Large-scale solar and wind power is far too inefficient

The 300 pound gorilla in the alternative energy room that is ignored is fission nuclear plants. A single nuclear reactor can turn many steam turbines and generators that can create massive amounts of green energy for pennies Combine that with breeder reactor technology, nuclear power can contribute greatly to our national energy grid.

 

Additionally, why are we not building more geothermal plants. along with artificial hydro power lakes and generators wherever we have a sufficient gradient to put the turbines? These are well-established engineering fields that are far more efficient that building bird killing windmills and highly-inefficient solar farms? Solar generation works in small-scale to supplement the grid for a house, but large-scale it simply is far too inefficient with our current level of technology.

Comments

Unrepentant Added Feb 12, 2019 - 11:57am
France is the nuclear power success story, as they use a more-or-less standard design, and their people simply aren't against it like elsewhere. They also are good at recycling the spent fuel. Nuclear power in the U.S. has been a disaster, and not because of Three Mile Island.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 12:29pm
Solar and wind power is becoming cheap and efficient.
The problem with fission is pollution, waste disposal and terrible accidents. Japan has stopped all fission because it is far too dangerous.
Leroy Added Feb 12, 2019 - 12:46pm
Amen.  I've been hammering that point for some time.
 
Wind and especially solar can never serve as a replacement, regardless of how cheap it is to manufacture the components.  It doesn't matter if they are free.
 
As I have also pointed out, if we don't embrace nuclear, we will continue to operate these older designs and we will have a disaster.  If we embrace nuclear, safer designs will be implemented in the future.  Who knows; maybe we achieve the holy grail of fusion.  We won't get there unless we try.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 1:16pm
Now fusion would be great. But we seem a long way off.
The result is that between July and September, the capacity of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reached 41.9 gigawatts, exceeding the 41.2GW capacity of coal, gas and oil-fired power plants.

Imperial College London, which compiled the figures, said the rate at which renewables had been built in the past few years was greater than the “dash for gas” in the 1990s.
Efficient, cheap and currently producing 30% of the UK's energy needs.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 1:17pm
Sorry the graph does not appear to have come out.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 12, 2019 - 1:29pm
 We should research; develop; and improve all energy sources, including renewables, while nuclear fusion ought to replace fission, because it would be more powerful and less wasteful than fission.
Jim Stoner Added Feb 12, 2019 - 1:45pm
I agree with Dino!
Unrepentant Added Feb 12, 2019 - 1:48pm
There's already SO MUCH NUCLEAR WASTE anyway, it really doesn't matter any more. Go nukes, I say...it will become a totally absurd situation where everyone is doing it but us. The world is pretty much wrecked anyway, so what's a little more radiation?
Eric Reports Added Feb 12, 2019 - 2:09pm
The future?  Tesla energy.  Don't agree with ruining the Earth with more nuclear poison.  It can always be made worse.  Who wants to live underground?
Bill H. Added Feb 12, 2019 - 2:35pm
 
Hydroelectric is a good alternative in many areas, but it has been responsible for decimating Salmon runs up and down the west coast.
 
The Owl Added Feb 12, 2019 - 2:41pm
Opher...Take hydropower out of your calculations, and wind and solar become not-so-significant to the renewable's graph. 
 
Hydropower is a huge contributor to the electricity grid in areas that have chosen that route.  New York City and large parts of New England are reliant on power generated along the St. Lawrence River, for example.  The Tennessee Vally Authority provides power to seven states in the mid-South of the US. The Colorado River runs virtually dry at its delta because of the heavy use of water for powering LA and other parts of Southern California before it is siphoned off to provide the area with the water it needs to survive.
 
Indeed, there is a problem with the waste products.  But that problem has been heavily influenced by the opposition of key political figures to achieving a solution.  Former US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid almost single-handedly stopped the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Depository project for strictly "not-in-my-back-yard" reasons.
 
The nuclear generation industry in the US is plagued with massive over-regulation in the permitting phase and inevitably forced to spend tens of millions of dollars in legal fees for each plant to ward off what are essentially nuisance lawsuits at every step of the process.  Over-kill also gets involved woven into the design of plants that drive up costs by the billions.
 
We might not have the problem with nuclear waste if all the monies spent on getting the permission to build plants were re-directed into R&D and engineering development of actual solutions.
 
