Modern Marvels: Renewable Energy!

Darell

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NewBie said:
You'd have a huge issue if everyone adopted EV.
Your implication, as usual, is that we don't have huge issues now with everybody driving gasoline cars. Lesser of two evils as Brock said.

I'd really like to see actual *real* solutions that are not borne on the taxpayer's backs, instead of feel good type stuff.
Groovy. What do you propose? I read plenty about how you think the solutions I'm pushing are somehow worse than what we have today. What should be we doing? And who will pay for the changes? Just what should our taxes be paying for? Oil exploration? Keeping the military in place to defend our oil rights?

As for the cost to society of how we deal with energy - you ignore the health and evironmental costs of doing what we're doing today. Reminds me of back when we decided to remove the lead from gasoline. The auto industry was against it because of the cost that would be passed onto consumers to change the way the engines were made. It was determined that it would cost the auto industry $100 million in the first year to make these changes. The study then expanded to find out the *Other* financial effects of this change. The *savings* to society for removing lead from gasoline was counted in the $Billions - for reduced health costs and environmental damage. So we balance $100Million against something like $4Billion. The $100M seemed pretty expensive when we ignored the other costs.

meanwhile, folks will do the feel good thing, which is not a solution, and often makes the issue worse.
Again. Some of us are doing what we think is best. Do you have any proposals for what would be better? What is it that you're doing that isn't just "feel good" and that makes the issue better? What would you have the rest of us doing to solve this problem? The only answer I can infer from your single-dimension comments is a continued reliance on oil.

I'm currently commuting by bicycle. Is this just another useless feel-good process? Making the issue worse because of the mining for the aluminum in the frame, and making the petroleum-based rubber tires?
 
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jtr1962

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Diesel_Bomber said:
I'd commit suicide in a week if I had to live in the city. Three days if I had to live in an apartment. A couple hours if I didn't have my cars and trucks and the ability to get AWAY from people.
I'm with you on the apartment thing but I find my house with its 1/10 of an acre to be more than enough space along with an adequate amount of greenery. That being said, there's so much more to do in the city than in the suburbs that a lot of city dwellers basically just sleep in their tiny apartments so it isn't as bad as it seems at first. I'd personally go crazy if I lived in a place where I had to hop in a car to go anywhere instead of walking. I guess it's all what you're used to.

A much better solution would be for the human race to get it's act together and limit it's population, before such steps have to be contemplated.
No arguments from me there as population is the real source of the problem. However, it seems most people won't voluntarily not procreate. Forcing them not to would be a problem even if it might be the ideal solution. One of the problems we would encounter would be the necessity to have some people reproduce in order to continue the human race. Under such a scheme who would we allow? Would we try to selctively improve the human race by only allowing the brightest and healthiest to reproduce? Long term might this result in the same problems as inbreeding? Difficult questions to which I have no answers even though I love the concept of limiting population growth.
 

Diesel_Bomber

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Sorry for hijacking your thread, Ikendu. Jtr, I'd be more than happy to continue this conversation in a PM. :)


:buddies:
 

Darell

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TedTheLed said:
here's an interesting shred of what's left from the good old early cpf days when we first started discussing this stuff 4 years ago, it's still good

thanks Darrel.
Hey Ted :wave:
I was half hoping that you had a link to our first meeting that I recall had something to do with me poking needles in my eye. :)

Oh wait! I scrolled down, and there IS a reference to that in there! Excellent. My day is complete.
 

ikendu

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Casual Flashlight User said:
How much clean water is needed to grow these "biofuel" crops?
Well, I just attended a very interesting BioEconomy conference at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa that discussed that very issue.

http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/

The amount of water ranges from 10 gallons of water to 2 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol. Those are high numbers and shows how important it is for us to regulate this industry. If we can do it with only 2 gallons, why would we allow processes that use 10?

Here is the specific presentation:
http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/images/Cruse, Richard.pdf

Is this an important issue? I sure think it is. Heck, apparently coal mining uses huge amounts of water too and leaves behind large impoundments of highly toxic waste water. BTW, the creation of beer is basically the same process of making ethanol. Are you concerned by how much water is consumed in the production of beer? If not, why not?

