Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6   Go Down

Author Topic: Antartica The Global Warming  (Read 45152 times)

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24074
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2007, 07:23:37 am »

Quote
Sounds hard.  Lets not try.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136473\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mr P, once again I have to salute your way of saying things.

Rob C

gdeliz

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #61 on: August 31, 2007, 01:02:52 pm »

Quote
George,

There are probably some people who will that your post on the first degree!

Nonetheless, why don't you open your fridge?

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136488\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You obviously haven't thought this through. If I opened my refrigerator all my food would spoil and I would have to take my car out and drive to a restaurant at least once a day and maybe twice a day on weekends. As I have already pointed out the heat from the car's engine is too much for the car's air conditioner to compensate. On the other hand if the auto manufacturers were to put bigger air conditioners in their cars....

George Deliz
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #62 on: August 31, 2007, 08:18:24 pm »

Quote
That 'old energy' is not all that cheap and getting more expensive by the day.  We're somewhere close to 'peak oil' and natural gas is being used up at a very high rate.  High quality, easy to extract coal is less available.  High quality nuclear fuel is a declining commodity. 

Bob,
Rising costs of energy are not good for the economy whatever the reasons for the rising cost. It's clear to me that the solution is nuclear power, breeder reactors and eventually nuclear fusion power. These are the only sources of energy sufficient to solve the global problems of an evolving species that is eventually going to populate other planets.

As I mentioned before, economic prosperity is dependent upon cheap energy in conjunction with efficient machines. Windmill power is only competitive when the wind blows. The amount of land required for a good size windmill farm capable of generating as much power as one small nuclear power plant, is huge; hundreds of square kilometres. Such farms are only economically feasible in windy places which are often remote and far from power transmission lines. The cost of new transmission lines reduces their competitiveness and is a cost which is often ignored when price per KWH is mentioned, as well as the cost of the real estate.

When I talk about such matters I often get the impression that people just don't see the connection between energy costs and prosperity. There are no exceptions. Ancient civilisations became prosperous as a result of cheap energy in the form of unpaid slave labour. Our current prosperity is in large part due to the low wages paid to workers in China and other developing countries. A low paid worker can be considered, from a purely economic point of view, as an efficient machine. A widget made in Australia takes more energy to manufacture than the same widget in China using the same machinery, not necessarily because the cost of the fuel to run the machinery is cheaper in China, but because the lifestyle of the average Chinese worker requires less energy.

We can solve this problem if we in developed countries all lower our material standard of living, but personally, I'd rather we build atomic power stations so we can all become wealthy without exacerbating the greenhouse effect.
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #63 on: August 31, 2007, 08:23:12 pm »

Quote
You obviously haven't thought this through. If I opened my refrigerator all my food would spoil and I would have to take my car out and drive to a restaurant at least once a day and maybe twice a day on weekends. As I have already pointed out the heat from the car's engine is too much for the car's air conditioner to compensate. On the other hand if the auto manufacturers were to put bigger air conditioners in their cars....

George Deliz
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136595\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You see, Bernard, there's method in George's madness   .
Logged

John Camp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2171
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2007, 10:07:59 pm »

Quote
You see, Bernard, there's method in George's madness   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136666\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Do you realize how many energy problems we could solve if we sent somebody to George's house to kill him? Of course, we'd send the assassin by bicycle. 8-)

JC
Logged

John Camp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2171
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2007, 10:19:17 pm »

Quote
Bob,
Rising costs of energy are not good for the economy whatever the reasons for the rising cost. It's clear to me that the solution is nuclear power, breeder reactors and eventually nuclear fusion power.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136664\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I read, I think in Nature, that fusion power is at least 50 years in the future. And that it has *always* been fifty years in the future, right from the time it was first conceived, more than 50 years ago. And that a growing number of scientists think it will *always* be 50 years in the future.

I think breeders are the answer, and that technology can finds ways to dispose of waste (Magnetic accelerators that boosts waste into the sun? Ultra-reliable heavy-lifting rockets that could boost hundreds of tons of the stuff into the sun on every shot? There are possibilities.) In fact, I think we have the technoloogy now to do it, but it would dislocate too many powerful interest groups. The real question is whether we will overcome those interests in time to keep the planet habitable by humans -- it's not obvious that we will see the tipping point before it gets here. For all we know, we've already passed beyond it. Doom may take a little time...

George Carlin, the comedian, has a funny routine in which he makes the point that nothing we do will save the planet. The planet doesn't need to be saved, because the planet isn't going anywere. WE may be, but the planet will be just fine, whether or not we're on it.