But since nuclear power interferes with gnomes scouring the countryside with their spyglasses in hand, we'll just that to throw that very available source of energy that powers curious gnomes lap-top and cell phone out and cover the land with 400-foot tall windmills and hundreds of thousands of acres filled with solar panels...which then kill off all of the greenery that gnomes will inspect that would be growing in their place.
 
What I find odd is that more research hasn't been done on tidal power, a source that is available on the shores of every nation that borders on an ocean or bay or that has rivers that flow into the sea.
 
Just a few miles away from me, there is a platform, installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for the hot-testing of tidal turbines.  I haven't heard what progress is being made, but there is at least one turbine that is currently undergoing evaluation.  I am also aware that a similar test facility exists in the East River, ironically just upstream of the United Nations Building in NYC.  I believe there are also projects in France and Canada that are looking into this.
 
I would think, Opher, that the English Channel might be the right place for you in the U.K. to look for renewable energy production rather than trying to carpet the world in whirlygigs and flat panels.
 
p.s.  Here's are some questions for your scientific mind to address...Just how much heat is created by a solar panel in full sunlight at your latitude, how much of that heat is radiated into the surrounding ground, and how does that heat affect the air surrounding them?
 
 
 
 
 
FacePalm Added Feb 12, 2019 - 2:50pm
As to spent nuke fuel, i read an interesting solution: use toroidal-wound cores and bursts of electrical power to launch it into the sun.  The article i read even posted figures for how much it'd cost to build it...across a valley floor and up a mountainside, waiting on the proper time to launch.  The sun is a continuous nuke explosion, anyhow - and since the relative size of the earth and sun are SO great, a million containers launched into it won't have the effect a flea has on an elephant.
 
But yeah, i've been a proponent of getting rid of breeder reactors for quite some time; the thorium/molten salt reactors are FAR safer, and produce just as much electric power.  One big earthquake - say, 9.0 or greater - on the East Coast, and it'll be uninhabitable by anything but cancer victims for a few thousand years, at best.
 
Any credible engineer has already proven that there's nowhere NEAR enough space available for the solar and wind needed to run even the SUBWAY systems in NY, much less the rest of the city.
 
Occasionally Cortex is a BEM whose "green new deal" will destroy America, but i'm glad she's daily improving on her D'oh! skilz.
TexasLynn Added Feb 12, 2019 - 3:03pm
Good post, though it's sad that we must constantly point out the obvious.  Wind, solar, and biomass are nowhere near efficient or cost effective to make a significant difference any time soon (as in decades).  The left throws hydro in the mix to pad their green statistics, but we all know the left would also throw massive hissy-fits if we ever considered damming up enough waterways needed to replace fossil fuels (and rightfully so).
 
As usual, Leroy is ahead of the curve.  Nuclear is the only way we would replace fossil fuel generation of electricity and again... the left doesn't really consider nuclear to be "green".  And given the waste issue, I would agree.  This doesn't mean I'm against nuclear, just proper and meaningful labels and understanding.  Nuclear could be done efficiently and safely if we embraced it as Leroy states... I don't see that happening though.
 
So... hydro and nuclear are effectively taken out of the equation unless there is a massive change in public opinion (particularly on the left).
 
Dino is right in that we should be open to ALL forms of energy in terms of development, research, and efficiency.  That does not mean that government should be picking the winners and losers (as it has over the last few decades).  The abuse and theft by green companies has been rampant, by promising something that is not physically possible.
 
With that in mind... no more subsidies.  When various sources (like wind and solar) are viable, the private sector will push them all on their own.  If they are as efficient as some claim (and they’re not), it won’t be a problem.
 
Fusion (and better yet... cold fusion) is indeed the holy grail of energy.  If it happens, everything changes; but it's not something to be counted on.
Whiskey River Added Feb 12, 2019 - 4:08pm
The Palo Verde Generating Plant west of Phoenix has been providing clean energy to 4 million families every year for about 30 years with no problems. And it is a nuclear plant. It is the largest electric generating plant in the country. It does not sit near a large body of water, pipelines deliver treated sewage water to the plant from all the local communities including Phoenix for cooling. It sits on 4,000 acres, most of it bare land fenced off for security purposes. 
 
The worlds largest solar plant, Desert Sunlight in California, also covers about 4000 acres. Almost completely. It provides electricity to about 160,000 homes. It opened in 2015 and is the latest in high technology. It would take a solar plant 5 times larger to provide the same amount of electricity to homes as the Palo Verde plant. In other words Desert Sunlight would have to cover over 20,000 acres, that's over 30 square miles covered with solar panels to produce the same amount of electricity as a nuclear plant that covers less than 5 square miles. Most of it empty land. 
 
