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The Dabancheng wind farm in China's Xinjiang province is just one of China's many massive wind projects. China is focusing on bigger turbines for more economical yields.  (Source: Bob Sacha/Corbis)
Red China is seeing green and quickly assuming a role as a world class wind power

The U.S. has invested heavily in developing wind power.  From nation-leading massive wind farms on the dusty plains of Texas to towering windmills being built in a cutting-edge wind park off the shores of Delaware, the U.S. has established itself as a wind superpower.

Only Germany, and thus by proxy the EU, has more wind power capacity than the U.S. However, the U.S.'s chief economic rival, China, is crafting plans to rapidly scale its own adoption to levels never before seen in the world.

In windy Dabancheng, an area in western China dominated by the Himalayan Mountains and strong winds, turbines are being erected forming a massive wind conduit.  The area is fortunate to have one of the strongest on-land wind flows in the world.  Because of this and the strong interest to take advantage of it, it is projected that the area will become the largest wind producing sector in the world by next year.

Over the icy planes 118 massive 1.5 MW turbines spin majestically in the gale.  When the project started, it was a mere experiment intended to power the town of Urumqi.  Now it is expanding its capacity to ship electricity elsewhere. 

And it's not the only wind rich region China is developing -- China also has facilities of equal sizes under construction in Gansu, Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu.  This has resulted in torrid wind power growth of 100 percent a year in China since 2005.  China hopes that with the help of the rapid growth it can achieve its goal of getting 15 percent of its power from alternative energy source by 2020, doubling its alternative energy percentage in 2005.

Not even the government could predict the success of China's wind effort.  China's planners doubled their predictions for 2010 capacity, having reached the goal of 5 GW last year, three years early.  If current growth continues the prediction will again have to be doubled by 2010. 

Junfeng Li, secretary general of the China Renewable Energy Industries Association stated in a paper last month, "China is witnessing the start of a golden age of wind power development, and the magnitude of growth has caught even policymakers off guard.  It is widely believed that wind power will be able to compete with coal generation by as early as 2015. That will be the turning point in China, which by then will be the world's largest energy consumer."

Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council says that China is likely to install more new wind capacity than any other nation by 2010, including the U.S.  He also believes that by 2010 China may pass the U.S. as the world's largest turbine maker. 

He stated, "China's wind energy market is unrecognizable from two years ago, it is huge, huge. But it is not realized yet in the outside world.  A few years ago wind energy was boutique, something to show off to foreigners to prove how green they are but now it is a very serious part of their energy policy.  They can make things happen so quickly in China compared to the west. When they make up their minds, it is incredible how fast things happen."

Last year China reached 6 GW of capacity, with over 202 wind sites.  Azure International, a consultancy in Beijing reports that 445 more sites have been earmarked for development in the immediate future -- Chinese wind business can't keep up with the demand.  Back at Dabancheng, the current capacity is already 110 MW and the company operating the farm, Xijiang Tianfang Wind Power, plans to increase this another 50 MW by November.

The Chinese take great pride in their wind advances.  Li Yanjun, the duty operator at Dabancheng said, "We call it the Three Gorges of the sky. The hydroelectric dam there taps the water, here we tap the wind.  I've been here since the beginning. The turbines are like my children. It took 10 years to reach 64,000 kilowatt/hours because that period was the research phase, but now the government is committed to wind energy so we can grow quickly."

He continued, referring to the large turbines he operates, "This is the future in China.  Everyone is opting for big turbines. It is more economic to have one 1,500 kw turbine than two 750kw turbines and the maintenance costs are lower."

However, the plant is likely to be surpassed by a new facility in Jiuquan which plans to boast 3.8 GW of capacity by 2010.  It will link with other farms on China's expanded national grid. 

Still, the current capacity falls far short of China's coal power production, which supplies 70 percent of the state's power.  Also, one key problem is lack of competition with the wind power being controlled by five state-owned power generation utilities.  Still there are promising signs for China, such as the fact that the turbine industry in China -- typically dominated by foreign manufacturers like Vestas of Denmark, Gamesa of Spain and General Electric (GE) of the US -- saw 50 percent of its turbines domestically produced last year.

The biggest of these Chinese manufacturers is Goldwind, which is based in Urumqi.  It created the turbines for the Dabancheng project.  It creates 1.5 MW turbines competitive with foreign designs and is testing a massive industry leading 3 MW model currently.  It has seen amazing growth of 100 percent or more over each of the last 8 years.

A Goldwind executive, who asked to remain nameless, acknowledged much work remains.  He remarked, "There is still a gap between Chinese companies and western companies in terms of research and development because we started later.  Most of our technology comes from Germany. But in the first half of this year, we bought the company that taught us how to do things. That has solved the problem of research and development. Now we want to start selling overseas."

Goldwind sold turbines to Cuba and is hoping to soon sell to Pakistan, the Philippines and South Korea.  If all goes to plan, Goldwind and other providers may raise China's new capacity to 11 GW this year, with installation almost three times as much as last year. Sebastian Meyer, director of research and advisory at Azure International added, "It is probably going to be the most competitive turbine market in the world very quickly. Elsewhere, it is a seller's market. Now in China, we are on the tipping point of it becoming a buyers' market."

With coal costs rising and China being forced to import coal from Australia, wind is becoming increasingly competitive, however, it is still twice the cost per kilowatt hour as coal.  For that reason China will burn 2 billion tons of coal this year, a third of the total yearly world use.  Also wind capacity is still overshadowed by hydroelectric power, which provides more than 6 percent of the country's power.  Some predict that wind could surpass hydroelectric soon, with some boldly predicting that by 2020 wind will offer 122 GW of capacity, or roughly 10 percent of China's power.

China's rapid rise as a wind power parallels closely to its rise as a global economic force.  Its strong thirst for wind power seems to mark a clear signal that the technology has strong prospects.  Like most things with China, its wind progress represents a competitive challenge to the U.S., but also an opportunity.





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Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 10:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty sad that from 202 wind sites, they're getting only 6GW of power. You can easily get that from 2-3 nuclear facilities. Wind power isn't as big a blot on the land as a huge solar installation but still. You need how many hundreds of turbines and how many hundreds of thousands of acres of land to get just the same capacity as a single nuclear facility.




RE: Nice but
By Rob94hawk on 7/29/2008 10:38:29 AM , Rating: 2
True but they need to figure out what to do with all that nuke waste.


RE: Nice but
By noxipoo on 7/29/2008 10:46:15 AM , Rating: 1
bury it in that big mountain they got, duh?


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 10:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
The Chinese are fairly reasonable; they may just vitrify it and drop it in the deep sea. Compared to how much natural radioactivity is already present in the ocean, their own contribution will be negligible.


RE: Nice but
By ViroMan on 7/30/2008 3:56:30 AM , Rating: 1
Why vitrify it when it makes a great weapon ammunition and armor plates? Not to mention dirty bombs scare the sh*t out of us Americans.


RE: Nice but
By Strunf on 7/30/2008 5:16:03 AM , Rating: 1
Like if they would even bother with vitrification... straight down the toilet.


RE: Nice but
By acejj26 on 7/29/2008 10:55:04 AM , Rating: 5
Here's a common misconception. How much nuclear waste do you think is formed each year from a large nuclear reactor? 1000 cubic meters? 10,000? A million. Try 3. That fits in your bathroom, with room to spare. And if you reprocess the waste to form new fuel, then that number becomes 1. 1 cubic meter of waste for one year of incredibly cheap and efficient power.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 11:14:24 AM , Rating: 5
> "Try 3. That fits in your bathroom, with room to spare. And if you reprocess the waste to form new fuel, then that number becomes 1"

And your average coal-fired power plant of the same size produces some 2.5 million tons of waste of year, most of which goes straight into the air we breathe.

It's one of the great ironies of life that the so-called "environmentalists" have done more to keep those coal plants running than anyone else in the country.


RE: Nice but
By William Gaatjes on 7/29/2008 2:12:57 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
> "Try 3. That fits in your bathroom, with room to spare. And if you reprocess the waste to form new fuel, then that number becomes 1" And your average coal-fired power plant of the same size produces some 2.5 million tons of waste of year, most of which goes straight into the air we breathe. It's one of the great ironies of life that the so-called "environmentalists" have done more to keep those coal plants running than anyone else in the country.


+6


RE: Nice but
By CheesePoofs on 7/29/2008 5:47:36 PM , Rating: 5
Please stop mass-labeling environmentalists. It's true that there are some who would support coal over nuclear power, but many (myself included) are strongly in favor of nuclear power over coal (or any other non-renewable energy source).


RE: Nice but
By xphile on 7/29/2008 7:05:47 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah - environmentalists may, or may not be, strongly in favor of, or strongly against, nuclear power, or another form of power, or not, depending on whichever way our wind farm is blowing on a given day.

Don't mass label us, labels cause waste and most are manufactured using plastic 60% derived from oil byproducts - labels are awful and cause cancer, probably; it sure seems to make sense so we've started a new study to back it up; it will be finished in December but we have the results right here: nasty things; killing your kids, and your grandma; sorry what was the question again??


RE: Nice but
By jconan on 7/29/2008 9:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
does n1 know whatever happened to nuclear fusion ITER project? Wasn't that suppose to be safer than nuclear fission and cleaner too with use of deuterium?


RE: Nice but
By drwho9437 on 7/30/2008 1:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
It is still going. I think it is to be online in 2013 or maybe it was 2018, the date is in the wikipedia. I think the pace in that area is very sad, in that it was held up for so long by funding considering the relative costs of things.

ITER isn't going to generate power though, they do hope to have a power gain though they just aren't designing it to capture it. DEMO is the first beta power plant, and that follows ITER, if I live long DEMO might finish before I die, as currently planned which is rather sad. But yeah...

Once oil cost 500 dollars a barrel perhaps people will fund these things more.


RE: Nice but
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 1:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
See I told you 60% of oil by-products are recycled.

Did you see what I did there. Did you? LOL


RE: Nice but
By Regs on 7/30/2008 9:18:57 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't even call them environmentalists. These are likely the same group of people that made water suppliers put nutritional facts on back of their bottles..


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 12:10:19 PM , Rating: 3
I actually didn't know the number. Very good post.

But they don't focus on how much waste. They use the argument that the waste is dangerous for thousands of years to scare people into submission.


RE: Nice but
By teldar on 7/29/2008 12:54:42 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly

The only reactors which produce much waste are the archaic dinosaurs which is what all of the ones in the U.S. are. If we kept up AT ALL with the rest of the world, i'm sure we'd have a significant amount of our power from nuclear AND we would produce less nuclear waste than what we do today.

T


RE: Nice but
By kmmatney on 7/30/2008 2:30:22 AM , Rating: 2
Uranium is extremely heavy - 3 cubic meters weighs about 62 tons (if I did my math right - assuming Uranium has a density of 18.9 g/cc ). So the waste is not very large, but it's damn heavy. Of course the waste is probably packaged up and shielded in small batches, so with all the shielding the waste will be much, much larger than 3 cubic meters. I'm a fan of nuclear energy, but they do need to once and for all come up with a plan to deal with the waste material and associated sheilding. I'm not sure why the original plan of using that Mountain in Nevada was such a problem.


RE: Nice but
By foolsgambit11 on 7/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:28:26 PM , Rating: 3
> "1 cubic meter of plutonium weighs 19800 kg."

Whoa, whoa...high-level waste contains only small amounts of plutonium. The average reactor produces only about 150-250 kg per year (some designs much less than that). Furthermore, that Pu can be reprocessed out and burned in the right reactor design, leading to no net plutonium production at all.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 4:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
You act like this waste can just spontaneously explode in a nuclear explosion. It has no environmental effects sitting in a canister in a mountain somewhere.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 4:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
And furthermore, as others have stated, it can largely be reprocessed back into more fuel. That means it ain't waste anymore.


RE: Nice but
By 4play on 7/29/2008 2:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a link for that? I would appreciate knowing it as fact.

Thanks


RE: Nice but
RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 3:44:28 PM , Rating: 1
Doesn't the amount of radioactive waste vary with the size of the powerplant ? (so i guess your 3 is an under estimation) ... I'm not a fan of nuclear power mainly because if there is an accident millions of lives are at risk.
Never mind mentioning that background radiation can only go higher and not lower - which correlates to number of people dying as a result of it.
Also don't forget nuclear power requires Uranium, etc and is not renewable - resources will run out eventually.


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 4:17:50 PM , Rating: 4
Our coal plants already pump way more uranium and radioactivity into the air than all the uranium that's used as fuel by our nuclear plants. I could say a lot more but just read the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power#Contras...