JC
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2007, 11:40:30 pm »

Perhaps it would be best to play the cards that we've got on the table.

And how about we play an honest hand?

Blasting nasty stuff into space, future technologies that might clean up our messes, some major breakthrough 50+ years in the future - how about we leave that science fiction for the science fiction books?  

If it happens to come true, then great!  

But maybe it won't, which makes it a bad choice for plugging the current leak in the boat.

What we have right now is (basically) maxed out hydro, the end of cheap oil, not a lot of high grade coal that can be easily mined, a lot less natural gas than we would like to have, and a rapidly depleting supply of first grade nuclear fuel.

We also have more solar radiation hitting the earth that we can possibly use.  And some proven ways of utilizing it.  And we have the ability to conserve.

If we're smart (IMHO) we'll increase conservation measures, continue to build new wind farms, increase the number of solar panels on the rooftops of houses that suck power on hot afternoons, and increase the funding needed to bring 'right now' technological advances into production.

Or we can allow the greedy bastards to rip off our tax money by funding new nuclear plants and turn our food into ethanol.  (Ever look into the real cost of producing nuclear or corn juice?  Puts the $7,000 toilet seat in a new light.)

(BTW, Ray, you might want to research what is happening in Europe with wind power.  New high voltage DC transmission lines are being built, energy storage is being created by pump up/generate down reservoirs in Finland.  Europe is creating one big grid and the wind is generally blowing somewhere.

Additionally the towers for wind farms take up very little land.  Midwestern US farmers are readily renting small chunks for tower bases and farming around them.  And Europe is doing a lot of offshore installation where winds are more reliable.

Stuff is happening.)
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #67 on: September 01, 2007, 08:56:47 pm »

Quote
I read, I think in Nature, that fusion power is at least 50 years in the future. And that it has *always* been fifty years in the future, right from the time it was first conceived, more than 50 years ago. And that a growing number of scientists think it will *always* be 50 years in the future.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



John,
That point of view seems neither optimistic nor logical. How many lots of 50 years have we been working on this problem? Trying to emulate and control the nuclear processes going on in the sun, that powerhouse that supports all life, is no mean feat.

As a matter of interest, funding for contstruction of a US$12 billion experimental nuclear fusion power plant at Cadarache in France was approved almost a year ago. It's expected to be in operation by 2016 and should be capable of sustaining an output of 500MW for a continuous period of about 8 minutes, using just 1/2 a kilogram of fuel.

Check out the Wikipedia entry for more information. [a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER[/url]
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2007, 10:28:58 pm »

Quote
(BTW, Ray, you might want to research what is happening in Europe with wind power.  New high voltage DC transmission lines are being built, energy storage is being created by pump up/generate down reservoirs in Finland.  Europe is creating one big grid and the wind is generally blowing somewhere.

Additionally the towers for wind farms take up very little land.  Midwestern US farmers are readily renting small chunks for tower bases and farming around them.  And Europe is doing a lot of offshore installation where winds are more reliable.

Stuff is happening.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136692\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,
Clearly we should take advantage of whatever conditions are favourable to the production of alternative forms of energy. I'm sure we could get by (in developed countries) with a combination of tidal power, wind power, photovoltaic power, solar heaters, ethanol from canesugar etc etc.

However, I'm dubious about the true cost of many of these forms of alternative energy supplies which seem to rely heavily upon government subsidies.

On the 2 occasions I happened to come across a windmill farm whilst travelling around in Australia, the wind seemed only sufficient to very slowly turn the blades of just half the windmills. The others weren't moving at all. Coincidence perhaps.

The first shot is of a small farm close to the coast of southern Australia, near Melbourne. The second is in northern Australia, high on the Atherton Tablelands, shrouded in mist. These great monolithic structures are quite impressive when one first encounters them, but the locals seem to get upset by their drone and what some consider a visual pollution. They also tend to kill a lot of birds and attract rats that feed off the dead birds.

No need to criticise the artistic merit of these shots   .

[attachment=3127:attachment]  [attachment=3128:attachment]

I understand you need a minimum 2 acres of land per windmill to reduce interference but I've seen figures as low as 5 per square kilometre. I checked through Google the state of windmill power in Finland. As of 2006 the total power generated in that country from wind is a mere 85MW from a total of 96 farms. Don't know what area of land those 96 farms cover, but it must be huge.

