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Date: 02/08/14 12:19 PM

45 Responses to Priorities … [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of 747Pilot
    747Pilot Male 18-29
    1455 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 11:50 am
    Link: Priorities ... - .. That could have been ...
  2. Profile photo of Modwain
    Modwain Male 40-49
    336 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm
    you know what the worst part of that little pic upstairs is?

    the worst part it is actually true..
    i dont know why we still arent workiing to get more co2 neutral ways of getting energy, but there must be a good reason
  3. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    339 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    That comes out to around $60,000 per US household. Here`s an interesting experiment. Instead of waging those two wars, and instead of furnishing the solar panels, give each household $60,000 cash.

    If the people don`t buy solar cells, then that`s evidence that furnishing solar cells may not be the best use of that money.
  4. Profile photo of icdumbpeople
    icdumbpeople Male 30-39
    177 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Trouble with that is it makes sense.
  5. Profile photo of pianok
    pianok Male 50-59
    320 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm
    It would be nice if the solar panel companies would get the tax deferrals that the oil companies, electric companies, insurance companies, and auto industry gets. Instead you get a pifling amount of tax deferral on solar or wind energy expenditures. JMIO
  6. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36198 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Good idea. Never gonna happen.
  7. Profile photo of DuckBoy87
    DuckBoy87 Male 18-29
    3147 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm
    The amount of sun that my area gets is 60 days.

    60 sunny days a year.
    The rest is overcast, cloudy, or storming.
  8. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    Yea so we could end up like Germany and send huge surges of power through our grid and cause blackouts in neighboring countries whenever the clouds suddenly break open. Then in the winter we could have a power vacuum and be forced buy power from other countries or risk being sent back to the stone age. Yea fun!!!

    We could create a few natural monopolies, and think of all the fun we could have with a large snowstorm or hail. And just think in 30 years at the very most, we have to rebuild our entire power network all over again with inflated costs. Oh yes.
  9. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    richanddead has hit the nail on the head (and answered Modwain`s question correctly, which probably wasn`t wanted).

    Germany has destablised their own national grid and the grids of neighbouring countries that have agreed to prop up Germany`s bloody stupid obsession with generating electricity in an inefficient, unstable way that is of dubious environmental benefit. The instability inherent in almost all use of renewables has to be countered by less efficient use of fossil fuels (which Germany partially moves to Poland, which is politically useful in disguising the environmental cost but does nothing to reduce it).

    icdumbpeople thinks it makes sense. I think they`ve spent too much time with dumb people.

    Renewables are only viable in odd geographical circumstances (e.g. geothermal in Iceland) or with massive infrastructure costs (e.g. desert solar and MASSIVE HVDC network).
  10. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm
    Renewables would also be viable for more than a couple of % of generation if there were huge electricity storage facilities to cope with the swings. But there aren`t. The only way to do it right now is to build two lakes, one higher than the other, and a hydroelectric power station in between. That`s very inefficient, not really fast enough to react to demand efficiently and has a huge local environmental impact.

    Bottom line - it can`t be made to work yet. It`s not a conspiracy. It`s people who understand the issue (or listen to people who do).

    However...a research team has made a prototype of an organic flow battery. On paper, that could be probably be scaled to a useful storage capacity at a viable cost. That would change the situation completely, at least for countries with enough space (the batteries would be the size of a small lake and you`d need a lot of them). It might happen.
  11. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm
    As for the real well being of the environment, well it can take a hit for us to call ourselves green. Because we`ll need coal factories and nuclear generators, to regulate the surges (just like Germany). Not to mention the Dysprosium we`ll need for panels and batteries, that can only come from China. Who has no environmental standards, employes gangs to enslave and torture farmers to pour tonnes of sulphuric acid on their fields and right in to our ocean so that they can mine the place. Link


    Then refine the metals in coal fired refineries and charge us an inflated cost and take our jobs.
    Damn, now thats what I call responsible, thats what I call a green idea like this.

    <end sarcasm>

  12. Profile photo of Tacos4Brkfst
    Tacos4Brkfst Male 18-29
    620 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    If we`re going to compare renewable energy to war... might as well mention how many people would wind up dead/paralyzed from falling off a roof installing or maintaining the panels.
  13. Profile photo of CodeJockey
    CodeJockey Male 40-49
    5606 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm
    "...the batteries would be the size of a small lake..."
    What ways can a battery the size of a small lake go bad?

