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(TreeHugger)   To the left: A realistic & economically sound plan to get everything, in every state, fully powered with renewable energy by 2050. To the right: naysayers explaining why this is impossible   (treehugger.com) divider line 319
    More: Obvious, United States, renewable energy, offshore wind, fuel mix disclosure, tree huggers, single source  
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7109 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Mar 2014 at 2:19 PM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-07 02:48:04 PM

meyerkev: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vernonFL: Of course it CAN be done, the question is whether or not we have the political will to do so.

As long as extractive energy companies are dropping mad cash on their favorite political candidates, the whole plan is an uphill battle.

And NIMBY's.  NIMBY's delay any infrastructure project for 2 decades after tripling the price.

At least the Republican Party is honest about wanting to fark the poor.


This. All those renewable power sources are technically feasible. What's impossible is generating the political will among the populace as long as petroleum is cheap, and overcoming entrenched moneyed interests. And nimbys, of course. That chart calls for 35 percent of Georgia's power to come from offshore windmills. Good luck getting that stuff permitted. The same people fighting for green energy will be fighting against "unsightly" wind farms.

On the bright side, we WILL hit peak oil sooner than later (the North American fracking oil/gas production is already in decline), and oil prices will skyrocket, making all this green stuff competitive on price. So it's nice to see that it's allegedly feasible.
 
2014-03-07 02:48:46 PM

Felgraf: How do you power things during non-daylight hours? What sort of energy storage do you have?


Because of the current incentives in place, I'm grid interactive. So the house draws from the local utility at night (my utility is powered by their own hydro dams and wind plants and pulls a little from a local nuke plant). However both my office and home have battery backup systems (made in the USA by Deka batteries), so if I were to chose, both can be run off grid.
 
2014-03-07 02:48:52 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Didn't bother reading the article, but how do we fuel planes? Last I checked you can't really run a jumbo jet on batteries.


Algae that shiat kerosine is pretty much doable now. It's the scaling up and economics vs oil that need sorted.

Its time will come
 
2014-03-07 02:48:58 PM

Begoggle: dj_bigbird: I assume by "onshore wind" they're referring to windmills that kill lots of birds and for solar PV and CSP plants, they're talking about places that cook birds.

Also "windows" kill birds, and don't even get me started on the "cats", so obviously those things can't be done either.
Coal and nuclear waste is good for birds.


That's what I feed mine. Birds are supposed to have opposable thumbs, right?
 
2014-03-07 02:49:33 PM
As long as no tax payer money is used I'm OK with it.
 
2014-03-07 02:49:38 PM

meat0918: I want this but here is why it is impossible.

Republicans.


that's a funny way to spell "energy storage"
 
2014-03-07 02:50:25 PM

Begoggle: dj_bigbird: I assume by "onshore wind" they're referring to windmills that kill lots of birds and for solar PV and CSP plants, they're talking about places that cook birds.

Also "windows" kill birds, and don't even get me started on the "cats", so obviously those things can't be done either.
Coal and nuclear waste is good for birds.


Birds loved acid rain. It got all those inconvenient leaves out of the way, so they could perch on the branches more easily. Also, all the dead fish floating up to the tops of the lakes were easier to grab than the live ones that could swim away.
 
2014-03-07 02:50:28 PM

HotWingConspiracy: But mah lightbulbs! I ain't usin' no Obama bulbs.


Oh yeah:  They cost a ton of money right now ($25 - $30), but LED flourescent tubes are fantastic.  They draw next to no amperage, last forever, and generate almost no heat.  And none of the mercury dust that the flourescent tubes are rocking.  When the cost comes down, get some of them.

www.yazzoopa.com
 
2014-03-07 02:50:49 PM

AugieDoggyDaddy: What if we had invested that kind of money after the first Arab Oil Embargo towards energy independence? We prolly wouldn't care much about Kuwait and Iraq because they didn't have anything we need. We wouldn't have needed a military presence in the middle east. Then we could'v said "Osama bin Who?'.


There isn't a lot of oil* being burned to power your computer. It mostly goes to vehicle fuel and industrial/chemical products.

*Yes I'm aware of natural gas power plants.
 
2014-03-07 02:51:26 PM

Mad_Radhu: dj_bigbird: I assume by "onshore wind" they're referring to windmills that kill lots of birds and for solar PV and CSP plants, they're talking about places that cook birds.

I think in one report on the number of birds killed at one large solar plant in a one month period was 30, which basically amounts to the death toll from one decent sized colony of feral cats, so just a small program to trap, neuter, and release ferals would more than make up for the impact of the solar plants.