No nuclear isn't renewable. But estimated reserves are on the order of a thousand years, as opposed to a hundred years or less for oil. It's cleaner and safer than fossil fuels. We should switch over to it until fusion or solar or geothermal becomes viable enough to supply the bulk of our energy needs.


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 6:43:52 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry i don't trust wikipedia - alot of BS and errors in articles, so got anyother more credible sources ? like WHO led studies ?


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 7:29:29 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, just click on the numbers in square brackets after each little factoid in the Wikipedia link I gave. It'll link to a list of references, many of which link back to the original papers or studies, or occasionally sites.


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 8:03:01 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks, didn't know that coal combustion released that much radioactive material. i knew it did release some but wasn't aware of its major impacts.


RE: Nice but
By acejj26 on 7/29/2008 4:28:09 PM , Rating: 4
Perhaps the most uninformed post I've read here. That 3 number is for a LARGE nuclear power plant, which I stated in my post. The amount of radioactive waste varies with the electrical load placed upon it. That being said, 95% of the waste can be reused as fuel.

Modern nuclear reactors have just about no risk of ever melting down. The one incident dissenters like you love to refer to is Chernobyl, where shitty design and horrible maintenance practices led to a meltdown. The new designs have numerous failsafes to make sure that something like that never happens again.

And finally, about uranium being renewable - yeah, we only have about 12,000 years left of it. So I guess that takes nuclear off the table, right? Stop spewing the same rhetoric that environMENTALists love to regurgitate and do your own research. You're worrying about 1 cubic meter of waste annually per plant? How much energy and resources will be used to construct wind and solar power plants of which I'm sure you're a huge proponent? Do we even have enough iron ore for all the steel that would be required to power our civilization? If we do, how much energy would be required to get it all out, convert it to steel, construct the mills, and place them around the country/world? Do that research and then compare it to the relatively few nuclear power plants we would need to construct that would do the job of all those windmills. If you still can convince yourself that wind is the way to go, then at least you're making an informed decision.


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 4:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And finally, about uranium being renewable - yeah, we only have about 12,000 years left of it.

Just to clarify. The ~1000 year figure I gave above is if you don't reprocess the spent fuel. Currently our spent fuel (classified as nuclear waste) still contains 90%-95% of the energy in the original uranium. To get it out, you need to use it as fuel in a different type of reactor via something called reprocessing. Reprocessing is currently banned commercially in the U.S. because the reactor used to do it generates weapons-grade plutonium (which can be used as fuel). If you include reprocessing, you get the ~12,000 year figure.


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 6:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Large ? you know large itself is subjective, something large to you isnt' large to others so define large ... if you said largest nuclear powerstation till date... then that would be less equivocal


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 7:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
Found the original source for ya. It's referring to a 1000 MWe nuclear plant (i.e. capable of generating 1000 MW of electricity). Given that nuclear plants run at about 40%-45% thermal efficiency, that would correspond to a 2 - 2.5 GW plant if you choose to use those units instead (though I don't think the power industry uses those units)

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Developm...


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 8:13:08 PM , Rating: 1
i've scim read the article, and it says 30 cubic meters per 1000 MW energy plant. thats just low level solid waste from nuclear power plants.

But powerplant also have 30 tonnes of discharged high level radioactive spent fuel along with 800 tonnes of low and intermediate level radioactive waste.
Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think you missunderstood the article.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:24:52 AM , Rating: 3
> "But powerplant also have 30 tonnes of discharged high level radioactive spent fuel along with 800 tonnes of low and intermediate level radioactive waste."

Low-level waste is just that-- anything which has come into contact with radioactive sources at a power plant, and is therefore very mildly radioactive itself. It can include things as innoculous as a pair of gloves or shoe covers a technician discarded after he finished his shift. Most of that waste is less radioactive than natural coal, from the uranium contained within it. So by that gauge, coal-fired power plants release several million tons of low-level radioactive waste each year -- directly into the atmosphere.


RE: Nice but
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 1:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Large ? you know large itself is subjective, something large to you isnt' large to others so define large


That's what she said

OK I am sorry here but someone had to say it.


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 7:00:47 PM , Rating: 1
Well if your so comfortable living next to a nuclear plant then be my guest, Nuclear power might be the cleanest and cheaper future option - yet people seem to forget its problems

There is no doubt for its contribution to background radiation which is a permanent increase of radiation - which is already high from hospitals, missile test and such sources... The effects might not be instant but it surely has its toll.

And what your saying about waste only 3 cubic meters only takes acount of the fuel involved... you forgot the equipment in contact with the radioactive fuels, those too has to be stored properly.

Oh BTW a nuclear powerstation only has less than about 50 years before a new one is required and the old site can't just be abandoned


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 7:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is no doubt for its contribution to background radiation which is a permanent increase of radiation - which is already high from hospitals, missile test and such sources... "

Let's not spread disinformation here. The average background dose of radioactivity is about 360 mrems/year. Over 80% (300 mrems/yr) of that comes from radon, cosmic rays, biologic sources such as potassium in our diet, etc. That's an average -- if you live in a Rocky Mountain state, your natural dose can be more than double that.

Medical x-rays and treatments generate another 50 mrems/year. Smoke detectors, TVs, and other products, 10 mrems/year.

The dose from nuclear missile tests, nuclear power production, uranium mining, all combined works out to less than 1 mrem/year. About equal to you eating one extra banana a month, from the radioactive potassium found naturally inside.

> "Oh BTW a nuclear powerstation only has less than about 50 years before a new one is required "

Wrong again. The projected lifetime of most designs was 50 years, but many are now expected to last 60+ years. Compared to the 25-30 year lifespan of a large wind turbine, that's very favorable.


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 8:24:59 PM , Rating: 1
thanks for correction of numbers, but it doesn't hide the fact that it does contribute. the background radiation might be low overall but these plants are located far from people, would it not have stronger levels nearby ?
And true that lifetime of powerplant is increasing from what it used to be but what happens to these sites after that particular time - its not like it can be turned into safe use


RE: Nice but
By omnicronx on 7/29/2008 9:04:57 PM , Rating: 3
What doesnt contribute? I live right beside a Nuclear powerplant outside of Toronto. I probably got more background radiation from working at a hospital for 2 years that I ever will from the powerplant.. Get your facts straight, of the average of 2.4MSV per year per person of background radiation, a mere 0.01MSV comes from weapons testing, nuclear power accidents and the entire nuclear industry combined.That means that on average over 99.9% of the yearly radiation you will receive comes from cosmic radiation.


RE: Nice but
By andrinoaa on 7/30/2008 1:06:49 AM , Rating: 3
Well that explains were Homer came from, doh!


RE: Nice but
By Ringold on 7/30/2008 11:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
I have the distinct feeling that if you had a preconceived notion that 2+2=22, then it'd be impossible to dislodge the idea. Virtually everything you've said has been pointed out to be wrong. Some times, you even admit it, and then either repeat a similar claim or squirm around with some other irrelevant point. What a waste of posts.


RE: Nice but
By AlexWade on 7/30/2008 8:03:13 AM , Rating: 3
I live near a nuclear power plant. I live within a 1 hour drive from the Shearon Harris nuclear plant. The plant is being expanded, and I am all for that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearon_Harris


RE: Nice but
By FliGuyRyan on 7/29/2008 10:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously SOMEONE (Ah-hem... James) didn't play Sim City. Because everyone knows that nuclear is an upgrade of coal.

Uh... duh

:rolls eyes:


RE: Nice but
By Andy35W on 7/30/2008 1:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try 3


There's a lot more than that. Where did you get that figure from?

How much waste from a turbine per year though?


RE: Nice but
By kc77 on 7/30/2008 10:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
There's a couple of problems with your argument. It's a non-sequitur. First problem is that you are saying that the world measures it's waste/pollution in size alone. Then you move onto nuclear waste.Do you know less than one millionth of a gram of plutonium (byproduct of spent uranium) is carcinogenic?

In terms of reprocessing, fast reactors aren't online yet, they will help but overall recycling nuclear waste in order to get it down to something manageable is still a couple of years off, some say 2040. We (in the US) don't reprocess nuclear waste, hence why we need a mountain to store this stuff. In the US spent nuclear fuel from a large nuclear reactor is is far larger. Now multiply that by 103 which is the amount of nuclear plants we have in the US and you can see where your bathroom measurement has a reduced psychological impact. Just so you know the size of said nuclear waste in the US is the size of a football field and about 1 foot in depth annually.

I'm struggling to figure out why so many people jumping up and clapping like their in church when the fact that nuclear waste is/could be the size of a "bathroom" is irrelevant. It's RADIOACTIVE... you can't take it home with you. You can't chop it up and put it in your salad. The fact that the byproduct of nuclear energy could be packaged into a analogous Hello Kitty doll provides little solace as playing with said doll makes your hair fall out...

Now taken as a whole coal is more radioactive than nuclear, but that's a slight of hand argument. Coal is more radioactive than Nuclear in terms of human exposure as a direct byproduct of the plant being in use. That's not talking about nuclear waste directly. If you popped the top off of spent nuclear rods your exposure is far more than anything you would get from a coal power plant and you would be dead.

I'm really not saying nuclear is bad. But I'm also not saying it's the greatest thing since sliced bread either... at least not at this moment. A little later I can see it being a better alternative even then it's finite and we'll be onto thorium.


RE: Nice but
By JoshuaBuss on 7/31/2008 11:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you popped the top off of spent nuclear rods your exposure is far more than anything you would get from a coal power plant and you would be dead.


Nonsense. Even in high doses you'd need prolonged exposure to suffer any consequences to radioactivity. Besides, no one's popping off the tops of these without proper precaution.. it's certainly better than the prolonged exposure we're subjecting miners of coal and iron to now considering they're NOT wearing radioactive protection.

And yet again though, you're totally missing the point.. out of all the alternatives (coal, solar, wind), the whole process of gathering the materials needed to make the equipment and the byproduct of the actual process of making electricity vs. the amount of electricity generated Nuclear is the clear winner. Living and working around the plants exposes you to no more radiation than you'd get from eating a banana once a month, and certainly less than an X-ray tech or a common hospital worker, and other than the waste (which soon might not be a problem at all) there's absolutely no pollution what-so-ever.


RE: Nice but
By kc77 on 7/31/2008 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even in high doses you'd need prolonged exposure to suffer any consequences to radioactivity.
Nope sorry wrong...
Remember there is a distinction between US nuclear waste and what becomes a byproduct in France. There is a difference I suggest you read into it. U.S has far more unreprocessed nuclear waste than any other country. This unreprocessed nuclear waste is primarily plutonium, you know the stuff you make bombs with and is highly radioactive.

I'm not missing the point. I make the distinction between exposure during normal operation and what is possible. Rather than attacking me you should fully read what I was saying. I'm in no way saying that nuclear isn't viable or that overall it shouldn't replace coal. My sticking point is for those who claim nuclear as harmless or a panacea.


RE: Nice but
By weskurtz0081 on 7/29/2008 12:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they could use one of these reactors, but then, what are they going to do with NO nuclear waste and a little glass?

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-ne...


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 12:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen that technology before in a science magazine. It really is incredible. Practically any trash can be used to produce power. And you get far more energy out than is put in.


RE: Nice but
By weskurtz0081 on 7/29/2008 1:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
It is pretty slick isn't it? It could definitely be put to good use around here, and stop a lot of this nuclear hatred considering there wouldn't be any more nuclear waste. Also, think about all the nuclear munitions than can be run through this thing. Technology is moving right along, now all we need is a way to mass produce synthetic gas/diesel or crude, or find a suitable sub for it.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
> " now all we need is a way to mass produce synthetic gas/diesel or crude"

We already have that ability. It just requires vast amounts of energy, which means without a cheap source of energy, it's not viable.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 4:51:52 PM , Rating: 1
Funny how nuclear or this type of plant is that source of cheap energy isn't it?


RE: Nice but
By weskurtz0081 on 7/30/2008 12:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I actually know that, it was more of a lead in question, which worked perfectly. I figured one of you guys would chime in....


RE: Nice but
By Hare on 7/30/2008 3:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you get far more energy out than is put in.

BS. You need to google "Laws of thermodynamics". There is absolutely no way to create more energy than you put in a process. That's pretty much the foundation of our understanding of energy.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
BS. You need to google "Laws of thermodynamics". There is absolutely no way to create more energy than you put in a process
You misunderstand those laws. When nuclear processes are added to the mix, the law of conservation of energy becomes conservation of mass-energy, and thus a closed system can, by converting some of its mass into energy, generate more than is originally put in.


