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Going with green energy - the Real Deal

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Comments

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    I had a crazy idea yesterday. What if you made a bunch of cheap little windmills and lined a highway with them. It seems like you might be able to reclaim some of the energy lost to air resistance, especially in the case of tractor trailers.
    This seems very obvious.

    Yeah, I was thinking about windmills and I thought "where is it windy?"

    All the windmills I've seen have been huge though.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I can't think of any realistic mechanism available to a town government to encourage people to work closer to home.

    Here are some programs that Washington uses. Basically, you subsidize housing near the local employment base.

  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I had a crazy idea yesterday. What if you made a bunch of cheap little windmills and lined a highway with them. It seems like you might be able to reclaim some of the energy lost to air resistance, especially in the case of tractor trailers.

    I read a plan to do that on one of the tech news sites, but supposedly the problem with that is that setup would take more energy out of the cars driving through and would be of dubious benefit. The wind from the highway lowers air resistance or something. Using a bunch of small IC engines as your power source isn't so hot.

    Windmills are decently cost effective power generation, moreso than solar, and my brother who works in the power industry says that they are being built like crazy right now. You are right that there are only certain windy areas where you really want to build them though. The problem with wind and solar is that they have a random output of power varying based on weather and time of day. Even though solar is less cost efficient, it is still useful to have on the side because its output is positively correlated with peak demand of power during the day, where the wholesale price of electricity skyrockets.

  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    New Zealand, for some unknown reason (*cough*Labour has coalition with Green party which gives them the majority needed to rule*cough*), has decided to be a leader in fighting global climate change. Somehow. Despite the fact that our greenhouse footprint is miniscule, less than 2% of the world's (or around there) and the general fact that we can't lead shit because no one will ever listen to us unless we're talking about dairy, meat or volcanoes.

    I think we're one of the few nations which has ratified Kyoto. As in signed it into law that we will and must pay whatever is required of us in terms of carbon credits, even though no one else is really playing along. This is set to, very soon, cost us a couple of billion dollars which will go to nobody knows quite who yet, but probably some dicks will lots of trees who will use our free money to develop their own country who'll be polluting more because of it, or, if the money keeps pouring in, might cease development in order to keep the same amount of credits and the cash cow that comes with it all the while hampering the standard of living for their own people. Which is why carbon credits are a worthless idea, because they don't actually inspire any sort of change for the better. Either we will pay the billions and just incorporate them into our budget, like companies do now for polluters taxes, because a few billion is still a lot less than momentarily capsising our entire economy to go green just to not have to pay for carbon credits, or we just won't pay and go on polluting because who in the fuck will enforce carbon credits? No one will ever bother with any economic sanctions, because the money or produce lost would be damaging to them also and obviously no one will ever bother with military reprisal. It's some sort of League of Nations shit. "Hey Mussolini, please don't invade Abyssinia", "Fuck-a you", "Well shit, we tried."

    Even better is our Resource Management Act in its current state. I think it might be the most stringent and all-encompassing environmental legislation in the world and it's done a lot of good, cleaned up rivers and the country. But it has also prevented us from building power plants, at a time we badly need power. Right now, new fossil fuel based power plants are completely banned. This includes coal, oil, gas and nuclear (which the public is so against anyway in the case of nuclear that you don't even need the ban). Hydro Electric Power, which is clean, sustainable and relatively efficient is being blockaded because I guess it's just not green enough. The green movement won't allow valleys to be flooded because, in one example, a certain type of native snail (or perhaps grasshopper) would have been killed as it only lives in one valley. So there are no new HEP stations being built either. Which leaves us with... what exactly? Well, the head of the Green party has suggested we turn to wood powered stations and wood powered heating in homes.

    ...

    Fucking wood power? Wood? What about the carbon, the deforestation, the damage to our natural landscape? Oh it's fucking sustainable is it? We'll see how long it's fucking sustainable when we start chopping trees down like fucking maniacs in order to run the country. Hint: they take a fucking while to grow. They want us to remove about 200 years worth of human development for some fucking grasshopper. And this in a time when there are no new power stations being built and supply has, such as on very cold days, even been outstripped by demand. The country is fucked in ten years and all power stations are being blocked by shitty, ridiculously strict environmental legislation.

