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Author Topic: Your Green Energy News Center
aspectre
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Scotland finally cleared for resumption of normal sheep trade, 26years after Chernobyl, though NorthWales and Cumbria continue to have regions under ban.

Meanwhile, Germany still has problems with radioactive pigs.

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Mucus
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This was pretty horrifying. These are the choices? Yikes.

quote:
Joe Barton is an expert on the wind industry, and John Shimkus knows that God will not destroy the Earth.
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/366030/november-17-2010/chair-apparent
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Mucus
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Interesting tidbit
quote:
California's Latino and Asian voters are significantly more concerned about core environmental issues, including global warming, air pollution and contamination of soil and water, than white voters, according to the latest Los Angeles Times/USC poll.

For example, 50% of Latinos and 46% of Asians who responded to the poll said they personally worry a great deal about global warming, compared with 27% of whites. Two-thirds of Latinos and 51% of Asians polled said they worry a great deal about air pollution, compared with 31% of whites.


Similarly, 85% of Latinos and 79% of Asians said they worry a great or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, compared with 71% of whites.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/20/local/la-me-poll-environment-20101120
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malanthrop
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http://www.prisonplanet.com/leaked-doc-proves-spain%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98green%E2%80%99-policies-%E2%80%94-the-basis-for-obama%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%94-an-economic-disaster.html

Green jobs are the future and Obama once touted Spain....Isn't Spain on the short list of bankrupt countries, following Greece?

Same old story:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq689Pt0gcg

Obamacare was suppose to create 4 million jobs. Pelosi wasn't lying. Spain "created" 1 green job at the expense of 2.2 non-green jobs. They still "created" new jobs. Brand new job...shifting the cost. Pan handling is now illegal in my neighboring city....the pan handler population has doubled in mine while dropping in the other. My neighboring city's policy solved their homeless problem. Maybe every city should follow their lead?

Mexico is now complaining about China taking it's jobs. What happens when the world runs out of Mexico's, China's and India's?

[ November 21, 2010, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
... What happens when the world runs out of Mexico's, China's and India's?

We'll have turned developing countries into developed countries, largely eradicating poverty, and raising living standards?
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Lyrhawn
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Just for kicks, and because I haven't updated in a couple of years:

Maine legislates 30% reduction in oil use by 2030. It's a variant of the renewable energy portfolios that 30 states (including Maine) have adopted for themselves.

And with renewable energy portfolios in mind, here's an article from earlier this year talking about California's. California just misses 20% target in 2010. California upped its standard to 30% or more by 2020, and while many focus on the fact that California actually missed its target, it's important to note the dramatic gains they've made after only seven years of work (the original standard was adopted in 2003). The top three producers of power averaged 18%, not including hydro power. That's 18% just from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and other "new" renewables. For people who were saying even a few years ago that the United States would never get more than 1 or 2 percent of its power from renewables, California at least has certainly pushed way beyond that. America by the way, as a whole, gets more than 10% of its power from renewables, though, that includes hydro. I don't know the number without.

The newest thing in solar? Offshore solar farms.

G.E to build U.S' largest solar factory

Global investment in renewable power up 52% in first quarter of 2011.

Re-inventing the internal combustion engine, and opposed piston technology promises big gains in fuel efficiency without big price tag.
First U.S. offshore wind farm to be in Texas.

And more on Texas: Extreme drought conditions have no end in sight. . A cousin of mine lives in Texas and some of her stories of green suburbs slowly dying and turning to brown dust is pretty surreal. The drought there is severe, and covers pretty much the entire state. It's an interesting look at what might be the future of water supply problems for some parts of the country. And it has major implications for energy production and business that is highly water dependent.

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Raymond Arnold
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Hmm. Are there (or perhaps, what ARE) the environmental side effects of offshore solar energy? It seems like it'd be better than a lot of alternatives on land, but I have an instinctive concern about it.
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Lyrhawn
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Forgot I had so many good websites to mine for info:

Good news and bad for mass energy storage. For people trying to store dozens of megawatts of power from renewables, the technology has progressed from prototypes to actual projects built across the country, however, the price remains too high for widespread commercial success.