Do you eco freaks really want to disturb that much of your precious eco system just for electric lights and power to charge your little cars? 
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:12pm
Owl - hydro is an insignificant contribution to our renewable sources in the UK. We use mainly offshore wind and solar. It contributes 30% and growing rapidly.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:15pm
Ward - I think you've been reading too much Sci-fi. They will never risk flinging nuclear waste out of the gravity pull of earth. Despite the cost it is simply far too risky.
Nuclear is too risky altogether - unless they finally crack fusion. 
The future is solar, wind and hydro - good clean, cheap, renewable energy. What is not to like?
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:20pm
Owl - I think tidal is likely to be a good source of energy. I was in favour of the tidal barrier schemes on the Severn and Swansea.
Logical Man Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:23pm
If as much time, effort and money had been put into renewables rather than fossil fuels it would be vastly more efficient than it is right now.
The history of oil pretty much started with oil fired battleship boilers in 1913. It's an interesting story.
Renewable energy sources are much more evenly distributed than fossil fuels and harder to concentrate into the hands of a few.
Put those two together and you can see why investment in alternatives to fossil is so small.
Follow the money!
The Owl Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:24pm
So, what happened to them?
 
That's the problem...The real solutions are sitting there waiting to shoulder a much bigger burden in the generation process WITHOUT taking up hundreds of thousands of acres of nothing but eye pollution...
 
And as for wind power...We've had seven or eight in my neck of the woods...a good place for reliable winds...all of which the taxpayer has ended up having to pay to remove when they were abandoned for not being profitable.
 
Eyesores are pollution, too.  And when they decay, their owners just go bankrupt or just close the doors.
 
Leroy Added Feb 12, 2019 - 6:25pm
"The worlds largest solar plant, Desert Sunlight in California, also covers about 4000 acres. Almost completely. It provides electricity to about 160,000 homes."
 
Whiskey, even at that, the solar facility is producing at 25% of its rated capacity.  When the weather is good and the sun is shining, it is likely producing more power than the grid can handle.  When it happens in Germany, it pays other European companies to take the excess power.  At night, zero.  I'm guessing fossil fuel power generation kicks in.  So, we don't get rid of the fossil fuels.  It's not practical to shut them down or throttle them back when the sun is shining.  It makes them inefficient.  When people quote how well alternative energy is doing, they neglect to fill in the negatives.  Sure, at a given hour on a given day on a given month on a given year, the UK might have supplied most of the country with alternative power, but it is far from the norm.  At when it happened, the fossil fuel plants were still running.
Cullen Kehoe Added Feb 12, 2019 - 7:10pm
It costs billions of dollars and nearly a century to decommission a single nuclear power plant. Sounds like a significant debt you're committing future generations to. 
 
https://www.powermag.com/oldest-u-s-nuclear-plant-shuts-down/
Cullen Kehoe Added Feb 12, 2019 - 7:12pm
Granted Scotland is small and windy, but they are able to generate their entire country's energy needs with wind power alone. 
 
They have traditional power plants that they keep humming just in case (my understanding) they have a number of calm days in a row. 
The Owl Added Feb 12, 2019 - 7:38pm
We have a power plant in our town, the largest payer of taxes, that is on standby, and has been for more than a decade.
 
It was converted to gas about the same time, but it just sits there and spins waiting to be called on.
 
Ironically...Last winter during a storm, with the electric grid experiencing problems, they couldn't even get that plant to cover our needs because of the way that the high-voltage distribution lines are set up.
 
Brilliant!  Absolutely BRILLIANT!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 12, 2019 - 7:44pm
Far too inefficient at transferring tens of billions of dollars to the coffers of the nuclear power industry.
 
There, fixed it. 
Will Meek Added Feb 12, 2019 - 8:49pm
To all deniers, 
 
Wind and solar made up 7% of US generation last year. We can easily do 10x as much.
 
Where does that ridiculous claim that wind and solar are too inefficient come from? By what metric?
 
The reality is the renewable energy revolution will be largely complete by 2035 because FOSSIL is too inefficient. 
 
Sorry guys but no matter how much you deny, wind and solar are winning, both environmental and economic arguments. 
Leroy Added Feb 12, 2019 - 9:11pm
"The reality is the renewable energy revolution will be largely complete by 2035 because FOSSIL is too inefficient."
 