    "...people would wind up dead/paralyzed from falling off a roof installing or maintaining..."
    Well, I was thinking about what it would be to have to look at or fly over but, this is something to think about, too...
  14. Profile photo of emmettyville
    emmettyville Female 40-49
    4345 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    so, do that then and stop bloody invading countries and killing people.
  15. Profile photo of Viking864
    Viking864 Male 40-49
    1444 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    Imagine how much we would have saved if the Afghanistan Taliban had not attacked the US, according to the NY Times $3.3 Trillion.

    That`s enough money to buy the staff of Blue Stree Journal a clue!
  16. Profile photo of Modwain
    Modwain Male 40-49
    336 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    ant, it is not.. looking for a long term answer is a show of a long term tactic, but most poor people are mostly bussy with surviving. in the long run it will be better for them but most people at the bottom dont look for the long run, they need a meal tonight.
    duck boy, overcast is NOT a problem, yes it will work better on a clear day but it will still work on a cloudy day. For example, i live in a country that fames itself for having rain only twice a year. the first 6 months and the last 6 months, but still i spend 7000 euro and now my annual electricity bil is less then 0, i get a little bit money from them. on average i used to spend 600 euro for electricity, so in a bit more then ten years i paid of my panels, but they are good to go for at least 25 years.

    Rich, the last year the prices to make solar panels or windmills has gone down even though they work better. Mind you, we need more then just solar panels, true, but i cant remember ever having had a blackout as yo
  17. Profile photo of Modwain
    Modwain Male 40-49
    336 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    maybe i should have said angelion too.. the netherlands are next to germany and has as i said, never had a blackout because of a powersurge from germany. That regular solar panels work more during a day and not during the night is also true, hence the solar reflection towers. they heat up water during the day up to extreme heats and this is used to create electricity trough the night. Again not saying we should only use solar or wind, tides is a good one too, the options arent endless but they go a lot further then "lets make money and burn fossile fuels whilst we can and drat the rest"

    But, angelion, you are wrong, it can be made to work. but no country wants to do it first.. hell, if we want biofuels like oil we can make the stuff from plants now, but somehow, they use stuff like mais instead of koolseed.. the one is food, the other isnt.
    And viking, when have the taliban attacked the us? seriouslty
  18. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5877 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm
    pianok-[quote">It would be nice if the solar panel companies would get the tax deferrals [/quote">
    Solyndra $535 Million wasted
    Nevada Geothermal $99 Million wasted
    SunPower $1.2 Billion wasted
  19. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm
    @Modwain: I`m going to bed but before I did I thought I would respond.

    "looking for a long term answer is a show of a long term tactic"

    @AntEconomist: is correct in his assessment. If we use your example, people would rather buy meal or security instead of solar panels because that is what is needed more at the moment. That is in no way a misallocation of funds because their health is the long term investment, one that is paramount to green energy. The individual is best at determining their individual needs.

    "prices to make solar panels or windmills has gone down even though they work better."
    Yea, they dropped because your Green energy businesses are now buying the panels directly from China! Creating all the devastation that I linked to in my former post, that you still haven`t addressed by the way. I`m not sure of your tax code, but I`d bet you`re also paying for a lot of subsidies in taxes as well.
  20. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm
    "we need more than just solar panels"

    Well you`d have to, solar panels make the grid unstable. You need back up plants to that can quickly activate and be able to adjust their output quickly which is why countries that focus on solar energy also become so invested in coal.

    "never had a blackout because of a powersurge from germany"

    Well you wouldn`t, the overflow is directed toward Poland and the Czech Republic. Both countries have been spending loads of money on phase-shifter transformers in the trans-border area with Germany to regulate power flows and protect their transmission networks. Ironically they also are have to help supply Germany with power in the winter because of the panels.

    "solar reflection towers"

    These can be of use, but not everywhere, only in sunny places that don`t have weather that allows rapid freezing. The also are known to decimate local bird and wildlife populations.
  21. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm
    "tides is a good one too"
    Again viable but its highly area specific and not a real global answer.

