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Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/11/2008 11:10 PM

Senator Lamar Alexander in a meeting with officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Friday May 10, 2008 proposed "seven grand challenges" that need to be addressed over the next five years.

1. Plug in hybrid vehicles to take advantage of low night time electric rates.

2. Make carbon capture and storage a reality for coal-burning power plants.

3. Make solar more cost competitive with burning of fossil fuels.

4. Develop ways to safely process and store nuclear wast.

5. Make biofuels cost competitive with gasoline.

6. Make new buildings green buildings, with technologies that conserve power and reduce waste products.

7. Accelerate the development of nuclear fusion as an energy source for the future.

The conversion of biomass to fuel oil or gasoline is alleged to be forthcoming soon.

Bacteria Make Oil from Biomass

Common sense proposals & prospects or blowing smoke?

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Guru

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#1

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/12/2008 6:13 PM

Given that it is a politician making the proposal.... Blowing smoke...

1. Day or night, the power plant still has to make electricity, which with the current fuel slate puts CO2 into the atmosphere.

2. Carbon capture is a technology that is already a reality.

3. Great idea, how? Solar has the energy density required to meet our needs, but we just don't have the technology to take advantage of it right now.

4. Another great idea, is he proposing a bill to fund the necessary research or is he just flapping his lips?

5. Why? Bio fuels don't solve the problem. Burning biofuel still puts CO2 into the atmosphere. We need a new technology solution.

6. Another great idea, but the price of energy will make this happen naturally.

7, Another great idea, is he proposing a bill to fund this one as well?

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Power-User

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#6
In reply to #1

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 7:22 AM

WOW!!! You guys are sharp. I can't agree more with you about a politician making a decision about anything.

We're where we are today because of them. No Nuclear Power because of the influence of the greenies and tree huggers. Inconsistent energy policy because the democrats hate anything the republicans propose and vice versa. Oppressive taxation of the working people and business owners of the nation to support the indignet and the drug addled masses that know they can tap the Social Security system for "disability". 19% of the electorate paying 98% of the nations taxes, the remainder voting themselves more. Get the "rich" guy mentality.

We're doomed unless the people writing herein are engaged in the solution. Keep the politicians out of the way. They don't even have one good brain to share.

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Guru

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#2

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 1:00 AM

I agree with 1. However, I think they will have to be hybrid vehicles to give the range, speed, size, convenience and keep the cost of cars at a comparable level

2. CO2 is not the problem and spending billions to capture and store it [until it escapes] and raising electric rates. It would be better to spend it on geothermal or fusion power and we can do geothermal now. Levels of CO2 throughout history have at times been much higher without climatic disaster. One volcano emits more CO2 than all the coal burned around the world.

3. Solar has only one major flaw. At night when you want electric lights, there is no solar power and there is no practical way to store the power. You need a second system that operates only at night, but that is also uneconomical.

4. After all the reprocessing is done and all the reuse, the fact remains that the waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. There is no 100% safe way to store it.

5. This will be difficult and may require genetic engineering of plants grown just for fuel and such will be opposed by the "everything must be natural" crowd, therefore it will get tied up in the courts and politics and nothing will be done. I doubt biofuels will ever be cost competitive on their own, although I hope they will.

6. Get antiquated building codes out of the way. Make loans available to build unconventional houses, such as earth-sheltered or underground, rammed-earth, foam domes and such, using fiber optics for light instead of windows. Allow retro-fitting with solar panels, using reflective roof coatings by striking down restrictive zoning or regime rules. Then give a big tax incentive so people can afford the initial cost.

7. I agree, but as a part of a balanced energy policy.

Algae can be grown using the CO2 from the coal plants and used to make many products from fuel to food. Bacteria can digest biomass and then the bacteria can be used to make fuel. There is a bit of sense in Sen. Alexander's statement but it is obscured by the blown smoke.

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Guru
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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 9:51 AM

I agree with most of what you wrote but #6 shows that most American don't see the real problem. I travel every month or so and I am always surprised by how people try to air condition buildings at 65F when there are holes under the doors and the windows are single pane. The windows are often so bad that we often see condensation outside. This is a lot of energy wasted.

