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Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 7:51 AM

Well, you all heard the news. The timeline end date has been set. Ready, Fire, Aim!!

Can it be done? Is there enough aluminum and other exotic stuff to go completely solar in 35 years?

I don't mean to criticize our fearless leaders but I'm not convinced the goal is realistic. Is there an engineer in the house? Maybe a doctor? I think I'm going to faint.

Farewell oil producers! You have a little less than 35 years to find another occupation! I'd like to have been a fly on the wall in the engineering office of a few automakers yesterday. I suppose it was good news in some respects because it means every car on the road will have to be electric. That should create a lot of jobs but I think there are likely to be some very significant material shortages. What did you take from that news?

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#1

Re: Carbon Free power production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:18 AM

Not too difficult.

In Chicago we've been using politicians as wind generators for a very long time.

...This must be a proposal put fourth by the same bright minds that are ready colonize mars.

... In theory it's not to difficult to accomplish both.. all we need to do is ... Mine some asteroids and use the "free" materials along with an platoon of self replicating space drones to build a mega structure around our sun. Then use the concentrated power to fuel earth via a series of space elevators/power conductors.

Use excess power to heat mars with a series on intergalactic lasers and viola'!

OMG.. I am so looking forward to this! Who should I vote for to make sure we save our planet. I love earth!

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#2

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:23 AM

This post may be a little bit offensive to people in research with algae (Ethanol, Biodiesel stuff). I doubt if I could still make it by 2050.

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#4
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:32 AM

Wait a second. Alcohol, even Ethanol and Biodiesel is not carbon free. I wasn't at the meeting in Paris and I am not a politician. But I do enough about basic chemistry to be able to say that the "Carbon Free" proposal includes eliminating jobs in creating Ethanol and Biodiesel.

Carbon Free means absolutely no hydrocarbon fuels being burned. Perhaps the shock has not yet set in.

The line in the sand has been drawn. Hydrogen powered fuel cells or energy stored in batteries is what is being proposed for automobiles.

Sorry guys. I didn't make the proposal. I don't mean to rain on anyones parade or offend anyone, but I don't think the reality has been realized.

I do agree that collecting wind energy around political gatherings is likely. It should be designed to be tolerant to a lot of hot air.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:42 AM

No, it's okay. Solar energy is a promising industry, I agree, but it's way too expensive for the moment. 44% efficient PV cell would cost about $40K or more per sq.cm (multi-junction, multi-material type as per USDOE), certainly, not that affordable yet for mass production.

There must be some other ways.

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#9
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 9:50 AM

there has never been a panel made yet that didn't consume more to produce as as the panel generates over its lifetime.so how can we make solar without using another form of energy to manufacture the panels?

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 9:59 AM

Even I, don't have the answers for that.

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#11
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:09 AM

Extend the lifetime.

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:27 AM

Not true.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/solar-panels-now-make-more-electricity-they-use

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#14
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:40 AM

your link shows that thin film breaks the mold but I think it also buttresses my point when talking about poly and mono crystalline

thanks for the link. for the record thin film is cool but has never come close to the efficiencies of silicon

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#21
In reply to #14

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:28 AM

Still not true, by a very long shot.

Nice summary and references here:

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2010/sep/28/jd-alexander/solar-panels-make-far-more-energy-they-require/

Takeaway: The time it takes for solar panels pay back their manufacturing energy may be less than a year, and may range up to 8 years on the outside, and their operating lifetime is greater than 30 years.

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#20
In reply to #13

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:28 AM

those are very vague statements, I have to read the full report analysis to the output comparisons.

ps

Not much of an analysis they have listed.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:40 AM

Yeah, very vague. I picked the wrong site. This is a better one.

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-06-16/energy-payback-roof-mounted-photovoltaic-cells

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#18
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:24 AM

way to rain on a green energy parade...... ga anyways

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#47
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 5:21 PM

You use solar energy, or nuclear, or hydroelectric...You use the energy you're producing to produce the means to generate energy....We don't need no hydrocarbon fuels!

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#54
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 4:28 AM

any reference?

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#55
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 4:55 AM

Use wave power to build solar for those who don't have access to waves. If you can't come up with better objections than this I might have to start believing they can do it.

I live on an island surrounded by stormy seas. I am looking forward to a boom in our economy

The guys in Arizona are screwed

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#57
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 12:05 PM

I've never seen a solar panel manufacturing plant which was solar powered. :-)

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 12:41 PM

or bulldozer to dig up the raw material.... it all takes energy

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#65
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:38 PM
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#66
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:47 PM

I still dont see the solar panels

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#69
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 2:59 PM
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#76
In reply to #65

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 9:37 AM

I couldn't help but notice the diesel engine that provides the power for rotation of the generator & drive motors.