    "the options arent endless but they go a lot further then "lets make money and burn fossile fuels whilst we can and drat the rest""

    The energy contained within coal, oil, and gas far exceed any and all renewables. Fossil fuels move the nations that harness them and put them on a commanding world level not only militaristically, but economically, and politically as well. With money and power comes food and opportunity, the very things that many people have waited generations to acquire. If Green energy is your major priority its a safe bet that you don`t have many worries in the world. Economic stability and the correct power output is vital for any country. If the business is working at a loss, then there is no business.

    "it can be made to work."
    Thats fine, lets wait till then to base the entire grid on it.
  22. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm
    "they use stuff like mais instead of koolseed.. the one is food, the other isn`t."
    It doesn`t matter it`s the farmland that creates the cost, every acre devoted to biofuels is one not devoted to some other food. Not only raising the price of that food, but making food stores during disasters more limited. Plus it takes a tremendous amount of energy to produce even a little biofuel. And with 33% of the world population starving, we should be feeding people not cars.
  23. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm
    "when have the taliban attacked the us? seriouslty"

    Are you being serious or are you making a joke?


    Or did you mean "when have the taliban attacked us? seriouslty"
    Then I don`t like what you seem to be implying. But to answer you question two Al Qaeda agents were picked off a United Flight from Chicago to Amsterdam in 2010. They were on a dry-run of a plan to bomb Amsterdam. They are currently trying to assassinate your Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders`. Yet your citizens are being recruited for Al Qaeda`s Kenya-Somalia border operations. But if thats not good enough for you I bet there are a bunch of African groups that would love to attack the Netherlands.
  24. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    What ways can a battery the size of a small lake go bad?

    Surprisingly, the batteries in question would be relatively safe. It`s an entirely different chemistry to existing batteries and isn`t very toxic. The dangers wouldn`t be much worse than for the same amount of water. Bizarrely, it`s closely related to a chemical found in rhubarb.

    But I emphasise that at the moment it`s a hand-sized prototype under lab conditions. It might or might not be possible to scale it up in a viable way.

    Although there would probably be a risk with the amount of energy involved, I`ve no idea how much of a risk.
  25. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm
    but still i spend 7000 euro and now my annual electricity bil is less then 0, i get a little bit money from them.

    So you`re on benefits, whoopie do. If my government paid me (or forced energy companies to pay me) for waving my arms about, that wouldn`t mean it`s a viable way of replacing power stations and a working national grid.

    You do realise you`re being massively subsidised, right?
  26. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm
    maybe i should have said angelion too.. the netherlands are next to germany and has as i said, never had a blackout because of a powersurge from germany.

    Poland is taking the brunt of it.

    That regular solar panels work more during a day and not during the night is also true, hence the solar reflection towers. they heat up water during the day up to extreme heats and this is used to create electricity trough the night.

    You`re talking about concentrated solar power, which doesn`t heat water (and doesn`t always use towers).

    You`re talking about something you don`t know enough about.

    Again not saying we should only use solar or wind, tides is a good one too

    With the same problem - lack of control and dependability.

    We *have to* constantly match supply and demand. That can`t be done with renewables except in odd geographical circumstances.
  27. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm
    But, angelion, you are wrong, it can be made to work.

    I know more about the subject than you do. I know what it would take to make it work and we don`t have that. You`re just looking at peak generating capacity at most, if you`re looking at anything at all apart from hopes and wishes.

    hell, if we want biofuels like oil we can make the stuff from plants now

    Yes, by massive monocropping that destroys ecosystems and causes famines.
  28. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm
    I`ve been looking at this for decades, ever since I saw Salter`s ducks. I read the plans for the trans-Mediterranean electricty system. I learnt enough to be able to understand them. I`m familiar with PV, CSP (trough and tower), Stirling engines, ducks, snakes, turbines (water and air). I`ve examined the more ambitious schemes such as using kites attached to dynamos (wind is *much* better at altitude).

    I`d like it to work - I live in Britain and we have an abundance of coastline for wave power. But it can`t be made to work with existing technology. It`s not sustainable for more than a few % of capacity and it`s not efficient even for that. Unless you live in Iceland - geothermal can be made to work for 100% of capacity *because it`s controllable and reliable*.