To get an idea on just how important these storage systems can be: Solar plant in Spain generates power continuously for 24 hours It does so using a molten salt heat transfer system, and can produce more than twice as much power as even slightly larger systems without storage capacity can.

Geothermal industry struggles for acceptance

Concentrating Photovoltaics making a comeback. The idea behind this technology (as the article explains), is to use mirrors and lenses to superconcentrate sunlight on a small area of solar cells, but these cells are super high efficiency cells that capture much more energy. It means usually expensive cells can be cost-effective in a smaller amount of space than traditional cells.

World records broken in wind power installation this year, but growth rate falls. And you'll also notice that only one United States company, GE, is in the top ten in companies producing wind power. The majority of the rest are in China, with Europe picking up most of the balance.

Iowa nows gets 20% of all power from wind alone. And I believe it. I drove through Iowa a couple weeks ago and saw wind farms all along I-80, along with truck after truck of turbine blades passing me along the freeway.

For the first time ever, US establishes fuel efficiency requirements for buses and trucks

U.S. Army forms renewable energy task force. I'm going to try to find the article later, but there was a big story about the military's use of renewable power on CNN recently.

New, ambitious, fuel efficiency standards for US cars announced recently.

Renewable energy, including hydro, now accounts for 25% of world generating capacity.

GE releasing 60W and 100W LED light bulbs for first time, with 20 year estimated life time. Looks like we've finally reached the point where the bulb outlasts the lamp.

Caltech says that Verticle Axis wind turbines can be 10x more efficient than Horizontal Axis by square footage.

ETA: Here's the CNN story: Military: Renewable Energy saves lives Lives, money, and for that matter, makes the military more powerful in general by reducing logistical burdens.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Hmm. Are there (or perhaps, what ARE) the environmental side effects of offshore solar energy? It seems like it'd be better than a lot of alternatives on land, but I have an instinctive concern about it.

I guess theoretically you'd have to be a little choosey about where you put it, otherwise some underwater plants and coral that rely on sunlight for growth, as well as some fish species that rely on sunlight for food, would be affected. But by and large, the ocean is a vast expanse of relatively empty space (I don't count bacteria, and the like), and even more so for some of the places they mean to put it, like canals and reservoirs.
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Raymond Arnold
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I'm not worried about any initial negative externalities, but I'm slightly worried about the ocean becoming a go-to place to set up large solar farms, and it turning out that doing so en mass messes with phytoplankton which messes with things that eat phytoplankton, etc. I don't have a good grasp of the scales involved.

I'm very confident that this is all a MUCH better situation to be in than most other alternatives, but I doubt the ecological cost is zero.

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Lyrhawn
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How the Marines are using renewable energy to save lives

Wind farms off coast of Rhode Island could produce 1TW of power. That's 1,000 gigawatts, or 10,000 megawatts. It's also a huge chunk of the total amount of power the United States uses. Big power plants in the United States, like a nuclear power plant, are generally measured by the hundreds of megawatts. So a 1.3GW power plant is big. A TW could power everything east of the Mississippi, at least.

To drill or not to drill in the arctic.

13 year old uses Fibonacci sequence to redesign solar panel design.

Wearable solar panels to revolutionize battlefield mobility

Featured Article
Solar Roadways get $750,000 funding for prototype. I posted about Solar Roadways a few years ago. The idea was to replace asphalt roads with glass roads composed of LEDs, solar panels, the power grid, cables for internet and television, and more. The creators said that replacing all of the US's paved surfaces with these would provide enough power to power the United States three times over. Now they've got enough funding to do a serious prototype project in a parking lot. There's a pretty cool video that talks about some of the science behind it in the link.

