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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

  1. Top | #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby
    There's no denying that wind and solar are very popular ways to give the appearance of caring about climate change.
    You're getting your opponents wrong. They do care about climate change, and about air pollution, ground pollution, etc. At least, nearly all do. They are not lying, and believe what they say. They happen to have an anti-nuclear ideology, and a pro-renewable ideology. Like other ideologies (religions or not), they hold to it irrationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by bilby
    The problem is, that no matter how popular they are, or how many installations get built, they don't reduce carbon emissions.
    That depends on what they replace, and how they are used. For example, massive solar + natural gas as backup (at night or when there isn't enough sunlight for a while) would likely reduce emissions with respect to only coal, or only natural gas. Obviously, nuclear would be much better. But you're facing an ideology, not evidence-driven thought.

  2. Top | #382
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    The problem is, that no matter how popular they are, or how many installations get built, they don't reduce carbon emissions.


    Renewables successfully driving down carbon emissions in Europe — European Environment Agency
    Without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions, according to the EEA report 'Renewable energy in Europe – approximated recent growth and knock-on effects'.

    Renewable technologies also increase energy security, the report found. Without the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, the EU's consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012. The most substituted fuel was coal, where consumption would have been 13% higher, while natural gas use would have been 7% higher, at a time when European gas reserves are dwindling.

  3. Top | #383
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    The problem is, that no matter how popular they are, or how many installations get built, they don't reduce carbon emissions.


    Renewables successfully driving down carbon emissions in Europe — European Environment Agency
    Without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions, according to the EEA report 'Renewable energy in Europe – approximated recent growth and knock-on effects'.

    Renewable technologies also increase energy security, the report found. Without the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, the EU's consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012. The most substituted fuel was coal, where consumption would have been 13% higher, while natural gas use would have been 7% higher, at a time when European gas reserves are dwindling.
    My apologies.

    They don't SIGNIFICANTLY reduce emissions.

    7% is frankly pathetic, particularly given the amount of money that has been spent to achieve this tiny reduction.

    A lesser sum invested in nuclear power would have reduced emissions by close to 100% in the electricity generation sector, as demonstrated by France and Sweden.

    Wind and solar are thoughts and prayers. Nuclear power actually delivers worthwhile emission reductions.

  4. Top | #384
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    According to Trump wind turbines cause cancer. In other news the world has been found to actually be flat, and the universe does revolve around the Earth.

  5. Top | #385
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    The problem is, that no matter how popular they are, or how many installations get built, they don't reduce carbon emissions.

    Wind and solar are the thoughts and prayers of climate change mitigation - they are cheap, easy to do, and make everyone think that you are caring and virtuous. But they don't actually do anything to fix the problem.
    Huh? The fossil fuel plants still need to be built but they aren't going to use as much fuel. CO2 emissions don't drop because the windmills and solar plants take a lot of power to build the materials.

  6. Top | #386
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    The problem is, that no matter how popular they are, or how many installations get built, they don't reduce carbon emissions.


    Renewables successfully driving down carbon emissions in Europe — European Environment Agency
    Without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions, according to the EEA report 'Renewable energy in Europe – approximated recent growth and knock-on effects'.

    Renewable technologies also increase energy security, the report found. Without the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, the EU's consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012. The most substituted fuel was coal, where consumption would have been 13% higher, while natural gas use would have been 7% higher, at a time when European gas reserves are dwindling.
    Note what they are saying--less than they would otherwise have been.

    In other words, emissions increased but not by as much as if they hadn't built the renewables.

    Never mind that had they built nuke plants instead the atmosphere would be better off.

  7. Top | #387
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    Note what they are saying--less than they would otherwise have been.
    In other words, emissions increased but not by as much as if they hadn't built the renewables.
    So... it's a subjective call whether it's better to drive the human species into extinction very quickly or very slowly...

    Never mind that had they built nuke plants instead the atmosphere would be better off.
    Again, it's the same quality of life issue. Do you want your progeny to live out their days in sheer terror of the invisible menace that is nuclear energy? [/sarcasm]
    The fossil fuel interests will spend whatever it takes to ensure that people blanche and drop dead at the mention of nuclear energy, long before they relinquish their cash cow.[/cynicism]

    I believe there will be a precipitous drop in the global human population level in the next couple hundred years. (If anyone here or their kid lives to see it, remember: I told you so!) It probably won't reduce our numbers to below post-Toba levels (<100k), but it might be a big enough hit to set technology back to early 20th century levels. If there are fewer than 2 billion but more than a half billion people left, I think they'll be pretty well off after a few generations - until they overrun themselves again.

  8. Top | #388
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Huh? The fossil fuel plants still need to be built but they aren't going to use as much fuel. CO2 emissions don't drop because the windmills and solar plants take a lot of power to build the materials.
    How much is "a lot"? I've seen estimates of the energy-payback times for recent wind turbines and solar panels, and they are surprisingly short. Less than a year for wind turbines and around a year for photovoltaic cells.

  9. Top | #389
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    One of the problems with nukes in the USA is the time to ROI. They take a long time to plan and build. Profit is based on future electricity prices.

    I have driven by an abandoned nuke project on the way to the Washington coast. A cooling tower was built. Tecnicaly the site was mothballed.

    Cost projections kept going up against not enough anticipated profit.

    For nukes to work here it would have to be a federal utility project. Like the initial rural electrification project.

  10. Top | #390
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    One of the problems with nukes in the USA is the time to ROI. They take a long time to plan and build. Profit is based on future electricity prices.
    While wind turbines and solar panels are much quicker to build, especially small installations.

    Renewables Generate 33% Of Britain's Electricity In First Quarter | CleanTechnica - 20% wind, 3% solar, 40% natgas, 16% nuclear, 4% coal

    Want To Limit Global Warming? Electrify Everything, Finds Study | CleanTechnica - that will mean making synfuels, a gap in renewable-energy development

    European Wind Overtakes Hydro For Second Quarter In A Row | CleanTechnica

    China's Solar Industry Expected To Be Subsidy-Free In 2021 | CleanTechnica

    Can Indoor Farming Solve Our Agriculture Problems? | CleanTechnica - about an indoor farm in New Jersey. It does mostly leafy vegetables, but its operators hope to branch out into root vegetables like turnips.

    Rural Electric Co-ops Dive Into Gas-Killing Solar Panles + Farmland Fray - elevated solar panels can be beneficial to some vegetation, by shading it.

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