How does that compare with the 500MW to be generated from just one experimental nuclear fusion reactor, albeit for just 8 minutes at a time?
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2007, 01:02:09 am »

Quote
...

However, I'm dubious about the true cost of many of these forms of alternative energy supplies which seem to rely heavily upon government subsidies.

On the 2 occasions I happened to come across a windmill farm whilst travelling around in Australia, the wind seemed only sufficient to very slowly turn the blades of just half the windmills. The others weren't moving at all. Coincidence perhaps.

The first shot is of a small farm close to the coast of southern Australia, near Melbourne. The second is in northern Australia, high on the Atherton Tablelands, shrouded in mist. These great monolithic structures are quite impressive when one first encounters them, but the locals seem to get upset by their drone and what some consider a visual pollution. They also tend to kill a lot of birds and attract rats that feed off the dead birds.

I understand you need a minimum 2 acres of land per windmill to reduce interference but I've seen figures as low as 5 per square kilometre. I checked through Google the state of windmill power in Finland. As of 2006 the total power generated in that country from wind is a mere 85MW from a total of 96 farms. Don't know what area of land those 96 farms cover, but it must be huge.

How does that compare with the 500MW to be generated from just one experimental nuclear fusion reactor, albeit for just 8 minutes at a time?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136824\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Europe is linking itself into one big grid.  Finland is not a wind production site, it's a storage site.  They've got the 'up high' reservoirs for storing extra energy for peak needs.

At the end of '06 Germany had >21,000 MW of installed wind generation capacity.  Spain had >15,000 and the rest of Europe was contributing an amount in excess of 15,000 MW.  That's getting close to 50,000 MW and the rate of installation is accelerating.

Wind is not, as far as I can tell, relying on governmental subsidies.  Nuclear requires huge governmental financial support to get on line.  There are tremendous "hidden" costs with nuclear.  Wind is being built with private money.  Folks with deep pockets see profit.

Bird death.  The Netherlands did a study and found that if wind farms are properly sited and properly designed the bird death per tower is approximately 5 per year.  An insignificant number.  That many wipe out on my house windows each year.

Altamont, one of the first wind farms which is located just east of San Franciso, is (or at least was) a major bird killer.  It was located in a major raptor area (and I think migration route) and the mills had a very high rotation speed.  I believe that the heads have been changed out for slower rotating ones, but it's still not a good location.  

We now know much more about design and siting.  Off shore is excellent for minimizing bird death.

I believe that the land required per tower is more like a quarter acre.  The actual portion of that acre used for the tower is quite small.  All the land not required for the actual footprint can still be farmed/grazed.

Noise is no longer an issue.  Old units were noisy but the newer ones are quite quite.  One has to get very close to them (basically inside the wind farm) in order to hear them.  I expect moving to drastically longer and much slower blades had a lot to do with that.

And the experimental reactor at Cadarache?

That's just an experiment.  It's not a power generation facility that is scheduled to come on line.  The people setting it up are hoping that they can get it to run for 400 seconds.  And the experiment is expected to start in 2016.  

If, if, if, ... then we might expect less expensive electricity from fusion in 2030? 2040? (The Russians are projecting 2030, but other folks seem skeptical.)

So for now until 20x0 how about we play the cards dealt?  I'm not sure that it would be wise to sit around twiddling our thumbs while waiting for a 'perfect' answer.  Best to piece together the partial fixes we have so that we don't have to pack a billion or two people into high rises in Greenland.
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #70 on: September 02, 2007, 06:58:41 am »

Quote
Wind is not, as far as I can tell, relying on governmental subsidies.  Nuclear requires huge governmental financial support to get on line.  There are tremendous "hidden" costs with nuclear.  Wind is being built with private money.  Folks with deep pockets see profit.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, Bob, this might just be a contest of whose information sources are the most reliable. I think the least reliable source for facts on nuclear power would be from the anti-nuclear mob.

You might like to have a look at the following site on the true costs of wind power:

[a href=\"http://www.mnforsustain.org/windpower_schleede_costs_of_electricity.htm]http://www.mnforsustain.org/windpower_schl...electricity.htm[/url]

Here's an extract:

Quote
Thus far, the US DOE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the wind industry and other wind advocates have shown little interest in providing citizens, consumers and taxpayers with complete, objective information on true costs – possibly because such information would call into question many of their promotional activities.

And again this from the Royal Academy of Engineering:

Quote
In a report published on 10March, the UK-based Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) reveals that electricity from offshore wind farms, currently the most viable renewable source, will cost at least twice as much as that from conventional sources.

