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Energy: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying
 

angry chicken
Level 3

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5169

I was a principle in a renewable energy company a few years back. We sold solar and solar thermal products to upper class people in the DC area. My partners (against my better judgement) based much of their business model on the availability of gov't subsidies (solar tax credits, grants, etc...). Well, the state and local governments "ran out of funding" after a few months (surprise surprise, right? LOL). With out the subsidies, the savings "math" went right out the window. The ROI for anyone who was actually trying to save money (as opposed to paying for the privilege of saying "look at meeee! I'm GREEEEEEN!) simply wasn't there.

The second issue that we started facing after a few months was the data coming back from our customers. The products we were selling simply were NOT performing as well as we were told they would by the manufacturer. Even including factors such as controlling for latitude and season, the projections were WAY off.

So the gov't tried to push a technology that wasn't ready and people got screwed... Imagine that.

FTR, I sold my stake in that company to my partners (who were trying to buy me out anyway) for a nice profit and I got out just in time as the company eventually stalled. It was a good experience, though. I learned a lot about renewable energy and even more about how HARD it is going to be to get the American people on board with the idea. Frankly, selling "green" and "savings" was like pulling fucking teeth. People just weren't ready to put their money where their "lofty ideals" are.

Ironically, I now work in the oil and gas industry. LOL

My perspective on domestic oil supply is optimistic. Companies like Mcmoran and Energy XXI are currently exploring ultra-deep, sub-salt wells that are 30,000+ feet down. That's WAAAAAAY lower than the current wells that are running out in the shallower sections of the GOM. Here's a link to some pretty cool projections: http://www.mcmoran.com/...2012/013112.pdf

By coincidence, one of the very first jobs I did when I came down here was work on the Methanol Pump skid for the Davy Jones, serial number 1 - It had to pump methanol at a pressure of something like 25,000psi to get down to the necessary depth. It was pretty cool being involved with something like that. So basically, in the next couple of months, we'll know if it really is feasible to go after the ultra-deep reserves with our current level of technology. From what I understand, and I'm no geologist, just from what I'm hearing others in the industry whisper about, is that there's A LOT of good quality stuff down there at the 30,000+ level... So stay tuned to how that could impact things.

As for my opinion on nuclear energy, I'm pretty ignorant on the subject, so I'll keep my mouth shut. I just know that when things go bad with that, they go VERY BAD.

Oh, and I agree with everything that Thunderbolt said - that's a smart dude.

To elaborate on my position about energy security, I think that the way politicians are bending down and sucking the environmentalist cock is just shameful. IMHO, our involvement in the Middle East is so that we can "influence" and have a "presence in" countries that affect our oil supply. This, understandably, pisses them off. So now many of them want to kill us (and have succeeded at hitting us at home, causing a chain reaction of war and policies that have forever altered America, but I digress).

We have enough oil and gas reserves to support ourselves, but the environmental greenie weenies wont let us drill because it "MAY" damage the habitat of the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon. I guess PEOPLE dying in war in the Middle East and TSA making us take our shoes off at the airport after waiting three hours and frisking little kids is better than risking a few trees. Here's a newsflash: Americans WILL NOT stop consuming. That energy HAS to come from somewhere. We have it at home, but lack the testicular fortitude to get it. So we'll continue to fuck with those crazy muther fucker's countries, continue to accidentally bomb their pet goats with our drone aircraft, and another generation of them will grow up hating us and trying to blow our asses up. WAY TO THINK IT THROUGH, you environmental greenie weenie FUCKS!!!

Fuck the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon, over time it will either evolve or become extinct anyway. Life is ALWAYS changing like that - you can't save EVERY single wittle thing in the whole wide world.

That being said, I'm all for fuel efficiency and figuring out smarter ways to deal with emissions, but I think we are on deadly ground with our energy policy and our putting our national security and the lives of Americans in jeopardy to cater to the emotional and oftentimes uninformed whims of liberals.

DRILL BABY DRILL!!!

