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Ten Years to Renewables Totality

Posted August 18, 2008 8:00 AM

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has called on the nation to become totally reliant on renewable energy by 2020. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, now a cleantech venture capitalist, said the key to solving economic and environmental challenges is to stop burning carbon-based fuels. A national electric grid is envisioned to transmit power from solar and wind farms nationwide and to provide infrastructure for plug-in electric cars. Some industry experts say that these these lofty goals are attainable in the 10-year time frame. However, the required expenditure of capital and materials seems daunting, considering that renewables currently comprise only about 8% of national electric capacity. Is this renewables target reachable and realistic?

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#1

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/18/2008 9:52 AM

As much as I think Prophet Al is a pompous ass, we do need a policy, some policy, any policy, to get us off the oil teat. Ten years may be a little optimistic, but the most important day, is the day we start.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/18/2008 11:37 PM

"we do need a policy, some policy, any policy, to get us off the oil teat"

Well, not if it involves electrolysis and HHO to power cars.

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#3

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 1:14 AM

Our greatest failing to date is the lack of an energy policy, especially as we go into our second energy crisis and have nothing in place or on the horizon. This failing will be nothing compared to the disaster of panicking and adopting ill-advised policy. Alcohol seems easy for everyone to understand and sounds familiar and safe. Everytime politicians talk about energy policy they soon get to alcohol. Safe, familiar alcohol. Great buzz word. It will be a disaster as energy policy however. A gallon of alcohol has about half the heat value a gallon of gasoline, so will quickly overload the alcohol distribution infrastructure, which doesn't even exist yet. The alcohol will have to come from food crops, or wait for the cellulosic process ( about as far along as cold fusion)

A successful energy policy will have to involve something with high energy density. Wind, solar, and renewables will all be nice and contribute a few percent, but coal, natural gas and nuclear are going to have to carry most of the load. I am still waiting for a politician with the guts to deliver that hard fact.

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#4

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 1:48 AM

I subscribed to this Forum just a few months ago and I have been, for the most part, happy with the general tone of the comments. It appears most contributors want to be helpful. However, when it comes to posts regarding alternative energy, many comments are laced with a plethora of negativity, cynicism and sarcasm, while leaving the reader with very little useful information. This shows great disrespect to the spirit of CR4.

The ten year challenge can be achieved as long as it is held in the same regard as the moon race. During that era I can imagine there were a lot of people who stood in the background shaking their heads saying "it can't be done" or "we're wasting our time." Myself, I would rather stick my neck out now and face certain ridicule, than to look back someday and know that I had not been part of the solution.

WindGenMan

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#5

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 4:54 AM

About fifteen years ago we had this introductory lecture about oil in our geology course. It illustrated exploration, production, uses and prospective issues. At the end of the lecture, the speaker asked us if we had any comments. I remember saying that petroleum is too useful a ressource for burning it in engines and car. Our lecturer agreed on the basis that there are many uses in which replacing petroleum (or its derivatives) was harder than in engines, but had we other immediate solutions? None at the time. However, today we are so close to find such alternatives it would be a disaster not to go forward.

Today, it appears to me we face exactly the same problem with energy. I don't know how much of our energy needs can be fulfilled with alternative energies. But I feel that if we add together whatever few percents may be produced with wind, sun, tide, geothermy, hydropower, etc., these percents won't be wasted in oil, coal and gas which aren't renewable (on a human scale). And this will be all benefit for our climate and the next generations. This looks like a sound energy policy to me.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 10:15 AM

Do you really think that we are so close to finding alternatives? As an engineer the things I usually hear about like fuel cells and electric cars are that they are not able to replace the IC engine in the forseable future, that there are still major unresolved technical problems. Are there some other technologies that are at a technology readiness level that they could help much within the next decade that I am forgetting?

The only way I think electric technologies could become viable (and only for shorter routes) is if nuclear reactors were readily available to supply the power. As for Brazil's alcohol approach that has the press has touted, I imagine a lot of rain forest was cut down to raise the sugar cane that was required, something the press was loath to mention.

I think that in the near term POL products are still the best solution, but we should be frugal in how we use them. And in history some of the great inovations are the ones no one saw coming, not the ones everyone expected. So hopefully a breakthrough is coming soon...

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#36
In reply to #8

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/30/2008 1:00 PM

Actually the alternatives do already exist, only thing is people need to recognise that they exist.

For already two years now we are working on a project to convert an island with 85.000 inhabitants and 500.000 tourist into a 100% renewable area, related to energy generation and traffic. This is not theory, we are doing it.

We are an international team of engineers, scientist, economists, lawyers and other people being convinced that it is necessary and possible to make some drastic changes in this world, for the sake of this planet and the sake of our children.

After spending quite a while in consulting politicians and finding out how a 100% renewable project can be done we meanwhile entered into construction phase with the first project. What you need to do is combine different types of renewables, proven technology like solar, wind, geothermal and others, set up the right political framework, do grid studies, and then go for it.

We also made economical viability studies, you will be surprised to find out that in the overall cost the government will save money with using renewables instead of what they do know.

And you will be even more surprised to hear the result of some calculations about the US. With the money the US already spend on the war in Iraq it would have been possible to fund the investment of a 100% renewable project for the total of the United States, and provide green, clean and cheap energy to the citizens for the next decades.

Only thing we need to do is change the chip in our heads. And then - act.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/30/2008 2:43 PM

hello solant,

great response. i am glad someone is leading. it has to start somewhere. so, where is this island so that we can look it up and follow progress?

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/30/2008 6:02 PM

Hello artbyjoe,

thank you. The island is called La Palma and you find more information here:http://www.solantis.eu/EN/la_palma_100.html

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#6

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 7:27 AM

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. I can't bring myself to opine about Al Gore because it aggravates me so.

An energy policy is very necessary but it must be common sense approach and totally free of the political process otherwise it will result in another Ethanol debacle of subsidies. I'd make a suggestion but I don't have the answer either.

Drill here, drill now. Exploit nuclear Power. Encourage the purchase of economical cars and electric vehicles.

We need another Edison or a Tesla.

Relax, this crisis too will pass because the American scientists & engineers have your back.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 8:20 AM

Good Morning Morgan,

If you believe in the 'hair of the dog' concept of cure, then I can see that drilling makes sense to you. Sadly, however, drilling does not produce results either by 'hair' or by some kind of fuel homeopathy (like cures like).

WE are the implementers and innovators...at least to the extent that we can recognize and support the Edisons and Teslas. It is our responsibility and opportunity even if WE aren't The Luminaries ourselves.

....and "relax"? I don't think so. Perhaps I misunderstood you. Mr. Bush told us to shop as a pallative to really DOING what we could as a nation to change the relationship we have to the greed and terror generated by fossil fuel dependencies - like addicts on the global streetcorner.

Not "relaxing" does not mean panic either...it means believing that our constellation of small acts, aggregated, DOES make a difference...and can, and is. Pull the thread of that vision and see who is attached to it...people who have been working quietly all along...people whose voices are now being heard by others finally tuning to the frequency created by pocketbook pain which replaced awareness of the difficulty we created for ourselves. It's the old Boiled Frog story. I'm sorry to see so many opportunities to apply it - AND that I am included amongst the near-boiled.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 11:37 AM

Terrorism in today's world has nothing to do with the oil issue. The terrorists just happen to live where the oil is located. It is foolish to think there would be no terrorists if we weren't dependant on oil as your comment implies. The terrorists would be trying to take over the world for Allah (Muslim), for the "Proletariat" (Communist), the "Citizen" (French Revolution), the Master Race, (Nazis), the Earth (enviornmentalist)..... Pick your extremism.

Put the blame where it belongs, In Europe where for centuries they exploited the world and subjugated the peoples of their Colonies. The Arab world, India, China, Africa are all the beneficiaries of our European brothers who now sit back and cower in fear of the results of their terrorism.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 12:06 PM

Put the blame where it belongs, In Europe where for centuries they exploited the world and subjugated the peoples of their Colonies. The Arab world, India, China, Africa are all the beneficiaries of our European brothers who now sit back and cower in fear of the results of their terrorism.

If that is true, could you not then say that our "exploitation" of the Arab world was the result of the Islamic world's attempt to subjugate Europe long before the crusades? How far back do you want to take the blame game for peoples terroristic behavior. It's then really the Arabs fault all along, right?

It's like blaming the rape victem because of what she did first, if I understand the concept correctly.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 12:34 PM

Nonsense regarding the rape analogy.

You can go back as far as you want. The point is that terrorism in the name of anything is counterproductive. Religious extermism in any form is extremism and is bad.

It would be nice to say that we should just go forward from here. Like the US did with Germany and Japan after World War II, just like Europe didn't do when they tried to exact reparations from Germany after WWI and provided the fertile ground for Hitler's rise to power.

Jews, Arabs, Bosnians, Palestininans, Muslims many. There is where the fault lies. To be realistic one possible solution would be another World War to crush these nutcases and destroy their ability to make war. The only hope is that we outgrow this seething hate before that war happens. If the world cannot be at peace and its people free then evil men will work their magic on the uneducated and impressionable.

Free trade and democracy has the greatest chance of making the world free. Who wants to fight when their belly is full and they have something to loose.

My time here is short as is the case with many but I still love my fellow man enough to wish upon them the freedom I enjoy. Freedom from ignorance, freedom from terrorism, freedom from repressive governments and religions.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 1:28 PM

You are the one who went back into the past to explain terrorism, I just followed the same logic you did a bit farther back until it was not automatically the West's fault. So we agree that it is not Europe's fault directly, but only indirectly at most.

We must hold on to our concepts of liberty and personal accountability and help these downtrodden people free themselves from the governments and ideologies that make their lives so desperate in the first place. Like alcoholics, we cannot help them (or ourselves) until they admit they have a problem and will work with us to solve it.

Western culture is far from perfect, but it has done a lot more for its people than many other cultures have done for their people, even in places with enormous natural wealth.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 2:12 PM

What are you talking about? Europe IS the west, remember WESTERN Europe. It is indeed Europe's fault directly and indirectly. The Europeans were paying the Muslims bribes to leave their ships and coasts alone in the 1700's while the US was fighting for independence. Yes, the American Colonies did as well to protect their shipping until we were a nation and sent the Marines to finish off the Barbary Pirates. Remember the Marine hymn? "From the Shores of Tripoli"

Subjugation is not unique to the West, remember the caste system in India, the Chinese subjugation of Tibet. Russia and the Soviet Union. Pakistan, the Hindus-Muslims.

It is the human condition that is at fault. There are even people here in the US trying to subjugate the populace. What do you think forced redistribution of wealth is if it isn't a desire to subjugate and exercise control?