The independent study, commissioned from international energy consultants PBPower, puts all energy sources on a level playing field by comparing the costs of generating electricity from new plants using a range of different technologies and energy sources.
The cheapest electricity will come from gas turbines and nuclear stations, costing just 2.3p/kWh, compared with 3.7p/kWh for onshore wind and 5.5p/kWh for offshore wind farms.
"This may sound surprising," said RAE vice president Philip Ruffles, who chaired the study group, "especially as we have included the cost of decommissioning in our assessment of the nuclear generation costs. The weakness of the UK government's energy white paper was that it saw nuclear power as very expensive. But modern nuclear stations are far simpler and more streamlined than the old generation - the latest are only about half the size of SizewellB - and far cheaper to build and run."
In the case of wind energy it is also necessary to provide back up capacity for when the wind does not blow. In this report, the RAE says it has been rather generous with the wind generation figures - assuming a need for about 65percent back-up power from conventional sources. The RAE has previously called for even higher back-up, more like 75to80percent. Even so, the cost of back up capacity adds 1.7p/kWh to the costs.

http://www.engineerlive.com/european-proce...ectricity.thtml

The concepts of nuclear fusion inspire me. Just 1kg of nuclear fusion fuel (deuterium/tritium) should theoretically provide as much power as 10,000 tonnes of coal.
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #71 on: September 02, 2007, 12:08:06 pm »

Quote
Well, Bob, this might just be a contest of whose information sources are the most reliable. I think the least reliable source for facts on nuclear power would be from the anti-nuclear mob.

Or just the opposite might be true.

When I check pro-nuclear sites the cost figures sometimes do not include the cost of decommissioning, often do not include the cost of waste storage, and generally do not include the cost of financing the plant during construction.  (The last component is very significant.)

The pro-nuclear 'mobs' are probably those with a financial interest in getting more nuclear plants built.  Would any of us be surprised to find that greedy people shave data to make their position more attractive/acceptable?

Anti-nuclear 'mobs' are more likely to include all of the costs.  And it's not too likely that they are going to lie as that would be easily discovered and the resulting damage to their reputation would be significant.

I'm going to bet that the most reliable source is going to be a rough average of the numbers given by nuclear-skeptical groups.  The least reliable numbers are likely going to come from agencies trying to get more plants constructed.

--

Quote
The concepts of nuclear fusion inspire me. Just 1kg of nuclear fusion fuel (deuterium/tritium) should theoretically provide as much power as 10,000 tonnes of coal.

Yes.  Sounds great.  As does the car that runs 100+ miles on a teacup of water.

But neither are proven yet.  (I do expect fusion to become a viable power source in the future.  But that doesn't help us now.  Perhaps a few decades from now....)

--
Now, let's look at something that has been demonstrated. 40% efficient solar panels.


Quote
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner today announced that with DOE funding, a concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab has recently achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, establishing a new milestone in sunlight-to-electricity performance.  This breakthrough may lead to systems with an installation cost of only $3 per watt, producing electricity at a cost of 8-10 cents per kilowatt/hour, making solar electricity a more cost-competitive and integral part of our nation’s energy mix.

US Department of Energy

Producing solar electricity at ~$0.09 per watt is a very big breakthrough.  The time when we need more electricity is on hot afternoons in hot climates.  

Placing panels on rooftops in Arizona, Baghdad, and whatever's hot in Austrailia means that we won't have to build plants of any type for those peak needs.  And we can avoid the extra cost of transmission lines.  

(Additionally, the extra power on cool sunny days can flow back into the existing grids.  

And there's another approach using a different material for the panels that has also produce 40% efficiency.)

--

True cost of wind?  

Don't have time to dig it out right now.  So how about we apply a common sense approach?

Right now there are huge numbers of new towers being erected all around the globe.    There would be even more, but the factories producing the turbines are maxed out.

There are almost no new nuclear plants being built in most of the world.

We know that most/all nuclear plants require enormous governmental cash inputs before they can be built.

Some (most?) wind farms are being built with private/corporate money.  

If those statements are correct then I would surmise that the 'true cost' of wind is significantly lower than the 'true cost' of nuclear.

--

Again, let's play the cards we have.  Not the cards that we might get in a future deal.

And don't forget the oh, so useful wild card.  Conservation.
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #72 on: September 02, 2007, 12:59:57 pm »

BTW, that MFS site on wind cost does push the price as high as possible.  For example, they include the cost of backup generation.  