In the past I have had the "pleasure" of erecting, commissioning, troubleshooting, and repairing diesel-electric driven equipment control. (GM GPxx Locomotives, and GE Haul Trucks)

While locomotives are normally very reliable, the diesel-electric haul trucks which were subjected to severe weather conditions, wet roads, mud, ice, heat, dust, and extreme vibration at ground level were not by any stretch of the imagination reliable or efficient.

The most energy efficient and most reliable haul trucks are direct drive diesel powered.

Attempting to adapt an excavator/bull dozer to diesel-electric drive will be way less energy efficient, extremely unreliable, and there will be extremely high associated maintenance costs.

There is no way this machine can be more energy efficient and instead this will only increase profits realized by the manufacturer's field service group while alienating the customer.

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#63
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:33 PM

Any grid tied manufacturing facility is using a portion of it's energy from solar power...and wind.....and hydroelectric....and nuclear..

..."At its U.S. headquarters in Hillsboro, Ore., the company operates the equivalent of four production plants on a 103-acre campus, maintaining 500 megawatts worth of photovoltaic cell production capacity. Production from that site supplies demand not only in the United States but also in Canada and Latin America.

SolarWorld manufactures solar panels for grid-tied and off-grid power generation and a network of authorized SolarWorld installers and distribution, along with engineering, procurement and construction services for utility-scale projects, as well as specialized system components for all applications. The main building blocks are high-performance monocrystalline and polycrystalline Sunmodule solar panels and custom-designed Sunkits solar systems."...

http://www.solarworld-usa.com/about-solarworld/overview

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#84
In reply to #63

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/04/2015 5:31 PM

Thanks for the great link! Have a great weekend!

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#86
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/05/2015 11:23 AM

I hope you realize what you are saying?

Just think twice please?

Avg. lifetime of a good panel = 25 years (1)

Payback time avg. = 2.5 to 5 year - depending on Kwh price rate and financial backup. (2)

The worst scenario is (1)-(2) = 20 years of profitable production.

Meaning that the money earned is enough to produce between 4 to 8 new panels.

There goes your basis.

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#87
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/05/2015 12:26 PM

You are confusing financial payback for the solar panel owner, with CO² saved over the lifetime of the solar panel compared to CO² produced during the manufacture of the solar panel. Because it appears to be financially beneficial does not mean that it is environmentally beneficial. We have all been told that there are environmental benefits but run the numbers yourself and you will find that they don't stack up.

It only appears to make financial sense because the prices paid for green energy are artificially inflated to encourage take up of the technology. A politically inspired slight of hand. The power company buying your access generation increases the price to all other users to spread the cost of buying in this expensively produced power. There are no economies of scale. Strip out all the subsidies, add back high depreciation to compensate for the short service life, plus the true transmission infrastructure cost for connecting generation in such small quantities, plus the cost of managing many intermittent suppliers to the grid which often means that commercial energy producers are being paid not to produce while holding their plant on standby, and green power generation, either solar or wind, are not currently economic ways of generating power.

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#89
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/05/2015 1:08 PM

You must be too much to the North part of the globe.

Politicians do not know the difference between solar and "snow and shade" - panels.

Gas was dirty, now clean - diesel was clean, now dirty. This is a cycle of potential insanity.

Recently logical thinking has been replaced there with mind mastering politics. Hopefully no permanent brain damage remains.

What kind of CO2 a paid for panel produces further, compared to each alternative source known by mankind anno 2015?

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#90
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/05/2015 1:40 PM
You're right that he is looking at financial payback when the question was about energy payback, but the environmental benefits are real. The energy needed to manufacture and install solar cells is paid back quickly, and different estimates range from less than one year up to 8 years. This careful analysis below gives a conservative range of 2 to 8 years, while the life of a solar cell is 30+ years.

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-06-16/energy-payback-roof-mounted-photovoltaic-cells

Your financial arguments are all from the point of view of commercial energy producers. There are two price points in solar. One is when a consumer finds it cheaper to install solar power than to buy it from the company. We are far below that point now, even without subsidies, and many companies make it very easy to install solar panels with no money up front, and charge a monthly fee much less than the energy company was charging.

The second price point is when the energy producer finds it cheaper to produce energy from solar panels than from fossil fuels. Last I heard we are still above that point, but it is getting close enough to be a big factor soon. Energy companies, of course, are fighting back with propaganda and lobbying.

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#96
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/09/2015 10:08 AM

I guess these politicians think they can mandate into law the change in the laws of physics.