Birds run into windmills and die. Far MORE birds run into the sides of buildings and die. Birds are farking stupid, but they breed fast enough that windmill deaths won't affect their numbers.
 
2014-03-07 02:51:38 PM
I'm curious about the off-shore wind turbines.  They've got 35% of Georgia's power coming from that.  Where are they going to build? With the trade lanes, gray's reef, the fisheries, and barrier island protected areas, there's not a lot of space left.
 
2014-03-07 02:53:01 PM

bigsteve3OOO: As long as no tax payer money is used I'm OK with it.


YEAH. Taxpayer money should be used only for widening and paving roads. And subsidizing oil exploration.
 
2014-03-07 02:53:29 PM
Man, I wish someone would develop a way to harness the energy of a potato.   This way this country would not only be fully energy independent, but it would also be able to sell its spare energy to more potato-challenged countries.
 
2014-03-07 02:55:56 PM

meat0918: From what I understand the panels end up melting the snow pretty rapidly.


Only if you've got a light dusting, I believe. The kind of snow we've had lately would need to be removed by hand.


The have quite a few land based wind farms in Michigan already. One is going up on my dad's land in the Thumb. He's quite happy about the extra cash, plus his psycho sister is moving because she thinks they cause health effects, and she used to work in nuclear power.

I think you're right that the thumb is better for land-based wind power than most of the rest of Michigan. But if we're talking about 40% of all Michigan's power, we're probably going to need more wind farms a bit closer to where the majority of the people live, where land-based wind farms tend not to work so well.

And I'm sorry they let someone that crazy work in any capacity in a nuclear power plant. I liked the Fark headline that the cure for wind-farm-based health problems is apparently money.

And I literally just got news my energy company approved the 0 interest loan for my ductless heat pump.Good bye ceiling heat. May the guy that thought that up spend eternity in hell paying massive electric bills and never having the heat be quite right!

Good luck! Hope it works out for you.
 
2014-03-07 02:56:13 PM

Ambivalence: vernonFL: Of course it CAN be done, the question is whether or not we have the political will to do so.

We invested well over $1 trillion over 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think about that every time a see a report about why something can't be done or we don't have the budget or it will take too long, etc...

We didn't "invest" a penny in Iraq or Afghanistan. An investment implies we could reasonably inspect a return. Iraq and Afghanistan are money pits and that money ain't ever coming back.

Education and infrastructure are actual investments.


Heh. You got the joke but didnt get the joke.
 
2014-03-07 02:56:18 PM

mark12A: Destructor: Nuclear power & Reprocessing.

HM: Too expensive.


WAT? Consult with France. They generate 80% of their power with nukes, and reprocess.


The problem is, you can make nuclear power really expensive... That's why I was really annoyed to find "levelized" costs on Wikipedia. Of course its going to be more expensive when you dump tax credits on solar and wind (and play other financial games).

I'd love to see some funds earmarked for research into renewables go into nuclear reprocessing technology, or even the Thorium fuel cycle (which is really neat). That solves a big chunk of the offsite storage problem when you consider spent fuel rods contain 95%+ fuel (plants only burn 4% before the rods are retired).
 
2014-03-07 02:56:32 PM

DubtodaIll: I'm curious about the off-shore wind turbines.  They've got 35% of Georgia's power coming from that.  Where are they going to build? With the trade lanes, gray's reef, the fisheries, and barrier island protected areas, there's not a lot of space left.


Windmills don't hurt fishing; in fact they help by acting as infrastructure for habitat; sort of a vertical reef. There's TONS of room outside the shipping lanes. You will get a bunch of nimby complaints if they "spoil the view" from Sea Island, but that's something that's going to have to be worked out. Personally, I don't think wind farms are less attractive than sailboats, and everybody just raves about how pretty boats sailing by are. They're way better looking that the container ships you constantly see on the horizon.
 
2014-03-07 02:57:05 PM

Joe Peanut: Man, I wish someone would develop a way to harness the energy of a potato.   This way this country would not only be fully energy independent, but it would also be able to sell its spare energy to more potato-challenged countries.


That's not going to cut it. A potato doesn't even have enough voltage for a single emotional outburst.
 
2014-03-07 02:57:34 PM

vernonFL: Of course it CAN be done, the question is whether or not we have the political will to do so.

We invested well over $1 trillion over 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think about that every time a see a report about why something can't be done or we don't have the budget or it will take too long, etc...


