LENR vs Solar/Wind, and emerging Green Technologies.


  • I do not know about your calculation, I would have to check that. Assuming your are correct, we'd still need to generate an extra amount due to the losses. This is just for the US in 2015 where we see about a 60% loss, but it's the same situation for losses everywhere that there is a grid in use.


    I say don't give on these alternatives, but don't claim they are anything more than a stop-gap. And at that point I say, I don't want a temporary solution as there is just no time left for profit-taking on temporary solutions. Let's get to the real long-term solution of atomic power.

    The claim was made that the so-called renewable technologies can power our civilization. At this time, they do not.


    Whether or not they will in the future remains to be seen. All these pages of debate pose a scenario that requires a host of new technologies, new efficiencies, new grid elements, new transportation, and there is the rub.


    I will continue to press for the long-term solution to our planet - new nuclear designs that are small, distributed, and energy-dense.
    This is the technology that can power all the changes we will need.


    Let's put our resources to that solution!


    https://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33…-consumption-sankey-1.pngenergy-consumption-sankey-1.png

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    But, as a practical matter, I don’t plan to sit around and wait for it to happen.



    For to solve the problem you should realize first that there is some problem to solve at all. The problem with application of "renewables", in particular. For example, most of you probably know, that perpetuum mobile is nice and all and that COP > 1 looks great from scientific perspective. But until your overunity machine remains powered by electricity while it generates heat only, then even COP ~ 3 may not be viable from economical perspective. Because during conversion of heat to electricity roughly 2/3 of energy gets wasted (actually the more, the lower is the temperature at which your device is working).


    What we currently need is similar holistic thinking about "renewables".

  • I just believe it is a misallocation of resources to put so much into renewables when there is only conjecture about them being able to provide 200,000 TWh in the future.


    This is not conjecture. It is based on careful measurements of wind (or solar power), made in multi-year studies that cost many millions of dollars. These studies result in maps such as this one, which shows where it is most profitable to locate wind farms:


    https://www.climate.gov/maps-d…ge-wind-speeds-map-viewer


    These maps are confirmed with on-site studies lasting many months, zeroing in on a potential location. Before a wind farm is built, a small tower with weather instruments measures actual winds. Wind farms produce the predicted amount of power, so there is no question these methods work. It is not difficult to estimate total wind resources. These estimates include only land that is available for wind farms, not land in national parks or wilderness areas, or land that is too far from high voltage power lines.


    Solar resources are easier to measure, because sunlight is not concentrated into specific areas the way wind is. Wind is more like flowing water concentrated in rivers. More solar is available in arid states than others, mainly in the southwest. Before they build something like the Gemini Solar Project in Nevada, they know how much land it will take (7100 acres) and how much power it will produce (690 MW). It is not difficult to estimate how much additional solar power could be produced in Nevada. See: https://static1.squarespace.co…ar+Project+Fact+Sheet.pdf


  • The photo in this article shows the blades not being recycled. The blades are made of fiberglass, which is cheap and abundant. If enough of it piles up I expect they will find a use for it. That is to say, a way to recycle it. The generator portion is made of the same expensive materials as any other generator, and it is recycled.


    Until then, we'll be spending money, resources, trashing wildlife habitats with old fiberglass that we'll find a way to recycle in the future. YAY.

    I'm glad the mountain in Humboldt was saved from a short-term 20-30 year wind project. https://kiem-tv.com/2019/11/22…d-by-planning-commission/

    I will attempt to save the wilderness and advocate nuclear instead, which of course environmentalists here are opposed to. always something.

  • If they are too late, it is because we refuse to act. We could have replaced most of our energy with them by now if we had acted promptly decades age. Some people did. In California, all coal fired plants were closed years ago. In England, only a few are left.


    It is not "too little" in any sense. The U.S. alone could supply the whole world with synthetic liquid fuel to replace gasoline made with wind turbines in North Dakota, or solar cells in Nevada. We could produce more fuel than OPEC does. We could generate many times more electricity than we now use. Alternative energy is far more abundant than conventional fossil fuel. It is a lot easier to tap, nowadays. To get a sense of that, see the movie "Deepwater Horizon." You will be amazed that oil can is so cheap.

    We have refused to act. THAT I agree on. Let's act correctly - go nuclear!

    If synthetic fuels will work, let's have it!

  • Unfortunately nuclears have similar or even worse problem, like "renewables": the generally low return of investments. The average nuclear plant becomes profitable just after twenty, thirty years after installation, when it's already at the end of its nominal life-time (and we even don't include the cost of nuclear accidents).


    Nuclears are simply not sustainable source of energy: with thorium or without it, they also consume more fossil fuels than they actually save (the price of nuclear electricity says it clearly). Once some technology gets more expensive than fossils, then it must be ipso-facto subsidized by it - there is no other way around it. Nuclears also make poor mix with renewables, as they work best at their nominal capacity without shutdowns.


