Saudis want aid if world cuts oil dependence

Cold Fussion

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Our solar cells produced substantially less energy then what is given off by the sun. Currently solar farms have a much lower energy production per area then fission plants and they only work for half the day and their efficiency is reduced when its overcast and the elements.
 

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"Energy doesn't come free."

This is only true as long as you have your mind stuck into resources that come from the ground.

Don't get me wrong, but I think solar power has a cost too, even in the best of the worlds possible. And so do wind power, tidal power, hydroelectric.

For hydroelectric, we know that it ruins the rivers, the dams get clogged up with debris, there are almost every time minor or major problems with wildlife, plants, water distribution.

Or, to produce the solar panels you have to use a lot of resources, which are not free, nor unlimited, and can be polluting during production.

I push myself a little farer, but I am just freeing my imagination now: what will happen if you fill a sea strait with so many tidal plants as to actually stop the tide from passing? Debris? coastal pollution? sea currents circluation modyfications? Who know.

Yes, always better than other alternatives, but never free.

And this is theory. For what we know now about renewable energy, they are so expensive and so unefficient now that they struggle to compete even with oil or coal. We wouldn't research on them either, if it was not that the cost of pollution is gettin higher and higher, making fossil-fuel less and less desirable.

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That said:

I like the idea of solar, wind and tidal power, I hope they will become reality soon and if it was for me, research on these technologies will be funded heavily. I also don't like nuclear power very much (because of the waste and the potential ravages it could unleash upon all of us). But I can not avoid reality.
 
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MacGuffin

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Well, one should always keep in mind, that our current civilization was not created by men who said: "I tell you why it is not possible".

As I see it, it is just a technological problem, which has to be solved. And I'm sure if we would have started in the 1950's, instead of concentrating on nuclear fission, we would have solved the problems already.

But now we are stuck with fossile energy and nuclear energy. Developing these was expensive, too. Every new technology is expensive first.

I'm sorry but I cannot imagine that using solar energy to extract hydrogen from water and then pump it into pipelines into Europe (just as an example) will be more expensive in the end, than drilling holes in the ground thousands of meters deep, pumping up oil, ship it with huge oil tankers half around the world, refine and then just burn it.
 
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Cold Fussion

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Your raise an interesting point, what happens if we exploit wind and tidal so much they cause harm to the enviroment.

Well, one should always keep in mind, that our current civilization was not created by men who said: "I tell you why it is not possible".

As I see it, it is just a technological problem, which has to be solved. And I'm sure if we would have started in the 1950's, instead of concentrating on nuclear fission, we would have solved the problems already.

Nuclear fission isn't bad. Its clean, it doesn't produce much waste and it is highly efficient compared to other sources of energy. We can re-process a large amount of this radioactive waste and what we cant re-process we store in a million meter thick concrete bunker inside a mountain.
 
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SirEdward

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Your raise an interesting point, what happens if we exploit wind and tidal so much they cause harm to the enviroment.

Who knows... I don't think it could equate the risk of nuclear power, though.

MacGuffin said:
Well, one should always keep in mind, that our current civilization was not created by men who said: "I tell you why it is not possible".

As I see it, it is just a technological problem, which has to be solved. And I'm sure if we would have started in the 1950's, instead of concentrating on nuclear fission, we would have solved the problems already.

Ok, I know I have pessimistic point of views and this doesn't help very much, sometimes, but I strongly believe in the possibilities of renewable energy. Only, I don't think it is a global panacaea of freely available, free to extract, free to waste energy with no consequences on our environment.

It is the same for nuclear. I think it will be impossible for us (for our world as we normally see it) to avoid nuclear power EDIT - completely - EDIT, precisely because we have not being studying alternative sources of energy for a long time. But we can not think that nuclear power will save us all for free either.
 
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MacGuffin

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Nuclear fission isn't bad. Its clean, it doesn't produce much waste and it is highly efficient compared to other sources of energy. We can re-process a large amount of this radioactive waste and what we cant re-process we store in a million meter thick concrete bunker inside a mountain.

The problem of nuclear waste disposal has not been solved yet. There is no one in the whole world who has a clue about what to do with it. Yet more and more of it is produced every day. It's like driving a car without having the brakes invented first. And I'm sorry but nuclear fission is no solution to the problem of how we keep transport and traffic alive.

