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Discussion Starter #1
There was a really good West Wing episode last night. I took time to take notes. The "quote" indicates actual dialogue from the episode:


HUBBERT PEAK:
"Hubbert's a guy who accurately predicted the drop in U.S. oil production. He predicts world production will peak 10 years from now, and after that oil will be scarce & expensive."


SOLAR:
- clean, accessible, only requires 220,000 km^2
- a square 300x300 miles in the Las Vegas region
- problem - we've only manufactured 10 square kilometers to date. We have 219,990 to go! (huge production obstacle to overcome)


WIND:
- windmills provide electricity to "light up San Francisco"
- problem - that's only 1.3%/30,000 windmills - California needs 1 million more! (huge production obstacle)
- "plus they are an eyesore & no one wants them"


ETHANOL/BIODIESEL:
- corn "made in America" -practical NOW
- reduces CO2/HC output by 30%
- problem - increases HC Evaporative & NOx - only replaces 10% of gasoline


HYDROGEN:
- burns clean (exhaust = water)
- problems - distribution requires liquified hydrogen & arctic temperatures in tanker trucks and at the pump - "extreme pressures leads to a tendency to explode (like the Hindenberg)"


PRESIDENT:
"Improving fuel economy deserves more than a 20 minute debate. Hummer sales has their best month & Prius is increasing production 50%. The market's doing what markets do - sorting itself - messily - and with contradiction. A presidential veto forces Congressional debate & jumpstarts a national debate for better fuel economy.

"And continue looking at alternative fuels. If we wait 'til alternatives are perfect, it's all going to be too late."


========================================

Overall, I thought this was a GREAT episode. Whenever the topic of SUVs or fuel economy or alternate fuels comes up, this episode should be the first thing the participants watch.

Very well done.

Troy
 

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There was also a comment (I forget from who) that windmills cause airflow problems on the ground. I'll try to review my tape of the show to get the exact quote.

Overall - it was a great episode and super PR for Toyota.
 

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Here is the town of Hull, MA website on windmills. They did a study on the effect of windmills on property values in other locations before they installed their own. They also have a little bit of data on the property values in Hull after the windmill was put in. Everything I've heard about the town is that they love their windmill and want another one just like the one they've got.

So..... They aren't an eyesore. Those who feel they are those who have not been exposed to windmills in person. I walked as close as I could, just a few hundred feet away, a fence prevented me from getting closer, to 6 or 7 big ones in upstate New York. They were silent and there was no turbulence on the ground. There is a lot of FUD surrounding windmills. Here is a good website with lots of information on wind farms. The website is specifically advocating in favor of the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.
 

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Yeah I've visited California twice, and neither time did I find the windmills to be offensive. They are more attractive than the power line poles and/or cell phone poles all over the place.


But then I didn't write that episode. Send your corrections to the West wing producers.

Troy
 

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ElectricTroy said:
Yeah I've visited California twice, and neither time did I find the windmills to be offensive. They are more attractive than the power line poles and/or cell phone poles all over the place.


But then I didn't write that episode. Send your corrections to the West wing producers.

Troy
I've found that visitors (especially enviro-friendly ones,) tend to not mind the windmills, as they drive by them. RESIDENTS tend to find them ugly. I have a few friends who live near the big windmill farms, and all of them (even an Insight driver,) think they're ugly.
 

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You can just put them all out at sea, far enough so that you can barely see them. That's where they should be too, as the wind is stronger, more constant and reliable. The infrastructure can then also be used to capture wave energy.



We're not far off 10MW turbines now (Enercon's E-112 manages around 7.5MW), so a single array of 10x10 of these could generate as much power as an entire modern nuclear or coal power station (1GW).

Enercon E-112:
8)
 

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ElectricTroy said:
They are more attractive than the power line poles and/or cell phone poles all over the place.
What I don't understand is why they don't put windmills on those huge long distance transmission towers. They could not get more ugly.
 

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ElectricTroy said:
...
HUBBERT PEAK:
"Hubbert's a guy who accurately predicted the drop in U.S. oil production. He predicts world production will peak 10 years from now, and after that oil will be scarce & expensive."...
This is where the term "peak oil" comes from. Search this site for more info on our little community's discussions.

When you're ready for more, do a Google on "peak oil." Be prepared to lose some sleep. But don't let this scare you away from considering the impact of the "end of (petroleum) oil." Knowledge is better than ignorance.

I was ignorant. Now I have a little bit of knowledge. And I'm just beginning to realize the extent of my ignorance!

Now where's my horse?
 

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It's funny how things work in threes.

I found an article today about China's growth and energy consumption. You can read it here.

I wonder, will we be seeing more conflicts over turf in the years to come?
 

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Yup, economic growth in China and India should be verrrry scary for anyone reliant on oil. Put it this way, at the moment about 2% of their 2.2 billion population owns a car of any sort. But they're soon to become the manufacturing giants of the globe, and increased car ownership is all but inevitable. So, if there were 30 years of oil reserves remaining right now, once these sleeping giants start using it up the in the same way the US does, it would shrink to only 5 years worth of oil left in the ground - ie only one sixth of what we thought we had!

So, here's a little thought experiment based on that:

Step 1: Imagine two countries. One continues to use oil at the rate it always has done (lets call it the US). However the other invests heavily in renewable energy and cuts back on its reliance on oil and other fossil fuels dramatically (like, say, Denmark).

Step 2: China and India start using up the global oil reserve much faster.

Step 3: Oil and all other fossil fuels become much more expensive.

Step 4: The country relying on oil can no longer compete in manufacturing costs with any country employing cheaper or more reliable energy sources.

Step 5: The oil based economy countries enter a massive depression resulting in huge social problems and an inability to compete on the world stage, while the economies of the renewable energy countries bloom on the back of stabilty of supply and cheaper manufacturing costs. Political tensions rise between all oil hungry states, while less dependent states can focus much more of their energies on home issues.

To me, all this seems pretty much a foregone conclusion!
 
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ehurtley, the residents of Hull, MA like their windmill just fine and even want another one as I pointed out before.
 
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