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A painful transition?

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posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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I have read some very very bleak view on the peak oil situation especially from www.peakoil.org... . Some think that it is already to late to start the transition from oil to anything at all, it is almost like they wish it would happen in such a way so they will be vindicated.
Anyway i would like to discuss the coming/eventual change over from fossil fuels to renewables and whatever else we use, here is a list of our current main priorities or as i see them:

1) We should start mass producing wind generators on a vast scale to make them as inexpensive as possible the same goes for solar panels.

2) Fission power stations should be under construction right now and should be able to sustain the bulk of our energy needs until fusion arrives.

3 Fusion power needs to be become a reality pronto, huge funds should be availble for all the research needed (multi national effort).

4) Hydrogen power although it takes energy to produce the hydrogen it does not pollute and we have virtually unlimited supplies.

5) Every new electrical device that is built should conform to energy standards.

6) There needs to be an international reward system for being green and keeping emissions as low as possible.

7) We need to get these room temperature superconductors to a stage that they can be used for power transmission, this would save huge amounts of energy esp if they were incorporated into the public domain too.

8) Eventual integration of the worlds power grid via superconductors so that power will always be available no matter the weather conditions/natural disastors etc.

9) If we switch to completely renewable sources then there should always be nuclear plants ready to start up and replace them if we encounter some kind of climate change.

Well if u can think of any other good points or steps that need to be taken please post them, think of this as a thread in which the actual transition and how to go about that transition can be discussed.









[edit on 27-4-2005 by ufo3]




posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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The problem isn't electricity---it is energy for transportation.

Transportation has to be liquified or highly compressed hydrocarbons.

There isn't anything else, by the laws of physics and chemistry, that works as well.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Sorry for the double post.

There are, in fact, very good reasons to pursue those alternatives even for electrical
generation: (a) climate change (b) substitution of natural gas for transportation

(a) is clear, we need power sources which emit less greenhouse gases. With our technology and economics these are nuclear fission and wind. Everything else is miniscule in overall capability. They have entirely different characteristics: nuclear is long-term baseline, and wind short term peaky. China will start to build wind plants offshore---a great idea since the wind is more consistent over the ocean, and their population (like ours) is concentrated on the coast.

(b) cars today can use natural gas without much technological change. There is somewhat more natural gas in the world left, if we allow LNG transportation ships. So there will be increased demand for natural gas (versus gasoline) as petroleum gets more expensive. Therefore we will need to substitute other things for the electricity currently made by natural gas.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 03:12 AM
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There are a few short documentaries on the scientific america site about hydrogen powered cars here is the link:
pbs-saf.virage.com...:computers%20ClipCategory:technology&category=Clip &page=1

Did u know that it is possible to covert gas cars to hydrogen power? The conversion is expensive but it is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new car, instead of using the hydrogen to make electricity it is directly burned by the engine. I feel innovations like these are very important.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 08:03 PM
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UFO3, you make some good points. I'd like to comment on them, if I may.



1) We should start mass producing wind generators on a vast scale to make them as inexpensive as possible the same goes for solar panels.


Wind turbines, even mass-produced, are not the most cost-effective way to make power. There are a lot of moving parts, which, to an engineer, means things that can go wrong. The inherent design of wind turbines is that they provide power as the cube of the speed of the wind, so slight changes in velocity result in substantial changes in power output.

This doesn't mean that they're un-reliable, but it does make it hard to plan on wind generators providing x megawatts of energy over a particular time period.



2) Fission power stations should be under construction right now and should be able to sustain the bulk of our energy needs until fusion arrives.


I couldn't agree more. Nuclear fission, even given the problem with waste management and storage, is the most cost-effective (and when I say health, I'm talking about environmental and health costs as well as power for the dollar) energy solution we have now.



3 Fusion power needs to be become a reality pronto, huge funds should be availble for all the research needed (multi national effort).


Fusion power is the magic bullet, no argument there; but we've been investing a lot of energy, time, and money and still aren't any closer tahn we were twenty or thirty years ago. The problem is that we can't schedule scientific and engineering brakthroughs; they happen when they happen.

Although I'd like to keep working on fusion research and even increase the amount of research, I think we'd be better suited in investing in other technologies like stirling-cycle engines running off thermal deltas in the ocean or tidal-bore hydroelectric plants. these technologies present some pretty interesting engineering challenges, but we do know that they work, and our effort would be to make them cost-effective.



4) Hydrogen power although it takes energy to produce the hydrogen it does not pollute and we have virtually unlimited supplies.


You're right in that the hydrogen itself doesn't pollute, but if we use hydrocarbon-fired plants to make the electricity to crack the water, we haven't gained anything -- indeed, given the pesky old Second Law of Thermodynamics, we'd actually come out worse. but that would be a good thing for those stirling-cycle engines to be used for, since the water for the hydrogen would be right out there where the generators, and the compressed H2 could be shipped via LNG carriers to shore and distributed from ports there.



5) Every new electrical device that is built should conform to energy standards.


That's a political issue, not an engineering one; I don't consider myself knowledgeable to discuss it. My guess, though, is that you'd have a hard time getting that by all the various countries, since it would drive up the cost of whatever it is that they'd be manufacturing.



6) There needs to be an international reward system for being green and keeping emissions as low as possible.


Same answer as number 5. But my first question would be: who would pay these rewards?