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Gambit_Lost
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3949

angry chicken wrote:


To elaborate on my position about energy security, I think that the way politicians are bending down and sucking the environmentalist cock is just shameful. IMHO, our involvement in the Middle East is so that we can "influence" and have a "presence in" countries that affect our oil supply. This, understandably, pisses them off. So now many of them want to kill us (and have succeeded at hitting us at home, causing a chain reaction of war and policies that have forever altered America, but I digress).


We have enough oil and gas reserves to support ourselves, but the environmental greenie weenies wont let us drill because it "MAY" damage the habitat of the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon. I guess PEOPLE dying in war in the Middle East and TSA making us take our shoes off at the airport after waiting three hours and frisking little kids is better than risking a few trees. Here's a newsflash: Americans WILL NOT stop consuming. That energy HAS to come from somewhere. We have it at home, but lack the testicular fortitude to get it. So we'll continue to fuck with those crazy muther fucker's countries, continue to accidentally bomb their pet goats with our drone aircraft, and another generation of them will grow up hating us and trying to blow our asses up. WAY TO THINK IT THROUGH, you environmental greenie weenie FUCKS!!!




Overall, I agreed with everything you wrote. One thing I was wondering your opinion on is the consumption of Americans. As I mentioned before, for the Japanese, it took an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster (all of biblical proportions) to get them to reduce consumption (and from what I understand they are still greatly reducing consumption based on their uses from over a year ago). But that society is a lot more "community oriented" (for lack of a better word). Do you think Americans can or ever will reduce consumption? Will electricity have to be "priced out" in order to do so?

Just some random thoughts and questions. I appreciate your post and opinions. It sounds like you really understand the realities of what we face.


PS apparently, typing before the coffee kicks in leads to a lot of parenthesis.

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angry chicken
Level 3

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5169

Gambit_Lost wrote:
angry chicken wrote:


To elaborate on my position about energy security, I think that the way politicians are bending down and sucking the environmentalist cock is just shameful. IMHO, our involvement in the Middle East is so that we can "influence" and have a "presence in" countries that affect our oil supply. This, understandably, pisses them off. So now many of them want to kill us (and have succeeded at hitting us at home, causing a chain reaction of war and policies that have forever altered America, but I digress).


We have enough oil and gas reserves to support ourselves, but the environmental greenie weenies wont let us drill because it "MAY" damage the habitat of the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon. I guess PEOPLE dying in war in the Middle East and TSA making us take our shoes off at the airport after waiting three hours and frisking little kids is better than risking a few trees. Here's a newsflash: Americans WILL NOT stop consuming. That energy HAS to come from somewhere. We have it at home, but lack the testicular fortitude to get it. So we'll continue to fuck with those crazy muther fucker's countries, continue to accidentally bomb their pet goats with our drone aircraft, and another generation of them will grow up hating us and trying to blow our asses up. WAY TO THINK IT THROUGH, you environmental greenie weenie FUCKS!!!




Overall, I agreed with everything you wrote. One thing I was wondering your opinion on is the consumption of Americans. As I mentioned before, for the Japanese, it took an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster (all of biblical proportions) to get them to reduce consumption (and from what I understand they are still greatly reducing consumption based on their uses from over a year ago). But that society is a lot more "community oriented" (for lack of a better word). Do you think Americans can or ever will reduce consumption? Will electricity have to be "priced out" in order to do so?

Just some random thoughts and questions. I appreciate your post and opinions. It sounds like you really understand the realities of what we face.


PS apparently, typing before the coffee kicks in leads to a lot of parenthesis.



I think that Japanese and American societies are VERY different. When faced with a common problem, the Japanese will unite and will do what is necessary to overcome it. Those less inclined to "pitch in" for altruistic reasons will be shamed into doing so. This "shame" is part of the glue that holds Japanese society together.

Americans on the other hand have no shame. They will unapologetically cater to whatever selfish whim arises - even if it's bad for the country as a whole. America has lacked the ability to pull together to accomplish anything since WWII. If the same set of circumstances were to present itself now, we would see a far different result. The MEDIA has effectively divided us, captivated us and effectively castrated us. Americans care more about their entertainment then they do about national security, the environment, the value of their currency, or any issue that doesn't affect them directly (and even then, they will deal with it, so long as they are entertained).

