(Topic ID: 209681)

Fossil Fuels - is the USA getting left behind?

By vid1900

3 years ago


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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Yoski
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12
#51 3 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

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

Why would we shut down the thread? Most everyone is being completely civil and until your post nobody was even getting worked up.

-5
#52 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Why would we shut down the thread? Most everyone is being completely civil and until your post nobody was even getting worked up.

Im not even worked up, lol. This is the same argument Ive made before and will continue to.

The fact that this is inherently political is what makes it lockable.

Like, we can talk about Alice Cooper's "Dead Babies" but eventually some one will probably bring abortion into it, which is political...spiraling into....shut it down. LOL

#53 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

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.

Bad things happen. As a collective humans need to use these terrible events as a means to learn and move on. If we don't we'll never get anywhere. Imagine if the people working on Challenger had reacted like this. Since these events Nuclear energy has become one of the most efficient and SAFEST methods for producing electricity. I'd suggest you look into recent research instead of fearing something from the 80s.

Heck, if you look into Chernobyl itself you'd realize they knew a meltdown was imminent long before it happened and chose to do nothing to prevent it. Because of "avoiding costs".

#54 3 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

While I do feel bad for the loss of jobs,

We all do, but that is the cost of progress.

Telegraph Operators were a high paying job, especially if you worked at sea. But when satellite communications became standard, even those seafaring jobs were lost.

70% of all Bank Teller jobs have been lost. Blame yourself every time you use the ATM or pay with a credit card.

Taxi Drivers will soon be a thing of the past. First their jobs were under pressure from Uber and Lyft, and in the near future, the self-driving cars will completely eliminate them (Tesla makes you sign an agreement if you use their self-driving feature that you will NOT run a taxi service - they've got their own plans for that).

There are still 250,000 conventional taxi drivers left in the US, but I won't be sorry when the last one of those SOBs loses their job.

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#55 3 years 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.

Your post cuts to the heart of the matter. It all boils down to whose ox is being gored. It gets down the comedian Lenny Bruce's observation that a man is as honest as he can afford to be.

We can wax poetic and play all high and mighty about who needs to be doing this or doing that. But at the end of the day it boils down to jobs and money in YOUR pocket. And we all want the other guy to cut back as, "I am sure that I am not part of the problem."

So, we have too much fossil fuel pollution. We need to cut back on our energy usage. OK, who is going to cut back? Who makes the decision that your industry needs to make some cuts. Somebody is going to lose their job.

When someone dies we send flowers. When someone gets sick we send flowers. When we think we are in love we send flowers. We send flowers for all sorts of BS reasons (BS is my opinion). And a few days later the flowers are wilted, dead, and trashed. What a waste of gas? Think how much fuel would be saved if we just let the flowers go. Who needs them?

But then you realize that flowers are a multi-billion dollar business the world around and you would shut down flower shops and the employees who arrange and sell the flowers. The drivers who transport the flowers would be looking for other work. But less driving around delivering flowers means less wear and tear on a delivery vehicle which will need less maintenance which will hit the tire manufactures, companies that make repair parts will take a hit, too. Delivery vehicles, with less wear, will not need to be replaced as often; That takes out the vehicle production factory, the paint manufacturers, the vinyl upholstery business, just to name a few. There go all those jobs for people who worked in the flower industry. And there goes your economy.

The greeting card industry is another one that I think is a waste of energy. The fuel used to produce the paper. The ink used to print the cards. The fuel used to take the card to the landfill.

If you work for the greeting card industry or the flower industry I am sure you are steaming by now. But I could have just as easily hit on school busing as being a tremendous waster of energy with a bunch of school busses blowing polluting diesel fumes all over the neighborhoods.

How about this: It used to be when was doing a brake job and I needed a rubber wheel cylinder cup I could go the auto parts store and buy one rubber cup that the parts store person would pull from a bulk drawer and maybe toss it in a paper sack. But now, thanks to Wall Street, or whoever, I have to buy two rubber cups that are shelved in a plastic bubble pack. I'll use one. One will get lost in a drawer somewhere. And then the plastic bubble pack does its part to take space in the landfill.