Mind your own business, honor and respect your neighbor, keep a gun under your pillow in case that doesn't work.

Stay free! Let others be free.

Go back as far as you want but try to keep your history straight. Study Geography.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 2:25 PM

I did not word it clearly - I know very well that Europe is the west.

But if it is Europe's fault directly and indirectly, then is it not also the rest of the world's fault directly and indirectly also? You are coming off like a University of California Poly Sci professor who reflexively aways blames the West first, and I hope that you are not meaning to be that way.

The west paying bribes to muslims not to pirate us does not make piracy our fault - that is like giving a robber your wallet means his robbery is your fault. You end up blaming the victem. I am not understanding your point. Would you not pay someone to not hurt you?

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 3:06 PM

No, I would not pay someone not to hurt me. I refuse to be a victim. Paying someone not to hurt me is cowardly and it empowers and emboldens them to other excesses.

I am an ultra conservative, I am old and too ornery to put up with anyone trying to exercise control over me. Read the old fables, there is much wisdom. Unfortunatelly most of those are not read or ttaught in today's world.

Respect your neighbor give him his due and help him if you can.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 2:05 PM

Since these posts are 'conversations,' and since we have the opportunity to learn what another person 'means' by a word/phrase - let's talk Terror and Terrorists:

From where I sit, terror and terrorist have many faces and roots - some wear turbans; some wear suits or cowboy hats. Some drop bombs and kill directly/swiftly; some make policy and kill indirectly/slowly.

Aren't there lots of 'reasons' described for terrorists to become one? - from a point of too much power to a point of no power at all? from seeking power to suffering from chronic disenfranchisement, abuse, fear, neglect?

Seems to me that terrorists and terrorist action is based in a profound Disconnection - from being up too high in power or imbedded within too far without it.

What I'd like to understand more of from you, Morgan, is how "seething hate" is outgrown by what seems to me a terrorizing "realistic...possible solution" to "crush these nutcases and destroy their ability to make war." Sure sounds like 'righteousness' to me.

I don't hear the difference between that kind of 'righteous' and someone else's 'righteous,' except context. I agree with you here: "Who wants to fight when their belly is full and they have something to loose."

Why aren't Christians on your list? How are we SO removed from the planet's community that we, in some way not described here yet, DO NOT participate in/contribute to the creation of terror. What would happen if we concentrated less on blame and it's language and more on inclusion and it's language? I know, 'just words.'

Inclusion and connection are much more complex processes than blaming...the downside is that inclusion and connection 'implies' recognizing some kind of responsibility for our own participation...the upside in sharing this responsibility is that we can take action.

All said in the spirit of conversation...and no small dose of curiousity.

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#22
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 9:50 PM

Good Answer.

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 10:30 AM

An energy policy is very necessary but it must be common sense approach and totally free of the political process otherwise it will result in another Ethanol debacle of subsidies. I'd make a suggestion but I don't have the answer either.

Ain't going to happen. There is no such thing as a policy that is free of politics.

If you dig deep enough (and maybe not even that deep) whatever energy "policy" is written will be based on subsidies and handouts. That is how we got ethenol from corn. It was pushed by the agri loby and the political figures of the corn producing states.

You never hear about "Big Corn" but you always hear about "Big Oil". It's easy to demonize the oil industry because gasoline and diesel have a very inelastic demand curve because we all need to get to work and get where ever else we are going. Gas and diesel - they got it, you want it.

In the recent run up of the price of oil the "speculators" were demonized. You never heard the same anxt about the "speculators" who made piles of cash when the price of corn went up. Also, when the price of oil retreated $20 a barrel, you never heard another word about the "speculators". Truth be known, a good trader (undemonized "speculator") would have made the exact same money on a $20 rise or $20 decline in the price of oil.

Even if we quit burning gas and diesel in cars - what are you going to do with that fraction of a barrel of oil that would have otherwise gone to gas and diesel and kerosene (Jet A)? Unless they do extensive cracking (which is expensive) you are not going to make something else from that fraction of the barrel.

When it comes to "alternative" energy we need to go back to basics.... coal, natural gas and nuclear would be huge first steps. Nuclear is safe - much of Europe is very successful using nuclear power. The stack gasses from burning coal can be very clean with existing and developing scrubbers. The biggest obstacle with buring coal is is the carbon dioxide hystaria which is a hoax.

Travis

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 12:11 PM

Nuclear plants may be safe, until they are blown up, but no one has managed to store the nuclear waste in a safe long term storage area. I doubt that we can predict that it could be stored safely for thousands of years. The public picks up the tab for clean up and waste disposal. Yucca Flat can barely store the spent fuel rods we already have. Of course the Speaker of the House will not allow it to go there anyway.

Nuclear waste is now stored on site, and is vulnerable to being exploded and creating a cloud of death downwind. Poisoning the land as did Chernobyl.

All things considered, nuclear is not even cost competitive. It is also a natural monopoly . I am old enough to remember the cheap energy promises of the Atoms for Peace program.

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 1:35 PM

In the USA cost competitiveness is a direct result of anti-nuclear true believers throwing legal and regulatory roadblocks in the way of the industry. That point is not intellectually honest.

Nuclear waste is stored on-site for the same reasons. It sometimes seems that the radicals want a disaster just to justify their position. I have lived through decades of legal action to block transport of waste.

Yucca flats has been mostly undeveloped due to legal action also. You see a trend here...

Countries such as France and Sweden have almost none of these problems, and are happy with their nuclear programs. Why can't we do what they are doing in the USA?

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#25
In reply to #17

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/20/2008 9:53 AM

The European countries you mentioned have solved none of the problems I have addressed. They are just ignoring the problem, and pretending it doesn't exist, as you are.

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#10

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 10:46 AM

It is possible, if we were to make a mad rush for it, and drastically conserve. It will not, and probably should not happen however. We need to find a middle ground that the vast majority of us can agree to. Some guidelines could be:

1. Favor cleaner technologies over dirtier ones. Include nuclear waste in the dirty category. Tax pollution. Demand full restitution for oil spills, nuclear accidents etc. No publicly paid cleanup. Insurance must be provided for all facilities.

2. Favor safer technologies over unsafe ones.

3. Allow all technologies to compete without subsidies. Remove subsidies now in place. This won't happen however.

4. Make all federal multi use lands available for approved energy developments.

5. Invite all nations to work together with us on open source technologies.

6. Insist that all publicly supported universities have energy related studies.

7. Provide all open source technology free online, aside from nuclear.

8. Emphasize distributed energy planning that stands alone, but is connected to the grid for redundancy. Encourage independent energy homes and businesses when feasible.

9. Use all possible technologies that are competitive. Sun, concentrated solar, photovoltaic solar, hydro, small hydro, wind, biomass, etc.

10. Use hydrogen production at wind and solar sites to even out demand and production. Use the hydrogen , in generators, as needed.

11. Tax all vehicles based on their pollution and inefficient fuel use.

12. Demand new energy efficient building designs for all new construction, and incorporate geothermal heating and cooling systems.

I would do all of the above, while temporarily tapping all domestic petroleum and coal sources temporarily. That is not the question proposed however. Coal gasification , oil shale etc. I don't think that these solutions are environmentally viable, but should be used, and the pollution taxed, until renewable has replaced them. Nuclear is in the same category to me.

If we were to follow the above guidelines worldwide, petroleum prices would plummet. This might undermine the whole movement unfortunately. So leave the global warming folks keep up the heat.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/19/2008 11:00 AM

Would this not require a command economy approach such as the Soviet Union had? I am not sure that I would like a government that micro-managed my affairs to that level, knowing how corruptable power is. It would require a system of harsh punishments (e.g., re-education camps) to make everyone comply.

It would be preferable to me to educate and inspire people to want to make changes of their own volition, rather than have the heavy hand of government change my behavior (while they of course still drive huge cars and live in big houses themselves).

Just look at how the change in gas prices has changed the vehicle buying habits in the USA during the last year. I have faith in most people doing the right thing when they see it themselves and not have it preached/forced on them.

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#26
In reply to #11

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/21/2008 5:01 AM

This is good answer in that it seems to recognize, even if it doesn't, the fallacy of the other "energy policy" would be good answers, but still fails to get to the nut of the issue: a recognition of the need--better said, the inevitability--of social reorganization of a kind and on a level consistent with scarcer energy...hence: non-positive global fertility rate; rationing of mobility; concentration of populations; curtailment of disposability/obsolescence..., and so forth.

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#30
In reply to #10

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 2:52 PM

You say favor cleaner technologies and favor safer technologies, but how do you favor a technology except through subsidies?

You ask that all federal land be made available for "approved technologies", but by put a technology on an "approved" list, the government would in effect be subsidizing those technologies by giving them preferential treatment.

You demand that all technologies be allowed to compete without subsidies, yet in the same breath you demand that approved technologies be favored, which is it??

You want to use all possible technologies that are competitive, yet the technologies you list are simply not competitive compared to existing coal fired power generation. You also neglected to mention nuclear. Why wouldn't we include nuclear power? Nuclear, in this country at least, has an immaculate safety record.

You demand new energy efficient building designs while neglecting the fact that these energy efficient designs while less costly to operate are generally more costly to purchase up front than 'standard' systems. When given the choice, most people will buy the most cost effective system they can afford. Unfortunately, the initial cost of geothermal systems is out of reach for many people.

Finally, you demand that all vehicles be taxed. This policy would have the greatest impact on those who are least able to afford it. Those in urban areas could utilize mass transit, but those in rural areas would have to decide if they could afford to drive to work.

In short, your policy would have the unintended consequence of creating two very distinct classes of people in our country. One class would be made up of those who could afford all of these very costly changes, and the other would be made up of those who could not. At the same time, we would destroy our economy trying to pay for it all.

What is needed is a commonsense energy policy. There is a lot of ground between the type of heavy-handed approach that you propose, and the ruinous energy policies employed by countries such as China.

Yet far too often in this debate we draw a line in the sand, then rush to the extremes and refuse to compromise.

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#32
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 8:22 PM

At the heart of my proposals is the desire to tax pollution, so that we pay the true cost of the various energy technologies. If you can convince the EPA that clean coal and nuclear are the best solutions, they would have priority on government lands. You will have to go through our elected representatives also.

I am not anti nuclear. I am against more nuclear plants until we figure out how to protect them and the used fuel rods from terrorists. You probably would prefer not to think about those costs. I am also for clean coal. Two clean coal plants within 40 miles of my house have been put on the back burner due to not being in Texas, relating to the Mattoon, Illinois plant. The Taylorville, Illinois plant was stopped by lobbying from dirty coal plant owners. They just want to keep doing things the way they have been doing them. I would love to see these plants built! I am not in the coal business either. I would also like to see coal gasification, so long as pollution is under control.