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Gambit_Lost
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3949

I'm sad to say I think you are "right on" in your assessment. I'd never really considered "meida" to be a cause though, more a symptom, but it is a very interesting hypothesis that I'll need to think about more.

As it relates to energy, I think we as a nation are in for a lot of pain.

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Fletch1986
Level 3

Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4868

angry chicken wrote:
I was a principle in a renewable energy company a few years back. We sold solar and solar thermal products to upper class people in the DC area. My partners (against my better judgement) based much of their business model on the availability of gov't subsidies (solar tax credits, grants, etc...). Well, the state and local governments "ran out of funding" after a few months (surprise surprise, right? LOL). With out the subsidies, the savings "math" went right out the window. The ROI for anyone who was actually trying to save money (as opposed to paying for the privilege of saying "look at meeee! I'm GREEEEEEN!) simply wasn't there.

The second issue that we started facing after a few months was the data coming back from our customers. The products we were selling simply were NOT performing as well as we were told they would by the manufacturer. Even including factors such as controlling for latitude and season, the projections were WAY off.

So the gov't tried to push a technology that wasn't ready and people got screwed... Imagine that.

FTR, I sold my stake in that company to my partners (who were trying to buy me out anyway) for a nice profit and I got out just in time as the company eventually stalled. It was a good experience, though. I learned a lot about renewable energy and even more about how HARD it is going to be to get the American people on board with the idea. Frankly, selling "green" and "savings" was like pulling fucking teeth. People just weren't ready to put their money where their "lofty ideals" are.

Ironically, I now work in the oil and gas industry. LOL

My perspective on domestic oil supply is optimistic. Companies like Mcmoran and Energy XXI are currently exploring ultra-deep, sub-salt wells that are 30,000+ feet down. That's WAAAAAAY lower than the current wells that are running out in the shallower sections of the GOM. Here's a link to some pretty cool projections: http://www.mcmoran.com/...2012/013112.pdf

By coincidence, one of the very first jobs I did when I came down here was work on the Methanol Pump skid for the Davy Jones, serial number 1 - It had to pump methanol at a pressure of something like 25,000psi to get down to the necessary depth. It was pretty cool being involved with something like that. So basically, in the next couple of months, we'll know if it really is feasible to go after the ultra-deep reserves with our current level of technology. From what I understand, and I'm no geologist, just from what I'm hearing others in the industry whisper about, is that there's A LOT of good quality stuff down there at the 30,000+ level... So stay tuned to how that could impact things.

As for my opinion on nuclear energy, I'm pretty ignorant on the subject, so I'll keep my mouth shut. I just know that when things go bad with that, they go VERY BAD.

Oh, and I agree with everything that Thunderbolt said - that's a smart dude.

To elaborate on my position about energy security, I think that the way politicians are bending down and sucking the environmentalist cock is just shameful. IMHO, our involvement in the Middle East is so that we can "influence" and have a "presence in" countries that affect our oil supply. This, understandably, pisses them off. So now many of them want to kill us (and have succeeded at hitting us at home, causing a chain reaction of war and policies that have forever altered America, but I digress).

We have enough oil and gas reserves to support ourselves, but the environmental greenie weenies wont let us drill because it "MAY" damage the habitat of the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon. I guess PEOPLE dying in war in the Middle East and TSA making us take our shoes off at the airport after waiting three hours and frisking little kids is better than risking a few trees. Here's a newsflash: Americans WILL NOT stop consuming. That energy HAS to come from somewhere. We have it at home, but lack the testicular fortitude to get it. So we'll continue to fuck with those crazy muther fucker's countries, continue to accidentally bomb their pet goats with our drone aircraft, and another generation of them will grow up hating us and trying to blow our asses up. WAY TO THINK IT THROUGH, you environmental greenie weenie FUCKS!!!

Fuck the yellow spotted rainbow pigeon, over time it will either evolve or become extinct anyway. Life is ALWAYS changing like that - you can't save EVERY single wittle thing in the whole wide world.

That being said, I'm all for fuel efficiency and figuring out smarter ways to deal with emissions, but I think we are on deadly ground with our energy policy and our putting our national security and the lives of Americans in jeopardy to cater to the emotional and oftentimes uninformed whims of liberals.

