(Topic ID: 209681)

Fossil Fuels - is the USA getting left behind?


By vid1900

1 year ago



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  • 132 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Yoski
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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There are 132 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 1 year ago

As of 2017, China has 35% of the world's electricity generating windmills.

Last year, it cancelled 103 coal power plants that had begun construction, and replaced them with solar farms.

And China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction right now. (the US has built one new nuclear plant in the last 20 years).

Even though China is rich with coal, they are clearly moving away from the 12th century fuel.

-

How has the USA fallen so far behind, where they once were the leaders in new technology?

Are any Pinsiders one of the 45,000 coal miners left in the USA?

Google generated enough power through it's solar and wind farms that it became 100% self sufficient in December, and is now selling excess power back to the grid.

Amazon has hidden one of it's secret data centers in a cold climate to "sink" the heat generated to the earth. It also has been selling heat generated at another facility to local businesses.

#2 1 year ago

I'm in Australia - started my career in coal mining, then went on to oil and gas.. now work in electricity distribution and the majority of work is in connecting solar and wind farms to the network as coal fired power plants become less and less economically feasible. This is a country rich in coal but who needs that when you have wind and sunshine right! Australia is thankfully pretty forward thinking in this regard, you've probably seen Elon's battery in South Australia..

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/elon-musks-tesla-battery-south-australia-responded-in-record-time-2017-12
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/elon-musk-completes-south-australia-s-battery-ahead-of-100-day-deadline

Let's move up that Kardashev scale people!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale

#3 1 year ago

Solar and wind farms drive the cost. I'm already paying to much for "avoided costs".

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article134736169.html

Don't forget. 3 mile island.
Chernobyl melt down.
Fukushima earthquake.

10
#4 1 year ago

IBTL. Place your bets on how soon this will devolve into a political shitstorm. When do the Florida and Texas pinsiders wake up?

#5 1 year ago

Dude were on the forefront...one word Tesla! The #2 cause of greenhouse gases are from the automobile industry here in the good old USA!

totala (resized).png

#6 1 year ago

The problem with some of these renewable energy sources is that they aren't consistent or reliable sources of energy in all cases. They don't work well for every climate all year round.

-8
#7 1 year ago

Solar energy is great for small applications but a total waste of time, space, and development money for anything large scale. The space required and cost of either wind or solar energy is to prohibitive, not to mention too limited to be a legit energy alternative on a scale that would dent fossil fuel usage.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

As of 2017, China has 35% of the world's electricity generating windmills.
Last year, it cancelled 103 coal power plants that had begun construction, and replaced them with solar farms.
And China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction right now. (the US has built one new nuclear plant in the last 20 years).
Even though China is rich with coal, they are clearly moving away from the 12th century fuel.

All I know is what I read on the internet. And the internet says China is choking on coal polluted skies with people moving around wearing masks. Sounds like China got religion.

With regards to nuclear power, It has been 40 years ago when the plan in the U.S. to control nuclear waste generated from nuclear power plants was going to be trucked to Nevada and buried in the Nevada desert. The state of Nevada and Harry Reid waved the middle finger salute and said not in my backyard. So, for the last 40 years, the nuclear waste has been piling up at each power plant with no solution in sight.

I have no idea how China will deal with its nuclear waste, but since it is a communist government it will probably pick a spot for the waste and if it happens to be in your backyard, well, that's just tough shit. "We'll relocate you to where we relocated all of the others who were in the way of Three Gorges Dam.

We, in the U.S. have state's rights. No one wants the waste.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Quoted from vid1900:

How has the USA fallen so far behind, where they once were the leaders in new technology?

I'll take a guess a lot of the regulations we deal with started with a large oil spill in 1969 in California at Santa Barbara.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-santa-barbara-spill-20170428-htmlstory.html

It is food for thought that we lived through the 1973 oil crisis followed by another oil crisis in 1978 and in all of these years maybe we could have been doing the drill-baby-drill thing and Saudi Arabia and Iran would have never been able to "hold us hostage".

One thing leads to another and then Three Mile Island crapped on the nuclear party.

The end result is lots of regulations.

