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For those who have any interest in the energy situation, be it just in your own nation or world-wide, there is no better energy analysts I could recommend than Euan Mearns and Rogers Andrews at Energy Matters euanmearns.com/

Issues such as the outrageous attempts to send electricity costs skyrocketing in Ontario; the series of blackouts due to renewable energy in S. Australia; The forthcoming attempt to replace everything, including nuclear, with wind power in Scotland (to use a British phrase, total Bollocks)- these guys cover everything.

An aside: I especially like the idea of taking natural gas, sequestering the CO2 component (which reduces the amount of energy it will produce by 30%) and then piping- yes, PIPING- the hydrogen to homes and businesses all over Scotland (and presumably in other nations as well).

Piping hydrogen all over the country- what could possibly go wrong.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWeO1q…

My view of the future of energy? a great deal more Nuclear. Molten-salt Thorium for starters. Max out natural gas. Use hydro wherever possible (the Oroville dam should have been built bigger, stronger and supplied with larger turbines.) Less so oil and coal but keep using them, we have several centuries of both left.


Biomass? No thanks. London's most recent smogs are the result of burning seven million tons of wood a year at the Drax plant.

Wind? No thanks. Use it where it works- usually on a per-home or per-farm basis. Industrial-level wind doesn't cut it. Especially where it leads to cutting down whole forests and ripping off mountain tops to build turbines that only produce at 35% efficiency. Not to mention killing raptors and bats in large numbers.

Biofuels- do damage to engines. Cause green greed in the form of cutting down forests to make room for biofuel plantations, thereby reducing biodiversity. Costs a gallon of gasoline for each gallon produced. Costs 40% of corn crops, thereby driving up the price of feed for animals, thereby driving up the cost of food for humans.

Solar- again, where it works, which is usually smaller-scale than what they claim will work.
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:iconkarkovice1:
karkovice1 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017
"Piping hydrogen all over the country- what could possibly go wrong...."

They've obviously never seen the movie "The Hindenburg". :P
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:iconpurplephoneixstar:
PurplePhoneixStar Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting essay here. Now personal solar does pretty well. You just have to get a system to match your needs powerwise and it does pretty good in most places. 
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
And that works just fine for me. Our house would be perfect for it- it has the right orientation and we're in a wide-open space and we'd get 11 hours a day in the summer. But we decided not to go with it for other reasons.
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:iconpurplephoneixstar:
PurplePhoneixStar Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It's kinda pricey to get started. I want to get my house on solar so that the electric company is just a back up or used mainly for heavy drain applances that aren't used that often. 
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:iconcat-man-dancing:
Cat-man-dancing Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Mine is still small. It powers my computers and lights, but not my appliances. (I can run the microwave, but that's about it)
Even though I shopped carefully and did the installation myself, it will still not pay for itself during it's expected lifetime. Nor mine, in fact.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
There is a new advancement in solar tech that should bring the price down. Not sure when it will arrive on the market though.
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:iconcat-man-dancing:
Cat-man-dancing Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Any details?
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
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:iconcat-man-dancing:
Cat-man-dancing Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Yeah, I'm familiar with this. Success has been "just
 around the corner" for years.
I believe the hype started with it as a way to paint
a couple of chemicals on your roof and turn the
whole thing into a solar panel.
I'm surprised you would use sciencedaily as a reference.
Just a quick look came up with this gem:
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/…
"How to brainwash AGW skeptics into believing AGW theory"
When they use statements like this, they are to be ignored:
"The study also used the accurate statement that "97% of scientists
agree on humanmade climate change." Prior work by van der Linden
 has shown this fact about scientific consensus is an effective 'gateway'
 for public acceptance of climate change."
Emphasis mine.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
it was one of the first links that came up. After years of reading my stuff you ought to know that just about everything with the word 'science' in it has been politicized.
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:icongraeystone:
Graeystone Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Me on biofuel - "Silly environmentalcases, corn is for organic life."
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:icondeutsche-drache:
Deutsche-Drache Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
First, some quibbles...

