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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 09:46:13

Tanada wrote: ................. You want to pretend modern technological society can function purely on solar and wind energy? That doesn't work no matter how hard you pretend.


That statement is dependent on the ASSUMPTION that modern technological society, as it is, can continue to function at all. Utterly silly assumption, IMO. You can't compartmentalize your way out of our long list of predicaments. Focusing on energy alone is either an attempt at diversion, or a simplistic/idiotic way of viewing things. Two things about energy:

1. More energy won't save us.

2. Significantly declining energy will accelerate our demise as a civilization.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 12:55:49

GHung wrote:
Tanada wrote: ................. You want to pretend modern technological society can function purely on solar and wind energy? That doesn't work no matter how hard you pretend.


That statement is dependent on the ASSUMPTION that modern technological society, as it is, can continue to function at all. Utterly silly assumption, IMO. You can't compartmentalize your way out of our long list of predicaments. Focusing on energy alone is either an attempt at diversion, or a simplistic/idiotic way of viewing things. Two things about energy:

1. More energy won't save us.

2. Significantly declining energy will accelerate our demise as a civilization.

So this is you not being a doomer? Just curious, since it seems to me in the past that you got mad if people noticed you commented like a doomer.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 13:11:33

jawagord wrote:Apparently, being cost effective, long lasting and reliable are not important attributes for solar and wind power enthusiasts, just give us subsidies so we can keep singing kumbaya.

[i]"[b]UK home solar power faces cloudy outlook as subsidies are axed

Speaking of green subsidies, I'm still curious how big a hit EV's take in the US as the federal credits go away.

For example, I was comparing a 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid (HEV) with a 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV for a couple of friends who take quite a few long trips by car.

I had to conclude that objectively, overall the Clarity would make lots of sense for a mostly city car, but would be somewhat inferior if this was to be primarily their road trip car. And that's with the full $7500 federal credit, making both cars cost about the same.

A primary reason is that once the 48ish mile EV range ends, the Accord Hybrid gets a good 10% better gas mileage, has nearly double the range, and is better in terms of comfort. The penalty for the Clarity of dragging around the extra 700+ pounds of battery and making many compromises to try to be more efficient add up for long/highway drives.

...

Now, for a mostly city car, the PHEV wins hands down as things like less comfortable seats (to save weight) pale next to needing no gas for an in-town trip.

The thing is, HEV's are getting so good on the highway, that I don't see higher gas prices changing that equation IF a car will be, say, 75% or more used for longer trips at highway speeds (minimal battery regeneration).

...

BUT, you swing the meter by $3750 or especially a full $7500 against the Clarity, and it becomes a tougher sell, unless it is almost to be used as a pure city car (the way I tend to drive).

For years yet, if it comes down to straight economics vs. wanting a cleaner car, except for HEV's with relatively high gasoline prices -- the dirty solutions are still cheaper.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 13:28:40

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
GHung wrote:
Tanada wrote: ................. You want to pretend modern technological society can function purely on solar and wind energy? That doesn't work no matter how hard you pretend.


That statement is dependent on the ASSUMPTION that modern technological society, as it is, can continue to function at all. Utterly silly assumption, IMO. You can't compartmentalize your way out of our long list of predicaments. Focusing on energy alone is either an attempt at diversion, or a simplistic/idiotic way of viewing things. Two things about energy:

1. More energy won't save us.

2. Significantly declining energy will accelerate our demise as a civilization.

So this is you not being a doomer? Just curious, since it seems to me in the past that you got mad if people noticed you commented like a doomer.


So this is me calling it as I see it. Call it whatever you want if you need labels to brand people with. Methinks that's a lazy way to avoid reality.
WTF is a "doomer" anyway? Anyone who admits that humans can't solve everything?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 15 Jul 2018, 09:23:33

http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/r ... nobody-has

This article from our home page is mostly discussing Texas but claims the removal is under funded.

They are assuming $200,000 for removal cost, but setting aside only $60,000 claiming the balance will come from recycling materials. The article casts doubt upon those numbers; how hard it is to recycle and how much can be recycled.

A couple of additional points seem to be not addressed.

We don’t know the future value of recycled materials. Could be higher or lower. If we are in a recession when they are scrapped the value will be lower and additional funds scarce.

Even if Duda are set aside it will be in some financial instrument, which may or may not be available when needed. A stock market crash would eliminate those funds.

The article is confusing about foundations. Are they in the removal costs or not? There is the insinuation that at least some will be reused. Which may be possible but no sure thing. And they can not be used indefrinetly.

And the site owners are required to restore the site to its origional conition. That would require removing a fairly massive poured concrete foundation, taking out all the stone fill and roads and restoring with soil. Where does the soil come from? Perhaps if it’s poor it doesn’t matter much but in some places it matters quite a bit.