Yes, I would like to see very large vehicles taxed extra. No tax on fuel efficient vehicles. I think that people who insist on driving large vehicles should pay a little extra. They are also endangering people who will be driving smaller vehicles. I remember when my brother in law went out and bought a very large pickup truck, just because the Congress decided to give out three thousand dollar rebates on businessmen who use them. This was really just a gift to Detroit. By the way, Detroit now has its hand out for low interest loans to save their butt.

I am for developing all forms of energy that is less polluting, but we need energy regardless. Even if it does pollute somewhat. Let's just do the best we can. All of this will be decided by our elected representatives. That is the way things work in America. If the president of Exxon wan't to run for president, he can go for it. He woul d miss his 100 million dollar annual bonuses however.

You can favor a technology by choosing those that are most desirable for the American people, or whatever people you are talking about. Taxing pollution seems, to me, to be the wisest and fairest way to go. Nuclear proponents are free to elect those who favor those technologies. I may be overly concerned about their safety, and the spent fuel rods but I find that the proponents of nucear plants just choose to ignore the issue all together, and pretend it doesn't exist.

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#23

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/20/2008 1:51 AM

I'm not sure how this post transformed so quickly into a political, social and religious debate. The question is concerning whether we, as a nation, would be able to transition our energy infrastructure, within a specified time frame, into one that is no longer reliant upon non-sustainable fuel sources.

Can this question be answered without us falling into a pattern of finger pointing, negativity and name calling? Can comments be accompanied with references so that the rest of us can educate ourselves on your viewpoint?

WindGenMan

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/20/2008 3:21 AM

I believe people who participate to this debate have seen the new technologies BioPower Systems develop. This looks like another step in the right direction to me. Maybe just a few (tenth of) percents gained within ten years, but the prospects their technology open are much encouraging.

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#27
In reply to #23

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 11:57 AM

I can answer how this turned into a "political...debate". It is because too many peolpe believe in the falisity that the government can tax us into doing whatever they want regardless of right or wrong. That is always the slowest and least economical way to solve anything.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 1:32 PM

Hello Guest

...and sometimes, such political conversations and messy convergence(s) evolve from knowing that Everything IS Connected...policy and procedures; attitudes and actions; etc.

My decision to attach a small wind turbine to my urban roof changes not only my utility bill, but may change my neighbors' RE reluctance to enthusiam, which may change a city ordinance, which may spark creating of a state incentive for renewables...ya never know!...and seeing the Connection is not always clear from the getgo.

We always have the ability to concentrate on 'either this or that' specifically, BUT regularly pulling the string, hoping to see what's attached to a specific action, technology, or policy.

I respect/value all of these conversations because I KNOW we always have the opportunity to decide to focus on specific from general, or move to general from a specific topic or technology.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 2:32 PM

i just wish they had some way of rating off topic answer good or bad. rather than just if you agree or disagree that it is off topic, who cares about that. i would give you a good answer for this.

joe

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#31
In reply to #23

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/26/2008 4:04 PM

In case you didn't notice, the answer is no.

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#33

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/27/2008 1:51 AM

Is this renewables target reachable and realistic?

yes it is reachable and realistic. it would have been a lot easier if the conservatives in the white house and the legislature had not pursued a course to intentionaly run the national debt so high that meaningful improvements in infrastructure are now doubtful due to lack of money. the administration coming in will be saddled with so much national debt that they only choice they will have will be to reduce the national debt. this will be at the expense of all social programs, which is just what the conservatives planned. they should feel ashamed for what they have done, but instead they are proud of it.

i feel this country is in great distress. i feel that the distress has building for a long time and will get far worse. the incoming administration will be helpless to influence events. it is like we are in a river and the boat is approaching the waterfall and we can not get out. protesting and pointing fingers will not help laying blame will not help. the current (no pun intended) way of life is not working. why is savings interest taxable? why are the largest companies allowed to not pay any taxes? this is a fact, not something to be proud of. why isn't health care, non-profit? why is higher education only affordable by the wealthy? why is wealth being concentrated in fewer and fewer people?

what will life be like when there is no longer a middle class? who is going to buy the goods that drive our economy then? when people no longer have money to support the "service economy", what is left? what happens when we get to hyper-stagflation? my greatest hope is that the republican party goes the way of other defunct political parties. it will not happen though. they will re-create themselves. they will change their retoric. they will wrap themselves in the flag and patriotism and blame it all on the rest of us.

for those of you out there that think this is all bs. before you trivialize this, or demonize this, understand that i blame you for the ills of this country.

joe

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/30/2008 5:33 AM

Re: Why is higher education only available to the wealthy?

You have got to be kidding. This is a often stated falsity. Anyone who has an average intelligence can attend a two year community college very inexpensively. They can then go to a state college. There are low interest loans available also. Or you can serve your country in the armed forces and go to school free while in. Then you can go to more college later, as I did in the sixties and seventies.

We have a far higher percentage of college educated people than ever. A majority of them are women.

The real problem, is that we are not educating enough people for real jobs that are available. Nursing programs can only admit about half the people that are qualified applicants, yet we have a terrible nursing shortage. Microbiology and anatomy and physiology courses are not being tailored for real life nursing, but for others.

Community colleges are turning out people to do real jobs whereas many college graduates can not even find a job. We need to focus our universities on the real world's needs. Not what the professors want to teach.

Another problem is the high school dropout rate. These kids need an open door to attend alternative programs.

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#35
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

08/30/2008 9:13 AM

ronwagn,

i agree with a lot of what you said. however you are only talking about the status quo of education.

my point is that if our government is going to waste trillions of dollars on worthless things, why not put some of that instead towards paying for the education of at least the bottom third of society, if not everyone who wants to continue with education.

if a student is poor enough to need to get a student loan, why not give them a grant in aid instead. or possibly total forgiveness of the loan when they graduate. student loans can not be included in bankruptcy proceedings, so they follow you thru life, with the collection agency able to take money from your pay checks for the rest of your life, plus taking your income tax returns and any other money due you from the government. and this is because the collection agency has bought your debt from the federal government for pennies on the dollar. so the government has given away your debt to a collection agency. why not give it to you instead, so that you can start out life as a normal person. how much does the government sell the debt for? does anybody know? perhaps if that is what the government is willing to settle for, why doesn't it just sell the debt to the ex student, or just forgive it completly? education should be a priority of society, not tax incentives to oil companies, or no tax paid corporations.

also, this along with welfare should not be administrated by welfare departments or huge deptments of the government. we already have one of those functioning and working. it is called the irs. if your income is low and you are a student, the government should be sending you money, not the other way around. fraud is fraud. the irs is already set up to deal with that as criminal matters.

thank you for your comments. i appreciate that they were positive in tone, even if you disagreed with me.

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#39

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/01/2008 12:31 AM

Algore is in it for money and politics, along with the environmental "Chicken Littles" who follow his GW, anti CO2 line. They breathe, therefore they emit CO2. If they call CO2 a pollutant, perhaps they should stop emitting it, then we could get on with resolving the real problems without the nits.

I am in favor of using every possible source of energy, without subsidies, that are cost effective and practical. The cost of energy should not rise as a percentage of our expenses. A rise in cost means a lower standard of living. So expensive risky schemes done only in the name of being "green" or renewable can be ruled out until they are perfected.

There is no source of energy that can completely replace oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower or nuclear power and all the alternatives are opposed by some wacky bunch of environmentalists. Solar is good, except at night, since electricity is difficult and expensive to store. Environmentalists object to the size of the collectors affecting the environment and "visual pollution". Wind power is fine as long as the wind blows steadily, variations of output can be a problem. Environmentalists object to their killing of birds and "visual pollution". Tidal/wave power is not very practical. Geothermal works well and is clean. Environmentalists worry about the effect of taking the heat out of the Earth and causing volcanoes/earthquakes. Ethanol competes with people for food and farmland and environmentalists say it causes pollution to make it.

There are militant environmentalists who want their programs enacted into law. PETA and the vegetarians and vegans want the eating of meat banned and the use of any animal product or labor also banned. The pro-wildlife extremists want huge areas placed off-limits to people and they want the world's population to decline drastically so they won't impact on the animals. The Algore anti-CO2 crowd would ban fire. No fire, no cooking, which some of these groups would like because they think raw organic food is better. They could not have metal tools without fire and would have to grub out their organic vegetables, and eat them raw, with stone tools. Welcome to the environmentalist Stone Age. It would probably never get to that point, but it serves to illustrate how it would be if all their ideals were put into practice, by law.

I think a steam-electric hybrid plug-in EV car makes sense because it could be made to use any fuel available. EVs are not yet affordable or practical equivalents of IC powered cars. It will take time to invent batteries light and cheap enough to provide the same range and speed as a fueled car. Hydrogen is simply not practical because it is too inefficient. It takes electricity to make H, then it has to be transported and stored, which is difficult. To power a car for the same distance as gasoline, the H tank has to be at 10,000 psi and 5 times larger than the gasoline tank.

The greater the distance between the generating plant and the place where the electricity is used, the more is lost due to transmission distance. Solar or wind plants would have to be as close to the cities they supply as present coal, nuclear or hydro plants. Building them in a desert keeps them out of sight, but wastes electricity in transmission. A solar plant makes no electricity at night, when you need lights. It has been suggested that the plant make H during the day which can be burned to make a steam generator produce power at night. What do you make the H from? Water. But it's a desert. Doh!! Now you have to build a pipeline to bring in the water when we are nearing a major water shortage. And the desert is a long way from the cities too.

No, the renewables target is not reachable or realistic. We need fusion power and cheap, light, small, powerful batteries. That will solve the problem, but it may be a long time coming. We should ignore the environmentalists and the Algores and just use whatever alternatives are practical, make everything as efficient as possible and continue our lives. Drilling for oil is a stopgap measure to keep the price down and give us some more time. Making clean synthetic gasoline from coal will buy even more time. Genetically engineered plants to produce fuel in areas that are marginal for crops would help.

Using solar panels on buildings and other things to supplement our power and reduce dependence on the usual sources is good. Alternative energy sources to reduce our use of traditional sources is good, if it is cost-effective.

I am also a conservationist, I love trees, ducks, fish and deer, they make nice furniture or houses and the animals taste good and are fun to hunt or catch. I want many generations of people to enjoy them like I do. I also want clean air and water, within reason. It is the unreasoning extremists that make me angry.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/02/2008 4:26 AM

There is no source of energy that can completely replace oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower or nuclear power and all the alternatives are opposed by some wacky bunch of environmentalists

Since this is an engineering forum and the point is to teach, share ideas and disseminate information, perhaps you would be so kind as to cite some of the articles you use to back your claims. The only reason I ask is there is just the slightest hint of subjectivity in your comment. By the way here are some articles for you to read.

