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Author Topic: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)  (Read 1416 times)

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Offline RevolvermanTopic starter

There's nothing that comes close to having the power per gallon that oil does.

Besides electric power.

Offline Jude

Solar's the future for sure.  Nothing can produce the kind of energy that a highly advanced technological society needs but the sun.  We've been developing better batteries, panels, and capturing techniques for the past 50 years, it's just incremental advances but there has been progress.

A French company is building a solar farm out in the Sahara desert that'll power its energy needs, imagine if all of the world's nations underwent similar projects.

It has also been proposed to build a solar farm ring around the equator and beam collected energy down in microwaves--which is a surprisingly good idea.

Offline Vekseid

Anyone else enjoy the irony of seeing plastic get 'priced out' with steel, wood, and hemp replacing it because they're cheaper?

Solar isn't an answer to the oil crisis. It's an answer to the daytime peak power problem. We still need baseline power (nuclear works well, though paranoia is rampant) and we still need some sort of fuel. Shale and coal liquefaction can help for awhile, but we need to replace them eventually, too. Ethanol is not looking like a good solution for a great many reasons, so I'm mostly looking at aquaculture at the moment (algaculture right now, though I wouldn't rule out some bacterial culture solution).

Offline Trieste

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Solar power for peak daytime power.

Nuclear power for a backup (we need to figure out what to do with the waste).

There do not need to be paper copies of everything; we are nowhere near a paperless society, and raising the price of paper would not be necessarily a bad thing toward that step.

We can use wood and steel in place of plastic, among other things. It's arguably healthier for people not to wrap everything in plastic anyway. All that styrofoam and packing that things come in - I unwrapped a Dirt Devil the other day and it had way, way too much plastic and styrofoam - is completely unnecessary. We need to think renewable.

Oh, and we wouldn't need so much non-solar power if people would occasionally turn off their lights and sleep at night, or engage in more active entertainment as opposed to passive entertainment.

... /hijack >.>

Offline Vekseid

I'm reminded of, when some environmentalist nutjob claimed that plutonium was the most poisonous substance known, a nuclear physicist gave him a challenge "You pick the amount. I'll eat that much plutonium, you eat that much arsenic."

...never took him up >_>

I'm far more afraid of the chemicals used to make solar cells than I am of the radioactive byproducts of nuclear power. "Why aren't solar factories being built in the United States? Why are so many microchips built in Asia?" - does not have to do with labor costs, it's because we don't want silicon tetrachloride in our groundwater. When China and the rest of Asia doesn't, Africa will happily oblige. It's possible that vapor deposition and other home fabrication techniques might finally let us end that suffering, the only limitations on that being paper (IP law).

I probably need to blare that louder - there are few greater threats to our freedom and our future than the state of intellectual property law in this country and the world.

Offline RevolvermanTopic starter

Fusion power (not as science fictitious as most people think) would also really help with any energy problems. Doesn't have as much waste side effects too.

Offline Vekseid

It's mostly a scale up concern. Research is progressing at a healthy clip, but if it starts in 2040 and it + nuclear needs to replace coal entirely by 2080-2090, that's a lot of infrastructure to replace.

Not impossible, by any means. I hope to be alive then! but still.

Offline Zakharra

Besides electric power.

 Right now to generate that much electricity you wouold need many more coal and gas fired power plants. Or  cut through a crapload of red tape to get nuclear powerplants started. That's where NIMBY comes into play. Then there is the batteries needed to 1 power the vehicals, 2, be able to take and hold a charge for  several hundred miles, 3, be able to be charged in 5-10 minutes or less and 4,  be disposable in a relatively non-harmful way when the battery does wear out.

 Until a electric car comes close to the convienance of a gas powered one, they will not be sold that well. No one wants a car that requires 2-8 hours of plug in time to recharge, not to mention the hugely increased electric bill that would result from having your vehical charged.

Online Lithos

The oxygen / hydrogen fuel cells have great potential as power source for anything electrically driven but there is one big catch: the compounds are very dangerous in event of any sort of crash and as we know, there will be crashes in road traffic :/

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

I still believe that once the problem of safe containment is solved, this will most likely be the future of electric cars, it is proven, solid option already in use in the most state of the art electric submarines for example, and well working prototypes of busses and personal vehicles have been made.

Best example of proven heavy duty use is the excellent german Type 212 diesel electric submarine that can function weeks without noise or exhaust heat with hydrogen fuel cells:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212_submarine

I have great faith in this technology for vehicular power. As realist, I think that the best option for main stay backbone for any countrys power grid is nuclear power. The waste is a problem but not nearly as big problem as people are making it up to be.

Online itsbeenfun2000

The oxygen / hydrogen fuel cells have great potential as power source for anything electrically driven but there is one big catch: the compounds are very dangerous in event of any sort of crash and as we know, there will be crashes in road traffic :/

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

I still believe that once the problem of safe containment is solved, this will most likely be the future of electric cars, it is proven, solid option already in use in the most state of the art electric submarines for example, and well working prototypes of busses and personal vehicles have been made.

I agree that nuclear power is something we have to look back into, however, we seem to be forgetting wind power. A small modern day windmill, 40' tower, can supply enough electricity for a house and kick back into the power grid. Unfortunately local ordinances have not kept up with the times. Where I live you need 10 acres of farm land to put up a windmil because they still think of the conventional ones not the modern day ones.
Best example of proven heavy duty use is the excellent german Type 212 diesel electric submarine that can function weeks without noise or exhaust heat with hydrogen fuel cells:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212_submarine

I have great faith in this technology for vehicular power. As realist, I think that the best option for main stay backbone for any country's power grid is nuclear power. The waste is a problem but not nearly as big problem as people are making it up to be.