That would be valid only if we were considering using wind as a 'sole' source, rather than part of the larger mix.  That larger mix would include existing nuclear, hydro, solar (and new solar), natural gas, coal, etc.

The real discussion is what we should use for new production.  And whether it would be financially feasible to take some of the dirtiest plants off line with cleaner replacement.

I've done a bit of searching and just can't find a single source that looks at all the production methods with the same critical eye.  (I've emailed someone who is involved in financing wind in Europe to see if he has a source.)
Logged

John Camp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2171
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2007, 05:46:08 pm »

We use a lot of wind power in Minnesota, and while it is more expensive than coal or oil generators, the cost is somewhat competitive and is getting better. But wind power is like solar -- it works best in certain areas, and only when the sun shines or the wind blows. I do think that nuclear will become the biggest piece of the puzzle; and perhaps fusion someday.

But the biggest question is whether we will get rid of the pollution quickly enough: China is already a disaster area and the energy demands there are continuing the skyrocket, particularly the demand for cars. And India is just coming on-line with that China-like demand. These people will not be denied their intention to live as well as the energy-soaked people in the West.

I personally think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

JC
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2007, 06:55:50 pm »

Just for fun, let's try a little something....

The average US household uses about 8900 kW hours per electricity per year.

That's about 24 kWh per day.

Let's assume that the sun shines and wind blows about half the day (on a large scale grid).  So we would need to store about 12 kWh to get past the down times.

A golf cart battery will store about 1 kWh of usable power.  Twelve golf carts would get the average house through the dark/windless times.  Buying in bulk should get the price down to about $100 per battery, or about $1,200.

Golf cart batteries have a 5-7 year life so using the lower figure brings the annual cost to ~ $240 or $20 per month.

So we could create 'low tech' lead acid storage for about $20 per household.  Not exactly a huge sum.

Of course lead acids are not what would get used.  There are much more efficient batteries.  And there would be some additional costs such as storage, mainenance and conversion from DC to AD, but that should give people some rough idea.  

It's not like storage is some insurmountable problem.  

We wouldn't need to rely 100% on battery storage.  

We could change our usage of hydro to backup status.  Keep the water in the reservoirs until needed rather than do a 24/7 drawdown.  

We could use our existing 'cleaner' coal generators for backup/peak production.

IMHO it's time we got past the "there's no way to do it with wind/solar" mentality.  It could, I think, be done.  Perhaps not done cheaply enough to switch for purely economic reasons.  But if we had to....
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #75 on: September 02, 2007, 09:18:16 pm »

Quote
Just for fun, let's try a little something....

The average US household uses about 8900 kW hours per electricity per year.

That's about 24 kWh per day.

Let's assume that the sun shines and wind blows about half the day (on a large scale grid).  So we would need to store about 12 kWh to get past the down times.

A golf cart battery will store about 1 kWh of usable power.  Twelve golf carts would get the average house through the dark/windless times.  Buying in bulk should get the price down to about $100 per battery, or about $1,200.

Golf cart batteries have a 5-7 year life so using the lower figure brings the annual cost to ~ $240 or $20 per month.

So we could create 'low tech' lead acid storage for about $20 per household.  Not exactly a huge sum.

Of course lead acids are not what would get used.  There are much more efficient batteries.  And there would be some additional costs such as storage, mainenance and conversion from DC to AD, but that should give people some rough idea. 

It's not like storage is some insurmountable problem. 

We wouldn't need to rely 100% on battery storage. 

We could change our usage of hydro to backup status.  Keep the water in the reservoirs until needed rather than do a 24/7 drawdown.   

We could use our existing 'cleaner' coal generators for backup/peak production.

IMHO it's time we got past the "there's no way to do it with wind/solar" mentality.  It could, I think, be done.  Perhaps not done cheaply enough to switch for purely economic reasons.  But if we had to....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,
I sense a few serious flaws in the above argument. First, you don't seem to have considered what the rest of the world is doing and the difficulty of imposing our moral standards on other peoples who are striving like mad to achieve a decent material standard of living.

Capitalism, commerce, global trade, 'the free market' etc, work best through a process of finding the competitive edge. Manufacturing has been in decline in Western countries for decades because it's been found that it's cheaper (often very much cheaper) to manufacture products in developing countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and India. And of course, this process has resulted in some of those Eastern countries becoming more developed than some countries in the West.