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#97
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/09/2015 10:18 AM

Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

That's how this administration plans on fighting terrorism. There are people that are going to be surprised by this Strategy.

And that Strategy is; 'HOPE' this works.

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#98
In reply to #9

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/09/2015 11:28 AM

My 3 year old 40 panel setup just generated ($70.00 per panel)

16.8 megaWatthours

per panel thus 40 times less @ 40 cents per kWh

I hope while you make the calculation, CRAP on this forum will be reduced.

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#52
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 3:10 AM

Do you understand the difference between carbon free and carbon neutral?

I am sure that carbon neutral will continue to be used, but it is still carbon!!

Furthermore, for the OP, Aluminium is I believe, the most prolific metal on this planet.....so that should not really be a problem.

What I do not see is a way further without nuclear power of some sort, which Germany is attempting to do...Fusion would be nice when its stable.....

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#53
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 4:08 AM

Why is aluminiun (aka aluminum) cropping up here - I must have missed something.

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#3

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:27 AM

our planet loves carbon, it has for over 4 billion years, when you allow well meaning idiots to set policy you get hare brained policies

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#6
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 8:58 AM

Great response!

I wonder when our super intelligent politicians will realize their mistake. Before or after the total collapse of the US economy?

I am having great difficulty imagining electric powered fighter aircraft, carriers, tanks, and any other highly mobile military equipment.

Me thinks I smell a rat.

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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 9:36 AM
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#17
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:22 AM

It may be so.

EM Drives so far are supposedly theoretical and will only work in outer space where gravity is not a large factor.

We already have pulse propulsion drive technology in our submarine fleet but it is very slow speed and cannot handle heavy loading.

My curiosity grows every day on how and where the breakthroughs in technology are occurring.

I have a Navy buddy that spent his entire hitch onboard a can that was dedicated to tracking unidentified flying aircraft for 3 years 6 months and 4 days.

You would have to hear his stories or experience some of what he has witnessed in order to believe it.

I already know from personal experience that there are aircraft coming and going into and out of our small world that no country on earth is willing to admit belongs to them.

When you witness a spherical aircraft with no wings in the middle of the day, in broad daylight, out maneuver and outrun a team of two F14 fighters including a straight up vertical move at speeds greater than Mach 7, it leaves little doubt that most of us are not privileged enough to know everything that is going on in our world.

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#19
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:26 AM

you just scared me

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#77
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 2:58 PM

OOPS! Sorry.

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#25
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 12:52 PM

Maybe that is where our energy solutions are supposed to come from! That means I'll have to go back to school to learn alien technology.

Personally, I find it doubtful that we are alone or unique. It would be nice if we were saved by a more advanced alien civilization, but I'm not holding my breath.

I only posted this question because I figured that the politicians had gone nuts or there is something they are not telling us.

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#78
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 3:06 PM

I agree.

Based on the pictures from Hubble and other large array telescope installations we know there are far more than a billion galaxies identical to ours which all have planets occupying the same orbital distance as our mother earth does in relation to our & their sun.

I think it is very conceited and foolish to assume we as humans are the only higher intelligence life form in existence.

Simple application of probability logic indicates there has to be other civilizations and I am sure some of them are far advanced compared to us.

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#35
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:59 PM

If, as you suggest, the US ( I presume) has Mach 7 flying saucers, and apparently has for a long time, since F-14's have been out of service since 2006, then why are they still pussyfooting around with F-15, F-16, F-22, F-35 (billions spent) and their like plus all those latest "high tech" airliners? It sounds a bit like the Wright Bros. keeping their first flight secret just in case someone copied them.

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#37
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:09 PM

I think one of the main goals of spending money on all those fighter planes is to give money to corporations. Read Eisenhower's farewell address.

And then if we really do have all those advanced craft that are secret, we still need a fleet of conventional aircraft to show off. And then maybe those flying saucers that can accelerate or corner at unbelievable speeds don't have human beings inside, or they will be squished. And then maybe WE don't have those advanced craft, but the aliens do.

It would be nice to think that aliens are helping us create a sustainable future. If there are aliens here, they must be (mostly?) friendly, or they would have taken over long ago.

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#39
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:19 PM

I often wonder whether many of our politicians are in fact aliens. But then again if that is so - why are they so effing stupid? Perhaps it's all an act. As regards "aliens" helping humans with Mach 7 pilotless aircraft, I would have thought tamed nuclear fusion would have been somewhat more useful.

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#51
In reply to #39

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 2:12 AM

Who said all aliens are smart?

Maybe the dumb ones wind up as politicians.