I used to be able to buy nails in bulk in a paper sack. Now I have to buy them in a bubble pack. But there are not enough nails in the bubble pack so now I have to buy two bubble packs. We have so much waste in our economy but someone makes a living producing bubble packs.

Do you smoke? I used to. I used a Bic lighter. I used a lot of Bic lighters. And they all went to the landfill. What a waste of space. I should have never gave up my Zippo. But how many people get their employment from the production of Bic lighters that eventually wind up in the landfill?

Well, landfill pollution is less of a problem than coal based air pollution. Really? Who makes that determination?

There are no easy answers to any of this stuff when it comes to the matter of self-survival.

I predict we are a juggernaut that will not stop until we have drilled and used up every last drop of oil, used the last cubic foot of gas, polluted every last stream and river so that nothing will be able to live in the water. We will not stop until we have used it all up.

Natural gas is plentiful right now. But one day we will have used it all up. Then it will be back to coal. And nuclear. And nuclear is not a limitless supply. There is only so much uranium to mine.

#56 3 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

Like, we can talk about Alice Cooper's "Dead Babies" but eventually some one will probably bring abortion into it, which is political...spiraling into....shut it down.

That's the mod's job - delete the offending posts, and let the intelligent people have a conversation.

Not: Lock the thread because a few idiots want to make it political.

#57 3 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

Im not even worked up, lol. This is the same argument Ive made before and will continue to.
The fact that this is inherently political is what makes it lockable.
Like, we can talk about Alice Cooper's "Dead Babies" but eventually some one will probably bring abortion into it, which is political...spiraling into....shut it down. LOL

Everything can spiral into a political discussion. But I think adults can (and should) have reasonable discussions about topics like this.

Heck, I already learned that WY produces 60% of the countries Coal and that the they dont suffer from detrimental health effects from it due to their mining practices. Other folks learned that we have had solar power factories since the 80's. Interesting stuff IMO.

#58 3 years ago
Quoted from GotAQuestion:

Bad things happen. As a collective humans need to use these terrible events as a means to learn and move on. If we don't we'll never get anywhere. Imagine if the people working on Challenger had reacted like this. Since these events Nuclear energy has become one of the most efficient and SAFEST methods for producing electricity. I'd suggest you look into recent research instead of fearing something from the 80s.
Heck, if you look into Chernobyl itself you'd realize they knew a meltdown was imminent long before it happened and chose to do nothing to prevent it. Because of "avoiding costs".

Your preaching to the choir. I didn't say I thought that way. 3 mile island safety guards worked as they should. Yes I have researched Chernobyl closely. Here is a liquidator medal I have on the wall.

http://collectinghistory.net/chernobyl/index.html

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#59 3 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

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

There are simple things that we can do right now. The easiest thing to do is start recycling. If your city / township offers weekly recycling pickup take advantage of it.

Once my wife and I started recycling we were amazed by just how much of what we throw away is recyable. I would say that 70-80% of what we throw away per week can be recycled.

#60 3 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

So, we have too much fossil fuel pollution. We need to cut back on our energy usage.

Nobody is suggesting we 'cut back' on energy usage. Only shift the source of the energy we use.

Aggregated energy usage* is expected to continue its climb up and to the right for a very long time.

*per capita energy use will likely continue to decline due to advancements in technology

#61 3 years ago
Quoted from hAbO:

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

They have better ventilation now days. Not saying that this not a factor. I was more worried about radon and my back breaking or maybe just a freak accident. Working the coal train was not for me.

#62 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

There are simple things that we can do right now. The easiest thing to do is start recycling. If your city / township offers weekly recycling pickup take advantage of it.
Once my wife and I started recycling we were amazed by just how much of what we throw away is recyable. I would say that 70-80% of what we throw away per week can be recycled.

Recycling
Changing what you eat
Using your car less and driving differently
Changing all lighting to leds/fluorescent

Lots of things we can do.