They say the peak of oil production will be around 2020, meaning from then on, oil production will slow down, because the resource is running out. So oil will become increasingly more valuable and expensive -- too expensive to just burn it up in internal combustion engines. There has to be an alternative until then, or our standard of living will decrease dramatically. And that alternative can only be electrical motors, driven by fuel cells.

So the main question is how to provide the energy to produce enough hydrogen.

And I'm sorry but nuclear fission cannot provide that alternative. Mainly because in most parts of the world governments won't be able to build new nuclear power plants due to resistance in the population, but also because it is a dangerous technology, which cannot be given into the hands of unstable governments or totalitarian states. Also each and every nuclear installation will always be a potential time bomb, no matter how high the safety standards are.

So there have to be enormous efforts to come up with alternatives, and since nuclear fusion is far from being an alternative in the nearer future, it simply have to be wind, sun or water.
 
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narf

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Our solar cells produced substantially less energy then what is given off by the sun.

If you want to produce electricity from the sun by solar cells then yes, there currently are substantial losses.

But why electrical power through solar cells?

PS10_solar_power_tower_2.jpg


This handsome thing uses the sun to power a steam turbine. Cheaper to build and more efficient than solar cells.


Still no free energy though, it's stolen from poor hydrogen atoms in the sun that are tortured until they give in and become helium... :whistle:
 

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Still no free energy though, it's stolen from poor hydrogen atoms in the sun that are tortured until they give in and become helium... :whistle:

No, the reason why it's not free energy is because you have to build a massive concrete tower - you think that thing is particularly cheap? Or all the mirrors?

There is simply no free energy, and this will never change, it's a simple physical fact, conservation of energy, and such.
 

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No, the reason why it's not free energy is because you have to build a massive concrete tower - you think that thing is particularly cheap? Or all the mirrors?

There is simply no free energy, and this will never change, it's a simple physical fact, conservation of energy, and such.

Yes, conservation of energy does work, but solar towers take in energy from the sun (the only thing really putting energy in to the earth's "closed" system) and since there are very few moving parts (EDIT: OK on second thought, there are a lot of moving parts, but even so) it shouldn't need too much maintenance, so eventually, in theory, it would offset the energy needed to construct the thing in the first place and maintain it and it would, in effect, be free (physically) power. Right?
 
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Made In the USA

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....more targets for Terrorists.

So some think a nice shiny new terrorist target power plant that is ludcriously expensive is a good idea...

Say he was a terrorist? It is far too risky.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVL0Y4kY8uE[/YOUTUBE]
 

argatoga

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The problem of nuclear waste disposal has not been solved yet. There is no one in the whole world who has a clue about what to do with it. Yet more and more of it is produced every day. It's like driving a car without having the brakes invented first. And I'm sorry but nuclear fission is no solution to the problem of how we keep transport and traffic alive.

They say the peak of oil production will be around 2020, meaning from then on, oil production will slow down, because the resource is running out. So oil will become increasingly more valuable and expensive -- too expensive to just burn it up in internal combustion engines. There has to be an alternative until then, or our standard of living will decrease dramatically. And that alternative can only be electrical motors, driven by fuel cells.

So the main question is how to provide the energy to produce enough hydrogen.

And I'm sorry but nuclear fission cannot provide that alternative. Mainly because in most parts of the world governments won't be able to build new nuclear power plants due to resistance in the population, but also because it is a dangerous technology, which cannot be given into the hands of unstable governments or totalitarian states. Also each and every nuclear installation will always be a potential time bomb, no matter how high the safety standards are.

So there have to be enormous efforts to come up with alternatives, and since nuclear fusion is far from being an alternative in the nearer future, it simply have to be wind, sun or water.

Re-read my posts here. And follow those links I provided. I know they are from US government regulatory and scientific sites and not as well respected as your wikipedia links, but I believe they should be enough to make my point clear. Nuclear power is quite safe right now.

What is better for the environment: building a shit load of solar panels (which require toxic chemicals to construct) and building miles of them in the desert (disturb nature much?) and constantly replacing the broken ones when a sand storm comes in or containing everything in a safe heavily shielded facility?

A nuclear reactor creates far less waste than a coal plant and doesn't spread it out into the atmosphere.