LOL.  Thanks for the laugh.  Made my day.  The year 2035 is not that far away.  Let's discuss again around that time.  Isn't that when all the Himalayan glaciers are to disappear?  The likelihood is about the same for both: ~zero.  The funny thing is that they just keep discovering more and more of the stuff.  It's like someone is sending us a message.  Burn baby burn.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 12, 2019 - 9:25pm
I'm all in favor of nuclear power if we can keep all the waste at Leroy's, (h)owl's and Whiskey Liver's houses.  Right in their living rooms.  You rightists keep wanting anything but wind or solar, but are unwilling to think things like nuclear through.  In the late 70s, Wahington Public Power wanted a bunch of nuclear plants.  They sold bonds, but the public decided "No."  It was decades before the proponent bonds were straightened out.  One of the objections was based on waste from the plants.  At the time we had a governor, Dixie Lee Deathray, that wanted a nuclear power plant in every back yard and a chicken in every pot.  Nope.  Solar and wind are viable options, despite Koch brother/Haliburton rightists talking point like those seen here.  I keep forgetting, if they admit ther's a need for solar or wind, they're admitting climate change is real.  We can't have that now, can we?
Will Meek Added Feb 12, 2019 - 9:27pm
Leroy,
 
Just a public service announcement to try to reconnect conservatives with America and reality. 
Leroy Added Feb 12, 2019 - 10:46pm
Thanks for the humor, Will.
ChetDude Added Feb 12, 2019 - 11:46pm
I remember as a kid in the 50s running the projector in my 6th grade class as we rolled a movie featuring Reddy Kilowatt touting the miracle of "Nuclear Power", too cheap to meter.  Ask PG&E how well that shyte worked out, 'K?
 
(Another film I remember was about "Asbestos, the wonder mineral!" -- beware "unintended" consequences in a country dedicated to profit uber alles)...
 
Since USAmerica is an Oligarchy where profits rule above all else, if Nuclear power were really a viable, efficient and PROFITABLE means of generating power, the landscape would be riddled with nuke power plants.
 
That we aren't is the strongest argument possible against the economic viability or rationality of relying on nuclear power.
 
As for France, "France to close 14 nuclear reactors by 2035"
France relies on nuclear power for nearly 72 percent of its electricity needs, though the government wants to reduce this to 50 percent by 2030 or 2035 by developing more renewable energy sources.

EDF has been building the first EPR reactor at Flamanville along the Atlantic coast of northwest France—originally set to go online in 2012—but the project has been plagued by technical problems and budget overruns.
----------------------------
Another important point: Closing down the nukes is a must (no, not just for safety/health and inability-to-store-the-waste reasons).  Nuclear power plants require water. Their steam turbines require cold water taken from rivers and produce hot water which is fed back into rivers.

The hotter the climate gets the less efficient the steam cycle is (i.e. for the same amount of energy output from the nuclear fuel less power is being generated...which in turn means power gets more expensive over time). The warm water that is fed back into the rivers also kills the life in there.

If you've ever lived in a country where there are dead rivers you know: that's something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy
 
 
ChetDude Added Feb 12, 2019 - 11:52pm
'Study shows how the US could achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050'
 
'A team of researchers led by Stanford University's professor Mark Z. Jacobson has produced an ambitious roadmap for converting the energy infrastructure of the US to run entirely on renewable energy in just 35 years. The study focuses on the wide-scale implementation of existing technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal solutions, claiming that the transition is both economically and technically possible within the given timeframe.'
----------------------
All that's required is the political will of a critical mass to overcome the fossil fools...
Will Meek Added Feb 13, 2019 - 5:26am
Leroy,
 
The thing is, thanks to lots of development, renewable energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for new generation. By 2025, wind or solar with storage will be cheaper than the marginal cost of fossil fuels. 
A rapid changeover cannot be stopped without direct legislation to block renewable energy AND massive government bailouts.
 
The renewable energy and EV part of the Green New Deal will happen anyway and SAVE Americans money. We just need to stay out of the way.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2019 - 6:48am
Owl - the tidal barriers were expensive to set up. The government is struggling with the economic downturn from Brexit and wouldn't fund them.
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2019 - 8:35am
"A rapid changeover cannot be stopped without direct legislation to block renewable energy AND massive government bailouts.
 
The renewable energy and EV part of the Green New Deal will happen anyway and SAVE Americans money. We just need to stay out of the way."
 
