Alternative energy sources... which are best to support?

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posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 03:20 AM
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Originally posted by XL5
Hydrogen is not the answer, its not just floating around somewhere. We need to spend energy to make hydrogen and you get less energy in the hydrogen then you spent to get it. Hydrogen will just be another "gas" they can "war" over and charge you more for, pure energy is normally a set price.


Yes, XL5 is correct, Hydrogen currently is not a long-term solution.

The reason is that the splitting of the Hydrogen atom H+ requires a huge amount of energy, currently i think it's done through a by-reaction in either nuclear fission or coal. (can't remember)




posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by rapier28

Originally posted by XL5
Hydrogen is not the answer, its not just floating around somewhere. We need to spend energy to make hydrogen and you get less energy in the hydrogen then you spent to get it. Hydrogen will just be another "gas" they can "war" over and charge you more for, pure energy is normally a set price.


Yes, XL5 is correct, Hydrogen currently is not a long-term solution.

The reason is that the splitting of the Hydrogen atom H+ requires a huge amount of energy, currently i think it's done through a by-reaction in either nuclear fission or coal. (can't remember)


Your right in a way but I think your thinking about Desalination. All that is needed is electrolysis which is a simple yet expensive proposition. Work is currently being done to up the effiecency, amoung the most promising is using Algae to generate it through photosynthesis



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Your right in a way but I think your thinking about Desalination. All that is needed is electrolysis which is a simple yet expensive proposition. Work is currently being done to up the effiecency, amoung the most promising is using Algae to generate it through photosynthesis


Yes, i think your right, that must've being what i saw on that documentary.


Btw, what about those new "safe" nuclear power plants, the pebble-beds that China is trailing at the moment.

Is it safe and is it effective?

[edit on 7-4-2005 by rapier28]



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 06:53 AM
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Ever wonder why it is illegal to make Moonshine? When you can make beer and wine. Well you can run your car on it. Just like them good ole boys did way back then. When alcohol prohibition was in full force.

I am not saying that this is the only way. I think our own goverment had it right. They even made a film about it. It is call Hemp for Victory.

We do have the answer to this problem. We all ways have. We just need to deside to stop giving all our money to the oil barons, and there govermant friends.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 07:03 AM
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Shut down the entire internet. It uses too much energy, the equipment is very energy inefficient.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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It is, of course, very true that oil isn't just about fuel for our personal transportation, as said previously plastics, chemicals, medicines etc etc can all be oil derived and because of this IMO they will be the last to keep using the stuff to any large degree.

As for nuclear power's costs? Well, there's costs and there's costs.

Nuclear power only seems 'competitive' at all for as long as the industry manages to 'externalise' (ie get the rest of us to pay for it) the costs of storing the waste products - in high security conditions - for several centuries and cleaning up and 'decommissioning' the damned things at the end of their working lives.

In fact the same principle holds true for much of the stuff we buy.
The day we include the costs of clearing up our mess in the purchase price of the things we buy is the day we move a big step closer towards getting a more grown up perspective on energy use and genuine costs.

(For instance, tyres would be a great example, millions of the damned things polluting the country and the cost of cleaning this up is totally absent from the purchase price)



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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Everyone here seems to think something has to be done, but no one wants to admit that the largest problem is agreeing on a plan.

As far as pointing to a singular approach to the problem, i.e., hydrogen is the best, wind is best, nuclear is the answer.....no ONE answer is going to solve this.

The key to averting the looming crisis is designing plans for countries and regions within countries. Perhaps even forming a global alternative energy consortium whose sole purpose is research and engineering, planning and design of facilities. The countries who put into the consortium get back from it. Third world countries are given a break according to their resources, but not in a way that would be taking advantage of what they do or do not have.

Again, fossil fuels, petroleum specifically, have become more and more a pillar to this world's ability to generate wealth and live lives. Should this pillar crumble, the roof will fall on our collective heads if we don't have a replacement "post" to put in its place.

Make the plan, commit to it, don't argue over WHO is right. Define WHAT is right and fight to implement.

Damn, people. This shouldn't be rocket science. The technology is not as vastly complex as other problems we've taken on... and I am not going to use the old "go to the moon" metaphor. It doesn't apply anymore, there are bigger problems than building giant phallus-shaped rockets to proclaim dominance over another country.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by accountability

build a society rather than an economy- if you use local resouces to meet community needs- and produce food and clothing locally-



I agree with the above statement, using biodisel will be a very good source of renewable oil.

