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Energy Strategy.
Old 09-21-2007, 04:08 AM   #1
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Energy Strategy.

Is this enough? 20 percent reduction in 10 years. I still do not understand why Reagan shutdown Carter's energy initiative. Some might argue about which programs might be best executed, but the overall goal and rational was as valid then as it is now.

It seems to me that we lost 30 years... We would probably be positioned differently today. Taking the focus off of it back then seems to have been a short-sighted move.

Energy for America's Future

There is also this.

Advanced Energy Initiative
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:37 AM   #2
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Did you ever wonder how we all got pi$$ed off when OPEC was setting prices and now we sit and watch the traders in the commodities markets bid up the price when a possible storm pops up in the ocean!
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
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...........Taking the focus off of it back then seems to have been a short-sighted move..........
Amen. Politics, internal and international, have gotten in the way.
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fixing the energy mess
Old 09-21-2007, 07:43 AM   #4
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fixing the energy mess

A good summary of what government is doing in the energy area Chinaco

“… change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. To change how we power our automobiles, we will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass.”

I was heartened by Walmart’s announcement this year that they were installing roof solar units to augment electrical energy needs on many of their stores. Other initiatives include selling 100 million CFLs this year and it introduced its own less expensive brand. They will also take the equivalent of 213,000 trucks off the road by leaning on its 60,000 suppliers to reduce wasteful packaging. Other large competitors are bound to follow their lead.

My personal dream is to watch my meter spin backwards using PV. Walmart’s size can contribute to the necessary cost reductions of scale that it will take. I’m hopeful.

Have you heard about the experiment where a researcher was irradiating water with high energy EMR for an unrelated purpose and caused the water to burn, giving off hydrogen as a byproduct? Who knows what we’ll find totally by accident with funded research efforts. Many of the discoveries that changed the world were byproducts of other research. Accidents!

I plan to reduce my consumption of gasoline soon by eliminating a very long commute to work. Consider it my personal contribution to the cause.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:53 AM   #5
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A good summary of what government is doing in the energy area Chinaco

“… change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. To change how we power our automobiles, we will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass.”
Any idea of the actual funding approved for this endeavor?
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants,

and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen.

producing ethanol, not just from corn,

I have not read the whole article yet, I'm sure there is some good stuff in there, but the above statements are red flags for me.

As I mentioned in earlier threads, those new coal plants are less efficient, requiring about 30% MORE coal for the same power- more environmental damage from mining, transport, etc. Is it a net gain or less? Don't know. Maybe depends if you live near a strip mine or a coal plant.

Using 'pollution free' and 'hydrogen' in the same phrase is asinine. It takes energy to produce hydrogen, and there are losses along the way. Search the forum for 'hydrogen' and 'hoax'.

Ethanol from corn barely makes more energy than what goes into producing it (20% gain is the most generous estimate I have seen), and has other environmental and food supply issues.

So if we magically switched tomorrow to 100% corn based ethanol for every drop of petroleum we use, we would still need 80% of that petroleum to make the ethanol! And that uses the most generous example - some reports say it is a negative number!

The switchgrass options may have potential, but from what I have read the best approach to corn ethanol would be to eliminate it (and the subsidies we pay for it) today.

-ERD50
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:25 AM   #7
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Have you heard about the experiment where a researcher was irradiating water with high energy EMR for an unrelated purpose and caused the water to burn, giving off hydrogen as a byproduct?
I have read a little bit about it. It seems that the RF energy breaks the bonds of the H2-O, making them available for combustion. This is the same thing that electrolysis does. And there is no free lunch. It takes that much energy to break the bonds from H2-0 in the first place.

Since there are inefficiencies in the process of creating and applying the RF, and then storing and burning the hydrogen, what you are seeing is just an interesting way to WASTE energy in a laboratory! Not a 'source' of energy at all.