That's good.  And I fully support it as long as they don't reach for my wallet.  If it happens, kudos.  I don't think it will happen without the government reaching for my wallet.  There are way too many issues that haven't been resolved yet.  Once we know the total cost, I have confidence that it will be proven to be a bad deal.  I would be happy to be proved wrong.
TexasLynn Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:09am
Leroy >> That's good.  And I fully support it as long as they don't reach for my wallet.  If it happens, kudos. 
 
Exactly.  I'm rooting for this pie in the sky stuff.  Fusion?  Green Energy?  I hope I'm wrong. 
 
What I don't want to do is throw good money after bad.  If this stuff was everything the left claims and believes with all their hearts; they would be fine with cutting the subsidies to zero.
 
They're not.  Why?  Why not if it's all inevitable anyway because of how great it is?
 
The only answer I can come up with is that they know.  They know it's all bullshit.
 
For many (especially politicians) green is just a Trojan horse for socialism... (see green new deal).
Will Meek Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:30am
Texas Lynn,
 
Have you looked at ERCOT lately? Even they have admitted that competition from wind has driven down energy prices in their jurisdiction. 
 
The market will drive the renewable energy transition, not the government. That is what I mean when I say that part of the GND will happen anyway.
 
The infrastructure parts are also good ideas. National high speed rail would help tourism across the country. I would add a national high voltage grid to better connect the regional grids and improve overall grid reliability. 
 
The Green New Deal in nonbinding. That means the specific things in it are just suggestions. All it really does is acknowledge that there are problems that need to be addressed but makes no requirements on how to address them. 
 
Republicans CAN be for it and against the socialist ideas in it. They just need to propose their own solutions to the problems outlined.
 
Honestly, if the Republican party came out with its own legislation acknowledging climate change and proposing market solutions that are already available, they would probably take 2020 in a landslide. 
TexasLynn Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:52am
Will... thanks for the reply.  And I'm with Leroy... I hope you're right about all this Green Energy stuff.  As a Christian, I understand faith.
 
If what you say is true... all this goes away no matter what.  Green energy will replace fossil fuels (because of market fores).  This will solve the "climate change" issue.  It will be like a secular messiah.  a dues ex machina event never seen before in history.
 
But all that aside... if you really want to convince me you believe what you say, I require just one thing.  Act on your faith.  Put your money (and not mine) behind it.
 
No more green energy subsides.  No more Solyndras.  You and Opher and everybody tout how efficient and superior the green technology is now.... how inevitable it is via the market... 
 
If all that is true, it will succeed without the subsidies.... YET you are loath to let them go.  So, given that, please pardon skepticism of your faith in what you say.
 
A the apostle James said (paraphrased)... "You say you have faith?  That good.  Show me that faith by your actions, not your words."
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 10:01am
China's OBOR (One Belt One Road) is doing all of that. From Nuclear power plants, hydroelectricity, Thermal plants to solar panel fields and wind turbines. 
China's investment in Pakistan to extend the One Belt One Road through Pakistan includes all of the above and the world's largest solar panel field, to one of the world's largest deepwater port (Gwadar)
This pattern will be repeated in Iran and Turkey bringing the OBOR to Europe.
Steel Breeze Added Feb 13, 2019 - 10:09am
i'm all for any new innovations on energy,just dont use my money......how bout we cover the the desert areas with panels and see how that works.......unless sand is an 'endangered species' now too.....
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 10:58am
Ooops
The one China built in Pakistan covers 200 hectares with 400 thousand panels-claimed to be the world's largest
Bill H. Added Feb 13, 2019 - 11:00am
As we see in some of the above posts, Republicans shudder when they hear words like "Green", "Alternative Energy", and "Prius".
Many years ago, I could never understand why a political party got the idea to stand against anything that might help conserve our planet and save consumers money. It then became obvious that their most powerful lobbyists and contributors were the energy companies, who's only priority was to continue and increase their profits with no intention to get on-board with new energy technologies, just business as usual.
The party was then able to use their biased sources to convince their base that anyone who pushes alternative energy is a "Socialist, Communist, Democratic Liberal Progressive", and is obviously un-American at least.
Will Meek -  I believe you are correct in that "if the Republican party came out with its own legislation acknowledging climate change and proposing market solutions that are already available, they would probably take 2020 in a landslide", but they would need to abandon the Orange Buffoon, even if he suddenly labeled himself as a believer in climate change.
Will Meek Added Feb 13, 2019 - 12:36pm
TexasLynn,
This is where we will likely disagree. I see the socialized cost of global warming as a massive subsidy for the oil industry that we will be paying long after the fossil fuel industry is dead and the investers have taken the money and ran. 
 