DRILL BABY DRILL!!!


Are you referring to high volume hydrolytic fracking? This type of mining not only hurts the three toed purple poka-dotted tree frog but can have a negative impact on entire communities. Some of the fracking chemicals stay down in the rock which as far as is known doesn't do much harm since it's so deep and about 75% comes back up, but that natural gas can contaminate and pollute drinking water. There's been reports of water facets catching on fire near fracking wells. Not to mention, there hasn't been a whole lot of research on this type of drilling. And the estimates on how much gas there is in shale are widely variable. It's because it's a relatively new technique.

Even in conventional mining, the well casing can become damaged or just not be implemented correctly and contamination at layers closer to the surface that include groundwater used by communities can be contaminated.

I'm not saying the technique should never ever be used, but I do find it reasonable to do more research on the method and then decide where the best places and conditions and ways to mitigate environmental damage will be.

And on an unrelated note, I'm big time pro nuclear. The plant in Japan was based off of 70s technology and the most modern American nuclear plants are more advanced and a lot safer. I don't remember what exactly went wrong, but when I looked at the info before, I felt there were not enough systems of reduduncy at that plant.

Now people were hurt by that nuclear incident, but think of how many people get hurt my oil and coal. You have the miners who are risk. Not to mention, riskier to large communities are the refineries and chemicals needed for that. More people have been hurt by coal and oil since nuclear energy's introduction to power grids than by nuclear energy.

A strong example of a country that has taken full advantage of nuclear energy is France. 80% of their grid is run by nuclear.

Keep in mind that wind power has it's environmental disadvantages. Of coure, you need a lot of wind. It can harm migrating birds. It takes vast tracts of land to add any appreciable energy. Not to say it shouldn't be used, but the limitations should be kept in mind.

Solar is expensive as it is, but it's also improving and even now there are good places to use it.

We've pretty much done all the major hydroelectric projects that we can do so we can't do a whole lot more there.

As far as vehicles go. I'm not a fan of hydrogen fuel cells until our grid is based off of cleaner sources. It takes power to get the hydrogen and that power comes from the grid and as long as that grid is mostly from dirty energy, that hydrogen is going to be 'dirty' too.

As far as a long time strategy, I think the best we can do is allow more mines and drilling in the mean time to build revenue and energy for development of cleaner energy. I think for now, that we should look at all options and continue to research and implement greener sources of energy.

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Bambi
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Join date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1427

In the UK we've outsourced all our energy to foreign companies. They view the UK as an investment

The government wanted something like 12 nuclear power stations built. Most are being built by EDF, who are french. Some WERE being built by EON who are German but they have pulled out because they do not think it is iprofitable. FFS. Energy is to big a security concern to subject to market forces but that's what the government here have done and it will stay that way until we go back to rolling blackouts like there were in the 70s

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Vulpes Vulpes
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 145

Bambi wrote:
2. Oil supply. Will shale oil and gas provide replacements to middle-eastern oil, or is this proof that we're running out of the stuff? Is a transition from oil possible? Is Peak Oil anything over than an internet scare story? What about synthetic oil, such as biofuels and oil derived from algae?


The current problem with shale oil and gas (as well as all other unconventional hydrocarbons) is that it is not cost effective for extraction. Oil and gas found in shales and sands is "stuck" there due to poor permeability which means it won't flow so can't be drilled. So to retrieve the hydrocarbons you have to separate it from the 'reservoir' material. This takes time and is also not very environmentally sound to do. So there is just no comparison when it comes to cheap middle eastern oil or expensive and messy shale oil/gas.

I don't believe there is also any dedicated exploration for unconventional HC's, they are just sort of kept note of when discovered whilst looking for oil and gas. However, BP statistical review estimates oil and gas reserves in oil shales at 2.1 trillion barrels. So there is plenty of energy to be extracted from unconventional HC's. But it just isn't cost effective at the moment to do on a large scale as there is still quite a bit of the regular stuff to go through yet.

Also to clear up any confusion, oil and gas are derived from kerogen of which there are 4 types. some of which are algal derived.