Articles by "pro-wildlife extremists":

http://www.sierraclub.org/globalwarming/cleanenergy/renewables.asp

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/green-solutions/wind-power

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/green-solutions

http://www.audubon.org/campaign/testimony_0507.html (article by the president of the Audubon Society regarding wind energy and bird kills)

Here's "An Inconvenient Truth" study guide. Please reference where Al Gore would like to "ban fire."

http://prod.takepart.com/social_network/action/ait/studyguides.html

They all appear to contradict your post, yet I did not have to resort to name-calling and belittling. What a concept! Looking forward to a objective, intelligent response.

Many thanks and cheers,

WindGenMan

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/02/2008 7:52 PM

The "new Stone Age" environmentalist is a humorous view based on some of the more far-out items I have seen in newspapers, on TV and written in stories. Naturally an environmentalist can't see the humor.

There are anti-lumber groups that oppose cutting down trees. There are terrorist groups that actually burn new wooden homes in protest. PETA opposes the use of animals for any purpose. There are militant vegetarians and vegans who want to tax meat to stop people from eating it. There are people who are so convinced that organic food eaten raw is the only healthy lifestyle that they would make it so by law if they could. There are anti-CO2 people who are opposed to fireplaces and BBQs in the back yard. I don't think all environmentalists are that nutty, but they do exist and they are the ones I was making fun of.

Name one source of energy that is large enough to power a city the size of Chicago that is not opposed by some environmentalist group. There is none that I have ever heard of. I applaud the research into alternative energies and think we should use any that are cost effective, that do not raise the cost of energy and ignore the nits.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/02/2008 10:06 PM

Opposition to renewable energy comes from both the far left and far right. Both are guilty of creating or employing false information to back their conjectures. My frustration comes when empirical data is totally ignore or disregarded in favor of protecting one's ego. This, unfortunately, is what I encounter when attempting to engage in intelligent dialogue about renewable energy. Could be why I missed the humor in your post.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 12:28 AM

you missed the humor in his post because it wasn't there. it was only humorous in his own mind. in fact i am sure he is chuckling still. i mostly disagree with his concept that the possible higher cost of energy from alternative sources is worse than the higher cost of energy from a monolithic, monopolistic industry. he fails to see that if the cost is going to go up anyway, why not at least go with the non-polluting, monopoly breaking version. in his version, alternative energy will never, ever happen. i look forward to the day when all homes in america are not only energy independent, but the the energy companies are compelled to buy the excess energy from them. here in california the energy company will not pay a dime for energy that you pump into their system. yes, they will let you roll back the meter, but pay you,!!!!!!! hah, that would be unamerican.

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#44
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 1:25 AM

I think you get to the heart of the issue when you talk about the monolithic and monopolistic companies. They are the ones that usually gain control of the politicians.We need competition. Renewables can theoretically meet the total needs of our nation and the world, if we conserve and go to electric vehicles. But oil prices go down as demand decreases. This makes oil more attractive and competitive again. Also, OPEC can manipulate prices to discourage alternative energy technologies from taking off. So it will be much longer.

We need more emphasis on smaller scale distributed plants that can be controlled by individuals, neighborhoods, towns, businesses and cities. They have proven to provide less expensive power to the end customers. The politics is more transparent and easier to influence locally. They will also give us a more reliable grid.

Pollution needs to be controlled or we will no longer have a livable planet. We are making our fish poisonous, and eliminating amphibians, honeybees, fireflies etc. We are also destroying many species of trees on the windward slopes of mountains.

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#46
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 1:39 AM

We need more emphasis on smaller scale distributed plants that can be controlled by individuals, neighborhoods, towns, businesses and cities. They have proven to provide less expensive power to the end customers. The politics is more transparent and easier to influence locally. They will also give us a more reliable grid.

What you describe is called Distributed Energy Resources (DER) technologies by the Department of Energy and is being taken very seriously as a solution to many of our current and future energy needs. Here is an NREL link that describes this concept further:

http://www.nrel.gov/programs/deer.html

WindGenMan

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#53
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/04/2008 2:36 PM

Thanks for the energy dept. site. It mentioned micro turbines. These can run off of natural gas, and are used in Europe for combined heat and power by some residences. They are also used in some commercial applications around the world. I have often wondered why we don't use them more, especially since natural gas is relatively cheap in the USA. A link also mentioned solar powered air conditioning. It seems that it is getting close to prime time. It would have a major impact by slashing electrical use.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/04/2008 4:18 PM

Although certainly not for residential use, my company forges many parts for Land_based_gas_turbines.

Basically, a jet engine hooked up to a generator. GE is big in this field.

I was intrigued by your mention of micro turbines.

Amateur gas turbines

"A popular hobby is to construct a gas turbine from an automotive turbocharger. A combustion chamber is fabricated and plumbed between the compressor and turbine. Like many technology based hobbies, they tend to give rise to manufacturing businesses over time. Several small companies manufacture small turbines and parts for the amateur. See external links for resources."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_turbine

I intend to further research this, and will report back with my findings.

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#55
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/04/2008 6:07 PM

Wikipedia has a nice article under Micro combined heat and power. They mention the Freewatt that saves half the electricity bill. That is if you need heat in your area. The colder the better. There are several manufacturers, but most are larger scale.

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#47
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 1:54 AM

Actually, when a meter runs backwards (net metering), PG&E is buying your power at a retail rate because the excess energy is credited and can be used during peak hours. However, there is a time limit on your credited energy. If you don't use it, you lose it. PG&E will pay you for your power if you contract with them as an independent distributor, but at a rate of $.097/kwh. Not worth the effort.

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#51
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 11:11 PM

A cousin of mine lives outside Santa Ana. His home has solar cells on the roof with a two way meter, and yes, they do pay him.

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#56
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/05/2008 5:42 PM

artbyjoe-

"When Clinton lied, nobody died" establishes your political position, which has no sense of humor about being made the object of humor. I can laugh at the silliness of both sides. I suppose all large business is viewed by you as "monolithic, monopolistic industry". While inflation or scarcity may drive prices up, I don't want the prices driven up by a bunch of "greens" and restrictive laws to no reasonable purpose. Do you really think the big energy companies will be broken by the alternatives? No, they will own the alternatives too.

I would cheer if every home in America was energy independent. It would be nice if the electric utulities had to buy your excess production, in some places they do. I am in favor of supplementing, replacing, some of our energy sources with the alternatives, but not at huge increases in cost just to be "environmentalist friendly". We need to do more research into fusion power and cheap, small, high energy batteries before we can make a clean break with present energy sources. Have some patience and cool off. Laugh a little, those CA utility companies are short of power and hurt themslves by not buying from independents.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/05/2008 8:44 PM

artbyjoe-

you said :"When Clinton lied, nobody died" establishes your political position,

............i did not think anyone could mistake my political position. my feeling is that if you do not say no to things you think are wrong, then you are just as wrong as them. we have the freedom of speech and expression. that means i can call an elephant an elephant and unless i am making libel i am protected. i think any company or business, or field of business that believes it is above the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. i believe that any of the above that uses its position of power to keep in power by exerting its power to the detriment of society is wrong. i see nothing humorous in it. i believe health care is out of control because doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are all "for profit". i believe there is nothing wrong with social security and that it should not be touched. i believe everything is wrong with medicare. the biggest problem is that medicare must pay the profits of all of those groups. those profits are not God given rights. those profits are at the sufferance of our government and subject to the rights of society. if the government would just declare that profits in the health care industry were illegal and punishable by fine and imprisonment, health care would not be expensive. i have nothing against people in that industry making a wage for work given. but why should any stockholders profit because i am sick?

you said: which has no sense of humor about being made the object of humor.

..................i am sorry, i just don't see any humor in your ugly words. i also don't see any humor in many of your positions.

you said: I can laugh at the silliness of both sides. I suppose all large business is viewed by you as "monolithic, monopolistic industry". While inflation or scarcity may drive prices up, I don't want the prices driven up by a bunch of "greens" and restrictive laws to no reasonable purpose. Do you really think the big energy companies will be broken by the alternatives? No, they will own the alternatives too.

..................part of this i don't agree with part i do. i believe that inflation and scarcity, that you don't mind, are the result of monopolistic practices. as long as those companies are allowed to continue those monopolistic practices inflation and scarcity will continue unabated. that means they will gouge every penny they can from you. as far as they are concerned the worst thing you could do to them is say no. the oil companies are the worst. they are sending the wealth out of our country, because it props up their profits. they do everything in their power, money, influence, legal and illegal they can to prevent alternatives to them. that is just wrong. why do you think chevron bought the battery technology from GM then sued everyone that was using it. they set back electric cars by 10 to 15 perhaps 20 years.they still won't let anybody use it. so, we get the pollution and they get the profits. at least they are happy, but i fail to see the humor or rightness in it.

you said: I would cheer if every home in America was energy independent. It would be nice if the electric utulities had to buy your excess production, in some places they do. I am in favor of supplementing, replacing, some of our energy sources with the alternatives, but not at huge increases in cost just to be "environmentalist friendly". We need to do more research into fusion power and cheap, small, high energy batteries before we can make a clean break with present energy sources. Have some patience and cool off. Laugh a little, those CA utility companies are short of power and hurt themslves by not buying from independents.

.............i totally disagree with you. look what happened when the government said leave the internet alone. you cannot tax any part of it. it blossomed into one of the driving forces of our world. without driving costs thru the roof. the same thing would happen with alternative energy if the government wanted to and was allowed to do. but as long as monopolistic companies control our government and protect their own self interests, society will suck hind tit. hoping for things to get better, just by leaving things as they are is self defeating. the octopus will never let go.

...............so i agree with you. i don't have a sense of humor about this.

.............also, i do not believe that corperations should have the same rights as people. they are not people. they are business's. i don't believe that state charted incorperations should have more rights than society. they do. it is established law, but it is wrong.

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#59
In reply to #56

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/05/2008 11:54 PM

Good Answer.

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#45
In reply to #41

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 1:32 AM

I share your frustration with many environmentalists, and voted your post as good. I disagree with overlooking real pollution however, and I don't think you want it anymore than anyone else. Many would prefer not to see power lines, windmills, refineries et all, but will still scream about the price of energy. Fortunately, I think, that the majority wants inexpensive power and will prevail. I think that pollution should be taxed fairly. That introduces a real cost into the accounting.