We already have a legacy of not properly sealing and maintaining old drill heads. I’m betting this is yet another future problem in the making.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Sun 15 Jul 2018, 09:44:06

And if wind farms aren't properly 'retired'? They won't result in a deluge drowning whatever settlements lie downstream when they fail. They won't leak radiation into the surrounding areas. They won't deteriorate to the point where they are spewing methane into an already juiced atmosphere. They won't leave behind huge heavy metal ash ponds polluting water tables for centuries.

They'll just sit there until they deteriorate and collapse, like millions of other abandoned concrete and steel structures all over the world, becoming a resource for the triage and salvage societies we are likely to become.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 15 Jul 2018, 10:11:29

As to the foundation removal question common practice is to remove all the above grade portions and cover with enough soil to support the local vegetation leaving the below grade portion as just an artificial part of the bedrock. Of course if a new tower is being installed the old will be either removed or modified as needed to accommodate the new structure taking advantage of the fact that concrete not in a salted traffic situation can serve for well over a hundred years .
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 15 Jul 2018, 15:30:44

GHung wrote:And if wind farms aren't properly 'retired'? They won't result in a deluge drowning whatever settlements lie downstream when they fail. They won't leak radiation into the surrounding areas. They won't deteriorate to the point where they are spewing methane into an already juiced atmosphere. They won't leave behind huge heavy metal ash ponds polluting water tables for centuries.

They'll just sit there until they deteriorate and collapse, like millions of other abandoned concrete and steel structures all over the world, becoming a resource for the triage and salvage societies we are likely to become.


That’s all true Ghung. And the only real solution is to reduce our consumption as much as possible. What I dislike about wind and solar is that they are being used to grow our power use, not replace those other sources. We need to curb usage.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 15 Jul 2018, 21:26:48

Newfie wrote: And the only real solution is to reduce our consumption as much as possible. What I dislike about wind and solar is that they are being used to grow our power use, not replace those other sources. We need to curb usage.

But that's not the fault of or a problem with wind and solar -- that's a problem with human nature, and we tend to do that with ALL types of resources, including energy types.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 07:22:53

That is very true, it’s a root cause argument and I like it. The problem is not the fuel we use but our excessive use of fuel. We agree.

But that leaves us with two choices:
Change human nature or
Reduce the impact by reducing population.

This is why I don’t get invited out much any more.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 10:30:27

Newfie wrote:That is very true, it’s a root cause argument and I like it. The problem is not the fuel we use but our excessive use of fuel. We agree.

But that leaves us with two choices:
Change human nature or
Reduce the impact by reducing population.

This is why I don’t get invited out much any more.

We're two peas in a pod on that one! :) (i.e. the part I made a blue font.)

Especially if you point out that if humans can't or won't change their nature that AT SOME POINT (i.e. no insta-doom required), the human population WILL be reduced by nature, and that approach will be none-too-pleasant.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 14:08:31

Newfie – “What I dislike about wind and solar is that they are being used to grow our power use, not replace those other sources. We need to curb usage.” But consider Texas wind power. Had we not significantly ramped up wind output we would have built more fossil fuel powered plants. NG and maybe coal/lignite…or might burner for both NG and coal. Like the second largest source of GHG in the country that has 3 NG and 3 coal burners. Right now NG is relatively cheap in Texas…but that won’t last forever. And Texas electricity consumption is projected to continue growing significant as more people/companies continue to relocate here.

We didn’t reduce fossil fuel consumption as much as we didn’t grow it as much as possible. And we have wind power to thank for that. And now our solar is beginning to grow. And that could ramp up significantly if the E.ON pilot project for a commercial scale short term battery system proves viable. We run a lot of AC’s here during our very sunny summers.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 14:16:53

Rocman,

Simple question, consider how much power we can afford to use and forestall AGW. Just think about Texas, their fair contribution to the mess. Can you get to that number using solar wind alone? (Leaving nukes aside for the moment).
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 14:48:53

Newfie wrote:Rocman,

Simple question, consider how much power we can afford to use and forestall AGW. Just think about Texas, their fair contribution to the mess. Can you get to that number using solar wind alone? (Leaving nukes aside for the moment).

Just for clarification, isn't "affordable" based very heavily on timeframe? Oh, and I'd add batteries to that, so the solution needs to be reliable power, and therefore practical re replacing the FF based grid.

The more years we take to build out a solar and wind infrastructure, the less of a burden that is financially per year. Based on projected cost curves (which are imperfect, but don't seem terrible based on how prices have fallen), taking some time also helps significantly as wind and solar prices fall while technology improves.

