Renewable meet worldwide needs of energy?

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Irfan

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Realistically speaking who in this site, thinks renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal etc will be able at some point in age meet our worldwide needs, this is of course excluding transport( I can see a plane flying without petroleum.....)?
 

kok328

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It will never happen as long as Big Oil has the money to put into policiticians & corporate pockets.
 

nealtw

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Kerosene was invented to replace whale oil because of a shortage of whales. Prices of the new oil products fell as new refineries were built. Internal combustion engines were built to run on gasoline because it was a waiste product at the time. Diesel invented his engine to run on biofuel. Turbofan engines in aircrafts can be made to run on that same biofuel.
I have no doubt we will see new fuels to run everything but not before some have squeezed every penny out of the stuff.
Water is the one thing we should be worried about.
 

sgeco

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personally speaking, we''ll never know. Although green energy is popular today. It's popularity is fluctuating and not all are totally supportive and accepting it since it's not that 100% viable. Kok328 is right, as long as the oil company owner is the richest people in the world, renewable energy will take over will always be put into halt.
 

slownsteady

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At some point, petroleum products will just become too expensive. That's when renewable fuels will get their chance.

Did anyone hear about a company in Texas thats using dried up oil wells to produce geothermal heat? That's an interesting development.
 

MrTed

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I wonder how much opinions have changed in the last few years? We can see now that renewables have increased in demand and popularity, with recent news in the UK and France about having an eventual outright ban on petrol and diesel vehicles.

I've always thought it very interesting to assess from a geopolitical standpoint. Remove your country's dependency on oil-rich countries, and say goodbye to the economic power of the latter. Bye-bye Russia, bye-bye Saudi Arabia. All countries should be investing heavily in renewables given the general trend of the world...
 

slownsteady

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Good point. This thread is old, but the discussion is ongoing....as well as development. But the power structure (political power) is still intact and that will be the deciding factor. When big money finds a way to profit well from green energy, then things will change.
 

bud16415

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We make it sound like big money and profit are dirty words.

Anyone that wants to build solar panels and wind mills and sell them at a loss is allowed to do that. The fix was to make old power more expensive with carbon tax and then supplement clean energy to make it cost less. That in turn is rolled to the consumer in two different directions because after all the consumer is the one paying all the cost plus overhead in the long run thru buying the product or paying the taxes. That is a false economy and taking that money out of people’s pockets cause them to buy less in the true economy and that begins the downward spiral.

The same companies are working on alternative energy that are involved with old energy. They are going to profit anyway you look at it, oh no more big money.
The last little guy with “little money” was some guy built a car in 1950 and it was in popular science magazine that ran on water and the oil companies gave him something like $100,000,000 to shut up. Once we are out of oil they will just pull that out and we will be good. Only problem is the little guy caved in and sold the idea. It doesn’t matter if he kept the idea he would of quickly became big money anyway.
 

nealtw

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Stanley was selling cars running on water long before that.:)

Tell yourself what ever you want, Countries that see the future are moving ahead. The USA never got to greatness by following the pack
 

Sparky617

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The car running on water story is a myth. To make a car run on "water" you have to find an economic way to separate the Hydrogen from the Oxygen. Hence hydrogen cars all extract their hydrogen from methane or natural gas these days. Hydrogen as a power source is more like a battery than a straight fuel source since it is not freely available.

I'm not sure how you run on renewable energy in the upper Northern and lower Southern Hemispheres in their respective winters when daylight hours are extremely short or non-existent. Even in lower latitudes places in the midwest are pretty gray and cloudy all winter long. Hydro power is extremely hard to get permitted in the USA now.

I'm all in favor of making lighting, appliances, HVAC more energy efficient. LED lights will completely replace incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in a few years. Even long tube fluorescent lighting has a LED replacement now that is more efficient. AC is probably my single largest energy use in my household. Living without it in North Carolina is highly unlikely. About as unlikely as living without heat in Ontario or Buffalo. If they can figure out how to wring more efficiency out of each kilowatt that is a good thing. When my current 18-year-old system does die, I will replace it with a much higher SEER unit.

Improving efficiency will reduce the load on the grid and enable us to delay building new plants and can take older, less efficient plants off line. Moving towards Plugin Electric Hybrids will put more demand on the grid so at least some of that efficiency will be eaten up by transportation.
 

