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"Solar panels are largely made in China now and the cost accounting for their greenhouse gas emissions released as a result of their production is largely ignored. Many of those ghgs are far more lasting and potent than carbon dioxide emissions which can be sequestered rapidly through changes in ag subsidies to not encourage grain production to feed to livestock with far greater negative impacts."
I'm looking at panels from Rec Solar. They're in Norway, so they have the quality we've come to expect from Scandinavian products, along with the green manufacturing methods and recyclability when the panels hit end-of-life. Silicon is sourced from the US, completed cells are shipped back here (for the US market) for final assembly into solar panels, so also the American-made quality China has thus far been unable to match. These look horrible on paper, but generate more real-world KWh per annum in regions like ours, than the rockstar Chinese panels that only generate power for 3 hours a day under perfect conditions in sun-belt states.
"Natural gas is not a fossil fuel."
It is, if we're talking about fracking for it. Unless we're talking about these:
I'm planning to build one, to provide methane to a steam generator. I have a 120-yr-old, 25hp steam engine I'm restoring, which will power... wait for it... an air compressor!
Anyway, I'm only going to feed it the intestines of critters I kill minus the organs I feed to my pet critters, plus plant matter that isn't otherwise useful even as hog feed. Bones after they've been through the stock pot and the tub grinder, adds calcium to the compost. So on and so forth. Got some ranch slops I can come get? The bonus output is fertilizer, which is something I think I can use.
What I'm saying is, if we'd spent half the money researching solutions to these problems as we've spent propagandizing the denial of these problems or contesting the viability of even pursuing solutions, we'd be what, 20 years ahead of where we are now?
A 20 years I suspect those of us still around in 2050 will wish we had back. :-(
My goal with my renewable-energy system, is no batteries! Considered storing energy by pumping water from one pond to another pond higher up and doing hydro, etc. etc. etc. but compressed air, in future backed up by compressed liquid oxygen (LOX), seems to have pros which outweigh the cons, comparatively with the other options available out there.
Keep it simple, keep it cheap. OK, even a used cryo unit isn't cheap, but have you priced batteries lately? Not to mention the toxic, explosion-prone chemicals/reactions involved. Not on my property!!! Nobody's ever been killed by compressed air or LOX, far as I know.
So, my windmill drives my well, and an air turbine (www.deprag.com) generates my power. What about the fact that I use more power in winter when my solar panels won't be making as much power as they do in the summer? Well, the recent hours-long grid failure here would have caused my generator to switch to an alternate load (or I do so manually on high-solar-gain windy summer days) which is a cryo unit generating liquid oxygen, which when expanded the following winter, supplements my windmill/panels.
My solar setup will likely use a "solar pump inverter" to drive an electric motor running an air compressor, feeding into the same receiver tank as the windmill-mounted air compressor. If I could do hydro, that turbine would also run an air compressor. That Texas website says just use a propane tank for the compressed air, but this is Routt County, so I suggest getting a cryogenic oxygen tank, which is insulated to retain the heat generated by compressing the air. That heat is critical to re-gasifying LOX from the "makeup" LOX tank.
I'll be sure to document my efforts, as nobody's really doing it this way. Maybe my brain's slipping as I age, but this approach just seems to make so much more sense unless you have 1,000 acres to solar or wind farm with those huge installations, or an unlimited budget to put in a system which makes you feel good about yourself, but would bankrupt me.
Nutshell: Generators are great for large-scale projects, but don't scale down. Compressed air is great for small-scale projects, but won't scale up. Good thing folks are out there researching and developing, instead of succumbing to the defeatist rhetoric of the fossil-fuel apologists! Ain't progress great?
"If you take in the cost of running parallel generating capacity that are needed to back up wind and solar for those pesky times when the sun doesn't shine or the wind doesn't blow, the costs of renewables can never be as low as fossil fuels."
If you assume that there's no solution to the problem, so we should just party on until the planet no longer supports human life. Great! Or, you could already be wrong, and the problem isn't not harvesting enough renewable energy, it's converting that harvested energy into useful electrical power:
You're also assuming that there's no need to back up fossil-fuel generated electricity, and you could also be wrong about that, too, apparently:
Got it? California will be shutting down solar farms this summer because the surplus energy they create can't be converted while at the same time, LA will have rolling blackouts because not enough fossil-fuel energy will be produced. Now, there's a WTF?!? if ever I've seen one!
So you're right. Renewables are hopeless, especially considering the infallibility of fossil-fuel power! ;-) Either way, snow gonna fall on power lines round heah and take out the grid, so it makes sense for smallholders to "prep" for it. Here's how I intend to wind-power my grid-intertied spread:
At small-scale, the main problem with wind, solar, and hydro is that all the information out there assuming it's unworkable, also assumes there must be a genset at the top of your windmill tower, and a battery bank to charge up with your solar panels (or wind/hydro), so of course the costs of all the electronics needed to make a conceptually-silly implementation work, are going to break the bank.
Maybe Bill can help out with the legalese, here. Doesn't singling out one company for a special tax, presumably for not paying their fair share vis-a-vis public transportation, amount to an (illegal) bill of attainder? Shouldn't such a penalty be imposed by the courts, after the City proves some sort of unfair "taking" by Ski Corp. in a lawsuit? Seems like legislature overstepping its constitutional bounds, to me...
What's next? Wal-Mart not paying their fair share for public transpo? What sort of special tax can they be hit with?
Don't go there, Scott. How much of your income is earned, vs. rent (unearned)? How much of that is Section 8? And where did you get your capital to invest in rental properties in Steamboat and Oak Creek? :-(
You have no idea how many friends I've had who've rented from you in Steamboat, so don't retaliate against the ones you do know about in Oak Creek, please. I am curious if you've ever spent a single night in Oak Creek, tho...
I keep thinking it's that new grocery store where City Market used to be, before CPP existed. :-)
But, that would require leadership -- instead, we get partisan-hack politicians claiming CO2 is harmless, whom I will again invite to put their heads into plastic bags and breathe deeply, because like so many other substances on this planet, there's sometimes "too much of a good thing". Leads me to question how many of these pols realize that plants respirate Oxygen, not CO2; photosynthesis is about making food, not "breathing" CO2. Too much CO2 in the atmosphere, and the plants will suffocate as surely as we will.
Anyway, back to politics. What leadership means, is fessing up in the face of unintended consequences. The Republicans (aided and abetted by the Democrats, sure, but mostly the GOP) rah-rah'd "drill baby drill" into "frack baby frack" without a care in the world about negative consequences like flaming tap water, earthquakes, or the DEMISE OF THE COAL INDUSTRY IN AMERICA. Now that we know the consequences, do the Republican "leaders" like Mr. McConnell take any responsibility upon their own shoulders?
No!!! they BLAME THE DEMOCRATS!!!
That isn't leadership, that's childish schoolyard bullcrap which does a disservice to the population-at-large the Republicans have betrayed with their full-throttle support of the oil/gas industry. Oh, they say they're pro-coal too, but disclaim any responsibility they DO HAVE for the demise of that industry in order to take cheap political shots, because they aren't leaders, they're hyper-partisan hacks. The damage their like is doing to this country, makes the damage mankind is doing to the planet, pale by comparison.
Seriously. Doesn't every 5th-grader in the country know that too much CO2 causes suffocation? The difference between what every 5th-grader knows and what every GOP politician should know but says different, is the 5th-graders aren't in the pocket of the oil/gas industry, so the 5th-graders are more to be trusted.
Last login: Thursday, April 28, 2016
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