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Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: hobie1616] #101580
03/26/07 10:46 AM
03/26/07 10:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 917
Issaquah, WA, USA
H17cat Offline
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We watched the wind farm on Maui start construction last year. The first 25 are now in operation, and do run most of the time. They are well up on the mountain, and do not obstruct the view. Good installation from my point of view.

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: Timbo] #101581
03/26/07 10:46 AM
03/26/07 10:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,718
St Petersburg FL
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Tim you pay $600 a month in electric bills?

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: Robi] #101582
03/26/07 10:52 AM
03/26/07 10:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,049
Sebring, Florida.
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Robi, in the winter when the temps get below 50 at night, I pay $750/mo. to run the heat. In the summer when the temps are above 90, I also pay $750/mo. to run the air. In the spring and fall, when it's nice and I don't need the air or heat, I pay at least $400-500 mo. Remember, I have 4 women in my house, they take long hot baths or showers, sometimes several in a day. And with 4 kids, the washer and dryer never stop running. The house is fully electric, no gas or oil. Also, the house was built in 1962, when electricity was about a nickle a KW, so it has no insulation and most of the back wall, facing the lake, is glass. Single pane sliding door type glass. So when it's 40 outside, it's 40 inside, the (electric) heater never stops running.

Here's the funny part. Florida is "The Sunshine State" yet it has no real solar power program!

Last edited by Timbo; 03/26/07 11:11 AM.

Blade F16
#777
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: _flatlander_] #101583
03/26/07 10:53 AM
03/26/07 10:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
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Tim, that's "MAJOR STANK", thank you very much <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I think that going off-grid will never be economically feasable, because of the huge economy of scale the power company is using. It is, by far, the cheapest source of power for the resident.

I also think the power companies are working to be the most efficient (in cost and production), as that leads to greater profit.

So, it ends up back in the consumer's lap. Reduce consumption and everyone benefits - you pay less, and the power company generates less waste.

LED lights instead of incandescent. Better home insulation. Heat pumps, etc.

Having the ability to be off-grid works for us in the hurricane belt, because we may end up off-grid for a while if a storm hits.

Some of us have lived off-grid, and I would say that of those that have, their lifestyles adjusted to be more efficient, and demand less energy.

What happened once we returned to the grid? Consumption (and waste) increased. What happened?


Jay

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: _flatlander_] #101584
03/26/07 10:53 AM
03/26/07 10:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 306
St. Louis, MO
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I think you will find the cost of solar panels will be improving in the near future. Even though solar has been around for about 40 years, it is still an immature industry. Not until recently has it started to take off. There are some interesting advances being made right now. Oh yeah, I work at BP Solar and yes, most of our product goes to states with govronment subsidies for alternative energy. I hope Maryland passes thier bill to join those that already have the subsidies.


Nick

Current Boat
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Previous Boats
'84 H16
'82 H18 Magnum
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St. Louis, MO
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: hobienick] #101585
03/26/07 10:59 AM
03/26/07 10:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
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I did read that they've been able to design a solar cell that can convert larger amounts of the IR spectrum into electricity. When will we see full-spectrum cells available? That should increase efficiency logarithmically.


Jay

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: waterbug_wpb] #101586
03/26/07 11:04 AM
03/26/07 11:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,049
Sebring, Florida.
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On the Orange grove thing, as you know, I am surrounded by Orange groves and my neighbors are in the citrus industry. I asked about the canker and greening. One guy said because the land prices have skyrocketed in the past 3 years, it makes no sense for him to re-plant, but rather to sell it to a developer. That's why you will see far fewer Orange groves and lots more homes here in central Florida next year. He also said the growers are having a hard time finding workers to pick the fruit, seems the crackdown on illegal ailiens is having an effect.


Blade F16
#777
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: hobienick] #101587
03/26/07 11:08 AM
03/26/07 11:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,049
Sebring, Florida.
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Nick, how long before we can walk into every Home Depot in the country and buy some BP Solar Panels? What is the hold up? Is it the raw materials or the manufacturing, or both? Seems to me if they got the manufacturing end of it up to speed, the prices would come down.


Blade F16
#777
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: Timbo] #101588
03/26/07 11:10 AM
03/26/07 11:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
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Yeah, it's the same here. Labor is tight, but coming back because construction is slowing down. That, and the next generation growers are saying "F that, I'll take the money and go make millions designing websites (hah)"

So which is better for the environment - houses or trees?