#63 3 years ago

I think we're using coal more responsibly these days compared to say, 50-75 years ago. We have it-we should use it. We also have oil. We use that, too. Wind & solar are a great supplement to the aforementioned energy sources. Nuclear....eh, I don't like it-too scary. Google the term, "Elephant's Foot" and read what that's all about..very, very frightening.

#64 3 years ago

This is how we power our pinball machines in green states.

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#65 3 years ago

I don't worry about my energy usage. Not one bit.

Because I have given the planet the best gift that I possibly can. I did not reproduce.

My wife has two children, so we are effectively neutral, but I personally know a lot of people who have had 4-5 kids.
I recently read about another woman who is having a 13 kid. That is a serious mental issue. I also know responsible people who had two kids and adopted more from poor countries. So there can be positive outcome in my opinion.

There are not any problems which I can think of which cannot be largely alleviated or even eliminated by population reduction. But this is NEVER talked about in media. All I ever hear is how we have to come up with a way to feed 9+ billion.

Why? Because population control breaks the infinite growth based economy that we depend on. We need to take care of that.

As for the fossil fuels, we need them to produce the technology to ween off of them. Instead every time we find some new supply, we cant export it fast enough. So much for energy independence. The rich will never learn they cant eat, breath and drink money.

Nuclear is good. Look up Thorium reactors. Not very popular because they don't produce the weapons grade plutonium we need so much of.

Coal is good...for generating synthetic oil. Just what the German war machine ran on during WW2.

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

Conservation is good. Lets lobby for a four day work week as a start.
I could work from home almost every day. Coming to the office is just for status quo.

#66 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Nobody is suggesting we 'cut back' on energy usage. Only shift the source of the energy we use.
Aggregated energy usage* is expected to continue its climb up and to the right for a very long time.
*per capita energy use will likely continue to decline due to advancements in technology

This topic is ludicrous because we're all hypocritical in some fashion. Putting one's trash in recycling is useless as it requires energy to process it in the first place. How do you think all of those huge rotational bins work? By solar?

Want to really hit the topic head on? How about air travel? The US along burns 17 BILLIONS of gallons of fuel each year because we all have to get to the next pinball show or go see our family or get to Disneyworld. How many people in this very thread went on a plane this year? Hell, that puts the emissions in the freaking atmosphere as well, talk about your carbon footprint.

How many of us own more than 1 car? Or more than 1 TV? Or buy milk from a plastic carton?

#67 3 years ago

i live among the amish, they know how to deal with this issue.....

#68 3 years ago

Your argument is a bit of a fallacy..bifurcation. Just because we can't do EVERYTHING on our own doesn't logically mean we should do NOTHING.

#69 3 years ago

I figure as soon as we suck the last few barrels of oil out of the middle east, all will be good.

World peace will follow and a new age will begin.

#70 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

This topic is ludicrous because we're all hypocritical in some fashion. Putting one's trash in recycling is useless as it requires energy to process it in the first place. How do you think all of those huge rotational bins work? By solar?
Want to really hit the topic head on? How about air travel? The US along burns 17 BILLIONS of gallons of fuel each year because we all have to get to the next pinball show or go see our family or get to Disneyworld. How many people in this very thread went on a plane this year? Hell, that puts the emissions in the freaking atmosphere as well, talk about your carbon footprint.
How many of us own more than 1 car? Or more than 1 TV? Or buy milk from a plastic carton?

Its not hypocritical to desire a higher standard of living while using less energy/cleaner energy to do so.

Per capita energy use in the US has been flat/declining for the past couple of decades. During that time home sizes have increased and everyone carries around a supercomputer in their pocket (and have multiple secured to walls in their homes). They fly more in more efficient aircraft taking routes that maximize efficiency and when they drive their cars are safer, more luxurious and faster than ever before (while also being more efficient).

The point? Standard of living is increasing while energy use is going down per person. Small changes and investments in technology work.

Quoted from Methos:

Putting one's trash in recycling is useless as it requires energy to process it in the first place

Only if you goal is to reduce energy consumption which isnt what this thread is about.

#71 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Your argument is a bit of a fallacy..bifurcation. Just because we can't do EVERYTHING on our own doesn't logically mean we should do NOTHING.

