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Thread: Alternative Energy

  1. #1
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    Default Alternative Energy

    I travel for work. Last week I was in Vermont, now I'm in Iowa. I work in agriculture, which brings me to these varying states. The thing that I found most interesting the last week was that while in Vermont, a colleague expressed his frustration with the State/Counties. They have been trying to get windmills up there and it keeps getting voted down because they will mar the 'viewscape'. Hmmm....

    Fast forward to today...driving from Des Moine to Fort Dodge.....LOTS of windmills. They were lovely....

    Last I knew the politics of these two states were vastly different. Interestingly enough...the group without the windmills is griping about the cost of energy...

    Go farmers!!!

    Sue Puff
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    Senior Member dback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suepuff View Post
    I travel for work. Last week I was in Vermont, now I'm in Iowa. I work in agriculture, which brings me to these varying states. The thing that I found most interesting the last week was that while in Vermont, a colleague expressed his frustration with the State/Counties. They have been trying to get windmills up there and it keeps getting voted down because they will mar the 'viewscape'. Hmmm....

    Fast forward to today...driving from Des Moine to Fort Dodge.....LOTS of windmills. They were lovely....
    Your idea of "lovely" and mine (many) simply don't jive.

    fig-3-tehachapi-wind.jpg7628322650_4e298e7768_b.jpg

    Last I knew the politics of these two states were vastly different. Interestingly enough...the group without the windmills is griping about the cost of energy...

    Go farmers!!!

    Sue Puff
    http://zfacts.com/node/244

    By no measure is wind power competitive with the cheaper fuels or capable of producing a significant portion of the nations energy needs. Even if the industry hits it's 2020 goals it would still be less then 1% of total energy requirements. Wind turbines had zero to do with lower energy cost in Iowa.

    Much like the 'ethanol' deal......a waste of tax payer dollars.....and....politicians filling their 'campaign coffers' with our money.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Hundreds of the things along the lower Texas coast. Not what I would call "lovely". Have to wonder how many ducks, geese, cranes, and other birds they sweep from the air. Wouldn't exist without massive public subsidies (read your tax dollars) to prop them up. We need nat gas, coal, and nuclear. Windmills just another boondoggle.
    Last edited by HPL; 08-12-2013 at 11:25 PM.
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    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Some Alternative Energy is financed to create financial incentives for continued development. Ethanol is a good example of that. The technology is not where it needs to be now, but without financial motivation it never will be either. We are also building the infrastructure to support it. Wind power also is a project still ongoing that will fail without investment. Maybe turbines are not running cities now, but compare the output of a generator now with say 30 years ago. It might not hurt to look at the cost of building one now versus what it cost thirty years ago. These are investment for the future. Model T's did not get 30 miles to the gallon and travel 70 mph either right out of the gate.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    I would not want any near me--the noise would make me go all "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny".

    For the record, siting anything in Vermont is difficult. Ask Wal Mart. However, Vermont has lots of wind--over 700 MW of capacity. Unfortunately, it has lots of wind that is not well tied into the grid, so the ISO has to curtail wind generation during peak load for grid stability. The Governor recently sent a letter to ISO-NE complaining about the curtailment of wind generation in the state.

    Here in NC, we have ridge laws which ban windmills and other things in the mountains ever since developers built this high rise condo on top of a mountain:
    sugartop.jpg

    The battles between the pro-wind enviromentalists and the pro-ridge law environmentalists are fairly interesting.

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    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    I know about the risk/benefit of this type of energy production. I think that something that is of concern is that we are looking for ONE solution to our energy needs. I don't think that is a viable solution. We need a combination of many things in order to meet our needs. There are inherent risks with all types of production. Ethanol has hurt Agriculture. It's getting expensive to feed cows. Fracking can potentially pollute the water supply. Strip mining has it's own set of issues.

    I think we need Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, Wind, Ethanol production (from not just corn), water power, etc....I think we can't blanket require or regulate. Open minds.....new technology. I think Nuclear has the most potential. I can't imagine in the next 20 years, someone won't figure out how to dispose of the waste product safely...

    I'm not choosing sides, we need to compromise, give up a little to gain a little....and I still love a beautiful, unpolluted landscape....the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live are the best. I found the unclutterd Vermont mountains outstanding and the corn fields of Iowa the same. But I also appreciatted advanced technology. It was beautiful in a different way. My lightbulb moment of the day was the Right vs Left politics and who has some alternative energy now, Iowa....whether it is working to full potential or not yet.

    Sue Puff
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    www.boynelabradors.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suepuff View Post
    I think that something that is of concern is that we are looking for ONE solution to our energy needs. I don't think that is a viable solution. We need a combination of many things in order to meet our needs. There are inherent risks with all types of production. Ethanol has hurt Agriculture. It's getting expensive to feed cows. Fracking can potentially pollute the water supply. Strip mining has it's own set of issues.
    There is no magic bullet--at least until we figure out how to get around those pesky laws of physics. All forms of energy production have good and bad associated with them.

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    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
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    There is some interest in thorium based nuclear power developing in France, Norway, China and India. It promises to produce power from an element more abundant than uranium with fewer problems in waste handling.

    http://www.french-news-online.com/wo...#axzz2brNnO6DJ
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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suepuff View Post
    I know about the risk/benefit of this type of energy production. I think that something that is of concern is that we are looking for ONE solution to our energy needs. I don't think that is a viable solution. We need a combination of many things in order to meet our needs. There are inherent risks with all types of production. Ethanol has hurt Agriculture. It's getting expensive to feed cows. Fracking can potentially pollute the water supply. Strip mining has it's own set of issues.

    I think we need Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, Wind, Ethanol production (from not just corn), water power, etc....I think we can't blanket require or regulate. Open minds.....new technology. I think Nuclear has the most potential. I can't imagine in the next 20 years, someone won't figure out how to dispose of the waste product safely...

    I'm not choosing sides, we need to compromise, give up a little to gain a little....and I still love a beautiful, unpolluted landscape....the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live are the best. I found the unclutterd Vermont mountains outstanding and the corn fields of Iowa the same. But I also appreciatted advanced technology. It was beautiful in a different way. My lightbulb moment of the day was the Right vs Left politics and who has some alternative energy now, Iowa....whether it is working to full potential or not yet.

    Sue Puff
    Sue, I think you have the right attitude about the whole thing... Unfortunately, most of the "players" don't. Speaking of light bulbs... I still like my old incandescents better...
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    I think we need Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, Wind, Ethanol production (from not just corn), water power, etc....I think we can't blanket require or regulate. Open minds.....new technology. I think Nuclear has the most potential. I can't imagine in the next 20 years, someone won't figure out how to dispose of the waste product safely...
    That's exactly what Obama has said ... except he seems to implement it rather differently

    The key is to keep the engine of the economy running as cost-effectively as possible while innovation can be brought on-line. It serves no purpose to have citizens suffer from lack of energy to heat their homes or get to work. We need to keep the engine running as new energy sources and innovative vehicles are developed.

    While the govt was subsidizing Solyndra, the private sector was making CNG-run transportation a reality. The govt seems not all interested in any kind of innovation of fossil fuels.

    Most would agree with that general statement. Nobody wants to see the planet made ugly or toxic. I can see why windmills might be less objectionable to Iowa than Vermont.
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