Nuclear power was not helped when cost over runs and corruption during the construction of the power plants was front page news.

China does not have to deal any of the legacy? issues like the U.S.

Those are my guesses.

#9 1 year ago

I think there's a slow push globally to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources but it's going to take decades for the transition to occur. Ourselves and our children will live through this transition until at some point the use of fossil fuels is eliminated.

The greatest threat of continued use of fossil fuels is the negative impact on our planets climate. I'm not starting a political debate as it's not political but rather science based. The more CO2 pumped into our atmosphere the more the temperature goes up. The more the temperature goes up the more percipation there is due to warming oceans. You have probably noticed greater rain falls and snow falls in some areas around the globe over the past 10 years, it's not a coincidence. One simply cannot pollute this planet on an unlimited basis without consequences. The faster we move away from fossil fuels the better.

Data from NASA, from people doing actual real research, proves that the use of fossil fuels over these past 100 years is having negative impact on the planet.

203_co2-graph-021116 (1) (resized).jpeg

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Dude were on the forefront...one word Tesla! The #2 cause of greenhouse gases are from the automobile industry here in the good old USA!

To be fair that 27% includes planes, trains, auto-transport and the like. Consumer vehicles make up a very small slice of the overall pie. Not debating that the consumer technology can make its way into other more prevalent areas (like the testla semi etc)

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from RWH:

too limited to be a legit energy alternative on a scale that would dent fossil fuel usage.

Really? Even in Northeast states solar roofing essentially covers electric costs....

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Really? Even in Northeast states solar roofing essentially covers electric costs.

Yes but it's as I said, "small applications". Have you seen any powerplants based on solar energy? I know of none. Even if every home were equipped with solar energy it will make little if any dent in needed comsumption.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from RWH:

Yes but it's as I said, "small applications". Have you seen any powerplants based on solar energy? I know of none. Even if every home were equipped with solar energy it will make little if any dent in needed comsumption.

25% of energy is consumed by residential applications. Another ~>10% is for commercial. 35% is a pretty big dent IMO...

CA currently sources >10% of its power from Solar sources...Within 20 years their renewable sources will be north of 50%.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

All I know is what I read on the internet. And the internet says China is choking on coal polluted skies with people moving around wearing masks. Sounds like China got religion.
With regards to nuclear power, It has been 40 years ago when the plan in the U.S. to control nuclear waste generated from nuclear power plants was going to be trucked to Nevada and buried in the Nevada desert. The state of Nevada and Harry Reid waved the middle finger salute and said not in my backyard. So, for the last 40 years, the nuclear waste has been piling up at each power plant with no solution in sight.
I have no idea how China will deal with its nuclear waste, but since it is a communist government it will probably pick a spot for the waste and if it happens to be in your backyard, well, that's just tough shit. "We'll relocate you to where we relocated all of the others who were in the way of Three Gorges Dam.
We, in the U.S. have state's rights. No one wants the waste.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I'll take a guess a lot of the regulations we deal with started with a large oil spill in 1969 in California at Santa Barbara.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-santa-barbara-spill-20170428-htmlstory.html
It is food for thought that we lived through the 1973 oil crisis followed by another oil crisis in 1978 and in all of these years maybe we could have been doing the drill-baby-drill thing and Saudi Arabia and Iran would have never been able to "hold us hostage".
One thing leads to another and then Three Mile Island crapped on the nuclear party.
The end result is lots of regulations.
Nuclear power was not helped when cost over runs and corruption during the construction of the power plants was front page news.
China does not have to deal any of the legacy? issues like the U.S.
Those are my guesses.

Thats just nuclear though. China has doubled down on all forms of renewables. You're right though. They quickly realized what an unmitigated disaster an under-regulated energy sector can be for the environment and its citizens.

They have $2.5M people working in the solar industry in china. we have 1/10th of that on a good day. Their govt isn't afraid to invest in that industry. Our govt makes one failed investment in solar (solyndra) and the public loses its shit (while forgetting that the the overall renewable energy loan program was actually profitable).

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from RWH:

Have you seen any powerplants based on solar energy? I know of none.

There have been solar plants since the 1980’s.

