So You Think We’re Reducing Fossil Fuel? — Think Again

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:06 PM, James Regan said:

Try breaking gravity without carbon based fuels , nothing would have mattered. Or did they really go???

What? You haven't seen the new solar powered Saturn V!

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On 7/25/2019 at 6:47 PM, Jan van Eck said:

ussia under Putin has a vision of resurrecting the old USSR, with dominance over Eastern Europe and much of Asia.  China has a vision of restoring the power domain of the old Imperial China. 

Agree. But I was thinking mainly of Western politics. 

 

On 7/25/2019 at 6:47 PM, Jan van Eck said:

urope has a default vision of taking in the poor of Africa into their bosom.

I disagree. In my view there are no visions in European politics. Fear mongering there is lots of though. 

Potentially, there is some sort of green / socially responsible vision emerging. But it remains to be seen how this will play out. 

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I think there is a way to get away from fossil fuels 

We purchased solar panels this year and from a purely financial standpoint I could not be happier.  The payout is way more than  double the payout with a 30 year bond at the current yield  And what could be a lower risk investment. I know there are a lot of anti solar arguments but the fact is that solar panels can generate enough power to eliminate coal and fossil fuels. I think if every suitable home had roof top solar there would be so much power, the less efficient methods for storage will still work. heat and turbines. flywheel or  we may also have to change our work schedule  

We should not build 3 billion electric cars. We should change the way we think about moving people and things.  We do not need to ship a container of beans to china so they can put it in a can and ship it back. everyone does not need to drive a SUV.  I certainly don't know but maybe we can use technology  to a point where travel is a pod that links to other pods forms a train so the power used is a magnitude less. 

This year for a variety of reasons we decided to stop buying meat, fish and produce for the grocery store and went on a mission to buy local. again could not be happier. the grass fed beef is 15% more expensive and 80% better tasting. 

There is greedy vested interest in keeping the oil flowing. I realize without oil the world population would likely be 1/2 of what is or less. frankly we could use 1/2 the oil we are using and be just as happy it would just be different.  

I cant speak to the green new deal  I have not read it. but there should be a plan and people thinking outside the status quo to find solutions. There should be incentives to adopt a cleaner more renewable lifestyle.  

Just like the system of railroads, highways, the space program, the public library system and many other programs that really did make America great.   the solutions are too big for private companies to deliver. 

It is undeniable that the environment is suffering in big and profound ways because of the way we choose to live. the factory farms, the never ending wars that make a few rich and the rest of us poor or dead, the oil lobby and lobbyist in general that will eventually destroy democracy. The overwhelming waste in the system.  I am quite sure if there are future generations they will think us quite a selfish generation. 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 2:52 AM, remake it said:

If coal is the logical choice then Africa should be awash with coal generation, and it is not.

India is, and as china moves inland to close those coal power stations it frees up lots more coal for export to india. india is driving the coal burning demand now

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the solution?? where AOC and her followers to clean this up?? 😂😂

https://www.riteon.org.au/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-litter-the-united-states/

The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found.

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(edited)

 I am surprised nobody wants to recycle all that steel and copper.. Maybe your post will get someone interested in making that money from salvage.  There are so many issues with the environment that I would think cleaning up derelict windmills would be rather low on the list.  

Edited by lasttwo
grammer

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1 minute ago, lasttwo said:

 I am surprised nobody wants to recycle all that steel and copper.. Maybe your post will get someone interested in making that money from salvage.  There are so many issues with the environment that I would think cleaning up derelict windmills would be rather low on the list.  

A solar panel is a better investment than a 30 yr bond - safer too

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(edited)

On 7/22/2019 at 11:51 AM, NickW said:

Yes- Kenya is a good example of a country that is moving away from fossil fuels. As well as Hydro it is utilising its geothermal, wind and solar resources. I think Oil only makes up about 20% of its electricity supply. I don't think it uses any coal.

Not all countries have the hydro and geothermal resources that kenya or ethiopia have, and even that isn't quite enough.

