Alternative Energies?

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  1. Direxmd profile image73
    Direxmdposted 12 years ago

    Hey guys, I recently published a hub on methane / natural gas energy production & resources and then felt compelled to see what people thought of our current state of energy--so here I am.

    Are you guys big fans of specific energy resources? Such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, oil, coal, nuclear or gas power?

    I'm one of the few that believe clean technologies such as wind and solar are still in their infancy and need more reseach and development before being heavily utilized.  Until then, I personally believe that nuclear and gas resources will be our best friend for the near future.

    What do you guys think? Do you have any beef with certain power sources? Are you a fan of certain ones?

  2. darkside profile image80
    darksideposted 12 years ago

    You're better off posting threads like this (with links to your own hub) in this sub-forum:

  3. Direxmd profile image73
    Direxmdposted 12 years ago

    Then I will just delete the link to my hub, I would rather have a conversation with you guys then get an extra visit.

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. sassychic profile image61
      sassychicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Direxmd is right! Hey that's a "Ligit" conversational topic! Back off it's cool if he's curious to see what we think. Anyway your statement is interesting and Im interested to know why you feel that way. Personall Alternative energy options are confusing to me I'd like to know more. . . .Carry on Direxmd! winksmile big_smile

  4. kerryg profile image84
    kerrygposted 12 years ago

    I support renewables, especially wind, because my state has some pretty good wind resources, and I believe we need to move towards more localized power, rather than more centralized power, which I think is what would happen with nuclear. We've seen the results of excessive centralization in our food system, with its constant food safety crises, not to mention our banking system!

    I do agree that renewables are not yet ready to take over as our main power sources, but I would argue that the sooner we treat them as if they need to be, the sooner they will become ready. Pouring money into gas and nuclear will simply delay the adoption of safer and more sustainable power sources.

    Likewise with pouring money into exploring domestic oil reserves. We in the US don't physically have enough oil to become energy independent, so the environmental tradeoff of opening ANWR and other domestric reserves is not worth it, imho. As Friedman said way back at the height of "Drill, baby, drill!": "an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it." Opening ANWR, etc. will only make the final crash come harder and more painfully.

    1. Direxmd profile image73
      Direxmdposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      How is nuclear power unsafe in the United States? When has a power plant directly harmed an individual? Three Mile Island was a scare but didn't harm anyone.  How is nuclear power not sustainable? Each plant produces a shoe-box's worth of waste every month--and now they can reprocess spent nuclear waste.  I recommend listening to KGO's Bill Wattenburg--he has a doctorate in nuclear technologies and have been speaking about the topic since the 1970s.  Nuclear technology is not safe in countries that have beta technology within the field (such as Belarus). 

      Nuclear energy is also the highest mega watt per hour technology we have available, by far.  The western six states get 3 hours of energy a day from the handful of nuclear reactors that are in commission in California, Nevada, etc.  Also, nuclear plants don't emit CO2, only water vapor.

      Good points though, I hope that renewable energies will become more helpful and less land-grabbing.  They take up a lot of land that can be used for other things.

      1. BristolBoy profile image67
        BristolBoyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Not sure if this is the right forum for this debate but I must say I have to disagree with many of your points. 

        Firstly nuclear power can never be sustainable in it's current form.  It relies on using various atomic particles, of which there are only a finite number on the earth.  In fact it is believed that nuclear fuels will run out within 80 years, and that is without any additional plants being built (such as is stated in the IEA ebook found here: … 9T0F7266WF  - warning though there is a chareg of about $100).  I have read another report since then, also produced by the OECD, which states that fuels for conventional nuclear plants will run out within 50 years, and that is including reprocessing and once again assuming no new nuclear plants are built.

        secondly not sure what you mean by highest megawatt per hour technology :S.  Surely one megawatt hour is the same as another? Or have I completely not understood your point.

        Finally, what do you mean by renewable resources taking up a lot land that can be used for other things.  In the UK many wind turbines are offshore or on the sides of mountains, neither of which is productive land.  Similarly wave and tidal devices are out at sea.  Finally most UK solar is on roofs, whih is pretty useless generally. 

        I look forward to your repsonse.

      2. kerryg profile image84
        kerrygposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Honestly, I don't know a lot about it beyond the basics and it's possible that if I researched more thoroughly, I would be more positive towards nuclear. However, safety and environmental issues are not my only objections to it, so I don't expect my preference for renewables to change.

        Additionally, my (limited) understanding of nuclear is that that BristolBoy is correct about the long-term ability of nuclear to provide power, let along environmentally sustainable power. What I've heard (and I'm admitting up-front that I'm not sure how accurate this is) is that high-grade ores are extremely sustainable from the perspective of the emissions that go into mining and utilizing them, but are also fairly rare, while more common lower grade ores actually produce more carbon emissions per kilowatt of energy produced than gas-fired power plants.

        I'm not quite sure where you're getting the idea that they're "land-grabbing." Solar installations are frequently installed on roofs, which would otherwise be wasted space, and wind is generally located offshore or in mountainous and hilly terrain that would be unsuited to development anyway. It also combines very well with agricultural pursuits, especially grazing.

        1. BristolBoy profile image67
          BristolBoyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I forgot the effect of mining the raw materials.  This is incredibly carbon intensive at the present time, and is only going to get more carbon intensive as time goes on.  Also add in the fact that many chemicals are used resulting in local pollution (look up uranium mine tailing on Google) and the fact that this is strip mining where the whole area is ripped up to get to the underground nuclear fuel and you see why countries like Australia are against new nuclear fuel mines.

  5. Dame Scribe profile image60
    Dame Scribeposted 12 years ago

    Not to mention the toxic radioactive waste from nuclear power ... meanwhile..we have 80 years to invent a new power source? tongue lol

    1. BristolBoy profile image67
      BristolBoyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      We already have the new power sources in the forms of various renewable technologies.  At the moment the main barrier to growth of renewable energy is the cost of it.  However, with every doubling of capacity installed the cost of each individual unit drops by about 20%.  This means that soon conventional power sources will be less and less competitive in certain environments.  Already in the right environments wind, solar and hydro is competitive with fossil fuels even without any sort of subsidy and with the long term trend of increasing fossil fuel prices and reducing technology costs for renewable energy leads to grid parity of renewable energy with conventional sources of power.

  6. darkside profile image80
    darksideposted 12 years ago

    I visited a coal powered power station at the end of 2007 and as well as a tour we got to see some videos and also were given a talk.

    What I learnt was this (speaking from an Australian point of view) we'd need to fill the whole of Australia with the wind mills just to power the city of Sydney (I think that's what was said, it was either that or the state of New South Wales, either way it wasn't viable).

    Coal powered power plants have a limited life span. And it takes about 15 of them to power the state of New South Wales. Though during the peak period (around midday) we also get power from the Snowy Mountains Scheme (hydro-electricity). But when the power consumption drops the other power stations need to send power to the Snowy Mountains to pump the water back up to the top.

    That Australia would only need about 2 or 3 nuclear power plants to power the whole of Australia.

    Nuclear power plants don't have the same waste air borne emissions as coal, so less pollution.

    Done right, it's safe, efficient and clean.

  7. Direxmd profile image73
    Direxmdposted 12 years ago

    I like darkside smile smile smile


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