We already used ethanol for and that is corn base, well we can start using Canola also.

Europe has been doing it for over a decade also.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 10:04 AM
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Granitehead:

you see the problem. It is starting action where it can be started to get the ball rolling.
Shall we start labeling out the format.
Solar and wind for all rural communities. this could be done tommorow. People just need to realize that they can buy a wind generator or solar cell for about what 5 years of electricity cost... so get a 5 year loan... pay it like a fuel bill and in 5 years, electricity is free (almost, maintenance of course)

then start converting over suburban areas to the form that fits the best.
Solar, for sunny areas.
wind for windy areas.
hydroelectric for cities next to rivers.
biodiesel generation stations (using anything from trash- hemp) for most areas.
Biodiesel is a transition fuel. It does have emmisions that cannot be overcome, but they are much less dangerous than oil burning emmisions.

by the time that industry has to change over, the solar cells and wind power generators will have decreased in price due to volume production, and they will be an attractive alternative. Presently though, many of the top electricity users don't pay diddle for electricity due to incentives given by cities and communities for industrial development.

If there is such a thing as clean nuclear, then that is a potential source. (please list links)

all these things can be implemented on top of our present electricity grid. To those that don't understand, here is the breakdown:
Wind generator on site at rural house generates electricity whenever the wind blows, usually in excess of what the house is using at that time, excess production feeds into the grid. later when the wind dies, the grid services the rural house. In oklahoma, a typical wind generator house will produce about 20% more electricity than it uses monthly.

So in essence, they recieve money from the electricity company.
so storage of wind and solar power is unnessesary. It gets used at time of production.

Granitehead is right, there are many ways to approach it, we just need to do it. I am going to be posting some info on grass roots community projects that are already producing more electricity than the community needs.

I am looking for more info on the new hydrogen production methods. If an efficient one is developed, then water may be our fuel for the next century.

I beleive solar is diffinatly one method that needs to be invested in to make the cells more efficent and cheaper. They could become the main energy source for cars with enough improvement.

We all need to look at the evolution of development of these methods.
they relly do get cheaper and better thru evolution of production.
think about a related device. CD players.
They used to cost $1000 and use mega watts of energy.
now they cost $30 and can run off two AA batteries. (just 20yrs later)
If we did the same with solar cells, then we could see prices so cheap that every house would have them, at the cost of an average hottub.

any engineers on this thread...
where is OTS when you need him?



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by pavil
Are you sure it takes up large amounts of land? I know a group here in Michigan that has prospected (mapped and tracked) the wind speed of areas of the Great Lakes and Eastern Rockies at a height of 100ft. The winds at that height are 7.4 to 11 m/s on average that high up. One 600 kW wind turbine can produce conservetively 1,467,328 kW-h. This is based on actual data of 8,283 hours (94.5% of a year).


Well, a few things to consider. The US used roughly 28,421,000,000,000 kilowatts per year (or 97 quadrillion BTU, for our UK friends) in 2000.

It would take 19,369,220 fans, in an area that provided at least that much wind, to provide the energy needs neccesary for the US. The United States itself boasts a mere 3,537,441 square miles. That means we'd have to have 8 or 9 fans in every square mile to meet the current energy needs. This doesn't even account for the fact that our need increases about 1-2% each year. By now, it would probably take 10 fans per square mile to meet current usage. That's assuming every single fan got at least that amount of wind turn.

Now consider the wind-stealing effect of fans. You can't line them up exactly with each other, because the one in front steals the wind of those in back. So you have to do a cross-hatch pattern, leaving enough space behind it for wind to build back up. Anyone here familiar with sailing can tell you how the same concept works with "overbearing". I'm not sure what the distance is, but it is a decent amount.

Now, there are 1609.3 meters in a mile, and a 600kw fan is about 44 meters wide. This means that you have room for about 36 fans, in any square mile. Using a crosshatch pattern to allow 3 miles worth of wind to build up again, you're looking at a max of 12 fans per square mile, which allows for very little increase in our future demand.

So, even if people could deal with the eyesore of having a giant fan on every single city block (which, granted, is quite possible), by the time we could blanket every square mile with these fans, we'd have already met the max energy capacity.

Between the physical limitations, wind limitations, relatively low amount of power generated per unit, and the enormous magnitude of effort required for "upgrades", I honestly don't think there's any future in wind-power except for small, lightly populated cities.