Wind is not a major option, around 10% of wind power is really recoverable, around 1% of solar power is.

on the other hand, coal isn't the cheapest of fossil fuels, that crown goes to natural gas, the difference is that coal hardly needs any infrastructure you don't need a pressurized pipeline with a series of compressors to move coal from a mine to a port, you don't need to cool down coal at -165°C to put it inside a specialized ship with a cryogenic tank, you don't need a cryogenic high density polyurethane foam tank to store coal, you don't need to burn it in a stack if you can't consume it at the moment

The best option would be nuclear power, because well, a KG of Pu-239 or U-233 has the same energy as 20,000 tons of Oil or Natural Gas, when you have abundant amount of electricity many things that aren't profitable now become profitable, for example, converting algae directly into synthesis gas.

Edited by Sebastian Meana
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(edited)

2 hours ago, Sebastian Meana said:

Not all countries have the hydro and geothermal resources that kenya or ethiopia have, and even that isn't quite enough.

Wind is not a major option, around 10% of wind power is really recoverable, around 1% of solar power is.

on the other hand, coal isn't the cheapest of fossil fuels, that crown goes to natural gas, the difference is that coal hardly needs any infrastructure you don't need a pressurized pipeline with a series of compressors to move coal from a mine to a port, you don't need to cool down coal at -165°C to put it inside a specialized ship with a cryogenic tank, you don't need a cryogenic high density polyurethane foam tank to store coal, you don't need to burn it in a stack if you can't consume it at the moment

The best option would be nuclear power, because well, a KG of Pu-239 or U-233 has the same energy as 20,000 tons of Oil or Natural Gas, when you have abundant amount of electricity many things that aren't profitable now become profitable, for example, converting algae directly into synthesis gas.

We are talking Africa here and while one or two countries have the capability to run Nuclear reactors, indeed South Africa does the complexity of a nuclear power station and support infrastructure would overwhelm most African countries.

On the other hand solar is very simple. At a domestic level a basic trained electrician can set up a solar panel system with an inverter and couple of lead acid batteries. This is sufficient to provide for refrigeration, lighting and a TV. High efficiency refrigerators can be turned off for several hours over night so this helps deal with the intermittency of solar. LED / CFL lighting is low cost now and uses very little power.

Edited by NickW

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On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 5:59 AM, cbrasher1 said:

the solution?? where AOC and her followers to clean this up?? 😂😂

https://www.riteon.org.au/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-litter-the-united-states/

The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found.

I don't know about the USA but in Europe most developers are required to lodge a bond with the local government to be used to clear the site if the owner goes bust. I am not certain other industries face the same obstacle so in this regard wind developers face a cost imposed on them that competitors don't have to face.

Shall we share pictures of other industrial infrastructure and landscapes abandoned across the planet?

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(edited)

5 hours ago, lasttwo said:

 I am surprised nobody wants to recycle all that steel and copper.. Maybe your post will get someone interested in making that money from salvage.  There are so many issues with the environment that I would think cleaning up derelict windmills would be rather low on the list.  

Quite -they  create a visual disamenity but that's about it.

To resolve that some demolition charges in the base would easily  bring the towers down removing the visual aspect and making the recovery of metals easier.

Edited by NickW

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5 hours ago, lasttwo said:

A solar panel is a better investment than a 30 yr bond - safer too

I have just bought a house (UK) with East and West facing roofs. I can put about 6 KW of panels up and can do this DIY. In due course we are going to buy a NIssan Leaf as a second car and also a convenient dump for surplus electricity. Anything left over will be diverted to  an immersion in the hot water cylinder

The gross return on this will be about 18% per annum.

The gross return on a thermal (evacuated tube) solar hot water system DIY is about 11%

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23 hours ago, NickW said:

We are talking Africa here and while one or two countries have the capability to run Nuclear reactors, indeed South Africa does the complexity of a nuclear power station and support infrastructure would overwhelm most African countries.

On the other hand solar is very simple. At a domestic level a basic trained electrician can set up a solar panel system with an inverter and couple of lead acid batteries. This is sufficient to provide for refrigeration, lighting and a TV. High efficiency refrigerators can be turned off for several hours over night so this helps deal with the intermittency of solar. LED / CFL lighting is low cost now and uses very little power.

