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The Green Energy Problem

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posted on Jan, 31 2019 @ 10:21 PM
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By now we all know it's cold in Minnesota, and if you don't, you've been living under a rock.

But, did you also know Minnesota suffered an energy brownout? That's right. XCEL energy asked its customers to turn their thermostats down to 60 degrees and not use any hot water. Why? Because they didn't have enough generation from their wind farms.

Not only was it cold, but there was no wind.

The state's natural gas plants could not supply the needed energy on their own.


Because the wind wasn’t blowing. Utilities pair natural gas plants with wind farms, in order to burn gas, which can be ramped up and down more quickly than coal, when the wind isn’t blowing.

Which raises the question: since natural gas is reliable, why do we need the wind farms? The answer is, we don’t. When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.


So this is why green energy is a problem. When it works, it's great, but when it's not there, it's just not there. And if you don't have enough conventional energy to make for its lack, you're out in the cold. In this case, XCEL's customers were literally out in the cold. Some lost service and XCEL had to put them up in hotel rooms.


Natural gas also heated the homes of approximately 66 percent of Minnesotans this week, by far the most for any home heating fuel, but there wasn’t enough gas to combat the frigid temperatures.

Because of the extreme cold, Xcel Energy urged its natural gas customers in Becker, Big Lake, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Princeton and Isanti to reduce the settings on their thermostats, first down to 60 degrees, then to 63, through Thursday morning to conserve enough natural gas to prevent a widespread shortage as temperatures remained 14 below zero. Some Xcel customers in the Princeton area lost gas service, and Xcel reserved rooms for them in nearby hotels.


So going forward, we need to keep this in mind.

Everyone likes to be green, but no one likes to be without. And this incident shows that renewables may have their niche, but they're nothing you want to rely on when the alternative is trying to survive a loss of service in subzero temps or other equally extreme adverse conditions.




posted on Jan, 31 2019 @ 10:29 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

That is PRECISELY why you don't want ignorant, cocktail-waitresses-cum-congressperson Alexandria Occasional Cortex to dictate US energy policy through her dingbat "Green New Deal"

ECO-freak morons be gone !

Let ENGINEERS make those decisions, not cocktail waitresses, barmaids or toilet cleaners.



posted on Jan, 31 2019 @ 10:39 PM
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Nice try.

You’re conflating nat gas as the feedstock for electrical energy, the article is strictly referencing thermal energy.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

Nat gas has a nice little thing going — transition fuel and will always be the most cost-efficient means of heating (thermal energy).


Now if you would have been clever enough to spill this drivel during a heat wave, sweeping the Midwest saying, “see, your green energy is a farce because we’re cranking the peak load IGCC and Carbon is being emitted, while your solar arrays bake birds....”

FAIL



posted on Jan, 31 2019 @ 10:46 PM
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Just break out the Coal stoves and warm up. Cheap heat.


(post by M5xaz removed for a manners violation)

posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 12:26 AM
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originally posted by: BeefNoMeat
Nice try.

You’re conflating nat gas as the feedstock for electrical energy, the article is strictly referencing thermal energy.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

Nat gas has a nice little thing going — transition fuel and will always be the most cost-efficient means of heating (thermal energy).


Now if you would have been clever enough to spill this drivel during a heat wave, sweeping the Midwest saying, “see, your green energy is a farce because we’re cranking the peak load IGCC and Carbon is being emitted, while your solar arrays bake birds....”

FAIL


First. Nuclear is far better than natural gas, as far as outputs per unit measured.
Second. The "green" tech only works when the source is available. Solar and wind are great, if there is sun and wind.
Coal, gas, nuclear all work regardless of weather.

I had a solar company insist they could power a concert I was head of once.
I'm always willing to give new tech a shot- So I agreed to the experiment.

They succeeded, by firing up their diesel fuel generator they kept with their solar cells "for emergencies."
It was an overcast day.
"Green" energy is promising. In 20 years it may start to rival conventional energy production constantly.

In short, as you requested. You are wrong.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 03:58 AM
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Same thing happened in Victoria the other week, except with 40+ degrees. Reason being they have recently closed a few coal plants and did not replace the loss with anything..... No other plants to combat the loss of energy... They also stated everything would be fine which was not the case.

It baffles me that they would think it would be OK closing plants and not replacing them with anything and the ever expanding Victoria there wouldn't be problems.. Unbelievable things should be sorted before they close things down and not after or most likely years later when the problems become alot worse.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 04:55 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Meanwhile in the U.K. the government has been paying companies who operate wind farms to NOT supply energy at times as the grid can’t cope with the surplus generated...

Also every winter the price of natural gas goes up just when customers will be using it the most. Funny coincidence that one.

alternatives aren’t being pushed because there aren’t enough profits in them or they are deemed not to be cost effective. Geothermal is a source that is pretty much constant, and Sterling engines run off heat differential so cold can actually be utilised in running them. Then there is hydroelectric generation either from dams or channeling water to run a generator by increasing the pressure through a system of valves works well enough. In Wales a whole mountain was engineered on the inside to make a hydroelectric power plant.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 06:34 AM
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a reply to: surfer_soul

I found your statement about paying wind farms money to 'not produce electric' hard to believe. Jesus, you are right.

Wind Farms Paid £100million to Switch Power Off!

So not only did our Gov pay huge subsidies to build these wind farms, both direct and in direct subsidies to companies like Dong and Siemens. They are now paying the energy companies MORE to not produce electric than if they were producing electric. What world do we live in?