It is hypocritical when we won't change the demand (our behavior), but turn around and blame the suppliers, which is what this thread is doing. Many of us have changed our lifestyles, our diets, and the way we conduct business to use less natural resources. Or we can just blame coal industries I guess.

#72 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

It is hypocritical when we won't change the demand (our behavior), but turn around and blame the suppliers, which is what this thread is doing. Many of us have changed our lifestyles, our diets, and the way we conduct business to use less natural resources. Or we can just blame coal industries I guess.

Nobody is blaming anyone for anything. Coal fills a current demand.

Why wouldn't we strive to increase our standard of living while looking for less destructive ways to power it?

#73 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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

My sister lives in Beijing - visited her last summer. Neat culture, beautiful temples and history - The Wall was dramatic....

It is funny how China comes off sounding "progressive" as if they are "leading the world" in new tech/clean energy....

The *only* reason they are doing anything is because they have to. They would pour lead and mercury down the sewer and pump whatever they could into the atmosphere if they thought they could get away with it.

In reaction to the fact that their air is so polluted, they are putting some policies in place, but not because they are innovators and have a desire to be good stewards of the planet. You have to have an air purifier in every room of your house. The state tells the building operators when they can turn the heat on, they are staggering car driving based on the odd/even number of license plates and they are building windmills and solar farms. Good for them.

Too bad they had to wait until the air was like working in a coal mine to take any action.

They seem to have as much regard for the environment as they do intellectual property. Eventually, they will become enlightened but there are not many first-world countries that I would say are lagging behind China in anything other than exports.

#74 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

Nobody is blaming anyone for anything. Coal fills a current demand.
Why wouldn't we strive to increase our standard of living while looking for less destructive ways to power it that lifestyle?

Sure they are.

You want to talk about destruction in the US? Move away from energy and look at what we are doing (and have done) to the soil and water systems in this country. Decades of chemical dumping and animal waste in our country has made the vast majority of our soil poisoned. We feed it to our children and wonder why we have some of the worse cancer rates in the world. And yet we're all happy as hell to get bacon for 1.99lb. We can't even grow non-arsenic rice in this country because of what we've done to it. And yet, we still poison our food and water like it's no tomorrow.

And the best part? The EPA can't keep up and these chemicals come out like there isn't any tomorrow. The laws are weaker than hell and we continue to eat meat and use RoundUp to keep our yards pretty. Can we change behavior? Can we end meat consumption and require 100% organics? It's going that way, but not fast enough.

-1
#75 3 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

Im not even worked up, lol. This is the same argument Ive made before and will continue to.
The fact that this is inherently political is what makes it lockable.
Like, we can talk about Alice Cooper's "Dead Babies" but eventually some one will probably bring abortion into it, which is political...spiraling into....shut it down. LOL

There's nothing political about abortion. Either you believe in it, you believe it can be allowed in very specific rare cases, you believe it's OK up until a certain time, or you do not believe in it at all.

I do not need politics to tell me what to believe and I can believe something and understand that others feel differently without feeling the need to throw a fit or look differently upon them.

#76 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

we're all happy as hell to get bacon for 1.99lb.

I don't know where you live, but bacon's $5 a pound here. That's why instead of investing in energy, I invest in pork belly futures.

#77 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Move away from energy

Perhaps in another thread. This thread is about energy in the US and whether our renewable strategy is falling behind the rest of the world.

#78 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

I figure as soon as we suck the last few barrels of oil out of the middle east, all will be good.

Nowadays, the US only imports 8% of it's oil from the middle east.

38% is imported from Canada, so that might be the next country we are forced to invade.

#79 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

38% is imported from Canada, so that might be the next country we are forced to invade.

I guess we won't be needing that wall then.

#80 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

It is hypocritical when we won't change the demand (our behavior), but turn around and blame the suppliers, which is what this thread is doing.

I'm not blaming coal and I don't think that's the thesis here. The US Gov't plays favorites with it's incentives and corporate welfare. I blame them mostly. Fossil fuels have a ton of money that funds lobbying and disinformation. They, in effect, keep their foot on the throat of green energy which is factually, statistically viable to power most, if not all, of our energy needs right now. It would just take redirecting of $$$ and priorities away from Fossil---back to the lobbying(get $$ out of politics). People aren't aware of the facts surrounding energy.