You might as well push a ball up a hill, and then watch it roll back down and say that the ball 'generated' energy.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

-ERD50
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Energy Strategy
Old 09-21-2007, 09:04 AM   #8
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Energy Strategy

May be the national energy strategy should include the following
-more recycling - In South Korea it was mandatory that the citizens recycle and there were fines if one was caught disposing of recyclable items.
-better epa standards for our vehicles.
-in areas where it is feasible more mass transit
-Americans should start walking more - for example if one can walk to the store 1 or 2 blocks away to pick up a small order then one should do so.
-finding new alternate energies
-the use of wind technology to power our homes
-maybe look at how HEMP can be used to power our vehicles, our homes, etc.... (Willie Nelson would be a good source for advice)
-incentives or rebates for home owners to use wind energy and solar energy

These are ideas and I do not know if America has the will power to do this and then there is the question of politics will Congress go along with any energy plans that may have a negative impact on big business and the $$$ that they recent from lobbyist(s).
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:37 AM   #9
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Wags, that is a pretty good list, but I don't think 'will power' comes w/o something to motivate that will to act. I may need 'will power' to stay on a diet, but I have to decide that I want to lose weight to begin with.

This is one of those areas where it is a bit tough for the individual to make a significant impact, w/o the group support of his/her neighbors. Just like EPA standards for cars - how many people would pay more for a low emission car if their neighbor didn't. What's the point, and the R&D would be a burden for a low volume of vehicles. As a society, we decided that we wanted cleaner air, so legislation provided a way for that to happen.

I think it is reasonable to say that if the majority of the citizenry agrees to a list like that, that the government should provide some motivation to make it happen, like they did with EPA standards for cars.

I really don't like to see incentives for individual technologies (wind, solar, hybrids, etc). I'd rather see it implemented as a tax on the things we decide we don't want, and then let the free market go fill the demand for alternatives. Else, we have congress making decisions on technical matters - I'd rather let the free market take on that part of it.

-ERD50

PS - I don't know that we need tighter EPA regs on cars at this point, they really are pretty 'clean'. I'd rather see an analysis of ALL sources of pollution, and invest the money wherever we can get the most gain for the least $ investment. If that turns out to be cars, go for it, but I suspect that coal, trucks, maybe even farms are better targets.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:46 AM   #10
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Just curious ERD50: do you work for Exxon Mobile or something?

Are you saying that since it is really difficult to improve on these energy issues that we face as individuals, a nation and a world, then just screw it, it's hopeless anyway?
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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Are you saying that since it is really difficult to improve on these energy issues that we face as individuals, a nation and a world, then just screw it, it's hopeless anyway?
No, no ,no - not at all !!!

I am saying that it is tough for an individual to really make a difference, that is why we need to WORK TOGETHER to accomplish change.

I think the EPA standards for cars was a HUGE SUCCESS (not perfect though). Cars are about 1000x cleaner than they were before EPA regs. And I am saying, that could not have happened as easily if individuals just had to choose and pay the difference between a clean model and dirty one.

The economy of scale set by the EPA regs helped bring down the 'cost of clean' for everyone. And it took away the excuse, 'why should I buy a clean car if my neighbor does not'.

you said:
Quote:
Just curious ERD50: do you work for Exxon Mobile or something?
I said:
Quote:
I'd rather see it implemented as a tax on the things we decide we don't want,
which means a TAX ON OIL, COAL to help drive alternate clean energy (and conservation). How is that pro EXXON MOBILE

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
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For once, I agree with ERD. Ethanol is not a solution. It's REALLY not a solution if you live in Mexico and have to compete with Americans buying gas for the corn in your tortillas.

Also, his comments on hydrogen--the hydrogen gas comes from driving oxygen off water. This takes electricity. It comes from coal, oil, hydro, or wherever.

I wonder about all the electric cars for the same reason. The electricity doesn't just appear--it comes from either burning things, damming up streams, or mucking around with nuclear materials. What's the story on electric cars in terms of how much they pollute compared to, say, a 35 mgp gas burner?

Ultimately, I think the solution has to be higher standards, less consumption, and more awareness. Not just in how much we drive, but also in consumption patterns more generally. Although I can't claim to be a bulwark of conservation, I try...
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #13
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I wonder about all the electric cars for the same reason. The electricity doesn't just appear--it comes from either burning things, damming up streams, or mucking around with nuclear materials. What's the story on electric cars in terms of how much they pollute compared to, say, a 35 mgp gas burner?
Well, here is one (admittedly biased) source:

Tesla Motors - well-to-wheel

While they have a self-interest, their numbers do seem to make sense. They claim a “well-to-wheel” efficiency of about 2X a Toyota Prius.

This is not typical for an electric car, though. The Tesla uses the expensive lithium ion batteries, that give much better power/weight ratios. The car costs $100K and they have not shipped any yet. So, until they can produce a family car like this that is affordable, electrics probably are not a big step forward over a high mpg car. I've read the more conventional electrics aren't any better than a high mpg car. But, there is hope for the future.

