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  1. #41
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I am basically afraid. If you see countries like China planning around 90 nuclear power plants and see that in the US people think you can just dig the stuff away, I seriously start to question myself, if I want to have kids on this world.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  2. #42
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    This is a cool project, didnt know of it yet. I have seen a lot of intresting projects lately, like a snake-like structure you let swim in the ocean and which is moved by waves, producing electrical energy. Or the turbine which always moves clockwise, no matter from which direction the wind blows and which is put at shores in housings and moved by the tides which suck the air thru it. They build a huge thing of that in Brazil at the moment. Very innovative and intresting projects are coming up in the field.

    Another nice thing I have seen is the thermoelectrical generator which uses the Seebeck - Effekt that says how to produce electrical energy from a temperature gradient. This is used to get electrical energy out from the brake in your car, very ingenious work.
    That's some interesting info, thank you. I do think the future without fossil fuels might not be as worse as some of their promoters make it to be. We're not looking for perpetual motion, just the right combination of large-scale renewable energy plants...it can be done (sure, we'd need to use fossil fuels to start them up, hopefully we won't be so stupid to deplete all the reserves before the point of no return). What I find promising is that the central part of europe seems to be where the highest interest towards renewable sources is concentrated, thus a synergy might take place, sooner or later. Rather than pestering each other about public debt, the EU should think about these issues imho...
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #43
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Ehm, one small detail. By 2004 71% of the energy produced in Austria was from renewable sources (mainly hydropower),
    Hydropower IS a viable solution, actually. If you're in an area that has an appropriate water source and climate for you to build a hydroelectric dam. My own state has a few hydroelectric dams, but we don't use them most of the time, because our state is almost desert-like, and we usually need the water more than the electricity.

    China is building a lot of Hydroelectric plants, and this works well enough because they have several rivers and such. I think it's a very wise decision. But most places on Earth can't generate power that way. Geographical limitations and/or low output are the main problem with all renewable energy sources.

    I think that Hydropower should be harnessed wherever possible, in order to lift the burden off of nuclear and fossil, though.

  4. #44
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    There is solar, there is wind, there is water...and if you have neither (how likely is that?), there is temperatur as others have mentioned, there are even projects working with exothermic reactions taking place during composting, in other words, warmth generated by rotting garbage!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  5. #45
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy

    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished). In 2008, about 19% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.2% from hydroelectricity.[1] New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 2.7% and are growing very rapidly.[1] The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 18%, with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewables.[1][2]

    Wind power is growing at the rate of 30% annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 158 gigawatts (GW) in 2009,[3][4] and is widely used in Europe, Asia, and the United States.[5] At the end of 2009, cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) installations surpassed 21 GW[6][7][8] and PV power stations are popular in Germany and Spain.[9] Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 megawatt (MW) SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert.[10] The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18% of the country's automotive fuel.[11] Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.

    While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development.[12] Globally, an estimated 3 million households get power from small solar PV systems. Micro-hydro systems configured into village-scale or county-scale mini-grids serve many areas.[13] More than 30 million rural households get lighting and cooking from biogas made in household-scale digesters. Biomass cookstoves are used by 160 million households.[13]

    Climate change concerns, coupled with high oil prices, peak oil, and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization.[14] New government spending, regulation and policies helped the industry weather the global financial crisis better than many other sectors.
    "New and emerging renewable energy technologies are still under development and include cellulosic ethanol, hot-dry-rock geothermal power, and ocean energy.[69] These technologies are not yet widely demonstrated or have limited commercialization. Many are on the horizon and may have potential comparable to other renewable energy technologies, but still depend on attracting sufficient attention and research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding"]New and emerging renewable energy technologies are still under development and include cellulosic ethanol, hot-dry-rock geothermal power, and ocean energy.[69] These technologies are not yet widely demonstrated or have limited commercialization. Many are on the horizon and may have potential comparable to other renewable energy technologies, but still depend on attracting sufficient attention and research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #46
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    There is solar, there is wind, there is water...and if you have neither (how likely is that?), there is temperatur as others have mentioned, there are even projects working with exothermic reactions taking place during composting, in other words, warmth generated by rotting garbage!
    I don't think solar and wind really count... read this:

