Why renewable energies fail, Part 2

Apr 28, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Examiner.com

America's energy policy is to reduce U.S. dependency on fossil fuels, and to promote an "all the above" approach with "green" renewable energy .

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21 - 40 of 41 Comments Last updated May 13, 2013

“Come Home America!”

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#23
May 6, 2013
 

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KitemanSA, 'The best energy is the CHEAPEST energy.' So, the corollary to this would be that the most expensive energy is the worse--that would be coal(rising air and water pollution,and health costs), oil(rising climate change costs, natural gas , nukes(rising waste disposal, and radiation risks to health costs). When there is a solar spill ,it is a very good sunny day.

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#24
May 6, 2013
 

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Some solar and wind projects have much heavier environmental impacts than others, and it's time to start talking about it. Smart-up the renewables debate! Check this out: http://grist.org/climate-energy/when-green-po... "Some folks donít want to have a conversation about the whole energy picture ó including the significant ecological costs of renewables ó but hope to create broader societal support for ďgreenĒ energy by only talking about the upsides. Discussing the downsides of Big Wind and Corporate Solar only strengthens the fossil-fuel lobbies that are hell-bent on cooking the planet, goes their argument."..."Iíve found that some green power advocates want to keep it superficial (fossil fuels = bad, renewables = good) rather than digging into tougher questions about appropriate scale and centralized, corporate control of energy resources, including renewables. I am not unsympathetic to the arguments of well-meaning activists who say we canít let the perfect be the enemy of the ďless unsustainable,Ē particularly if systemic overhaul of the energy system is indeed their ultimate objective. Iím far less sympathetic, however, to techno-utopians who seem to think embracing every ďgreenĒ energy technology, from biofuels to wave power to concentrated solar plants, is going to allow humanity to keep growing our numbers and economic output without destroying the ecosphere."
Solarman

La Quinta, CA

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#25
May 6, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
Solarman, "YOU DONE to take responsibility for your energy usage? "Interesting isn't it how defensive you get and go 'off-topic' when you're being corrected on some of your errors? You'd do a lot better stating your case if you avoid flying off the handle and senselessly accusing others commitment to lowering their own carbon footprint. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." -- From Hamlet (III, ii, 239), William Shakespeare
First of all jerkov, YOU haven't corrected ME on anything. What you have done is side step direct questions while linking to political pieces that DO NOTHING. YOU'D do a lot better if you would extract YOUR head from MY ASSSSSS and answer the question, What have YOU DONE to take responsibility for your energy usage? Really, REALLY you quote Hamlet and call ME out for off topic. Jesus!

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

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#26
May 6, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
KitemanSA,'The best energy is the CHEAPEST energy.' So, the corollary to this would be that the most expensive energy is the worse--that would be coal(rising air and water pollution,and health costs), oil(rising climate change costs, natural gas , nukes(rising waste disposal, and radiation risks to health costs). When there is a solar spill ,it is a very good sunny day.
The cheapest energy tends to be the most dense energy, and that is what Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) produce. Solar power is good for things like heating your hot water and your home. But we REALLY can't run a civilization with it. It is just too unreliable AND too expensive. LFTRs on the other hand are lean, clean, green, reliable, sustainable, safe...

“Come Home America!”

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#27
May 7, 2013
 

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KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> The cheapest energy tends to be the most dense energy, and that is what Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) produce. Solar power is good for things like heating your hot water and your home. But we REALLY can't run a civilization with it. It is just too unreliable AND too expensive. LFTRs on the other hand are lean, clean, green, reliable, sustainable, safe...
KitemanSA, building reactors does nothing about CO2 emissions unless you also have a plan to close coal plants. Thatís tricky, because no investor (stock or bond) wants their investment suddenly valued at zero. And donít forget that most of the 100 GWs of nuclear running today in this country will have to be shut down by 2050.

So weíd need 100 GWs replacement + 50 GWs for Demand growth ( if we donít get serious about efficiency) built by 2050 just to keep nuclear at 20%(and thatís assuming we donít make a big transition to plug ins, which we will).

Plus I donít see how itís possible that a power source that is complicated from both a technological and regulatory perspective that does not have a single commercial facility in existence today could be generating many cost-effective kwhs before 2020. Even if you disregard the deep problems in technological complexity of running one nuclear plant, and the regulatory needs for safe operation , pollution control and security at these plants, you have to consider the tremendous costs of building at least 100 new nuke plants -- But, consider this the average two-reactor nuclear power plant is estimated to cost $10 billion to $18 billion to build. That's before cost overruns, and no US nuclear power plant has ever been delivered on time or on budget. Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Nuclear Energy Company scrapped plans to build a plant in Payette, Idaho, because no matter how many times its managers ran the numbers (and they spent $13 million researching it), they found that it simply made no sense from an economic standpoint. A 2004 analysis in Science by Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, of Princeton University's Carbon Mitigation Initiative, estimates that achieving just one-seventh of the carbon reductions necessary to stabilize atmospheric CO2 at 500 parts per billion would require "building about 700 new 1,000-&#8232;megawatt nuclear plants around the world." That represents a huge wave of investment that few seem willing to undertake, and it would require decades to accomplish. Do you really think that it's realistic to assume this belt-tightening Congress that doesn't even want to fund programs to help cancer patients receive their necessary treatments are going to spend the trillions of dollars needed to build 700 nuke plants?!? or even 100?!?; also, at 500ppm the Earth will be so hot that there won't be any polar icecaps left, most of our major American cities built on our coasts will be underwater! The last time that the Earth was that hot, humans did not even exist.