An interesting story here about using balloons to get us into space, and also a cautionary warning about US helium supplies. Out of curiosity, if Helium is a limited resource (and it is), why is it so cheap, and why are we wasting it?

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Glenn Arnold
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While we're here, this is a project that I'm working on.

As far as helium goes, I asked that same question back when I worked for Praxair, which is the world's largest helium supplier. Part of the answer is that the U.S. government thought it was too expensive to maintain strategic reserves. I also suggested that for safety purposes, balloon helium should be mixed with 21% oxygen. The average party balloon it won't make any difference in terms of lift, but a few less people per year would die of helium asphyxiation.

Also, for blimps and balloons like the one in the article, you can mix in about 4% Hydrogen without creating a combustible gas (probably more, but I never played with the flammability limits before I left Praxair), to add lifting power, and dilute the precious helium. But people freak out about hydrogen and don't want to listen to reason.

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Lyrhawn
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LED bulbs reach $15 price point.

Japanese breakthrough in wind turbine design could triple output and make wind cheaper than nuclear I'm still waiting for a full-scale test. I've seen a lot of articles over the years about new blade designs increasing output, though, this is perhaps the most promising.

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Glenn Arnold
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More on FuelCell Energy
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Lyrhawn
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Potential new solar technology estimates 37% energy efficiency.

It's a significant improvement over older technologies, and by older I mean practically brand new from the last couple of years, which really shows how the technology is growing my leaps and bounds. No word yet on what sort of price per kwh this will produce, since the manufacturing process is almost more important than the efficiency rate when figuring out cost effectiveness, but it's still good news nevertheless.

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Lyrhawn
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Entreprenuer in the UK is going full steam ahead on geothermal

This is about EGS, or Enhanced Geothermal. As the article notes, and as I have posted in the past, EGS is available almost anywhere, because you drill down to hot rock and pump the water in, rather than looking for naturally hot, shallow areas to build on.

Estimates for US geothermal say if universally tapped it could power the entire country several hundred times over. It's expensive, as almost all drilling is, at the moment. But it has a number of advantages that might make it the best long term renewable energy source. Underground is always hot, unlike solar and wind. You can put it literally anywhere. And the stations are the size of half a football field rather than measured in square miles. Plus you can create them small and locally, which reduces transmission loss and cuts down on infrastructure costs.

Still a long way to go, but I'm glad someone is putting the time and money into it.

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MattP
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We priced geothermal a few years ago when we were replacing our HVAC system and the break-even point for the additional cost was something like 15 years out. That was beyond the horizon we felt comfortable with at the time, but it's getting close to being practical for normal people.
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aspectre
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Meanwhile in Communist China...
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Lyrhawn
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Solar power inches closer to price parity with other mainstream energy sources.

Notable highlights from the article:

Global solar capacity has doubled in the last four years alone, adding 20GW.

Solar power is down to $2.30 per watt, from $3.51 per watt only a year ago. Price fluctuations in the United States are largely pegged to inconsistencies with national energy policy and subsidies, but major projects are still underway.

While solar is rapidly reaching price parity with other major forms of power, I'm actually going to revise my guess that it becomes a major source of power in the United States. I think the rest of the world will adopt it much more quickly, but with fracking on the rise here, gas-powered plants are simply going to be too cheap for the next few decades. Perhaps elsewhere as well as the fracking craze spreads.

Gas is certainly better than coal, I won't complain there.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Gas is certainly better than coal, I won't complain there. [/QB]

That's why I like you, Lyr.
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Glenn Arnold
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Yeah, I read something the other day that said that because fracking is driving gas prices down, power plants are switching to gas, and CO2 emissions in the U.S. may actually be going DOWN.

If that's truly the case, then I have to reevaluate my position on fracking. Coal really is filthy, in so many ways, so even with the ground water issues from fracking, it may still be a better solution, at least for the time being.