As regards piping hydrogen across the country, we're already doing that with natural gas -- and have been for decades.  So outside of terrorist attacks, it really is quite safe.  Your comparison to the Hindenburg, I think, is unfounded.  Please remember that natural gas's formula is CH4, meaning four atoms of hydrogen and one atom of carbon.  And it is that atom of carbon that gives natural gas a higher "equivalent energy" yield compared to straight H2.  In fact, IIRC the low-energy yield of hydrogen was a primary reason "fuel cell" cars didn't catch on (and the fact that Obama killed it in favor of his awful Chevy Volt, but I'm digressing), because you would have to refuel much more often to achieve the same amount of driving for a gasoline-powered car.  "Compressed Natural Gas" ("CNG"), which is/was my darling, lies somewhere between H2 and gasoline, and suffers the same issue:  Limited range.

Where does the CO2 come from?  It's not a part of the chemical makeup of natural gas.  Is it a well contaminant?   This is the first I've heard of someone mentioning CO2 and natural gas in the same thought.

Okay, I stopped to look up "carbon dioxide reforming" to see what you are referring to.  I still don't see the point.  Why take a known energy source and convert it into a lower-energy yield, along with waste gases that have to be dealt with?  The only use for this was, again, with the old fuel cell technology, but with the advent of CNG-fueled vehicles, why bother?  The CNG produces a higher energy output, requiring less refuelings, AND your existing gasoline engine will burn it with minor adjustments.  In fact, some companies sell "switch-overs" so you, from the driver's seat, can switch between gasoline and CNG.  And you can refuel your vehicle from a compressor in your garage!  In fact, our community's bus fleet was switched over to CNG a few years back to save money.  (Quite a bit, actually.)  Finally, the pipeline distribution network for natural gas is already in place, so why bother with hydrogen?

No,w onto the positives...

I like the idea of home-based solar and/or wind.  I have an amateur radio friend who is powering his house and radio repeater using primarily solar cells, and augmented with wind.  He sells what he doesn't produce back to the utilities, such that he jokes about have to "collect pop bottles along the road" to pay his electric bill.  Not bad.

I'm intrigued by the idea of molten-sale Thorium, because this is the first I've heard of it.  Will have to dig deeper into it.

I'm sorry to see consumer CNG largely going away, because if we ever get back to $4/gal gasoline, CNG would be a welcome foil.  The Honda Civic GX was discontinued in 2015, owing to lackluster sales and higher cost.  Honda is talking about bringing back fuel cells as part of some new hybrid, but, again, I just don't see the point.  It has the "look and feel" of the dying echo of Obama's social engineering where "renewables" are concerned.

With the advent of fracking -- and which MUST migrate to gas fracking and away from hydraulic fracking -- the USA now has enough provable oil resources to last it over 3,000 years, not just 300.  We're not about to run out of oil any time soon.  So, I would suggest the major push should be getting prices for conventional energy as cheap as possible, and to hell with "alternative/renewable energy."


Finally, speaking of the Oroville Dam, here's something north of me you might find interesting.  This was something that Consumer's Energy built as a means of "storing energy" during non-peak times, in order to supplement the grid during peak demands, such as in the summer for A/C.

www.consumersenergy.com/conten…
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I see that you caught up on what I was referring to with natural gas- you are right, it reduces the energy output, not to mention costs energy to do so.

And your friend and I agree on wind and solar on a Per-Household basis *g*

*checks link* Ahhh, pumped storage! Now that is most likely where wind Should be used, since it cannot possibly replace baseload generation. I am agreeable to an arrangement like that.
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:icondeutsche-drache:
Deutsche-Drache Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
IIRC, General Motors had perfected the fuel cell cars and were trying to establish a distribution system for the required hydrogen, when Obama forced them into bankruptcy and with it fuel cell cars were ended in place of those insane electric cars.  Please note that AT THE TIME fuel cell technology really had a promising future, so you were correct on advocating it.  The only remaining issue was how to produce the prodigious amounts of hydrogen to fuel it.  The scenario I remember being pitched was having oceanside hydrogen plants located next to nuclear power plants, because that's how much energy it would require to produce the hydrogen.  Then Obama came to power and all of that was done away with.

That's where CNG came in.  In an era of $4/gallon gasoline,  It was an ideal compromise:  Very little pollution, inexpensive to run compared to gasoline, required distribution infrastructure already in place, minimal startup investment, and uses the existing gasoline engine.  What's not to love?  What has almost killed off CNG was the development of fracking, because now we have vast oil deposits that can be developed, and so the underlying scenario that gave birth to CNG has, for the most part, passed away.   And thanks to the Saudis' misguided oil war, we can now flood the world with $50/bl oil and still make money, while bankrupting the Saudis and their funding of Islam's War on the West.  Win-Win for us!