Even small communities may not want to go this route, since usually one of the benefits of living in a small community is the unspoiled scenery. If the scenery is ruined with fans, it loses the appeal. Even if it doesn't lose its appeal, somehow, the small town will eventually become a larger town, or a network of towns, requiring yet more power.

So while I admit it would be a possible alternative, within our current power consumption, if we assumed that:
1.) Power needs for the U.S. never increased further than about 100 quadrillion BTUs (if it hasn't already)
2.) The people would stand for a ruined landscape of fans across every single square mile of the US.
3.) The fans were around 99% recycleable. Otherwise, you're going to have to find a place to put tens of millions of broken or outdated fans, their parts, and so forth.
4.) Every square mile receives a steady wind that averages out to the same level of power that you mentioned in your post.

I hate to be a doomsayer on this, but I can't ever see wind power taking up the slack for more than 5% of the total power demands, short of a major holocaust in the U.S.

REGARDING TRANSPORTATION ENERGY

A very good point has been brought up:

We cannot assume the same source will power both transportation and our electricity needs. Additionally, we'll need to think in terms of transition from the status quo, to the "new standard".

Let's look at transportation first, as it's probably going to be the hardest transition to make. There are anywhere from thousands to millions of gasoline-powered automobiles in any given city, and throughout the city, an infrastructure designed entirely around delivering this type of fuel to the automobile. Not only must you get hundreds of millions of automobiles to change, you have to change the whole infrastructure to suit the new energy.

Thus, I believe that, whatever the "New Standard" fuel will eventually be, the interim transition will need to be a similarly delivered liquid source that can make use of the existing infrastructure for about 10-20 years. I say 10-20 years, because that's about how long it will take from the time we decide on a "New Standard" and the time it can be implemented as a standard).

It would also make sense to use as much of our byproducts of existing refinements as possible. Waste not, want not.

That said, it seems like the most likely source of "transition" fuel, before the New Standard will be biodiesel, as it requires the fewest modifications, pollutes less, already has a board with lobbyists, and is a least-cost alternative for non-petrol fuels.

Our long term goals for the "New Standard", however, will depend heavily on the future of transportation itself, and unfortunately there's no way to really know how big of an impact mass transit will have in the future, or even the prospect of aerial vehicles. However, if I had to hazard a guess, if we stick to ground-based transportation, I'd go with electricity, supplied with some manner of high-yield rechargable battery or track-wire.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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Thank you libra...
you are correct... that wind could really only be servicable in small communities... so lets get them signed up...
the more initial users starting the quicker the price drops.
And the actual energy production is a little higher int he areas that would make the greatest use. (windy zones)

the Biodiesel option is looking better... especially for car fuel and industry.
A biodiesel hybrid would be an excellent platform for transportation.
the biodiesel generator charges the battery that operates the car. Solar could be integrated into the paintjob of the vehicle and extra electricity produced could be put back into the home grid for use at the house.

there are many good options being presented...



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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The articles that Seekerof cited (Alternatives to Oil, Energy Efficiency, and Oil Wars, Page Two; and Life After the Oil Crash) is pretty much what The Libra said earlier on this thread -- and I have been posting for months now. I am not sure why everyone isn’t reading and commenting on those articles, because they provide cold, hard numbers that support everything the authors say.

Perhaps it’s all the math that frightens everyone away – or maybe many people would rather think about what they would like to see, rather than what is. But the articles above are probably the best outline of what realistic alternative energy options are really about.

Here’s what they’re not:

Photovoltaics. I hate to say this, because I am a big PV fan, and used to work as a systems engineer in the PV industry, but PV is simply not feasible for large-scale or small scale usage outside on niche applications (e.g., where there is no other source of electricity available). Even under the best of conditions, the sun produces only 1 kW/m^2 of area, and it’s intermittent, involves tremendous environmental problems in manufacturing, and the batteries to store the energy have to be replaced every couple of years.

Biodiesel/Ethanol/Methanol. Run the numbers. Where are you going to get the million barrels per month of used French fry oil, and how are you going to get it to the refineries, and who’s going to pay for the conversion of all the cars? And if you’re talking about alcohol produced from corn or other C12H22O11 producers, figure out how many millions of acres we’d need to grow all that ethanol!

Fuel Cells. They aren’t an energy source; they’re just a means of storing energy. Even if you leave the platinum problem aside, it costs more energy to split the water for the hydrogen, then compress it and transport it and store it. And meanwhile, what do you do with all the cars that you can’t convert?