#16 1 year ago

.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

I think this thread is walking a fine line (with this forum) since energy can be closely tied to politics. That's all I'll say about that.

i agree, i can see it heading for this.

DumpsterFire2 (resized).jpg

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#18 1 year ago

Pretty sad if people have retreated so far into their political corner that a factual discussion on electricity causes issues lol.

-1
#19 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

As of 2017, China has 35% of the world's electricity generating windmills.
Last year, it cancelled 103 coal power plants that had begun construction, and replaced them with solar farms.
And China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction right now. (the US has built one new nuclear plant in the last 20 years).
Even though China is rich with coal, they are clearly moving away from the 12th century fuel.
-
How has the USA fallen so far behind, where they once were the leaders in new technology?
Are any Pinsiders one of the 45,000 coal miners left in the USA?
Google generated enough power through it's solar and wind farms that it became 100% self sufficient in December, and is now selling excess power back to the grid.
Amazon has hidden one of it's secret data centers in a cold climate to "sink" the heat generated to the earth. It also has been selling heat generated at another facility to local businesses.

I think you may be believing too much internet propaganda. I'm not sure the USA was ever truly leaders in new tech other then with NASA and in agriculture.

Nuclear power plants are also one of the farthest things from clean energy and I do not believe for one second the stats coming out of China. India and China consistently have the most polluted cities on the planet and really should be making some dramatic changes to protect it's citizens. The united states needs to focus on reduced vehicle emissions an focus on rebuilding our outdated and failing energy infrastructure.

-4
#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Pretty sad if people have retreated so far into their political corner that a factual discussion on electricity causes issues lol.

And I find discussions like this useless. Will any of us here actually do anything to make a difference?

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

And I find discussions like this useless. Will any of us here actually do anything to make a difference?

Discussions are useless unless you can actually do something in that field? I'm going to have to stop talking about alot of subjects.

Cant believe I wasted time watching a rocket launch last week. I'll never go to space after all!

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

i agree, i can see it heading for this.

Yeah, I deleted my post because I didn't want to make it seem like I was pushing it in that direction so I decided to let it go and see what people have to say.

-1
#23 1 year ago

Its a little bit of a pessimistic view but I don't believe everyone on the planet will be able to move away from using dirty energy sources fast enough. Were already seeing drastic climatic change with extreme weather events. How bad will it have to get before people realize we need to change? I remember a quote from Michael Crichton's Lost World - Its not save the planet but save us. We may be the ones responsible for our own extinction.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

Its not save the planet but save us

the planet has survived this long with global catastrophes and mass extinction in its 4.5 billion years. i doubt our parasitic species will put a dent in it.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

Its a little bit of a pessimistic view but I don't believe everyone on the planet will be able to move away from using dirty energy sources fast enough. Were already seeing drastic climatic change with extreme weather events. How bad will it have to get before people realize we need to change? I remember a quote from Michael Crichton's Lost World - Its not save the planet but save us. We may be the ones responsible for our own extinction.

people will eventually be extinct no matter what we do...

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

the planet has survived this long with global catastrophes and mass extinction in its 4.5 billion years. i doubt our parasitic species will put a dent in it.

Quoted from cosmokramer:

people will eventually be extinct no matter what we do...

Thats why I drive drunk and blindfolded, only eat fried sticks of butter and dont go to the doctor when something hurts. After all, I'm going to die anyway someday!

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

the planet has survived this long with global catastrophes and mass extinction in its 4.5 billion years. i doubt our parasitic species will put a dent in it.

Your right. The world will out live us. That's my point.

Quoted from cosmokramer:

people will eventually be extinct no matter what we do...

Why hurry the process?

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

Your right. The world will out live us. That's my point.

Why hurry the process?

I'm more selfish than that. I just like swimming in clean water in the summer, skiing in the winter and hiking without hazy air.

At some point the sun will swallow all of us up so...

#29 1 year ago

Waiting for the Alberta pinsiders to chime in.

Oil is a contentious issue in our province and our provincial neighbor is fighting tooth and nail to kill an approved pipeline ffs.