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Lyrhawn
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Fracking proponents will tell you they've been coming up with new organic solutions for their fracking fluids that can actually be safely drunk by humans. In fact, at one conference, a gas executive actually drank a glass of what they said was a new fracking fluid made entirely of organic materials that pose no risk to groundwater sources. Takes that for what you will.

And yes, in general I'm in favor of fracking, but it's a cautious optimism. I still think regulators need to keep a tight grip on the industry, and they need to be doing studies to see what environmental fallout there is. But if we turned every coal plant into a gas plant in the US, we'd dramatically slash our emissions and improve our air quality until we ran out of gas. But estimates are that that could be as much as a century away. Surely increased usage would take that number down quite a bit, and importing gas in large quantities isn't quite as much an option as other energy sources. Even with LNG, it's still not the easiest to transport.

Still, if natural gas can drive down energy prices and emissions at the same time for the forseeable future while wind and solar continue to gain a toehold in the background, I guess I'm not going to have a heart attack over it. I'd just be shouting at the wind anyway.

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Glenn Arnold
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And waffling back in the other direction...

It appears that fracking releases methane into the atmosphere directly, which does more damage than the CO2 reduction. So I don't know where to stand on this. In general, I don't trust the fuel companies, but I don't see a clear cut answer on this one.

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Lyrhawn
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Do you have a link to a story on that?

I'm wondering if it's just a technical issue, like a good cap could fix it, or if it's too diffuse.

Like I said, my optimism is cautious. I think all of it's a bit of a mess and I prefer green...but even green has environmental costs during the production phase.

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Glenn Arnold
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Took me a while, but here's a link. And another one.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

While solar is rapidly reaching price parity with other major forms of power, I'm actually going to revise my guess that it becomes a major source of power in the United States. I think the rest of the world will adopt it much more quickly, but with fracking on the rise here, gas-powered plants are simply going to be too cheap for the next few decades. Perhaps elsewhere as well as the fracking craze spreads.

it's weird to watch the percentage of solar energy in modern nations just take off. What's germany at now, 25%?
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Glenn Arnold
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Germany apparently has 25 gigawatts
quote:
Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050

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Lyrhawn
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Germany also has a booming advanced manufacturing sector bolstered by government investments and policies, which are wildly unpopular here, but work incredibly effectively for the Germans.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Germany apparently has 25 gigawatts
quote:
Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050

Hey, what's 22% among friends, right Sam? [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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State of the world solar industry

An interesting recap on the overall solar industry, the effects of the global meltdown, and the effects of fracking on the market.

I had no idea China's solar industry was collapsing. I think fracking, worldwide, is going to send solar back to the R&D labs for another decade. Efficiency has increased dramatically in the last decade, and new manufacturing techniques have decreased price per watt by rates people in the 90s could only have dreamed of.

But even as its down so, fracking dropped the bottom out of the price of energy. That's going to set solar back a long way, and it'll probably mean several more breakthroughs to get the price that low.

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Glenn Arnold
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This is a shameless plug for my employer. The fuel cell alone is about 47% thermally efficient, but the combined cycle aspect makes very complete use of the thermal energy in the fuel.
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Lyrhawn
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EEStor quietly moves ahead with prototype battery

I've posted about EEStor's promised super battery for years. But it looks like they've quietly been making progress while the hype has passed them by. Now they're moving ahead with working prototypes and independent analyses.

MIT researcher devises carbon nanotube "synthetic" battery

It has all the properties of a capacitor (charges in seconds or minutes, impervious to elements) but has the storage capacity of a chemical battery. Constructed using carbon nanotubes.

All of these drive at making batteries cheaper and more functional for the applications we'd like to use them for. Electric cars might go 120 miles on a charge, but many people are put off by the hours of charge time. If you could stop and fill up on power the same way you fill up on gas, I think that changes the equation a bit. Price is still an issue, but it's one more problem ticked off the list.

