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Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics

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anon9303122
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Freelancer
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
anon9303122   4/5/2010 2:21:26 PM
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Great ideals, lousy reality. Only those things that are economically feasible are viable. Period. Fee market forces have been the catalyst for progress since the dawn of history. I doubt you're going to change that anytime soon. Sorry.

c_c_dumas
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Rookie
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
c_c_dumas   4/4/2010 11:23:33 AM
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Oh good, something to disagree on. I don't believe the free-market forces will drive alternative energy, or at least environmentally sound alternative energy. What we'll see is increased use of coal. Nukes are still mining, and processing which aren't sustainable. Really, fision probably isn't sustainable either with it's dirty by-products. That means then that the subsidies and "green shirts" serve a purpose!

anon9303122
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Freelancer
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
anon9303122   4/2/2010 7:17:24 PM
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First, we need to understand the basic inefficiencies of taking distributed energy sources(sun, wind, waves) combining them for distribution out to distributed loads. Bad idea all around. Distributed energy ought to be used directly at the distributed loads. Let's start with something simple and efficient, like heating (or at least pre-heating) our domestic hot water. Our pal Sol can do that very well. It's not terribly expensive, can be done with some decidely low-tech equipment and has the best chance of pay-back for any of the the alternative energy sources for the typical family. Forget PV's. Waste of money, unless the expense of hooking into the grid is exhorbitant (applicable to remote areas only). Wind turbines are another bad solution. Too many maintenance issues given the current state of affairs. One drive through Altamont Pass should drive that point home. I believe nukes are an important part of the solution. Like our investments, our energy portfolios need to be diversified as well. These things will be refined over time, but let's not throw good money after bad on concepts not ready-for-prime-time. Ultimately, energy costs will drive the market for alternative energy sources, not the subsidies of governments or the hordes of green shirts.

nrb_jpk
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Rookie
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
nrb_jpk   4/2/2010 1:03:00 PM
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The issue with "blasting that waste into space" is the risk of malfunction and the need to destroy the vehicle. When the cargo is a couple of satellite, the only danger is debris. When the cargo is radioactive material, this is the same effect as a theoretical dirty bomb (another touchy subject).

AlexKovnat
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Rookie
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
AlexKovnat   4/2/2010 11:57:57 AM
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I am very much in favor of nuclear energy, including recycling of plutonium and breeder reactors. I cannot emphasize enough how silly it is to proclaim that reducing CO2 is so important as to justify draconian 35 mile per gallon fuel economy requirements, yet at the same time oppose nuclear energy. As for solar power: Sure, you could put solar cells on the roofs of every building, including the one I'm sitting in right now. But how much energy in kilowatt-hours per year, can we realistically hope to harvest in proportion to the investment in labor and materials?

greenbarron
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Rookie
re: Keep alternative energy engineering clean: from politics
greenbarron   4/2/2010 12:30:43 AM
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With regards to nuclear energy I'd like to see a better assessment of France's and Japan's nuclear programs. They both rely heavily on nuclear energy, as does California. With 20% of the state's energy coming from Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, the only two nuclear plants in the state it already factors in heavily to our energy mix. But more than that I am very interested in minimizing environmental impact of clean energy. This can range from often overlooked manufacturing cleanliness through installation damages to local habitats at the installation points. These seam to me to be the most understudied impacts of clean energy, as I can fairly easily read about, and follow the rest of the advancements. Another interesting view to look at is how this may effect the layout of the distribution grid, getting power from the Desert Southwest to New England (as presented by some members of congress), seams like a foolish plan without superconductive transmission capabilities, so what are we doing to upgrade our "third world" transmission grid? This is especially pertinent because where my parent's live the wall socket is an abysmal 18% efficient.

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