I only use Roundup on my cereal in the morning...never on the lawn. I wouldn't do that to the dog.

#81 3 years ago

quite surprised of the civility, 80 posts in and no dumpster fire.

#82 3 years ago

Many data centers generate their own electricity, because they require so much of it.

Google and Walmart are using Bloom's fuel cells because they have a break-even point of 3-5 years. After that, the savings are enormous.

Since a single "fuel cell" can run 160 homes, will there come a time when each neighborhood will have it's own cell?

http://www.bloomenergy.com/fuel-cell/energy-server/

#83 3 years ago

I work for an oil refinery, and from my standpoint everything in there is regulated by the epa. Between the epa and rins (renewable energy identification numbers)(basically a credit you get for blending gas that can be openly traded on the market and gouges small refineries like mine), we will start seeing smaller refineries close down, and the big ones that dont care about the epa fines will be the only ones operating, and gas will be 10 bucks a gallon, and thousands of middle class workers out of the job. Renewable energy is great, but while there is a damand i will have a job, and that demand should last until i retire in 30 years at least. But rins could change that since my company doesnt blend its own fuel, we have to purchase the credits from the open market that speculators have made the price go through the roof. My 2 cents is all

#84 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Don't forget. 3 mile island.

Sure, but that plant was built 50 years ago.

We did not quit using ships because of the Titanic.

We made them better, with better safety guidance systems.

#85 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

We made them better, with better safety guidance systems.

And better training for their employees.

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#86 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

I'm not blaming coal and I don't think that's the thesis here. The US Gov't plays favorites with it's incentives and corporate welfare. I blame them mostly. Fossil fuels have a ton of money that funds lobbying and disinformation. They, in effect, keep their foot on the throat of green energy which is factually, statistically viable to power most, if not all, of our energy needs right now. It would just take redirecting of $$$ and priorities away from Fossil---back to the lobbying(get $$ out of politics). People aren't aware of the facts surrounding energy.
I only use Roundup on my cereal in the morning...never on the lawn. I wouldn't do that to the dog.

This + 1. The crony capitalism of the US govt picking winners and staffing the regulatory agencies with the people that used to head the very industries they are now regulating have caused this. Tie this together with the free flow of information on the internet with no checks and balances that can be harnessed to create very effective disinformation campaigns. Sprinkle in a population of people with no ability to logically parse real information from fake and here's where you land.

I used to be an energy efficiency engineer and the amount of waste I would find in these huge companies is mind boggling. The energy industry gives special pricing to the largest consumers of their product. So basically these huge plants are paying next to nothing for their energy compared to the raw material inputs. So what does this cause? Waste. They had no incentive to use energy wisely. I recall one plant that had a giant air compressor system for the plant that would run 24/7 with no controls for demand. This was a leaky old crappy system. It would run non stop and then when there wasn't as much demand at the plant and the pressure reached a certain point, they would just blow all the excess out out into the atmosphere. I think part of the problem is you have MBAs making decisions based on least cost and it's cheaper to just waste it than to control it if you're looking at simple bottom line.

I could give you tons of other examples such as older plants that had painted over all the windows where they used to light the plant via daylight and instead installed 455 watt metal halide fixtures. All they had to do was scrape the paint off and install t5 high bay fixtures and cut the electricity demand in half while having a more pleasant environment in the plant. Don't believe the lies that renewables and energy efficiency have no impact. They definitely do.

#87 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

we are forced to invade.

Yemen is going to invade Canada? Holy shit.

#88 3 years ago
Quoted from amkoepfer:

I work for an oil refinery, and from my standpoint everything in there is regulated by the epa. Between the epa and rins (renewable energy identification numbers)(basically a credit you get for blending gas that can be openly traded on the market and gouges small refineries like mine), we will start seeing smaller refineries close down, and the big ones that dont care about the epa fines will be the only ones operating, and gas will be 10 bucks a gallon, and thousands of middle class workers out of the job. Renewable energy is great, but while there is a damand i will have a job, and that demand should last until i retire in 30 years at least. But rins could change that since my company doesnt blend its own fuel, we have to purchase the credits from the open market that speculators have made the price go through the roof. My 2 cents is all

If oil goes to $10/gallon you'll find a very lucrative career in the renewable sector since it will be a boom time for them!