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  • Ruby, regardless of what the prospects for LENR may be, the notion that it is the only solution for the world’s energy problems Is just silly and nearsighted. If LENR somehow manages to become reliable, repeatable, and scaleable anytime soon, then sure, it would no doubt have enormous advantages. But meanwhile, renewables absolutely can do the job and will, provided politicians, entrenched fossil fuel interests, and just plain stupid people get out of the way. Or do you think we should just give up unless LENR rides in on a white horse?

    LENR is not the only solution. For a long-term solution, atomic power is the only solution. There are many types of atomic. LENR would be the cleanest and best that i can see. But small modular reactors, the molten salt reactors, these are also in the works and provide a better outcome than a wind farm that destroys wilderness for thirty years and then, if you're lucky to have the funding, dismantling and burying the blades underground. It just doesn't add up to a green tech future in my near-sighted eyee. Your claims otherwise rely on future incremental technology developments that will take too long to implement, and I say, the planet can't wait for incremental.


    Atomic energy by its own nature provides the power for all we need now, and in the future. Why debate against the real solution?


    If I could have a solar power system, I would. But I see my personal increase in order, as an increase in entropy elsewhere.


  • Just because it is windy there, we should put a wind farm. "Land available for wind farms" in my area was land that was pristine forest habitat and sacred to local tribes. I am involved in cold fusion so I can help wildlife and wilderness, and so I myself can live a better life than teh Matrix wants to give me.


    So-called renewable power has destroyed habitat for a mere thirty-years of power. We have rivers decimated because of hydro-dams that should never be built again. I am seeing things differently than you.


    We agree on the ultimate nuclear solution. That's where I will put my remaining typing time left to me.

  • LENR is not the only solution. For a long-term solution, atomic power is the only solution. There are many types of atomic. LENR would be the cleanest and best that i can see. But small modular reactors, the molten salt reactors, these are also in the works and provide a better outcome than a wind farm that destroys wilderness for thirty years and then, if you're lucky to have the funding, dismantling and burying the blades underground.

    But Ruby,

    There is no capacity to build nuclear as fast as needed.


    Solar power alone are expanded each year at a rate of some 30 nuclear reactors each year. And the speed increases, i.e. exponential growth.


    Nuclear reactors, large or small are much more complicated and takes much longer time to build pr. Watt installed capacity...

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    Alternative energy is far more abundant than conventional fossil fuel. It is a lot easier to tap, nowadays.


    Nope, until it increases price of electricity instead of decrease. Is it really so difficult to understand it? Uran in marine water is abundant, yet more expensive than this mined one. Iron inside Earth core is even more abundant, yet even more expensive to mine. It's thus the final cost of technology, which decides what is actually abundant or not. The problem with "renewables" is, they're not renewable at all: wind plants must get scrapped every thirty years and build again, the solar panels must get recycled even faster. Hydro-dams get full of mud after fifty-seventy years. So you will need new and new raw sources and energy for their mining for to keep "renewables" running.


    Most of you here have economic thinking of toddlers - and I know why it is so.

  • z1qnIZAl.gif

    Again you are completely wrong.


    And again I explain:


    The graph you show and claim you make is a long lived Internet myth that has nothing to do with reality vs.renewables.


    The graph you show is NOT market price, but power price to consumer AFTER tax.


    Taxes on the market price of power varies from country to country.


    Taxes is used to run the society, like in Denmark free healthcare, free University, paied maternity leave, unemployment benefits etc....


    So the REAL truth is that Nuclear France has higher MARKET price of power than renewable Denmark. Just because France has chosen less taxes on Power, the end price is lower.


    So renewables result on LOWER market price than nuclear or Even coal these days.


    And Denmark also has the highest prices (i.e taxes) on New cars in Europe, but that too has nothing to do with renewables 😉

  • Until then, we'll be spending money, resources, trashing wildlife habitats with old fiberglass that we'll find a way to recycle in the future. YAY.


    They are not trashing wildlife habitats. Those are landfills. Landfills are carefully engineered these days to avoid disrupting habitats or water tables. Furthermore, other sources of energy produce far more non-recyclable waste. Coal, in particular, produces mountains of ash that periodically spill or are washed into rivers, causing great damage. Abandoned coal mines are another source of pollution, blight and problems for wildlife habitats. Oil and natural gas fracking causes problems with the water table. Offshore oil spills cause tremendous damage. The nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Connecticut Yankee and Fukushima caused tremendous damage and expense. Wind and solar do not have any similar hazards.


    It is reasonable to think that methods of recycling the blades will be found.