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Glenn Arnold
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If you can make them with a DVD burner , price may not be such an issue.
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Lyrhawn
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Solar power's epic price drop

More from The Economist

The Economists says that in places like California, solar is cost competitive with every other form of energy production, without subsidies, right now. And it hasn't hit its floor yet.

And speaking of California...

All of the new energy generation capacity to be added in the second half of 2013 will come from renewable sources.

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Lyrhawn
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"Flash" charging bus system charges an all electric bus in 15 seconds

Pretty cool idea. The bus works just like any other, but it can charge in the time it takes to stop and let people out along its preplanned route. Eliminates the need for unsightly power lines you see above some trams, and makes mass transit a little greener.

Tesla plans dramatic expansion of Supercharger network

And a technological upgrade that will charge 3 hours of drive time in 20 min. Plus, it's free for Tesla drivers.

Plus, details on the new Chevy Spark are out. It's probably the cheapest all EV car out there.

Plus, it will soon be able to charge really, really fast, gets 119mpg (equivalent) and looks as cute as a button.

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Lyrhawn
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All-solid lithium-sulfur batter stores four times as much energy as lithium-ion

It's also cheaper to make and safer to use in addition to having four times the energy density. They still have some issues to overcome, like making the batteries more durable, and I wonder if the technology is scalable, as in, can it be used to quadruple cell phone capacity as well as electric car capacity? Because that would be a game changer for a huge number of electronics and other things. I also wonder about the weight. If you could quadruple the storage of a car's battery pack without adding weight, or, say, double it by removing half the weight, that could really bring the cost down.

$675 million saved in 2012 by switching to LED lights

Geothermal energy revolution in the offing. 4GW of new capacity planned for next couple years

[ June 11, 2013, 12:30 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Lyrhawn
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US Military critiques lack of renewable energy development, says US should focus more on renewable, less on securing fossil fuels

US adds 723MW of solar capacity in first quarter of 2013. Equals an okay sized big city power plant.

Big breakthroughs in graphene-based technology pave way for a new era of electronics and other efficient smaller flexible devices

Audi's carbon neutral E-Gas plan is up and running.

E-Gas, simply put, converts water into something akin to compressed natural gas. They're working on a way to make it liquid.

[ June 26, 2013, 08:47 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Glenn Arnold
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While you're talking about Tesla, you should mention the battery swapping stations they are planning:
Link

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Glenn Arnold
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Ok, I didn't put this link in the other thread, so I could use it to bump this one.

World's largest solar power plant

Apparently there's a lot of controversy over birds being burned when they fly into the path of the mirrors.

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Lyrhawn
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It's a pretty big milestone, but it also drives home the fact that there probably isn't an energy source in the world, absent decades away fusion power, that isn't going to cause an environmental problem of some kind. It's all about choosing the least damaging system.

Other big news in solar and wind power is that there are now many solar and wind plants actively using molten salt battery storage to store and use energy when the wind stops blowing and the sun isn't shining. It may be a stopgap until a better long term alternative comes up, but it's a big change since it has the potential to eliminate one of renewables' biggest negatives.

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Glenn Arnold
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Cross posting from the other thread:

These are two big projects from my employer, FuelCell Energy.

World's largest fuel cell park

Also this: Largest Fuel Cell park in U.S.

And using fuel cells to convert biogas into hydrogen

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's a pretty big milestone, but it also drives home the fact that there probably isn't an energy source in the world, absent decades away fusion power, that isn't going to cause an environmental problem of some kind. It's all about choosing the least damaging system.

The "least damaging" system (when "damage" is defined as "changing the environment") would be for us to just exterminate ourselves. Or live as animals.

I know that's not what you're really advocating. I think you're implicitly advocating for something more like this: the system that best meets human energy needs while also causing the fewest identifiable negative effects.

But that's not what you said, and I think it's beneficial to realize the actual implications of what you said. And, of course, the implications of what you probably meant.

[ February 24, 2014, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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Lyrhawn
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Wow, Dan.

