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Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap

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Yup. The same publication also had this:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/03/wind_power_needs_dirty_pricey_gas_backup_report/

Which says that wind power is basically gas power with wind to help, as there are large country - and Europe - wide wind lulls that would mean the slack would have to be taken up with gas turbines, and due to them being used less would be built worse to be economical, leading to more emissions.

I'm nuke all the way. As the first link says, it's dangerous, but not infinitely dangerous.

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Excellent links. Thanks.

Going off the first site there is this petition to sign for UK voters

Manufacturers of devices requiring DC power - mobile phones and electronic games - deliberately create a plethora of different power connectors in order to tie in customers. This means every time you buy a new phone or game, you have to throw away the charger, which is also bad for the environment. This is an area where legislation is needed to protect consumer interests. An act of parliament should be passed creating a standard committee whose approval would be needed for the introduction of any new style of connector. The manufacturer would be required to demonstrate that existing permitted designs would not meet the need of their product. The committee would also be responsible for maintaining the list of approved designs with the remit of reducing the list year-on-year. Here "design" refers to the combination of voltage level and physical shape.

And we are all suffering from that!

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Yup. The same publication also had this:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/03/wind_power_needs_dirty_pricey_gas_backup_report/

Which says that wind power is basically gas power with wind to help, as there are large country - and Europe - wide wind lulls that would mean the slack would have to be taken up with gas turbines, and due to them being used less would be built worse to be economical, leading to more emissions.

I'm nuke all the way. As the first link says, it's dangerous, but not infinitely dangerous.

Oswald is making the mistake that he is thinking only turbines for back-up. The Finns have something better (quel surprise...) http://www.wartsila.com Texas has just ordered a bucket-load of them to provide backup for wind.

Nuclear is clearly part of the solution - but it should be kept in mind that it is baseload, and can therefore not really supply more than 30/40 percent (informed guessing) of your demand at the most, unless you are interconnected with other regions that want to import your power. So when you read that the French get 80% of their power from nuclear next time, remember that they send a lot of their nuclear surplus to Germany, Italy, the Benelux, and the UK.

All the best

Andreas

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Hmmm fair bit to read there. BTW are you familiar with this

The principal customers for our first commercial applications are those who currently produce hydrogen as a by-product of their chlorine production process. In many cases, this hydrogen by-product is simply flared off. Typically, these customers include chemical companies and power generators who do not have a current use for their hydrogen by-product.

Our vision is to take alkaline fuel cells to where there is excess hydrogen supply and to produce zero emission electricity from the hydrogen. For example, the chlor-alkali industry. Not only does this strategy have the potential to produce revenues for ourselves, and our customers, it could also attract carbon credits.

The amounts of available waste hydrogen in the global chlor-alkali industry could support in excess of 3,000 MW per annum of generating capacity, representing a potential market of £2 billion.

Our first customer for this application is Akzo Nobel

Company called AFCEnergy of which, briefly, I was a shareholder. I still like the technology and they are being sensible about how cheaply it needs to be made and serviced.

There are other industries that may provide similar opportunities.

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The world could build wind farms the size of Texas and only supply a miniscule amount of the energy we use.

Not exactly, ...at least according to Boone.

Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains states are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far.

The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.

Today's wind turbines stand up to 410 feet tall, with blades that stretch 148 feet in length. The blades collect the wind's kinetic energy. In one year, a 3-megawatt wind turbine produces as much energy as 12,000 barrels of imported oil.

Wind power currently accounts for 48 billion kWh of electricity a year in the United States — enough to serve more than 4.5 million households. That is still only about 1% of current demand, but the potential of wind is much greater.

A 2005 Stanford University study found that there is enough wind power worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over — even if only 20% of wind power could be captured.

Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.

That's a lot of money, but it's a one-time cost. And compared to the $700 billion we spend on foreign oil every year, it's a bargain.

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

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1% of demand and that worldwide demand keeps growing exponentially. I doubt if wind towers could be built large enough and fast enough to supply more then a miniscule amount of the planet's energy needs but it looks good on paper.

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Excellent links. Thanks.

Going off the first site there is this petition to sign for UK voters

Manufacturers of devices requiring DC power - mobile phones and electronic games - deliberately create a plethora of different power connectors in order to tie in customers. This means every time you buy a new phone or game, you have to throw away the charger, which is also bad for the environment.

This has been my pet hate for years.

The bloody I Pod for one.Why is that all my last phones,cameras and mp3 players have all used mini USB's to upload and power themselves.

But OH no Apple decides that they are not good enough for the I pod so they bring a different one out.When they bring the I Pod shuffle out they change it again.Well done Apple.

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Oswald is making the mistake that he is thinking only turbines for back-up. The Finns have something better (quel surprise...) http://www.wartsila.com Texas has just ordered a bucket-load of them to provide backup for wind.

Nuclear is clearly part of the solution - but it should be kept in mind that it is baseload, and can therefore not really supply more than 30/40 percent (informed guessing) of your demand at the most, unless you are interconnected with other regions that want to import your power. So when you read that the French get 80% of their power from nuclear next time, remember that they send a lot of their nuclear surplus to Germany, Italy, the Benelux, and the UK.

All the best

Andreas

Baseload? Do you mean it's not off and on-able? Doesn't seem much of a downside really. We could ship power over the channel and ship it back, or make giant space lasers and put on kewl light shows.

The pattern of demand will change significantly if we all have to move to electrical transport - not just peaks in the rush hours but whenever we want to charge the buggers so we could use that to regulate demand, as touched on in the first article.

I don't see a downside to nooclear really.

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Or you could just create a giant kettle heating element and stick it into the Irish Sea to waste all that energy, that'll really piss off the Irish, and they'd want Sellafield back in no time, while you'd finally have a beach to go to to swim without freezing your willy off. Sounds like a win-win to me.