#89 3 years ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

This + 1. The crony capitalism of the US govt picking winners and staffing the regulatory agencies with the people that used to head the very industries they are now regulating have caused this. Tie this together with the free flow of information on the internet with no checks and balances that can be harnessed to create very effective disinformation campaigns. Sprinkle in a population of people with no ability to logically parse real information from fake and here's where you land.
I used to be an energy efficiency engineer and the amount of waste I would find in these huge companies is mind boggling. The energy industry gives special pricing to the largest consumers of their product. So basically these huge plants are paying next to nothing for their energy compared to the raw material inputs. So what does this cause? Waste. They had no incentive to use energy wisely. I recall one plant that had a giant air compressor system for the plant that would run 24/7 with no controls for demand. This was a leaky old crappy system. It would run non stop and then when there wasn't as much demand at the plant and the pressure reached a certain point, they would just blow all the excess out out into the atmosphere. I think part of the problem is you have MBAs making decisions based on least cost and it's cheaper to just waste it than to control it if you're looking at simple bottom line.
I could give you tons of other examples such as older plants that had painted over all the windows where they used to light the plant via daylight and instead installed 455 watt metal halide fixtures. All they had to do was scrape the paint off and install t5 high bay fixtures and cut the electricity demand in half while having a more pleasant environment in the plant. Don't believe the lies that renewables and energy efficiency have no impact. They definitely do.

Man, you have said a lot. I studied business and learned how larger companies were "better" because they could make use of economies of scale. But I worked in the large corporations. I saw the waste you speak of. Your MBA observation is fairly accurate, I think.

#90 3 years 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.

Yes, but to do nothing doesn't change the impact!

#91 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

If oil goes to $10/gallon you'll find a very lucrative career in the renewable sector since it will be a boom time for them!

As it sits, renewable cant put a dent in our usage, even at max output, so no one wins but the large oil companies. Renwable energy also doesnt pay what oil pays, and i like making a living. As fatdirk says, the waste is crazy. Spending hundreds to save dimes. I always say we would be bankrupt if it was anything other than oil!!!

#92 3 years ago
Quoted from amkoepfer:

As it sits, renewable cant put a dent in our usage, even at max output, so no one wins but the large oil companies. Renwable energy also doesnt pay what oil pays, and i like making a living. As fatdirk says, the waste is crazy. Spending hundreds to save dimes. I always say we would be bankrupt if it was anything other than oil!!!

Like everything, the more newer technologies that use alternative and clean energy become available the price will lower. Oil companies have a lot influence not to promote these. The Government has a lot to do with enforcing/not enforcing clean energy policies also. I'm not a hippy/tree hugger type but the writing is on the walls for us it we continue down this road. Major changes for a lot of people are coming.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/world/sea-level-rise-accelerating/index.html

#93 3 years ago
Quoted from amkoepfer:

As it sits, renewable cant put a dent in our usage, even at max output, so no one wins but the large oil companies. Renwable energy also doesnt pay what oil pays, and i like making a living. As fatdirk says, the waste is crazy. Spending hundreds to save dimes. I always say we would be bankrupt if it was anything other than oil!!!

I dont think any electricity in CA comes from oil...Though transportation is heavily reliant on oil obviously.

#94 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

I dont think any electricity in CA comes from oil...Though transportation is heavily reliant on oil obviously.

Wikipedia has some interesting stats on Cali power:

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

#95 3 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Wikipedia has some interesting stats on Cali power:

"Natural gas-fired power plants typically account for more than one-half of in-state electricity generation."

That totally makes sense with all the Mexican food restaurants there are.

#96 3 years ago
Quoted from amkoepfer:

As it sits, renewable cant put a dent in our usage, even at max output

How does a country like Spain have 9% of it's electricity generated by Solar, and 19% from wind?

