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Old 01-21-2018, 12:39 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Do you know how much the fuel costs are for solar power installations? I'll give you a clue, they are zero. You never have to buy fuel to generate power with a solar installation. You do when you have a coal powered installation. Buy it, burn it, buy some more, on and on.
The fuel costs for solar may be reasonable but they are certainly not nothing. It takes quite a bit of energy to make the panels.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:31 PM   #52 (permalink)
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The fuel costs for solar may be reasonable but they are certainly not nothing. It takes quite a bit of energy to make the panels.
I am guessing the reference was to use of energy after the panel is made. Terms about alternative energy can get slippery though, like when petrochemical proponents pooh-pooh hydrogen as 'just' an energy carrier. Of course, any fuel source is just an energy carrier if you want to extend the logic. Or even that every current energy source can be compared as to how efficient it is at transferring energy from the sun.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:53 PM   #53 (permalink)
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I am guessing the reference was to use of energy after the panel is made. Terms about alternative energy can get slippery though, like when petrochemical proponents pooh-pooh hydrogen as 'just' an energy carrier. Of course, any fuel source is just an energy carrier if you want to extend the logic. Or even that every current energy source can be compared as to how efficient it is at transferring energy from the sun.
I think the usual calculation is the amount of CO2 (or whatever you want to measure) emitted for each kilowatt hour of power produced by the generator over its whole lifespan.

However you measure it, if you are generating electricity then coal is by far the worst polluter when it comes to CO2, though natural gas has its issues too (methane in particular) and there are obvious financial and environmental costs associated with nuclear, particularly safe storage of the nuclear waste and the decommissioning costs for the plant when it reaches the end of its working life (unless you can persuade the government to leave that for its successor some 30 or 40 years hence to worry about).
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:00 PM   #54 (permalink)
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I think the usual calculation is the amount of CO2 (or whatever you want to measure) emitted for each kilowatt hour of power produced by the generator over its whole lifespan.

However you measure it, if you are generating electricity then coal is by far the worst polluter when it comes to CO2, though natural gas has its issues too (methane in particular) and there are obvious financial and environmental costs associated with nuclear, particularly safe storage of the nuclear waste and the decommissioning costs for the plant when it reaches the end of its working life (unless you can persuade the government to leave that for its successor some 30 or 40 years hence to worry about).
I was thinking more of defining efficiency as energy output from the sun to energy output at the end of the process. Direct solar would eventually far outstrip something like burning petrochemicals using that measure.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:10 PM   #55 (permalink)
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The fuel costs for solar may be reasonable but they are certainly not nothing. It takes quite a bit of energy to make the panels.
Tengentially related, this is why I don't bother with E85 fuel in my car. It costs less, but its less fuel efficient, so my cost is the same.

Except that its cleaner, which means I at least get the "feel good" angle.

Except its not because it is cleaner on my end, but the manufacturing process more than makes up for it.

Now I am not saying it costs more environmentally for solar than for coal or anything else, just that to consider the green factor, you kind of have to go back all the way.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:27 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ramen Jedburgh View Post
Tengentially related, this is why I don't bother with E85 fuel in my car. It costs less, but its less fuel efficient, so my cost is the same.

Except that its cleaner, which means I at least get the "feel good" angle.

Except its not because it is cleaner on my end, but the manufacturing process more than makes up for it.

Now I am not saying it costs more environmentally for solar than for coal or anything else, just that to consider the green factor, you kind of have to go back all the way.
Biofuels can lead to deforestation.

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/...bs-021809.html

I don't know if there's any really good answer. :/ More work on hybrid vehicles definitely is in order.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:29 PM   #57 (permalink)
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I was thinking more of defining efficiency as energy output from the sun to energy output at the end of the process. Direct solar would eventually far outstrip something like burning petrochemicals using that measure.
Sure. Extracting and burning fossil fuels is a very dirty way to extract energy. It looks, though, as if burning biomass fuels is rather cleaner (at least when it comes to CO2) than is using solar, but there doesn't seem to be a lot in it.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:42 PM   #58 (permalink)
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The main reason coal has dropped from 50 to 30% of US power production in the last 10 years is cost. Natural gas, solar, and wind are all cheaper than coal these days. Utilities are driven by profit like every other business, so they are switching. Building the US's electric capacity took decades, and replacing it also will take decades. We are one decade into the transition.

Switching away from coal has the nice side benefits of less CO2 and less other kinds of pollution, but the main driver has been money.
That has me a little concerned. If Trump were to somehow make coal cheaper than all the other alternatives, what's to say the power companies won't start building coal plants again, and plunge us back into the days of widespread pollution and acid rain? The only thing that might keep that from happening, at least in the short term, is the fact it takes so long to build a power plant.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:46 PM   #59 (permalink)
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That has me a little concerned. If Trump were to somehow make coal cheaper than all the other alternatives, what's to say the power companies won't start building coal plants again, and plunge us back into the days of widespread pollution and acid rain? The only thing that might keep that from happening, at least in the short term, is the fact it takes so long to build a power plant.
It would indeed demonstrate the power of the subsidy to change the world.

I went there.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:51 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Daniel, others, don't even try with this chump. No doubt it's all been explained to him before - his ilk is impervious to logic and facts.
I'm not replying for her sake, mostly, but for other people who come across the thread who would like clear explanations.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:08 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Katheryne Helendale View Post
That has me a little concerned. If Trump were to somehow make coal cheaper than all the other alternatives, what's to say the power companies won't start building coal plants again, and plunge us back into the days of widespread pollution and acid rain? The only thing that might keep that from happening, at least in the short term, is the fact it takes so long to build a power plant.
I doubt he would manage that. Changing takes a long time to change infrastructure. Any business is going to look at the situation, see how horribly unpopular Trump is, and bet on the next President going back to regulation on coal etc.