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#57
In reply to #45

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/05/2008 6:49 PM

ronwagn-

Thanks. I certainly don't want the noxious pollution, I lived next to the blue, "snowy", stink of a paper mill for a year and I know what it is like. Awful!

Energy costs are roughly 20% of my income and I am opposed to anything that would make them higher, because then I would eat less, wear clothes until well-worn, go out less and basically have to lower my standard of living. Perhaps these rabid environmentalists, the ones who want to switch to "clean" energy in such a hurry at such a high cost are all rich. They are supposed to be the "good people" who worry about poverty, yet would cause poverty with their blind "Save the Planet" zeal. Zealots seldom have any regard for or recognition of the damage they cause.

If you have ever seen Jay Leno's Jaywalking segment you have seen that ordinary people are often totally ignorant. Sometimes I think that some environmentalists think electricity comes from the wall, water comes from a faucet, gas comes from a gas station and have no real understanding of what is involved. The Brits who demonstrated against the building of a new electric generating plant should have had their electricity turned off to help make up for the lack of power. [That's humor.]

CO2 is not a pollutant and should not be taxed. Taxing pollution does not help clean it up, because it takes away the money needed to clean it up. Use a fine that rebates back to the company when it cleans up, then they don't lose plus having to spend more to clean up. I also don't like to see all those power lines on wooden poles, but I won't demand that they all be put undrground, just the new ones. I don't even like to see houses and office buildings, they should be underground or hidden by trees. However I am also realistic and practical and know the world will not be perfect.

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#52
In reply to #40

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/04/2008 1:44 PM

Hola,

here you will find some more information about our 100% Renewable project. Some of it in English most in Spanish and in German:

15.08.2008El parque solar de Tijarafe ´entrará´ en la red en un mesLa Opinión (ES)Internet
10.08.2008La Palma 100% renovable creará 600 empleosLa Opinión (ES)Internet
22.07.2008Auf La Palma beginnt die erste Bauphase des Solarparks La PuntaKanaren Internet Portal (ES)Internet
19.07.2008La Palma: Erste Bauphase des Solarparks 'La Punta'
hat begonnen
Kanaren Nachrichten (ES)Internet
15.07.2008La Palma busca autoabastecerse al cien por cien de energías limpiasEl Día (ES)press article
12.07.2008La Palma wird zu 100 Prozent erneuerbarKanaren-Express (ES)press article
08.07.2008Tazacorte espera generar casi el 20% del consumo eléctricoCanarias7 (ES)internet
08.07.2008Tazacorte espera generar casi el 20% del consumo eléctricoCanarias7 (ES)press article
05.07.2008Proyecto con futuroTopCanarias (revista La Opinión) (ES)press article
02.07.2008Solantis tramita un parque solar
con una potencia de 10
megavatios
El Día (ES)press article
02.07.2008Solantis tramita un parque solar
con una potencia de 10
megavatios
El Día (ES)internet
02.07.2008El alcalde pide que se potencie la línea energética para construir un parque solarDiario de Avisos (ES)internet
02.07.2008El alcalde pide que se potencie la línea energética para construir un parque solarDiario de Avisos (ES)press article
27.06.2008El crecimiento de las plantas solaresD'Ocasión (ES)press article
21.06.2008La suficiencia energética necesita 507 millones de inversión privadaDiario de Avisos (ES)Internet
21.06.2008La suficiencia energética necesita 507 millones de inversión privadaDiario de Avisos (ES)press article
21.06.2008La Palma aspira a producir la energía que consume en 7 añosDiario de Avisos (ES)press article
21.06.2008Las cuentas subvencionadas de la energía eléctricaDiario de Avisos (ES)press article
21.06.2008Solantis impulsa el proyecto "LaPalma
100% renovable"
Diario de Avisos (ES)press article
13.06.2008Baubeginn des Solarparks
in La Punta de Tijarafe
D'Ocasión (ES)press article
07.06.2008

PARQUE SOLAR

El Independiente de Canarias (ES)internet
06.06.2008La Palma - Deutsches Unternehmen liefert 10.000 Solarpanele für den Solarpark 'La Punta'Kanaren Nachrichten (DE)internet
05.06.2008

COMIENZAN LAS OBRAS DEL PRIMER PARQUE SOLAR EN LA PALMA

La Laguna Ahora (ES)internet
05.06.2008

Comienza un programa para que La Palma se autoabastezca de energía renovable

Ecoticias (ES)internet
05.06.2008

ISLAND TO SEE USD 490M OF INVESTMENT IN DRIVE FOR 100% RENEWABLE POWER

New Energy Finance (GB)newsletter
05.06.2008

En marcha el primer parque energético de Canarias que puede seguir al Sol

SODEPAL La Palma (ES)internet
05.06.2008Parque Solar La Punta: Colocación de la Primera PiedraRadio Luz Garafía (ES)radio reportage
05.06.2008Parque Solar La Punta: Colocación de la Primera PiedraCanal 11 (ES)radio reportage
05.06.2008

La energía del sol

Diario de Avisos (ES)press article
05.06.2008

La energía del sol

Diario de Avisos (ES)internet
05.06.2008

En marcha el primer parque solar energético de Canarias que puede seguir al Sol

El Día (ES)press article
05.06.2008

En marcha el primer parque solar energético de Canarias que puede seguir al Sol

El Día (ES)internet
05.06.2008

El primer huerto solar tendrá 10.900 módulos fotovoltaicos

Canarias7 (ES)press article
05.06.2008

El primer huerto solar tendrá 10.900 módulos fotovoltaicos

Canarias7 (ES)internet
05.06.2008

Tijarafe acoje el primer gran parque solar de Canarias

La Opinión (ES)press article
05.06.2008

Tijarafe acoje el primer gran parque solar de Canarias

La Opinión (ES)internet
04.06.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaRadio Nacional España (ES)radio interview15:00
04.06.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaCope La Palma (ES)radio interview8:00
04.06.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaCadena Ser (ES)radio interview25:00
03.06.2008

Mañana comienza la instalación del mayor parque solar de Canarias en Tijarafe

Diario de Avisos (ES)internet
02.06.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaOnda Cero (ES)radio interview5:00
02.06.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaTelevisión La Palma (ES)TV interview60:00
29.05.2008La Palma 100% Renovable, parque solar La PuntaCadena Ser (ES)radio interview10:00
16.05.2008

El fin de la era del petróleo

D'Ocasión (ES)press article
16.05.2008Energía renovableCanal 6 (ES)TV reportage60:00
08.05.2008

Un estudio determina los enclaves idóneos para colocar placas solares

Diario de Avisos (ES)press article
27.04.2008

18 Mio. Euro für einen Fotovoltaik-Park in Tijarafe

Wochenblatt (CAN)press article
15.04.2008

Comienzan las obras de un parque solar en Tijarafe

La Opinión (ES)press article
04.04.2008En "La Punta" de lanza de la modernidadD'Ocasión (ES)press article
13.03.2008

18 millones de euros para un nuevo parque fotovoltaico

Diario de Avisos (ES)press article
13.03.2008

18 millones de euros para un nuevo parque fotovoltaico

Ayuntamiento de Tijarafe (ES)internet
29.02.2008Transporte futuro - Scooter eléctricoCanarias directo (ES)TV reportage4:07
27.02.2008Transporte futuro - Scooter eléctricoCanal 8 (ES)TV reportage1:32
15.02.2008Transporte futuro - Scooter eléctricoCanal 11 (ES)radio reportage12:29
08.02.2008Transporte de futuro en La PalmaD'Ocasión (ES)press article
05.02.2008

Tijarafe tendrá uno de los mayores parques solares de Canarias

El Día (ES)press article
01.02.2008Transporte futuro - Scooter eléctricoCanal11 (ES)TV reportage2:30
24.09.2007La Palma 100% RenovableCanal11 (ES)radio reportage16:30
14.09.2007La Palma 100% RenovableCadena Ser (ES)radio reportage
20.08.2007Klimaschutz: Selbst ist die InselFocus (DE)press article

you can find the links here:http://www.solantis.eu/EN/aktuelles.html (sorry, at the moment not for all the articels, radio interviews and TV-films, we are very busy with the project itself and therefore the webpage is not up to date)

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#48

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 10:03 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Boone_Pickens

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

This Pickens guy has been spending a lot of money advertising his plan. What do you think?

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 12:32 PM

hello bricktop, i rate your post GA for great answer.

the literature looks good and believable. the only down side i see, is that his and others natural gas vehical fueling stations are not spread out enough to do cross country travel. i looked at the site recommended for ngv stations. the honda civic gx has claims for 200 to 300 miles per tank, while many of the distances between stations are over 350. if they were serious about this, they would have to double the number of stations on the major interstates. as it is, it looks good if you are in an area with an abundance of stations. i.e. the san francisco bay area and oklahoma, utah, colorado metro area, and many parts of the north east. i also notice that there is a wide range in prices. the highest being over $4. i also notice that the stations in canada are all under $1 with most of them being $0.70, while the stations across the border in the us are all $1.70 and up. perhaps the natural gas pipelines should follow the interstates. this would make the ngv a viable approach for the entire nation. so, it looks like they would need at least 10 times the number of fueling stations than are shown on the map. in fact, realisticly you would need at least one in every town in america. it could be done. it is a do-able plan. also, there is the easy potential of a natural gas/hybrid electrical vehical. also the natural gas fuel cell electrical vehical. both of these with plug in capability, to take advantage of all those windmills.

i really like the tie in between wind energy replacing natural gas as an electrical energy supply freeing up the natural gas for vehical use. i like the fact that his wind farms will not negativly impact farming or farm food prices and that it is non polluting. there is much to applaud about this plan. i like the fact that one 3 gig windmill has the potential of supplying the energy needs of 12,000 homes per year, thereby reducing the need for oil, coal, ng and nuclear powered power plants. i like the fact that the wind energy potential is enough to meet global demand for electricity 7 times over with only using 20% of the available wind. then you would see oil prices drop back to $2 or $3 dollars per barrel. we would then be back "in the good old days".

most likely oil companies and their shareholders would not be negativly impacted. this is because as oil goes down and wind goes up, the oil companies and their shareholders would jump on the wind energy bandwagon to avoid extinction.

it all looks win/win to me.

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/03/2008 2:35 PM

Obviously, T. Boone is a shrewd business man which of course means he has personal and financial interest in promoting his plan.

Having said that, I think he is genuinely concerned with the transfer of our nation's wealth to other countries as a result of our dependency on foreign oil.