I have no doubt it would be 'technologically' possible for us to devise ways of getting almost all (if not actually all) our energy needs from renewable resources, in Europe, Australia and North America because we have the advantages of cheap, manufactured goods form Asia.

The real crunch would come when we had to manufacture are own products (in the West) using energy only from wind and solar power, tidal power and ethanol etc. How would such products compete on the global market?

Do you think we could use the same approach as sellers of organically produced food? Do your bit for the environment! Buy our lead/calcium batteries! They are 4x the price of batteries made in China but at least you know they are made with clean energy.

Doesn't that make you feel good, despite your relative poverty resulting from the purchase of expensive goods?

It would be interesting to get a viewpoint from those in charge of supplying the US armed forces. Do they think it would be possible to maintain America's military superiority on Wind, Solar power and ethanol.  
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #76 on: September 02, 2007, 10:32:26 pm »

Quote
Or just the opposite might be true.

Bob,
Each of us will take on board what makes sense and seems credible. I've generally found the anti-nuclear crowd to be too much influenced by fear and ignorance. They seem to have a purely emotional stance and seem prepared to use any argument however fallacious and incorrect to further their ends.

Nevertheless, they could serve some useful purpose as a sort of watchdog. They have a right to their misinformed point of view.

Quote
When I check pro-nuclear sites the cost figures sometimes do not include the cost of decommissioning, often do not include the cost of waste storage, and generally do not include the cost of financing the plant during construction.  (The last component is very significant.)

Yes, Sometimes. But the independent report issued by the Royal Academy of Engineers, that I referred to in my previous post (did you read it?), did take all these costs into consideration.

Quote
Anti-nuclear 'mobs' are more likely to include all of the costs.  And it's not too likely that they are going to lie as that would be easily discovered and the resulting damage to their reputation would be significant.

The anti-nuclear mob will do more than include all the costs. They will exaggerate the costs, use worst-case examples, make comparisons of new green technology with old, obsolete nuclear technology. Furthermore, they will use the reverse tactics when costing 'green' technology, omit essential ingredients of the real cost, use best-case examples (where the wind blows every day) and generally use any argument however implausible when preaching to the converted.

Quote
There are almost no new nuclear plants being built in most of the world.

That sound like the sort of statement one would expect from the anti-nuclear lobby.

Here are some facts (true or false) in the form of a few tables, which you might like to peruse at your leisure. To summarise, over 30 reactors world-wide are under construction as at August 2007 and 223 new reactors are in the planning stage. There's even one under construction in Finland and another in the planning stage there. Perhaps someone from Finland could vouch for the veracity of this.

There also seems to be a lot of misinformation about the scarcity of uranium. It would appear there's enough to keep the economy chugging along till nuclear fusion becomes a reality, wouldn't you say?

Quote
PROVEN Uranium reserves worldwide: about 4 million tons (current consumption rate of U worldwide is 60 000 tons per year => proven reserves at 80-130 $/kgU these proven reserves are enough for 65 years of use at the current consumption rate)

ESTIMATED Uranium reserves worldwide: about 16 million tons (current consumption rate of U worldwide is 60 000 tons per year => proven reserves at 80-130 $/kgU these proven reserves are enough for 265 years of use at the current consumption rate)

NON-CONVENTIONAL Uranium reserves worldwide (i.e. uranium contained in phosphates): an ADDITIONAL 22 million tons (representing an additional 365 years of use)

Uranium dissolved in sea water: about 4 billion tons (but more difficult and costly to retrieve)

Therefore, leaving aside the U in sea water, the total ESTIMATED + NON-CONVENTIONAL uranium reserves are enough for more than 600 years of use at current consumption rate using today's reactors and at a cost less than 80-130$/kg U (about twice today's spot price).

[attachment=3137:attachment]  [attachment=3138:attachment]  [attachment=3139:attachment]
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #77 on: September 03, 2007, 12:02:33 am »

Quote
Bob,
I sense a few serious flaws in the above argument. First, you don't seem to have considered what the rest of the world is doing and the difficulty of imposing our moral standards on other peoples who are striving like mad to achieve a decent material standard of living.

Capitalism, commerce, global trade, 'the free market' etc, work best through a process of finding the competitive edge. Manufacturing has been in decline in Western countries for decades because it's been found that it's cheaper (often very much cheaper) to manufacture products in developing countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and India. And of course, this process has resulted in some of those Eastern countries becoming more developed than some countries in the West.