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Old 09-21-2007, 03:40 PM   #14
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May be the national energy strategy should include the following
-more recycling - In South Korea it was mandatory that the citizens recycle and there were fines if one was caught disposing of recyclable items.
-better epa standards for our vehicles.
-in areas where it is feasible more mass transit
-Americans should start walking more - for example if one can walk to the store 1 or 2 blocks away to pick up a small order then one should do so.
-finding new alternate energies
-the use of wind technology to power our homes
-maybe look at how HEMP can be used to power our vehicles, our homes, etc.... (Willie Nelson would be a good source for advice)
-incentives or rebates for home owners to use wind energy and solar energy

These are ideas and I do not know if America has the will power to do this and then there is the question of politics will Congress go along with any energy plans that may have a negative impact on big business and the $$$ that they recent from lobbyist(s).

I love the list.. but for most places it will not do much..

Recycling most things today is still a lose proposition... you do not get out as much in value as you put in costs...

Agree with better mileage standards... but most cars are getting better.. my newer Acura is getting 24 mpg avg (and up to 30 hwy) with a 270 HP engine... my old Chevy gets 18 with 210... and only 24 hwy...

Mass transit is not feasible in most places. Houston has been trying to get some kind of trains system for years.. and now we will. But, the cost is in the billions and only 1 to 2% of people will use it.. Now, in NY it was great.. And I did like Washingtons..

Walk to the grocery store Heck, two blocks away you are still in my neighborhood..... I live about 1.5 miles from the nearest grocery store... and carrying back all the food and drink is not going to happen.. Now, I did do it when I was in NY, but it was one short block (but I did do some up to 5 blocks if there were sales)..

Agree with alternatives... but I would not want my neighborhood turned into a wind farm... solar would be OK if it was not 'tacky'...
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:42 PM   #15
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ERD50,

I’m aware of the probable negative net value of the ethanol hoax. Of course the corn farmers love it. But corn, of all things, has so many more valuable uses that I can’t help but wonder about the politics of its upsurge as a fuel.

For transportation oil, natural gas and gasoline have a unique position in the energy hierarchy with their high concentration of energy and portability. If you developed the world’s first 100% efficient photovoltaic array tomorrow though, without an equivalently efficient battery, I’d still have a problem replacing oil.

But if I could take your new 100% efficient PV array, add sunshine, I can produce a portable fuel. Hydrogen or some safer derivative from hydrogen would be portable. The energy input, sunshine, is free, so far. So get busy with that new array. If that new RF-burning water method works out to be an efficient way to separate the hydrogen, all the better, I'll need smaller arrays. Plus I’ll use a retail PV array to cool my house because the millions of arrays being built will lower the cost. I still want to spin my power meter backwards so I can show my friends.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:42 PM   #16
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For transportation oil, natural gas and gasoline have a unique position in the energy hierarchy with their high concentration of energy and portability. If you developed the world’s first 100% efficient photovoltaic array tomorrow though, without an equivalently efficient battery, I’d still have a problem replacing oil.
Correct. And you are right to refer to hydrogen as an energy storage medium. Too many people see it as an energy source.

Tesla motors is working to use L-ion batteries for that portable storage. Is that going to be cost effective compared to hydrogen as a storage medium? We will see.

There is also compressed air, flywheels, super-capacitors and probably a few other storage technologies that might challenge hydrogen.

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #17
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I wonder about all the electric cars for the same reason. The electricity doesn't just appear--it comes from either burning things, damming up streams, or mucking around with nuclear materials.
Damming things and futzing with atoms is probably better than burning things in individual cars. Also, hopefully, it will be easier to control emissions and efficiency at a few big burning-things locations (power plants) than in hundreds of millions of little places (cars).

New Zealand may be headed in the right direction (and not down the hydrogen or ethanol dead-ends):

Government push for electric cars - New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:56 PM   #18
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The EEStor device, if it's real and works half as well as advertised, could solve a lot of the current issues.
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:46 PM   #19
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Interesting to me.

Green Wombat: Solar Nation: Can the Sun Power the U.S.?

Should we allow Hawaii on grid?
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:50 PM   #20
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The EEStor device, if it's real and works half as well as advertised, could solve a lot of the current issues.
I knew it! There really is a motor "out there" that gets better than 100 mpg.
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