I would be fine with getting rid of subsidies if we taxed carbon enough to repair the damage done from weather related events beyond historical averages. 
 
Trump issued a study on the impacts, I would even be willing to use his absurdly low number of $3/ton to cover the social costs from global warming. Though independent studies put the social cost over $40/ton.
 
Do that and I would be willing to give up renewable energy subsidies.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2019 - 12:48pm
Steel - I think your money is being used all the time by the oil industry. Every time you fill up, use electricity or suffering an illness caused by their pollution, or paying a premium on healthcare...…. You've been subsidising the Oil industry all your life - big time. Now the propaganda they put out is convincing you there isn't a better way.
The truth is that there is a better and cheaper way.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2019 - 12:49pm
Bill - I am amazed at the effectiveness of propaganda.
The Owl Added Feb 13, 2019 - 12:58pm
Ohper...wave action or tidal action power is no more difficult to set up than an off-shore wind farm.
 
I believe that the limitations are far more of durability and sediment/marine growth issues than getting the power from the source to the shore.
 
I think the French used versions of the groaner sea bouys to convert the up-down motion of the floating bodies to geared generator but it failed due to the inability to scale the project.  The Candians, I think, used a structure much like a bicycle chain with the links being floating containers with connectors being essentially hydraulic pistons.  The problem with this one was that they underestimated the amount of force that could be applied and the piston shafts had the habit of breaking.
 
Of course, these were demonstration projects, and engineering development models are well known to be the places where the real engineering challenges lie.
 
I'd like to see us go back to my suggestion of a NASA like agency to be the catalyst for new generations of engineering solutions to this sort of major project...
 
Having seen what our nation's research labs are capable of doing and recognizing the real success that NASA has had with a budget far below what should have been spent, this type of focused, results-oriented approach makes a lot more sense.  We could even enlist the financial support of the various energy industries to make this sort of thing actually receive the funding that can make a difference.
 
We need to be fully aware that such projects have a genetic inablity to spend money with any degree of speed.  ED doesn't work that way...But the money available should match the needs for the immediate future and be available when they are actually required.
 
(Note:  In many government projects, it is this dynamic that accounts for a great number of "over-run" projects when it is coupled with restrictions on the "type" of money being authorized.  Overruns are really not "overruns". But that is a subject for another  for another posting.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 2:04pm
Texaslynn
If all that is true, it will succeed without the subsidies.... YET you are loath to let them go. 
You must be aware the global oil prices are controlled. No matter how much oil we discover the price of gas does not significantly drop. 
 
If global crude drops too many rigs close down because it is too costly to pump oil. 
 
As for subsidies, our agricultural segment is heavily subsidized. In a free global market, our farmers should be able to compete with farmers in China, India and the developing world so that we the consumer gets the best price. Does not work that way
TexasLynn Added Feb 13, 2019 - 2:06pm
Mr. Meek >> This is where we will likely disagree.
You're right... we disagree.
 
Like it or not... fossil fuels have simply fueled civilization and human progress to date... and will for the foreseeable future.  Unless your faith in green energy is found to be true... in which case fossil fuels are doomed.
 
If it's not (as I believe) we'll have many more Solyndra type multi billion dollar thefts as well as a lot of other tax dollars poured down the green black hole.
 
It's not that I'm against green energy; it's that I'm against theft, fraud, and waste (of tax payer dollars).
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 13, 2019 - 5:52pm
Welcome to WB Megan, we always need another voice to argue the sceptic case for reliable energy sources that will still power the grid even on days there is no wind, or times the sun does not shine. It's actually more complex that that, there is a quite narrow range of wind speeds within which wind turbines can generate efficiently while solar panels don't work well until the sun is about sixty degrees elevation, or at the other end of the day when it drops below that.
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 13, 2019 - 5:56pm
BTW do I know your face from TV or something?
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2019 - 6:15pm
Ian - amazing that we're hitting 30% then and growing at a very steep rate.
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2019 - 6:47pm
"What I find odd is that more research hasn't been done on tidal power, a source that is available on the shores of every nation that borders on an ocean or bay or that has rivers that flow into the sea."
 
