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Thread: Energy Options

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    Default Energy Options

    I admit to not being well schooled in the technical parts of the various energy methods we have. This op-ed is from todays WSJ. If possible, leaving the part about Obama out so as to not make it a partisan thing do people here believe the numbers/percentages are accurate for the various energy options we have? Thanks.

    The Green Hornet
    August 6, 2008
    Al Gore said the other day that "the future of human civilization" depends on giving up fossil fuels within a decade -- and was acclaimed as a prophet by the political class. Obviously boring reality doesn't count for much these days. Even so, when Barack Obama wheels out an energy agenda nearly as grandiose as Mr. Gore's, shouldn't it receive at least some media scrutiny?

    On Monday, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. must "end the age of oil in our time," with "real results by the end of my first term in office." This, he said, will "take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy." Mark that one down as the understatement of the year. Maybe Mr. Obama really is the Green Hornet, or some other superhero of his current political myth.

    The Senator calls for $150 billion over 10 years to achieve "energy independence," with elevated subsidies for renewable alternatives and efficiency programs. He also says he'll "leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy," euphemistically referring to his climate plan to tax and regulate greenhouse gases. Every President since Nixon has declared "energy independence," as Mr. Obama noted. But this time, he says, things will change.

    They won't. And not because of "the old politics," or whatever. Currently, alternative sources -- wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal -- provide less than 7% of yearly domestic consumption. Throw out hydro and geothermal, and it's only 4%. For the foreseeable future, renewables simply cannot provide the scale and volume of energy needed to meet growing U.S. demand, which is expected to increase by 20% over the next two decades. Even with colossal taxpayer subsidies, renewables probably can't even slow the rate of growth of carbon-based fuel consumption, much less replace it.

    Take wind power, which has grown rapidly though still only provides about two-thirds of 1% of all U.S. electricity. The Energy Department optimistically calculates that ramping up merely to 20% by 2030 would require more than $2 trillion and turbines across the Midwest "wind corridor," plus multiple offshore installations. And we'll need a new "transmission superhighway system" of more than 12,000 miles of electric lines to connect the wind system to population centers. A mere $150 billion won't cut it. Mr. Obama also didn't mention that this wind power will be more expensive than traditional sources like coal.

    Wind, too, is intermittent: It isn't always blowing and can't be accessed on demand when people need electricity. Since there's no cost-effective way to store large amounts of electricity, wind requires "spinning reserve," or nonalternative baseload power to avoid blackouts. That baseload power is now provided largely by coal, nuclear and natural gas, and wind can't displace much. The same problem afflicts solar energy -- now one-hundredth of 1% of net U.S. electric generation. One of the top uses of solar panels is to heat residential swimming pools.

    Mr. Obama also says he wants to mandate that all new cars and trucks are "flexible fuel" vehicles, meaning that they can run on higher concentrations of corn ethanol mixed with gasoline, or second-generation biofuels if those ever come onto the market. Like wind and solar, this would present major land use problems: According to credible estimates, land areas larger than the size of Texas would need to be planted with fuel feedstocks to displace just half the oil America imports every day. Meanwhile, the economic distortions caused by corn ethanol -- such as higher food prices -- have been bad enough.

    And yet there's more miracle work to do. Mr. Obama promises to put at least one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. That's fine if consumers want to buy them. But even if technical battery problems are overcome, this would only lead to "fuel switching" -- if cars don't use gasoline, the energy still has to come from somewhere. And the cap-and-trade program also favored by Mr. Obama would effectively bar new coal plants, while new nuclear plants are only now being planned after a 30-year hiatus thanks to punishing regulations and lawsuits.

    Problems like these are the reality of "alternative" energy, and they explain why every "energy independence" plan has faltered since the 1970s. But just because Mr. Obama's plan is wildly unrealistic doesn't mean that a program of vast new taxes, subsidies and mandates wouldn't be destructive. The U.S. has a great deal invested in fossil fuels not because of a political conspiracy or because anyone worships carbon but because other sources of energy are, right now, inferior.