A trillion dollars wouldn't even cover the cost of paperwork. This project would cost hundreds of trillions of dollars, even if it wasn't completely infeasable.
 
2014-03-07 02:57:36 PM
veedeevadeevoodee

Random Anonymous Blackmail: The reason we can't?

Eco tree hugging granola eaters, saying we can't affect the migration pattern of the no so rare Arizona sand slug or stupid farking birds who run into wind mills.


In this instance, the tree huggers are correct. Ecosystems, how do they work?

/ besides, water availability is a more pressing concern


You don't see them slowing the expansion of sprawling suburbia because of ecosystems so how is this different. The animals will adapt to survive, they have been pretty good at that for a long time.
 
2014-03-07 02:57:49 PM

fireclown: To start with, we need to start plastering the tops of big box stores with utility intertie solar  They get great sunlight, what with no trees nearby.


I think a lot of climate change policy is misguided, but this always seemed like a no-brainer to me.  Should also be done on shopping malls, and government office buildings.  

MrSteve007: AngryDragon: This.Treehugger. The RightWingNews.com of the left.

Really? They're owned by Discovery Communications. Creators of such 'beloved' shows as: "Swamp People" "Moonshiners" "Alaska Gold Miners" "Deadliest Catch" etc.

Not exactly liberal ownership.


So they can't be liberal because they have tv shows where everyone laughs at conservative backwoods stereotypes?  Sure.
 
2014-03-07 02:58:42 PM

whistleridge: draypresct: I really don't understand 40% of Michigan's energy coming from land-based wind farms. Michigan is a terrible place for these.

Presumably, they would all be on land, on the east coast of Lake Michigan. Which would admittedly be a prime spot for catching wind. Not sure how they would handle the winters though. I would  hate to be the poor SOB who had to climb up and fix ice damage on one of those things in, say, late January.


Possibly. Also, as another Farker pointed out in this thread, there are wind farms on the thumb. 40% seems pretty high, though, especially if you have to position the wind farms away from the major population centers.
 
2014-03-07 02:59:07 PM
DNRTA.  But I'm gonna post my opinion anyway.

We could easily switch over to renewal, eco-friendly energy sources now.  The technology exists to do it.
But so much money and interest is tied up in fossil fuels that it will not happen.  Pretty much ever.  Even switching all diesel powered engines over to using vegetable oil would be a huge step in the right direction.  But no.  We have to use the filthy expensive, foriegn supplied, fossil based diesel fuel.

Everyone knows that we humans are killing the environment with our usage of fossil fuels.  But it will never change as it would be entirely too painful on the economy.
 
2014-03-07 02:59:22 PM

opiumpoopy: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Didn't bother reading the article, but how do we fuel planes? Last I checked you can't really run a jumbo jet on batteries.

Algae that shiat kerosine is pretty much doable now. It's the scaling up and economics vs oil that need sorted.

Its time will come


The US Navy is rapidly transitioning it's fuel stocks over to algae based bio fuels - for both ships and air operations. I believe they're aiming for 50% by 2020. I had the opportunity to talk with their main Pacific Fleet public information officer at an energy conference last year in Hawaii. While the costs are high right now, the military is most concerned about maintaining full operational readiness in the Pacific in case of another oil embargo or fuel shortage. One of the more interesting things they said to me:

"The Pacific Fleet is based in Hawaii - geographically about as far on the planet as you can get from operational oil wells and refineries. In the case of war, wouldn't it make sense for us to be able to supply our own fleet from fuels grown at our home base? If our fuel gets cut off, the Navy will come to a halt and we lose the Pacific. We're making sure that won't happen."

Also, Alaska Airlines is already starting to transition their Hawaii-Mainland flights to Hawaiian grown biofuel right now.
 
2014-03-07 02:59:56 PM

meyerkev: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vernonFL: Of course it CAN be done, the question is whether or not we have the political will to do so.

As long as extractive energy companies are dropping mad cash on their favorite political candidates, the whole plan is an uphill battle.

And NIMBY's.  NIMBY's delay any infrastructure project for 2 decades after tripling the price.

At least the Republican Party is honest about wanting to fark the poor.


Go tell that to the wealthy east coast liberals who block all attempts at solar, wind, and tidal energies because it lowers the value of their mansions.
 
2014-03-07 03:00:09 PM
www.lunatim.com
 
2014-03-07 03:00:52 PM

StopLurkListen: You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.


{Cats at top of list}

You want it even HARDER to get a Caturday thread greenlit? Jeez.
 