    So there you have a rather nice case study for how not to become eco-friendly. Hell, I'd say right about now it's the definitive fucking case.

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Doesn't your theory about them "sitting on" credits and not reducing pollution ask us to believe that companies do not respond to incentives?

    I want to reiterate that cap and trade is how we've dealt with sulfer dioxide since 1990 and the tonnage of it emitted per year has been cut roughly in half. If it is so inherenly unworkable how did that happen?

    Sorry to encourage the necroposting.

    The successful cap & trade system in sulphur is radically different to the current CO2 proposals.

    1. The majority of SO2 emissions come from industry alone, and thus the trade system was a deal between a small number of industrial companies & the US govt. A significant proportion of CO2 emissions come from individual use (cars, houses etc) or a much wider range of industries (shipping, transport, energy, most production industries). It is pretty much impossible to include individuals in a cap & trade system, and tantamount to impossible to get the wide range of CO2 emitting industries to agree on proposals.

    2. The SO2 system took nearly 10 years to design by dedicated teams of expert economists, I know some of the similar people asked to do the same for CO2, and they say a) it can't presently be done (don't have the maths), b) shouldn't presently be done, as it will end up reliant on political will & be watered down in the process of legislation by the natural politiking that happens, and c) would take a good few decades to design for it to be successful anyway.

    3. Current systems that have been attempted (like the EU ones) are both very simple, and (despite the crowing of environmental groups), very ineffective. The price of a tonne of CO2 in the EU market has bombed from €31 in 2006 to around €1 today, as the (political) controllers flooded the market in response to oil prices, Russia playing with gas supplies, and percieved energy shortages. In short, they crumbled due to political pressure at the first threat of it having an actual effect in reducing emissions (& thus energy use).

    4. The fact that the SO2 system went through at all was largely luck due to a happy combination of political stars, Clinton recently having been elected into office (not sure where you got 1990 from?), Congress leaving it largely unmodified, and industry heads coming to a consensus that this was the best deal they were likely to get. A CO2 system will simply not get such an easy ride.

    It's fallacious to compare the SO2 trading system and a potential CO2 trading system, just like it's fallacious to compare house insurance and health insurance. They are not even remotely the same things.

    Irond Will seemed pretty on target with most of his objections to cap & trade, and as for solutions, those talking about local state-level or city-level solutions are probably talking about the only things that will make much of a difference. Either that, or a national carbon tax, but that is just not going to happen, because it would have massive economic ramifications (read: likely recession) that nobody here seems to have addressed.

    EDIT: Got my congresses & presidental dates mixed up. Though the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1990, if you have a look at this detailed report on the SO2 trading system you'll notice that the trading system only came into effect in 1995. A lot of the politiking for the actual introduction of the system was done & influenced by the new Clinton administration, even though the enabling Act stating the principle of reduction was passed in 1990.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Doesn't your theory about them "sitting on" credits and not reducing pollution ask us to believe that companies do not respond to incentives?

    I want to reiterate that cap and trade is how we've dealt with sulfer dioxide since 1990 and the tonnage of it emitted per year has been cut roughly in half. If it is so inherenly unworkable how did that happen?

    Sorry to encourage the necroposting.

    Then please don't and let this thread die.

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Let me rephrase:

    Sorry to encourage the necroposting, but not so sorry that I won't address points which didn't come up in the initial thread. The posters are still around, the issue has hardly gone away, I'm assuming everyone's brain is still in near working order Christmas break or no...

    TL : DR bite me.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Heavily subsidize small scale (like household size) renewable energy ventures and efficient products.

    If a fridge comes out that uses half as much power, the consumer should get a lower price to encourage them to purchase them. This needs to be implemented with cars post haste.

    Things like solar panels, small wind turbines, insulation and whatnot should also be subsidized. Even things like changing building codes to require that (when possible) a house is positioned in such a way to get plenty of heat from the sun (or shade in a hot climate).

    While this would only affect homes for the most part, it would do something. Large industry needs to be tackled in a big way, but thats harder to do.

    ragesig.jpg

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