That's maybe the most ridiculous nitpicking I've ever heard from you, or anyone maybe. And I say that because, in the context of this thread, obviously no one means what you're taking that statement to mean. Do I really have to add "of energy production" to the end of my sentence as a qualifier?

Nor have I heard any but the wildest of fringe elements actually suggest we put down all technology and return to the wild.

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Dan_Frank
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Putting the focus entirely on what does the least "damage," and not on what provides the most abundant, reliable energy, is a way of downplaying the dramatic deficiencies of solar, wind, etc.

It assumes zero "damage" is the primary goal.

I didn't say "this is your position," I said it was the implication of your position.

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Lyrhawn
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Why wouldn't zero damage be the primary goal?
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Dan_Frank
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Because there are more important goals.

And because everything we do impacts the world around us. What's the focus? What is "damage?" Changing the environment in unnatural ways? Ways that harm some animals? Ways that harm some humans? Harm humans more than they help humans?

I'd only agree with one of those definitions, but ask 10 people and you'll get different answers. So what does it mean?

Everything in life involves some risk, and some potential for problems. Problems are inevitable. Saying the goal is zero environmental "damage" ignores that reality.

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Elison R. Salazar
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When even a 3 degree increase in the temperature of the oceans can kill 80% of plankton (and a large chunk of our oxygen production) its important that take the steps to minimize that damage.

Nothing is more important than insuring this world is still habitable 100 years from now, and 100 years after that.

Suggesting the least damaging system is offing ourselves is disingenuous hyperbole.

The fact is there is a combinations of systems that can provide enough power for our needs (and provide the surplus needed for civilization) that when combined with sustainable living can accomplish those goals.

For example, building solar systems in orbit that beam down the energy collected through microwave lasers.

Crowing about what Lyrhawn meant vs what was implied by his post strikes me as semantics. The goal is a greener economy and energy system, period; as green as we can get it and the only way that's going to happen is by throwing government research and development grant money at the problem; that's the American Way.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Because there are more important goals.

And because everything we do impacts the world around us. What's the focus? What is "damage?" Changing the environment in unnatural ways? Ways that harm some animals? Ways that harm some humans? Harm humans more than they help humans?

I'd only agree with one of those definitions, but ask 10 people and you'll get different answers. So what does it mean?

Everything in life involves some risk, and some potential for problems. Problems are inevitable. Saying the goal is zero environmental "damage" ignores that reality.

What reality? You're still being vague.

You are, however, parroting a lot of anti-environmental talking points I've heard a dozen times over, so I'm not sure if you have a specific point or you just don't care for the tree huggers.

But if you'd like to lay out your specific opinion on what your ideal system is, I'm more than willing to hear you out.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Because there are more important goals.

And because everything we do impacts the world around us. What's the focus? What is "damage?" Changing the environment in unnatural ways? Ways that harm some animals? Ways that harm some humans? Harm humans more than they help humans?

I'd only agree with one of those definitions, but ask 10 people and you'll get different answers. So what does it mean?

Everything in life involves some risk, and some potential for problems. Problems are inevitable. Saying the goal is zero environmental "damage" ignores that reality.

What reality? You're still being vague.

I am? "That" refers to the previous two sentences. I can elaborate though.

Having a goal of zero environmental damage ignores several important things. One problem with it is that problems are inevitable, so the best approach is one that allows for rapid correction of errors rather than trying to maintain stasis.

Another problem is that life involves some risk. Decisions involve risks. Often times, excellent decisions involve risks. So simply trying to minimize risk is a bad approach. You will stifle progress.

Another problem is that "environmental damage" doesn't have a clear meaning, and can be twisted around to fit various agendas. So the criteria itself is broken, regardless of the above two issues.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You are, however, parroting a lot of anti-environmental talking points I've heard a dozen times over, so I'm not sure if you have a specific point or you just don't care for the tree huggers.