2014-03-07 03:01:53 PM

Random Anonymous Blackmail: veedeevadeevoodee

Random Anonymous Blackmail: The reason we can't?

Eco tree hugging granola eaters, saying we can't affect the migration pattern of the no so rare Arizona sand slug or stupid farking birds who run into wind mills.


In this instance, the tree huggers are correct. Ecosystems, how do they work?

/ besides, water availability is a more pressing concern


You don't see them slowing the expansion of sprawling suburbia because of ecosystems so how is this different. The animals will adapt to survive, they have been pretty good at that for a long time.


Animals aren't so much adapting as going extinct. We're in the midst of the biggest mass extinction event since that meteor took out the dinosaurs. All human-caused.
 
2014-03-07 03:02:13 PM

StopLurkListen: dj_bigbird: I assume by "onshore wind" they're referring to windmills that kill lots of birds and for solar PV and CSP plants, they're talking about places that cook birds.

I'm responding to this, but not to you, you're an aggressive troll who posts this in every thread remotely related to renewable energy. (Show me on the doll where ...)

I'm responding in case anyone doesn't know how shameless and wrong your argument is:

[plainswindeis.anl.gov image 357x500]

This is a bird-safe wind turbine. Birds look for places to land, the only place is at the top, where the relative speed of the fan blades are slow.

[switchboard.nrdc.org image 706x462]

You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.


I always see those exact ones on the way past Indianapolis.  Pretty incredible looking.
 
2014-03-07 03:03:47 PM

Closed_Minded_Bastage: StopLurkListen: You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.

{Cats at top of list}

You want it even HARDER to get a Caturday thread greenlit? Jeez.


I swear fark is stuck in 2006.
 
2014-03-07 03:04:46 PM
What about reducing our use of/need for electricity to almost nothing?  Why do we have to see ourselves from outer space?  Because soshulism that's why!
 
2014-03-07 03:04:51 PM

Closed_Minded_Bastage: StopLurkListen: You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.

{Cats at top of list}

You want it even HARDER to get a Caturday thread greenlit? Jeez


Cats do kill birds... But most of those birds are uninteresting. Wind turbines seemingly go out of their way to kill the really cool birds that like to ride thermals, like condors and eagles... (And bats.)

If an eagle drowns in a waste recovery pool by an oil rig, its a federal offense. If it get decapitated by a wind turbine; they get a pass.
 
2014-03-07 03:05:36 PM
As a Quebecker, I'm firmly against this plan as our economy is almost built entirely on selling you Yanks yummy, maple-flavored hydro-electricity.
 
2014-03-07 03:06:54 PM
As far as hydro-power, these same Tree Huggers will say "not in my river, it harms the 1 inch long Nofarkinuse Fish". But I like the discussion.
 
2014-03-07 03:07:02 PM

FLMountainMan: So they can't be liberal because they have tv shows where everyone laughs at conservative backwoods stereotypes?  Sure.


People are not watching those shows primarily to laugh at stereotypes.
 
2014-03-07 03:07:03 PM
Q: How do you get a Conservative to care about Wild Life and the environment?

A: Tell them you're building a windmill and not an oil pump somewhere.
 
2014-03-07 03:08:37 PM

mbillips: DubtodaIll: I'm curious about the off-shore wind turbines.  They've got 35% of Georgia's power coming from that.  Where are they going to build? With the trade lanes, gray's reef, the fisheries, and barrier island protected areas, there's not a lot of space left.

Windmills don't hurt fishing; in fact they help by acting as infrastructure for habitat; sort of a vertical reef. There's TONS of room outside the shipping lanes. You will get a bunch of nimby complaints if they "spoil the view" from Sea Island, but that's something that's going to have to be worked out. Personally, I don't think wind farms are less attractive than sailboats, and everybody just raves about how pretty boats sailing by are. They're way better looking that the container ships you constantly see on the horizon.


I suppose the biggest concern I've got is that so much of the GA coast is already protected.  You've got Sappelo, Cumberland, Harris Neck, Wolf Island, Wassaw, and Blackbeard.  Those are all federally protected wildlife refuges.  While I'm sure the Wind-farms don't really have that huge of an impact it's just obvious how overly optimistic this plan is when it doesn't seem to be taking reality in to account.
 
2014-03-07 03:08:41 PM
I see infographics and grandiose promises (like every proposed project to solve america's ills), but I don't see any specifics or data to back it up.
 
2014-03-07 03:08:48 PM

Nana's Vibrator: What about reducing our use of/need for electricity to almost nothing?  Why do we have to see ourselves from outer space?  Because soshulism that's why!