Wind Turbines. Again, a niche power source only. Turbines are expensive to build and operate, and have to be sized to a particular location. A turbine efficient enough to get power from a 5 mph air will collapse under a high wind. And a turbine strong enough to stand and extract energy from a strong breeze is not efficient enough to get any power from lighter airs. Plus, the energy output varies as the cube of the wind velocity! This does not require any heavy calculus; first year high school algebra will tell you why this isn’t a good choice.

Hydro. We’ve already dammed – or are planning to dam -- all the major rivers in the world, including Itaipu and Cana Brava projects in Brazil and Three Gorges in China. There isn’t anything new there.

Now some people talk about a “mix” of alternative energy sources, as though that would be a feasible approach to spreading the non-recurring costs. But that isn’t the way it works. One of the disadvantages of most of these alternative energy costs (just one disadvantage0 is that they’re no able to take advantage of the production economies of scale. Going from one un-economic approach to four or five un-economic approaches isn‘t going to help; it’ll just be less cost-effective.

The bottom line is that the only thing I can see as a short-to-medium term (50 years) approach is nuclear power, and a longer term would be something like tidal-bore hydro or Stirling-cycle engines running off seawater temperature deltas.

Hydrogen fusion? Maybe some day. I certainly don’t think we should ignore research into that and other possible energy sources; but we can’t schedule engineering or scientific breakthroughs.

If we’re going to plan for a future which doesn’t involve the collapse of civilization and the death of three-fourths of the world’s population, it just might help if we looked at real possibilities.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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sminkeypinkey says:

"Nuclear power only seems 'competitive' at all for as long as the industry manages to 'externalise' (ie get the rest of us to pay for it) the costs of storing the waste products - in high security conditions - for several centuries and cleaning up and 'decommissioning' the damned things at the end of their working lives."

So?

The hydrocarbon industry is externalizing the costs of its garbage-tossing, too; whom do you think is paying for the air quality costs, the increased incidence of cardiopulmonary diseases, acid rain, etc.?

And who is paying for the stranglehold that OPEC has over both your country and mine, and the geopolitical chaos that has accompanied the OPEC ascendancy?

Hint: we are.

I don't think anyone -- not even the most biased fission-plant spinmeister -- is stupid enough to try to convnce anyone that nuclear power is a perfect answer.

I certainly don't think it is.

But statistically speaking, NP is more cost effective (and I mean 'cost' in terms of infrastructure implementation and amortization and health/environment) than burning hydrocarbons is.


[edit on 7-4-2005 by Off_The_Street]



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 12:50 PM
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Thank you OTS
I always respect your views but will disagree on one thing, well more of a compromise of details than a disagreement.

We will have to initiate something...
the "easy reach" oil will only last 40 yrs more at present useage, not to mention additional needs.(*source, world Atlas 2005)
When that is gone, the remainder of oil becomes more expensive due to the problems with transporting it from farther areas, and cost of extraction...

at that point, we will need to have an option, and more expensive options will look better when compared to more expensive oil...

biodiesel is a big possiblility...



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Granitehead:

you see the problem. It is starting action where it can be started to get the ball rolling.


Oi! Both you and Granitehead see the problem, but there's a reason that problem exists. There are no free lunches, every source of energy has its drawbacks, and creates new problems to deal with. People can't yet agree and "start the action" because it's too damned diverse and insurmountable a problem to just dive in and start making changes without seriously considering these side effects.

It's easy to look at the situation and just say "Oh, well, it can all be fixed with this Panacea of an Energy Source", but that viewpoint is ignorant of the cost (in money, time, space, and resources) in tearing down the old infrastructure, putting up a new infrastructure, land and scenery, ecological impact, environmental impact, waste disposal, maintenance, and it's global or local effects on weather patterns. I'm sure there are yet even more problems, engineering and mathwise that would complicate things further, but the point is, there are no free lunches. Every choice has a consequence, and in the case of some alternate energy sources, those consequences are as bad or worse than the status quo.


Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Shall we start labeling out the format.
Solar and wind for all rural communities. this could be done tommorow. People just need to realize that they can buy a wind generator or solar cell for about what 5 years of electricity cost... so get a 5 year loan... pay it like a fuel bill and in 5 years, electricity is free (almost, maintenance of course)


Have you seen rural communities? Most of those people are farmers or herders, and most of them are so up to their ears in debt that getting another loan is impossible. "Only 5 years worth of Electricity"... that's a lot of investment to put into buying fans that will require constant maintenance, and in times of bad weather, complete replacement. That and my previous post goes into great detail about why wind-power isn't a viable alternative to the energy crunch.