Instead of spending a lot of money to build a few new houses with walls at R40, just fix the millions of houses that have R0.5. Bring them to R10 or R20. This will be less expensive than going from modern design at R20 to a super efficient R40 but will save a lot more energy.

Instead of sending tax rebate, the gouv. should send mineral wool, double pane windows and caulking...

Anyway, fixing what we have is usually much better for the environment than building new thing.

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Guru

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 12:42 AM

Retrofitting is good too. I was thinking of the homes destroyed by tornadoes and all the new construction to replace them and new construction in general. But I also thought of the restrictions on roof-mounted solar collectors/panels, heat reflective roofs and such based just on appearances. "It doesn't have the look we want for this neighborhood."

Unfortunately it costs a lot to retrofit too. I own one of those homes, originally built by Jim Walters Homes, and there is almost no insulation. To insulate from the inside means finding somewhere else to live for awhile as the sheet rock has to be torn off to put in the insulation. Then while we're at it we need to upgrade the wiring. The other choice is to insulate by tearing off the outside, doing the wiring, insulating and putting up hardy-board siding. I have replaced the windows. Being retired and working PT doesn't provide much money. I almost think it would cost less to level and rebuild than to remodel and upgrade. Why couldn't there be some sort of program to put in all the energy-saving stuff, then use the savings to repay the cost. If one has an electric bill of $300 a month in an all electric house and all the energy-saving modifications reduce that to $100 a month, then all the owner would pay for the modifications would be the $200 a month saved, until the cost is paid off. It is painless for the homeowner as his cost does not go up, but the saving in energy used would help the whole country. As a political conservative I can support something like that, because its cost is repaid, the homeowner has no more out of pocket than if it was not done and it helps the whole energy problem.

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Associate
Engineering Fields - Energy Engineering - Any good anergy saving toys out there?

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#3

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 1:17 AM

"Bacteria Make Oil from Biomass"

The JC Bell guy sounds like he just wants to make tons of cash...did he realize that biomass isn't his, that whoever sells it actually controls the market. How much of that free or unwanted biomass is actually out there? According to the interview, he says they can make 13 billion barrels a year, but how much of the biomass that will be used to make gas is not mentioned at all!! If the process of making gas is so "simple" why not make personal gas stations where anyone can make gas? Is he that greedy?

Personally, my opinion on use of fossils or "artificial fossils" is that with emission of CO2 still existing and global temp. rising, the chance of weather anomalies will be always higher, thus causing more deaths around the world. The CO2 should be measured in death toll, where victims are not just people but also animals and their habitats. By reducing creation of CO2 and actually capturing it, will possibly give hope to the future generations, who will develop a much better and more eco-friendly world.

I would like to see more of CO2 capturing devices!!

I would install one on my car right now if it was available!! There have been studies on how to capture CO2 check it out!

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Guru

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 1:32 AM

You emit about 2.5 lbs of CO2 per day just by breathing. Stop it! Do your part to "Save the World"!

Manmade CO2 is the least of our problems. One volcano erupting puts out more CO2 than all the coal and oil burned in a year. Why don't you try to stop the volcanos?

I can see by your statements that you are an Algore hysteric and I despair of saying anything, presenting any facts, that might penetrate your apparently closed mind.

1. Without CO2 we would all die as we need to breathe.

2. Without CO2 all plants would die.

3. The highest known levels of CO2 in the past only raised the average temperature 6 degrees.

4. We are still warming from the Little Ice Age and that natural warming has caused the oceans to release vast amounts of CO2.

It is always easier to blame people and more satisfying to use force to control their behavior if you are a True Believer and an alarmist. The most eco-friendly world would be small nomadic villages of vegans, grubbing out their organic vegetables with stone tools, using no fire so as to make no CO2, so all food would be eaten raw and no animals or animal products would be used. If this is your dream, wake up, most of the rest of us do not share it and will resist your attempts to force it on us.