Well, I'm anti-environmentalist, so I guess that makes sense. But, whether you've heard them before or not, you haven't refuted any of them yet, so...

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But if you'd like to lay out your specific opinion on what your ideal system is, I'm more than willing to hear you out.

I don't think speaking in ideals is super useful. That said, I think the best system is to use the most practical and abundant sources of energy we have in order to maximize progress and improve our ability to handle new problems as they arise. And then, when those new problems arise, I think we should handle them while continuing progress.

I think any regressive or static system is basically a death sentence, sooner or later.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
One problem with it is that problems are inevitable, so the best approach is one that allows for rapid correction of errors rather than trying to maintain stasis
What exactly does this have to do with lessening environmental damage? In other words, how is this a specific deficiency of renewable energy? Do bad things never happen to systems that pollute more? They are problem free? And for that matter, what are you defining as a problem?

quote:
Another problem is that life involves risk. Decisions involve risks. Often times, excellent decisions involve risks. So simply trying to minimize risk is a bad approach. You will stifle progress.
You're speaking in abstractions, and for that matter, ones that seem better suited to a motivational speaking tour than a specific discussion on the pros and cons of energy sources. Why is it you think protecting the environment is risk-free? And for that matter, you think clinging to the same energy sources we've been using for a hundred years is a measure of progress? That's an interesting point of view coming from someone who usually prizes technological progress above all else.

quote:
Another problem is that "environmental damage" doesn't have a clear meaning, and can be twisted to fit various agendas. So the criteria itself is broken, regardless of the above issues.
That's a fair point. But it seems like you're tying it into a fairly simplistic view of the world. Why does there have to be a grand unifying theory of environmental damage that's static and never changes? Again, as someone who champions progress, that's a definition that will change with time, and on a case by case basis for different circumstances and situations, it would seem like you'd agree with that.

But I think regardless of nailing down every specific thing that counts and doesn't count, whether this bird or that tortoise are important enough to make a list, there are a ton of things that damage the environment and damage ourselves to the point where we all pretty much agree they shouldn't be allowed. Polluting rivers, causing acid rain, soil erosion from poor farming methods, etc. These are all things that hurt is in the short and long term, so we passed laws to stop them or created policies that stopped or avoided them. Not only did the world keep turning, our quality of life improved drastically.

quote:
Well, I'm an anti-environmentalist, so I guess that makes sense. But, whether you've heard them before or not, you haven't refuted any of them yet, so...
I haven't refuted anything because I wanted to understand where you were coming from better before I tried. It's funny that you are so cautious about speaking in ideals when that's all you've really given me in this discussion. No specifics on why one thing is better than the other, just a lot of ideological rhetoric and filler that can be used to stifle a discussion.

What exactly am I refuting? The merits of progress? The value of risk? Reductio ad absurdum straw men statements that takes environmentalism to an extreme and then denounces it? Until you give me something that I can grab on to, this whole discussion feels a lot like I'm shouting at the wind,

quote:
I don't think speaking in ideals is super useful. That said, I think the best system is to use the most practical and abundant sources of energy we have in order to maximize progress and improve our ability to handle new problems as they arise. And then, when those new problems arise, I think we should handle them while continuing progress.

I think any regressive or static system is basically a death sentence, sooner or later.

That's an incredibly short-sighted world view. It's also one of the most contradictory philosophies I've ever come across. You see planning for the future as a form of stifling progress, even when NOT planning for the future can stifle progress. You also see no intrinsic value in nature or culture. If burning a Van Gough got us to "progress" or the future or whatever fantasy thing you're hooked on, that'd be fine with you. As would strip mining the Grand Canyon or hacking down Joshua Tree Park.

But here's what I really don't get. Your whole argument is progress. How is renewable energy NOT progress? How is using a century old energy infrastructure considered progressive and not regressive. It fits the very definition of static.

The future sorts itself out messily. Things go much smoother for humanity when we at least try to plan ahead.

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