RE: Nice but
By Hare on 7/30/2008 11:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
converting some of its mass into energy

I'm afraid you lost me. Mass is energy so if a process produces X joules of energy, that amount definately came from the fuel/material involved in the process. You can't create energy from nothing.


RE: Nice but
By JoshuaBuss on 7/30/2008 1:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
no, but with nuclear fission you can create it from mass.

that's why the conservation of energy isn't the governing law regarding nuclear reactors, it's the conservation of mass-enegery like masher said.

some mass and some energy goes in, and a lot more energy and a little less mass comes out


RE: Nice but
By William Gaatjes on 7/29/2008 2:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
Very nice indeed.


RE: Nice but
By hadifa on 7/29/2008 8:01:49 PM , Rating: 1
In an annual ceremony, Send it to the Moon!


RE: Nice but
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 8:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
what happens if it blows in mid air ?


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 10:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
> "It's pretty sad that from 202 wind sites, they're getting only 6GW of power. You can easily get that from 2-3 nuclear facilities"

6GW of wind power x wind's normal 30% AF = 2 GW . You can easily get that from a single nuclear facility, as they tend to be available around 90% of the time.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/29/2008 1:12:50 PM , Rating: 3
http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle...

World's most powerful reactor (not yet built) 1.6 GW. Can you tell me what reactors can reach 2+GW? If all plants were the equal of this one going up in Finland, then you'd be talking about almost 4 reactors.

You guys have often commented that nuclear doesn't require much public funding. However, quite the opposite is true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nucl...

You guys really seem to have this belief that nuclear power is completely safe, that the waste is somehow ok to be released into the environment, and that wind and solar are somehow much more expensive. Initial costs place nuclear at 1/2 the cost of wind, but fail to mention the fact that after 50-60 years, they get shut down. It also doesn't consider that there are high ongoing costs for maintenance and running of the plants. By contrast, if China can achieve 10% of its electrical needs by 2020, then in about 120-150 years, it might be able to achieve 100% of its electrical needs via wind, and it will not have to deal with the complications of nuclear waste or having to constantly replace plants every 60 years or so.

In any case, clearly you're overoptimistic about the benefits and even capability of nuclear power. Seriously, do you have any investment in a nuclear facility or a company that makes nuclear facilities?


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:33:52 PM , Rating: 3
> "Can you tell me what reactors can reach 2+GW? "

You've confused reactors with facilities. Japan's Kashi-Kari nuclear facility, for instance, produces over 8 GW of power...equivalent to the power ouput of 24 GW of wind turbines.

> You guys really seem to have this belief that nuclear power is completely safe"

Nothing is completely safe, but nuclear power is the safest of all alternatives. Do you really believe there's zero risk from massive spinning blades placed high in the air? Or that the mining and production of millions of tons of steel and concrete is danger-free?

> "Initial costs place nuclear at 1/2 the cost of wind, but fail to mention the fact that after 50-60 years, they get shut down"

End-to-end cost estimates for nuclear power include decommissioning costs.

> "It also doesn't consider that there are high ongoing costs for maintenance and running of the plants"

You're far off base here. Maintenance costs for wind turbines are significantly higher than for a nuclear plant.

> "then in about 120-150 years, it might be able to achieve 100% of its electrical needs via wind"

Not without several quantum advances in power transmission and storage. It just isn't possible to use wind power for more than peak demand reduction at present.


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 4:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
Just in case Michael's post isn't clear, most reactors top out at around 800 MW - 1.5 GW. But most nuclear facilities contain 2-4 reactors.
quote:
You guys really seem to have this belief that nuclear power is completely safe,
The only people I've seen here who've claimed anything is completely safe or clean are the people pushing renewables (see below). The pro-nuclear crowd have merely been pointing out that those technologies also carry risk and pollution costs.

On the topic of cost and risk associated with nuclear, it is demonstrably less than the coal plants we currently operate, and in some cases their risk is less than several of the renewables. Which begs the question: why is opposition to nuclear plants so much stronger than opposition to coal plants?

quote:
that the waste is somehow ok to be released into the environment, and that wind and solar are somehow much more expensive. Initial costs place nuclear at 1/2 the cost of wind, but fail to mention the fact that after 50-60 years, they get shut down. It also doesn't consider that there are high ongoing costs for maintenance and running of the plants.

Read the next couple sections of the link you provided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nucl...

quote:
By contrast, if China can achieve 10% of its electrical needs by 2020, then in about 120-150 years, it might be able to achieve 100% of its electrical needs via wind, and it will not have to deal with the complications of nuclear waste or having to constantly replace plants every 60 years or so.
So you're claiming wind is completely safe and clean?

A proper comparison isn't just listing the disadvantages of one option, comparing them to having no disadvantages, then claiming that they're unacceptable. A proper comparison is listing the disadvantages and advantages of all options, comparing them, then choosing the one which overall is the best. Often that means that the better option will actually be worse than the alternative(s) within a single dimension of comparison. But overall it may still be the better option.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 10:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, China is expanding its nuclear energy base even faster than wind. They intend to boost capacity to 60 GW by 2020, building around 4 new plants each year for the next decade.


RE: Nice but
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 11:19:31 AM , Rating: 1
202 wind sites using 1.5MW Turbines... It's no wonder the power output is minimal as compared to a 2.5MW Turbine Model...

4 Nuclear plants... that's over $20 Billion U.S. in costs each year for construction. That's enough money to buy over 16,000 2.5MW turbines every year... Kudos to them for having that much money to spend and actually having a government that will allow them to be built. Of course, they don't have idiotic conservationists ruining their country.

But I think they have the right idea. They aren't putting all of their fish in one barrel. They are diversifying their engergy infrastructure-- exactly what we should do.


RE: Nice but
By Icelight on 7/29/2008 11:36:12 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Of course, they don't have idiotic conservationists ruining their country.


Oh, I'm sure they do, but I bet they have an odd habit of just up and "disappearing" quite frequently.


RE: Nice but
By mdogs444 on 7/29/2008 11:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well, if we learn anything from the Chinese...maybe that should be atop the list.


RE: Nice but
By Drexial on 7/29/2008 12:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I'm sure that's the way we should go, I mean what cant we learn from a country that had to shut factories down just so people could see the damned stadium in Beijing.


RE: Nice but
By Ringold on 7/30/2008 12:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
You could learn a lot from such a country. We've blown billions fighting 'global poverty', particularly in Africa. We've achieved nothing in Africa.

Meanwhile, China pulled itself up by its bootstraps, and has reduced poverty by about 400m in recent decades, it's unemployment is shrinking, it's economy is surging, and workers real income (income growth corrected for inflation) is surging to the point where hundreds of millions are starting to enjoy first-world modern luxuries never before imaginable.

In return for economic development of a magnitude never before seen in history, they've got a nasty, but not irreversible, smog problem.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 12:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse a conservationist with an environmentalist. Conservationist's just want to use what we have appropriately and wisely. Environmentalists want us to stop using certain things entirely in a false attempt to "save mother Earth".

If anything a conservationist would approve of nuclear power since it saves oil, gas, and coal for other uses. An environmentalist though opposes nuclear power because of "all the waste" and "it will explode killing us all". Neither of which is true.

And to you who always pop up saying, "Would you want a nuclear plant in your "back yard". Damn right I would. Means cheap energy which doesn't have a price that fluctuates over time. All you liberals who live up north might be singing a different tune this winter when your heating bills double. Of course at the same time you'll be whining for the poor to get subsidies so they can pay the bills that you caused to go higher.


RE: Nice but
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 1:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected, indeed I should have said environmentalists instead of conservationists. Although there is a thin line between the two at times.

While (believe it or not) I am a proponent of Nuclear power, I wouldn't want one in my back yard. Stories like this http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25821078/ make me cautious about living too terribly close to one.

Can't we figure out a way to make energy through combusting members of the Sierra Club (oh and PETA members too)?


RE: Nice but
By andrinoaa on 7/30/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice but
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 2:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding me, after all the empirical data and the overwhelming evidence that nuclear power is at least as viable as the other energy resources here, you have to come up with some lackwitt comment like that? Could you please go back to your cave and hand me your bible so I can start a fire for you?


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/29/2008 1:18:07 PM , Rating: 4
The price of fuel for nuclear plants has increased over time, and is only expected to rise. An environmentalist is just someone who doesn't want to destroy the environment to get a temporary fix. They believe that humans are negatively affecting the environment and many of them believe there are alternative ways in which to achieve a better balance and a smaller footprint. But as the antienvironmentalists say ... nuke the gay whales for Jesus.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "The price of fuel for nuclear plants has increased over time, and is only expected to rise"

The price for fuel for a nuclear power plant is negligibly insignificant-- nearly all the costs are capital costs for the construction and decomissioning of the plant. The cost of uranium could rise by 500% and it would affect the price of generated electricity by less than 1%.


RE: Nice but
By mles1551 on 7/29/2008 2:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency 6 million tons of uranium could be recovered for less than $59 per pound compared to the current price of around $80/lb

77,000tons per year are currently needed for nuclear reactors.

Thats 80yrs worth at current prices w/o any reprocessing.


RE: Nice but
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 5:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
Total uranium mining for the last several years has barely peaked over 40,000 tons/yr. According to your source, the world has never mined enough uranium to run all its nuclear reactors.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf23.html

I suspect there's some sloppiness going on between tons of U235 (the energy-producing kind, about 0.7% of natural uranium, 3% of enriched uranium used in commercial reactors), U238 (the mostly inert kind aka depleted uranium), refined ore (about 70% uranium by weight), and raw ore (varies from 1%-70% uranium by weight depending on location). 77,000 tons of refied ore (yellowcake) sounds more in-line with the above numbers. But it's not directly comparable to 6 Mtons of pure uranium.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/29/2008 10:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently one big source of uranium (14%), currently, is coming from the USSR's stockpile of nuclear warheads, which supposedly will run dry in 2014. To put that in perspective, Cameco, the world's largest uranium mining company operating out of Canada, supplies the world with 19% of its requirement. The uranium crunch is expected to only worsen as time goes on.

I don't see how uranium is a small expense, since it accounts for nearly 1/3 of the costs of running a plant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nucl...

I know you guys have been grinding your axes against government subsidies used to pay for wind power - but these are the exact same subsidies that are given to nuclear reactors! http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/WebHomeCostOfN...

Other things that you might not be aware of, if you continue reading that article, is that the construction of nuclear power-plants routinely cost more than what they're set out to. Then where do you suppose they get their funding from? You know how the phrase goes, as do the nuclear investors when they seek public funds: 'In for a penny, in for a pound'. I prefer, of course, 'throwing good money after bad.'

Now, I'm not an economic major or anything even remotely close to it, but if production of a material is grossly unable to meet demand, then that material is going to increase in cost. There are more power plants being built all the time. Do you really think that's going to solve that issue?

There are so many problems with nuclear reactors. Nonetheless, so many folks believe that the only problem with them are that you've got hippies.

I don't know what ongoing costs are for windmills, but wind is something that we don't have a limited supply of. There are good days and bad days. However, the more wind mills there are around a country as large as China or the USA, the less likely a day of low wind is going to affect energy production straight across the grid. Further diversification into solar, H3 (hopefully this will be in full supply in the next 30 years when some nations start mining the moon - remember kids, there are no hippies on the moon - you anti-environmentalists should then consider moving there where your irresponsible antics won't damage a non-existent ecosystem), and geothermal.

Anyways, here's another grim story about the viability of nuclear powering our computers in the long term: http://www.physorg.com/news123849994.html

Anyways, you guys have really got to update your information. Most of it hasn't been valid in the last 10 years.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 10:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "but these are the exact same subsidies that are given to nuclear reactors!"

You've misread your own link. There are no such subsidies given to nuclear power in the U.S.

> "The uranium crunch is expected to only worsen as time goes on."

In whose head, yours? Uranium is far from scarce, even without reprocessing which would increase total energy obtainable by a factor of 10-20. And in 12,000 years or so when we run out of uranium, we can start on thorium, which is 3X as abundant a resource.

> "Anyways, here's another grim story about the viability of nuclear"

Grim? I actually got a nice chuckle out of it. That "analysis" is written by someone with no experience in the nuclear power industry, and who actually makes such silly claims as nuclear reactors contributing to global warming by directly heating the earth. Guess he didn't realize the earth receives 174,000 terawatts of heat energy each day from the sun.

