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"alternative energy" name change

 
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hi kids!
I would like to ask everyone's opinion on making a change to the euphemistic term "alternative" (energy).
I was at an educational gathering here at which there was a speaker who suggested that we all start using "renewable energy" instead.

this reflects that we are working on primary energy sources, not an alternative which indicates that it's not as good, but acceptable.
here this means the forum called "alternative energy" ....but outside of this site, whether it gets changed here or not, how about we start thinking about that.

so....like to change the title of the forum?

cool idea
or
f.o.a.d., newbie!

??
 
Posts: 45
Location: WI, USA (Zone 5) Continental ~33" avg. rainfall
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I agree with the thought and have the same issue with the term "conventional" farming. Both terms sort of imply that all other methods are somehow not normal...

I don't know if it would ever catch on, but I would agree that a better term is probably appropriate.
 
pollinator
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High all : So I've been talking to a gentleman in So.east Asia who wanted to burn plastics for the energy. I believe I have talked him into investigating
into running it through a gasifier system to reclaim the original petrochemicals! Now my question, and I am playing Devils Advocate here, due to the
omnipresent waste stream everywhere in these locations with no end in sight, would it be wrong to call such an operation sustainable ! ? !

For the good of the Craft ! be safe, keep warm ! PYRO Logically Big Al ! - As always,your comments and questions are solicited and welcome ! A. L.
 
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allen lumley wrote:High all : So I've been talking to a gentleman in So.east Asia who wanted to burn plastics for the energy. I believe I have talked him into investigating
into running it through a gasifier system to reclaim the original petrochemicals! Now my question, and I am playing Devils Advocate here, due to the
omnipresent waste stream everywhere in these locations with no end in sight, would it be wrong to call such an operation sustainable ! ? !

For the good of the Craft ! be safe, keep warm !  PYRO Logically Big Al ! - As always,your comments and questions are solicited and welcome ! A. L.



If you search out some of the results of what waste professionals call the waste heirarchy, you can see that ENERGY RECOVERY as an aim is itself very low on the priority scale or could also be called a by-product.

The order of priority has always been and probably always will remain(because of the laws of physics)
•1.REDUCE
•2.REUSE
•3.RECYCLE

Energy recovery itself only becomes sustainable when it fits into that heirachy.
If your contact has the goal to encourage a system based purely on energy recovery he will definitely be swimming against the tide needed to create sustainable development.

In other words it's not what you do it's the way that you do it

To clarify, I mean that if he encourages the maximum possible reduction,reuse and recycling AS FIRST PRIORITIES, Then,and only then, does energy recovery from the residue become part of a sustainable waste system
 
master pollinator
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I like it.

My backup generator is alternative power for sure, but it is fuel derived too, so not really renewable energy. It does make a huge difference...

It does muddy the waters when talking about co-generation which is not exactly renewable energy, but may be worthwhile for some people, and still a good thing.
 
pollinator
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Let's call it what it is. It's an alternative to grid-based, centralised generation, so we have some logical options.

We should probably flesh it out, but I would probably go with something like Homestead Power Generation, or Distributed Power Generation. That would distinguish it from, shall we say, more speculative, less grounded topics, too, and be inclusive of a diversity of fuels, including the typical renewables, co-generation, biomass, both raw and upgraded, to things like high-heat plastics incineration for power. And it would still be inclusive of fossil use, as they are predicted to be a reality where fossil fuel sources are the cheapest go-to for the homesteader, well into the future, at least in some parts of the world, if you happen to agree with David Holmgren.

Another question is, are there enough threads in the alternative energy forum that we might have enough to have a Distributed Power Generation forum, where the above, mostly concrete subjects are covered, and something like an Energy Special Projects forum, for anything that might not apply in a practical sense to subjects covered in the former forum?

-CK
 
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allen lumley wrote:High all : So I've been talking to a gentleman in So.east Asia who wanted to burn plastics for the energy. I believe I have talked him into investigating
into running it through a gasifier system to reclaim the original petrochemicals! Now my question, and I am playing Devils Advocate here, due to the
omnipresent waste stream everywhere in these locations with no end in sight, would it be wrong to call such an operation sustainable ! ? ! .....



No, not renewable but....
Seeing the beautiful mountains, streams, lakes, yards filled with garbage, most of it plastic, I know your friend's pain in Asian nations where trash removal isn't part of the infrastructure.
There are insects, bacteria and fungi which eat plastic.
Clean plastic can be pressed back into petro....but this is not renewable, one is adding energy to undo  the chemical bonds to get back to the petro base.

What kind of person are you?  A creator of objects and processes, a manager, or tourist?   If you're a creator of physical realities and you want to do something about this issue, purple moosage me

 
Orin Raichart
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you could just use energy ...for the reasons Allen brings out....it might be useful to remove a trash and create energy from that trash but it isn't renewable....in this case, probably not safe due to the presence of dioxins when one gets the temperatures wrong.

it's important to keep terminology clear and concise: remember when some wanted the USDA to create organic food classifications when CA and TX already had standards much higher than the USDA created? Now organic is a word so polluted it is almost meaningless. The same goes for what energies are renewable and those which are not. Renewable for me would be energies produced from cycles of nature which we capture, store and or amplify.

Some sources of such renewable energy: fluctuations in the magnetic core of the earth, geothermal, passive solar, gradients found locally in the Earth's magnetic field, algae which creates hydrogen as a by product, bacteria used in fuel cells, etc.

 
gardener
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English is such an "interesting" language. A quick search identified this definition of "alternative":  "one of two or more available possibilities.  Audiobooks are an interesting alternative to reading"

So by that definition, we could consider fossil fuels as an alternative source of energy than solar panels. That might *really* confuse a few people in politics! The problem isn't the word, but the unofficial meaning of that word in current usage.

So, I kinda agree with the OP that we could find a better name for that forum, but I don't yet see one that I particularly see as being perfect. I'll propose "Sustainable Energy Systems". Some people might see that as excluding some of the interim "short term sustainable" sources like used veggie oil or safe ways to burn plastic just because one's eco-system is drowning in it, but if it gets people temporary solutions while we stop pumping stuff out of the ground, it may be a supporting interim step.
 
pollinator
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I am going to say stick with the original.  My reasoning is there are a number of things that may not be renewable but have both environmental and economic advantages.  Pyrolisis, or methane generation from garbage as examples.
 
Chris Kott
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Pyrolisis is infinitely renewable, and carbon-neutral. Methane generation is, likewise, infinitely renewable and carbon-neutral. It's just solar power with a couple of biological steps thrown in.

I don't really have a horse in this race, but I would look at it to see if there are enough threads to justify a reorganisation that results in two forums where once there was one, especially if it gets the site GoogleLove.

-CK
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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