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Vulpes Vulpes
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 145

[quote]Vulpes Vulpes wrote:
[quote]Bambi wrote:
2. Oil supply. Will shale oil and gas provide replacements to middle-eastern oil, or is this proof that we're running out of the stuff? Is a transition from oil possible? Is Peak Oil anything over than an internet scare story? What about synthetic oil, such as biofuels and oil derived from algae? [/quote]

oil peak.

Sorry if images are small they are lifted from my lectures. (studying Bsc in petroleum geology)

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Fletch1986
Level 3

Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4868

Bare in mind that the vast majority of oil imported into the US comes from Mexico and Canada.

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Vulpes Vulpes
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In response to what you said Fletch about the issue with the reactors in Japan. Even with them being outdated, I reckon they stood up to one of the most devastating natural events ever witnessed by man not too badly (as far as nuclear disasters go). I also can't understand the rationale behind the Japanese putting all those reactors on their Eastern coast. The Japanese understand better than anyone the risk associated with the triple junction plate boundary in which they sit

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Bambi
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Posts: 1427

[quote]Vulpes Vulpes wrote:
[quote]Vulpes Vulpes wrote:
[quote]Bambi wrote:
2. Oil supply. Will shale oil and gas provide replacements to middle-eastern oil, or is this proof that we're running out of the stuff? Is a transition from oil possible? Is Peak Oil anything over than an internet scare story? What about synthetic oil, such as biofuels and oil derived from algae? [/quote]

oil peak.

Sorry if images are small they are lifted from my lectures. (studying Bsc in petroleum geology)[/quote]


Ah cool man you aren't at Aberdeen by any chance? Know some people there doing a course like taht

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Vulpes Vulpes
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Posts: 145


Ah cool man you aren't at Aberdeen by any chance? Know some people there doing a course like taht


Yeah I'm at Aberdeen

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SexMachine
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Join date: Mar 2011
Posts: 7183


Obama: When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket


You can't say he hasn't kept that promise.


Obama: ...if someone wants to build a coal power plant they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted. That will also create billions of dollars we can invest in solar, wind, bio-diesel and other alternative energy approaches.'


And that one. Obama's watermelon cronies get those billions for new government cheese eco-outfits like Solyndra. Obama surrounds himself with radical nutjobs in all areas and two of his craziest czars who are working to drive up the price of electricity and fuel are Steven Chu and John Holdren.

John Holdren is Obama's Science czar, and is a climate change alarmist, eugenecist and conspiracy theorist who advocates global government and world population control.

Frontpage: 'Some critics have noted Holdren's penchant for making apocalyptic predictions that never come to pass, and categorizing all criticism of his alarmist views as not only wrong but dangerous. What none has yet noted is that Holdren is a globalist who has endorsed "surrender of sovereignty" to "a comprehensive Planetary Regime" that would control all the world's resources, direct global redistribution of wealth, oversee the "de-development" of the West, control a World Army and taxation regime, and enforce world population limits. He has castigated the United States as "the meanest of wealthy countries," written a justification of compulsory abortion for American women, advocated drastically lowering the U.S. standard of living, and left the door open to trying global warming "deniers" for crimes against humanity. Such is Barack Obama's idea of a clear-headed adviser on matters of scientific policy."

'Holdren wrote in the college textbook Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment that "compulsory, government-mandated 'green abortions' would be a constitutionally acceptable way to control population growth and prevent ecological disasters...' - Aaron Klein



'If you think Obama's radical Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu was hitting you in the wallet with his goal of $10-a-gallon for gasoline prices - we?re about half the way there - just wait until you hear what his radical environmental activist in charge of the EPA, Lisa Jackson just announced.

Now, to further the cause of "Environmental Justice," Lisa Jackson's EPA is all set to introduce new rules that will target greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired plants:

The long-awaited action will sharply limit the emissions allowed from power plants built in the future, but will allow existing coal plants to keep operating for years.