“Come Home America!”

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#28
May 7, 2013
 

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Solarman wrote:
<quoted text>First of all jerkov, YOU haven't corrected ME on anything. What you have done is side step direct questions while linking to political pieces that DO NOTHING. YOU'D do a lot better if you would extract YOUR head from MY ASSSSSS and answer the question, What have YOU DONE to take responsibility for your energy usage? Really, REALLY you quote Hamlet and call ME out for off topic. Jesus!
Solarman, you need some anger management classes )a lot of them!) and new user's manual on how to operate your brain. New PV technology is good and efficient , but remember for every technological progress there are limitations with it too. You need to take a wider perspective on solar and wind resources which HAVE been used for CENTURIES by past and present thriving human civilizations throughout the world. The Sun and Wind provide a whole host of public goods and services from drying your clothes or use of windmills to run pumps to keep the sea from flooding lowland coastal areas. Wetlands do a much better, more efficient job at preventing storm surges(natural capital) than man-made built capital of levees . Check this out: http://www.natcap.org/custom/images/topfern.j... www.natcap.org

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#29
May 7, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
<quoted text> KitemanSA, building reactors does nothing about CO2 emissions unless you also have a plan to close coal plants. Thatís tricky, because no investor (stock or bond) wants their investment suddenly valued at zero. And donít forget that most of the 100 GWs of nuclear running today in this country will have to be shut down by 2050.
So weíd need 100 GWs replacement + 50 GWs for Demand growth ( if we donít get serious about efficiency) built by 2050 just to keep nuclear at 20%(and thatís assuming we donít make a big transition to plug ins, which we will).
Plus I donít see ...
Check out the LFTR article in wikipedia and read the book, "Thorium: Energy Cheaper Than From Coal". Maybe then you will see.

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KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Check out the LFTR article in wikipedia and read the book, "Thorium: Energy Cheaper Than From Coal". Maybe then you will see.
Check out www.natcap.org for better alternative renewables.

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I was at one time heavily supportive of alternative energy sources until I looked at them from a system standpoint. I still like them for certain purposes, but until a TRULY cheap and MASSIVELY capacious storage means can be found we can't run a civilization on them. And whenever we try, we screw up some poor section of the environment.

Most environmentalists, down in the secret recesses of their hearts, hate people. They want the human race to die off till there are maybe 50 million total persons on earth. I have the same goal of 50 million people on earth, but my goal is to move the other 50+ trillion out into space. For that nuclear is a must.

“Come Home America!”

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#32
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KitemanSA wrote:
I was at one time heavily supportive of alternative energy sources until I looked at them from a system standpoint. I still like them for certain purposes, but until a TRULY cheap and MASSIVELY capacious storage means can be found we can't run a civilization on them.
Check Solarman's posts, edit out the off-topic silly invectives towards me, and you'll find some important informaion on the tremendous progress we have made on PV development since the 50's-- European countries like Germany are far outpacing America on becoming completely energy self-sufficient with solar and wind becoming their primary sources of energy production.
Solarman

La Quinta, CA

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
<quoted text> Solarman, you need some anger management classes )a lot of them!) and new user's manual on how to operate your brain. New PV technology is good and efficient , but remember for every technological progress there are limitations with it too. You need to take a wider perspective on solar and wind resources which HAVE been used for CENTURIES by past and present thriving human civilizations throughout the world. The Sun and Wind provide a whole host of public goods and services from drying your clothes or use of windmills to run pumps to keep the sea from flooding lowland coastal areas. Wetlands do a much better, more efficient job at preventing storm surges(natural capital) than man-made built capital of levees . Check this out: http://www.natcap.org/custom/images/topfern.j... www.natcap.org
Yeah, and you need to 'fix' your brain to read and comprehend. WHAT have YOU DONE to take responsibility for YOUR energy usage? No shiny links needed, just dig around in the crap between your ears and find the answer. Yeah, didn't think so.

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May 9, 2013
 

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Even the British Royals know that climate change is a real and present danger to the economic viability and health of the planet. "The Prince of Wales has criticised "corporate lobbyists" and climate change sceptics for turning the earth into a "dying patient", in his most outspoken attack yet on the world's failure to tackle global warming, made shortly before he is to take over from the Queen at the forthcoming meeting of the Commonwealth.

His intervention was reinforced by Lord Stern of Brentford, author of the 2006 report on the economics of climate change, who called sceptics and lobbyists "forces of darkness" who would be "driven back".

Prince Charles attacked businesses who failed to care for the environment, and compared the current generation to a doctor taking care of a critically ill patient.