Being an oil man, he fully understands the concept of "peak oil," and knows that the quantity and quality of crude product underneath our own soil is greatly overstated and is not worth the high cost to extract. I quote:

"World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn't enough of it to keep up with demand.

"The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone" (http://www.pickensplan.com)

He admits that natural gas is not a panacea (still produces CO2, though 25-30% less than gasoline) but merely a transitional fuel until a cleaner, cheaper fuel comes along. The nations transportation fuel infrastructure would be relatively inexpensive to transition into one that supports NG. Though he focuses exclusively on the economic liability of oil dependency, what does that that matter if the outcome happens to reduce the ouput of CO2 as an added benefit?

So, despite his personal agendas, past political affiliations and his financial support of the "Swift-Boat" campaign in the 2004 presidential race, I have respect for him.

WinGenMan

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#60
In reply to #50

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 2:31 AM

Wind, solar energy built on temporary tax breaks

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 50 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Congress is putting the short-term future of renewable energy companies in jeopardy even as the presidential candidates and most lawmakers hail windmills, solar panels and biofuels as long-term solutions to high gasoline prices and global warming.

Some $500 million in investment and production tax credits will expire Dec. 31 unless Congress renews them. Without that help, solar and wind power companies say they will reverse planned expansions and, in many cases, cut payrolls and capital investment.

Schott Solar has visions of quadrupling its operation in Albuquerque, N.M., to reach 1,500 jobs and $500 million in investment. But the investment tax credit, company spokesman Brian Lynch said, is what makes solar power cost-competitive. Without it, expansion plans must be reconsidered.

"We don't want to build a giant factory that the market doesn't need or want," Lynch said.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says some 20 utility-scale solar power plants, many in California and together capable of producing power for a million homes, are at risk because of the uncertainty in Congress.

Proponents of wind power, a nascent industry that relies on skittish investors, are in a similar predicament. Greg Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association says his group is predicting a loss of 76,000 jobs and $11.4 billion in investment if Congress allows its production tax credit to expire.

"Investors like to know what tax policies apply when they are putting millions of dollars down on a project. There's a pretty clear history that these projects are less likely to go forward without a credit," he said.

Congress let the credit expire in 2000, 2002 and 2004. In those three years, wind capacity installation dropped 93 percent, 73 percent and 77 percent, respectively, from the previous year.

Navigant Consulting, which advises on renewable energy technology, estimated that investments in wind and solar power in 2009 would amount to $26.6 billion with the credits; that would fall to $7 billion without them.

The credits are expected to total $334 million, according to congressional estimates.

"These companies are shutting down projects, firing people and it's Congress's fault," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Investment tax credits, available to homeowners and businesses that invest in solar power equipment, and the production tax credit, based on kilowatt hours of energy produced by wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewables, are only two of dozens of temporary tax breaks that die out after a year or two if Congress does not revive them.

This year Congress is considering tax-extenders worth more than $50 billion over the next decade. The production tax credit would cost $7 billion and two solar investment credits would cost $2.7 billion over 10 years.

In addition to breaks for renewable energy and energy conservation, several dozen other tax breaks are targeted to businesses and individuals. They include people paying state and local sales taxes; parents with higher education tuition costs; and teachers with out-of-pocket expenses.

Almost all the provisions are popular. But Senate Republicans have blocked consideration of tax-extender plans by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. GOP lawmakers are protesting efforts to offset the costs with other taxes or other items attached to the proposals. In the House, conservative Democrats promise to block any extension that adds to the deficit.

That's nothing new.

In 2006, Congress did not come together on a tax-extender deal until December, forcing the Internal Revenue Service to delay processing returns claiming several of the tax breaks. In 2007 Congress never agreed on extenders and again waited until December, causing more IRS disruption, to settle another annual tax crisis, the alternative minimum tax.

That tax was, enacted 40 years ago, was supposed to keep a tiny number of very rich people from avoiding taxes. But it never was adjusted for inflation and now reaches into the pockets of 4 million people, mainly upper middle-income. Millions more are threatened every year until Congress steps in, usually at the last possible moment. The Baucus bill has provisions to keep those affected by the tax from growing to 25 million, at a cost of $61 billion over the next decade.

"A big part of the problem is uncertainty," said Marie Lee, a tax analyst with the American Electronics Association. "Our companies are getting tired of this game."

The biggest concern for high-tech companies and manufacturers is the research and development credit, which expired at the end of last year. Some 17,700 corporations claimed $6.6 billion in credits in 2005, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young LLP. About 70 percent of that went to pay wages of scientists and engineers.

The credit has been allowed to expire 13 times since it was adopted in 1981. One repercussion, said Monica McGuire, executive secretary of the R&D Credit Coalition, is that more companies are taking their research dollars overseas.

"It's a global race for R&D dollars," she said, and the odds are not good when at least 20 developed nations offer tax incentives and the United States currently has nothing.

Putting expiration dates on tax breaks is a useful budget gimmick for lawmakers seeking to mask the growing federal budget deficit.

Because they are set to expire at a certain date by law, they do not count as revenue losses after that date even though most people assume Congress eventually will act to extend them. The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are the biggest extenders of all in this respect. Trillions of dollars will be added to the federal debt if Congress chooses to make them permanent after they are set to expire in 2010.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 2:40 AM

BULL WindGenMan is a carpet bagger and instead of citing sierrra club propaganda, tell us this--If the wind doesn't blow Thursday, Friday and Saturday, how do I have toast?(something else will take up the slack?).

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 6:39 AM

They can turn part of the wind energy into hydrogen, and run it in a fuel cell to produce electricity when the wind isn't blowing. Same with solar power. Another way is to store compressed air in depleted oil wells or other voids undergrounnd.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:33 AM

i think picken's plan is the best approach i have seen so far. www.pickensplan.com/theplan/ i believe other businessmen will eventually see this (because they are shown). there is so much wind potential in the great plains. much of the rest of the country also has good potential but the sites are smaller and scattered. that is good in that, there, each site could feed the area around it without having to move the energy long distances. just look at the wind speed map of the world in the site.

engineering question? how many windmills would it take to supply most of the electrical needs of our country? i would hope that most of the windmills could be manufactured here in the usa. otherwise, we will be again sending our money overseas.

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#64
In reply to #62

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:34 AM

Well, they don't.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:52 AM

There is no effort in storing the energy--If I am wrong, cite some.

The wind blows hard--Make hay or shut down? Shut down. There is a ton of work to do on them and we aren't--We take them out of the box and put them up--Don't dare question the 5 minutes of engineering, just get on board and put some up, before the incentives go away.

This country and worlds problem is energy cost, not just where it comes from. Wind is cute, and is only viable enough for large energy companies to fleece public funds.

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 12:05 PM

Here's another one folks........windgens on private land (leased or otherwise) are subject to liability insurance.

Having read some of the contracts negotiated with private land owners I would ask you to guess where the onus is placed on the above mentioned liability...regardless of stated terms of contract (written by curly haired angels) insurance falls squarely on the shoulders of the landowner/county/township/village/hamlet/cave dweller/etc.

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 2:40 PM

You are absolutely right. There are some farmers out there that regret having signed a land lease contract with some less-than scrupulous developers. However, this is not a condemnation of wind power in general, and this opinion does not reflect the majority of farmers who have leased thousands of acres for wind farm projects and consider them their biggest "cash crop." If you look hard enough, you can find opposition to just about anything, including the spherical shape of Earth (http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm).

Here are some links for you to read about wind farms and farmers.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=nifea&&sid=akd3Lss8Xvbk

http://farmindustrynews.com/mag/farming_wind_power_future/

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/anti-wind_farm_group_advertising_standards_authority.php

www.ofa.on.ca/policyissues/issues/22%20Wind%20Lease%20Considerations%20for%20Farmers.pdf (a point by point guide for farmers who are considering leasing their land for wind farm projects--aways a good idea to do your research, right?)

WGM

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 5:06 PM

Mine is neither opposition nor position. My reference is from Supreme court rulings (US and Ca) detailing the rights and obligations of landowners and hence their 'responsibilities' to ensure safety and be liable for any untoward event that may or may not occur, acts of God notwithstanding. As it stands today and Regardless of contractual obligations the responsibility and liability is ultimately the landowners.

If wind gens are to be implemented (as no doubt they will be) then much more legwork has to be done to detail the rights and obligations of all parties.......including amendments to the law as it stands at this present moment.

I have seen wind gens that have added a great deal of good to small communities whose growth was limited by costly (and old) fuel driven generators. On the other hand I've seen small stream driven turbines implemented in those other communities, where, prior to our government alloting the price on purchasing the surplus generated power, it became fundamentally cost efficient also. In both scenarios everybody hopefully will win. Personally, I sincerely hope they do.

The question is....can they survive the maintenance costs? There isn't much wriggle room given some of the limited and stretched budgets.

Oh...and by the way........as a member in good standing with the Flat Earth Society(International) and former navigator (sans gps) of two world sailings (including the Poles) I would urge an immediate and heartfelt retraction of your last statement or forever lose your allotment of Flat Earth Brownie Points.

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 6:25 PM

Oh...and by the way........as a member in good standing with the Flat Earth Society(International) and former navigator (sans gps) of two world sailings (including the Poles) I would urge an immediate and heartfelt retraction of your last statement or forever lose your allotment of Flat Earth Brownie Points.

Oops. My apologies. I hadn't realized...

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 7:59 PM

The Flat Earth Society forgives you....just remember this....'Perspective is everything'................

cheers

duck

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#72
In reply to #62

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 7:42 PM

Where do you get the raw material to make the hydrogen? Water, you say. How big a pipeline and from what source? Using H to make that much electricity would require some mighty big fuel cells. Checked on the price of the little fuel cells used in cars? Expensive. Could use the H to power a steam engine to run a generator, but that also would require building 2 complete generating plants, one for wind and one to use H or compressed air.

Takes a lot of energy to make H or to compress air. How much extra power would be required to make and/or store enough. H has a nasty habit of leaking and making containers brittle, then BOOM!

Solar power has the same problems with stored energy. What is needed is small, cheap, high energy storage batteries, which we don't have yet. I'm sure they will be developed, but until then wind and solar have a drawback, no power without wind or no power without sun. Both are useful supplements and solar is good on a small scale for individual buildings. Neither is near replacing coal, hydro or nuclear electric power and may still be too expensive to be competitive.

Just tell me that the electricity from either source, with the power storage and co-generation, will be the same price or less than from traditional sources, with figures, and change my mind.

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#67
In reply to #61

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 1:03 PM

Carpetbagger

In United States history, carpetbaggers was the term southerners gave to northerners who moved to the South during Reconstruction, between 1865 and 1877. They formed a coalition with freedmen (freed slaves), and scalawags (southern whites who supported Reconstruction) in the Republican Party. Together they politically controlled former Confederate states for varying periods, 1867–1877.