The new rules will essentially make it unviable to build new coal-fired power plants, unless they are fitted with yet-to-be-commercialized carbon-capture technology. The rules would limit the permissible emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to a little more than half of what a typical coal plant emits today, administration officials have said.' The Strident Conservative

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njrusmc
Level 4

Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1118

Pat, I love your ideas. I just looked up the cost of a solar implementation and it was about $16,000 for parts, and double that for the power inverter, cabling, installation, etc. So, 30K isn't terribly unreasonable. Correct me if I am wrong, but if I am still connected to the grid, I could still pull power from the power company if I needed it. Or, if I go out of town for a month, the electric company would (should) PAY ME for putting energy back into the grid. True?

This is totally worth it for 30K. I consider myself pretty sensible about electrical usage at home, so if I ever get a house, I might try this. It'll take ~15 years to make money back from it though (assuming a zero balance on my electric bill), but you could write it off on taxes maybe.

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The Mage
Level 100

Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3052

I may be a little late to the game here

Bambi wrote:
OK since people in the GAL thread suggested the quieter posters start up more threads?

Energy. It's a huge issue, not only with the issue of oil supply but also how we power our electricity network.

Over in the UK we've just started building new nuclear power stations that will come online in 2017/18 which I think are essential if we are to reduce emissions while retaining quality of life

Here are some questions I'd like to see chewed over before putting in my 2 penniworth?

1. What are your views on renewable power, specifically solar, wind, hydro-electric and tidal. Can they be any more than supplementary to energy needs?


The most positive estimate that I have found is 20%, and that is even taking 50 years to get there. (Unfortunately 50 year projections on anything are bordering on fantasy.)

I don't have a problem with their use, and encourage it. But there is the unfortunate political BS, and the fact that people actually think subsidies are a good thing. What subsidies actually do is hide the real cost of these things.

One thing people do not seem to understand is that the cost is a product of the energy used to create everything. So generally if using the "environmentally friendly" method actually costs more (before subsidy,) then it may not actually have saved anything, money or energy.


2. Oil supply. Will shale oil and gas provide replacements to middle-eastern oil, or is this proof that we're running out of the stuff? Is a transition from oil possible? Is Peak Oil anything over than an internet scare story? What about synthetic oil, such as biofuels and oil derived from algae?


As I pointed out in another thread, people are not aware of how massive the quantities of hydrocarbons are in the Earth. We are not barely running out of oil, although the "cheap stuff" is not out there in the quantities they once were. But there is more then just the "cheap stuff".

The stuff you hear about is called light sweet crude. And the numbers (proved) are business numbers. They refer to the oil the companies know for a fact they are going to get. They are also extremely conservative numbers. And a very minor bump in technology increases those numbers all the time. But there are also numbers like probable. Meaning they most likely are going to get that oil. But they don't count those numbers. And honestly those are still very conservative numbers.

But before the discussion of shale, and oil sands, everybody is forgetting about heavy oil. People focus on the light crude because it is so cheap to get. And because of that, people really didn't focus on other sources. But the available sources of heavy oil are double what the light is.

But that is still a drop in the bucket as to what is available in shale, and sands. One area in America has enough oil to cover the Earth for 100 years. And there are plenty more sources out there.

But this does bring up some problems. First is the cost. Obviously it costs much more to extract, but those numbers have been dropping dramatically as the technology has advanced.

Fracking (cylons?) is the technology that is really moving things along here. But unfortunately it is also the focus of a lot of propaganda.

That video that was posted earlier in this thread is an example of that propaganda. In it they show a person starting a fire at his faucet because of methane in the line. Problem is this is not an abnormal occurrence. Methane does in fact get into water lines, even without fracking, and is fairly harmless, unless you attempt to start it on fire.

Now people are talking about fracking causing minor earthquakes. This may be true, although I don't know if people are blowing it out of proportion yet. People forget to notice there is a reason they are called minor. But of interest is the fact that there may actually be a benefit. If there is any buildup of earthquake energy locally, this could actually dissipate some of that stored energy. (Earthquakes build up, then release.) The result is that when it does it, it is weaker then it would have been. (They have actually been attempting to cause this in the past by pumping water into fault lines. Don't know if this research, or attempt is still going on or not.)

They do use a specific sand for this, and one company is making a killing selling a specifically designed sand that works really good for this.