Yes, no, depends, south africa more specifically is the only country in the continent that can have a home grown nuclear industry, but many countries plan to build nuclear reactors, countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Algeria, if those countries get nuclear power they will just operate the powerplants, the fuel cycle will still be managed by the bunch of countries we already know, USA, Russia, China, Japan, Argentina, South Korea, France, Sweden, Germany, India, Canada.

there's a lot of countries that operate reactors and give the fuel cycle and reprocessing business to other countries, like Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Finland, Brazil, Netherlands, Belgium, Belarus, Mexico doesn't even have a nuclear energy institute or regulatory comission, so what it worked there should work in Africa and southeast Asia

For example, let's say japan fabricates the fuel and fuels for fast breeder reactors reactors in Malaysia or Thailand, then takes the fuel fertilized every 2 or 3 years, moves it back to japan, separates the fission products and the fissile new fuel, fabricates new inert-matrix fuel rods, and sends it back to the reactors in Thailand or Malaysia.

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In the UK,coal generating plant is being shut. There is no adequate back-up generating capacity for when the wind is not blowing. Consumers are being brow-beaten into having 'Smart meters' at a cost to the country of tens of billions of pounds. These enable domestic consumers to be remotely disconnected when wind turbines are not providing power. A more sensible approach would be a multi-fuel fluidized-bed combustor producing steam which would drive a turbine water pump. The water would flow into a high-level reservoir and flow down to generate electricity only at peak times. This would multiply the power of the turbine. The low efficiency of pumped-storage schemes would be avoided and the fluidized-bed combustor could partly use Refuse Derived Fuel as well as coal waste. The steam turbine pump would use the water passing through into to condense steam from the low-pressure turbine section of the pump.

 

 

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On 7/31/2019 at 9:11 AM, lasttwo said:

 I am surprised nobody wants to recycle all that steel and copper.. Maybe your post will get someone interested in making that money from salvage.  There are so many issues with the environment that I would think cleaning up derelict windmills would be rather low on the list.  

Nobody can "make money" from the salvage as the cost of removal is way higher than any possible material salvage value.  And this is particularly true with the latest iteration of these wind machines, which run to 460 feet high.

First, giant crane sections have to be carefully trucked up mountain roads to the ridgelines, then assembled using other cranes.  Then the blades have to be disassembled and lowered down.  Then the generator unit and the gearbox, usually in two pieces due to the weight.  Finally the tower itself has to come down in sections.  All the pieces have to be carefully trucked down the mountain, on long dolly beds at about 4 mph, and finally over the roadways to wherever the demolition site is located. 

Finally, the base would be removed.  Those bases typically consist of two million pounds of concrete, and go down into the earth by thirty feet.  As that is expensive and there is no salvage value in concrete, the reality is that the tower bases are simply abandoned, so "site remediation" is never really accomplished.  

The blades tend to be made of a composite material.  It has no resale value, is not amenable to recycling, and the material usually has to be trucked to a landfill, where substantial tipping fees apply.  You could make some money from the generator parts, assuming that you can separate the rare-earth materials for the field windings from the rest of it.  That requires a tear-down of the unit by skilled labor.  If the unit had a gearbox, again there is no residual value and you would separate out the gear oil, then the box itself could be sold as dirty metal, which has low value.  Bottom line:  costs a lot more to take those machines out than anything inside might be worth. 

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Nobody can "make money" from the salvage as the cost of removal is way higher than any possible material salvage value.  And this is particularly true with the latest iteration of these wind machines, which run to 460 feet high.

First, giant crane sections have to be carefully trucked up mountain roads to the ridgelines, then assembled using other cranes.  Then the blades have to be disassembled and lowered down.  Then the generator unit and the gearbox, usually in two pieces due to the weight.  Finally the tower itself has to come down in sections.  All the pieces have to be carefully trucked down the mountain, on long dolly beds at about 4 mph, and finally over the roadways to wherever the demolition site is located. 