CO2 capture is a flawed idea. What do you do with it? Pumping it underground under pressure is no guarantee it will stay there. Much better to run it to where plants can use it and then use the plants.

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#4

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 4:04 AM

Stupid question, someone will tell me, but following on from JC Bell's work on producing hydrocarbons from biological processes waste, could it be possible that the hydrocarbons being produced on Titan (moon of Saturn see This) are actually biological in origin too?

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#5

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 6:03 AM

1. Electric hybrids cannot physically compete with hydraulic hybrids. The UPS project has 19 mpg city and 12 highway, whereas the none hybrid gets 10 city/highway. An electric hybrid may get 13-15 mpg city... The end game is....water hydraulics...run on natural gas...from methane hydrates...a source for thousands (20?) of years... Long term, energy will be nearly free and generated in every building. New buildings will power old....

2. Put coal power plants next to farm and feed the co2 directly onto crops and double growth rates... Co2 is valuable... Co2 from a car should be fed over plant seedlings in your car... That is what I am working on...

3. Solar will be on every car, building and even bikes... In the pneumatic/hydraulic domain solar makes sense.

4. The present value of 10,000 years of storage costs is insanely high and is not the way to go when energy will be near zero in cost... Tax payers will be made to pick up the bill for this mistake... I say, put your money where your mouth is, and make all who support nuclear power legally responsible...just as any power source...

5. Combine coal and crops with a 60-70% efficient CNG tractor and you have a 4:1 output ratio, and it is competitive. Now it is around 1:1 and dropping...

6. Each building should GENERATE power. This is the future...

7. Forget about fusion for now. Do it on your own dime...

8. Biomass... to create natural gas...

Look, there is no long term energy crisis, just like there is no housing shortage, nor will there ever be one. The shortages are in leadership and clear vision of where to go...

In any situation, I say...put your money where your mouth is...and do it by contract with penalty. If you believe (a religion...?) in the con game called global warming...then you should be willing to contractually obligate yourself for any carbon tax you want to impose....just like if you promote higher taxes, then you should pay higher taxes, and if you promote it, then your neighbor should be able to sue (easily) you to pay the higher rate. Same with the GW con game. The pols want to spend my money without the risk of loss. This has got to stop... It is a felony...

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 7:30 AM

Electricity won't be inexpensive at night when many people are charging their cars. It is inexpensive now because of low demand. High demand for car charging will raise the price to maximum profit levels for the power producers.

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Guru

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#8

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 8:38 AM

Hi,

"1. Plug in hybrid vehicles to take advantage of low night time electric rates"

the additional energy needed for accelerating higher mass and the needed material will not give much gain if any.

"2. Make carbon capture and storage a reality for coal-burning power plants."

Let us burn all our money (taxpayers) then we will not have the necessity to do anything.

"3. Make solar more cost competitive with burning of fossil fuels."

Heating: ok, electricity: may be never

"4. Develop ways to safely process and store nuclear wast."

Look at the improved CANDU reactor (now renamed) and the results of the ICENES 2007 conference on emerging new reactor concepts: these will burn with much lower enrichment (that is cost of fuel) and will burn much of the "waste" that is produced by conventional reactors and is much safer by its inherent shutdown at loss of heavy water moderator.

"5. Make biofuels cost competitive with gasoline."

Burn your neighbours food seems to be a new morale.

"6. Make new buildings green buildings, with technologies that conserve power and reduce waste products."

This is existing today but seldom practised and needs some more refinement in low failure, long life.

"7. Accelerate the development of nuclear fusion"

In 1960 the experts predicted that we will have a nuclear fusion reactor in 2010, now the experts predict we may have it in 2060. And the promise of "no radioactive waste" is gone by the winds of new/old insights of neutron activation of trace impurities of blanket materials.

"The conversion of biomass to fuel oil or gasoline is alleged to be forthcoming soon."

This is existing (surviving) to some degree as "Fischer-Tropsch" (and some other names associated to similar high pressure high temperature catalyst speeded) conversion of either CO or CxHy (brown coal) with hydrogen to liquid fuels.