3. Nuclear - what are your views on it. Anti-nuclear sentiment in the UK is still quite strong but has diminished from its height inthe 80s. Do you trust the nuclear industry to not repeat another Fukushima?


Even Chernobyl was not as bad as people make it out to be. Although it should be mentioned that Chernobyl was not designed properly, and the reason for that was it wasn't a regular reactor, but designed for quickly producing weapons grade material.

Fukushima was unfortunate, but it has held well. It was also 40 years old, and close to being decommissioned. The 40 years isn't as much about how old it is, as much as how out of date the thing is. We are generations ahead of that technology right now. The safety of something that can be built today is many times safer then Fukushima.

In Fukushima, they had to pump water into the reactor, and powering up these things was an issue, but the current plants are designed to do this automatically if there is a power outage. It is the power that keeps the water from running into the plant and cooling it.

The Fukushima Daiichi event did suck, and still sucks. But we do need to remember this was a 40 year old plant being hit by an event that only occurs once in over a hundred years, and happening to be that devastating at that specific location, and when the reactor was as old as it was, but before it was shut down. That was very unlucky. Very Very unlucky.

I believe the death toll from the tsunami was over 20,000. The Fukushima event's biggest risk is to it's employees, and the people who went in and pumped water at their own risk.

Many people don't know that nuclear plants cannot explode like a bomb. Pretty much impossible due in part to how the fuel is designed. In fact they are terrible targets for terrorists.

The real problem with nuclear is how much the plants cost to build. Now they do produce so much energy, and so little waste, that they do eventually pay for themselves, but they are still a massive cost.

People unfortunately see these plants as being managed by Mr. Burns, and run by Homer Simpson.

It has been mentioned that we should each produce our own power, and this does sound attractive. But there is a big reason for the single large power plant, and that is efficiency. By mass producing power, we produce more total power with less fuel.


4. The first nuclear fusion plant goes online in southern France in 2019? Is this anything over than a pipe dream?

Thoughts people (anyone)?


There are actually 2 fusion reactors going online, on different dates. But unfortunately they are still test reactors. The hope is that the next reactors built after these tests are complete will be fully functioning reactors.

This is not a pipe dream, but it has been a very hard road, and there are still a few things to figure out, hence the "test" reactors. But Dr. Michio Kaku expects it to be about 20 to 30 years when fusion really will be here.



I have to say I disagree with him, somewhat, stating that oil will keep climbing, as I see events affecting this.

Anyway this needs to be done. One these things start supplying energy, there will be an energy renaissance. People will find some political reason to oppose it. But this will bring about massive amounts of energy. It will seem unlimited. (Nothing is.) But we will be off this planet before we ever come close to running out.

No chance of meltdown, no emissions to speak of, the main fuel is extracted from water.

The thing that sucks is that I will be in my mid 70's when this happens.

Oh, I believe anti matter was brought up. Maybe that was a joke, (we don't have any dilithium crystals) but unfortunately the only anti matter we have ever come into contact with was man made.

It takes so much more power to create then we would ever get out of it, but not only that, this is possibly the most expensive stuff on Earth. It would be like buying old Picasso paintings to burn to heat your house. (Damn, now I want to do that.)


5. Is government funding and diversion of funds to alternate energy possible or is this something the market needs to push forward?


I prefer the market, and there are reasons. Too many people think nothing ever happens without the government.

But the question is would ITER exist without 7 governments funding it? Or is the fact that there are at least 10 different big research projects into fusion show that it would have been?

If companies were not taxed as much as they are, would they have more money invested into research? (I know many here won't have an open mind to this question.)

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Fletch1986
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4868

Keep in mind that with high volume fracking, there is the issue of carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens in the fracking fluids. Sure, there isn't evidence they get into groundwater via the actual fracking, but they do get into the ground through containment ponds and transport and there have been reports of increased health problems in communities around fracking wells that correlate with the effects of the chemicals in fracking fluids.

Not to mention the zillions of trucks pouring out NOx's and SOx's (ozone and acid rain contributors) involved with such an operation. Now, with some green chemistry, I think fracking could be applicable in more settings and be safer to people and the environment and apply these principles to fossil fuels in general until we have developed a clean grid.

