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Old 11-14-2007, 02:00 AM
shaftman11 shaftman11 is offline
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Default Renewable Energy

So I sit here and watch the History Channel this evening and the show is on renewable energies. And Iím sure you, like myself have heard about these for years. But there is very little in the way of affecting our lives. And as I sit here and ponder filling my gas tank tomorrow on the way to the hospital at $3.25 a gallon, I wonder WTF is wrong with us?!?!

The first part of the show was dedicated to solar power. It claims that if we built a solar field 10,000 square miles (1/10th of Nevada) that would be enough to power the U.S. The next part of the show dealt with wind farms, they claimed that there is enough wind power in North and South Dakota to power the U.S. as well. So again, WTF are we doing and thinking.

Iím not saying that we should build a huge 10,000 mile mirror in the dessert in Nevada. All though the government does own an absurd amount of land in Nevada, upwards of over 90%. And I am not saying that we need to turn the Dakotas in to wind farms either.

But arenít these viable options that we should be looking at seriously doing? I donít think that there needs to be one BIG solar field, but a couple of hundred smaller fields would do wonders for our reliance on foreign oil. Same with the wind farms, it doesnít need to be 100% of the U.S. need, but it could be a decent percentage.

I think another idea that we should be seriously considering is having every new house built, be built with solar panels on them. The show stated that it was expensive to put on houses right now, but it usually pays for itself in about 5 years! DAMN, just imagine never having to pay the electric company any more money after 5 years! Or even if you do live in an area that is not completely self efficient, you could be buying electricity from other solar users. You would not be reliant on some foreign oil tycoon for heating oil anymore.

Lastly I must say that I am not a ďGreenĒ person. I donít go out of my way to recycle (I do my part with the city system), I donít drive a hybrid car, and I donít have that tree hugger mentality. The reason that I post this, and have this strange feeling about this topic is because I am tired of paying up the arse for a gallon of gas. Or hear about oil prices going up for another winter were there will be people who canít even afford to hear their own homes. And the thing that pisses me off the most is paying $3.50 a gallon for gas, while Exxon/Mobile post record profits each month.

Cliff Notes:

Why doesnít the government force us to make use of more renewable forms of energy?
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:06 AM
jk1986 jk1986 is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

Nuclear power is the only way forward from fossil fuels thats economically viable. At the moment, renewable energy sources just aren't efficient enough to provide significant proportions of the worlds energy consumption.

But I do agree that we have to keep building wind farms and solar fields, as anything helps reduce the carbon footprint, and in the long term we need to work on improving their efficiency.

Those figures for wind farms seem different to what I've heard before for the UK at least. In the UK it's been estimated that onshore wind farms could at best account for <10% of the UK's electricity supply.

Realistically for the next hundred years, we're eventually going to have to start building nuclear plants again, and looking into developing renewable energy + possibly fusion in the future.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:09 AM
jk1986 jk1986 is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

Oh and the UK does force energy companies to produce ~6% of their energy through renewable sources, charging those companies that fall short of this target and subsidising those that produce more.
But then Europe has taken a better stance towards reducing global warming than the US so far.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:09 AM
ilikeaces86_ ilikeaces86_ is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

Nuclear energy is a perfect solution to coal power plants. It's clean as far as the carbon footprint and we can just bury it under a mountain and let it sit for a few million years.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:10 AM
eviljeff eviljeff is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

I made the switch from OJ to Sunny D years ago and encourage everyone to do the same.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:17 AM
shaftman11 shaftman11 is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

I don't disagee with your nuclear statement, and think it's an important part of the equation. But if a wind farm or solar farm has an accident it doesn't cause a nuclear melt down. As for cost, even if it would cost 5 times the amount over fossil fuels it's worth it. Its a one time cost, after that you only have maintiance costs.
Also, unfortunantly I am only concerned for the US right now. The government should be the ones to help pay for the cost of this technology.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:23 AM
jk1986 jk1986 is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

Modern nuclear power plants won't meltdown, it was the earlier plants that had design flaws that went horribly wrong.

The US have yet to ratify the Kyoto agreement, basically meaning that they haven't agreed to reduce carbon emissions to certain international targets yet; and until this happens you won't see a massive change in your power supply as the companies won't do to much on their own without subsidies as it simply costs them too much.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:33 AM
shaftman11 shaftman11 is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

[ QUOTE ]

The US have yet to ratify the Kyoto agreement, basically meaning that they haven't agreed to reduce carbon emissions to certain international targets yet; and until this happens you won't see a massive change in your power supply as the companies won't do to much on their own without subsidies as it simply costs them too much.

[/ QUOTE ]

And this is what must change. Because if it doesn't, bad bad bad things will eventually happen. Maybe not in 20 or even 50 years. But eventually.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:34 AM
Golden_Rhino Golden_Rhino is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

According to Al Gore we will all drown before we run out of fuel anyway. Fill 'er up boys.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:38 AM
BCPVP BCPVP is offline
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Default Re: Renewable Energy

[ QUOTE ]

I think another idea that we should be seriously considering is having every new house built, be built with solar panels on them. The show stated that it was expensive to put on houses right now, but it usually pays for itself in about 5 years! DAMN, just imagine never having to pay the electric company any more money after 5 years!

[/ QUOTE ]
Always ask yourself: "who benefits?". In this case, who benefits from centralized energy systems? Oftentimes the government does either through direct control or through taxation of private energy production. If everyone built solar panels that would pay themselves off in 5 years, the government loses a large chunk of money.

And it's highly unlikely that solar panels alone can totally (or even mostly) replace your energy usage of your current lifestyle in 5 years unless you live in a cave. The efficiency of solar isn't that high yet.

In short, the government forcing us to use these technologies right now would cost us more money because the technologies can't stand on their own against the current field. When they can, the government won't need to force us.

If your interested in renewable energy news, check out http://peswiki.com/ . They've got a lot of interesting info on emerging technologies in this area.
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