Speaking of Global Warming

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member


    Notice a familar corp. name in that article? Good for them. Although the issue of global warming has many conflicts and even many causes I'm still a huge believer in low impact and renewable resources. Also, the further we can get way from oil, the more I like it!
  2. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Gee interesting article. But how does that work. Esp like starbucks and kinkos?

    Lets see, you have a wind farm in say podunk holler. It generates electricity. Now we have say 30 kinkos and starbucks within a 50 mile radius. How do they get that wind driven electricity? Do they run special wires on the poles that state, for green renewable electric use only? Or do they tap into the regular grid, the same one you and I use, to get the power? The same power grid that every one else uses?

    So tell me, how can they be sure that they are the ones using the green power and not the power generated by that smoke belching coal plant next door?

    Just wondering.

    BTW, i am all for renewable energy. But acres of wind driven turbines that kill birds, Dams across streams and rivers that alter the scenery and fishing are not my idea of a good idea.

    Rather focus on other means.

  3. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    The wind power credits are used by these companies to pay for the electricity that they use every month with their local utility. In turn, these credits are transferred through the system so that the wind power is pumped into the national grid and thus a demand for it. You and I can also purchase these credits although I believe for the individual it's a slightly more complex process than for large companies.

    As time goes on it appears this will become more and more of a fixture to where you can purchase wind or solar generated power credits and thus push the national grid more and more towards renewable resources. More and more power companies are becoming in essence transportation companies in that they charge a toll for power transport over the lines and this opens the door for renewable power companies to move their product. My local utility talk to me about a year or so ago about solar or rather I approached them on it. Several companies are now making solar roof shingles and depending on the app. you may generate more power than you use. Sometime in the future the vision is to have a large number of homes with solar shingles act as a collective megawatt generation station for the local utility. I'm on the list as the first on my block to be there. It's not a plug and play either as you have to make some changes to your own home concerning energy efficency to generate excess power. We've spent quite a bit of money over the last 4 to 5 years on our home but in the process we've reduced our total energy needs by about 55% currently and we're not done yet. I'm studying 12 VDC lighting right now and we may opt to a total home lighting conversion as the energy usage is drastically lower than with AC power. My goal is to reduce the energy needs of our house from what it was when built in the early 70's to 20% of that need now. Lofty yes but I think it's doable while in the process of remodel and upscale and we're about 2/3rds of the way there now.

    BTW: You can generate hydro-power and never build the first dam or impede waterflow. They now have turbines that just drift underwater in a stream flow and I'm considering one for a future shop in my backyard I want to build as it's source of power. I live right on a major stream in our area and have great headflow for such an idea.

  4. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    OH and concerning UPS and renewable, I believe a couple of years ago they installed a solar system on the roof of the Phoenix Hub (I think) but what have been the results I don't know. UPS at times is good at telling me about things I either already know (thank you feeder drivers, best info network in the world) or telling me things I could care less about. I'd really like to hear about this solar effort even if it has warts. It's still a good effort and smart approach on the part of UPS IMO. Seems sad we have so much acreage of roof in our system and much of that would be perfect for renewable systems.
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    The way I understand these "credits" is you turn them in like gift certificates when you pay your electric bill. In turn, the electric company has to pay the "producer" for the electric they produced regardless of the cost involved.

    The Idea is to pay less for energy not more. And as I posted, there are ways, good solid ways to produce clean energy without the negative side products that are currently produced in many plants now.

  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    One more thing, if you do install it, you do know that the power company has to buy the excess energy you produce? Im sure you knew that already, but thought I would ask anyway.

  7. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah I know but it get's even better. They will also lend engineering expertise and pick up some of the installation and component costs. The reason? If the technology developes as they see and hope, it would be far cheaper to using solar roofs, etc. collectively as a large generating platform than to try and get approval and then build additional capacity via a generating power station or hydro dam. I've attended several meeting with my electrical co-op on this along with others who are on the interested/waiting list and it's just a matter of the technology getting to where it needs to be to make that next step. As the issue of oil based energy becomes more and more an issue, I look for a variety of alternative systems to begin to come on-line around the country which is really a good thing. When it's all said and done you'll likely see a national grid driven by hydro, natural gas and nuclear with the additonal and growing of solar, wind and even some geo-thermal in a few spots. The days of one shoe fits all will go by the wayside which is a good thing IMO.
  8. Up to $3 billion over 10 years or $300 million/year to be spent on solar in California. That's more than any other US solar project, of course not as much $$ as tax subsidies to fossil fuel companies but still a lot of money. Imagine what could be done with the $6billion/month that Iraq is costing us!
  9. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I'd just like for them to end all tax subsidies for fossil fuels and then let free markets rule the day. I believe alternative fuels and energy could in fact compete on a competitive level with fossil fuels and become more a norm than a current isolated alternative.