And let's not forget the effect of burning hydrocarbons for fuel on a mass scale. As it is right now, anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide make up about 1/7 of the CO2 put into the atmosphere. Air chemistry is still in its infancy, but that's still known to be huge and in addition to known and current issues associated with fossil fuel combustion, there's a high probability of it affecting air chemistry in unknown ways.

Not to mention, there will be phase interaction between the ocean and atmosphere. Basically meaning that in addition to warmer oceans, they will be more acidic oceans (carbonic acid). As of right now, we can only speculate the full range of effects brought on by fossil fuel burning, but it isn't looking good.

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Fletch1986
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4868

Fletch1986 wrote:
Keep in mind that with high volume fracking, there is the issue of carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens in the fracking fluids. Sure, there isn't evidence they get into groundwater via the actual fracking, but they do get into the ground through containment ponds and transport and there have been reports of increased health problems in communities around fracking wells that correlate with the effects of the chemicals in fracking fluids. Not to mention the zillions of trucks pouring out NOx's and SOx's (ozone and acid rain contributors) involved with such an operation. Now, with some green chemistry, I think fracking could be applicable in more settings and be safer to people and the environment and apply these principles to fossil fuels in general until we have developed a clean grid.

And let's not forget the effect of burning hydrocarbons for fuel on a mass scale. As it is right now, anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide make up about 1/7 of the CO2 put into the atmosphere. Air chemistry is still in its infancy, but that's still known to be huge and in addition to known and current issues associated with fossil fuel combustion, there's a high probability of it affecting air chemistry in unknown ways. Not to mention, there will be phase interaction between the ocean and atmosphere. Basically meaning that in addition to warmer oceans, they will be more acidic oceans (carbonic acid). As of right now, we can only speculate the full range of effects brought on by fossil fuel burning, but it isn't looking good.


One more thing, in the US nuclear is about 20% (and declining) and so is hydroelectric (40% between the two). As mentioned before, we've done about all the major hydroelectric projects we can, but nuclear can continue to be developed if people will get over the stigma. The only way I see this is with exorbitantly high energy costs.

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Gambit_Lost
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Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3949

The Mage wrote:

Fukushima was unfortunate, but it has held well. It was also 40 years old, and close to being decommissioned. The 40 years isn't as much about how old it is, as much as how out of date the thing is. We are generations ahead of that technology right now. The safety of something that can be built today is many times safer then Fukushima.

In Fukushima, they had to pump water into the reactor, and powering up these things was an issue, but the current plants are designed to do this automatically if there is a power outage. It is the power that keeps the water from running into the plant and cooling it.

The Fukushima Daiichi event did suck, and still sucks. But we do need to remember this was a 40 year old plant being hit by an event that only occurs once in over a hundred years, and happening to be that devastating at that specific location, and when the reactor was as old as it was, but before it was shut down. That was very unlucky. Very Very unlucky.

I believe the death toll from the tsunami was over 20,000. The Fukushima event's biggest risk is to it's employees, and the people who went in and pumped water at their own risk.

Many people don't know that nuclear plants cannot explode like a bomb. Pretty much impossible due in part to how the fuel is designed. In fact they are terrible targets for terrorists.

The real problem with nuclear is how much the plants cost to build. Now they do produce so much energy, and so little waste, that they do eventually pay for themselves, but they are still a massive cost.

People unfortunately see these plants as being managed by Mr. Burns, and run by Homer Simpson.


Overall, you had a great post. There were a couple of things here that I wasn't sure about though.

-I had thought Fukushima was scheduled to be grown, not shut down.
-It was designed to pump water in. Obviously it did not work.
-There is a 20-30km "dead zone" around the plant now. Maybe it's not a "bomb" but it is certainly deadly.
-There was/is a LOT of mis- management of TEPCO. Mr. Burns and Homer isn't appropriate, but neither is too much faith in them.
-While the "biggest risk" was certainly to the employees and the heroes who went in knowing what would happen, there are a LOT of "great risks" involved with others that should not be minimized to make a political point.

I think America may need to build more power plants; but it is no placebo. I think we should be open to the dangers we are facing.

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SexMachine
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