Its not going to be worth investing in for 2 or even god forbid 6 years only to have that investment lopped off.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:10 PM   #62 (permalink)
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The fuel costs for solar may be reasonable but they are certainly not nothing. It takes quite a bit of energy to make the panels.
How long it takes to recover that is known as the "energy payback time". For modern silicon panels it is 1-2 years, depending where they are installed. Modern panels are usually warranted to last 20-25 years with at least 80% of rated output. Field experience shows they lose 0.5-0.8%/year of rated ( Jordan & Kurtz, 2012 ).

The implied lifetime output is 60-100 years x rated power, but (a) very few panels have been around more than 30 years, so we don't really know how long they'll last, and (b) lower costs and increased efficiency means they likely will be replaced long before they become useless.

Most of the components of silicon panels (silicon, aluminum, glass, plastic, copper) are recyclable. When substantial amounts of panels reach their end of useful life (they haven't yet), the old panels can be turned into new ones for much less energy than it took to make the originals.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:24 PM   #63 (permalink)
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That has me a little concerned. If Trump were to somehow make coal cheaper than all the other alternatives, what's to say the power companies won't start building coal plants again.
What are the chances that Trumpian policies will remain in force for the useful life of a coal plant (40 years)? A prospective plant builder has to think about that whole life, not just today.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just unanimously rejected an attempt by Energy Secretary Perry to subsidize coal and nuclear, and they were a politically mixed commission. So that went nowhere.

What they have managed so far is to loosen some environmental regulations and to try to open up more public lands for mining & drilling, but those are heading for court, like so many other Trump policies. Solar and wind haven't finished getting cheaper, either.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:13 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Man made global warming is just one big scam anyway.
One of those, huh?

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Here's a general rule, if the government has to subsidize something, it must suck, because if it was any good private business would have already done it
Like fossil fuels?

Anyway, you are clearly so scientifically illiterate that conversing with you is pointless.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:33 AM   #65 (permalink)
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And that's what the more extreme Libertarians want.

It's no wonder BJ is pro-coal, they'd love returning to the 1800's with robber barons, child labor, social inequality, snake oil salesmen, and rampant pollution just to prove "consumers using their dollars would sort it out without government intervention."

IMHO, steampunk fantasy-land isn't a good basis for a political party.
No doubt they'd also like to dismantle the FDA and CDC.

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The whole showing a libertarian that they are supporting socialism is just a bonus.
Indeed
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:47 AM   #66 (permalink)
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The fuel costs for solar may be reasonable but they are certainly not nothing. It takes quite a bit of energy to make the panels.
I'm not talking manufacture, I'm talking ongoing. Besides the costs of new installations of various forms of renewable energy have dropped below the costs of new installations of other forms of generation.

Even if new installations were more expensive you have to add in lower maintenance costs and the lack of fuel costs & fuel deliveries to make sure that their entire lifetime cost is tiny in comparison to any kind of fuel based system.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:13 AM   #67 (permalink)
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No doubt they'd also like to dismantle the FDA and CDC.
The AnCap (anarcho-capitalism) version of Libertarianism definitely would.

I wasn't just exaggerating for the sake of sarkyness:

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Anarcho-capitalists hold that, in the absence of statute (law by centralized decrees and legislation), society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the discipline of the free market (in what its proponents describe as a voluntary society)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

Not that all Libertarians are this far out, but Little Miss Climate Change Denier seems to fit so far.

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Old 01-22-2018, 05:26 AM   #68 (permalink)
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What are the chances that Trumpian policies will remain in force for the useful life of a coal plant (40 years)? A prospective plant builder has to think about that whole life, not just today.
Bingo! While the plant itself may get grandfathered in to a change if nobody wants to buy coal again it is pretty much the same risk.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:32 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Libertarians are so naive, or tend to be evil 'I got mine, fuck the rest of you' types.

Thinking that we'd do the right things without laws ignores how often we don't do the right things -even with- laws.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:50 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Libertarians are so naive, or tend to be evil 'I got mine, fuck the rest of you' types.

Thinking that we'd do the right things without laws ignores how often we don't do the right things -even with- laws.
This drives me nuts about "anti-law" types in general. The argument tends to be people will just be good.

Except they won't. Generally speaking, any given law exists because someone was being a douchebag or an idiot or both, so a law had to be made, because people proved they can't behave and action had to be taken.

Now there are plenty of outdated laws, but thats kind of a different issue. There are a lot of old laws that could be refined or possibly removed. Modern society seems really content to "settle out of court" though, which is annoying because going to court is kind of how laws are evolved. Companies especially seem terrified of setting new precident on a lot of laws, which is why we end up with crap like trying to regulate ISPs like they are telegraphs, instead of saying "this thing ia new, we need new rules."
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:18 PM   #71 (permalink)
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This drives me nuts about "anti-law" types in general. The argument tends to be people will just be good.

Except they won't. Generally speaking, any given law exists because someone was being a douchebag or an idiot or both, so a law had to be made, because people proved they can't behave and action had to be taken.
Indeed. There's a whole Biblical Testament dedicated to the reality that humans will do the most despicable thing possible when given the opportunity and absent a hammer coming down on them.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:59 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:39 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Well, their free market only is a thing if they are more free than others.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:36 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Here's a general rule, if the government has to subsidize something, it must suck, because if it was any good private business would have already done it
Fossil fuels are massively subsidized.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:43 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Fossil fuels are massively subsidized.
Don't you just love it when trolls use an argument so easy to point out the flaw in?
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