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#80
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 3:19 PM

It occurred to me a long time ago that dealing with any alien race that has the intellect and skills to accomplish interplanetary travel would not come out in human favor if they were/are not friendly.

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#79
In reply to #35

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 3:15 PM

I am not in any way suggesting that the aircraft in question belongs to the US military.

All I can attest to is what I have personally witnessed and believe me there have been and continue to be multiple such instances wherein other similar as well as dissimilar aircraft have been sited and well documented.

What are they and who created them? I do not know but I am very familiar with jet propulsion and the physical limitations of human pilots and to date we do not have a personal protective system that would/will allow any human being to withstand the G forces created from the high speed maneuvers some of these devices are executing.

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#23
In reply to #6

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:48 AM

Do you have any analysis or data at all that indicates that our economy might suffer from switching to renewables? (Blogs by right wing opinionators do not count as analysis.) The opponents of renewables like to try to scare people with that idea, but it is far less believable to me than global warming. Did the US highway system bankrupt the US? Even the Iraq war didn't bankrupt the government, and it was paid for entirely by credit card. And then think of the savings we will get by not having to invade or defend every country in the middle east that has oil.

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#81
In reply to #23

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 3:48 PM

DATA? How about the Great Depression circa 1927?

Any drastic change in any country's business environment that causes thousands of their citizens to lose their jobs while removing billions of dollars of buying power from that country's economy and at the same time exponentially increases the day-to-day living expense of all working class people will certainly cause extreme economical damage and in our (USA) current monetary high-debt condition I am certain it can and will be fatal.

I agree and fully support reducing harmful emissions and pollution as much as humanly possible as long as it is within reason and if phased in over a reasonable time schedule.

I wholly support that we as humans need to and can find alternate energy solutions that are viable for the civilian population.

However; some applications such as large scale transportation of heavy goods and the mobility, reliability, and defensible requirements placed on military equipment and weapons completely eliminate any possible use of solar or wind electrical power. Therefore all of the afore mentioned will not be converted from fossil fuel leaving the burden of expense for converting over to renewable energy sources to be placed on the working class civilian people.

If we want this badly needed energy migration to occur we must institute controls that will limit the financial burden accessed to the taxpayers or suffer the possible consequence of a total collapse of our economy.

To me even if the current global warming trend is or is not 100% caused by human activities makes no difference.

Regardless of the level of human contribution to global warming it is not in humankind's best interest to keep polluting when we have the technology and intellect to produce everything we need without polluting and/or destroying our environment.

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/04/2015 5:36 AM

To quote the Great Depression, an entirely man made phenomena, in support of an argument the Global Warming is not primarily influenced by human intervention shows a lack of understanding of American History. To suggest that the USA can wait any longer to institute measures to not just slow but reverse the increase in CO2 output shows a lack of understanding of American Geography and how close to current sea level much of the USA actually is. A mere six foot rise in sea level will create flooding as far inland as Washington DC. The USA, after many years of denial or successful lobbying from interested parties, has finally woken up to the fact that Global Warming needs to be addressed. Mybe someone pointed out to your politicians that the NASA report published on 15th August this year suggests that many of their voters will suffer considerable flooding in the next 40 years. Or to your bankers and millionaires the Bridgeport Connecticut is one of those places that is going to get wet. It is now too late to limit the financial burden on taxpayers, they will have to suffer either by paying extra taxes or by being denied flood cover by the insurance companies.

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#85
In reply to #81

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/04/2015 6:41 PM

I am not aware that the Great Depression was linked to a switch in technology. The main switch in technologies that I'm thinking of around that time was the switch from horses to cars around that time? The analyses I saw say that the extreme disparity of incomes between rich and poor triggered the collapse.

The data I'm asking for is support for what you say in your second paragraph. The link I posted earlier says that 240,000 jobs would be created by switching to renewables, and 75,000 jobs would be lost in the fossil fuel business. That sounds like an economic stimulus to me. At the same time, when people switch to solar or insulate their houses, they save a LOT of money in energy savings, so it will decrease their expenses, not increase them. If you have any data that contradicts this, please share it with me. I don't want to go around thinking this will improve the economic environment if it is not true.

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#91
In reply to #85

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/07/2015 10:51 AM

"I am not aware that the Great Depression was linked to a switch in technology."

Take another look.

The USA was suffering from intense industrialization (switch in technology) and increased manufacturing automation (switch in technology) .

Small family farms were forced out of existence which resulted in a higher number of people being forced to abandon their farms and seek work in a factory in order to survive. (No longer able to be self-sufficient.)

At the same time the concentration of wealth was extremely small due to the fact that large business monopolies had merged across state lines and bought up most small businesses. (Known as "Price Fixing" in those days but today it's called "Partnering".)