    When you evaluate wind turbines and their impact on the environment, you have to compare them to alternatives such as coal, natural gas, or nuclear power. You cannot compare them to an ideal source which produces no solid waste, and no problems of any sort. Wind and solar are better than natural gas, and much better than coal. They are not perfect. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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    The graph you show is NOT market price, but power price to consumer AFTER tax.


    Of course, after TAX used to subsidize the "renewables". One could make these money by burning or selling fossil fuels instead - this amount of coal corresponds the carbon footprint of renewables.


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    Wind and solar are better than natural gas, and much better than coal.


    How they could be better, if they get more expensive than coal, i.e. when they consume more (coal) energy on background, than they save?

  • "Land available for wind farms" in my area was land that was pristine forest habitat and sacred to local tribes.


    I doubt it. That is prohibited by federal law.


    In any case, there is more than enough land that is not pristine forest or sacred. It is farmland. The power companies pay farmers to use it. The base of a tower is small, so most of the land can still be farmed. There is enough wind available in farmland to generate all of the electricity in the U.S. Unfortunately, there is no way to send the electricity to most population centers.


    So-called renewable power has destroyed habitat for a mere thirty-years of power.


    What does that mean? The wind will not stop blowing in 30 years. The towers will last 50 to 100 years. The turbines and blades can be replaced at a much lower cost than building a new wind farm. With maintenance and replacement equipment, a wind farm can last for hundreds of years. All equipment wears out after 30 to 50 years. Even hydroelectric dams and their turbines wear out. Most coal plants are worn out and will have to be retired soon. Nuclear plants are coming to the end of their useful lives, and they cost a terrific amount of money to retire, disassemble, and bury. Oil wells all run dry in less than 30 years.

  • Of course, after TAX used to subsidize the "renewables". One could make these money by burning or selling fossil fuels instead - this amount of coal corresponds the carbon footprint of renewables.

    No, as I explained taxes are used to run the society, not renewables.


    Denmark also have the highest prices on cars, but that also has nothing to with renwables.


    Also Norway has high tax on power, but we have only Cheap Hydro power, so also here taxes are used to run our social benefit system 😉


    And here is the real truth on electricity prices:


    Denmark is part of nordpool in the figure Below and have the lowest market price, and Germany has lower electricity prices than nuclear France.

  • This is just for the US in 2015 where we see about a 60% loss, but it's the same situation for losses everywhere that there is a grid in use.


    That is incorrect. Transmission and distribution (T&D) losses are typically 4% and 2% respectively. 5% to 6% total. See: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=105&t=3


    65% is lost in thermal generating plants. That is to say, only 35% of the energy in the fuel is converted into electricity. With coal plants it is about 33%. Natural gas is around 44%. I believe the best thermal plants are combined cycle natural gas, at about 63% (37% losses). See: https://www.powermag.com/anoth…ombined-cycle-efficiency/


    For typical efficiency see the heat rates here:


    See: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html


    To compute efficiency, divide 3,412 by the heat rate. Example: coal, 10,481 BTU/KWh. 3,412 / 10,481 = 33% efficiency.

  • Well, Ruby at least advocates for something (nuclear power.) Technical and economic issues aside, it simply is not going to happen in today’s geopolitical environment. Argue about it all you want, but there is zero support for building more nuclear power plants anywhere. But what about advanced reactor types (thorium or pick you own favorite)? When would you say such technology will be ready for mass deployment and how long will it take to deploy it? What do you suppose the state of the world will be at that point in the distant future?


    As for Zephir, he is clearly a man with an agenda, but nobody can figure out what that agenda is. I will give him credit for having a great ability to misinterpret data and, better still, produce reams of irrelevant data all the while gloating about his rhetorical victories. I so wish he would tell us what in the world he actually advocates. It remains a mystery.

  • Earlier, I estimated that wind produces as much electricity as the entire U.S. consumed in 1955. That should be 1950, not 1955.


    Here is an up-to-date version of the graph "U.S. electricity generation by major energy source, 1950-2019." Move the cursor across the graphs to read the numbers. In 2019, renewables produced 720 billion KWh. The graph below that shows wind produced 300 billion KWh, and solar 72 billion KWh.


    https://www.eia.gov/energyexpl…electricity-in-the-us.php


    Going back to the first graph, total generation in the U.S. in 1950 was 335 billion KWh.


    With the previous version of this graph, I thought that wind equalled all U.S. production circa 1955, but it was actually closer to 1950.


    This is actual generation, not capacity.


    In 2019, renewables produced 17% of U.S. electricity, and coal 23%. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, renewable energy is now outproducing coal. The epidemic has reduced demand for electricity. Renewable energy operating costs are lower than coal, so as demand decreases, the power companies are closing down the coal fired plants first. See:


    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0…ectricity-renewables.html