I would not entirely rule out CNG, because my fear is "what comes after Trump."  And for myself, my property up north sits atop the Antrim Shale Formation, and which I'll own the mineral rights.  So, for the cost of heating the typical three-bedroom house for five years on natural gas, I can drill my own private nat-gas well and have an unlimited supply for the rest of my life.  That prospect alone encourages me to consider a gasoline/CNG hybrid for my next vehicle.

More importantly, as my amateur radio friend would say, "it's always good to have redundancies."  Ergo, propane/natgas furnace, along with a wood-burning cookstove that can also heat the house.  Solar panels and/or wind for generating my own electricity, selling the excess back to the utilities.  High-Frequency (a/k/a "shortwave") amateur radio equipment in case the Internet ever goes away.  Growing my own food and preserving it in Mason jars.  Even hunting deer on the property and learning to like venison.

It's all about having "redundancies and alternatives" so there's not a single point of failure that becomes a "show stopper."

And with the latest development in "monocrystalline" solar panels,  you, my friend and I are in full agreement about producing our own power, while using battery storage to power our homes at night.

As regards the Ludington Pumped Storage facility, I hadn't thought about merging it with the industrial wind turbines, but since you mentioned it, that IS a perfect fit.  Something like that is an ideal candidate for the unpredictability of wind energy, since the customer base that NEEDS dependable power is not at the mercy of the wind.
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:iconcenturion030:
Centurion030 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 18, 2017
Solar combined with Stirling engines is a good way to supplement the total amount of electrical power produced.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
*looks up Stirling* Ah! Thanks, something new learned! And agreed, that would be useful.
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:iconcenturion030:
Centurion030 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Oh yes!

10 kw design. 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EahfGf…
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:icondeutsche-drache:
Deutsche-Drache Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Bingo.  Bush 43 signing into law the Ethanol subsidies was an unmitigated disaster, especially in countries where corn is a food staple.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Exactly. And a few nations are still ramping up on it, so that will get worse.
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:iconbrg-studios:
BRG-Studios Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I read about the Thorium based nuclear reactors in a science magazine, maybe over a decade ago. I liked what I read. Apart from being unable to develop fissionable materials for nuclear weapons, why the heck aren't we (or anyone else) going forward with this!? -And not building more bombs is a bonus in my opinion.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
As far as I know, China is doing some work on these, and perhaps one or two other nations, I really need to nail that down.  And I agree, we need to be going gang-busters on this stuff.
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:icongryphon2001:
Gryphon2001 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2017
Thorium Reactors have never been developed simply because the Objective of "Nuclear Power Plants" has been solely for the production of Explosive Isotopes of Uranium and Plutonium for the "War Pigs" Profit$. The Pressurized Water Reactors used for powerplants have their origins in what are known as "Fermi Piles" that were constructed by the Dozen at the Hanford and Savannah Weapons Plants during WWII; These designs not only produced no Power, they had to have External Power supplied to Run their Cooling Systems. Thus, the Locations where the Tennessee Vally Hydro-Dams, and similar Dams in the Pacific Northwest. The Reactions in these Piles (by the way the Raw Uranium was Loaded)   was Optimized to produce the most Explosive-Grade  Isotopes in the shortest Time, making them inherently Unstable without very careful Operation.
All of the subsequent designs of Reactors led from these, and so the 'accidents' like Chernobyl  and Fuk-U-Shima were an Inevitable result of Systems that were neither Fault-Tolerant nor Fail-Safe.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Norway, India and China (the last with US aid) are working on prototype Thorium reactors now. And here's half a dozen companies- mostly in the US- which are getting into them www.nanalyze.com/2015/10/6-nuc…
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:icongryphon2001:
Gryphon2001 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2017
It's always been a Mystery to Me why the Pressurized-Water Reactors weren't simply built in a Concrete-Lined Pit, next to the River/Lake/Ocean, with a Hand-Operated Valve to Flood it... Anything goes Wrong, Flooding the Entire Thing prevents it from Melting into the Ground like Fuk-u-Shima did.
A Friend of mine from High School went in to the Navy, became a Nuclear Engineer, and He told Me that on a Sub, if Anything went Stupid with the Pile, that Compartment was Flooded right away. Even if it meant the Guys in there Opened the Valve themselves...  Same with the Big Carriers, Engine Rooms below the Waterline.
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:iconcenturion030:
Centurion030 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
India too.
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