interruption of supply. Do a search of the “Quebec Ice Storm”. When the power goes out for long periods of time, people can die after being overcome by nature.

Storage solutions are more garbage solutions. Cost rises dramatically, storage on the scale to supply millions of people is not realistic and efficiencies go into the toilet when converting energy.

I am not against using renewable energy, its a great supplement to Hydro and Thermal/Nuclear baseload but that is all it is and all it will ever be. Really these alternatives wont take off because they are very costly and ultimately when we flip the switch, if the power doesn’t come on it isn’t worth a dam.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
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"One guy had just gotten power back after Ike (as in yesterday) and couldn't stand that his house was designed assuming that electricity and AC would always be there (he wasn't a native Texan...)."

I think most Texans assume their homes have been designed and built to use electricity. This concept isn't unique to Galveston Island.

In Texas heating the home is not the primary concern. It's cooling. While a water well-heat pump system is very economical to operate. This system requires two water wells, one for pumping and one for injection. There is a required spacing between the two wells. You don't just drill two wells. Permits are required and drillers are licensed. Injection wells must meet state standards to protect the ground water. I live on a lot 50' x 150'. No way could I receive permission to drill one water well let alone two wells. Home owner associations rules, city ordinances, county and state laws must be met.

I wonder if the good folks in Maryland would consider no air conditioning in August.

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