    http://cbdakota.wordpress.com/2011/0...t-competitive/

    If there is any future in renewables, it's not going to come from current solar or wind turbine solutions... they're unreliable and cannot meet anything close to our current energy needs. If we stretch a bit, there MIGHT be something to geothermal energy and getting energy from the tides... but that hasn't taken off. When most people think of renewable, they think of solar and wind, which are not viable alternatives to fossil.

    Basically, our current renewable solutions will not cut it. We need something new, if we're going to do this, and it will take at least a decade of research to discover, let alone implement. That's assuming we really focus on it, which no one has been willing to do thus far.

    There's a vague fear that fossil fuels are the only thing that can sustain our civilization as we know it, and I think that's why so many people are afraid to look at this problem and plan for the future... most of us don't want to give up what we have.

    I think that what's realistic right now, is supplementing fossil fuels and nuclear with renewable sources. And trying to reduce energy demand. In the future... who knows?

  7. #47
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I don't think solar and wind really count... read this:

    http://cbdakota.wordpress.com/2011/0...t-competitive/

    If there is any future in renewables, it's not going to come from current solar or wind turbine solutions... they're unreliable and cannot meet anything close to our current energy needs. If we stretch a bit, there MIGHT be something to geothermal energy and getting energy from the tides... but that hasn't taken off. When most people think of renewable, they think of solar and wind, which are not viable alternatives to fossil.

    Basically, our current renewable solutions will not cut it. We need something new, if we're going to do this, and it will take at least a decade of research to discover, let alone implement. That's assuming we really focus on it, which no one has been willing to do thus far.
    This is a good thought but it doesnt pay respect to years of development which have been already put into the existing power plants.

    Capacity factor is the one technical thing that is intresting, it is the amount of energy a thing gives off the hour divided by it's time of usage, so for example 365 days. Nuclear power scores easily 90%. Wind and solar are the worst around 25%, hydroelectric is better with 50%. (Geothermal has around 90%).

    The thing is tho that to cope with that people are devloping hydrogen storages. While the nuclear reactor produdes energy people sometimes dont need, so it just stays unused. In peak times you can use storages with renewable energies to make up for the missing parts. Americas northern coast is one of the best spots on the world for wind energy converters, in Germany nearly every place sucks..

    Long term it will be innovations that increase the energy gain of renewable energies. They have been getting better already every year. Look alone at the invention FDG posted, it will make wind energy collection much more effective. Its the same with nuclear power plants, they werent build 100% effective from the start aswell. New technologies always need time
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  8. #48
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    This is a good thought but it doesnt pay respect to years of development which have been already put into the existing power plants.

    Capacity factor is the one technical thing that is intresting, it is the amount of energy a thing gives off the hour divided by it's time of usage, so for example 365 days. Nuclear power scores easily 90%, renewable energies barely make it to 30 %. Wind and solar are the worst around 25%, hydroelectric is the best with 50%. (Geothermal has around 90%)

    the thing is tho that to cope with that people are devloping hydrogen storages. While the neuclear reactor produdes energy people sometimes dont need, so it just stays unused. In peak times you can use storages with renewable energies to make up for the missing parts. Americas northern coast is one of the best spots on the world for wind energy converters, in Germany nearly every place sucks..

    Long term it will be innovations that increase the energy gain of renewable energies. They have been getting better already every year. Look alone at the invention FDG posted, it will make wind energy collection much more effective. Its the same with nuclear power plants, they werent build 100% effective from the start aswell. New technologies always need time
    Of course, anything that stores unused energy rather than letting it go to waste is a good thing.