> "but wind is something that we don't have a limited supply of."

You're still ignoring the point that we cannot power the entire country off wind. It can't be done, not without a few quantum leaps in energy storage technology. All the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/29/2008 11:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
You're laughing off known facts about uranium production. Estimates are that as further nuclear production, to meet demand, will need to be increased by 10% every year. The world's supply isn't moving in that direction.

As far as Americans not giving subsidies to nuclear power plants, I found another source which reiterates what I already have read many times: http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/...

Now, I know you love nuclear energy. With that comes disbelief when led to facts that so harshly contradict your stance. However, the facts are against the feasibility of using nuclear energy to power America. It also shows the expensive subsidies that Americans have to pay to get the energy.

As far as uranium being scarce, the statistic that I linked to showed a need for 70,000 tons of uranium, while barely more than 40,000 tons are being produced. Sure there's a lot of uranium. Heck, you can distill water and get an awful lot of it.

According to the analysis, nuclear power is incapable of being brought online to meet the demand for energy. Though Japan's foundry will double over the next few years, that's still a maximum of 8 new nuclear facilities per year. They are the only ones capable of doing this, aside from Russia, which hasn't really gotten on top of this demand yet.

In any case, try to be a bit more open minded, and I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion that I have: wind energy is not only better for the environment, safer, but it's also cheaper for generating electricity than nuclear. I don't believe that nuclear should be altogether dismantled, but rather simply that current nuclear facilities be maintained and replaced as necessary.

That paper I linked you to explicitly shows how conservation is the biggest and cheapest method to meet the needs of the US.

In Germany, they're talking about 10,000 GW of electrical output using solar alone. That's the equivalent of about 7,000 super sized nuclear power plants. It's feasible to build these solar plants, while it's completely unfeasible to build 7,000 nuclear power plants.

Nuclear power, like it or not, cannot do what we need. Wind and solar alongside conservation efforts and research into new technologies which can tap the huge geothermal reservoir, can.


RE: Nice but
By Keeir on 7/30/2008 12:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pd...

How about you try actual DOE figures? Maybe they are lying?

Nuclear Power receives subsidies for both continued operation and RD into various things.

Current subsidies are 1/10 or less of subsidies given to Wind and Solar (on a per generated watt scale)

On a continuing operation basis, Nuclear is far far cheaper than most fossil fuels. You know, those things wind and solar can't replace?

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec3_6.p...

quote:
In Germany, they're talking about 10,000 GW of electrical output using solar alone. That's the equivalent of about 7,000 super sized nuclear power plants. It's feasible to build these solar plants, while it's completely unfeasible to build 7,000 nuclear power plants.


Wow, where to start. Assuming 20% solar efficiency, that roughly covering the ground that 50,000,000,000,000 watts of solar energy falls onto.. (10,000/.2 * 1*10^9 or 5*10^13)

http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps/radmonth.php...

According to this Site, in Berlin, assuming optimum angle, the average solar irradiation is 3147 Wh per day per m2. Or roughly 250 W/m2 assuming a 12 hour day. So to generate on average (during daylight only mind) 10,000 GW or power would require 200,000,000,000 m2 (5*10^13/2.5 * 10^2=2*10^11) of land or 200,000 square kilometers (2*10^11/10^6=2*10^5). Hmmm Germany is what? ~400,000 square kilometers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany

So its feasible to cover 50%! or their land with solar panels? I hope you made a mistake somewhere. To output 10,000 GW in Winter would be even worse, not even if the entire country was completely covered with 20% efficiency panels would output top 10,000 GW.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/30/2008 1:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
There's no need for me to calculate their figures. I'm just going based on their opinion. I don't think they were calculating for Germany exclusively. More likely they're commenting on world energy needs. I doubt that Germany needs 20,000GW of electricity.

As far as your link is concerned, you're just talking federal grants to say the least. I don't think it's accounting for things such as insurance, as the article I cited has. Anyways, as your own link points out "Some electricity sources, such as nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas, have received varying levels of subsidies and support in the past which may have aided them in reaching their current role in electricity production." So, since in the last 30 years, the plants that are in place have already received the bulk of their funding and that their current funding is helping their current electrical yield, whereas solar and wind are just now being produced at an intensive level, those tables easily misleading if you don't consider it within the context of the plant's lifetime.

For a better analysis of the financial burden that modern nuclear facilities would place on the government can better be viewed by looking at modern facilities being built at this time.

I know it's hard to give up on this idea that nuclear is cheap and easy - and that the ideologies and political activities of Green Peace and other environmentalist protection agencies and agendas have been the only impediment to this energy - but it's a farce. It's never been true. Most of the nuclear activists, despite the ongoing issues with current nuclear facility development, still cling to the idea that nuclear is cheap and easy. Unfortunately, their champion, John McCain, may very well become the man to make that mistake - as if Bush hasn't depressed the American economy enough already with his many blunders. I can't help but wonder what America, and the world today, would have been like if those black districts in Florida had had their votes counted and their voices heard. Surely Al Gore would have made for a better president. Of course, as the saying goes, it could be all hot air that he's been spouting for the last 8 years - as that's what politicians usually do.

In any case, feel free to not read anything and draw sweeping conclusions based on a quick glance rather than a careful survey of the document.


RE: Nice but
By drwho9437 on 7/30/2008 2:11:37 AM , Rating: 2
yeah don't confuse him with the facts. News flash it was probably MW not GW. That would make it reasonable.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/30/2008 1:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
If you take a look at the 2004 table of world consumption of electricity, you'll notice it's about 15,000 GW. So, the fact that they were talking about 20,000 GW of world consumption and ways in which to meet the demand is on line with the scientist saying precisely what he meant, not what you thought he meant.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 7/30/2008 1:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I forgot to include the link. I found one more up-to-date anyways: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

Again, 20,000 GW. The reply to my post suggested that half of Germany covered in photovoltaic was a silly idea. I agree.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
> "As far as your link is concerned, you're just talking federal grants to say the least. I don't think it's accounting for things such as insurance, as the article I cited has"

Translation: you've proven me wrong, but I'm still going to cling to my beliefs anyway.

Nuclear is far cheaper than wind or solar, period. That's even with our current crop of reactors, based on 50-year old designs and technology. We have much cleaner, cheaper, safer, and more efficient designs on the books...but little interest in building them, thanks to the ignorance of the public, and environmental groups which play upon their fears.

Given that access to cheap energy is the most important factor controlling a nation's standard of living and access to basic health needs such as refrigeration and heating, the blockage of nuclear power by environmental organizations is truly one of the great crimes against humanity of the last century.

Let's try to make sure that crime isn't repeated again over the next 100 years.


RE: Nice but
By wordsworm on 8/1/2008 8:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Translation: you've proven me wrong, but I'm still going to cling to my beliefs anyway.


Please, sing that sorry song for yourself Mike. You're the one who's ignoring all the evidence which is mounting up against the greater financial pains that building new plants entails. For some countries, like S. Korea, there's not a whole lot of choice. What else other than nuclear is there? But your entire tirade of arguments for nuclear energy have been shot down by the facts.

The irony is that I have proven you wrong, and you're still clinging to your beliefs.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 4:58:25 PM , Rating: 1
Way to be a nut who thinks all people who are for nuclear and against the lies environmentalists spew are Christians.

Give me an argument of how nuclear energy destroys the environment other than the non-existent possibility of a modern nuclear plant exploding. Waste certainly doesn't considering the waste can be largely reused. And the remaining that can't can be stored or disposed of in other ways.

And if we're negatively impacting the environment, why do you continue to live since you're only contributing to the problem? Oh right we need you here to tell us of the error of our ways and to push us to reform.


RE: Nice but
By Spuke on 7/29/2008 5:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh right we need you here to tell us of the error of our ways and to push us to reform.
I find it hilarious that they cannot enact real change by themselves or even as a group. They have to fool the rest of us to get anything done. And since most of us are middle of the road types, we won't do anything radical even on a good day. Long live mediocrity!!


RE: Nice but
By Carl B on 7/29/2008 1:19:03 PM , Rating: 4
Believe me when I say that China needs environmentalists in large amounts right now. Folk around Dailytech are needlessly antagonistic towards anything having to do with the environment, but the fact is the US benefits from the past struggles in this regard.

China is extremely, *extremely* polluted... there is more to determining a right course of action than simply what gives the most short/medium-term economic utility, and environmentalism in China is taking off in a big way considering that the country is choking on the exhaust fumes of its own progress.

While I'm here, I'll note that 'environmentalists' in general don't have anything against nuclear power, that group is a niche within a niche - it's just the favorite strawman of folk that like to complain that "we're" being held back by "them."


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 3
> "While I'm here, I'll note that 'environmentalists' in general don't have anything against nuclear power"

You couldn't possibly be more wrong. Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, The Green Parties of Europe and Canada, The WWF, Earth First, Friends of the Earth, the World Watch Institute, and every other major environmental group strongly opposes nuclear power, and regularly launch both legal battles and public disinformation campaigns to block any construction of nuclear power facilities.


RE: Nice but
By Carl B on 7/29/2008 1:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
That's the equivalent of saying the majority of religious peoples oppose abortion, gay marriage, or some-such... simply because the majority of organized/mobilized/funded groups within this category pursue such goals.

I'm an atheist so I don't want to bother discussing the above - it's purpose is simply to demonstrate that painting the larger group by a narrow brush is exceedingly reductionist. I'd consider myself an 'environmentalist,' just as I know many people whom consider themselves 'religious.' I have as much in common with Greenpeace as they do with the Christian Coalition. It's obvious that action groups will normally represent the most ardent/radicalized believers in any given area.

I'll restate that environmentalism isn't inherently linked to nuclear aversion, simply because several prominent groups are aligned as such. The individuals that make up those organizations have a hatred of globalism and corporate power as high up on their lists as they do protecting the environment, and their views are colored as such.

I'm sure you'll find that of the populace that would say they're 'concerned for the environment,' the barest of fractions belong to such groups as the ones you presented.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 2:06:51 PM , Rating: 3
> "I'm sure you'll find that of the populace that would say they're 'concerned for the environment,' the barest of fractions belong to such groups as the ones you presented. "

But those people exert no influence over the movement. Worse, many of them, whether they belong or not, still donate to those groups under the mistaken belief their causes are aligned.

The environmental movement wields massive political and social power. That power and the public voice of environmentalist is controlled utterly by those aforementioned organizations, all of which are adamantly against nuclear power.

The political contributions and endorsements, the interviews in newspapers and magazines, the public disinformation campaigns, the protests and legal challenges -- these are the acts and statements of environmentalists that actually exert influence. And all these are by the misanthropic, anti-nuclear, anti-free market, anti-globalist, neo-Luddite leaders of the enviromental movement.


RE: Nice but
By Carl B on 7/29/2008 2:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not disagreeing with you on that front, simply clarifying that when I use the word 'environmentalist,' the baggage it connotes isn't coming along for the ride. For me, it's simply someone that's concerned about the environment. It doesn't pre-suppose any irrational fear of what I myself consider to be very efficient (and clean) form of energy.

More to the point however, the context of the original statement was in relation to China's specific situation - where frankly if the word environmentalist is too charged, then regardless it must be acknowledged that the environmental situation has deteriorated to a very serious level, one that requires action completely independent of the back-and-forth that takes place on these boards and is always linked back to the United States, and mired in our own dysfunctional energy policy. For truly, China has an environmental policy every bit as dysfunctional as our energy policies; fortunately, the Chinese government is aware of this and looking to move quickly to bring it up.


RE: Nice but
By Suntan on 7/29/2008 2:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
I would have to agree. As easy as it is to say the "enviornmentalists" hold up nuclear (and yes their are some nutjobs out there that want to hold up development of any and everything) the bigger hold up comes from normal citizens that band together because they don't want the proposed nuclear site in their back yard.

-Suntan


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 2:34:45 PM , Rating: 3
Those "normal citizens" don't have millions of dollars to spend on lawsuits and public information campaigns. Every succesful challenge to a new nuclear facility has been orchestrated and funded by one or more environmental organizations.

Take the Watts Bar nuclear plant, for instance. Construction began in 1973, but was halted more than a dozen times by a multitude of legal challenges from a consortium of environmental groups. It wasn't finished until 1996, 23 years later. The interest charges on 23 years of construction loans tripled the cost for the utility.