    Consumption isn't rising because of wastefulness. The U.S. produces more than twice as much GDP today per unit of energy as it did in the 1950s, yet energy use has risen threefold. That's because energy use is tethered to growth, and the economy continues to innovate and expand. Mr. Obama seems to have other ideas.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1217...w_and_outlooks

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    Stop reading that shitty op-ed page. Please. It will make you increasingly stupid. Seriously. It's the worst of the worst.

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    Just inflate your tires and shut up.
    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - -- Aristotle

    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.
    - -- The Buddha

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    the op ed is not taking into account the fact that we have infrastructure already inplace to massivly convert over to some of the alt energy's like solars and wind. Take solar my favorit alt energy as an example. To make solar wafer thin film its done is a very similar way that computer chips were made. Companies like AMAT with little conversion cost have been able to stop-loss the massive layoffs from the burst of the dot coms and build a budding solar sector. Solar will reduce in price by 75% within 4 years.. if u do the math that is getting it very close to being cost competitive.

    For wind I have herd that old rail companies are setting up shop up near michigan where factory type workers are plentiful and building already in place.

    Solar - 2009-
    Wind - 2010
    Fuelcells - 2011
    bluepower - 2015

    believe me its gonna happen and far faster then the Green Hornet is thinking.
    Q: Senator Obama, would you take the same pledge? No tax increases on people under $250,000?

    OBAMA: I not only have pledged not to raise their taxes, I've been the first candidate in this race to specifically say I would cut their taxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chapdog View Post
    the op ed is not taking into account the fact that we have infrastructure already inplace to massivly convert over to some of the alt energy's like solars and wind. Take solar my favorit alt energy as an example. To make solar wafer thin film its done is a very similar way that computer chips were made. Companies like AMAT with little conversion cost have been able to stop-loss the massive layoffs from the burst of the dot coms and build a budding solar sector. Solar will reduce in price by 75% within 4 years.. if u do the math that is getting it very close to being cost competitive.

    For wind I have herd that old rail companies are setting up shop up near michigan where factory type workers are plentiful and building already in place.

    Solar - 2009-
    Wind - 2010
    Fuelcells - 2011
    bluepower - 2015

    believe me its gonna happen and far faster then the Green Hornet is thinking.
    how much of these alt sources of energy are going to legitimately replace oil within the next ten years?

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    they won't even be 5% of our use in 5 yrs
    Chap keep reading
    The stone that the builder refused
    Will always be the head corner stone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topspin View Post
    they won't even be 5% of our use in 5 yrs
    Chap keep reading
    All added together they won't be 5%, and if we invested trillions they could be almost 20% sometime in the future. This is also clearly not the answer. But heck, we don't need to stinking bridge, we'll walk across the raging river on "hope", that will be enough to sustain us. And if we plug in our cars we can pretend that we don't know that coal and natural gas are carbon based fuel sources. It's just magic that brings the electricity to your house.
    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - -- Aristotle

    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.
    - -- The Buddha

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    The ol' "can do" American spririt on display, once again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceler View Post
    The ol' "can do" American spririt on display, once again...
    Right, displayed in the power of "no".

    No drilling, no nuclear, just make sure we have electric cars and inflate our tires. Make a new grid that will be more efficient but do nothing about the fact that our demand increases faster than such efficiencies would be able to even get close to covering. Just throw out the stuff you find unpopular and then say it is somebody else's fault that they are not "can do" enough if they point out the flaws in your plan, that it just isn't enough to get us there.
    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - -- Aristotle