    Now that it's come up, end all tax subsidies/advantages/breaks for all of Corp. America and then that revolution spoken of on another thread would happen overnight as real meaningful gov't might return as the need for lobbyists and corp. control in Washington would evaporate. Although under that idea I see no need for an income tax system, I'd bet if we had one it'd be very simple, very low in rate and considered fair by most if not all. Most of the politicians would leave gov't as the economic and power incentive would be gone and we could return to true citizen leaders. At least I think it would!
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    What, and remove money from the hands of the gooberment? Take the great financial rewards away from some of the greatest scoundrels in history? How totally un-American. How could you ever suggest that common ordinary people like you and I have enough common sense to ever run this country? How could we ever know enough to handle foreign policy? Or the great pressures of keeping the financial market from collapse?

    My suggestion is that all these things are usually learned by children of responsible parents before the age of 6 and then we screw things up and make them go to school to dumb down.

    Many great Americans have gone to Washington with good intentions and great agendas, only to be given the crash cash course of who and what runs this country.

    So cut the subsidies for everything. Including all fossil fuel sources, but include solar, wind, and other green technology? Is that what you suggest?

  11. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    No! I mean cut it all out. No subsidies for anyone period. Let the free open market itself provide options and solve problems. Where in the US Constitution is authority given for the gov't to extract wealth via taxation from the individual taxpayers in order to transfer that wealth to certain select businesses the gov't deems worthy? If it's wrong to take money from the taxpayer and transfer it to someone who refuses to work under the form of welfare then in my mind it's just as wrong to take the same money from the same taxpayer and transfer it to certain businesses all because they had better lobbyists on "K" Street!

    As UPSers we all crow about how if we were given the task of delievering the 1st class letter, with our knowledge and expertise in everything else shipping, we would take that whole process to a new level. Now I know it's not all that easy but I understand the point and I would ask this question. If the US Postal service had no UPS or FedEx to compete against, would they have any overnight services? Would they have many of the features they now have as a result of competing with UPS and FedEx? Look what we've had to do as well because of FedEx and the results of good competition?

    Well then my question would be, if this kind of competition is good and healthy for the American consumer, business person and taxpayer then why is it not also good in a vast array of other areas?

    Monopolies are bad no matter who runs them! Would you volunteer to participate in the social security program if it's wasn't mandatory under threat of force, imprisonment and even death if you took your opposition to that extreme? Oh yeah, I'll bet you some would but the overwhelming vast majority wouldn't.
  12. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I'm with you. Cut the foriegn aid. Cut it all. I like that power generator in the stream thingy. Awesome if you have a stream with at least 9 mph flow near your house. Power generator that is mounted in water? Bet ya a few honest citizens will get electrically cooked from time to time with that toy.:ohmy:
  13. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Not really Tie. Just like I pump water out of my creek up hill to the shop, 250 feet long and about 45 up, all without the use of electricity. It pumps 24/7 and I never have to look after it, and after the install, has not cost me a dime to operate.

    So there are technologies out there, and new ones coming along all the time.

    Like I said, cut the taxation, cut the subsidies for everything and every one, but especially higher education. Let us keep more of our money and see what good things WE could do with it.

  14. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Hey Danny,
    Are you using a Ram Pump or the stream flow to power a hydraulic pump to get your water uphill? Or wind maybe?

    Something to consider. Depending on the headflow at the top of the hill and what you used the water for you might build a penstock back down the hill to the stream capped by a high pressure nozzle blasting onto a micro hydro generator. Then you just build a return and spill the water back in the stream.

    Check out Home Power magazine on the internet. Get info on Solar, Wind, Hydro and even geo-thermal from time to time. Can get very technical at times but they also provide resources for help when it does.


    On the one hand I know the idea of water and electricity don't mix and your point is well taken. It would seem to create a "SHOCKING" experience! :tongue_sm

    However these systems aren't always designed like you might think. Have your PE guy take you to the roof of your building and look at the motors that drive the roof HVAC systems. They get wet but don't short out from mositure. Sealed motor (or generator in this case) technology if very perfected and the risk of shock or electrocution is almost non-exist if you follow manufacturer guidelines for installation and maintenance.

    In speaking of Global Warming new info has come out that suggests plants play a more significant role than first thought.

    Do I believe we have global warming? Yes but I also don't believe in a single exact cause either. Many factors such as NASA has shown the sun has gotten hotter, development with impervious surfaces that act as huge thermal masses and other factors beyond human generated greenhouse gases are also factors. Sure, we humans need to do all we can to limit our impact and I'm all behind that but don't discount other elements as well as some of these new finding are starting to show us. There are areas we can control and we should but what is sad is the fact IMO these very same enviro groups who trumpet the green cause and demanding more gov't aren't at the same time telling the public about steps they could take on their own outside of gov't that might limit the impact and who knows, it might be enough to make the difference. I believe they don't tell us because they themselves need us to totally rely on all things gov't just as much as those that oppose them. It's nothing more than the Hegelian Dialectic IMO.

    Be cool!