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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1344

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just checked. E.U. regulations state that 20% of power needs must be met from renewable sources by the year 2020. The European parliament states that any attempt to treat nuclear energy as a substitute for renewables will be resisted!

Germany is closing down their nuclear stations and building a new swathe of COAL fired stations instead. It is said that will not risk their future economic prosperity by handicapping themselves to the over ambitious E.U. renewables agenda.

So much for ideals then!!
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5202

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--one of the advantages of coal power generation is that emissions are centralized and CO2 can be removed. But it costs money. The most efficient way to encourage the market to move in the right direction is that favored by EXXON and responsible Republicans like George Schultz--a modest carbon tax. Subsidies are always going to be easier to implement because the powerful who get some support legislation. But a simple tax is most efficient--and would work to discourage electric cars if they don't make sense in an overall perspective. Cap and trade does pretty much the same thing, not quite as effectively. But remember, it was pioneered by Republicans--when some of they still believed in science rather than just the bible--and was very effective and efficient at reducing acid rain/sulfur emissions.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1344

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac. ... It would seem that coal fired stations which can be treated at source for CO2 capture, however expensive, would have been a far better cause to lavish billions on than windmills. It would certainly help solve our looming energy crisis. Germany doesn't posture or play games when their economic wellbeing is at stake.

The governments standard answer is that E.U. renewables demands (20% generation by 2020) do not include coal power. Perhaps it is they who need to study science, and get real! (Both the E.U. and our politicians.)

As regards electric cars for normal driving conditions, they are dead in the water (literally) over here. We need HEATERS, lights, and windscreen wipers almost the day long in winter (still Arctic temps and snow at present) and a battery powered car would barely cover twenty miles before running out of juice, under such a current load, in these conditions. But try to explain that to some of our rabid greens! (40 ton lorries up and down the motor-ways all day long?)
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT...

In Colorado, the cost of electricity from wind power has been almost twice that of existing coal power plants. However, the new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency - Federal Department) has issued new standards for pollution. That, and the reducing costs of wind power (33% down since Xcel Energy (Colorado's largest utility) started their wind program) has narrowed the margin, making wind more competitive. When all of the health costs of coal generation are included, coal becomes less competitive. However, natural gas is looking less costly than either. So, the economics, again, will change.

Wind power produces 17% of Xcel energy's electricity generation. Colorado requires that 30% of our electricity be provided by renewable energy (voter supported initiative). We see a value in promoting the healthy lifestyle and natural beauty of the State. Renewable energy is part of this.

I think the real issue is that one solution does not work everywhere. We need to be developing all of the sources of energy in efficient and safe ways. I have no problem with the Federal Government providing funding or tax incentives, in this development, even though some of it doesn't pan out. The jobs and the spinoff technology have value.

Energy markets are reactive and it takes a significant time to put a new power plant or transmission system on line. We should be proactive about protecting our economy by providing alternative (not necessarily the green type) energy types.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5202

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--there is another important thing to remember about nuclear power, pointed out to me by the former Executive Director of California's Public Utility Commission. All utilities in the United States, and what we have found in Japan as well after the tsunami, only produce electrical power with nuclear generating stations if the government caps their liability exposure. It is a massive and unrecognized subsidy. Of course, emitting particulates and CO2 without mitigation is also a large subsidy. It would be interesting to see some realistic analyses of what the economies of large scale power generation would be without direct and indirect subsidies. But pretty much every effort I've seen was from someone (environmental lobbyist or energy company lobbyist) with an axe to grind. It might be interesting to try to monetize the damages from the meltdown of the Japanese plants and assign it to their generating production to date and see what the added cost of uninsured liability was.

Not saying that I am against nuclear power--my dad was a nuclear engineer. I'm also not saying that I am opposed to subsidies to stimulate development of an industry. But I am opposed to long-term subsidies.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2643

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
We see a value in promoting the healthy lifestyle and natural beauty of the State. Renewable energy is part of this.

There is a growing consensus, certainly in Europe, that covering large swaths of open space with windmills does little the promote the natural beauty of the countryside.......quite the reverse. The volume of dissent at the ruining of picturesque villages grows louder by the day. In addition, the track record of wind farms thus far is indisputable; they produce about one quarter of their advertised capacity and do so in an erratic, unpredictable manner with a constant requirement for back up. Yet politicians continue to press for more, and hand wads of taxpayer cash over to developers to create an illusion of economic viability.