South Africa has a working plant (SASOL), WW2 Germany relied on this, cost is estimated between 80 and 100$ per barrel (2005) so I hope this will pose a limit on rising oil price.

"Bacteria make oil", more likely bacteria make methane and algae make oil directly.

Some obstacles to overcome in harvesting the soup (very slimy), some selection and genetic engineering likely to be needed, effective C4 carbon cycle of some plants to be established in algae? This has a high priority as the fields of oil farming can make use of "fertilised" wastewater from communities and farming, that is swept down by the poisoned rivers to polluted seas. Or in local wastewater treatment?, existing there in modern ones but only anaerobic to generate methane.

So a really good meeting should do some cost and time estimates and demand for some medium time support of research and development and small startups.

RHABE

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#10

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/13/2008 10:23 AM

1. This seems on the surface a great idea. For it to be viable there needs to be power other than coal. Nuclear, solar, wind, etc. These solution or combinations will be geographically dependent.

Ironically the laws and regulation and the infrastructure must be modified to allow the use of alternative vehicles. In the name of the greater good we are limited in the choices individuals can make.

2. Legalize drugs, sing Kumbaya, group hug!!! Popular and makes you feel good but defies gravity and the laws of nature : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos

If you really cared, you would quit drinking carbonated beverages

A Fabian (political rather than scientific) attempt to create urgency and social order and purpose while wasting $ and resources

3. Look at the surface area of roofs in the US (solar thin film shingles etc.– Let power companies 1$ lease roof space for collection and feed the grid? – they could collect the water too in some areas?

4. Utilize it!! – not store it? Is there any method to utilize it to make low grade heat? To heat water to heat building, streets in winter etc?

we should plan cities and communities to utilize the rejected low grade heat form these plants now instead of rejecting it to the environment without using it

http://www.icpi.org/techspecs/index.cfm?id=17&tech=12

5. Do the mass balance – there is not enough - they should be used in directed towards higher value applications – not 8 MPG SUVs -- our dependency on plastics will require these materials to replace the petro supply stream

6. Insulate, earth bermed, partial underground, etc – may solutions already exist

http://www.aiatopten.org/hpb/

7. All the best of luck

The conversion of biomass to fuel oil or gasoline is alleged to be forthcoming soon.

Bacteria Make Oil from Biomass

Common sense proposals & prospects or blowing smoke?

Any progress through science to utilize our environment symbiotic-ally is the future. Energy from human waste? We collect it already…………..

the government should let industry and individuals create the future rather than politically choosing "preferred" pathways

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Anonymous Poster
#13

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 1:33 AM

Has anyone here read any works by Nikola Tesla?! And how about Bearden?

Motors running with just magnet! The Japanese listened to Bearden and others and built, tested, proved and patented at least 2 Magnetic motors, and then shelfed them until it was time to cash in on people being willing to "PAY" for the "NEW" technology.

There have been TONS of designs and patents that have been "Guarded" by Dah Gov,

and I understand that many designers have even been told to "Pipe-It" or something very bad will happen then or their loved ones! BIG BIZ and POLITICS and BIG BUCKS are still controlling things... and that is NEVER going to change.

Change THAT (or rather "them") then the rest will fall into place QUICKLY!

Just a guy who pays attention.... ;^)

Vito

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Guru

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 1:59 AM

Please remove your tinfoil hat when on this site.

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Guru

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 2:26 PM

"Guest" Register & repost.

Do you expect anyone to take your paranoid suspicions and Bearden to be taken seriously?

Tesla did some sound scientific advances. He also had some questionable proposals as well.

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Energy Solutions - Long / Short - Term

05/14/2008 6:41 PM

Actually......

Many ideas have been shelved, but not for any sinister reasons. Different approachs to generation & conservation have been developed over the years & been shelved because $10/barrel oil doesn't exactly promote innovation or investment in infrastructure.

It's a whole new world when it comes to energy! Market forces will shake a bunch of things out of the wood work. Lots of heat which is now being wasted will become productive.

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