I've visited the only operating tidal generation station in North America.  I was underwhelmed.  They're expensive to build since seawater is corrosive.  I imagine that they are not easy to maintain.  It causes erosion of the riverbanks and traps a humpback every now and then and chop up other sea creatures.  It's amazing to watch the tides come and go.  When the tide goes, the boats in the harbor keel over.  I never took a raft on a tidal bore, but it looked like it would be interesting.
Will Meek Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:20pm
TexasLynn,
 
Fossil fuels had been a boon until recently, which is why I do not advocate seeking reparations except maybe jail time if it can be proven that direct action was made to cover up the consequences of climate change. Willful negligence so something.
 
But I do think that the renewable energy can stand on its own, and EVs as well in another two or three years. 
 
I want to modify my earlier position.
Most of the renewable subsidies are set to expire by 2022. I do not object to allowing them to sunset. But axing them would create too many market disruptions.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:28pm
Some Old Technology is great.
ZEPPELINS- were the luxury way of flying. They had sleeping booths, restaurant, and passenger sitting. They are quite, use little gas and even in a crash would glide down. Instead of Hydrogen which Germany was forced to use in the Hindenburg, Helium would do the job.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:31pm
Using rivers for transport. 
America has a lot of mighty and long rivers, yet they are mainly used to transport goods, not passengers. Water transport cuts down on gas because the river moves the ship. 
Also bring back Trains in a big way.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 13, 2019 - 9:33pm
There aren't enough Passenger Liners. (not cruise liners)  for regular folk to take ocean-going trips and bypass jets.
TexasLynn Added Feb 13, 2019 - 10:17pm
Will Meek >> I want to modify my earlier position.  Most of the renewable subsidies are set to expire by 2022.
 
Well, that's better than most on your side of the aisle.  On behalf of conservatives... I accept your compromise.
Bill H. Added Feb 14, 2019 - 12:43am
 
Megan Draper is a character in the series Mad Men played by Jessica Paré, a total fox for sure!
If that's you Megan, let's see some responses!
We get way too many hit and runs out here.
Unrepentant Added Feb 14, 2019 - 2:50am
I thought the OP looked kinda familiar, I think I saw her being DP'd by two black gentlemen while sucking off a Rottweiler, lol.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 14, 2019 - 7:43am
One way around the problem of Solar energy at night is satellites. A satellite can reflect sunlight to a spot on earth, during the night, They can light up cities to powering solar plants. 
Will Meek Added Feb 14, 2019 - 8:48am
Micheal B Bagala,
 
The official proposal for that was to transmit the energy from the satellites to earth via microwave. This would avoid losses from clouds that block visable. 
 
But the ground stations would have to be gigantic in order to diffuse the power to a level that it wouldn't cook every bird that flew into it like a microwave oven.
Leroy Added Feb 14, 2019 - 9:17am
"Using rivers for transport. 
America has a lot of mighty and long rivers, yet they are mainly used to transport goods, not passengers. Water transport cuts down on gas because the river moves the ship."
 
How do the ships get back upstream?
Steel Breeze Added Feb 14, 2019 - 9:23am
lol...
TexasLynn Added Feb 14, 2019 - 10:25am
Leroy >> How do the ships get back upstream?
 
LMAO... whoa there Mr. Smartypants with all these unrelated questions.  You're going to make little heads explode.
 
Maybe they're built upstream and only make one trip down.  Ever thought of that!?  At the end of the trip they are burnt as a tribute to the Mother Earth bounty of free energy.
Leroy Added Feb 14, 2019 - 10:58am
"LMAO... whoa there Mr. Smartypants with all these unrelated questions.  You're going to make little heads explode."
 
Now, Lynn, that was a serious question.  I thought maybe there was a low-pressure ship hyperloop powered by wind turbines that produced excess power in the process.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 14, 2019 - 6:14pm
Thanks for reminding why "Meagan's" name sounded familiar., Bill H.  "Mad Men," and guess "she" figured the avatar pic would get a load of gushing comments from the terminally weakminded men here, or excuse her from critical comments, but "she" won't be back.  Another simple hit and runner.  Yawn.
Bill H. Added Feb 14, 2019 - 10:14pm
Yep, Jeff!
Most likely some Trumpie dude looking for a load of 'Likes"!
ChetDude Added Feb 14, 2019 - 10:42pm
The REAL 900 pound gorilla is that even with massive, ever increasing burning of fossil-fuels creating more levels of GHG in the atmosphere and more warming...
 
We reached Earth Overshoot Day on Aug 1 last year - 3 days earlier than the year before.
 