Oil, gas, coal and nuclear are the only viable large scale energy options currently available to us. If "green" incentives were redirected to the conversion of trucks, or coal fired power plants, to natural gas, the impact on the environment would be far greater than the utopian vision that we can produce our energy from the wind and the sun.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3550
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mr G. My neighbor whose lived in his house for his entire 76 years, was going to put up a 60 foot wind turbine right next door to me. My wife turned into Erin Brockavich and shut that puppy down, but not before old Irv threatened me with a shotgun. The entire episode really had my political juices flowing. I found myself buddying up to the local Repubs, and opposing a lot of greenies in the neighborhood. I think most people want both, a clean environment, and cost effective energy. The best way to be green is to not waste anything.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
We see a value in promoting the healthy lifestyle and natural beauty of the State. Renewable energy is part of this.

There is a growing consensus, certainly in Europe, that covering large swaths of open space with windmills does little the promote the natural beauty of the countryside.......quite the reverse. The volume of dissent at the ruining of picturesque villages grows louder by the day. In addition, the track record of wind farms thus far is indisputable; they produce about one quarter of their advertised capacity and do so in an erratic, unpredictable manner with a constant requirement for back up. Yet politicians continue to press for more, and hand wads of taxpayer cash over to developers to create an illusion of economic viability.

Oil, gas, coal and nuclear are the only viable large scale energy options currently available to us. If "green" incentives were redirected to the conversion of trucks, or coal fired power plants, to natural gas, the impact on the environment would be far greater than the utopian vision that we can produce our energy from the wind and the sun.


I, absolutely, agree that we are not going to replace fossil fuels with wind or solar. But, I should remind you that Xcel Energy is not a small utility; yet, they are able to produce 17% of the electricity consumed in Colorado with wind. Colorado is on track to produce the 30% renewable electricity that our law requires. You may consider this trivial, but I see it as a significant accomplishment. These renewables are reducing, primarily, electricity derived from dirty coal.

I invite you to visit the 4 corners area of Southwest Colorado or the area around Craig, CO. Both locations with, large, coal fired plants, located in pretty scenic areas. One can observe smoke lingering for miles before reaching the plant and the stacks are visible for tens of miles. Then, there are the strip mines. I have worked on several in this state...again in beautiful locations. Compared to the windmills on the plains...I'll take the windmills.

There is nothing pretty about any energy production (except for a 4.5 day on the reservoir at Doug's).

Boggsman is correct...the best way to reduce the effects of this energy production is through conservation. The best way to promote conservation is to make sure that all the costs of energy production are attached to the product. Thes include carbon loading on the atmosphere, health costs, environmental costs and the costs to infrastructure in the transportation of fuels.


Last edited by coboardhead on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14147

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
I have no problem with the Federal Government providing funding

Even when the debt and unfunded obligations are $17T and $130T? Didn't anyone notice what happened throughout South America in the '80s when it tried to print'n'spend its way out of debt? Hint: inflation ranging from 4,000 to 50,000 percent.

This government invests money taken by force in green energy for votes based on polls of zealots, idiots, and the uninformed; the private sector invests voluntarily obtained money for profit based on technical and fiscal research. Which one has been more successful over the decades?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14147

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
These renewables are reducing, primarily, electricity derived from dirty coal.

I invite you to visit the 4 corners area ... large, coal fired plants, located in pretty scenic areas. One can observe smoke lingering for miles before reaching the plant and the stacks are visible for tens of miles. ... Compared to the windmills on the plains...I'll take the windmills.

I have more than visited the 4 Corners area; I lived there and windsurfed AT the Four Corners (coal fired) Power Plant for > 16 years. The "smoke" (actually steam) plume was a great wind speed and direction indicator, and the lights on the plant were sufficient to sail safely all night, which was fun even in the dead of winter because the water was in the 70s and 80s (90s at the plant's outflow). The lake's bass were delicious, the plant encouraged fishing and windsurfing, it powered my home and some of California, and the next power plant was tens of miles away.

Here in the Gorge area we face thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of ugly, eagle-decimating windmills -- hundreds at a time blight the view from many areas -- while their owners SUCCESSFULLY sue the taxpayer because what little power they produce is often barred from the grid because the Columbia River produces more power than the grid can use. All this, and the taxpayer is paying for it ... including those lawsuits against the taxpayers. On top of that, billionaire T. Boone Pickens, wind power's greatest advocate for years, now sez "Oops! Never mind. Natural gas is where it's at. My bad!"

I'll take gas and nuclear power, plus cleaned-up coal if necessary, any time thankyouverymuch. Yet the president's and his party's ACTIONS demand none of the above while paying lip service to fool the more ignorant voters.
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