RE: Nice but
By HsiKai on 7/29/2008 4:31:35 PM , Rating: 1
FITCamaro:

Don't confuse "northern liberals" with "right-wing evangelicals" who are afraid of getting nuclear power plants in their back yards (see parts of Virgina, Ohio, West Virgina, and Pennsylvania). Now that we have a more democratic (and Democratic) Congress, perhaps we can achieve some progress towards building nuclear power plants throughout the United States. You'll notice that over the past 30 years or so of the nation's lack of building nuclear reactors has been during a predominantly Republican rule?

Maybe Florida could be at the forefront of the Nuclear Revolution, pioneering an expansion of power plants? However they would be a prime example of real estate for wind and hydro electricity. China should be commended for having the foresight to invest in a currently expensive technology, helping to drive it lower, while also not adding to the considerable pollution that they and the West have given them through waste disposal and economic subjugation.

With regard to your "fluctuating energy bills" there are for millions of literate Americans an energy plan through their power company that is a flat rate (for example: 11 cents per kWh). This may help you with the obvious difficulty you have in calculating your energy bills. And with respect to northerners singing a different tune during the winter ... really? I don't sing; I don't harp; nor do I complain ad nauseam about energy bills. The reason energy bills increase significantly during unusually warm or cold periods is because of the amount of energy required to heat or cool the home increases greatly. It is not because the energy companies double their rates. This is at least true of the east coast and is likely true of California. The fact that they experience brown outs during the summer would suggest that demand during the summer outweighs that of the winter, not that energy companies are producing only half their energy potential during the winter.


RE: Nice but
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 5:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
I was speaking of the drastically higher prices of heating oil. Not of electricity costs. If you don't think heating bills will rise, you're deluding yourself. But electricity prices will also rise for plants fueled by natural gas and oil.

And just because Republicans were in the majority doesn't mean they were able to do whatever they wanted. Liberal groups have blocked nuclear power and oil refinery construction for the past 40 years. Because they use the power of the courts. And the EPA allows them to do it.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 5:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
> "The reason energy bills increase significantly during unusually warm or cold periods is...not because the energy companies double their rates"

If you don't think the cost for heating oil can double in a few months time, I suggest you examine the recent price data from NYMEX.

Electricity rates are generally more stable, but the fact remains that options like wind and solar are substantially more expensive than nuclear. They can and will lead to higher utility bills.

> "With regard to your "fluctuating energy bills" there are for millions of literate Americans an energy plan through their power company that is a flat rate "

Those who are more than borderline literate, however, understand that that "fixed" rate is simply an average of two ends of a varying spectrum. As energy prices rise, so does the annual rate the utility offers its consumers.

> "You'll notice that over the past 30 years or so of the nation's lack of building nuclear reactors has been during a predominantly Republican rule?"

If you're seriously attempting to lay the lack of progress on nuclear power on the Republican doorstep, you're going to lose a lot of credibility here. Reagan and both Bushes were extremely bullish on nuclear power, but the fact remains that plants are blocked by state and local government, congressional regulations, and environmental lawsuits -- none of which a standing President has much influence over.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 2:46:55 PM , Rating: 1
> "They are diversifying their engergy infrastructure-- exactly what we should do. "

The problem with wind power is that its extraordinarily variable, which makes it difficult to use it for more than a small percentage of total supply. Denmark generates a larger percentage of wind power than any other nation (18%) yet even with that small fraction, they have to export nearly half that power to EU to balance the load.


RE: Nice but
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 3:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
masher, I know we've had our differences in opinion over wind-- so I'll explain my stance on wind with a euphemism.

Think of Nuclear power plants as the mission critical broadband connections businesses use for the internet. Think of Wind power as the redundant internet connection that kicks in when "traffic" is very high and to relieve some of the load off of mission critical connections...

That's why you see a lot of countries aiming for 15%-20% by 2020 or 2030. That's not to say that they are going to be relying completely on Wind and/or solar for that percentage by that date-- instead they want to have the capacity available for peak, interim expanision, etc. Anything extra it provides is gravy.

By no means do I or anyone "expect" wind to be constant. No one implementing wind farms is that ignorant. As for the situation in Texas, the reason the power went out when the wind died down was because they had placed too much failover dependancy on that particular wind farm and the peak consumption overtook.


RE: Nice but
By Spivonious on 7/29/2008 1:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you about nuclear, but how long until we use up all of the uranium? I'm pretty sure the wind will never stop blowing.


RE: Nice but
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
> " but how long until we use up all of the uranium? "

Assumming reprocessing -- about 12,000 years. Then we can use thorium instead, which is about 3X as prevalent as uranium.


RE: Nice but
By andrinoaa on 7/30/2008 1:20:33 AM , Rating: 1
Still banging on about VAPOURWARE mash?


RE: Nice but
By mles1551 on 7/29/2008 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
According to Aug '08 issue of Discover magazine:

Since 2005, known resources of uranium has nearly doubled.

If mining meets 60% of demand and reprocessing takes care of the other 40% our current known supply of uranium will last over 130yrs.


RE: Nice but
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 2:38:31 AM , Rating: 2
I have to ask. How does all this wind energy affect the varying patterns on the earth? Will this also being about a different weather pattern? I really don't know just asking.


RE: Nice but
By 16nm on 7/29/2008 10:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wind power isn't as big a blot on the land as a huge solar installation


Both are equally painful to the eye. These giant windfarms have ruined the beautiful southwest. It's really unfortunate. :(


RE: Nice but
By swizeus on 7/29/2008 10:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Topic of the day : Green


think outside the box...
By melvin121 on 7/29/2008 11:28:55 AM , Rating: 3
Hi all, long time reader, first time poster! Go easy on me :)

It really bugs me that people are so quick to blow off wind power, and complain on the lack of power it generates. Yes nuclear can produce far more power, but there is a price..the environment! Not that Im a tree hugger by any means, but seriously all that waste, that can do some serious harm to all living things. Radation is no joke. Even though you can reuse spent rods, there is still by products and life spans on just how many times you can use them...then what? Stick it in the ground for how many years? Or better yet, lets fire it at the sun right? People are to quick to dismiss that or think screw it, I'll be dead before it becomes an issue, not my problem. Very short sighted IMO.

I think the idea of wind power is great, and its by no means a replacement for our current energy needs. But if you can lesson the load on current nuclear infrastructures, is that such a bad thing? Yes there is still waste to deal with but it can slowly cut down the ammount, while we buy time as newer discoveries are made either with how to deal with the waste, or even a successor to nuclear. Baby steps to the bigger picture.

Wind is such a simple way to gain energy, its such a joke to me that more people wouldnt want to tap in, not to mention its been arround forever.

The point is, its there, why not use it? As these technologies become perfected (along with costs) a duo of wind and solar can certainly lessen the load on nuclear, and the nice thing is, you can implement these things in places that are not fit for anything else (ie deserts for solar, shorlines for wind etc) without causing any real harm.




RE: think outside the box...
By mdogs444 on 7/29/2008 11:41:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The point is, its there, why not use it?


You mean like drilling for more oil? Or using more coal, since we're the world leader in that resource?


RE: think outside the box...
By melvin121 on 7/29/2008 12:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Dont get me started on that topic :)

But eventually oil will run out. Nobody has seemed to figure out just when that is. And we are royally getting screwed with the prices. Everyone likes driving their trucks or SUV's but are crying the blues and the fuel pump.
The idea is to get cleaner RENEWABLE sources of energy. Burning 2 billion tons of coal a year and spewing all that stuff in the air isnt exactly clean either.


RE: think outside the box...
By Carl B on 7/29/2008 1:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this about China, and not the US?

Everything around here turns into proxies for long-standing gripes. China's using wind, they're drilling for oil, they're building nuclear, they're mining coal. How did Melvin's comment incite anyone to bring up these old refrains, when all he's saying is - "why would anyone complain about this?"

And honestly I'll echo it... how can anyone have a problem with this?


RE: think outside the box...
By randy915 on 7/29/2008 6:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
"And honestly I'll echo it... how can anyone have a problem with this?"

Aren't you used to it by now? Anything good for China gets bashed into high hell by these guys. Even increase use of wind power ends of being discussed in conjunction with "people disappearing" and the whole human rights crap. Ignorance is bliss.


RE: think outside the box...
By randy915 on 7/29/2008 6:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
If fact, look at the picture of the soldiers at the top of the page, what does that have to do with wind power? So much uncalled for prejudice and biasness, just boggles the mind. No wonder the Chinese don't care about us Americans and what we think about everything , why should they?


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 11:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
> " but seriously all that waste, that can do some serious harm to all living things."

Look under your kitchen sink some time...you'll find many different things that can "do serious harm to all living things".

Nuclear reactors generate a tiny amount of waste each year. They're actually a cleaner source of power than wind (think you can produce millions of tons of steel and concrete without environmental damage?) Compared to the amount of radioactivity present naturally in the environment, nuclear plants add a negligible amount.

For an interesting experiment, pick up a geiger counter sometime and try running it over a bunch of bananas. See how high the meter goes...OMG, you *eat* those? Or run it across some natural granite rock (a building like New York's Grand Central Station is many times more radioactive than a nuclear facility, for just that very reason).

If you're in any New England or Rocky Mountain state, you're likely to get a strong reading from your own hourse, from the natural radon emissions from the ground itself. If you live in a high-altitude city like Denver, you don't even need to point that geiger counter at anything at all...the natural background cosmic radiation is high enough to pick up a large reading. If you fly regularly, you'll get a large dose from this, no matter where you call home.

There's many other sources, such as x-rays, cat-scans, and other medical treatments. But natural sources are very large. Radiation is all around us....if people realized that, they might fear nuclear power a little less irrationally.


RE: think outside the box...
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 12:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think people are more afraid of the images of radioactive mushroom clouds that environmentalists purport. Except that that isn't what happens if a plant even did melt down.


RE: think outside the box...
By melvin121 on 7/29/2008 2:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
Would you pick up a spent nuclear rod with your bare hands, with no suit on?

I realize that most common of things in our daily lives would register a miniscule ammount of radation, but to say the byproduct of nuclear contributes a negligible ammount of radation (while comparing to things under my kitchen sink) and you answered no to my question than just how negligible is it really?


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't want to touch a pool of battery acid either....yet you manage to drive around with a quantity of it under your head each and every day. Your statement is an excellent example of an appeal to emotion, but it has no bearing on the argument. No one is going to be touching spent fuel rods without proper protection.


RE: think outside the box...
By melvin121 on 7/29/2008 3:39:44 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure what kind of car your driving to be under a battery :p

Exactly my point. You can stand next to battery acid (or in your case sit under it), and unless your are inhaling any fumes that may come off of it, it will not harm you. A spent nuclear rod, you have to be suited up to even go near the thing. Your claiming that it has neglible effects, however all these precautions have to be in place to even handle it, much less decide where the hell we are going to keep stocking this stuff once used, which stays radioactive for an extremley long time. Everyone alway states its clean and safe. Yes we have been handling it safely by wearing protection, limiting exposure etc, but it isnt exactly as clean as you make it out to be. Dont get me wrong, Im not anti nuclear by any means, but you keep ignoring the fact that there are valid dangers (and there is no appeal to emotion here or media hype, just fact) when dealing with this, and much like the garbage issues some places are faced with, you begin to run out of places to keep storing it, without contaminating anything arround it, and Im sure as hell you would protest as an appeal to emotion if you found out that there was plans to store spent rods close to where you live in some unocupied piece of land, cause there's just no where else.

The point of all these efforts for alternatives is to ease the reliance on methods such as nuclear and coal that are known to have some negative drawbacks that they have, which in turn effects the environment.


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: think outside the box...
By melvin121 on 7/29/2008 4:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Furthermore, there's no need to even store it in the first place. Advanced reactor designs can burn the "waste" generated by our current crude plants, meaning there's essentially no waste at all.


Now Im no expert on the topic, in fact you seem a little more educated than me in this, I still always thought that there was still some sort of by product, even with the advances of the reactors?

quote:
Eh? Nuclear reactors generate a tiny amount of high-level waste. We can produce power for the next 10,000 years without needing more than a couple small disposal sites in the entire world.


Fellow cannuck? :p What is considered a tiny amount and small disposal place? And at high levels where are these places without "affecting" human / wildlife? (damn grammer)

quote:
"Affects". And while everything affects the environment, you're ignoring the fact that wind power has large negative effects than nuclear. Besides the need to wallpaper vast tracts with large, noisy, unsightly turbines, there is the environmental damage associated with mining and producing staggering quantities of concrete, steel, and other materials. There's also the much higher quantity of high-tension power lines required.