Finally, the base would be removed.  Those bases typically consist of two million pounds of concrete, and go down into the earth by thirty feet.  As that is expensive and there is no salvage value in concrete, the reality is that the tower bases are simply abandoned, so "site remediation" is never really accomplished.  

The blades tend to be made of a composite material.  It has no resale value, is not amenable to recycling, and the material usually has to be trucked to a landfill, where substantial tipping fees apply.  You could make some money from the generator parts, assuming that you can separate the rare-earth materials for the field windings from the rest of it.  That requires a tear-down of the unit by skilled labor.  If the unit had a gearbox, again there is no residual value and you would separate out the gear oil, then the box itself could be sold as dirty metal, which has low value.  Bottom line:  costs a lot more to take those machines out than anything inside might be worth. 

a couple of demolition charges. Bang - turbine is on the ground which makes salvage a lot cheaper in terms of the tower and the turbine. 

The problem would have been avoided if the developers were made to deposit a decommissioning bond with the local government. 

The concrete should just be left where it is to gradually degrade as it is with virtually every other redundant industrial structure. 

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2 hours ago, Richard D said:

In the UK,coal generating plant is being shut. There is no adequate back-up generating capacity for when the wind is not blowing. Consumers are being brow-beaten into having 'Smart meters' at a cost to the country of tens of billions of pounds. These enable domestic consumers to be remotely disconnected when wind turbines are not providing power. A more sensible approach would be a multi-fuel fluidized-bed combustor producing steam which would drive a turbine water pump. The water would flow into a high-level reservoir and flow down to generate electricity only at peak times. This would multiply the power of the turbine. The low efficiency of pumped-storage schemes would be avoided and the fluidized-bed combustor could partly use Refuse Derived Fuel as well as coal waste. The steam turbine pump would use the water passing through into to condense steam from the low-pressure turbine section of the pump.

 

 

A better answer would have been to continue building another PWR every 2-3 years after Sizewell B. By now the UK would have an additional 12-15 GW of reliable nuclear baseload negating the need for coal and reducing to some extent the reliance on gas. intermittent renewables could be backed up with gas, Hydro, Pump storage and biomass

Instead that c**t Blair scrapped the programme and exported our gas at $20 a barrel equivalent. 

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2 hours ago, Sebastian Meana said:

Yes, no, depends, south africa more specifically is the only country in the continent that can have a home grown nuclear industry, but many countries plan to build nuclear reactors, countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Algeria, if those countries get nuclear power they will just operate the powerplants, the fuel cycle will still be managed by the bunch of countries we already know, USA, Russia, China, Japan, Argentina, South Korea, France, Sweden, Germany, India, Canada.

there's a lot of countries that operate reactors and give the fuel cycle and reprocessing business to other countries, like Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Finland, Brazil, Netherlands, Belgium, Belarus, Mexico doesn't even have a nuclear energy institute or regulatory comission, so what it worked there should work in Africa and southeast Asia

For example, let's say japan fabricates the fuel and fuels for fast breeder reactors reactors in Malaysia or Thailand, then takes the fuel fertilized every 2 or 3 years, moves it back to japan, separates the fission products and the fissile new fuel, fabricates new inert-matrix fuel rods, and sends it back to the reactors in Thailand or Malaysia.

Yes all very fancy. 

I was talking to my boss who is Ghanian. He was saying his parents in Ghana installed a solar roof, invested in some deep cycle batteries and this provides their overnight lighting, refrigeration and cooling fans. 

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4 hours ago, NickW said:

I was talking to my boss who is Ghanian. He was saying his parents in Ghana installed a solar roof, invested in some deep cycle batteries and this provides their overnight lighting, refrigeration and cooling fans. 

Your boss' parents have the right idea!  But let us remember that Accra, Ghana is at latitude 5.6 degrees N.  It is basically sitting on the Equator and can take full advantage of the sun's output both Summer and Winter.  It is not Burlington, Vermont, which is sitting at 44.5 degrees North, and thus is pretty much useless in the Winter, when you really need that extra power to run the furnace, without fail!  Most of the USA is sitting outside the useful zone for solar; it will work for you out in the Southwest, Arizona and New Mexico.  Michigan and Maine, not so much. 