Inflated prices on everything outstripped the working class people's buying power resulting in major, large business shutdowns which in turn because of their employee pool size created a huge impact to the USA economy when massive layoffs occurred culminating in the collapse of the stock market.

In order to recover from the collapse congress and the senate instituted price controls on all items critical to the day-to-day existence of people and all other items critical to the USA government operations.

The next step taken was to break up the large monopolies to restore open market pricing competition, redistribute the wealth, and to limit the negative affect the collapse of any company would/could cause to the economy and also to allow new smaller companies to form.

If a smaller company fails the negative impact of heir employees being laid off was/is minimized while allowing another small company to start up and/or assume the failed company's customer base.

As I stated earlier;

We must pursue alternative energy source development for the civil sector but it will be extremely detrimental to our economy if not phased in properly.

An, there are simply no viable energy alternatives for reliably powering battle-hardened, fossil-fuel driven, military weaponry, sea craft, aircraft, and vehicles nor for large scale payload transportation so that part of the "carbon" demand cannot and will not decrease or migrate over for many years to come.

You are certainly right in that there will be some very isolated, small groups of people that will enjoy a windfall profit from the energy migration.

You must live in a very protected environment because in this part of the USA all utility customers choosing solar generation or wind generation are required to pay a much higher price for their electricity.

Simple economics lesson:

Utility companies will not ever be required to invest large amounts of capital in any new energy production facilities without being allowed to recover the cost from their private household consumers/customers.

There are several utility companies that currently sell power to industrial and large commercial customers for less than the utility company's cost of production. Meaning that currently in many parts of the USA the working class people are paying for a very large percentage of the power being consumed by businesses.

Currently there are areas in Texas wherein the wind power customers are not paying anything for their electrical power due to the current tax credits and other investment stimulus funds being given to the utility company(s). Which means other taxpayers in the other states are actually paying for those in Texas benefitting form not having to pay for their power.

There may well be other states wherein the same scenario exists.

There may be some merit for possible human contribution to the current warming cycle.

The simple fact is that we need to stop polluting our mother earth before it is too late.

None-the-less, there has not been and there never will be any dramatic changes to energy supply systems or any other manufacturing process/methods that will benefit the entire population across the board.

There is not and nor will there ever be any change allowed to happen that will negatively affect the earning power of the rich controlling class of people in the USA.

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/07/2015 12:35 PM

Interesting analysis. Thanks.

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#93
In reply to #91

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/07/2015 12:57 PM

I questioned earlier (#82) your grasp of American history. The intense industrialization you mention happened in 1917-18 as production ramped up to support the war in Europe. When the war ended industry tried to sustain the increased output which resulted in the market being swamped with goods and a credit boom. Far from prices increasing, prices for manufactured goods dropped immediately prior to the depression. Manufacturing industry could then not support the borrowing it had taken to fuel the increased production which led to the initial round of closures.

There were also good harvests from the first world war years up to the drought years of 1934-36. This led to more land being put into production, and increased farm borrowing to finance tractors to till that additional acreage. The collapse of farm incomes did not happen until 1934, well after the start of the depression. After the US government stopped buying wheat to feed overseas troops the price of grain dropped, this led to an increase in the amount of live stock, over grazing that contributed to the dust bowl crisis, and over production that had a knock on affect of reducing the price of (grain fed) pork and beef. Almost no commodity prices were increasing prior to the depression.

Far from breaking up monopolies, the depression saw a consolidation in the American oil industry. There was no federal anti trust legislation enacted in the USA between 1914 and 1936 although some state laws came into force. New firms do not start up in a depression, by definition there is no market for them to serve.

I agree that the Great Depression was caused by more than the hype fueled South Sea Bubble and .com bubble but the quick buck mentality and unschooled investors piling into the stock market played it's part. In that sense the developments in communications technology that allowed more people access to the stock markets can be seen to be a contributing factor.

I share your cynical view that the rich and powerful will not suffer from radical changes to the energy supply mix. They will see it as an opportunity to get even richer.

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#94
In reply to #91

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/07/2015 1:22 PM

Great points. Nothing will happen overnight. This idea threatens our current way of life in a vast number of sectors. A change to carbon free power does not guarantee long term unemployment. New doors will be opened while others are shut. I think the wealthy will be likely to experience the biggest challenge because they may be dumbfounded as to what to pick for an investment.

A case in point: Consider all of the video rental business that popped up with VHS and then CD. They never expected movies on demand. Multiply that change by several hundred and that starts to describe what we are likely to see.

