Author Topic: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?  (Read 3847 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« on: October 15, 2011, 12:40:46 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--While we have been arguing about renewable energy and peak oil, the earth has been moving beneath our feet. Yesterday was the day the Universe changed. Frack gas is plentiful everywhere, and creates 30 to 50 percent less CO2 than coal, for those of you concerned with "Global Climate Change" (formerly know as "Global Warming". The British and the Europeans are going to be able to wean themselves from the Gazprom Putin Pipe, which shuts down every time Vladimir has a hissy fit. The suits in the Government Energy Bureaucracies are being rapidly overcome by events, and have no idea which way to jump. Global gas reserves have literally doubled over night, with more likely to come. See the below links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12245633

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/07/lots_more_gas_everywhere/

--Coming rapidly one the heels of this cornucopia will be additional oil reserves from hydrofracking. And that ain't all. China will be moving into LFTRs (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) in a big way. This technology is touted as being inherently safe as well as CO2 reducing. Be sure to watch the video contained in the below link:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/01/china_thorium_bet/

--Then there is the Traveling Wave Reactor which burns nuclear waste:

http://www.terrapower.com/Technology/TravelingWaveReactor.aspx

--I will not even going to mention the various Fusion Power possibilities, as the eggs have not begun to hatch just yet. Even Mighty Pharaoh himself is not going to be able to put all this paste back in the tube. It would seem that plans by the Governments to double your power bills in the next 10 to 20 years in order to support dubious wind and solar projects, may be in for a rough ride.

--Now if somebody would please invent a decent electric car battery.

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." Benjamin Franklin

Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 02:16:10 pm »
I wish more effort was made with harnessing geothermal energy. It's one of the sources that is often overlooked, except in geological active locations, because everyone likes going for the low hanging fruit (or should I say, the shallow buried potatoes). I'm bit fuzzy with the details, but finding suitable sources of geothermal locations (even in geologically dormant continents, like Australia) would involve no more complexity, or costs, compared to oil prospecting - unless I'm proven wrong. Why isn't anyone looking into this?
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 02:40:12 pm »
--Now if somebody would please invent a decent electric car battery.

We have been trying to make better batteries for centuries, I don't see 'decent' happening ever.

If we are going to be using more gas, inefficiently turning it into electricity to move around on wires to inefficiently charge crap and expensive batteries to power low performance low range vehicles is really really stupid. Gas is a relatively clean, high density (when liquefied) portable fuel and we should be trying to save it for use in vehicles which need high density portable fuels.
 

Online Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 03:08:35 pm »
There's a huge battle going on here in the US over hydrofracking. I live in a beautiful country area with a unique lake system. Tourism is a huge industry. Many people are on wells for fresh water. There is a huge fear, IMO justified, that hydrofracking will trash the landscape, ruin the roads (massive truck traffic required) and poison the water. The chemicals they use aren't disclosed, but include solvents and other things that, if I dumped them on the surface, I would be put in jail for. Once you introduce this stuff underground, there's no fix if things go wrong. Hydrofracking isn't any magic answer.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 09:33:59 pm »
Dear Mr. Hoffman:

--Certainly you are correct that hydrofracking is no magic answer. My point was that it compares favorably with other sources of fuel. Arguably is has much less impact than coal mining for instance. As to "massive truck traffic". My understanding is that once the wells are in place, transport is achieved mainly by pipe and not trucks or railroads. Coal on the other hand indeed requires "massive truck traffic" as well as extremely large railhead installations.

--Now if I were (and I am not) one of those persons who seeks to use government power against those who disagree with me, I would say something like "Perhaps in view of the special scenic beauty and the tourist appeal of your area, hydrofracking could be forbidden and a special tax imposed on your area for the negative impact on the price of fuel, and the additional CO2 burden caused by having to use more carbon intensive fuels instead."

--Now, water wells are a different matter. At the 2010 Sundance film festival, the film Gasland debuted. This film was later show on HBO. Prominently show in the film was a flaming water tap. What was not mentioned was that this region was famous for flaming water due to methane since the 30s. To me at least, this puts Gasland's director, Josh Fox, in the same school of Documentary Journalism as Dan Rather, Michael Moore and Al Gore.