7) We need to get these room temperature superconductors to a stage that they can be used for power transmission, this would save huge amounts of energy esp if they were incorporated into the public domain too.


Well, we are working on it, and superconducors would save a lot of energy lost in distribution and transmission. But I doubt any company would do the billions of dollars of research and then give the technology away. Remember, the power companies and research facilities, just like the drug companies and Susie's Lemonade Stand, are in the business to make money.



8) Eventual integration of the worlds power grid via superconductors so that power will always be available no matter the weather conditions/natural disastors etc.


That's another political issue I don't consider myself qualified to comment on.



9) If we switch to completely renewable sources then there should always be nuclear plants ready to start up and replace them if we encounter some kind of climate change.


Yep. Better safe than sorry.

But one thing I do know: we'd better get crackin'. If we wait until oil is $200 a barrel, the cost of converting the infrastructure may be beyond our capabilities.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 08:17 PM
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I like your plan of action. If all those steps were followed then we could certainly avert the comming energy disaster, and you could save the world. Now all you have to do is take your simple 9-point plan, perhaps removing some of the more complex grammar, and go convince Mr Bush to follow it. There you go, you've saved the world!!


If only!

Unfortunately oil lines the pockets of too many of the super-rich and powerful. And when the price per barrel hits the roof, their trousers will hit the floor with the weight of the extra money being poured into them.


When you see the system fall apart, and it will if we run outa oil, your best bet is to go find a remote patch of land somewhere, grow some vegetables, and live as sustainably and self sufficiently as is possible.

Good luck!



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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Abstrakt says:



When you see the system fall apart, and it will if we run outa oil, your best bet is to go find a remote patch of land somewhere, grow some vegetables, and live as sustainably and self sufficiently as is possible.


If you don't have your land, PV-powered water pump, seeds, a year's supply of food already in, and other tools and necessities -- very soon -- it'll be too late.


[edit on 28-4-2005 by Off_The_Street]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:51 PM
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Apparently America has found Methane under the ground which could supply them for over 250 years.

The only problem is extracting it safely. Next problem is that it's more pollutive then Carbon Dioxide.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 04:09 AM
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I have read that both the EU and US are going to start using coal more too but they are also going to start pumping all emissions under ground or have scrubbers to take the carbon dioxide out. There are even ideas to extract co2 before fuels are even burned, the oil companies are really hanging in there arent they



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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ufo3 says:

"I have read that both the EU and US are going to start using coal more too but they are also going to start pumping all emissions under ground or have scrubbers to take the carbon dioxide out."

It's not a surprise that we're going to use more coal; we have more coal than we do oil. But I'm not aware of any plans to pump emissions underground; and at least here in the US we already have pretty stringent emissions controls for our coal-fired plants (of course, they're hideously expensive and will add substantitally to the price consumers pay for the electricity).

"There are even ideas to extract co2 before fuels are even burned...."

How would you do that? I can't think of any reaction except an exothermic one LOL!!

"the oil companies are really hanging in there arent they"

I wouldn't say that. Sure, the companies had big profits this quarter, but if they don't find other sources of oil in the future, they are in a heap of hurt. I certainly don't have any stock in the oil companies, and I'd advise any long-term investor to divest himself of such stocks.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 12:12 PM
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Yeah i thought it was strange to remove the carbon before burning but thats what it says in the article:



"It's just a matter of scaling up, says Julio Friedmann, a former ExxonMobil geologist now at the University of Maryland. In future, the carbon could even be removed from fuel before it is burnt.''


EMMISSION STORAGE

It is a good idea but i just feel like we should be moving away from all fossil fuels and not just wasting them for energy. The main reason for which is that they are used in manufacturing, so many useful things including medicines are made with oil in particular.






[edit on 29-4-2005 by ufo3]



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 02:38 PM
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UFO3, that's a fascinating technology, and it may force me to change the way I think, which, for an old debunker like me hard to do LOL!

There are three reasons I'm against burning hydrocarbons:

(1) They pollute the Earth and sicken humanity;

(2) They keep us (both the US and the EU) in thrall to the mideast and other oil-thugs;

(3) They waste a resource which could be used to make other important stuff.

Coal eliminates (2), since the US and the UK has a lot of it; coming up with a cost-effective way to make our coal clean pretty much eliminates (1); but that still leaves us with(3). Nonetheless, if we can get clean coal working, then we'll have bought some precious time.

But we still need to make the change! no matter how clean the coal may be, sooner or later we're goling to have peak coal, too. If we're not ready by then, Katie bar the door!



posted on May, 1 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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3 Fusion power needs to be become a reality pronto, huge funds should be availble for all the research needed (multi national effort).

like I.T.E.R.?


4) Hydrogen power although it takes energy to produce the hydrogen it does not pollute and we have virtually unlimited supplies.

Definitly not a solution unless sustainable power production is already established, further this is only nessesary for cars which really should not exist as they do.



Fusion power is the magic bullet, no argument there; but we've been investing a lot of energy, time, and money and still aren't any closer tahn we were twenty or thirty years ago. The problem is that we can't schedule scientific and engineering brakthroughs; they happen when they happen.

We are quite a bit closer thankfully and with current technology we're making progress what's missing is the refining process until it's at the right size and shape where we produce lots of power and control it effectively.



posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:42 AM
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I know all about iter hence the word pronto
Last i heard they couldnt even decide where to build the thing and still havent.



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