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Where Are You At On Green Energy?  RSS feed

 
garden master
Posts: 1713
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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I read both articles. Paul's, I read last year I think as well as just now.

I really like the kind of innovations that Paul recommends, and they (or similar tactics) will work for those who want to heat themselves and micro areas to use less grid energy, and all the power to them. I've done similar things now and in the past, but not to the degree that Paul did with such low energy items. Awesome that he did this! And for light bulbs, also, I super agree. So what that they 'waste' energy to heat?! It ain't always summer and we could use that heat, and besides the fluorescent lights give off a white obnoxiousness that is not nearly as warm 'feeling' in an aesthetic sense as the yellowy light of an incandescent bulb.

A coworker of mine has a battery powered heated winter jacket (that he plugs in to charge at home when not in use). He is never cold at work, and we work long hours outside all winter long in the Canadian Rockies A pair of pants to go along with this would go a long way to warm the body in a cold house, thus eliminate heating the house.


I think, what would be better still would be a super insulated passive solar and thermal mass house, and a rocket stove or two (depending on the size of the space). Heat is 'wasted' into the object contained in the house, but it is also a thermo battery to hold that heat and re-radiate it back into the space.

As for the other article: The guy gives all the bad and none of the good when talking about renewables and government interaction with the alternative energy sector, (while at the same time blowing trumpets of joy for the oil and gas sector, with none of the bad), and then gives lip service to being all for the green clean revolution if we monitor the process of funding. I call Bullshit.

While I agree that monitoring needs to be done, and the giving of such grants and subsidies needs to be transparent, (like all government and police should be, since they are public servants), I do not think that the author of this piece is unbiased enough to report on the so called green energy hoax.

I have my doubts whether the same author would be so happy if he were quoting all the subsidies that the oil and gas industries (and nuclear power industry) have received since the coal boom, the oil boom, and the gas boom, and how the system of the military industrial complex and the government through industry lobbyists/and bully economic tactics have kept the global economy lock stepped on petro chemistry to the tune of trillions annually, and millions of war deaths (and due to spent uranium munitions, skyrocketing civilian fatalities and serious illness rates {in Iraq} ) to secure the oil reserves, which the industrialist also profit from, and at the same time energy costs for the individual and family is through the roof while industry is subsidized. Yay, way to go lower and middle class, take another one for the man.

If we were to look at the German model, and understand that this is not a perfect system by any means, but just notice what percentage of the power being developed and used in Germany is made from renewable energy sources (78%), and wonder, I mean really question, why it is that we in North America have not headed in that direction? It is exactly because there has been a lack of focus and attention by our governments and industry, and we are lagging behind. The way that we have gone about the change, with carbon credits and all that is, in my opinion, a bullshit excuse for allowing the world to continue to pollute so long as we are doing good somewhere else. What a joke. It's like putting a bandaid on one arm while cutting the other, and congratulating ourselves for healing ourselves.

I think that it needs to be both market driven and decreed by the government. I think the main reason that the market has not risen to create the demand or the product, is that the majority of people are too proud of their way of doing things, and are too stubborn to think themselves wrong for so long, and are also too stubborn to change (and by people include the people in charge of the existing energy giant corporations). I can't say that I am not guilty of at least one of those on a regular basis; I think it's a human failing. But that human failing is also preyed upon by those who know how to manipulate the population, and how to maximize profits based on creating a specter of economic suicide if we get off the crude/gas nipple. How do we get the industry to get on with it, if not making them? I don't know. So decree it so.

I think that intuitively the world is waking to the reality of the lie that these lobbyists have been whispering in the ear of our government with pockets lined with cash. I think that a critical mass is being reached, and that the game is changing, but it will take investment from both sides to rebuild the energy wheel. So much is already 'stabilized' on the hub of oil, and cheap oil at that, that now that it is not so cheap or easy and now that everybody is watching, the oil and gas industry is trembling, and scrambling, and trying to debase the rise of the alternative at every level. I would fight too, if I was so entrenched. I would be like a cornered mama bear, protecting her cubs. But it would be so easy if those with the money, those with serious uber money, would put it into renewable projects, and there would be nothing to be afraid of, and there would be no reason for all the carbon credit shuffle. That's just another song and dance for the status quo. The energy companies who start to invest in renewables will win the new race; those that do not, will not.
 
pollinator
Posts: 9744
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Both: Promoted by guvmint (information outreach, subsidies) and distributed by the market.
 