--Now there is a reputable report of a flaming water tap due to hydrofracking from Scientific American, By David Biello May 9, 2011. This report states that 51 of 60 wells within a 1 kilometer radius of a hydrofrack well showed 17 times as much methane as wells further away. It also stated that one well had 64 times as much methane, this one is no doubt the flamer. The information in this report does not make clear whether these increased methane levels are do to generalized upward migration or of a single casing leak. In any case I will grant that special testing and regulation may be needed in heavily populated areas. The report also states:

"At the same time, the researchers found no evidence that either the chemicals in fracking fluids or the natural contamination in deep waters were polluting relatively shallow water wells in the vicinity of the deep natural gas wells." For the SA article on Hydrofracking see the below link:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fracking-for-natural-gas-pollutes-water-wells

--Thanking you for you patience, let me just address a few of your other objections. With regard to trashing the landscape, and ruining the roads. You are correct here, while the wells are being put in they will have a visual impact, but less so once there is just a wellhead and a pipe. There will be a temporary impact on roads and traffic, and some new roads will be built. I think you will find that, now most of the fracking companies, which up till now have made the contents of fracking fluids available only to the government for proprietary reasons, are publishing these facts and in many cases putting them up on the web. I might point out that most people use things in their cars, kitchen sink, toilet, and clothes washers, for which they would be arrested if they just dumped them on the surface.

--If by a democratic decision process the people in your area choose to forgo the vicissitudes and the income from hydrofrack natural gas, that is fine by me. They should not be forced to accept it. If on the other hand it is forbidden by the edict of a government regulatory agency, I would be less than pleased.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline FenderBender

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 09:42:15 pm »
--Now if somebody would please invent a decent electric car battery.

We have been trying to make better batteries for centuries, I don't see 'decent' happening ever.

If we are going to be using more gas, inefficiently turning it into electricity to move around on wires to inefficiently charge crap and expensive batteries to power low performance low range vehicles is really really stupid. Gas is a relatively clean, high density (when liquefied) portable fuel and we should be trying to save it for use in vehicles which need high density portable fuels.

I totally agree with you. The  electric stuff will be nice sometime in the future, but until you can make motors that can run at 99% efficiency and until the actual charging circuitry can be 99% efficient in its charging, etc etc etc....We're wasting more energy trying to save energy.  That electricity just doesn't come from nowhere. It's probably from some nasty coal plant but most people see it as "clean" since no "gas is being burnt".

A lot of misconceptions out there. We're rushing and pushing things out onto the market that, yes, aren't ready to be on the market. And we have consumers that don't know any better either.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 11:13:19 pm »
Quote
That electricity just doesn't come from nowhere.
Someone pointed out an article recently that electricity is also a major component of refining crude oil into gasoline.  This article claims that it takes more electricity to drive a gas car than an electric car.  http://electricmini.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-takes-lot-of-coal-to-make-gasoline.html
I don't know; it gets very complicated if you stop assuming that all the costs are included in the price, and what with subsidies (and/or econnomies of scale) it's difficult to figure things out...

Fracking sounds like nuclear.  It could alleviate all sorts of energy problems if permitted to by concerned environmentalists (whether or not they are correct) (and perhaps causing other problems.)

 

Offline IanB

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 11:28:06 pm »
Fracking is surrounded by environmental issues. It takes a lot of engineering and technical knowledge to understand the questions at stake.

What everyone should be aware of by now is that free energy does not exist, and magic bullets are an illusion. Every activity has consequences, some foreseen, some unforeseen. You cannot obtain energy in the quantities required by today's industrial society without some kind of negative outcome.

There will not be a way to meet energy demands without upsetting the world and the environment in the process. When the human race eventually grows up, we will learn that we have to adapt, that resisting change is futile. Right now we are like stubborn children who insist on saying "No!" to the inevitable, or who expect some benevolent parent to rescue us.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 11:34:20 pm »
Dear AntiProtonBoy:

--In regard to you question about why there is not more interest in geothermal energy, I would say the number one reason is cost, and the number two reason is risk. If it were easy to make tons of money from geothermal, companies would be flocking to it. Now, in geologically active (I.E. areas with Vulcanism) there is the risk that a shift of magma or hot water could leave your multibillion dollar plant high and dry, or could wipe it out altogether. I know for instance that Iceland has become gun shy about geothermal installation since their last project was nearly destroyed by itinerant lava. The other risk is of course government energy policy. When you have energy policy determined by errant regulatory whim, geothermal profitability could change overnight. Or if a rare toad managed to get himself scalded your project could be shut down or delayed when only half built.

--Nonetheless, besides Iceland there are other places where geothermal is in use. I saw a video of a small town in Siberia where every morning a tanker truck hauls geothermal hot water to all the houses and fills their tanks. This provides heating and hot water for washing and bathing. As nice as this sounds, I think they still have vacancies.

"World consumption of oil is still going up. If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s by 5 percent a year as it has in the past, we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." Jimmy Carter 1977

Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline FenderBender

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Re: Energy Crises Over For 250 Years?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 04:30:15 am »
Yeah I don't know. There are so many variables. What car? Which power plant? and so on.
 


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