I'll admit the technology isnt perfect, but they have certainly come along way, just as nuclear has. A while back here there was an article about mills at the top of comercial buildings. Implementations like that do have their benifits, incorporating right into the building to aid it in its energy needs, you must admit isnt a bad idea.

quote:
Do you really want your $100/month power bill to rise to $1000? I think few would agree to that.


As with all new technology, they F$%K you at the drive through :) (good ol Leo Getz)

When the days are windy or sunny, and we've seen ways to harness this energy you have to think to yourself well hey why not.


RE: think outside the box...
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 4:41:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Besides the need to wallpaper vast tracts with large, noisy, unsightly turbines, there is the environmental damage associated with mining and producing staggering quantities of concrete, steel, and other materials. There's also the much higher quantity of high-tension power lines required.


Turbines only produce noise under windy conditions when background sound levels are also naturally elevated-- background noise during wind gusts are measured at 8-10dba just from grass, crop, and tree-leaf rustle.

The impact of nuclear isn't all green... that is unless they're now mining uranium with a bunch of guys with handheld shovels and are transporting it on foot to the plant where it will be processed...(and are all the people that work at the plant walking to work every day?) Last I checked, nuclear cooling towers that are 1-meter thick used quite a bit of concrete and steel....

My electric company charges me every month a "Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning surcharge". It must be expensive if they are charging 36,500,000 other residents every month... I couldn't find the Wind turbine decommissioning charge....

Why do you need a storage mechanism if you want to pass the 10% threshold for Wind?


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 5:25:48 PM , Rating: 1
> "Why do you need a storage mechanism if you want to pass the 10% threshold for Wind? "

Because power grids don't store energy. Wind is an extraordinarily variable power source. Demand is also variable. Plot the two curves next to each other, and you'll see huge areas where supply is far higher than demand, or vice versa, even if the total area under the curves is equal.

Any time supply exceeds demand, you're throwing away power. Any time demand exceeds supply, you're looking at a brownout or blackout.

One can even out the supply curve with power sources with controlled output (nuclear, coal, hydro) but there are inherent limits to how fast these can adjust, as well as the amount of averaging they can absorb.

> "Turbines only produce noise under windy conditions when background sound levels are also naturally elevated"

Turbines produce noise whenever they turn. They're quite loud in operation. Here's a video recording demonstrating just how noisy they can be, even from 2000+ feet away:

http://windfarms.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/wind-tur...


RE: think outside the box...
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 6:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because power grids don't store energy. Wind is an extraordinarily variable power source. Demand is also variable. Plot the two curves next to each other, and you'll see huge areas where supply is far higher than demand, or vice versa, even if the total area under the curves is equal.

I'm aware power grids don't store energy... Wind is "extraordinarily variable". It is simply variable. Wind surveying is not new, nor is it guessing. Wind patterns are predictable in specific parts of the world-- the same parts that are chosen for wind farms... In fact, the most unpredictable part about wind is the direction, something that is overcome with the new generation of turbines that automatically adjust turbine face and blade pitch.

Supply and demand is only a factor on the shortage end-- as the turbines cost nothing to operate whether their energy is needed or not, short of periodic maintenance...

quote:
Turbines produce noise whenever they turn. They're quite loud in operation. Here's a video recording demonstrating just how noisy they can be, even from 2000+ feet away:

Not really impressed with the video... We're talking about a old sony camcorder with wind (the same wind that's turning the turbines) blowing in and around the its microphone. I'd venture to say at least 60% of the noise in the video is wind noise on the micorophone. Not to mention the video is on an anti-wind site... Here's a better video for you... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD0v9_zV2uk


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 6:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Supply and demand is only a factor on the shortage end"

No. It factors greatly onto cost on the oversupply end. A 300MW wind farm cannot supply an area that has peak demand of 300MW. Effectively, you need at least 3 times that, which means 2/3 of your power is wasted at times. That translates to 3 times the turbines built, which triples the cost per kW-h supplied.

There just isn't any way around this. Either you have to massively oversupply the grid, or you're forced to keep wind power to a small percentage of the total power generated, so that controllable sources can smooth out the peaks and valleys.


RE: think outside the box...
By 67STANG on 7/30/2008 1:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
Let's take your worst case scenario of 30%...I say worst case because most wind farms operate between 40-70% availability.. Anyhow, even with your pessimistic view, the cost per kWh does not triple...

The way wind farms work are developers buy the turbines from the manufacturer, then sell any power that is used from them to utility companies... if the utility only uses x amount of power per month, even though the turbine was capable of producing y, they aren't charged for y amount of power. In addition, the utility company can actually fine the Wind energy provider if they fall below 30% availability per their contract. Thus... the price does not fluctuate based upon how much power is produced. Make sense yet?

You are still thinking in terms of a traditional power plant. These aren't coal plants or nuclear reactors...

These farms are supplements to the grid, and are used on a supply/demand/usage basis and they are very good at what they do.


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
> "Let's take your worst case scenario of 30%...I say worst case because most wind farms operate between 40-70% availability.."

You are mistaken. The AF is the ratio of mean power generated to the "nameplate" (peak) power rating. In a prime location, wind farms average a 30-35% AF....in a poor location, it can dip to 20%.

> " Thus... the price does not fluctuate based upon how much power is produced. Make sense yet?"

You are still confused. Those fixed-price contracts are based on certain assumptions for wind farms that generate only a small percentage of the total power of the grid to which they are connected. Therefore, all that power can be readily utilized.

Honestly, this really isn't that complex an issue; I'm surprised you're having difficulty grasping it. To supply more than 10-20% of total grid demand, wind power must contain a substantial amount of excess capacity. That capacity carries a large capital cost, a cost which ultimately is reflected on the bottom line, whether or not a utility generates the power directly or purchases it from a private provider.

Here's a study conducted by the ESB National Grid (Ireland) which maps out in layman's terms the excess capacity costs of wind power. I suggest you study it and understand why the economics of wind power (or any power source with non-controllable output) do not support attempts to fulfill more than a fraction of total grid demand.

http://www.eirgrid.com/EirGridPortal/uploads/Publi...


RE: think outside the box...
By 67STANG on 7/30/2008 11:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are mistaken. The AF is the ratio of mean power generated to the "nameplate" (peak) power rating. In a prime location, wind farms average a 30-35% AF....in a poor location, it can dip to 20%.

I'm mistaken? Please show me the wind farm you are speaking of that averages 30-35%. < 30% is the contractual threshold for penalties incurred by provider to the utility.

quote:
Honestly, this really isn't that complex an issue; I'm surprised you're having difficulty grasping it. To supply more than 10-20% of total grid demand, wind power must contain a substantial amount of excess capacity. That capacity carries a large capital cost, a cost which ultimately is reflected on the bottom line, whether or not a utility generates the power directly or purchases it from a private provider.

Masher... never really seen someone post so much on something they know so little about... I see you have now dropped your "triple the price" argument if favor of a supply and demand, that's fine as your point was nonexistant. Also, they are apparently not noisy anymore either...

You are partially correct on the supply. While a 2.5MW turbine is the "peak" output, different Turbines have different efficiencies at different speeds. Based upon that ratio and the geological wind survey for the area a calculation of power per turbine is determined and the contract is drawn.... knowing full in advance the general amount of power that will be produced and relied upon.

The capital cost is where you're wrong. Of course, I've pointed out that you're wrong about a dozen times already... The economics make sense for 2 reasons:

Reason 1: Turbines are installed for supplemental power (follow along now, as you still are thinking of these as mini nuclear reactors...) They provide supplemental on-demand power to the grid and alleviate stress on power plants. They are only mean to supply a fraction of the grids power... there aren't nearly enough turbines worldwide to accomplish more than that at the moment.

Reason 2: They are quite cheap in comparison to your pride and joy-- the nuclear reactor. Any way you slice it, you can buy a lot of $1.2M turbines for the price of a single nuclear reactor. Oh, and did I mention you can actually build wind farms these days?

You can build a moderately-sized wind farm for the permit price on a Nuclear power plant-- and that's the harsh truth you have to realize...


RE: think outside the box...
By Grast on 7/30/2008 2:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Cooling towers are only needed in areas without a large body of water to sink exccess heat into. That is the reason the majority of us "pro-Nuke" have stated that coastal plants are the best location.

Later


RE: think outside the box...
By andrinoaa on 7/30/2008 1:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
Masher2, I am now convinced you are a con artist. If solar etall energy is 3-5 times more expensive than NUCLAR, were did you get 10 TIMES THE COST increase? Just wanton exageration and miss information. ADMIT it damn you, nuclar has problems. ( can I say ,LOL now ? )
There is no point in counter arguements to masher2 as its like talking to a waterfall, all noise.


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
> "Masher2, I am now convinced you are a con artist. If solar etall energy is 3-5 times more expensive than NUCLAR, were did you get 10 TIMES THE COST increase? "

The difference is for energy storage. Without energy storage, solar can only fill a limited role during peak periods of maximum daylight (4-10 hrs/day, depending on location). With energy storage, solar can potentially fill demand around the clock...but the facilities for that storage push the cost up to 10 or even 20X the cost of nuclear power.


RE: think outside the box...
By Hare on 7/30/2008 12:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
About energy storage. Would you happen to know if any current solar / wind powerplants store energy in kinetic form (flywheel). A few decades ago there were even a couple of buses that had a huge multiple ton flywheel that was accelerated at each stop and provided the energy to move the bus to the next stop.

I know at least NASA has been doing a lot of research:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_stora...

With current technology, I would think that a big flywheel would be a nice solution to store energy. Create a perfect vacuum and use magnetic bearings and you can store energy for a long period of time without huge problems with efficiency. Shouldn't be expensive and unlike traditional batteries doesn't really wear in time.


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/30/2008 12:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
There are companies currently selling flywheel energy storage systems to utilities; see this DT story for details:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=12110

However, such systems lose 8% or so of their stored energy every hour. They're useful for load-levelling, but they can't store power for use during lengthy periods without wind.


RE: think outside the box...
By Hare on 7/30/2008 12:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks. For some reason I had missed that article...


RE: think outside the box...
By Grast on 7/30/2008 2:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
Melvin,

You need to do some research into nuclear handling proceedures. You will discover the proceedures are created based on the type of radiation being emitted by the item. It is not based on how the item became radioactive. Additionally, as a nuclear technician in the U.S. Navy for 6 years, I have held a spent fuel rod. It is about the size of the pencil in diameter and 3 feet long based on the reactor on the USS Georgia. Spent fuel rods are not that dangerous.

Yes, you wear gloves. That is because it is a Alpha/Beta radiation hazard. Please look up other Alpha/Beta radiation sources and their handleing proceedures. We also were resperation devices because it is extremely brital and can atimize into small dust like particles. If such an incident occured it would be BAD to breath in, otherwise we would not need the breathing gear.

It is imporatant to note that all of the radiation gear in the world is only for Alpha/Beta contanimation. Other high energy particals such a Neutron radiation can only be stopped by many layers of lead, steel/concrete, and water. So your argument about needing protection is kinda misinformed.

My point is that radioactive sources exist everywhere in nature. This is reason we no long measure total radiation exposure as a whole figure. We only measure it in comparison to backgroud. I personally am well below my lifetime limit according to NAVY standards. I have .431 milliREM of exposure. I have less than 1% increased chance of adverse effect in comparison to someone which did not have the exposure. Of course if the person had just 1 full chest X-ray, we would be equal.

Radiation is not something to be scared of. It is like fire, guns, drugs, and even normal household cleaners. Radiation is something to be educated and respectful.

I would give you more specifics as to handling proceedures but I do not want to lose my security clearance.

Later...



RE: think outside the box...
By Hare on 7/29/2008 3:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(think you can produce millions of tons of steel and concrete without environmental damage?)

I doubt Nuclear plants appear from thin air. Call me nuts, but I believe a nuclear plant requires plenty of cement and steel.


RE: think outside the box...
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 3:14:46 PM , Rating: 1
Per MW of installed capacity, wind power requires 10X the steel and 5X the concrete as an equivalent amount of nuclear power.


RE: think outside the box...
By weskurtz0081 on 7/29/2008 12:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
All that waste can be turned into inert glass.

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-ne...


RE: think outside the box...
By Solandri on 7/29/2008 5:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wind is such a simple way to gain energy, its such a joke to me that more people wouldnt want to tap in, not to mention its been arround forever.

Here's a cost breakdown by a Swedish energy company (hopefully that's sufficiently removed from the U.S. and its "corrupt" energy market to satisfy the skeptics). And yes it includes storage costs of spent nuclear fuel.

http://www.vattenfall.com/annual-reports/vf_com/20...