Because being on the grid is beneficial for both the government and large companies. For the government, being nice centralized stops insures we able to be kept tabs and so we continue paying taxes. For large companies, it keeps us closer to consumer center #17395
 
2014-03-07 03:09:43 PM
It's not possible because it wont make pigf*cking wealthy people any wealthier, and is therefore communism and that means Stalin will rise from the grave and shoot helpless puppies on the white house lawn.  Study it out.
 
2014-03-07 03:10:08 PM

super_grass: I see infographics and grandiose promises (like every proposed project to solve america's ills), but I don't see any specifics or data to back it up.


It's green energy they don't gotta explain shiat.
 
2014-03-07 03:11:17 PM

super_grass: I see infographics and grandiose promises (like every proposed project to solve america's ills), but I don't see any specifics or data to back it up.


If you scroll all the way to the bottom of each State's plan, it gives a link to all the data at Stanford.

http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/WWS-50-USStat e- plans.html
 
2014-03-07 03:12:27 PM

Destructor: Hollie Maea: Destructor: Nuclear power & Reprocessing.

Too expensive.

Looking at the levelized cost (most affected by taxes). But looking at the actual cost, transmission distances, land savings in term of power density, and reliability, it becomes hard to beat.

If you really want to leave a tiny ecological foot print, nuclear is the only way to go.


I have to second him here.  People only detest nuclear power because of the potential danger it poses.  Science has progressed and we're better at refining and containing the uranium/fission reaction now (yes I know it's not perfect, I'm sure you'll cite  Fukushima Daiichi disaster which was hit by a freaking tsunami).   Even if we weren't, I'm sure we could build the plants somewhere devoid of remotely intellegent life, like the deserts or Los Angeles
 
2014-03-07 03:12:35 PM

bunner: It's not possible because it wont make pigf*cking wealthy people any wealthier, and is therefore communism and that means Stalin will rise from the grave and shoot helpless puppies on the white house lawn.  Study it out, sheeple.


FTFY
 
2014-03-07 03:12:37 PM

StopLurkListen: dj_bigbird: I assume by "onshore wind" they're referring to windmills that kill lots of birds and for solar PV and CSP plants, they're talking about places that cook birds.

I'm responding to this, but not to you, you're an aggressive troll who posts this in every thread remotely related to renewable energy. (Show me on the doll where ...)

I'm responding in case anyone doesn't know how shameless and wrong your argument is:

[plainswindeis.anl.gov image 357x500]

This is a bird-safe wind turbine. Birds look for places to land, the only place is at the top, where the relative speed of the fan blades are slow.

[switchboard.nrdc.org image 706x462]

You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.


I have him marked as "renewable energy troll" in bright GREEN
 
2014-03-07 03:13:21 PM

Molavian: FTFY


Actually, no.
 
2014-03-07 03:13:32 PM

dj_bigbird: places that cook birds.


not during lent.
They fry fish during Lent.
 
2014-03-07 03:13:48 PM

Destructor: Closed_Minded_Bastage: StopLurkListen: You really care about birds? Then direct your attention to something that will have a bigger effect.

{Cats at top of list}

You want it even HARDER to get a Caturday thread greenlit? Jeez

Cats do kill birds... But most of those birds are uninteresting. Wind turbines seemingly go out of their way to kill the really cool birds that like to ride thermals, like condors and eagles... (And bats.)

If an eagle drowns in a waste recovery pool by an oil rig, its a federal offense. If it get decapitated by a wind turbine; they get a pass.


They really need to revise the laws on Bald Eagles. They are a species of least concern now, and in Alaska those things are like pigeons in some towns, and yet just picking a feather up off the ground a federal offense. It doesn't make a lot of sense in light of the current recovery of the species.
 
2014-03-07 03:14:15 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Didn't bother reading the article, but how do we fuel planes? Last I checked you can't really run a jumbo jet on batteries.


Why, it's as simple as converting all of Malyasia into plam oil plantations, wiping out the oragutangs and local populations in the process.

Actually, give me enough cheap electricty and we'll find a way. Either synthesize fuel from cellulose or direct maser transmission of energy. Just think, the jet of the future will never be hijacked because no pilot will be needed.
 
2014-03-07 03:14:54 PM

durbnpoisn: Everyone knows that we humans are killing the environment with our usage of fossil fuels.


What exactly is "killing the environment"?  We aren't killing much of anything, from a grand view.  Changing it, surely.  But we began changing the environment the second we descended from the trees.
 
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