-6
#31 1 year ago

I would not mind seeing a few more coal plants a burning. Cheap consistent energy. Plus it helps the local economy around here.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

people will eventually be extinct no matter what we do...

This is true. I always trip out on the things that will outlive us like buildings & structures. Then let’s say it takes several billion years for earth to spawn a new intelligent life form which will come upon these remnants.

#33 1 year ago

even if we stopped burning carbon based fuels today. the risk of global pandemic, meteorite impact or large-scale volcanism, global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics, overpopulation will wipe us from the surface of the planet. we are a we are a self destructive species.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

even if we stopped burning carbon based fuels today. the risk of global pandemic, meteorite impact or large-scale volcanism, global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics, overpopulation will wipe us from the surface of the planet. we are a we are a self destructive species.

Yep. But wouldn't it be nice to swim in and drink clean water and not have massive swaths of the population suffer from pollution induced asthma prior to an asteroid or nuke snuffing us out?

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from Gunnut40:

I would not mind seeing a few more coal plants a burning. Cheap consistent energy. Plus it helps the local economy around here.

Its a tough situation for sure. People and the land in coal country have been whipped/ravaged by this countries need for cheap power for generations. It would be nice to see some investment in those areas around cleaner energy. It would bring higher quality jobs, sustainable industry and cleaner/safer environment for the local population.

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Yep. But wouldn't it be nice to swim in and drink clean water and not have massive swaths of the population suffer from pollution induced asthma prior to an asteroid or nuke snuffing us out?

i agree 100% i am all for clean air and water. but change will take a long time and i believe we have turn the corner

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/11/03/the-earths-ozone-hole-is-shrinking-and-is-the-smallest-its-been-since-1988/?utm_term=.9cec53115b58

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

And I find discussions like this useless. Will any of us here actually do anything to make a difference?

I'm having solar panels fitted in the next 3 months. Should provide 93% of our electricity and they are projected to pay for themselves in 9 years. Massive Apollo Moon Shot style gov't incentives akin to the welfare they give to Oil companies and the whole Country could become relatively self sufficient.

See also: Germany.

Ready for my thread eject for being mildly Progressive sounding.

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

even if we stopped burning carbon based fuels today. the risk of global pandemic, meteorite impact or large-scale volcanism, global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics, overpopulation will wipe us from the surface of the planet. we are a we are a self destructive species.

BTW: not throwing punch, your phrase just made me think of her...

Spoken like my aunt who smoked all her life. The day she found out she had cancer, she stopped smoking cold turkey and tried to delay the inevitable. Too little too late. My point is, everyone want to live as long as they can and give themselves excuses on a daily basis to justify a vice until it's too late.

Most of the problems are inherited and should be the partly the governments responsibility. I don't mean the acts that people do everyday to reduce their carbon footprint vs the people that throw everything out. Sometimes you can't win. Laws should be implemented to prevent people from having to decide between two evils. (candy wrappers, plastics that can't be recycled). Governments should prohibit such materials at the packaging levels.

As for coal, it's on it's way out whether companies like it or not. Trump himself cant stop the tide. Canadians are guilty of allowing shit like oil sands cross borders.

We've got enough space on earth to have free renewable energy for everyone, but that would mean the rich at the top wouldn't get paid.

#39 1 year ago

No doubt it takes a while but the hole in the ozone was discovered ~30 years ago and now is the smallest its been since it was discovered...A real success story.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from Gunnut40:

I would not mind seeing a few more coal plants a burning. Cheap consistent energy. Plus it helps the local economy around here.

Unfortunately, coal & charcoal is one the dirtiest most inefficient fuel sources. Coal dust eventually destroys your lungs working around it.

black-lung-display-edit-62f8859fdf7947f25bb389dd4bde094bae966c67-s900-c85 (resized).jpg
screen_shot_2013-03-11_at_15.31.01 (resized).png

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Are any Pinsiders one of the 45,000 coal miners left in the USA?

Not a coal miner, but I live in coal country and have family that work indirectly in the industry. In Wyoming, there's pretty much a coal bed under the entire state, but is very shallow and easily extractable in Northeast Wyoming. Sometimes, it's only a few feet below the surface. We don't have mine shafts, and extraction is safe and relatively cheaper than other parts of the country. It's also low sulfur and considered a quality coal bed. The jobs pay well and each coal job ultimately supports several other community jobs.