    Go and find hard information, not flimsy political statements by people motivated by profit, political power or dreams.
  29. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    A caveat:

    CSP does heat water during the process, but the solar power itself doesn`t (which is what Modwain wrongly stated happens).

    The reason is efficiency - water boils at too low a temperature. The CSP plant heats one of a variety of chemical compounds (sometimes in a tank in a tower, sometimes not) which will remain liquid to much higher temperatures. The heat from that tank is then used to boil water to drive a steam turbine.
  30. Profile photo of Laran
    Laran Male 40-49
    467 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm
    The problem is not with producing electricity but with storing it for later use.
    the only technology we have at the moment is batteries or capacitors. I have heard of new methods to store electrons but I think they are still years away/ too costly.
    batteries are an ecological disaster and capacitors are not realistic.
    solve this problem and you will be rich (or dead).
    some people have even toyed with the idea of every house having a fuel cell and running its own water and environment.
    Still have the power storage problem though.
    These "connect-to-Grid" solar systems are a joke.
    try and sell one of those to an outback station and see what reaction you get.
    we are use to proper systems out here. Lives can depend on it.
  31. Profile photo of Laran
    Laran Male 40-49
    467 posts
    February 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm
    If I remember right, some smart bloke was researching a new polymer that could hold massive amounts of charge.
    that was years ago then it all went quiet.
  32. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 7:42 am
    "solve this problem and you will be rich (or dead)."

    I`ll get working on it but I like my account name the way it is.
  33. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 9:54 am
    The problem is not with producing electricity but with storing it for later use.

    There are problems with both, but mass storage would go a long way to making some methods viable.

    Some of the problems are less than obvious. Wave power, for example. I`ve looked at that because of where I live. Britain, especially Scotland, is pretty close to perfect for wave power. Huge coastline relative to land area and constant waves. Scotland has constant large waves. There`s an abundance of kinetic energy in vast quantities of moving water. Scotland also has some very powerful consistent currents. On paper, Pentland Firth alone could power the whole of Scotland.

    One of the biggest problems with wave/current power in Scotland is that there`s too much energy. Constant hard pounding with salt water wrecks the power generators too quickly.

    And Pentland Firth? Sure, if you want to close a major shipping lane and devastate the local ecology.
  34. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 10:00 am
    Solar? Well, that works if you have a desert and don`t care about destroying the ecosystem there. And you can afford the maintainence. And the building costs. And people don`t mind paying more for their electricity to cover that.

    Wind? Silly idea unless you can harvest it at altitude, where it`s stronger and more consistent. But we can`t.

    Biofuels? Fine if you don`t care how many people die and how many ecosystems are destroyed as long as it`s somewhere else. Nice.

    But it would be possible on paper to generate a significant minority of electricity from renewables if technology for that generation improves a lot and a really efficient national grid existed and mass storage of electricity was possible, so you`re partially right in that mass storage of electricity would be a crucial part of it.
  35. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 10:06 am
    If I remember right, some smart bloke was researching a new polymer that could hold massive amounts of charge.
    that was years ago then it all went quiet.

    I didn`t hear about that one, but it wouldn`t be surprising. Many ideas are theoretically sound and make it as far as a small-scale prototype in a lab but can`t be scaled at a viable cost in real-world scenarios. There`s a hell of a difference between a small experiment in lab conditions and commercial scale in a power station or power storage facility.

    You might find it interesting to look at flow batteries, in particular organic flow batteries. They`re promising because the key thing about flow batteries is that they can be scaled theoretically indefinitely because the storage is seperated from the generation. More storage just means using bigger tanks. They`re sort of a fuel cell battery combo, in a sense.
  36. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 10:22 am
    There have been attempts to implement them commercially, e.g. Little Barford, but they`ve failed due to cost and scaling issues. Last month, a paper on an organic flow battery was published - it`s a working small scale lab prototype, but if it can be made to work at scale it would remove the cost issue.

    It would require a lot of space, but that`s not something in short supply in the Australian outback. The energy density of the electrolyte isn`t all that high, so the storage tanks would be very large. You`d probably be looking at a couple of tanks the size of a room for an outback station, going on my wild guess about the power usage of an outback station.

