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  #31  
Old 05-12-2010, 01:39 PM
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Well - three things about these ideas:
1) algal fuels are still in development. Very promising but still facing some problems, probably will be manageable within a couple of years
2) There are already some large scale projects like this one: YouTube - Sterling Dish 500MW solar power plant , but yes, sadly they are few and nuclear/coal is still the main focus of the industry and governments. They also claim to use "clean coal" BTW, which just means that the coal is scrubbed from sulfur and other toxins at the mine (meaning that the toxins poison the mine site and not the air - not much of an improvement)
3) I sincerely hope, localized power production will be given a chance. Solar panels and solar thermal collectors are already to be seen in many places, hopefully the solar stirling machines will be for sale soon. Obviously no big long-term market for big corporation, rather for small companies and craftsmen who do installations, so no big money in it, which is probably why development is slow.

I agree on the main problem beein a social or rather a socioeconomic one. The greed and resistance to adopt new ideas, the mindset of wastefulness and exploitation, the focus on ever increasing growth as the sole solution to everything is destructive in the long run. And I think as always in history if this civilization/society fails, someone else will take over in a different country or continent. Unless the globalization also leads to more global effects...

If such a decline or downfall is in the short or long term better or worse for the environment I dare not to say...
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2010, 09:25 PM
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Solar panels are a placebo, they're too inefficient for mass scale generation by localising therm at each site. They also have a limited lifespan, and require a lot of energy (and produce waste) to produce, and can cause environmental damage if not properly disposed of.
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  #33  
Old 05-12-2010, 10:43 PM
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Take one step back and two steps forward.
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  #34  
Old 05-12-2010, 10:44 PM
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Solar panels are a placebo, they're too inefficient for mass scale generation by localising therm at each site. They also have a limited lifespan, and require a lot of energy (and produce waste) to produce, and can cause environmental damage if not properly disposed of.
What waste do they produce? To my knowledge Solar energy is as clean as it comes.
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  #35  
Old 05-12-2010, 11:50 PM
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Solar Panel Toxins

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In various studies carried out by the European “Crystal Clear” Energy Commission, one square meter of completely manufactured solar cells can cost from 75 to 314 kilograms of CO2 to produce. The report goes on to indicate that installation of these cells can cost 600 to 3,140 kilograms of CO2 in sunny regions, while the number go up to 6,280 kilograms in cloudy regions.
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Another investigation points out that the amount nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), produced not just through the creation of photovoltaic cells, but also flat screen TVs and computer displays, is slowly rising in the atmosphere. Where initial reports predicted about 1,200 metric tons in the atmosphere, the real number seems to be around 4,200 tons, and what’s worse is NF3 stays in the atmosphere five times longer than C02.
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  #36  
Old 05-13-2010, 12:56 AM
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Solar Panel Toxins
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In various studies carried out by the European “Crystal Clear” Energy Commission, one square meter of completely manufactured solar cells can cost from 75 to 314 kilograms of CO2 to produce. The report goes on to indicate that installation of these cells can cost 600 to 3,140 kilograms of CO2 in sunny regions, while the number go up to 6,280 kilograms in cloudy regions.
May I ask as to why it produces that much CO2? Does it require the use of oil and/or Coal for it's production?

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Another investigation points out that the amount nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), produced not just through the creation of photovoltaic cells, but also flat screen TVs and computer displays, is slowly rising in the atmosphere. Where initial reports predicted about 1,200 metric tons in the atmosphere, the real number seems to be around 4,200 tons, and what’s worse is NF3 stays in the atmosphere five times longer than C02.
Well cry me a river, because it seems that everything pollutes to an extent no matter what. The question we should be asking is do we want to pollute as we are doing now or pollute less. Now unless that study shows that solar power will turn to be more polluting and damaging than fossil fuels I'm not convinced that it is not a viable alternative.
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  #37  
Old 05-13-2010, 01:26 AM
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Don't get so offended I don't agree... They're still a better alternative to most, just not the solution some people see them as.
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  #38  
Old 05-13-2010, 08:59 AM
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Don't get so offended I don't agree... They're still a better alternative to most, just not the solution some people see them as.
I agree. I believe the answer to the energy crisis lay' in quantum physics.
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  #39  
Old 05-13-2010, 04:58 PM
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I agree. I believe the answer to the energy crisis lay' in quantum physics.
Can you elaborate on that? I take it that you are not just talking about nuclear fusion anymore.
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  #40  
Old 05-18-2010, 12:30 PM
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Quantum Physics - interesting... I also do not understand this one.

On solar panels - I do not understand why they should cost more CO2 to set up in cloudy regions? But it is true, they cost a lot of energy for production of high quality silicium (and thereby currently CO2) to produce and have to be disposed of properly. This is why I stick to my opinion that solarthermal energy is currently the best option. It does require mostly mirrors. I linked in my last post also to a even more efficient way of using solar thermal energy than the current solarthermal towers who use liquid metals as heating fluid to collect the heat and bring it to the generator.