Even with the techno-fantacist's holy grail of 'safe nuclear fission', the Planet still cannot provide the resources, clean water and air or deal with the wastes produced by the existing human population on the Planet now.
ChetDude Added Feb 14, 2019 - 10:44pm
TexasLynn: How about no more YUGE subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and Wal-Marts/Amazons, etc?
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 15, 2019 - 7:58am
Leroy:
I don't know but there are a few articles pointing to the benefits of River Transport in America. Other nations around the world are beginning to develop this aspect:
"Economic & Environmental Impact of Waterway Travel
While it might not be obvious, waterway transportation is the most efficient mode of transportation for moving goods.  By being able to haul at a greater capacity, water transportation is an economically and environmentally sound choice.
The EPA estimates that one third of our nation’s annual CO2 emissions come from transport-related activity.  A recent study shows that transporting by truck would emit 371% more CO2 than if moved by barge.  With more companies trending towards shrinking their carbon footprint, the waterway transport industry has seen a rise in economic output.
Here are some facts on the waterway industry from the American Waterways Operators:

The tugboat, towboat and barge industry is the largest segment of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, employing more than 33,000 American mariners aboard its vessels.
The nation’s domestic maritime industry is an economic engine and a jobs creator which supports 500,000 jobs and provides $100 billion in economic output.
Moving goods on the water is the most efficient transportation mode. A typical inland barge has a capacity 15 times greater than one rail car and 60 times greater than one semi-trailer truck, and one 15 barge-tow can move the equivalent of 216 rail cars or 1,050 semi-trailer trucks.
Water transportation plays a critical role in facilitating the nation’s trade, moving 60 percent of U.S. grain for export.
The single largest commodity that moves on U.S. waterways is petroleum – 244 million tons annually.
Twenty percent of the nation’s coal is moved on the water.

Safety and the AWO
In addition to the economical impact, America’s Inland Waterways are also the safest for transportation of goods.  As members of the American Waterways Operators, we value the safety of our crews and vessels.
The AWO works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as other government agencies, to regulate the industry and promote safety and environmental conservation.
A Safety Statistic Comparison Study from 2001-2009 showed 1 fatality in the marine sector for every 18.1 in the rail sector and 132 in the highway sector"
Leroy Added Feb 15, 2019 - 9:03am
Michael, I don't dispute that river transport might be a very efficient means of transport.  You have a valid point of using the river to push the load downstream.  Of course, when going upstream, it must go in opposition to the river, but, assuming it is unloaded, it might not be that much.  I look at it like this.  If it were cost effective, companies would use it more.  We should look at why more companies don't choose to use it.  I have seen many container loading and unloading ports.  They are quite extensive and efficient.  I imagine that kind of scale is difficult to achieve on a river or multiple rivers.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 15, 2019 - 10:41am
Leroy
India has a comprehensive plan to link all of India's major rivers and create a network of transportation from the Ganges to the Cauvery River, From the Bhramaputra to the Indus, which would have saved billions in transportation, but for some reason, it was shelved. I believe lobbyists from other industries stopped it.
but China has similar plans of linking major rivers to create river transport in a big way in nations with major rivers.    The key is to link major rivers. Of course, that would result in species from one river entering another.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 15, 2019 - 10:47am
Also, artificial canals on the line of the Suez and Panama canal can be created for the same purpose of clean transportation, and an alternative to clogged highways and to transport fresh water to new regions. 
Transporting fresh water to water-deprived states like California has a long way to go.
Water-rich areas like the Gulf which receives on average 6 feet of water to the Mississippi are wasted. That can be transported both by pipes and canals to the West.
Canals built in important locations serve for transportation as well. 
Logical Man Added Feb 15, 2019 - 6:20pm
Solar and wind is far too inefficient to support the level of over consumption on the planet that's going on at the present but would be plenty good enough if everyone wasn't clamouring for more and more stuff, at the expense of the world's ecosystems.
 
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 15, 2019 - 8:26pm
logical Man
Some nations are promoting a mixed energy formula where no one particular source dominates. A nation that derives its energy from Nuclear, Hydroelectricity, coal, gas, oil, thermal, wind, solar, can shift from source to another depending on market costs. By doing that energy prices should remain stable and the nation secure of energy wars.
Logical Man Added Feb 15, 2019 - 9:01pm
MBB the rea costs are not financial.
Letting the 'markets' decide is not the best way to make decisions - likely one of the worst.