I have no doubt it would be 'technologically' possible for us to devise ways of getting almost all (if not actually all) our energy needs from renewable resources, in Europe, Australia and North America because we have the advantages of cheap, manufactured goods form Asia.

The real crunch would come when we had to manufacture are own products (in the West) using energy only from wind and solar power, tidal power and ethanol etc. How would such products compete on the global market?

Do you think we could use the same approach as sellers of organically produced food? Do your bit for the environment! Buy our lead/calcium batteries! They are 4x the price of batteries made in China but at least you know they are made with clean energy.

Doesn't that make you feel good, despite your relative poverty resulting from the purchase of expensive goods?

It would be interesting to get a viewpoint from those in charge of supplying the US armed forces. Do they think it would be possible to maintain America's military superiority on Wind, Solar power and ethanol. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136969\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Let's start by taking ethanol off the table.  As far as I can at this point in time it doesn't make sense.  Growing corn to make ethanol takes more energy input than one gets in terms of output.

Future (science fiction at this point in time) stuff using algae, bio-engineered crops, whatever might work.  But none of that is available right now.  

Then - best to not treat the rest of the world, the developing world, as if they are naive dummies who are not aware of global warming and the effects that it is likely to have on them.  

Take India, for example.  If/when the glaciers in the high Himalayas dry up and if/when winter snow pack disappears the big rivers in India dry up for months at a time.  There are millions and millions of people who depend on that river water for life.  

Or China.  Do you not appreciate the desertification problem that is currently occurring in China and the programs that they have underway to attempt to slow/stop the loss of habitable land?  They've got a billion people to feed and a dwindling amount of land on which to grow their crops.

China has massive pollution problems as a result of burning coal for energy.  They are starting to realize the health costs of pollution and looking for ways to come to grip with the issue.  

Both countries are working on alternative energy supplies.  India has some major wind farms.  (Been there.  Seen a few.)

--

BTW, the US military is very active in areas such as biodiesel and alternative energy sources for field use.  They can see the petroleum crunch coming.
Logged

Bobtrips

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #78 on: September 03, 2007, 12:58:00 am »

Quote
Bob,
Each of us will take on board what makes sense and seems credible. I've generally found the anti-nuclear crowd to be too much influenced by fear and ignorance. They seem to have a purely emotional stance and seem prepared to use any argument however fallacious and incorrect to further their ends.

Nevertheless, they could serve some useful purpose as a sort of watchdog. They have a right to their misinformed point of view.
Yes, Sometimes. But the independent report issued by the Royal Academy of Engineers, that I referred to in my previous post (did you read it?), did take all these costs into consideration.
The anti-nuclear mob will do more than include all the costs. They will exaggerate the costs, use worst-case examples, make comparisons of new green technology with old, obsolete nuclear technology. Furthermore, they will use the reverse tactics when costing 'green' technology, omit essential ingredients of the real cost, use best-case examples (where the wind blows every day) and generally use any argument however implausible when preaching to the converted.
That sound like the sort of statement one would expect from the anti-nuclear lobby.

Here are some facts (true or false) in the form of a few tables, which you might like to peruse at your leisure. To summarise, over 30 reactors world-wide are under construction as at August 2007 and 223 new reactors are in the planning stage. There's even one under construction in Finland and another in the planning stage there. Perhaps someone from Finland could vouch for the veracity of this.

There also seems to be a lot of misinformation about the scarcity of uranium. It would appear there's enough to keep the economy chugging along till nuclear fusion becomes a reality, wouldn't you say?
[attachment=3137:attachment]  [attachment=3138:attachment]  [attachment=3139:attachment]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136974\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There are three groups, IMO.  The pro-nuclear, the anti-nuclear, and the nuclear skeptical.  I tend to dismiss the second group, the anti-nuclear, who seem to not understand some of the issues.

I find myself in the 'nuclear skeptical' group.  I place quite a bit of importance of not leaving a big mess for future generations to clean up.  

And I don't trust the figures that come out of the pro-nuclear group.  (The anti- group doesn't produce much in terms of numbers.)

I hadn't read the Royal Engineers pdf (you linked a wind summary, not the report unless I missed that).  I looked it up and gave it a quick read.  I really need to print it out in order to read carefully and my printer is down at the moment.

A couple of things that I didn't see in their cost analysis of nuclear - cost of long term storage and cost of capital.

They do include capital needed for construction but ignore the cost of that capital during the construction process.  This is a very significant number.  A very large amount of money has to be spent up front, long before energy begins to flow.  