    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.
    - -- The Buddha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
    All added together they won't be 5%, and if we invested trillions they could be almost 20% sometime in the future. This is also clearly not the answer. But heck, we don't need to stinking bridge, we'll walk across the raging river on "hope", that will be enough to sustain us. And if we plug in our cars we can pretend that we don't know that coal and natural gas are carbon based fuel sources. It's just magic that brings the electricity to your house.
    Obama could sow up a landslide by just equaling Mcfossil on drilling.
    Tout it as millions of american jobs NOW, AND GUESS HOW MUCH THEY PAY.
    It absolutely doesn't have to be eith or. DO the 15B in alt, kill the oil subsidies. Kill foreign oil, just don't throw out the goose that laid the golden egg with the bath water.
    The stone that the builder refused
    Will always be the head corner stone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topspin View Post
    Obama could sow up a landslide by just equaling Mcfossil on drilling.
    Tout it as millions of american jobs NOW, AND GUESS HOW MUCH THEY PAY.
    It absolutely doesn't have to be eith or. DO the 15B in alt, kill the oil subsidies. Kill foreign oil, just don't throw out the goose that laid the golden egg with the bath water.
    I agree, if he also equaled him on Nuclear Power generation and open-sourced the vehicles using the freed-up nat gas we could fuel our cars for some time without sucking on the oil teat. And as I stated before, both plans IMO realize that such "compromise" will be made with their plan before it is ever implemented. They just start at a position that they believe will gain them votes from their constituencies, but I believe both were written with that compromise in mind.
    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - -- Aristotle

    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.
    - -- The Buddha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
    I agree. And as I stated before, both plans IMO realize that such "compromise" will be made with their plan before it is ever implemented. They just start at a position that they believe will gain them votes from their constituencies.
    I'm asking from a reality perspective. Not who is proposing a better plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
    Right, displayed in the power of "no".

    No drilling, no nuclear, just make sure we have electric cars and inflate our tires. Make a new grid that will be more efficient but do nothing about the fact that our demand increases faster than such efficiencies would be able to even get close to covering. Just throw out the stuff you find unpopular and then say it is somebody else's fault that they are not "can do" enough if they point out the flaws in your plan, that it just isn't enough to get us there.
    He hasn't taken additional drilling off the table, though I think most would agree it's kind of a band aid, anyway.

    We have no idea what's going to happen with renewables in the next decade as far as technology goes. I have read that with solar, the advancement with regard to harnessing & distribution is acclerating much faster than anyone expected. It's absurd to say that we could pour trillions into alts and still be oil dependent well into the future.

    People laughed at Kennedy when he talked about putting a man on the moon, too. We're a nation that has some pretty smart people, and we actually have been able to accomplish lofty goals when we set our mind to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceler View Post
    He hasn't taken additional drilling off the table, though I think most would agree it's kind of a band aid, anyway.

    We have no idea what's going to happen with renewables in the next decade as far as technology goes. I have read that with solar, the advancement with regard to harnessing & distribution is acclerating much faster than anyone expected. It's absurd to say that we could pour trillions into it and still be oil dependent well into the future.
    Seriously Oncelor do you invest?
    Band aid, 70% is imported we could knock that out decades before we could replace it with alternatives.
    It's easy to make these brash comments when your putting ZERO $ into the solution.
    The stone that the builder refused
    Will always be the head corner stone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceler View Post
    He hasn't taken additional drilling off the table, though I think most would agree it's kind of a band aid, anyway.

    We have no idea what's going to happen with renewables in the next decade as far as technology goes. I have read that with solar, the advancement with regard to harnessing & distribution is acclerating much faster than anyone expected. It's absurd to say that we could pour trillions into alts and still be oil dependent well into the future.

    People laughed at Kennedy when he talked about putting a man on the moon, too. We're a nation that has some pretty smart people, and we actually have been able to accomplish lofty goals when we set our mind to it.
    I don't laugh at him for this and think we can do some amazing things, I just think that there is a problem now that cannot be dealt with by wishes and anemic "drilling".

    If we want to get of the oil teat we must use interim sources that can actually replace oil.

    If much of what he is going to do is subsidize other fuel sources (definitely written in as part of that 150 billion over 10 years) then I seriously think his plan is lacking and it ignores the reality that we have enough natural gas in this nation to run our cars and power for a century if needed. Instead we use it to power our homes, refuse to look at a real available viable alternative, and suck on that teat some more.
    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - -- Aristotle

    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.
    - -- The Buddha

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