The real problem is that it is easy for an industry to become fat, dumb and lazy. Some will fade away, while others prosper and the example in Texas may occur over and over. Hang onto your hat. Its going to be a wild transition.

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#24
In reply to #6

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 12:44 PM

I don't think that was a rat you smelled. It was a moron!

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#48
In reply to #6

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 5:36 PM

For the record and maybe lost in translation, biofuels can be carbon neutral....so ethanol or biodiesel from organic material is acceptable if produced in a sustainable way....What they are targeting is coal and wood and waste burning, oil from wells, these are additive to the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere....and produce air pollution...

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#75
In reply to #6

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/03/2015 5:37 AM

What you're smelling is duplicity
Check out the recently deceased Maurice Strong for more
On the bright side, looks like the chances of Big Lies working universally keeps getting smaller

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#88
In reply to #6

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/05/2015 12:31 PM

This isn't exactly the same thing, but the Navy is experimenting with making a hydrocarbon fuel from CO2 and H2 extracted from seawater:

http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-with-fuel-from-the-sea-concept

https://www.rt.com/usa/navy-fuel-conversion-ship-197/

Also, the Army is considering a hybrid replacement for the Bradley:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681938/is-this-hybrid-tank-the-future-of-american-warfare

From the article:

"The change from switching over to hybrid GCVs is like when the Air Force purchased their first jet fighters," BAE Systems' Mark Signorelli told Co.Exist. If BAE's proposal is adopted by the military, the Defense Department will save approximately 20% in fuel costs compared to an alternate GCV vehicle with traditional propulsion. The electric motor will also provide faster acceleration than Bradleys, and the tanks can switch to pure electric mode for short periods of time. This would eliminate significant heat traces from the battlefield and lets the tank operate much more quietly at night.

"There are several advantages in using a hybrid propulsion system for a military vehicle over a conventional engine," Signorelli said. "A hybrid electric drive system would use up to 20% less fuel, significantly reducing fuel costs and the number of vulnerable convoys for resupply. […] There are also 40% fewer moving parts with higher reliability, requiring less maintenance and decreasing vehicle lifetime cost. Vehicle acceleration, handling and dash speed are improved even over fuel hungry turbine systems. Finally, the system's ability to provide large amounts of electrical power accommodates the integration of future communications and weapons technology for the next 30 to 40 years."

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:10 AM

OK. Business as usual, then?

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#26
In reply to #3

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 1:32 PM

Hey, I think you offended some rabbits I know!

Seriously, if the leaders say this is what we are going to do, then one has to ask the obvious question, "Is this a realistic goal?"

Actually it would have been good to have started a couple of decades ago. It might seem like a long time, but 35 years is not much time considering that the USA has spent over 100 years of investment expanding while trying to keep up with demand.

Then when you factor in natural gas and coal, I believe there is a lot more work to do than is possible in that short time period. Still, it seems that hydrocarbons have had their day. It's all downhill from here.

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 1:51 PM

Seriously, if the leaders say this is what we are going to do, then one has to ask the obvious question, "Is this a realistic goal?"

The leaders don't ask that question.

It's hard to get elected if you tell the truth and state the obvious.

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:03 PM

"Seriously, if the leaders say this is what we are going to do, then one has to ask the obvious question, "Is this a realistic goal?""

That is not the first question you have to ask.

The first question you need to ask, and answer is. "What's in it for the politicians?"

Because this resembles the financial gain to the politicians pushing it from the past from this non-commitment cash generating schemes.

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#60
In reply to #30

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:16 PM

I have no doubt that the politicians will profit from this. That is their nature.

The implications with respect to the job market and energy distribution services are staggering. At the same time, it will have to happen or the last man standing can witness the earth's 5th great extinction. I don't want that for my grandchildren. I just didn't think it might get started in my lifetime.

This is a great topic for thinking about the changes and demands in engineering. This is a much bigger issue than other social issues like smoking cigarettes. I believe a lot of new industries will come out of this kind of commitment.

It has me thinking about other issues that are beyond the scope of this discussion such as passing a law requiring high school drop outs to be removed from the gene pool. (Sterilization) Now that would be a serious motivator to stay in school!

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#64
In reply to #60

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:37 PM

I was following along, until the last paragraph.

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#67
In reply to #64

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:55 PM

Yeah, I got kind of off topic there and a little bit too radical. Too late to delete it!

Sorry about that.

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#27
In reply to #3

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 1:47 PM

I agree completely with these statements. However, we probably have different idiots in mind.

My body loves water. Human bodies and their ancestors have loved water for somewhere over 3.5 billion years. But that doesn't mean I can't drown.