All the best

Andreas

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Seriously though, using surplus electricity for transport is a neat idea. Downside is that it will really demand a lot of extra power capacity.

To give you the idea - in 2005 EU27 transport energy demand was 372 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe). Net electricity generation was 237 Mtoe. Assuming most transport is oil (>90%), and it is used at 20-25% efficiency, while electricity is used at 100% efficiency in a car, you need to add 30-40% generating capacity. Existing capacity is about 620 GW, so you need about 210+ GW extra. A KW installed sets you back by about €1,500. If I got my math right that's an investment volume of € 315 billion, not including network reinforcements and control infrastructure to ensure that the cars don't all recharge after the evening commute home. You can easily add the same again for that, is my guess.

It's an interesting concept, but it ain't cheap.

All the best

Andreas

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1% of demand and that worldwide demand keeps growing exponentially. I doubt if wind towers could be built large enough and fast enough to supply more then a miniscule amount of the planet's energy needs but it looks good on paper.

*cough* *splutter*Abbot is right*cough* *splutter*.

Never thought I'd say that.

All the best

Andreas

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Edison said he had learned of hundreds of things that would not work when he was working on an incandescent light bulb. We've identified plenty of things that won't work to replace fossil fuels as sources of energy. Simply refining existing technology isn't going to make the problems go away. What's needed is a burst of real creativity, something along the lines of the invention of the internal combustion engine.

The energy solution is almost surely something we haven't even thought of yet. Necessity really is the mother of invention. I feel very confident.

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I dont' see why wind being able to supply only a proportion of power requirements is an argument not to use wind at all, as seems to the the direction some are taking here.

In these pars we have hydro, geothermal, thermal (gas, coal, oil) and increasingly, wind, as our main electricity sources (not necessarily in that order).

Sure wind will never provide all the power we need - but when the wind is blowing we don't need to burn as much oil, gas and coal, and/or we can leave more water in the hydro lakes for when the wind isn't blowing - thus hopefully avoiding the sort of problems we're having with low rainfall around those lakes meaning there levels are low and we're continually being told there's not an electricity crisis...honestly.....

Is it so difficult to understand that as a role for wind?

And or cover about 2% of the Sahara with photovoltaic cells...;)

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Some items of related interest:

Wilkins Ice Shelf's "hanging by a thread"--in Antarctic midwinter!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080710/sc_afp/warmingantarcticaice

Climate change hits Mars

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720024.ece

Debate rages on cause

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming_2.html

Broader evidence of solar system warming

http://www.livescience.com/environment/070312_solarsys_warming.html

Would add that during an interview with NYT bestseller DARK MISSION coauthor Richard Hoagland for a magazine cover feature I wrote, he informed me that NASA's been suppressing evidence of heating throughout the solar system for many years. Further, the Sun hasn't been behaving normally at all, has in fact exhibited highly anomalous behavior since the last 11-year solar cycle ended, to include X-class flares. Mitch Battros of EarthChanges TV has repeatedly linked such upheavals to core heating here (Earth gets hotter internally), leading to weather upheavals and tectonic events increasing. Nor does the conventional model account for the fact that the Sun emits in scalar as well as standard EM form. Such an energy model would likewise apply to other members of the solar system.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I dont' see why wind being able to supply only a proportion of power requirements is an argument not to use wind at all' date=' as seems to the the direction some are taking here.[/quote']

I don't think that wind has no role to play, but one should be careful in assessing how much it can contribute, and not get carried away.

New Zealand is a special case by the way, it is hardly comparable to other electricity markets, especially not larger ones.

All the best

Andreas

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OK, question for you energy/environmental experts.

The harvesting of wind power by it's very nature removed energy from the environment, what are the implications? There is no such thing as free power, except possibly collection of solar power in space.

We are in a closed system, therefore the energy we remove from the wind, no matter how small, is that much less energy than the environment had before. So will we have more storms, fewer storms or purple clouds? I realize that there may be no measurable effect at this time, just as when the first coal was burned they had idea what it would do the the atmosphere, but in 100 years will we be calling for the destruction of wind farms because of the catastrophic effect they have had on the planet?

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Seriously though, using surplus electricity for transport is a neat idea. Downside is that it will really demand a lot of extra power capacity.

To give you the idea - in 2005 EU27 transport energy demand was 372 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe). Net electricity generation was 237 Mtoe. Assuming most transport is oil (>90%), and it is used at 20-25% efficiency, while electricity is used at 100% efficiency in a car, you need to add 30-40% generating capacity. Existing capacity is about 620 GW, so you need about 210+ GW extra. A KW installed sets you back by about €1,500. If I got my math right that's an investment volume of € 315 billion, not including network reinforcements and control infrastructure to ensure that the cars don't all recharge after the evening commute home. You can easily add the same again for that, is my guess.

It's an interesting concept, but it ain't cheap.

All the best

Andreas

Isn't that the point of all this though? To move all our energy to a carbon neutral source? And to do that we'll need to go nuke and revamp the national grid for the extra capacity. It's no use moving electrical generation to a neutral source when the main culprit is still using oil.

TBH, I'm more bothered about energy security than global warming but what ever gets it done.

As you say, it won't be cheap but what are the options? We could all sit round in our yurts knitting our own yoghurt but I don't think my 50" plasma would stick on the wall.

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I am an analyst. My job is not to provide anyone with solutions, only to figure out what the consequences of them are.

Having said that, I guess the investment could be justifiable, not just in terms of global warming, but also in terms of air quality benefits, and indeed the need to preserve oil long-term for higher value-added applications than transport.

All the best

Andreas

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