EDIT: Oh and with solar panels one could do cool stuff liket his: http://www.farleftside.com/2010/3-26-2010.html :lol:
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"

Last edited by auroraglacialis; 05-18-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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  #41  
Old 05-23-2010, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Quantum Physics - interesting... I also do not understand this one.

On solar panels - I do not understand why they should cost more CO2 to set up in cloudy regions? But it is true, they cost a lot of energy for production of high quality silicium (and thereby currently CO2) to produce and have to be disposed of properly. This is why I stick to my opinion that solarthermal energy is currently the best option. It does require mostly mirrors. I linked in my last post also to a even more efficient way of using solar thermal energy than the current solarthermal towers who use liquid metals as heating fluid to collect the heat and bring it to the generator.

EDIT: Oh and with solar panels one could do cool stuff liket his: The Far Left Side • The HOA Web Comic • 3-26-10 • Plug in! Turn on! Drop out! • Free Webcomics Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! :lol:
Penultimately it will have to if we turn into a mega spacefaring race encompassing large portions of the galaxy. I know that there is a lot to be gained from high energy physics. Conventional power used on too large of a scale in the future will end up disrupting the energy flow. Even solar panels need a lot of space to be deployed.
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  #42  
Old 05-25-2010, 02:03 PM
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Well - yes. Panels need a lot of space - no matter if it is thermal or voltaic ones. A good option is to put them on houses obvioulsy. We can do it and it is possibly the best option at this time - at the same time we need to reduce energy use by beeing more efficient with it. And it would help to not let the population growth go on as this will only increase energy consumption.

For the future, I think, fusion holds some prospects, but it will not be ready for decades and mayn possible problems may pop up until then (regarding radioactivity, effects of reactor failures releasing Tritium, disposal of chemically complex construction materials etc). Using Quantum mechanics to gain energy - as I said I have not read any theory on this except for science fiction. If it is possible, it will only be available once we have far surpassed the point on which we have to solve our energy needs for Earth in another way. One thing I have come to know recently is, that almost all westerners are very much hung in the notion that the present is only a temporary state on the path to a better future. We think like this all the time, ignoring that the present is the only time we actually consciously experience. So we should make decisions in a way, that also lets us experience a happy present and not only a hopeful future. To hope for future developments with the expectation that it will make things better is a fals lure for humans - we believe in these things and people have suffered for years or a life, constantly in the hope that a better future is right around the corner. This is not the way to be. We need to make the present as much of an enjoyable place as the future we dream of.
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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  #43  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well - yes. Panels need a lot of space - no matter if it is thermal or voltaic ones. A good option is to put them on houses obvioulsy. We can do it and it is possibly the best option at this time - at the same time we need to reduce energy use by beeing more efficient with it. And it would help to not let the population growth go on as this will only increase energy consumption.

For the future, I think, fusion holds some prospects, but it will not be ready for decades and mayn possible problems may pop up until then (regarding radioactivity, effects of reactor failures releasing Tritium, disposal of chemically complex construction materials etc). Using Quantum mechanics to gain energy - as I said I have not read any theory on this except for science fiction. If it is possible, it will only be available once we have far surpassed the point on which we have to solve our energy needs for Earth in another way. One thing I have come to know recently is, that almost all westerners are very much hung in the notion that the present is only a temporary state on the path to a better future. We think like this all the time, ignoring that the present is the only time we actually consciously experience. So we should make decisions in a way, that also lets us experience a happy present and not only a hopeful future. To hope for future developments with the expectation that it will make things better is a fals lure for humans - we believe in these things and people have suffered for years or a life, constantly in the hope that a better future is right around the corner. This is not the way to be. We need to make the present as much of an enjoyable place as the future we dream of.
Yes, I think we would be largely ignoring the third world though, the economics under capitalism just don't add up if your going to be paying to put solar pannels all over Africa. The first world though, problem solved.
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  #44  
Old 05-26-2010, 10:46 AM
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Yes, I think we would be largely ignoring the third world though, the economics under capitalism just don't add up if your going to be paying to put solar pannels all over Africa. The first world though, problem solved.
Up to now, solar is one of the few renewable energy sources that are present in large enough quantities to supply the need. Wind is ok, but not enough, water is already used to the max in some regions, biofuels from specially grown plants are IMHO not something that has to be discussed, geothermal energy is something still to be looked at though.

So if a country has to cover 3% of its land with solar power plants, it may sound low, but obviously it is quite an area - but this figure would be true also for yet developing countries, so I would not worry about lack of space, but rather on the steady increase in energy consumption. That has to be halted or reversed as well as the exploding population.

Oh and no argument from me on the criticism on capitalism and I fear that what would be suggested is to once more put the burden of production, in this case of energy, to less developed countries. However, I am confident, that industrialized countries would not want to outsource their energy production if it is avoidable for security risks...
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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