Add the cost of capital funds and the numbers change, the spread between wind and nuclear shrinks.

And I'm not sure that they factored in the cost of another Chernobyl.  Low probability it might be.  But expensive it well may be.

I lived a few miles downwind from Rancho Seco which had to be shut down due to very poor construction/maintenance.  Another Three Mile Island/Chernobyl narrowly averted.  

And I pass Humboldt Bay nuclear every time I go to town.  They delivered the fuel rods before someone discovered that the plant had been built right on top of an active fault.  The rods are still there in the pool.  

At least some of them are.  They can't find one.

Nuclear is nasty stuff.  And people are human.  We can talk about safe design, but then we get brought up short by stuff like the problems in the 'Big Dig'.

(BTW, wasn't there a leak in the last few days in a plant somewhere?)

My preference is to rely on nuclear as little as possible.  

--

That "223 in the planning stage" can be misleading.  There are an awful lot of 'plans' that don't get past the "I've got an idea" stage.  Lots of plans in the US at the moment but very few places that are willing to allow a nuclear plant in their back yard.

--

BTW, there's a new problem with nuclear which hasn't been included in the mix.  

When the weather gets hot you've got to shut the damned things down.  

They need a source of cool/cold water and we've seen plants go off line this year when the local water became too hot.  Better factor that in.

Add backup production costs for nuclear?

--

As for supply, I can't make heads or tails of it (at this time of night).  The numbers seem all over the place.  There are some very optimistic numbers which assume that we'll find all sorts of the stuff when we get busy looking.  And there are non-optimistic numbers that project supplies not keeping up with demand.

Sure wish I could identify a trustworthy source for summary numbers.
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Antartica The Global Warming
« Reply #79 on: September 03, 2007, 12:58:35 am »

Quote
Let's start by taking ethanol off the table.  As far as I can at this point in time it doesn't make sense.  Growing corn to make ethanol takes more energy input than one gets in terms of output.

In Australia we use sugar cane to make ethanol. Considering we have a chronic shortage of water over here, you are probably right. It doesn't make much sense in the long run.

Windmills, however, do make sense for 'creating' water. We have some very efficient windmills in prototype stage, in Australia, whereby the energy created by the rotating blades is used to refrigerate the blades, or more specifically, refrigerate veins and channels in the blades to a degree that condenses some of the ever-present water vapour in the atmosphere.

With sufficiently cheap energy, such refrigeration windmills could be made very economically so that people even living close to a desert could get a continuous supply of water, sufficient for all domestic needs with just one such windmill on their roof.

Quote
Then - best to not treat the rest of the world, the developing world, as if they are naive dummies who are not aware of global warming and the effects that it is likely to have on them. 

When you are starving, degraded and living in a state of hoplessness, arguments about global warming have little meaning.

Quote
Take India, for example.  If/when the glaciers in the high Himalayas dry up and if/when winter snow pack disappears the big rivers in India dry up for months at a time.  There are millions and millions of people who depend on that river water for life. 

This would be a major, major problem if our energy supplies developed to the point where they were all green. It is sometimes predicted that future wars may revolve around scarcity of water. There's really no scarcity of fresh water at all, in reality. It falls freely from the sky and lies, in certain parts of the globe, in large lakes (or icebergs), unused and untapped.

The only scarcity is the enrgy required to pump it or transport it to where it's needed. Currently China is building a huge water pipe, several metres in diameter, to carry water from the Yangtse river and dams to Beijing. That's the sort of project that requires energy with a capital E, not windmill power with a small w.

We have a similar situation in Australia where the heaviest rainfalls often occur in parts where the population is sparse. One part of the country suffers from a drought whilst another part of the country suffers from extreme flooding, swollen rivers and a great outpouring of fresh water into the sea.

We can't solve such problems with windmill power.

Quote
Or China.  Do you not appreciate the desertification problem that is currently occurring in China and the programs that they have underway to attempt to slow/stop the loss of habitable land?  They've got a billion people to feed and a dwindling amount of land on which to grow their crops.

With energy you can do anything. The world is your oyster. China is innovative enough to do whatever is required. With sufficient energy you can build platforms out to sea, grow crops on the roof-tops of city buildings and skyscrapers, bring water from where it's plentiful to where it's scarce. You can even irrigate the deserts with ice bergs towed from the antartic, with nuclear powered ships of course.

There's too much parochial thinking going on with this issue. Let's expand our ideas and think 'big'.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6   Go Up