    However, I do still believe that to meet raw energy demand, renewables won't be up to the task for awhile. Those storage devices you mentioned will be the best thing to happen to power generation if they are widely implemented. They will allow us to to use existing nuclear and fossil fuel energies more efficiently, and thus build fewer of those plants, and more renewable ones while we research new renewable solutions.

    The most optimistic measurement says that even if we got the government to spend as much money as it took to switch us over to renewable energy ASAP, the construction time alone would still take until 2030, and we would use up a TON of space. If we rely on private industry, and take into account the limited amount of land that people are actually willing to allocate for power generation... well, it could take much longer.

    The focus of this discussion will thus need to be very long term.

  9. #49
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Of course, anything that stores unused energy rather than letting it go to waste is a good thing.

    However, I do still believe that to meet raw energy demand, renewables won't be up to the task for awhile. Those storage devices you mentioned will be the best thing to happen to power generation if they are widely implemented. They will allow us to to use existing nuclear and fossil fuel energies more efficiently, and thus build fewer of those plants, and more renewable ones while we research new renewable solutions.

    The most optimistic measurement says that even if we got the government to spend as much money as it took to switch us over to renewable energy ASAP, the construction time alone would still take until 2030, and we would use up a TON of space. If we rely on private industry, and take into account the limited amount of land that people are actually willing to allocate for power generation... well, it could take much longer.
    I agree with you. Only thing I think that is really important is the attitude to change to renewable is not really everywhere in politics yet. See our government they are using 50% more nuclear reactors than they need and why ? To make money. They have the idea to use that money to have the investion money for renewables. I think this is a good strategy, but I think too that a little pushing from the people side into the backs of the deciders of the energy lobbies will do the process of change a good thing.

    So basically it's important to me to see peoples attitude toward the topic and it's intresting to see if it's a topic at all in the U.S.. I believe you have a lot of other issues to talk about in America too at the moment and dont need more problems, I am just hoping that people stay sensitive for the topic of nuclear power and dont think it is the one solution for the future. Or at least dont think things like "just dig the waste away and its gone" or plan to build 90 more plants like the chinese (which I am desperatly frightened of in all regards).
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  10. #50
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I agree with you. Only thing I think that is really important is the attitude to change to renewable is not really everywhere in politics yet. See our government they are using 50% more nuclear reactors than they need and why ? To make money. They have the idea to use that money to have the investion money for renewables. I think this is a good strategy, but I think too that a little pushing from the people side into the backs of the deciders of the energy lobbies will do the process of change a good thing.

    So basically it's important to me to see peoples attitude toward the topic and it's intresting to see if it's a topic at all in the U.S.. I believe you have a lot of other issues to talk about in America too at the moment and dont need more problems, I am just hoping that people stay sensitive for the topic of nuclear power and dont think it is the one solution for the future. Or at least dont think things like "just dig the waste away and its gone" or plan to build 90 more plants like the chinese (which I am desperatly frightened of in all regards).
    Well, I do think that nuclear power is far from ideal, but I still think that we may yet have to build more nuclear plants and research ways to make them more efficient, before it's all said and done. I'm thinking of it as a partial stopgap solution between fossil fuels and renewable energy.

    The main reason why I'm even considering it, is that oil is becoming scarce more quickly than expected... especially with conflict in the Middle East where most of it is made, and decline of the dollar's ability to buy it in the first place. If we don't have enough fossil fuels, and our renewable supplies aren't up and running yet... we're going to need nuclear whether we want it or not. We're also likely to end up burning a lot of coal, which will pollute worse than anything, and natural gas, which is already causing major environmental problems from its production, contaminating water supplies.

    It is a topic here, but it's mostly focused on "What are we going to to do without oil from the Middle East?" and on a panicked, short-term solution. Not many people are thinking about the long-term...

    I think everyone is frightened of the Chinese... they're the most powerful country in the world now, or soon will be.

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