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As a libertarian, I think the government does a pretty crappy job at...everything.

So no, I don't want the government to promote green energy. They did that for a while in the 70's, in response to the OPEC oil embargo. Subsidized solar thermal panels and a bunch of similar ideas.

After a few years, (when oil got cheaper) they decided the market had "matured" and didn't need their subsidy. It just decimated the solar hot water and thermal panel industry in the US.


On the other hand, the feds in the US subsidize coal, oil, natural gas, and most electricity. It would help green energy a lot if they just didn't subsidize the fossil fuels and nukes.

But that's not going to happen.

So, to even get a level playing field, maybe they should subsidize green energy. But at the level of the consumer. If you buy photovoltaic, you get a certain subsidy per installed watt. When they give it to the companies directly, it hardly ever turns out how we want, like Solyndra if you remember them.

 
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Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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Solar PV is pretty cheap now, to the point that you can get your investment back in 10-12 mths. But you have to use it right.

Solar charging a battery bank and running AC off it doesn't make a lot of sense, unless getting connected to the grid is impossible/expensive. Because the cost and usable life of the batteries, and the cost of the inverters and losses in charging/discharging and voltage step up/step down bring big inefficiencies.

Using electric cars doesn't make sense (yet, but it will in the medium term future) because of the same factors as above plus the energy cost of carrying your batteries around and the higher engineering costs of miniaturisation and weight saving needed in a vehicle application.

Putting solar PV into the grid on a domestic scale doesn't make a lot of sense because modern natural gas and diesel power stations can throttle up and down at a few seconds notice according to demand, and the losses from voltage step up/step down, and inverting DC to AC, and the overhead of only being allowed to connect approved suppliers' equipment to the grid.

Until the total installed base of PV is equal to or greater than humanity's energy needs, we need to intelligently use fossil fuel vs PV in appropriate places. So.. use fossil fuel for mobile applications like a car - where the energy density of gasoline or diesel is way over that of an electric battery, and where the energy is converted from chemical to mechanical in the machine. Use fossil fuels to power the variable demand for the grid to make sure there is energy on cloudy/windless days and at night. Use PV directly in the home or industry, with DC equipment where possible.

Unfortunately, the subsidies misallocate PV to grid tie and elec cars. You buy a Tesla and you get thousands of subsidy off the gov. You get a car that is pretty useless in a lot of scenarios and when it does work you are on the whole using power that starts off as chemical energy in fossil fuel, is converted to heat and/or mechanical then electrical in the power station, is converted to electromagnetic then electrical every time it is stepped up or down at a transformer, is subjected to losses as heat as it travels over the grid, is converted to chemical energy in a battery, is converted to mechanical in an electric motor in the car. Maybe you've got the hundreds of PV panels to be able to charge your Tesla in a practical timescale, but still you would be better using that PV to power your stationary washing machine, TV etc (or for your neighbour to do so if you have a surplus) and use a conventional car.

It's tempting to say let's subsidise the elec cars while they are not a great solution so that they can become a great solution but I disagree. The subsidies are going toward mass producing the bad solution, rather than developing something better. Let's move the subsidies away ffrom the bad solution, and preferably get rid of subsidies but if you have to subsidise, then send that money to development of renewable energy sources, ie better PV rather than to applications like Teslas that essentially use fossil fuel very inefficiently. In other words, subsidise the power generation rather than the power consumption.

Storage is often cited as the biggest problem with uptake of renewables, but I disagree. We are already on the whole connected to the grid. Instead of trying to move off grid, we should be using the grid when appropriate and using PV when appropriate. If it's night or cloudy, no problem, use the grid. If it's sunny use PV. You don't need to fret about not being able to use PV because you can't store it or you can't affford a battery bank when you can use it today without a battery bank and just go to diesel or natural gas powered grid elec as and when needed. That would be the fastest way of reducing fossil fuel use at the power station.


 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Troy Rhodes wrote:
On the other hand, the feds in the US subsidize coal, oil, natural gas, and most electricity. It would help green energy a lot if they just didn't subsidize the fossil fuels and nukes.



That would be excellent.

 
A timing clock, fuse wire, high explosives and a tiny ad:
Video of all the PDC and ATC (~177 hours) - HD instant view
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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