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#72
In reply to #3

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 6:45 PM

You realize that you have insulted and libeled hares far and wide!!

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#73
In reply to #72

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 6:48 PM

I do my part

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#7

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 9:05 AM

Nothing surprises me anymore...

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#15

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:52 AM

I don't think it will be all that hard.

On the other hand, many things look impossible when you don't want to do them.

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#28
In reply to #15

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 1:48 PM

I respectfully disagree. There are millions of people employed by the producers of energy from natural resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal. Not to mention that everyone will have to restructure their spending habits in the future to heat the house or drive the car.

It is not impossible, just unlikely to happen. We are talking about having to invest in equipment for every home. If we do this, we are not likely to need power stations like we have now. In fact, if we all go "off the grid" there won't be any grid.

It might be a great "goal" but while aluminum is fairly abundant, bauxite is not. That is where we get our aluminum today. Bauxite deposits are limited. The price for aluminum will outstrip the price of steel if we try to meet this goal.

No, it will be very hard, and expensive. But it will also create jobs while eliminating others. That is a description for economic turn over. Hold on to your hats!

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#31
In reply to #28

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:23 PM

We are familiar with economic turnovers. There is hardly a livery stable to be found in downtown Manhattan, or even River City, anymore. All the former livery stable owners are starving and homeless, unless they're not.

Yes, there will be a shift in technologies, but maybe nothing so dramatic as an economic turnover:

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/smart-energy-solutions/increase-renewables/renewable-energy-electricity-standards-economic-benefits.html#.Vl3wUMo0rcw

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2007/04/the-economic-impact-of-renewable-energy-48201.html

Summary:

According to a 2004 meta-analysis from of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at the University of California, Berkeley, which examined 13 studies on the economic benefits of renewable energy, approximately 240,000 jobs could be created and maintained if the country passed a 20 percent by 2020 RPS. If the U.S. relied solely on fossil fuels, the country would only maintain around 75,000 jobs. "We found that you get three to five times the amount of jobs in the renewables area than you do in fossil fuels," said Dan Kammen, director of RAEL and co-author of the meta-analysis.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:27 PM

you don't strike me as an engineer or problem solver.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:45 PM

If you don't mark that OT, I will be happy to do it for you.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 2:55 PM

Problem solved!

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:04 PM

ok do you're only here to promote PRI

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#40
In reply to #36

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:20 PM

Public Radio International?

Partido Revolucionario Institucional?

Performance Racing Industry?

Primary Rate Interface?

Performance Review institute?

Whatever. You seem to think I have an agenda besides evaluating the science and data and coming up with a solution to avert what looks like a looming calamity. When I post links to actual verifiable research and technology that contradicts what you say, then you think I am not an engineer or a problem solver.

What you are posting is simply an ad hominem attack, which I take as a compliment, since it means you can't counter the actual facts that I posted.

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:28 PM

enjoy your brief stay. there's a certain feel around here and your abrasive approach wont bring out the warm and fuzzy. most here like to solve problems, your mission to stir the chit is obvious.

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#45
In reply to #42

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 4:25 PM

I do not at all feel like my approach is abrasive, but perhaps that is in the eye of the beholder. Would you say what is abrasive about my approach in this thread?

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#46
In reply to #36

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 4:50 PM

OK, humor didn't work.

What is PRI?

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#58
In reply to #46

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 12:36 PM

Public Radio International

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#62
In reply to #58

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:32 PM

Oh, I thought it had to be something related to global warming or communism or Al Gore or something. Sorry about that Fredski. I took it as an insult. Now I think it is pretty funny.

Yes, I love PRI, NPR, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and the Prairie Home Companion, and if you listen to their news segments you get to be VERY well informed. I would be very happy to promote PRI here. There, I promoted it.

But I still don't get the connection between those and renewable energy.

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#74
In reply to #62

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 11:09 PM

Check the source of your link....You probably didn't get it because it makes no sense...but you should always be aware of the source you're linking to, because not all sources are created equal you know....

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#38
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:15 PM

I don't think it will be all that hard.

When your sure,.... let us know.

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#41
In reply to #38

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:26 PM

I'm a scientist. I won't be sure until it is done. But the people who actually do research on this stuff think so. There are other aspects of carbon emissions that are much harder to address than the simple technical details of switching a technological society over to renewables. For one small example, ff the methyl clathrates in the Arctic start melting, we may be in much deeper water than we anticipate.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:31 PM

If Methane hydrates start melting in the artic, then its already too late.

One has to also add into the mix, with the cyclic extinctions on this planet, That Humans existence may not be in or a part of earth's future.

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 3:41 PM

Methane clathrates.