    There`s a decent summary here:

    Organic flow battery
  37. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3318 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 10:42 am
    @Angilion: Kudos, good points and I didn`t know about the organic flow battery.
  38. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    Of course, the lasting solution would be nuclear fusion. Get that working in a practical way and most of the problems would disappear. But nobody is talking seriously about that happening before 2040 at the earliest.

    I was initially hopeful about organic flow batteries for EVs. It would be perfect - the tanks are inherently refillable so you could have an EV that could be quick refueled. It would be a very straightforward switch from ICEVs to EVs using the existing fuel station infrastructure. Just have electrolyte tanks instead of petrol and diesel tanks.

    Then I did some back of the envelope calculations concerning energy density and power output. It would be at least theorectically possible to build a combination of cells to have a high enough power output to drive an EV, but the resulting battery would be about the same size as the car. So that`s just not going to work.
  39. Profile photo of Laran
    Laran Male 40-49
    467 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm
    @ Angilion - I have been playing with small scale power generation for over a decade now.
    Some ideas work some dont.
    I can produce enough live current to power all sorts of equipment while the sun is out.
    But how do I store it?
    The PV array relies on batteries to do this but they are expensive and short lived.
    Dead batteries are also hard to get rid of.
    over a 24 hour period I produce more than I use
    yet the surplus is wasted.
    We all know energy can neither be created or destroyed- only converted to a different form.
    So- I need a better method of storing that energy efficiently that can then be converted back to a useable form later.
    Hell I`ve even played with lifting weights while power is available and then useing their Kinetic energy later.(it works but not very efficient).
    I am not smarter than anybody else but I dont discount peoples ideas so readily.
  40. Profile photo of Laran
    Laran Male 40-49
    467 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    Nuclear Fusion and Fission are both working tech. but they scare the crap out of those that dont undrstand the process.
    A Fission reactor is not much more advanced than a fancy steam engine that uses a Hi-Tech "burner".
    The tech is easy- it`s getting rid off the waste that is hard.
    Fusion has already been achieved - cold Fusion is a bit harder.
    Next we will be discussing Quarks and how a pinhead of empty space contains enough energy to boil all the oceans on earth.
  41. Profile photo of Laran
    Laran Male 40-49
    467 posts
    February 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    One thing concerns me when it comes to geothermal power generation- what happens if we rapidly cool a certain area?
    Our attempts at producing mass power have a history of biting us in the backside.
    Action,Reaction & Consequence.
  42. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 10, 2014 at 1:55 am
    @ Angilion - I have been playing with small scale power generation for over a decade now.

    Yes, that works. Irregularly, unreliably and very locally. But we`re talking about electricity generation for an entire country.

    Practical mass storage of electricity isn`t the *only* problem. I stand by what I said before: "mass storage of electricity would be a crucial part of it."

  43. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 10, 2014 at 2:10 am
    Nuclear Fusion and Fission are both working tech.

    Not in the context of power generation. The best fusion plant in the world was able to very briefly generate 70% of the energy that it used, i.e. it`s a major power loss and not a generator at all.

    A Fission reactor is not much more advanced than a fancy steam engine that uses a Hi-Tech "burner".

    It`s rather more advanced if you want one that won`t melt down or go critical. The basic principle is simple, yes, but the implementation isn`t so simple.

    The tech is easy- it`s getting rid off the waste that is hard.

    That`s true. Vitrification is the best way so far, but it`s far from perfect.

    Fusion has already been achieved - cold Fusion is a bit harder.

    Cold fusion is almost certainly impossible. Fusion research facilities use temperatures over 100 million Kelvin - far hotter than the core of the sun.
  44. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 10, 2014 at 2:28 am
    One thing concerns me when it comes to geothermal power generation- what happens if we rapidly cool a certain area?

    A good question.

    I think that the amount of heat in the vicinity of where geothermal power stations get their heat from is large enough to ensure that we can`t rapidly cool it. Massive amounts of heat are generated by the Earth - we`d be using a miniscule fraction of it. There would be (and are) some issues, but that`s not one of them. Not yet, anyway.
  45. Profile photo of papajon0s1
    papajon0s1 Male 40-49
    578 posts
    February 10, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Whatever, anyone can make numbers say anything they want. But hey, make it MY definition of "affordable" and "actually works". Then we`ll talk.

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