The term carpetbaggers was used to describe the white northern Republican politicians who came South, arriving with their travel carpetbags. Southerners considered them ready to loot and plunder the defeated South.[1] Although the term is still an insult in common usage, in histories and reference works it is now used without derogatory intent.

Since 1900 the term has been used more widely in the US to describe outsiders' attempting to gain political office or economic advantage, especially in areas (thematically or geographically) to which they previously had no connection.

Thank you Trout for defining who I am. Without your label, I would simply be a nobody drifting aimlessly without an identity.

My quoting of the Sierra Club was in response to a conjecture made by another poster. I'm prone to producing information obtained through research rather than rely on the "carpetbagger" talking heads on TV and talk radio. An art that is definitely lost on your type.

As for your toast, no source of power is guaranteed to run 24/7 without some downtime. That is why most utility companies contract to purchase power from several different sources. I would suggest educating yourself a little more about power distribution before shooting your mouth off. I don't have the time to teach "wind 101" to people whose agenda is obviously to belittle anyone who doesn't think like them.

WGM

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#71
In reply to #60

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 7:16 PM

A tax break is just another way of saying "Subsidy". I don't object to an initial tax-break/subsidy so someone can get started, but then they begin whining about losing their tax-break/subsidy and not being able to compete. If wind, solar or geothermal is going to be successful it must be able to compete in price with coal, hydro and nuclear power. If the electricity produced is too expensive, it will do more harm to force people to use it.

Alternatives should cost the same or less, not more.

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#74
In reply to #71

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 8:09 PM

Amen, Taganan. If you supplant some of the hydro electric power with wind it will be an easy calculation and it can be done on your power bill shortly.

The attitude that some have is that the opinion and lives of those people in these remote areas that are effected by it don't count--WindGenMan and all his hot air about the benefits of wind power is pure snake oil. Worried about labeling after stating that anyone in opposition as being EXTREME left or right--I am smack dab in the middle you ass and how about your handle "WindGenMan". I have good reasons for opposing what is happening--I DON'T oppose wind or any other alternative power--I oppose how it is being done and why and where. The Pacific Northwest has a surplus of power(WE ALWAYS HAVE)--In the late '80's they tied SoCal into the BPA grid (at The Dalles, Ore) and we haven't had an ounce of cheap power since--Now you tell us we need windmills--Actually we don't need anything you're selling(carpetbagger). Enron/Calpine supplied us with a bunch of gas fired power plants which don't run because the cost of gas which produce power cheaper than wind, but the government doesn't force utilities to buy it.

WindGenMan, do you know what an environmental impact study is and have you ever worked on one. We collectively said no a hundred times and then the energy contract (4 Billion to start with) was signed. The wind has blown there longer than recorded history and aside from a couple hippies with their DC battery chargers, there wasn't a single windmill within a hundred miles. Very odd that not a single person would rake in all that free money from the wind.

I don't have anymore time to rant right now.

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 9:04 PM

So you neither you or Tanagan believe nuclear and fossil fuel were ever subsidized? Here, I'll help you out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

Your naivete astounds me.

Once again, I'm subjected to insults and belittlement because neither you or Tanagan have nothing to back up any of your mealy mouth conjectures. "Hot air?" Which of my links have you looked at? How many of the articles I cite have you read? I have challenged both of you in the past to respond directly to research literature I have provided. I received no response. Why? Because you are terrified to face anything that may puncture your bloated egos.

You obviously have nothing constructive to add to an engineering post. There are plenty of political forums out there where conjecture and name calling are quite acceptable. Go play in their yards. They love people like you.

In the meantime, leave this forum to people who have something tangible to contribute.

By the way, there are already "windmills" in The Dalles creating jobs, extra income for farmers and great revenue for the county. I'll back this with some articles:

http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/2007/03/news03-09-07-01.shtml

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22968339/

http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/02/02/afx4606539.html

Oh, and yes I do know about environmental impact studies. I have been involved in one, myself. What I learned is that there are a lot of people out there who oppose wind projects based on their own political agendas. Most are in some way tied to either extremist environmentalist movements, or coal and oil lobby groups. To which do you belong?

WGM

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#75
In reply to #71

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 8:29 PM

i see you dropped oil from your energy mix and added hydro. of course hydro is the cheapest energy out there. that is sort of changing the rules in the middle of the discussion. with the rest of them though, do you calculate the true and total cost to society for using coal, oil and nuclear. how do calculate in the cost of the pollution and the clean up, both of which are paid for by society, either directly thru superfund cleanups or degradation of the environment.

so what you are saying is that if clean alternatives can not be cheaper than dirty fossil fuels and nuclear, then we should keep using dirty fossil fuels and nuclear. the other problem with this point of view is that oil and coal are based on resource extraction. while wind and solar, geothermal, wave et all, are not. the alternative energy systems are definitly still in their infancy and need to be protected from infanticide.

as far as your comment that alternatives should cost less not more. doesn't energy from coal and oil cost more than hydro? remember that wind and solar are more like hydro than any of the others. once the infrastructure is paid for, the ongoing cost of energy is extremly cheap. how does that cost savings factor into the equation? after all, it was worth while building dams at a great cost. the return on investment for them makes the energy very cheap.

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#77
In reply to #75

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 9:41 PM

We were speaking of electric power which generally leaves out oil. The main three sources of electricity, coal, nuclear and hydro, I considered as being averaged together, not on their individual costs as the grid averages them. "the true and total cost to society for using coal, oil and nuclear", "the cost of the pollution and the clean up, both of which are paid for by society, either directly thru superfund cleanups or degradation of the environment." The so-called "true and total cost" is a catch-all phrase for everything that can be even remotely blamed on those energy sources, no matter how tenuous.

"so what you are saying is that if clean alternatives can not be cheaper than dirty fossil fuels and nuclear, then we should keep using dirty fossil fuels and nuclear." The word 'dirty" is prejudicial and there are many degrees of difference between your pristine ideals and really dirty fuels and nuclear. We need to always work toward less pollution, but not at the expense of our being able to live comfortably. So yes, I am saying that if energy from clean alternatives raises my energy bill so that I will have to eat less, dress more poorly and lower my standard of living I don't want them. If they reduce the "true and total cost" of other things so that my standard of living improves or stays the same, then I'm fine with alternatives. It is the monetary bottom line that makes the difference.

I do not oppose alternative energy sources, but I oppose the headlong panicked rush to put them in place at great expense for questionable purposes like GW. I hope to see cheap, small, high energy batteries soon, so that all of this can become practical, as it is not now. Even more I hope to see fusion power plants. However until we get those, I think we will have to use coal [centuries of power there], oil [until it is depleted], nuclear and hydro in as clean a manner as commercially feasible. The environmentalists can pitch fits, but I doubt that the people will lower thier standards of living to please them.

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#78
In reply to #75

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 9:49 PM

I don't read your links--We are polar opposites. You cry about criticism to the wind industry as being mindless insults. Copy and post until you convince yourself as brilliant--What great feat of free thinking have you been credited with. You are a mouth piece for pet rocks and or windmills. They could be viable but you stand poised to prevent any criticism that may help them evolve into something useful. 100% brainless windmill erection until the money disappears. THE MONEY IS IN BUILDING WINDFARMS AND NOT IN POWER PRODUCTION. I know a couple guys that have had to find real jobs in these towns after the wind companies filed bankruptcies and abandoned them--That was the last time the energy contract wasn't renewed. YOU ARE JUST LIKE THEM PRIOR TO IT.

California has drank the Colorado river dry and all of California's' excesses they think they are qualified to advise anyone on anything--Just stay in California where you belong and pine away for the time when we let you divert the Columbia river to sustain you fine people down there.

You are completely obtuse WindGenMan. Animated and emotional to boot.

If you had an ounce of intelligence you should cite a dozen things that could be done to improve them and the industry. StatusQuoMan.

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 10:22 PM

You just keep proving my point. You'll say or do anything to excuse yourself from reading material that will teach you something because you are terrified of being proven wrong. You're not alone in this mind set. Many terrorist organizations forbid their ranks from picking up any literature that does not fully support their distorted beliefs. This way they can continue to consciously kill innocent people without experiencing any internal dissonance. Like I said, join in a political forum and rant to your heart's content. You aren't required to provide anything of intelligence to support your posts.

WGM

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:00 PM

Terrorist? I stopped reading at that point--Stay in California and drink the Colorado and if I ever see a Vespa windmill sticking out of someones butt, I will know it's you. I'll say hi. Save some money StatusQuoGuy you'll need it, because your inflexibility and girlish emotion will land you where you belong. Wind power, IN ITS CURRENT FORM, has been around for a long time and has existed where it belongs, in California.

MOD-2s had some brilliant people working on them--the only thing that has changed since they failed is perception and the people.

Terrorist-- Are you an idiot?

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:06 PM

My kindest regards,

WGM

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#82
In reply to #78

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:16 PM

"I don't read your links--We are polar opposites."

i try to read all posts on alternative energy. it is one of the subjects i am passionate about.

your comments about the guys having to find real jobs: i am sure those guys didn't have anything to do with the bankruptcy. since wind mills are very expensive, and wind mill farms are really, really expensive, it sounds like the people who put up the money for the windmills are the ones who got hurt. in a bankruptcy, the wind mill farm would either get sold or go to the creditors. either way, i see no reason that the farm should not be viable. well, there is one way. if the operators did not due maintenance and just took the profits and ran, that would do it. i am sure some one is getting sued some where for a lot of money. lastly, "the energy contract wasn't renewed". that does not seem to be the fault of the two guys, the town, the wind mill farm, the wind mill farm owners or operators. that sounds like it is the fault of a utility company or companies. i can not imagine the farm not being able to sell the power to someone. your scenario, just doesn't make sense to me. how about some links to corroberate this? or are you just blowing smoke up my tail pipes? i really would like to see something about this.

oh, and california has also sucked my river dry, allowed the loggers to fill the river beds with gravel, and prohibited the gravel quarries from mining holes in the gravel beds, which would provide water rest stops for the salmon and steelhead. and they did this despite our whinning and complaining. perhaps we should have done something stronger, i don't know. i try to avoid things that can put me in jail. but basicly our river (the eel river) is ruined. the power company takes 60% of the water and sends it to the russian river, so that it won't be a dry wasteland. See the "potter valley diversion project".

so, we might be polar opposites. i sure wouldn't like myself if we were twins.