Solar power might work, but is so much more expensive to build a plant out of that poor rural communities aren't going to be able to afford it. Fossil fuel plants are a helluva lot cheaper, provides more power, and can be placed far enough away from the town proper that few people will mind. You're not dealing with a wealthy town that can afford luxuries, you're most likely dealing with a town composed of people who can't afford to be anywhere else.


Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
then start converting over suburban areas to the form that fits the best.
Solar, for sunny areas.
wind for windy areas.
hydroelectric for cities next to rivers.


Solar, maybe. If they're rich enough.

Wind, no, per my previous post.

Hydro-electric... are you kidding!?!?!?
Please tell me you're kidding! The environmental and ecological impact of a dam effects the entire watershed of the river, upstream and downstream, changes the very land itself, and the erosion damage alone is unthinkable.


Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
biodiesel generation stations (using anything from trash- hemp) for most areas.
Biodiesel is a transition fuel. It does have emmisions that cannot be overcome, but they are much less dangerous than oil burning emmisions.


And very true...though it smells like french fries. Biodiesal is a viable alternative, but the output is too low vs. consumption to power an electric plant. It would better do as a transportation fuel.


Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Presently though, many of the top electricity users don't pay diddle for electricity due to incentives given by cities and communities for industrial development.


Not true at all. The heaviest users of electricity are high-density dirty industries and high-density commercial areas, like manufacturing. Those really big, ugly plants you see in the industrial zones of your cities, and those skyscrapers are the monsters of consumption. Cities rarely give tax breaks to dirty industry, because of the lack of quality appeal in both aestheics and air, and encourages low-income, low-education citizens to move in. The industries that cities will usually give tax breaks to are high-tech or medical industries, because those generate more wealth with less pollution, and encourage a higher calibre of skills in their workforce.

Now, high-density commercial buildings are the real power hogs, but provide a LOT of relatively high-paying jobs with little pollution. So they get a tax break.


Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Granitehead is right, there are many ways to approach it, we just need to do it. I am going to be posting some info on grass roots community projects that are already producing more electricity than the community needs.


This is not a Nike commercial. "Just do it" is fine in theory, but in practice, the only practical things mentioned that can be immediately implemented are biodiesel and solar, both of which require the consumer to be willing to spend rather a lot of money. "Just do it", if applied to other alternative forms, at this present time, could result in ecological damage as bad as that which we are trying to be rid of.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 02:05 PM
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Laz says:

"We will have to initiate something... the "easy reach" oil will only last 40 yrs more at present useage, not to mention additional needs.(*source, world Atlas 2005). When that is gone, the remainder of oil becomes more expensive due to the problems with transporting it from farther areas, and cost of extraction..."

I couldn't agree more. Even if we ignore the politico-economic aspects of international oil (and we can't ignore that), the price of oil as a function of its extraction and refining costs is extremely important.

"...at that point, we will need to have an option, and more expensive options will look better when compared to more expensive oil..."

Agreed; but we can't wait until "at that point" to come up with the option. By the time the oil prices start to spike (that is, right about now), we should already have the following things in place (in the following order):

1. A prioritized replacement technology. For reasons I have mentioned ad nauseam, I think nuclear fission is that priority.

2. A method to implement that replacement technology. For N-plants, that means streamlined paperwork in order to get the them built quickly. More than half the costs of N-plant construction is spent on the typical ten- to fifteen-year delay in getting the plants approved, and most of that time is spent fighting off court challenges by Luddites who figure if they drive up the costs, the plant operators will give up, and we can keep on burning oil and coal.

3. Ongoing research to make the chosen replacement technology better. Nor N-power, that means we need to figure out a cost-effective approach to dealing with the spent fuels problem, whether by building breeders (which have their own political issues) or finding the safest possible (not the perfect) place to store the stuff for the thousands of years it will take to cool down.

4. Development of other feasible power sources to supplement or supplant N-power in the future.

5. Basic research to see if still other power sources presently either un-feasible or not understood (or even nonexistent) can be brought to first demonstration, and then to large-scale power production.

We haven't done any of those things yet.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 02:16 PM
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Biodiesel.

I hear a lot of comments about “biodiesel” as if it were some sort of final solution to our energy problem.

It isn’t, and here's why.