If you want to produce electricity from the sun by solar cells then yes, there currently are substantial losses.

But why electrical power through solar cells?

PS10_solar_power_tower_2.jpg


This handsome thing uses the sun to power a steam turbine. Cheaper to build and more efficient than solar cells.


Still no free energy though, it's stolen from poor hydrogen atoms in the sun that are tortured until they give in and become helium... :whistle:

I just saw this. Love the idea. Looks like it is not super efficient though.
 
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narf

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I just saw this. Love the idea. Looks like it is not super efficient though.

It's one of the most efficient (artificial - photosynthesis ftw) ways to use the sun's energy, more efficient than solar cells. They do store heat as well, resulting in round the clock power production. Another kill-all argument against solar power kicked in the groin :lol:

Black water tanks on the roof excepted, those work brilliantly without any real cost - provided your daily hot water consumption doesn't spike too much. Being in the shower when the hotness runs out is no fun :mad:
 

argatoga

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It's one of the most efficient (artificial - photosynthesis ftw) ways to use the sun's energy, more efficient than solar cells. They do store heat as well, resulting in round the clock power production. Another kill-all argument against solar power kicked in the groin :lol:

Black water tanks on the roof excepted, those work brilliantly without any real cost - provided your daily hot water consumption doesn't spike too much. Being in the shower when the hotness runs out is no fun :mad:

Do you have any links or information on power output? I do like this idea.
 

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You guys really didn't know about those solar power plants? :blink:

That explains something...

Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_solar_power_tower

The only maintenance I'm aware of (expect for repairs of course) is dusting the mirrors regularly.

Nuclear power is quite safe right now.

Flying is quite safe, too.

But like with everything else, there's always a remaining risk. Those passengers on the Air France flight from Rio to Paris could tell you about that -- if they were still alive.
 
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argatoga

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You guys really didn't know about those solar power plants? :blink:

That explains something...

Why didn't you mention them? Couldn't find a link from the infallible wikipedia?
 

narf

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Made In the USA

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Do you have any links or information on power output? I do like this idea.
Apparently it's currently in a multi-stage development, with a second tower being built along with other solar power technologies. It said the whole plant when completed will have 300MW output. But it still will need a lot of acreage...


Source
The 'Solar Platform' is being constructed by Solucar, and will use a range of solar technologies. The first two power plants to be brought into operation were the PS10, the world's first commercial thermoelectric solar tower, and Sevilla PV, the largest low concentration system photovoltaic plant.

The 11MW PS10 solar power plant will generates 24.3GW/hr per year of clean energy.

Second generation PS20

PS20 will have twice the PS10 output, with more than 1,000 two-axis sun tracking heliostats driving 120m? mirrors. These mirrors will concentrate solar radiation onto the receiver on top of a 165m tower. PS20 represents a second generation technology with important improvements to receiver and other critical elements.
 

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Why didn't you mention them? Couldn't find a link from the infallible wikipedia?

I'm sorry. I was simply assuming that kind of technology is well known. Every child playing with a magnifying glass knows it after all. I wasn't talking about solar panels, like you can buy them for your roof, you know.

At least we're now talking the same language.
 
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argatoga

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I'm sorry. I was simply assuming that kind of technology is well known. Every child playing with a magnifying glass knows it after all. I wasn't talking about solar panels, like you can buy them for your roof, you know.

At least we're now talking the same language.

I love these little snide remarks. Find that on the wikipedia? Mr. "I want reliable, independent, renown sources."

Anyhow, I do like these solar plants, but they still far behind the power production of a modern nuclear plant. Also they require a lot more space and need sun light.

Nuclear isn't the only answer, but it a very good one as you can build one anywhere (politics aside) and have a safe and environmentally friendly source of energy (little space, small and contained source of waste).
 

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The image I posted was PS10, first commercial solar thermal power station - 11MW.
Maybe in Europe, but from the very Wiki list you linked, the one at the top Solar Energy Generating Systems in California with by far the most output was competed during the 1980s.

Edit:
Anyhow, I do like these solar plants, but they still far behind the power production of a modern nuclear plant. Also they require a lot more space and need sun light.
But they don't come at a cost of $13-$18 BILLION each for new nuclear power plants with a cost to consumers of between $5000 and $6000/kWe.
 
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