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#85
In reply to #82

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 12:23 AM

On behalf of the State of California, I apologize. BTW, it was pointed out to me by a friend in the forum that Kilgore Trout is pretty far gone mentally to have any reasonable discussion with. That's why I stopped "debating" him. As irrational as he is, I'd be afraid that he would take all of the anger he feels toward me out on those closest to him, and I don't want to be responsible for that.

WGM

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#83
In reply to #78

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/07/2008 11:18 PM

Quoth you...."you should cite a dozen things that could be done to improve them and the industry"

My understanding is that it was incumbent on industry to have worked towards improvement all along. As it stands it appears industry has been usurped by Enron type marketing scams, unscrupulous brokers and ceo's golden parachutes with all the blessings of the free enterprise system and the good ol boy network. Now we find ourselves dependant on imported energy and the equation changes to one of squander.

At this point there is no easy fix. There is, however, an attempt, albeit a rudimentary one, that allows a measure of new ideas to come into focus. Whether that 'baby' lives or dies should not be a measure of practicality but rather of human will to keep it alive. What would be worse..........having tried or not having tried to harness alternate forms of energy? I use the term 'alternate' sparingly but I still hold out on the concept of renewable.

Two bits from my halfshell Mr. Trout.....

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 12:18 AM

Hearts of gold we all have, and well put, Duckinthepond!--

I concur about doing something, but let's not just throw all of our resources for this into the wind. In my opinion it is "marketable" for the incentives and public funds, but not Worthy of them, YET.

Consider this: The funding that is buying wind power hardware is possibly taking funding away some real top notch ideas that might be worth developing. The same energy fat cats that you hate in oil are soaking up the alternative energy now. Most of the big players are international companies. I have relatives there in those divisions--I have been looking at it for a career move--BUT WHEN I DO IT WILL BE FOR MONEY ONLY, as I know the difference.

Now I will may disagree with WindGenMan, but from here forward, offer my apologies for being less than savory and take back anything that may have been taken personal. SORRY.

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#86
In reply to #84

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 12:37 AM

It is rather an emotional issue, no doubt. I apologize, as well. Energy is a very touchy subject because everything in our society relies on it. There is no one energy panacea. Wind is by no means perfect and wind prospectors/developers can be just as mean and money hungry as the next guy. I apologize on their behalf for causing harm to people you know. Fortunately, I personally don't do that type of work and never will. I'm a nuts and bolts guy...with an emphasis on the "nuts."

WGM

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#87
In reply to #86

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 7:46 AM

I stopped posting on this topic over a week ago, as every time I tried to post a scientific argument I was denigrated as ignorant or close-minded. It was disappointing as I would like to work towards the best solutions for our future, not play the kind of tribal games that I had to endure during high school. I enjoy the exchange of ideas but do not look forward to being bullied and shouted down just because I am not with one of the "in" groups. For now I will sit back for awhile and watch the engineering version of pro wrestling play out...

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#89
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 9:28 AM

when they let their hair down it'll upgrade into a love-in................with violins!

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#103
In reply to #86

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/14/2008 7:59 PM

Thanks for your posts. I am a lover of wind generators, for whatever reasons. They just seem like a natural. I have read some critics recently say that they are ugly, and are trying to block them. I was wondering if colors other than white have been considered. Say sky blue when the sky is the main backdrop. Or green when that is the main backdrop.

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#88
In reply to #84

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 8:43 AM

At this moment in time I am working against the construction of a proposed wind mill array close to where I live ( no offence intended WGM) I am doing this because I consider those whose proposal it is to to build it to be unscrupulous when it comes to their own self serving interests (which is fine up to a point). Firstly, their individual technical pedigree leaves a lot to be desired and secondly, they behave like a bunch of shined up slicks and have convinced the folks here that shortly after startup their electrical meters will start running backwards.

The problem is: there's not enough wind here to warrant the arrays construction! According to their claims there is, or rather, there will be! That logic is based on the N. Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the orientation of wind patterns it will ostensibly produce (that's the best one I've heard in years by the way).

What we do have is an already well established grid that could be improved upon. There are also many streams with enough head to warrant building micro generation plants. Unfortunately the payback after building them and at a rate of $.09/kwh selling price ,would, under ideal operating conditions, begin to pay back the communities investment after twenty five years.

Having said this I should point out that I live off the grid and use windgens, solar arrays and a diesel genset. Maintenance is a pain in the ass. Cloudy days cost a small fortune in diesel..... and I would personally welcome the day when the grid was extended the extra 1/2 mile to my house!

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#90
In reply to #88

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 12:28 PM

Surely you don't think they would build them to lose money. We need alternative energy now. Are they somehow fleecing the public? What is the lifespan of a windmill? We need to stop calling them wind mills, and start calling them wind power generators. We aren't milling grain with them anymore. Oh well, windmills is short.

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#91
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 1:23 PM
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#93
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 2:01 PM

Thanks for the link. Looks reputable on the surface.

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#94
In reply to #91

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 3:17 PM

First thing that came up underneath the advertising header was "Dissolve your Corporation for $144".

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#92
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 1:33 PM

I refer to the proposed project as windmills because, given the climatic data in this area that's about all they'll ever amount to.

The outfit is selling them to the townships which will in turn pay for the erection and maintenance costs (to the outfit). There's no guarantees of any kind. It's charlatanism.

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#95
In reply to #92

Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/08/2008 9:55 PM

Duckinthepond-

" It's charlatanism." What more do you expect from the GW hysteria and Algore. [Frankenstein's assistant in creating the GW monster.] Worse it is a scam to extract money to build substandard windmills, knowing there is not enough wind, and sticking the taxpayers with the cost. Get together with some who agree with you and get a pit bull elected who will chase them away. Lipstick is a great disguise.

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#96
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Re: Ten Years to Renewables Totality

09/09/2008 5:18 AM

Some of my family fled from an area that was being populated with wind generators in recent times--I had to drop what I was doing and return to the place where I grew up to gather items I had stored on that property. The machines were over 7 miles away and I could count over twenty. I don't know or care how many more there will be, but the plan is to erect them the 7 miles and beyond by another 10 miles or so. There will be THOUSANDS! Would you live there? Can you appreciate the difference?

On my way there I crossed this huge river that had been dammed only to find the flood gates open and it hemorrhaging it's beautiful pollution free and paid for power. We are in an energy crisis?--Draw downs for fish? Maybe if they stopped doing that we wouldn't need any wind generators. Nitrogen supersaturation, I have read, is not any good either.

Now it is my understanding that with a dam, one can predict and accommodate a surge in flow and still tax every ounce, averaged over a period of time, of fluid that needs to travel downstream and produce power from it, whether the wind blows or the sun is down/up ---Roll on river roll on--A close to perfect renewabe that IS 100% reliable. And we choose to disable them, even partially?

Dennis White and the Audubon society is something that is mildly interesting--some say he was paid off--This I don't know, I would guess something happened. What I do know is that he was instrumental in the last big, failed push for wind farms in the '90's in the gorge. I personally helped them(slightly)--I didn't believe for a second in their plight or that they had a clue, but they had the influence and professional antagonists to disrupt the wind companies efforts. Bird Counts, raptors specifically. I felt dirty associating with his lot. It kept them(wind profiteers)at bay until now--where is he or the Audubon society?

Research these things for yourself--Or don't.

You want to hear something really funny--The related family moved to an area that is on the next phase of development for wind power--won't they be happy. I have a sibling that is employed in the industry and mentioned that he saw this on a drawing board. Those poor bastards!

I didn't protest this and I won't--I will not ratify this as rational either! Wind power has a place, but not this big or this fast. Thinking ended and "DOING" began.

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#97
In reply to #96

Re: Ten Years to Renew ables Totality

09/10/2008 12:55 AM

I agree, Kilgore. They oppose dams because of the fish, but fish ladders work, because dams change the environment which they see as evil. The bird lovers and natural scenery types oppose wind power, but get run over by the "renewable energy" or anti CO2 crowd. Solar power needs unsightly collectors which will kill birds and endanger other animals, so there are environmentalists who oppose solar. We know they oppose ethanol as starving people and being inefficient. Coal, oil, natural gas, are vilified as being "dirty fossil fuels" and they despise nuclear power. So there is no large-scale source of power that is not opposed by some environmental group. There are anti-CO2 groups that oppose the use of fire.

There are groups that want a much smaller population so as not to crowd the animals. PETA is opposed to the use of animals for food, work or any other purpose. There are terrorist tree huggers who burn down new houses to protest lumbering. There are some militant vegetarians who would pass laws against eating meat. There are anti-obesity types who would legislate what and how much you could eat. Imagine if all these groups, small as they are, were actually to achieve all their aims.

The end result, if all their various programs were enacted into law, would have a very small population of people, with strict population limits, grubbing out their organic vegetables with stone hand tools and eating them raw because they could not have fire. A new stone age. Ha-ha!!

Algore and his followers say CO2 is a pollutant and must be stopped, but they don't volunteer to stop emitting CO2 by ceasing to breathe. Ha-ha!!

Hydropower is the least expensive way of using a renewable energy source that is very reliable. I'm in favor of more dams, with fish ladders for migratory fish.

I don't oppose wind and solar, but we need a cheap and efficient way to store electricity first. Some really good batteries. Right now they are rushing hysterically toward alternatives, but they haven't pulled their pants up and keep falling down, jumping up and falling down again. You are right, "DOING" without thinking, in order to "Save the World".

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#98
In reply to #97

Re: Ten Years to Renew ables Totality

09/10/2008 5:15 AM

I want to get off of this, as the wheels of the wind industry are moving and I couldn't(and honestly, I wouldn't) stop them. It just bothers me that we, collectively, can be so hypocritical--We populate someones definition of a waste land with wind machinery. But we can't drill for oil in another. Double standard to a degree.

Dam draw downs--everyone loses. Every ounce of water, except for the fish ladder, should be taxed for it's power--PERIOD. Because it is why they were built and it is what they do.

WindGenMan, my sibling and most all of the wind industry are GOOD people. The trap is that this is political--Wind generators(formerly wind mills, as we don't get crap for flour out of them) have been marketed to a portion of the population as one thing, and something completely opposite by people who oppose them. I grew up having this argument and have been territorial about them--I am disappointed in my relatives moving, this dis contention is not geographical and they are farther away.

I just don't think much of what is happening, but, if we all pay attention and refine this for what works, works and what doesn't, doesn't we may get something very positive out of all this. We are not done, though.

I raised the friction to an unacceptable level in this forum. I am still sorry about it.

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Ten Years to Renew ables Totality

09/10/2008 8:40 AM

For whatever it's worth I consider your input of great value. My community is split on this issue and I need all the ammo I can get to stop what inevitably will bankrupt us.

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