I am contemplating buying a house on 50 acres out in the Vermont backwoods; it is off-grid, so the solar panels and inverter need to work perfectly, as well as the generator.  And if the generator quits in the dead of winter, or you run out of fuel, then you have a big problem. And if you want to go on a two-week vacation in the Caribbean in the dead of winter, now what? Or do you come back to frozen pipes?  You see the problem. 

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5 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Your boss' parents have the right idea!  But let us remember that Accra, Ghana is at latitude 5.6 degrees N.  It is basically sitting on the Equator and can take full advantage of the sun's output both Summer and Winter.  It is not Burlington, Vermont, which is sitting at 44.5 degrees North, and thus is pretty much useless in the Winter, when you really need that extra power to run the furnace, without fail!  Most of the USA is sitting outside the useful zone for solar; it will work for you out in the Southwest, Arizona and New Mexico.  Michigan and Maine, not so much. 

I am contemplating buying a house on 50 acres out in the Vermont backwoods; it is off-grid, so the solar panels and inverter need to work perfectly, as well as the generator.  And if the generator quits in the dead of winter, or you run out of fuel, then you have a big problem. And if you want to go on a two-week vacation in the Caribbean in the dead of winter, now what? Or do you come back to frozen pipes?  You see the problem. 

In that environment and a two week winter holiday. Drain down the pipes. 

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5 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

 It is not Burlington, Vermont, which is sitting at 44.5 degrees North, and thus is pretty much useless in the Winter, when you really need that extra power to run the furnace, without fail!  Most of the USA is sitting outside the useful zone for solar; it will work for you out in the Southwest, Arizona and New Mexico. 

German households, all lying north of Vermont generate, on average, more than twice as much solar energy.

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13 hours ago, NickW said:

Yes all very fancy.  

I was talking to my boss who is Ghanian. He was saying his parents in Ghana installed a solar roof, invested in some deep cycle batteries and this provides their overnight lighting, refrigeration and cooling fans. 



The question isn't if you can power some light bulbs with solar panels, the question is: Can you move a steel mill or a aluminum smelting installation, or an oil refinery while making a profit? most of the energy in the planet is used for industrial purposes, to make stuff, over residential ones
 

 

3 hours ago, remake it said:

German households, all lying north of Vermont generate, on average, more than twice as much solar energy.

Germany also pays some of the most expensive electricity rates in Europe between 250€ to 600€ per MWh compared with 20€-40€ in nuclear Ukraine or 120€ in also nuclear France, on the other-hand despite spending over 700 billion dollars on renewable energy more specifically wind and solar, those two contribute between 3 to 4% of all primary energy consumption in Germany

 

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4 hours ago, Sebastian Meana said:

The question isn't if you can power some light bulbs with solar panels, the question is: Can you move a steel mill or a aluminum smelting installation, or an oil refinery while making a profit? most of the energy in the planet is used for industrial purposes, to make stuff, over residential ones
 

 

Germany also pays some of the most expensive electricity rates in Europe between 250€ to 600€ per MWh compared with 20€-40€ in nuclear Ukraine or 120€ in also nuclear France, on the other-hand despite spending over 700 billion dollars on renewable energy more specifically wind and solar, those two contribute between 3 to 4% of all primary energy consumption in Germany

 

Wrecked their economy

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/238rank.html#GM

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4 hours ago, Sebastian Meana said:

 most of the energy in the planet is used for industrial purposes, to make stuff, over residential ones

Depends where you live. In Arabia residential drives demand, heavy AC so high electricity and desalination.

 

And yes, in general certain industrials develop because of cheap energy. The country of Georgia has become huge in the mining of bit coin because of cheap hydro electricity, which is why the huge aluminum smelting in the province of Quebec, inexpensive hydro. And smelters in Iceland. 

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5 hours ago, NickW said:

Wrecked their economy.

Too subtle.

 

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