Online itsbeenfun2000

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 07:31:54 AM »
Let us remember for the people who would call the windmills unsightly we used to think the same of cell towers



Offline Zakharra

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 11:45:27 AM »
Let us remember for the people who would call the windmills unsightly we used to think the same of cell towers

 True. However cell phone towers do not kill birds, move or make noise that can be heard a good distance away. It's just a tower sticking up like a metal tree.

Online Lithos

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 11:57:54 AM »
Also, the sheer amount needed is a problem. With winds around here for example, we would need to get rid of the forests to make room for windmills. I fail to see how that would be ecological or nature conserving. It does also mess the views.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 12:02:20 PM »
The oxygen / hydrogen fuel cells have great potential as power source for anything electrically driven but there is one big catch: the compounds are very dangerous in event of any sort of crash and as we know, there will be crashes in road traffic :/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell/quote]

 I've always wondered about that. Hydrogen is extremely explosive.

 
I have great faith in this technology for vehicular power. As realist, I think that the best option for main stay backbone for any countrys power grid is nuclear power. The waste is a problem but not nearly as big problem as people are making it up to be.

 Yeah. Nuclear is the best option for electric growth. The fuel and waste isn't as bad as alot of people make it.

Offline Jude

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 01:00:28 PM »
You don't actually need backup if you build a solar platforms that exist outside of our atmosphere (especially if you distribute them throughout exposure zones), you also get more exposure that way to the energy, and surprisingly little is lost during the transmission via high energy waves to the earth.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 01:09:52 PM by Jude »

Online itsbeenfun2000

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2010, 04:28:01 PM »
I am not saying everywhere we can use windmils anymore then we can use dams everywhere. we have to find what is best for each region. solar in the midwest considering how cloudy it is all winter would not be the best option. Places where the wind is blocked we would have to find another method. My point is we have to try a variety of options to replace oil

Offline Zakharra

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2010, 08:55:45 AM »
 Oil for energy is one thng, we can eventually find replacement fuels. OPil as a base in plastics and  other things is something else entirely. Oil is the base for a whole range of products that would be affected and finding replacements for those products, as well for fuel is the sticking point.

Offline consortium11

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2010, 10:55:11 AM »
I am not saying everywhere we can use windmils anymore then we can use dams everywhere. we have to find what is best for each region. solar in the midwest considering how cloudy it is all winter would not be the best option. Places where the wind is blocked we would have to find another method. My point is we have to try a variety of options to replace oil

Wind Farms are a non-starter. Unless there's a huge leap forward in technology in the near future even the est located Wind Farms continue to e incredibly expensive (and slow) to put up, unreliable and generating minimal amounts of electricity. The people arguing strongest for their wider use are generally those with wide tracts of land who will receive vast sums from the taxpayer to use the sites.

In renewable terms the most interesting concept that appears to have some legs under it is Desertec... which also has the advantage of looking outrageously cool...



That said, I'm still at heart a nuclear man.

Offline RevolvermanTopic starter

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2010, 04:31:33 PM »
It looks like the Solar laser cannon from Fallout: New Vegas. I assume that was the point though.

I've always felt solar would work better if it was decentralized, rather then having a massive farm of them. Use them on house roofs and the such.

Offline RP7466

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2010, 12:03:26 AM »


We can use wood and steel in place of plastic, among other things. It's arguably healthier for people not to wrap everything in plastic

... /hijack >.>
Theres talk of a carbon dioxide based plastic

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2010, 01:34:57 AM »
Does it matter? By the time this is an issue a real one most of us will be dead. Coal (which can be turned into oil) and oil won't exactly run out in our lifetimes. So why should I or you be concerned by then the technologies for these other things will be far better and battery capacity THEN future generations can adapt over.

As for global warming once the above fossil fuels run out ,in a century or more, they won't be used that will stop being aggrevated and it will go away.

I say stick to what we know and make changes as the technologies become cost effective and practical people will use them and companies. Right now they are pretty useless by what I can tell.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2010, 02:37:24 AM »
Oil production is going to start dropping in several years. We could reach 'peak coal' in as little as forty years. Since the average person here has another seventy years to live - assuming no major advances in life extension (quite an assumption)

1) No, most of us will not be dead
2) I want to have children, myself
3) I want to make a better world for them to live in.

So yes, it is a problem.

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Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2010, 10:35:44 AM »
The attitude of 'X won't run out any time soon' is what led to many of the hunting-induced extinctions (from late 1800's big game hunters), the Dust Bowl (poor farming practices), and deforestation issues of erosion, habitat destruction, etc. (South American rain-forests.)

Those who do not learn from history...

Offline Hunter

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2010, 11:17:56 AM »
Those who do not learn from history...
...are doomed to repeat it.

Yes, there is a real crisis with oil and coal as our main energy source.

Unfortunately, the main stumbling block in developing alternatives ARE the oil and energy companies themselves.

Offline Jude

Re: Energy Solutions (was Re: Krugman declares this the Third Depression)
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2010, 02:33:08 PM »
Turning coal into oil is extremely energy inefficient, actually.  Relying solely on that, there's no way we'd be able to meet even today's oil needs, and it doesn't help the pollution problem at all.  Plus, what're you gonna do when you burn through coal in ridiculous amounts to try and meet that hallmark?

It's horrifying to think how screwed up our planet would be if we actually went with that plan.