So for example, asking "can we afford it within 5 years?" is a VERY different question than "can
we afford it within 30 to 50 years?", at least the way I look at it.

Now, a crucial issue, of course is, how long can we "afford" to wait/delay? Clearly voters and politicians alike are generally not very willing at all to pay extra (i.e. a CO2 tax) to hasten the timeframe.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Cog » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 15:55:09

Wind power is a waste of resources. Juice not worth the squeeze to maintain the wind mills. Solar is slightly better but not by much.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 16:00:57

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Newfie wrote:Rocman,

Simple question, consider how much power we can afford to use and forestall AGW. Just think about Texas, their fair contribution to the mess. Can you get to that number using solar wind alone? (Leaving nukes aside for the moment).

Just for clarification, isn't "affordable" based very heavily on timeframe? Oh, and I'd add batteries to that, so the solution needs to be reliable power, and therefore practical re replacing the FF based grid.

The more years we take to build out a solar and wind infrastructure, the less of a burden that is financially per year. Based on projected cost curves (which are imperfect, but don't seem terrible based on how prices have fallen), taking some time also helps significantly as wind and solar prices fall while technology improves.

So for example, asking "can we afford it within 5 years?" is a VERY different question than "can
we afford it within 30 to 50 years?", at least the way I look at it.

Now, a crucial issue, of course is, how long can we "afford" to wait/delay? Clearly voters and politicians alike are generally not very willing at all to pay extra (i.e. a CO2 tax) to hasten the timeframe.


I think you and I are using “afford” in very different meanings. I was not talking about the fiscal sense which you nicely addressed. I was thing along the lines of the carbon budget. Hope this clarifies.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 16:30:42

Newfie wrote:http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/r ... nobody-has

This article from our home page is mostly discussing Texas but claims the removal is under funded.

They are assuming $200,000 for removal cost, but setting aside only $60,000 claiming the balance will come from recycling materials. The article casts doubt upon those numbers; how hard it is to recycle and how much can be recycled.

A couple of additional points seem to be not addressed.

We don’t know the future value of recycled materials. Could be higher or lower. If we are in a recession when they are scrapped the value will be lower and additional funds scarce.

Even if Duda are set aside it will be in some financial instrument, which may or may not be available when needed. A stock market crash would eliminate those funds.

The article is confusing about foundations. Are they in the removal costs or not? There is the insinuation that at least some will be reused. Which may be possible but no sure thing. And they can not be used indefrinetly.

And the site owners are required to restore the site to its origional conition. That would require removing a fairly massive poured concrete foundation, taking out all the stone fill and roads and restoring with soil. Where does the soil come from? Perhaps if it’s poor it doesn’t matter much but in some places it matters quite a bit.

We already have a legacy of not properly sealing and maintaining old drill heads. I’m betting this is yet another future problem in the making.
Same story with other technologies. Except other technologies have even greater costs. Costs that companies are increasingly trying to push onto the taxpayer.

At the heart of the Surface Mining Act is the requirement that before any mining can begin, a company must provide financial assurances that the site can be fully reclaimed in the event the company goes out of business. Unfortunately, the Act includes a major loophole which allows certain companies to provide a “self-bond” to satisfy this requirement. The self-bond is a meaningless promise that threatens to pass the cost of reclamation on to the government and, more immediately, to local communities.

Going into their bankruptcies, Alpha, Arch, and Peabody all relied heavily on self-bonding. The combined, total self-bonded reclamation liability of the three companies was a staggering $2.4 billion. This gave the companies enormous leverage in negotiating with government regulators, because those regulators were desperate to avoid an outcome where a company opted to liquidate and stick taxpayers with the massive clean-up costs.

Even more vulnerable, however, are the companies that took on the low-value high-liability Central Appalachia mines left behind by Alpha and Patriot. The reorganized Alpha – ANR, Inc. – and the Virginia Conservation Legacy Foundation have unsustainable business models that require them to pump millions of dollars into non-producing coal mines that cannot generate sufficient revenue to offset the costs. It now appears to be more a question of “when” rather than “if” these companies will become unsustainable, though this time total liquidation will be a much more likely outcome than another restructuring. Unfortunately, Contura, Arch, and Peabody, appear to have been successful in shielding their comparatively deeper pockets from liability for cleaning up after Alpha and Patriot, meaning that taxpayers and local residents will be the ones left with the burden of the legacy coal mine sites left behind when the companies go bust.
Trouble Behind, Trouble Ahead: The Post-Bankruptcy Coal Landscape

The costs associated with nuclear waste sites are proving to be more expensive, controversial, and complex than originally expected. Given the time frames involved, it’s not surprising that no country has built a final repository for high-level waste. Nobody can say how much it will cost to store high-level waste. What we know is that it will be very costly.

