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Thread: Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study

  1. #11
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Yeah, it'll only cost $582,600,000,000 per year, for 40 years, so 23.30400 trillion dollars to get 80% of the worlds power from the sun, but I'm sure the only problem is inertia.
    That only problem "inertia" is a huge block put in place by existing mega Corporate power centers, not a people thing. It is what needs to be addressed to cure the problem, although some people want global warming and a slow roast, I guess.

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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    inertia
    What's the rush? You think we can stop climate change?

  3. #13
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    That only problem "inertia" is a huge block put in place by existing mega Corporate power centers, not a people thing. It is what needs to be addressed to cure the problem, although some people want global warming and a slow roast, I guess.
    Personally, I want a combination of wind, solar, hydro, osmotic, geothermal, nuclear, tidal, etc.... Converting 80% of the world to a single form of power generation is ridiculous, it would be inefficient compared to suiting a type of generation to a specific area where it can get the most power, solar would be inefficient at high and low latitudes where wind or hydro could work better. There are plenty of reasons to oppose such a stupid idea, doesn't mean I don't want renewable energy.
    So follow me into the desert
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    Compared to the expense of what? Most people's utilities are $2500-$5000 per year. How much are those batteries, and can you make your own? What is it about self-sufficiency that we don't know? The point is that there is plenty of solar power. The inertia factor that is the greatest impediment is the status quo Centralized Distribution Network that can afford to buy and sell your sock puppets in Washington, D. C. It is the fact that this network gets cut out of the loop with down home solar that is the stumbling block, not lack of technology or practicality.
    What happens when we use the sun up?
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    What happens when we use the sun up?
    We'll use the light from the moon.
    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

  6. #16
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Everyone will. The only quesion is when. I think later is better. Let them develop it and we can steal something for once.
    I suppose we can't be on the forefront of technology forever. Though, I think there may be some strategic value to supplying the technology to service the world's energy needs.
    I may be wrong.

  7. #17
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    With respect to renewable energy, several quick thoughts:

    1) Renewable sources will likely provide an increasing share of energy over the longer-term for obvious reasons (geopolitical risk, depletion of conventional sources, increasing attractiveness as a substitute for conventional sources as renewable technologies advance).

    2) It remains unclear which source of renewable energy will "break out" from the pack so to speak. Indeed, the summary released by IPCC states, "Scenarios do not indicate an obvious single dominant RE technology at a global level; in addition, the global overall technical potentials do not constrain the future contribution of RE." However, it is probably more likely than not that some disruptive innovation will lead to a qualitative edge for a particular source. That has typically been the story with emerging industries and there is little reason to believe that the experience in the renewable energy sector would be any different.

    3) Experience/learning curves coupled with technological advances should lead to lower cost production for a variety of renewable energy sources.

    4) Investment and research could lead to one or more countries gaining a qualitative comparative edge in renewable energy technology. Countries facing factor disadvantages in conventional energy sources, rapidly growing energy consumption needs, and a large market of prospective customers, might have the greatest incentive to pursue renewable energy research and development. For example, China is aggressively pursuing R&D in solar energy. Already, China may be near or in the lead globally in solar energy technology.

    5) A significant barrier to renewable energy investment could be the looming era of austerity for parts of Western Europe and the U.S. Huge fiscal challenges could reduce public investments as political leaders try to cushion the need to restructure popular entitlement/mandatory spending programs. It is not implausible that a country outside of Western Europe or besides the U.S. could gain a sustainable competitive advantage in one or more renewable energy technologies.

    6) Biofuels face an additional barrier. The need to feed people/animals generated by growing populations in some countries and improving nutrition that corresponds with economic development could compete with use for biofuels. The former situation would very likely take precedent over time, especially as developing countries gain greater global clout.

    FWIW, the summary of the IPCC report can be found at: http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report/srren-spm-fd4

    The full report will be posted on May 31, 2011 at: http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report

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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Personally, I want a combination of wind, solar, hydro, osmotic, geothermal, nuclear, tidal, etc.... Converting 80% of the world to a single form of power generation is ridiculous, it would be inefficient compared to suiting a type of generation to a specific area where it can get the most power, solar would be inefficient at high and low latitudes where wind or hydro could work better. There are plenty of reasons to oppose such a stupid idea, doesn't mean I don't want renewable energy.
    Although I suspect that a single or small group of renewable energy technologies could break out from the pack so to speak, different sources might be better fits for different countries. For example, Australia with areas that enjoy large amounts of sunshine might have a better match with solar technologies, while parts of Russia with much less sunshine might do better with wind power. Of course, one can't rule out improved transmission capabilities in the very long-range that could mitigate some of those differences.

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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    What about at night?
    go to bed?
    water beds with wave motion power production?
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    Re: Solar Power and the future

    We have several good choices for making electricity, varying from really clean to fairly clean. When we decide to go nuclear and stop burning dirt, we will just do it.

    The harder nut to crack is transportation fuels. The USA is a big country, we can't do town to town public transport as easily as small countries. We have lots of land, but not enough fresh water to make biofuels in the amounts needed. Perhaps the biofuel makers will learn to use sewer effluents from our larger cities.
    If anything can get us to change our wasteful habits, it will be transportation fuel shortages.
    Oracle of Utah
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