Let's say that we want to supplant, say, a quarter of all the petroleum used to power our fleet of cars and trucks, and heat our houses -- in other words, a quarter of the daily usage of gasoline and diesel/No. 2 NFO.

U.S. petroleum demand is projected to average 20.9 million barrels per day in 2005 ( www.eia.doe.gov... ), or 1,149,500,000 gallons (that's a.1495 billion gallons per day. So how much would it cost to produce the 287,375,000 gallons a day of biodiesel?

Well, if you're talking ethanol, a typical ethanol-producing plant, sugar beets, will provide, on the average, about 5.9 kilo-liters per hectare, or 3,852 gallons per acre. ( www.osti.gov... ).
Assuming one growing season per year, you would need 74,589 acres to provide one fourth of the daily petroleum needs of the United States, or 27,243,632 acres to provide a year’s supply!

The United States presently has the capability of increasing its food production, but, since about ten years ago, the increase in foodstuffs per acre are annualized at 0.7 percent, which is less than the annual growth rate. This is what has been driving food prices up. Now what do you think would happen to the price of food it we took 27 million acres out of production to grow fuel?

Plus, I haven’t even addressed how much water would be required to “grow” that biodiesel, and how much more insecticides we’d have to spray daily, and finally, even if this were to come about …

…It would still be only 25 percent of our daily needs, and it would still be burning hydrocarbons with the pollutions inherent in that burning.!

Biodiesel is not going to work. Get out your calculator and figure the numbers yourself!



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 02:21 PM
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Libra, while i respect your opinions and data, they don't address the simple fact that we are living in a honeymoon time right now... as oil becomes more expensive (with more scarcity), other options will need to become available.
Germany is a good example of what i am talking about... they are supporting the implemation of solar power at present tech levels to supply more and more of their enegy usage.
Where are they buying them from?... the fledgling American solar cell producers.
(great industry to be in, lots of growth). they subsidize these, because a government can absorb a long term investment better than a private citizen.

If the poor rural communitys were given government guaranteed loans for the transfer to solar or wind, then the possibilities become easier.

I understand your hesitancy to wind... it obviously wont work everywhere. But in oklahoma (the land of windy plains) it would be all we needed. That is one of the communities i was mentioning. there is presently a pilot project that is working wonderfully.
That is approx 4 million less people depending on the oil reserves.
That is a drop in the bucket, but you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time.

We can not hide our head in the sand and say "nothing is as good as oil, so give up" because oil is increasing in demand and decreasing in amount.
it wont last... there is only so much, and it takes millions of years to generate more naturally.

we have to look at other options, even expensive ones (they get cheaper over time)
remember the long picture is the important one.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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There seems to have been a complete overlooking of a major factor in combating our future energy problems. Our usage of energy.

Whilst converting to alternative energy sources we should run through our lives with a fine-tooth comb and eleminate every use of power that is not critical to our life.

Do you really need to leave your printer on continously? Do you really need that light on? Do you really need the heater on? Do you really need to drive the 10 minutes down to the corner shop? The list is endless.

It would be conservative to estimate that atleast 50% (of my usage atleast) of our current personal energy usage could be eliminated. That alone would raise the prospects of alternative energy sources viability no end.

I live in the North West of England and our coast here is festooned with Wind Turbines and I for one do not resent their "ruining of our scenery". I cant see anything past the clean energy source. Scenery be damned, i'd rather see wind turbines than smog filled clouds.

If I was to put my eggs all in one basket for an alternative energy source I'd go for geo-thermal. The entire planet has a crust and under it lava and intense heat. Thats half the battle in electricity production heat. Pump in enough water for it to vapourise into steam and spin the turbines. Condense the steam back into water in a dome and use the falling water to power hydro-style turbines.

I too would agree with OTS that nuclear power is the best transitional energy source as the waste, when compared to fossil fuels, is minimal. People seem to forget that our current non-nuclear energy production has given us global warming and threatens our entire existance as a species. Can we really begrudge storing the few tonnes of nuclear waste per plant responsibly whilst we've ruined our planet with fossil fuels?

This forum on peak oil is fantastic
Great move and I hope we can all benefit from it. Want to start right now? Turn that damn printer off


XL5

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 04:14 PM
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Wind turbines can run with no problems in 5-100kmh winds. For low winds, you want to angle the prop blades to deflect as much wind as posible. For high winds, you point the blades to the wind so it deflects the wind less and does not overspeed.

You could also put loads like batteries/ultra capacitors on when there are high winds to slow the blades down. All of this automation is posible.





 
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