As an aside, if Scotland ever depart the UK and go independent this would be enough to put them under! (Exaggeration but point made).



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: BeefNoMeat

It's the truth.

The power company in question pairs natural gas with wind farms. In this case, they did not have enough wind to help them offset the increased need for heat. Why? Because the wind wasn't blowing, so the farms weren't working. They didn't even have that to offset their needs.

What they had in terms of coal and nuclear couldn't be hiked enough.

And there wasn't enough natural gas left over to do the trick.

The shortfall was in the over-reliance on clean energy forms that are unreliable in and of themselves.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 07:39 AM
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a reply to: surfer_soul




Geothermal is a source that is pretty much constant . . .


For many years, geothermal technology has been trialled but not brought to fruition.
www.cornwallislesofscillygrowthprogramme.org.uk...

It's important to realise deep geothermal hasn't worked yet in the UK. You'll find very little hard data on the Southampton project. Newcastle University drilled the holes in full public view, then had to admit to failure. Eastgate failed. The earlier Cornish attempt failed when the water ran out through fissures in the rock. Now they're attempting a different technique in Cornwall. It's an experiment that the drillers will get paid handsomely for.

The trick is to drill one hole, hit 'unexpected' problems, and bump up the price. Then the other hole has to be drilled to justify the first. It also hits 'unexpected' problems. Then the whole project fails and the drillers retire to the Caribbean.

I'm horrified by the way deep geothermal is touted as a workable system in the UK and elsewhere. It works where there's steam coming out of the ground. Even then the hole can bung up with minerals a week after it's been drilled.

The drilling rig doesn't run on unicorn farts. Massive amounts of fossil fuels are burned to enrich fake green-energy scammers. It's all talk.

Rocket Mass Heaters work for heating homes and workshops.

well proven though not widely used
www.permaculture.co.uk...

The snag with Rocket Mass Heaters is the lazy fake greenies don't get paid mega-loads of cash.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 07:41 AM
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My cousin in Grand Rapids Michigan told me yesterday that the utility company told residents to lower their thermostats to 65* because of a natural gas shortage.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: surfer_soul

Please forgive my tone. I have personally been very badly affected by failed shallow geothermal.

If deep geothermal could be proven in the UK it would attract investors.

. . . projects are not attracting enough commercial interest. More effort needs to be put in proving the resources are viable . . .
www.greenmatch.co.uk... Forty years of trying hasn't yet been enough effort. Flogging a dead horse is a waste of energy.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 08:09 AM
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a reply to: and14263




So not only did our Gov pay huge subsidies to build these wind farms, both direct and in direct subsidies to companies like Dong and Siemens. They are now paying the energy companies MORE to not produce electric than if they were producing electric. What world do we live in?


It’s unbelievable isn’t it? I think Tears for Fears had it right when they said it’s a mad world. The thing is they know exactly what they are doing and it’s one big scam designed enrich their own back pockets.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: Kester

Geothermal does work though, the U.K. contractors need to speak to engineers in Iceland who have successfully implemented such. Though their access is better than ours with all the vents and volcanic activity. We can still use basic underfloor heating in homes to offset gas heating. It’s funny how you brought up rocket mass heaters and permaculture principles. I have studied this stuff for many years now, and if you look at people who have gone off grid and get more energy they can use through a variety of sustainable methods and efficient design principles I can’t understand why these methods can’t be applied everywhere.

In our country hydroelectric systems would likely be best, the key I think is not to rely on one system alone though, but have back ups available. As I pointed out earlier wind farms have already produced more energy than we can use. Sure they don’t work in no wind but that doesn’t matter if you have alternatives and efficient storage systems.

It really angers me that good ideas that work and are environmentally friendly are snuffed out in favour of scams like carbon credits and carbon tax.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

At this point we're are slowly in a transition state. Of course the grids are not going to be enough. And brownouts can happen whenever any peak energy needs cannot be met. In due time and with solid research and infrastructure in place green energy can produce enough power, but there should always be a supplemental backup of small nuclear reactor power stations to fill any voids in the system or compensate for any shortcomings.

There are so many "green" ways of producing power that the grid should not rely on just one of them.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: Kester

I understand your frustration but geothermal is just one of many alternatives to fossil and nuclear. The reason I think they aren’t pushed more is all to do with profit margins. It’s the same with recycling and other green efforts, most of it is just dumped abroad somewhere for beggars and children to scavenge through for anything worth salvaging. Which isn’t much.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 09:13 AM
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Burning oil based fuels is true Green energy, since plants breathe CO2. The less CO2 the less plants on the planet, making it less green. This is basic science. Also, The manufacturing, recycling & disposal processes of batteries/solar panels is far more harmful to the environment vs burning oil or natural gas. People will gravitate to so-called Green energy because it will become more economical vs burning fuel. Fyi, water vapor & solar activity have a greater impact on global temperatures vs CO2.



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: JBIZZ

What happens to all the other nasty crap from burning oil though, like carbon monoxide? The smog in cities which can clearly be seen when an inversion is present?
Plants breathe oxygen as well as carbon but I agree that batteries/solar panels are toxic the environment as well. Maybe our tech can save us before it sinks us though?



posted on Feb, 1 2019 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: Kester
Rocket Mass Heaters?? That's a new one on me. Well. it's just a fancy name for a roman style hypocaust with an old 50 gallon oil drum to contain the fire.



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