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#50
In reply to #38

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 10:27 PM

Well if we can't generate the power without poisoning the planet then - well gee - just use less!

http://eyeonhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/AvgConsumption.png

Maybe 42kw/h per day down south is just a tad greedy.

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#16

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 11:20 AM

Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the earth's crust, right behind silicon.

As for other more exotic metals, there are frequent news reports about research finding a replacement for various rare metals in solar panels, batteries and other applications. Flow batteries are a good example. I also just read a report about researchers using a kind of algae to generate electricity directly, while still alive.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151124143612.htm

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#49

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/01/2015 7:14 PM

The debate about the payback period will go on as long as the sun shines. Forty years ago I spent many months researching and identifying every material and energy stream that went into, and came out of, producing and installing both thermal and PV panels. It would be unfair to use the costs from then with the technologies now, especially since the they are vastly different, but a lot of the basic "stuff" is often ignored in most studies.

Here's a good article that tries to present an unbiased view of the dilemma, but even this current one leaves out some costs though tiny as an overall percentage, do add up in the aggregate. You'll have to read the entire article to start to see a portion of both sides of the debate.

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#56

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 12:02 PM

We live on a blob of molten rock. It is very very very hot under a very very thin crust of ash. If the Earth was an egg, the shell is only 1/5th the thickness of a chicken egg.

We dig and dig into this thin crust to find things to burn. But just a little further down is more heat than humans could ever use. I dispise the green movement which is actually a socialist movement painted green, but the fact that we still burn things for energy is what we did as cavemen.

If we really want solve the energy issue, it is under our feet. We live on top of an ocean of fire, why are we only using things we can dig up from the crust!!!!!!

We want to build a 1,200 mile pipe line to move oil so we can burn it, but only 5 miles down is all the heat/energy we could ever need.

Drill baby Drill!!!!

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#61
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:22 PM

Actually, the modern geologic theory says that the core is not so molten. I was very surprised to hear that myself. There are hot spots, but the earth is a lot more solid than I was lead to believe some 50 years ago.

Most, but not all, of the hot spots occur along the plate boundary's. Beyond that, however, the earth makes a really decent heat sink/source compared to air.

Too bad we couldn't just tap right into hot magma. I'm not sure I would want that being done in Yellowstone Park however. A water leak might set off that monster.

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#68
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Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 1:59 PM

We don't need to go to the core. We don't have to get to the magma. We don't have to only drill near hot spots. If you dig anywhere in the world eventually you get deep enought that the temperature starts to rise. We just have to dig deep enough to get to a level where the heat is hot enough to produce electricity. Most likely we'd get to a depth needed to boil water to run a turbine, but there are many many ways to turn heat into electricity. In the middle of America you might have to drill down 8 miles.

I were to predict what will be our future energy source in the distant future, it is True Geothermal.

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#95
In reply to #68

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/07/2015 1:33 PM

That would be awesome, but 8 miles down? Can we realistically do that? Can we prevent a hole that deep from closing during an earthquake? I like the idea of geothermal. I always wondered what it would be like to have a thermal sink into a large body of water, like a deep lake.

I was a teenager when I watched a house boat owner drop a coil over the side with coolant lines attached. It provided a heat sink for his air conditioning. I always thought that was a great idea. I don't think that would qualify as "geothermal" exactly. Perhaps it was "aqua thermal" ? Spell checker did not like that as a compound word!

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#70

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 3:32 PM

New York mayor plans vast electric car fleet by 2025


"By 2025, New York City is planning to employ the largest municipal fleet of electric vehicles in the US, along with a sprawling network of charging stations to go with it.

Under a plan announced by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday, about 2,000 city-owned sedans, used by local agencies like the Transportation Department and the Parks and Recreation Department, would be replaced with electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf over the next decade."...


http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2015/12/03/2003633884

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/02/2015 5:19 PM

Since electric cars don't pay any fuel tax for road repair, New York should implement a electric car tax to pay for its roads use.

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#83

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

12/04/2015 12:20 PM

Yep, Alcoa and the rest are buys and have been even when they went into their doldrums. There is a frenzy in AL alloy research underway.

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#99

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

02/10/2016 6:00 PM

there has never been a panel made yet that didn't consume more to produce as as the panel generates over its lifetime.so how can we make solar without using another form of energy to manufacture the panels?

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: Carbon Free Power Production by 2050

02/10/2016 8:11 PM

Solar cells pay back the energy used to make them usually between 1 and 3 years or so, sometimes less than a year and sometimes as long as 8 in inefficient situations. And they are guaranteed for 25 or more years. Don't take my word for it, though. The google knows.

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