Casual Flashlight User said:
How much new farm land is needed to support the production of this fuel that will power millions of cars, trucks and other things that will use them?
Well, there is only so much land. I guess a better question is ...what land is currently unproductive that could be growing biofuel crops like poplar trees?

Casual Flashlight User said:
How much energy (oil) is needed to process them into "super clean" fuels?
Well, the latest USDA studies on corn ethanol show that you get 1.67 units of energy out for every 1 unit of energy used to make the ethanol. With oil, for every 1 unit we find, we only get .88 units out by the time we drill, pump, refine and transport it. Hmmm... so, non-renewable, finite petroleum has a negative energy balance and renewable, replaceable, biofuels actually store energy from the sun and release it in liquid fuels. Biofuels seem like a much better choice for the long term to me.

Casual Flashlight User said:
Sounds like a dead end to me.
I'm glad you are thinking about this. I presume that non-renewable, finite petroleum seems like a truly dead end as well?
 
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ikendu

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NewBie said:
Interesting to note:

-Soil gets depleted of resources over time, you don't get something for nothing
-Depleted soils need fertilizer components, such as Nitrogen that mainly comes from oil now
-Depleted soils need fertilizer components, such as Phosphorous that comes from massive open pit mines.

That same BioEconomy conference mentioned above also addressed this issue.

There are Miscanthus test plots in Denmark (I think I'm remembering the country right) that have been havested for 30 years without the addition of fertilizer with no apparent loss in yield.

http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/images/Heaton, Emily.pdf

You have to harvest the plant material at the right time in the right manner to get this beneficial cycle (review the presentation).

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

Darell

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ikendu said:
BTW, the creation of beer is basically the same process of making ethanol. Are you concerned by how much water is consumed in the production of beer? If not, why not?
Tell you what... I'm walking before you take my beer away, so don't even go there! :)

Seriously though, this is similar to what I often bring up. Folks want to know how we could ever fuel EVs since we're so tight on electricity. Well, gosh... how do we power our AC units? How do we make gasoline? How do we heat and filter our pools? We seem to manage. Are we concerned about these uses? If not, why not?
 

Darell

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I use a LOT more than nine gallons to make five gallons of beer. My heat exchanger isn't the most efficient! I'd guess that I use 20 gallons of water to make five gallons of beer. Of course my neighbors loose three or four times that armount from their pool every day in the summer.
 

ikendu

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Sheesh. Here is an article about fun water facts:

http://www.nypirg.org/enviro/water/facts.html

It says it takes 1500 gallons to make one barrel of beer (31 gallons). That's 48 gallons of water per gallon of beer. Must be counting more than just the beer making process.

And another article:

http://www.aelabs.com/facts.html

That says it takes 1851 gallons of water to refine one barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil. That's 44 gallons of water for every gallon of refined crude oil. Geez. Makes ethanol look like a real winner, water-wise.

Darell's always talkin' about how much electricity it takes to move a gasoline economy, looks like it uses up a lot of other resources too!
 
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Darell

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I'm guessing that we're counting all the water used in cleaning, etc. Just like with most products that we take for granted, water is used in huge quantities. How much water does it take to make, say, bottled water, I wonder? And another good one would be to determine how much water it takes to make gasoline (and do we count how much water is made unsable by our making and using gasoline?)

In that first beer link, the water amount is ONLY the water used to actually produce the beer. Lots more is consumed for several other aspects like preparing, and cleaning, and cooling.
 
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TedTheLed

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Darell, I'm glad you found the eyeballs wih the needles.
That's what the world needs; a Darell Ray. In times of stress, shine your D.R. at a cloud and where ever there is a need, Darell will see the image; his image; an eye ball, with a needle through it..and he will soon be there..! ;)

I joined this place 30 years ago..took a ride up there to Cape Cod and checked it out, cool! Giant above ground vats of tilapia fish swimming around, solar power bug suckers to feed the fish pond, all systems finely tuned and balanced to support each other, and a few humans.. there is a way of planting trees and raising birds underneath them to rteturn the nutrients from the trees back to the soil all in a mutually supportive manner-- it is a fast and proven way to reclaim (desert) land..

re: using soil in a non-depleting manner (without 'fertilizer')
http://www.vsb.cape.com/~nature/greencenter/newalchemy.html

(..not sure what their online deal is these days -- are they selling their info now?)
 
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