I don't blame them for selling one bit, just hate to see it go that way....

Of course, if your trees are destroyed, you could replant the grove to be set up for mechanical harvesting....


Jay

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: waterbug_wpb] #101589
03/26/07 11:15 AM
03/26/07 11:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,049
Sebring, Florida.
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Yeah, I feel the same. The problem with re-planting is, you have to buldoze the grove and leave it empty for TWO YEARS before they will let you replant, to be sure the disease is gone. That's why they are selling the land. They can't afford to just sit and do nothing for two years and the developers are going crazy, buying everything.


Blade F16
#777
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: Timbo] #101590
03/26/07 11:16 AM
03/26/07 11:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 917
Issaquah, WA, USA
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Tim, perhaps you should buy some of those "Carbon Offsets" from Al Gore, to help him pay his huge energy bill?

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: waterbug_wpb] #101591
03/26/07 11:43 AM
03/26/07 11:43 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,348
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fin. Offline OP
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Tim, you wouldn't have to INCREASE the tax on fuel, just drop the subsidies given by the gub-ment to the fuel producers. This will boost the at-pump price to about $3.75 per US Gal (87 octane) and about $4.00 for 93 octane.

But cut subsidies? Someone already mentioned hell freezing over....

And with the destruction of FL citrus, (canker and the new one, greening) expect juice prices to get higher because the stores think they can pull it off... Nurseries should replant the citrus, as its good for reducing CO2, improving groundwater, habitat for wildlife, and better than development (which is where most of it is ending up).

Agriculture is the oldest industry (Adam tended to the garden before Eve even showed up - but that's another discussion), and is critically dependent on environmental stewardship for its very existence. So, in effect, farmers were the first environmentalists.

I agree that we're not windy enough to successfully run wind farms, but we should look forward to a blended approach (coal, petrol, gas, solar, nuke, etc.) to lower dependence on any one fuel source, as well as increase dependability

Are you saying that even if solar panels are "the right thing to do" you won't put them up because no one is giving you a discount? Is it "right" only when it's cheap?

What about hydro-generators that work off the Gulf Stream? What is that, about a 4 kt average current?


A couple of points.

The Florida citrus industry is questionable agriculture practice.

It is a monoculture, meaning that when one "bug" is a problem it affects the entire industry. The mediterranean fruit fly, burrowing nematode and canker are potential threats to the entire industry.

It requires a very long lead time to attain profitablility. It is, afterall, a kind of tree farming.

Lastly, it is a type of hydroponic farming. As such it requires almost constant fertilization and irrigation, as well as pest control.

Couple that with high labor costs and foreign competition. Florida citrus needs to be looking elsewhere. If not wind then solar.

From Tim's example, it looks like a 15 year break even propostion. Except that the "grove" owner wouldn't have a $600/month electricity bill for each 5,000 square feet. There should be a small, day one profit for each unit of production. Multiply that times 17,000 acres and it is a significant profit. Particularly if given favorable tax treatment.

If you believe that the Iraq war and its cost in blood and treasure is in any way attributabled to dependance on foreign oil, then solar investment becomes a no brainer. Even at current levels of efficiency.

All that is really lacking is the political will to make it happen.


So if all of you driving gas guzzlers will put "solar power" bumper stickers on your big iron, all will be right with the world!!

[1 acre = 43,560 square feet. If 5,000 square feet of solar panels will produce $600 worth of electricity a month. Then 1 acre will produce (43,560/5000=8.712x$600= $5,227.2/month.) Surely you can make a living off those numbers.]

Last edited by Tikipete; 03/26/07 12:06 PM.
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: fin.] #101592
03/26/07 11:52 AM
03/26/07 11:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,049
Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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And as far as the wind thing, in Flordia, the "experts" I talked to about wind said Florida just wasn't windy enough. But all winter we get some great wind from the cold fronts, and all summer we get a sea breeze on Both coasts, so I think it would work much better than the Experts from California say it would. It's been blowing 15-20 for a week now! I think I'll go sailing! (that in itself is using Wind Power, right? I mean, I could be on a jet ski...)


Blade F16
#777
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: Timbo] #101593
03/26/07 12:08 PM
03/26/07 12:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,348
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fin. Offline OP
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. . . I mean, I could be on a jet ski...)