When you scale up production to levels needed to run a city, wind just isn't cost effective. Maybe it will be in the future, so I fully support initiatives that spur research in the field. But it isn't right now.


What the current U.S. was a couple hundred years ago
By bupkus on 7/29/2008 11:27:47 AM , Rating: 1
I completely support the development of alternative energy production along with increased energy efficiency technologies as well as other conservation programs.
I suppose I would be called a Greenie or whatever.
It appears China has an energy plan... why can't we?
Disclaimer for those who need an explicit statement: I'm not comparing China to the U.S. but where is our national will? Has the free market failed us or just a lack of right headed leadership that actually respects "outsider" opinions and consensus.

I sometimes try to imagine what North America was like over 2 hundred years ago. Meaning, how clean from industrial waste our rivers and bays were; how free from acid rain and perhaps global warming; how wondrous our vast forests, woodlands, wetlands were; how filled with bison the Great Plains.

I suppose these things are gone forever but I hope more people think of these things and reflect on what someone said years ago.

"Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why?'
I dream things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'"
Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

Then there was my grandmother who said in all seriousness here in Arizona.
"The Indians were here for centuries and what did they do with it?"
Me: You mean, grandma, the malls, shopping centers, paved roads?
Her: Yes.




By masher2 on 7/29/2008 11:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I sometimes try to imagine what North America was like over 2 hundred years ago. Meaning, how clean from industrial waste our rivers and bays were; how free from acid rain and perhaps global warming; how wondrous our vast forests, woodlands, wetlands were; how filled with bison the Great Plains
Why not give up your car, your computer, your accesss to advanced medical treatments, your manufactured clothing and toilet paper, and go find out yourself? There are still plenty of places in the world wholly undeveloped, far from all those nasty things industrialized society has given us.

Want to bet how fast you'll be back?


By bupkus on 7/29/2008 11:56:35 AM , Rating: 3
So it's an either or is it?
I guess polarization is a sign of the times.


By blaster5k on 7/29/2008 1:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
All the benefits of modern society are much more connected to these things than most of us realize.


By mdogs444 on 7/29/2008 11:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
Cheers! Exactly.

Give up everything that modern society has given you, go build a tree fort from sticks and mud, and live like the Robinson's for a while. Then come back and try to convince us all to come with you.

Until then, you're nothing more than a poser. Even the Amish have more self respect than you because at least they are hypocrites (for the most part) in terms of not liking modern day technology.


By Spuke on 7/29/2008 1:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even the Amish have more self respect
And the Amish aren't out there bullying us into adopting their lifestyle.


By bupkus on 7/30/2008 12:20:49 AM , Rating: 1
Aren't you passionate in your stupidity. Didn't you even read the entire post. Must everyone who likes clean rivers hate modern life's conveniences? Your reply says you either hate nature or you have given up on having both pristine nature and modern life.
Maybe you just like to get pissed off and post something hateful?
When I quoted Kennedy I was suggesting that with modern technological advances we may be able to have both, but only if we give a shit about clean air, water, etc.
Bonehead.


By andrinoaa on 7/30/2008 1:37:41 AM , Rating: 2
I get the feeling, we are wasting our time over these boneheads. I was starting to think I was on my own, Bupkus.
I think these guys must love 8086 processors too. Modern Quad cores are TOO EXPENSIVE and will never take off!
The sarcasm is probably lost too!


By masher2 on 7/30/2008 3:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
We're not the ones opposing the industrial revolution and technological growth in nuclear power, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and a half-dozen other fronts. That honor goes to Greenpeace, the Green Party, and other major environmental organizations.


By DeepBlue1975 on 7/29/2008 5:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
Some people do that in industrialized countries.
They're called misfi... Er... Mennonites.

I hate when people seem to suggest that ACTUAL PROBLEMS could be solved by returning our society to how it was in the past.

The problems of today, are solved looking forward, not backwards.

PS: 200 years ago people lived not much longer than 50 years on average, the industrial revolution was kicking in and lots of whole families including infants worked and died on mining places.

Go further back and you find yourself in a feudal society in which most likely you'll be a powerless farmer that starves to death when the weather kills his roots.


By dever on 7/29/2008 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I completely support the development of alternative energy production
You can do this by supporting these alternatives with your spending. However, your comments on "free market failed," "where is our national will" shows that you actually support short-circuiting the mechanisms that create the most efficient solutions. Perhaps you want to force others to "support" these things rather than simply support it yourself.

Of course, the only way to force others legally is government. Imposing government will over the will of the consumer always leads to greater innefficiencies. And when you combine the power industry and the innefficiency of government mandate... you produce more pollution.

quote:
...or just a lack of right headed leadership that actually respects "outsider" opinions and consensus
The ultimate "outside consensus" is granting economic freedom so the consensus of consumers tells producers directly what is needed. Behind every idea to interfere with this "consensus" is an arrogant and foolhardy notion that your decisions should be given more weight than other peoples decisions.


By bupkus on 7/30/2008 12:37:12 AM , Rating: 3
perhaps, perhaps, perhaps you guys like to interpret statements to create a cathartic outlet for your need to rage against something.

As for "supporting these alternatives with your spending" I never supported or purchased gas guzzling SUVs but there they are all over the place. Yes, the wisdom of the masses who can't even read a post without twisting and distorting it into some outlandish position which I never took.

I give up, it's not worth posting to you clowns. You're repetitive mantras about the free market (praise Jesus) and how we actually live in a real democracy. Suggesting that the masses are idiots suggests I know more? Not really. I don't trust the masses because I don't trust the news media and I don't trust political parties. I don't trust the corporations that provide our food, energy, foreign policy, laws (they write them for our Congressional representatives), etc. I don't trust any people that would re-elect GWB for a second term having seen his scumbag cronies in action for their first term.
Over and out.


By dever on 7/31/2008 2:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for supporting my point. Your distrust is a good start. When you rely on government to regulate, you guarantee "mob rule" becuase only a thin majority of support is needed to override your freedoms.

I made assumptions on your post so you might help me understand what you're talking about. You didn't make it clear. Saying "I support alternatives" means absolutely nothing. But in the current climate, it often indicates an uderlying preference for using the government you distrust as my nanny.

The great thing about economic freedom is that you don't have to rely on the masses to make decisions for you, your free to make your own mistakes. Without government, you rely on someone else to force you into mistaken behavior.


I want one for my house
By Rob94hawk on 7/29/2008 10:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
I would love to put one of those on the roof of my house. They do make smaller versions, yes?




RE: I want one for my house
By CyberHawk on 7/29/2008 10:40:55 AM , Rating: 2
You can make one yourself ;)


RE: I want one for my house
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can, fairly cheaply... it's the inverter that ties it to your grid that you can't make yourself.

That's expensive.


RE: I want one for my house
By Golgatha on 7/29/2008 10:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
They make smaller versions, but they are still pretty expensive and if you live in suburban America, you'll have a pretty hard time convincing your neighbors that it's a good idea to erect a wind tower in your backyard.

Now if I lived out in the boonies, I would have one of these pronto.


RE: I want one for my house
By Spuke on 7/29/2008 1:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of people have them in my neighborhood but I live in a rural area where there are no regulations against doing this. I also live in a very windy area so it works well here. I also live in a very sunny area so solar works well here too (over 345 days a year).


I can say only
By CyberHawk on 7/29/2008 10:38:54 AM , Rating: 1
good for them (and us) ;)

Hope that they will achieve heir plans and proceed as planned.

Alternative energy is what developed countries should embrace.




RE: I can say only
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 10:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
So we should embrace sources of power that are vastly inferior to our current power sources?

I've got no problem with putting wind turbines in certain areas. But powering an entire nation off wind is a foolish and impractical idea.


RE: I can say only
By CyberHawk on 7/29/2008 12:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But powering an entire nation off wind is a foolish and impractical idea.


Let us say that this would be possible... why would that be foolish?

It would be foolish NOT to take advantage of such a power source.


RE: I can say only
By FITCamaro on 7/29/2008 12:19:00 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't say don't take advantage of it. I said the liberals ideas of powering the nation completely off solar and wind are idiotic at best. Using either in places where they're practical makes sense. But unfortunately those places are few and far between. And you can get far more power, far more reliably with other sources like nuclear. Or do we only want to be able to be productive, be able to enjoy ourselves, and be comfortable when its sunny and/or windy?


RE: I can say only
By Oregonian2 on 7/29/2008 2:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wind and Solar power are bad anyway, and there would be lawsuits against them if they got to be too popular. They're just the end-point of a nuclear driven power engine -- and nuclear is bad by definition (for green folk). Wind and Solar power plants are basically hydrogen-bomb powered (slightly more indirection and intermediate "processing" for the wind version of power extraction).


RE: I can say only
By Spuke on 7/29/2008 1:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It would be foolish NOT to take advantage of such a power source.
I find it funny that people all of a sudden lose their ability to read when they disagree with something.


Patented technology
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 11:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
> A Goldwind executive, who asked to remain nameless. [said] "Most of our technology comes from Germany"...

I wonder how much of that technology China has actually purchased the appropriate licensing rights.




RE: Patented technology
By 67STANG on 7/29/2008 11:23:44 AM , Rating: 2
Good question, the answer is probably reverse engineering. Funny, since they have enough money to buy engineering on pretty much anything these days.

Also, Goldwind doesn't have an "industry leading" turbine with 3.0MW, there's other turbines that are larger..much larger... even GE has a 3.6MW model.


RE: Patented technology
By master381 on 7/29/2008 11:38:08 AM , Rating: 3
it says they bought the company in the end...


RE: Patented technology
By Spivonious on 7/29/2008 1:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of when I was in Germany last year and saw wind turbines everywhere. It was kind of odd to be looking out over a forest and then see 5-10 turbines poking above the trees.


Why so far apart and why such small fins?
By pwnsweet on 7/29/2008 10:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm so glad I saw this article. I was just thinking about starting a thread somewhere to ask these questions. Why are the turbines so far apart and why is the surface area of the fins so small? I've seen these things spinning, and they don't move anywhere near as fast as they could if the fins were larger. Does anyone know why they can't place them closer and why they can't make the fins wider?




By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 3:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
You don't want them to go to fast. The faster they spin , the bigger the force on the bearings, the axe and on the entire construction. Not to mention the centrifugal force on the blades.
It is even the case that when the wind blowes too hard, the turbine is stopped by an internal brake to prevent damage to the windturbine !

This has to be done or the windturbine snaps and you don't want that at all. There is on the internet a newsmovie where a windturbine brakes apart because of a sudden storm.


By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 3:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
I have to ad, when the internal brake is used, the windturbine is also turned perpendicular to the wind direction to make sure the blades don't "feel" the wind anymore.


Time to educate :
By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 3:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
As always , the truth lies somewhat in the middle.
For the less informed :

I have some websites here about nuclear and about wind energy.

Simple facts as stated in many posts :

nuclear power plant give 24/7 power.
nuclear energy is cleaner then coal or gas/oil burning.
nuclear waste can reprocessed into non radiant waste material or at least into material that has radiation levels similair as found in natural surroundings.
My opinion :
We have this technology and when we start seeing the waste treatment facility as part of the nuclear powerplant we don't have to move the nuclear waste far around. This will create an redundant style of waste processing resource but that is not an issue. We have an abandunce of resource to keep nuclear waste to a minimum and that markets good to people.

some links :
http://www.europeanenergyforum.eu/archives/europea...

http://www.economy-point.org/r/rubbiatron.html

http://www.iaea.or.at/inis/aws/fnss/fulltext/tecdo...

The link from above is here too with thanks to weskurts0081.

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-ne...

Wind turbines are popular because wind turbines only seems to consume resources when being constructed. But they can only supplement power. It is not a reliable source.
The only way wind energy is more relaible is when you place wind turbines at parts of the world where there is a constant source of wind energy .This means usually off shore or coast lines use. Windturbines are used best at strategical locations in sea or land where there is a more continous flow of wind. But it is still not a reliable energy source. It can only supplement.

For example:

http://www.econcern.com/index.php?option=com_conte...

http://www.econcern.com/index.php?option=com_conte...

For solar energy, i believe that with current low effiëncy rates , they are viable for local use only. Put 1 on the roofs of houses to supplement. Or on corporate buildings to supplement.