"If you think about the impact of climate change,[it should be how] a doctor would deal with the problem," he told an audience of government ministers, from the UK and abroad, as well as businesspeople and scientists. "A scientific hypothesis is tested to absolute destruction, but medicine can't wait. If a doctor sees a child with a fever, he can't wait for [endless] tests. He has to act on what is there."Check this out: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/ma...

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May 9, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
"The Prince of Wales has criticised "corporate lobbyists" and climate change sceptics for turning the earth into a "dying patient", in his most outspoken attack yet on the world's failure to tackle global warming, made shortly before he is to take over from the Queen at the forthcoming meeting of the Commonwealth.
I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that particular statement. PoW is widely recognized as being a blithering idiot.

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#36
May 12, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
<quoted text> Check Solarman's posts, edit out the off-topic silly invectives towards me, and you'll find some important informaion on the tremendous progress we have made on PV development since the 50's-- European countries like Germany are far outpacing America on becoming completely energy self-sufficient with solar and wind becoming their primary sources of energy production.
The unfortunate thing is that your statement is not really true. German electricity costs are already about twice as high as France's and they only keep them that low by abusing their neighbors grids. Several of their neighbors are threatening to disconnect German access to their grids. At that point, German power will become so unstable that their grid will in essence self destruct and all major clients will need to provide their own power.
frontporchreacti onary

Wilmington, DE

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May 13, 2013
 

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KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> The unfortunate thing is that your statement is not really true. German electricity costs are already about twice as high as France's and they only keep them that low by abusing their neighbors grids. Several of their neighbors are threatening to disconnect German access to their grids. At that point, German power will become so unstable that their grid will in essence self destruct and all major clients will need to provide their own power.
"Revamping the electrical grid from conventionals like coal and oil to accommodate unconventionals like natural gas and solar power will be enormously difficult, economically and technically. Facilities must be constructed to store extra energy for dark, windless days; transmission lines will need to be built to move power from warm places like New Mexico to cold places like New England; grids will have to be reworked to allow small energy producers to share directly with neighbors rather than being forced to pump everything into large power centers. All of this will be a burden on businesses and consumers alike. But it must be done to avert climate change, because electricity generation is responsible for about a third of Americaís greenhouse-gas emissions. Roughly similar figures hold true in other developed nations." Check this out: http://grist.org/climate-energy/what-if-we-ne...

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#38
May 13, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
...... All of this will be a burden on businesses and consumers alike. But it must be done to avert climate change, because electricity generation is responsible for about a third of Americaís greenhouse-gas emissions.
Actually, it doesn't have to be done. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers can produce plenty of clean, stable, carbon free power, and there is enough thorium for the next 20 million generations or so. No need to kill all those birds and destroy all that habitat, annoy all that wildlife...
And since LFTRs burn radioactive waste, we get electricity and burn reduce the rad-waste too. Neato!

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

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#39
May 13, 2013
 
Oh, and weren't environmentalists at one time in favor of DECentralizing the power systems? Small modular LFTRs can help do that very thing!:D

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#40
May 13, 2013
 

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KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Actually, it doesn't have to be done. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers can produce plenty of clean, stable, carbon free power, and there is enough thorium for the next 20 million generations or so. No need to kill all those birds and destroy all that habitat, annoy all that wildlife...
And since LFTRs burn radioactive waste, we get electricity and burn reduce the rad-waste too. Neato!
You're not an ecomomist or a scientist. The cost of building one nuke plant is about 10-20 billion dollars and that's without the sure-to-be cost over-runs other delays ---no nuke plant in the U S has ever been built on time and without cost over-runs. Coupled with the fact that over half of the aging U S nuclear fleet of power plants will have to be dismantled and replaced in the next 10 years where are you going to get all the money to build all these new LFTR's?--you'll need to build at least 100 nuke plants to just start to reach halfway to the goal of reducing greenhouse gasses enough to stabilize at 420ppm (where we are now) In ten years from now we'll be at or near 550ppm when there will be no polar ice caps left --we need a quicker plan and that can come from a rapid-development program to build renewable energy into a new revised smart energy grid--we have the technology , money , and plenty of unemployed labor power today to get the job done now. We just need the will to do it like the will that made our fathers and mothers the greatest generation that won over the Great Depression and fought and won World War II and rebuilt the world order with the Marshall Plan .

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#41
May 13, 2013
 

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frontporchreactionary wrote:
<quoted text> You're not an ecomomist or a scientist. The cost of building one nuke plant is about 10-20 billion dollars and that's without the sure-to-be cost over-runs other delays ---.
Please remove your anti-nuke blinders and actually READ what I wrote. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers (aka LFT Reactors), not Light Water Reactors. Totally different animal. Read up on them at

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

“Come Home America!”

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#42
May 13, 2013
 

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KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Please remove your anti-nuke blinders and actually READ what I wrote. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers (aka LFT Reactors), not Light Water Reactors. Totally different animal. Read up on them at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LFTR
I have read up on LFTR's-- I was being liberal with you on the price--Breeder Reactors are even more expensive to build. Read my post again.

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