That seems like more than a dent.

The USA has lots of arid sunlit land, and lots of wind.

Shouldn't we be able to figure out the process better than Spain???

(I mean, I love visiting Spain and all that, but it does not seem like a hotbed of innovation and industry.....)

#97 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

How does a country like Spain have 9% of it's electricity generated by Solar, and 19% from wind?
That seems like more than a dent.
The USA has lots of arid sunlit land, and lots of wind.
Shouldn't we be able to figure out the process better than Spain???

15% of our electricity currently comes from renewables

#98 3 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Wikipedia has some interesting stats on Cali power:

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

Make sure you guys read this ^

#99 3 years ago

TL;DR = Energy Storage is cool! It can help alleviate some of the challenges presented by renewable generation sources. Ask me more if you want!

I work in Energy Storage, which is an excellent solution to many of the challenges presented by trying to incorporate renewable generation into the existing power grid. As has been said already, renewables such as solar and wind power do not generate a specific amount of electricity on demand in the same way that combustibles can. This means that no matter how many wind turbines you have running, if no one needs that electricity right then, you are just gonna have to throw it away (or blow up your transformers, etc). This leads to things like negative electricity pricing, which has shown up many times already in North America, Europe, and Australia (just off the top of my head) due to windfarms in Texas or Scotland or South Australia (for example) having windier days than the loads could account for. HOWEVER, if you have a battery ready to accept that electricity, that negative pricing means THEY WILL PAY YOU TO TAKE IT. And then you wait for the opposite and offer that stored energy when everyone is demanding more moremore power and the prices spike. And you get paid twice for the same power, once on the way into your battery and once on the way out!
We are seeing more and more energy storage options showing up as the technology advances. Surely you've already read about Elon Musk's giant battery in SA that is already working on their grid to support those spikes and sags and take even better advantage of the huge uptick in renewable generation being installed around Australia.
But you can have smaller batteries in your own home to help support renewable absorption too. This is actually required in Hawaii now, iirc, because they were not allowing ANY powerflow outward from your meter ("Net Zero"), meaning that anyone who wanted to install solar was required to also install energy storage to prevent any reverse powerflow onto the grid. Tesla's powerwall is a well-known example of a consumer-grade residential energy storage product of this type. There are many others now, and my previous job was with a company making utility grade products in a similar vein for a few years before Telsa showed up in the market to find more uses for his EV batteries. (My last employer is still around, actually, but I decided to move on to MUCH bigger batteries with a different company.)
Speaking of EV, energy storage is one way we are finding ways to mitigate the environmental impact of disposing of EV batteries at end-of-life. When your car's battery can only get you 25 miles on a single charge, it's probably no longer useful as a family car. But link up hundreds of those for a STATIONARY bank of storage, and you can still get lots of value from them (with some clever software)!

Anyway, I could go on and on about this (and related) topic(s), but I would be pleased to answer any specific questions people have about these things for starters:
- Residential Energy Storage Batteries (measured in kWh and the size of an A/C unit or fridge or other large home appliance)
- C&I Energy Storage Batteries (measured in MWh and the size of a house or bigger!)
- Challenges facing utilities who want to incorporate more renewables into their generation.
- The Grid and Energy Markets and painstakingly balancing them so consumers can just flip the lightswitch on and it magically works!
- The crazy suggestion by the US department of energy to subsidize un-economic Coal plants and how the ENTIRE ENERGY INDUSTRY told them WTFNO! https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ferc-rejects-doe-nopr-kicking-resilience-issue-to-grid-operators/514334/ (the point of this is that renewables are ALREADY cost-effective generation over coal in many cases)

#100 3 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

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

Yes, I'm paying my power company extra to source "my" electricity from renewable energy sources. Hopefully they're on the level. Of course I'm on the same grid as everyone else, the intent is that they invest in renewable infrastructure to power the equivalent of my energy use.

https://www.xcelenergy.com/company/media_room/news_releases/new_renewable_energy_option_approved_for_xcel_energy_minnesota_customers

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