In April, Germany’s Commission to Review the Financing for the Phase-Out of Nuclear Energy recommended that the utilities pay an additional $26.4 billion into a government-controlled fund meant to cover the costs of long-term storage of nuclear waste. The utilities were unhappy with the commission’s conclusions and released a joint statement saying $26.4 billion would “overburden energy companies’ economic capabilities.” Even so, few experts expect those sums to cover the total eventual costs. “Some billions now are better than making them bankrupt,” said Michael Mueller, who chairs a government commission on highly radioactive nuclear waste. “So, it’s a compromise that had to be made.” The utilities are clear about where they see the responsibility: “The temporary and final storage of nuclear waste in Germany is an operative task of the German government, which is politically responsible for this,” the utilities said in a statement.

In Europe, a recent report by the European Union Commission estimated that funds set aside for waste storage and decommissioning of nuclear plants in the EU’s 16 nuclear nations have fallen short by $137 billion. Yet despite recently completing a new plant, the United States is also struggling with decommissioning. The cost estimates of shuttering U.S. nuclear plants increased fourfold between 1988 and 2013. Many governments are slowly starting to realize how much those costs have been underestimated.
Sticker Shock: The Soaring Costs Of Germany’s Nuclear Shutdown
The oil barrel is half-full.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 12:49:21

Newfie wrote:I think you and I are using “afford” in very different meanings. I was not talking about the fiscal sense which you nicely addressed. I was thing along the lines of the carbon budget. Hope this clarifies.

Ah, OK, now I see. Sorry, following EV's I see so much constant arguing and different scenarios for financial affordability of green energy and green cars in the financial sense, that my mind tends to jump there when seeing "afford". :oops:

At the risk of appearing dense yet again, if we had all the money and buy-in we could want, and could "go green" very quickly, wouldn't it be better to do it very quickly (and burn a lot of FF's in the short term to get there)? i.e. short term pain vs. long term (relative) gain via AGW?

Of course, I'm not buying the idea that wind farms and solar farms done efficiently are worse for AGW than burning FF's, over the course of their expected useful life.

And of course, a burst of accelerated AGW feedback mechanisms in the short term isn't pretty either. So I'm not claiming this is a slam dunk, but putting off dealing with it is KNOWN disaster.

It really kills me how the global community has just chosen to ignore this, whistle in the dark, and let future generations suffer the consequences.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby jawagord » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 20:26:09

Always informative to check on how the German's are generating their power. This week wind energy has collapsed and solar is simply inadequate even with pumped storage. Coal and Uranium churning out steady power hour after hour, day after day. Once Merkel is gone watch the fast retreat from energiewende.

https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm? ... 18&week=29
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 06:43:43

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Newfie wrote:I think you and I are using “afford” in very different meanings. I was not talking about the fiscal sense which you nicely addressed. I was thing along the lines of the carbon budget. Hope this clarifies.

Ah, OK, now I see. Sorry, following EV's I see so much constant arguing and different scenarios for financial affordability of green energy and green cars in the financial sense, that my mind tends to jump there when seeing "afford". :oops:

At the risk of appearing dense yet again, if we had all the money and buy-in we could want, and could "go green" very quickly, wouldn't it be better to do it very quickly (and burn a lot of FF's in the short term to get there)? i.e. short term pain vs. long term (relative) gain via AGW?

Of course, I'm not buying the idea that wind farms and solar farms done efficiently are worse for AGW than burning FF's, over the course of their expected useful life.

And of course, a burst of accelerated AGW feedback mechanisms in the short term isn't pretty either. So I'm not claiming this is a slam dunk, but putting off dealing with it is KNOWN disaster.

It really kills me how the global community has just chosen to ignore this, whistle in the dark, and let future generations suffer the consequences.


The biggest gain to be made in reducing warming gasses is in effiency. I’m not anti solar and wind, we personally rely upon them almost exclusively. But we can do that because our power budget is very low.

The human mind must be turned from the idea that we can sustain the high burn rate we have to one of conservation. As first steps we need turn to buying only essentials, kill the consumer society. Buy quality products which can be repaired. Kill all unnecessary usage. I would put a huge tax on electricity use, parking lots lite up at 2:00am are ridiculous. Remove billboards, or at least lighted billboards. Walk down a city street in a hot day, the store doors are open with cold air rushing out, why? It’s a marketing ploy to lure customers inside.

We use way too much energy for heat and ac. In my historic home district the houses have 14’ ceilings are were designed for air flow. But they have all been sealed up and run ac instead.

That should be our first effort and sustained mind set. Without that we just waste, waste, waste. It won’t matter how much solar or wind we build, it will never be enough to sate our appetites.
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