My opinion. Ledlamps are the best candidates to be fed from solar energy stored in rechargeable batteries. When running low on juice switch to the electrical grid. But use the solar energy only to charge the batteries together with some emergency charge capability from the electrical grid to prevent damage to the batteries from being prolonged empty.
When i think of serious use of solar energy. Use focused sunlight to heat pressurized water or another fluid on the roof of a tall building. Let this water freefall to use gravity to drive electrical turbines. Let it evaporate to come back up as steam because it is still very hot and under high pressure. Lower the pressure and the water wil evaporate. Now this is no perpetual motion. Nor will it be a continous motion. It has to been done in steps and with seperate valve controlled chambers. But on a sunny day, the concentrated heat from the sun should be enough to keep it running. If this works, it will have more energy output then solar plants at a fraction of the area. The trick is to heat up the water as good as possible. Let use this for example :

http://www.dailytech.com/MIT+Students+Develop+Revo...

This energy source is also not relaible and can only be a supplement.

Now all of these energy sources need maintenance. And since there are enough people around. We have enough hands to do maintenance. Combine these facilities together with electric cars for the common use and ICE cars for industrial use where rechargeable batteries are not good enough and we harldy have any pollution anymore on a larger scale.

Enviromentalists will start to complain again :

Nuclear energy is dangerous.

Windparks are bad for birds especially at see.

Focused sunlight is dangerous cause it can melt steel.
(ok, the last one i made up but the former 2 sentences are reallife used arguments.)




RE: Time to educate :
By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 4:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sea. I mean Sea. Dognabbit.


RE: Time to educate :
By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 5:14:02 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf4gOS8aoFk&feature...

This is not a bad idea at all. But how much energy uses the radiowave generator ? The energy for the hf generator could be generated with alternative sources and then go the old fashion way, steam and turbines >> electricity.


RE: Time to educate :
By William Gaatjes on 7/30/2008 5:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
Or better. Sunlight is just a combination of electromagnetic waves. hf radio are elektromagnetic waves too. If there is a way to stretch the wave lengts of certain components in sunlight to the wavelenghts of the radiowaves necessary for the effect to occur, we can use the principle of John Kansas shown in the video.
I know there is a lot of research going on metamaterials that have these wavelenght changing properties. It is the same principle as redshift. I am sure he is using a hf generator in the Ghz range.

In principle ,we focus the sunlight , run it through the material and then use the outputted wavelengths on salt water to release the hydrogen from the saltwater. We can then store the hydrogen locally and use the hydrogen at an conventional powerplant to produce electricity. Since it is stationary we don't have to worry as much about the volitle nature of hydrogen under pressure.

Does anybody know if there is some research done to this.

I know in the hf radio domain they accomplished a lot with waveguides, cavity resonators. And we are just getting in the terahertz range, i am sure some expertise can be found in that field too.



picture caption
By Screwballl on 7/29/2008 11:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
reading the chinese on the front most turbine:

Birds beware! Dangerous blades!




RE: picture caption
By HVAC on 7/29/2008 11:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
No, no, no ...!!!

It say: "Only use for the one thing. Not to be use for the other thing."

Or maybe it is a "No Smocking" sign.


RE: picture caption
By cokbun on 7/29/2008 1:16:17 PM , Rating: 1
i think it said: bird noodle - 2$


Those Chinese sure are fast...
By dever on 7/29/2008 1:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They can make things happen so quickly in China compared to the west. When they make up their minds, it is incredible how fast things happen.
Interpretation:
quote:
Isn't communism great?




RE: Those Chinese sure are fast...
By Spivonious on 7/29/2008 1:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if there's one thing that a (mostly) one-party system gets you, it's quick action.


By phxfreddy on 7/29/2008 7:21:05 PM , Rating: 1
I get the unsettling feeling more often than I like that we have a 1 party system here in the USA. Its the party of G.W. big government called Republicans and the party of really huge big large gigantic ginormous government called unDemocrats.


the real use
By jahwarrior on 7/29/2008 11:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
we need wind powered oil pumps...build em in anwar and offshore




RE: the real use
By phxfreddy on 7/29/2008 7:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Very clever and more than correct!


Oh, wow, that's amazing
By Polynikes on 7/30/2008 9:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
All that wind power doesn't make up for the fact that otherwise China is one of the dirtiest countries in the world. I honestly think some of or most of the events at the Olympics could be canceled because of the terrible air pollution in Beijing.




RE: Oh, wow, that's amazing
By LatinMessiah on 7/31/2008 7:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
Very good point. Poor athletes.


By phxfreddy on 7/29/2008 7:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you watch the google techtalk video on focus fusion you realize that cost per watt has to go down from where it is now if it is going to service the world. The reason being is not that we are unwilling to pay for it but that most of the world is UNABLE to pay for it.

Wind towers are booming in the USA and eating 10% of steel production. If it were to 10X ( which we need alot more than 10X ) ..it would eat the entire steel output of the USA. Thus retain your healthy skepticism.

Wind power percentage increase growth year on year is always quoted as being high...but that is because installed base is so small its easy to do the comparisons. This will slow rapidly as installed base gets larger.




Solar ScyScraper
By TechGuyCalifornia on 7/31/2008 10:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
OK, forget the wind, farts, everything. How about a solar skyscraper building. Equip it with mirrors all pointing to the center channeling the sun to a certain point at the bottom of the building generating enough power to run a city. Make it a mega-building, 300-1000 stories high out in Arizona. For that matter, build like 1000 of these buildings in Arizona, then channel the power throughout the grid. You like this idea don't you?




Wait, but won't those fans...
By LatinMessiah on 7/29/2008 1:59:54 PM , Rating: 1
...blow even more of China's pollution our way?




a crippling blow
By Cheapshot on 7/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: a crippling blow
By bupkus on 7/29/2008 10:50:26 AM , Rating: 3
Alright, George, settle down.


RE: a crippling blow
By CyberHawk on 7/29/2008 10:50:46 AM , Rating: 2
They have a nuclear power plants to back this up.

No, seriously, you can not think that way: "it is vulnerable during war so we will not build it".


RE: a crippling blow
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 10:54:47 AM , Rating: 3
A wind farm is less vulnerable than a coal-fired power plant. There are a lot of reasons to knock wind, but seriously, this doesn't seem to be one of them.


RE: a crippling blow
By bupkus on 7/29/2008 11:36:07 AM , Rating: 4
Hundreds of wind farm locations with each location containing turbines disbursed over the entire area? It sounds like it would be the perfect design to make the job of attack impossible.
The only possible improvement would be to hide these engines underground or under the sea to harvest the currents and tides.


China fandom
By Misty Dingos on 7/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: China fandom
By CyberHawk on 7/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: China fandom
By 1078feba on 7/29/2008 11:50:49 AM , Rating: 1
Given Mick's glaringly apparent political inclinations, I'm wondering if he did his homework about where China is going to build this wind park. As I recall, almost all of "western China" in and around the Himalya is actually Tibet.

So how about it Mick? Is this another case of the ends justifying the means, or did you just not think about it?


RE: China fandom
By Spivonious on 7/29/2008 1:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
Tibet is part of China. What if New Mexico wanted to be their own country? Do you honestly think we would just step aside and let them?


RE: China fandom
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 2:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
I gotta go with a big fat no on this one. But I think we settled this question in the 1860'S right?


RE: China fandom
By Strunf on 7/30/2008 5:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
Is part of China ? Says who... In Tibet 90% of the habitants are Tibetans should we call them Chinese just cause Beijing says so, for all I care if 90% of the habitants of a delimited region want to break free or be autonomous so be it...


RE: China fandom
By JustTom on 7/29/2008 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
Actually America imports about 25% of China's total exports.


RE: China fandom
By CyberHawk on 7/29/2008 3:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Still:

Top 10 Countries U.S. Imports From (2005)

1. Canada ... US$290.4 billion (up 38.9% from 2002)
2. China ... $243.5 billion (up 94.5%)
3. Mexico ... $170.1 billion (up 26.4%)
4. Japan ... $138 billion (up 13.7%)
5. Germany ...$84.8 billion (up 35.7%)
6. United Kingdom ... $51 billion (up 25.3%)
7. South Korea ... $43.8 billion (up 23%)


RE: China fandom
By Rookierookie on 7/29/2008 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
So, like, what exactly do you want them to do? Go back to coal power for all their power needs?

Seriously, the world would be a better place if some people just pretended to try to make sense.


RE: China fandom
By Misty Dingos on 7/29/2008 1:22:07 PM , Rating: 1
OK so I was flippant with my first post. That means I was making fun of the article. Apparently that was ill received.

China is not going to decrease its use of coal? No they are not. Far from it is going to accelerate. Why? Because they have a growing economy that is eating energy like it was going out of style. They have a burgeoning middle class that wants things. Lots of shiny things that do things like make coffee and play pretty music and make pretty pictures! And there are lots and lots of these newly minted middle class Chinese. So the demand for power to make the shiny things do the things that shiny things do is enormous. And the Chinese government is going to a lot to make that new middle class happy. Like generate more power and provide more gasoline and more cars.

Back to the now famous wind farms of near Tibet. The wind farms they are building will only add to and not replace any significant portion of their power generation system.

Yes, yes, and yes the Chinese are building lots of wind farms and damning rivers for power but they continue to build, maintain and feed those dirty coal fired power plants. The Chinese government will do pretty much what it wants to because any dissenting groups will be carted off to a "re-education" camp or they will be tossed into prison and put to work building what ever the government wants them to.

Sure thing are tough in the west but when was the last time someone you knew was hauled off to prison because they didn't want a coal fired power plant built in their state or county? And I am not talking about a greenpeace protester that gets jailed for and hour for being a public nuisance.

So here is an apology to you folks that didn’t get the humor of the first post. Opps my bad. I sure feel bad now that you didn’t get the joke.

Well now that I feel all better.


RE: China fandom
By vxmqzz on 7/29/2008 3:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
I believe every progress toward alternative energy is gradual, you can't expect them to abandon coal overnight. If US needs to manufacture the goods for the whole world, I don't think we will do better. China now is essentially US in the 1940s


RE: China fandom
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 4:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
First of all pollution is produced by every country, specially one thats undergoing an industrial revolution and exploding economic growth.

Like many countries around the world pollution continue to be a problem but thats the price nature and humans has to pay - don't you think if there was an alternative they would have gone for it.

As to the "slave" labour is untrue china don't have slaves don't know about rural areas of china where noone ever goes... Being paid low wages and working under harsh conditions for long hours happens during times of industrialisation.

Increasingly improvement where chinese able to afford luxuries, holidays and such I know numerous chinese families increasingly sending their childeren to western countries to get university education - and through "social/ cultural western influences" chinese people would want what we have and along with it includes human rights and what not. But more importantly they are educated about today's technology, philosophies, moralities and damn basic human rights.

As for the energy issue its global everyone has to solve -
i'd like to see a new solar energy harvesting capability something like photosynthesis (which is most solar energy efficient process - finetuned through evolution)


RE: China fandom
By masher2 on 7/29/2008 5:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "i'd like to see a new solar energy harvesting capability something like photosynthesis (which is most solar energy efficient process - finetuned through evolution) "

Eh? Most large plants are about 0.5% efficient at photosynthesis...some algae's can get up to 5%. By contrast, some solar cells can break 40% efficiency.

It's still not practical under most circumstances. Solar energy is just too diffuse, unless conveniently pre-concentrated for us by nature.


RE: China fandom
By James Wood Carter on 7/29/2008 7:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
are you sure ? i agree they only catch a small % of light energy from sun... but the light they captured is energetically efficiently used in production of carbohydrates.


RE: China fandom
By andrinoaa on 7/30/2008 2:02:11 AM , Rating: 2
How do you define solar power, mash?

WIND Everybodys talkin about me
WAVE Why is no one intersted? I am more powerfull than everybody?
TIDAL Very neiche
PV I have all the money!

I think you are just generalising .

We have a small country community that is putting up $9million to set themselves up with wind power. Don't you think a NUCLAR plant would be ever so slightly, an overkill?

Do you want to retract the last post?


RE: China fandom
By vwgtiron on 7/30/2008 2:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
I would have to say no since there is a power shortage and you can sell the excess energy generated. At a nice tidy profit I might add. But let me guess your town is like mine here in South Berwick, Maine. The town does not encourage growth to outside business and wants to remain a artist and walking village. LOL. This town has traditionally been a blue collar mill town until about 60 years ago and after that it was one of the largest drug zones in the area. We have no way to increase our tax base so in return you have to increase property taxes on property that is currently losing about 10% of its value. Nice. I for one would welcome a new nuclear facility. I have been to seabrook NH several times and haven't once noticed anyone glowing to brightly.

While I am at it I for one would like to welcome our new Chinese overlords.


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