The area has seen a resurgence since the election. Not due to any specific policy, but just the fact that there's not a constant onslaught of threats of more regulation. It's not something that our area of the country can just turn off. Most everyone sees the writing on the wall. I'm hoping our state takes advantage of this time to finds ways to keep our area prosperous after coal's demise. I'm certain it'll still be extracted and used for a long time, but we need to find a graceful way of transitioning to the much lower throughput. In my local town, there's a company looking to use coal eventually for 3D printing products. We'll see where it goes...

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Allibaster:

Not a coal miner, but I live in coal country and have family that work indirectly in the industry. In Wyoming, there's pretty much a coal bed under the entire state, but is very shallow and easily extractable in Northeast Wyoming. Sometimes, it's only a few feet below the surface. We don't have mine shafts, and extraction is safe and relatively cheaper than other parts of the country. It's also low sulfur and considered a quality coal bed. The jobs pay well and each coal job ultimately supports several other community jobs.
The area has seen a resurgence since the election. Not due to any specific policy, but just the fact that there's not a constant onslaught of threats of more regulation. It's not something that our area of the country can just turn off. Most everyone sees the writing on the wall. I'm hoping our state takes advantage of this time to finds ways to keep our area prosperous after coal's demise. I'm certain it'll still be extracted and used for a long time, but the we need to find a graceful way of transitioning to the much lower throughput. In my local town, there's a company looking to use coal eventually for 3D printing products. We'll see where it goes...

An interesting and well thought out answer; thank you for that.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

Unfortunately, coal & charcoal is one the dirtiest most inefficient fuel sources. Coal dust eventually destroys your lungs working around it.

This is misleading.

That may have been the case for shaft mining before the age of OSHA. Now, most coal "miners" operate equipment in open air with filtered cabins. Safety is very strict. Each company has large departments with high wage professionals dedicated to avoiding what's shown in your photos.

00wyoming4-master675 (resized).jpg

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from Allibaster:

This is misleading.
That may have been the case for shaft mining before the age of OSHA. Now, most coal "miners" operate equipment in open air with filtered cabins. Safety is very strict. Each company has large departments with high wage professionals dedicated to avoiding what's shown in your photos.

Black lung cases are on the rise again. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/largest-cluster-black-lung-cases-marks-worsening-miners-disease-180968105/

-2
#45 1 year ago
Quoted from Allibaster:

This is misleading.
That may have been the case for shaft mining before the age of OSHA. Now, most coal "miners" operate equipment in open air with filtered cabins. Safety is very strict. Each company has large departments with high wage professionals dedicated to avoiding what's shown in your photos.

So the industry would have you believe...

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2671456?redirect=true

#46 1 year ago

That article states the data is from clinics in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio - all areas where shaft mining is common. I do not know the economics of it, but it seems like that type of extraction would be prone to safety issues. I'm surprised it's still a thing considering other methods.

At any rate, that type of thing really hasn't been an issue in our area of "coal country".

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

So the industry would have you believe...

You make it sound like I'm the subject of industry propaganda. My father is a locomotive mechanic the visits mines daily. In school we had study segments on mining and visited the mines. I have good friends that work in the industry at all levels. I've basically lived it.

You may think it's a scene from Zoolander, but I'm here to tell you that open pit mining in Wyoming is a relatively safe and prosperous line of work.

#48 1 year ago

Coal was used widespread starting in the 1400's, I guess. We are living in 2018. 618 years of burning the same nasty crap. Does that not alarm any one of a huge lack of technology advancement?

While I do feel bad for the loss of jobs, the fact that the coal communities were investing so hard in the future miners is a big red flag. Why put all your eggs in one basket like that? Why not use the wealth from the coal to further your children to bigger and better things rather than an "easy" guaranteed job in a mine?

I agree, this is already political. Shut it down.

#50 1 year ago

the way we handle energy baffles my mind.


produce electricity and do not store it, just toss it away. such a waste. this is what we need to figure out how to solve energy wise.

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