Sparky617

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Stanley was selling cars running on water long before that.:)

Tell yourself what ever you want, Countries that see the future are moving ahead. The USA never got to greatness by following the pack

That water didn't convert to steam by solar power. :p
 

bud16415

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Stanley was selling cars running on water long before that.:)

Tell yourself what ever you want, Countries that see the future are moving ahead. The USA never got to greatness by following the pack

Very true and they never got to the top expecting cleaver money switching schemes to make up for innovation. I ask every Tesla owner I run into (not very many) where the power in their clean car comes from. When they find out it is burning something like coal or gas they frown.

Speaking of Stanley when is the last time you heard anyone talk about the external combustion engine. That should be one of the biggest topics going and no one talks about it or thinks about it. Just like light bulbs old style made more heat than light. Car engines make as much heat as they do power. Why?
 

Sparky617

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The Europeans are importing wood chips from North Carolina as a "green energy" resource for electricity generation. The USA's carbon emissions without Kyoto or Paris have been dropping faster than Europe's mainly due to cleaner burning natural gas from Fracking.
 

Sparky617

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Canada didn't make the list.

My employer has installed a decent solar array on the top floor of our parking deck. Another major employer in my town SAS Institute installed a rather large farm. Rather than chewing up open land for solar farms we should be looking at the acres of flat rooftops on schools, offices, big box stores and shopping centers as prime locations. Or adding them as solar shades over parking lots in hot and sunny places in the southeast and southwest. In order for solar to become a major player and to actually displace fossil fuels, you need storage. Unfortunately, lithium is a metal and not extracted from the air or sea. It requires mining, not exactly the greenest industry going.
 

nealtw

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Canada didn't make the list.

My employer has installed a decent solar array on the top floor of our parking deck. Another major employer in my town SAS Institute installed a rather large farm. Rather than chewing up open land for solar farms we should be looking at the acres of flat rooftops on schools, offices, big box stores and shopping centers as prime locations. Or adding them as solar shades over parking lots in hot and sunny places in the southeast and southwest. In order for solar to become a major player and to actually displace fossil fuels, you need storage. Unfortunately, lithium is a metal and not extracted from the air or sea. It requires mining, not exactly the greenest industry going.

I did like the covered train tunnel. Things like mining will never go away. but neither will oil and gas wells just think about shingles and vinyl siding.

When they start talking about ships that get eight ft per gallon of the dirtiest crap they can find, we will know they are serious and maybe we wouldn't get so much from China.
 

Steve123

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Cutting back on fossil fuels is certainly possible. Below is Ontario's current real-time electricity production. Notice that coal is non-existent on the chart, and even natural gas is only a couple of percent. Not much greenhouse gas emissions in this mix. Solar is a small proportion at the best of time, buts its just past daybreak right now, and raining. Nuclear makes about half our electricity here. I don't have a problem with nuclear, but the economics of nuclear is not looking good these days. ( The "solar" total is only commercial solar power farms --- if you have solar panels on your roof, they have no way of knowing how much power they are making)

Ontario.jpg
 
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Flyover

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As I understand it, the difference between driving a Tesla and driving a normal car is, yes, Tesla gets its power from (mostly) the same place--burning fossil fuels--but at a power plant where it can be done much more efficiently and less expensively, per unit of power delivered, than in a car's engine.

So, making stuff "greener n cleaner" might not be a matter of eliminating fossil fuel (not yet) but rather centralizing its conversion into power.

This, by the way, is not me cheerleading for Teslas. I hate the idea of a car where you need an electrical engineering PhD to change the brakes, and I think driving those cars unfortunately but inevitably also comes with a tribal message, which I'm not down with. But that irrational nuance might explain a lot about the energy/sustainability issue right there...
 

Steve123

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The Europeans are importing wood chips from North Carolina as a "green energy" resource for electricity generation.

The way they are looking at it, if you cut down a tree and burn it, but at the same time plant a new trees, the net carbon dioxide emitted is zero. And the energy produced when burning the chips ultimately came from the sun.
 

Sparky617

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The way they are looking at it if you cut down a tree and burn it, but at the same time plant new trees, the net carbon dioxide emitted is zero. And the energy produced when burning the chips ultimately came from the sun.

I get the concept, it takes a few seconds to burn a tree in a commercial boiler, it takes 20 years or more to get a harvestable tree. A tree the dies and falls to the ground and rots away releases CO2 as it decays. I just seems odd to load wood chips into ships and sail it across the Atlantic to burn to make electricity.
 

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