You!? I don't think so!

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: fin.] #101594
03/26/07 01:40 PM
03/26/07 01:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 893
W
waynemarlow Offline
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Something that all so often gets forgotten in the great green debate is the cost to the planet of creating the wind tubines or the glass panels in the first place and then trying to dispose of them when they no longer work.

Take the Toyota Prius, one of the favoured green vehicles here in Europe. If you take into account the actual cost of the vehicle in building it and then disposing the cadmium batteries (which are lasting for far less time than first thought), then its far dirtier to the planet than many a gas guzzler.

Me I'm for lots and lots of bio diesel, we can grow it, harvest it and still be less harmful overall than the wind turbines and its totally recyclible. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: waynemarlow] #101595
03/26/07 02:21 PM
03/26/07 02:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 164
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Wind/Solar/biodiesel all need to be a part of the equation, but if we are actually seriously about doing anything quickly enough to actually make a difference there is only one answer and you're not gonna like it - NUCLEAR POWER - We all need to get over three mile island here. The good news is we can buy up all the old russian nukes that osama is trying to get and burn it up and put the waste somewhere WE control. Seriously, nuclear is the only effective solution in the near term. If something terrible happens, a couple of tens of thousands of people may die, but modern reactors are extremely safe. When was the last nuclear incident, oh yeah North Korea tested a bomb while we were bravely tied down somewhere that has more oil for us to kill ourselvs with. If we dont deal with climate change a couple of billion people will be affected hundreds of millions dying. It is painfully obvious what needs to be done - Nuclear energy as a stepping stone to a hydrogen economy run on renewables with the ultimate goal being fusion. Why arent I in charge?

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: waynemarlow] #101596
03/26/07 02:40 PM
03/26/07 02:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,187
38.912, -95.37
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Currently, the initial online costs of a wind farm is approximately 20% higher than a coal fired plant. But after building there's no feeding the monster, no mining or transportation of coal and associated upkeep, or pollution. Wonder how long those turbines crank before they need a rebuild?

Something like 35 states (including FL, but not KS or MO) have adopted net-metering policies. Interesting that most are limited to 10 kW output?


John H16, H14
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: I20RI] #101597
03/26/07 02:59 PM
03/26/07 02:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,348
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fin. Offline OP
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Quote
Wind/Solar/biodiesel all need to be a part of the equation, but if we are actually seriously about doing anything quickly enough to actually make a difference there is only one answer and you're not gonna like it - NUCLEAR POWER - We all need to get over three mile island here. The good news is we can buy up all the old russian nukes that osama is trying to get and burn it up and put the waste somewhere WE control. Seriously, nuclear is the only effective solution in the near term. If something terrible happens, a couple of tens of thousands of people may die, but modern reactors are extremely safe. When was the last nuclear incident, oh yeah North Korea tested a bomb while we were bravely tied down somewhere that has more oil for us to kill ourselvs with. If we dont deal with climate change a couple of billion people will be affected hundreds of millions dying. It is painfully obvious what needs to be done - Nuclear energy as a stepping stone to a hydrogen economy run on renewables with the ultimate goal being fusion. Why arent I in charge?


Boy are you gonna get it!!! You used the big "N" in public! How un pc can you get! Even if you are right.

Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: I20RI] #101598
03/26/07 03:20 PM
03/26/07 03:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,582
“an island in the Pacific....
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“an island in the Pacific....
Even the Sierra Club is starting to use the "N" word.


US Sail Level 2 Instructor
US Sail Level 3 Coach
Re: politics, petroleum and climate [Re: _flatlander_] #101599
03/26/07 03:28 PM
03/26/07 03:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 337
Victoria, Australia
C2 Mike Offline
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Victoria, Australia
Quote
Currently, the initial online costs of a wind farm is approximately 20% higher than a coal fired plant. But after building there's no feeding the monster, no mining or transportation of coal and associated upkeep, or pollution. Wonder how long those turbines crank before they need a rebuild?

Something like 35 states (including FL, but not KS or MO) have adopted net-metering policies. Interesting that most are limited to 10 kW output?


I'm sure the study has been done. Does anybody know what the cost per KW/hour is from a wind farm compared to coal fired compared to nuclear etc? This needs to include payback and finance costs of the capital equipment and of course the input costs (such as coal) plus maintenance.

Tiger Mike

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