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November 25, 2012
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Renewable energy backlash?

:iconmachine-intellectual:
Machine-Intellectual Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
So, there are honestly people who believe it's a good idea to not use renewable energy, and they're also conservative extremists [link]. I personally would love using more renewable, and I think it's ridiculous to want to stop it. Any opposing views? I'll hear you out.
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Devious Comments

:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
dude man its like the same people who are opposed to legal weed, theyre just hungry for money
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:iconthegman0:
theGman0 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist
one line comment.
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
i should reply
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:iconthegman0:
theGman0 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist
a
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
often
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:iconthegman0:
theGman0 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist
bro
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
broseph
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:iconyangfeili:
yangfeili Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
Once renewable becomes profitable, you'll get it.

You'll also get Big Green, an evil corrupt political behemoth just like Big Oil before it.
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:iconi-stamp:
i-stamp Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Assuming the latter isn't the exact same as the former when push comes to shove, as it is in so much 'organic industry' which is just done by regular food manufacturers all those vegans and animal rights activists hate.
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
yeah man. organic doesnt really mean anything anyways
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:iconferricplushy:
FerricPlushy Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Regardless of your belief about environmentalism, fossil fuels are finite, and until they make a car that runs on coal, we need some sort of alternative for the future. Of course america is exactly about future investments
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:iconthespiderfrommars:
TheSpiderFromMars Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
We have to do our best to solve this climate problem as much as we can, no matter what the costs. If the Earth are turning towards disaster (which it is) money won't do us any good. We will all be in the same boat, rich and poor alike, humans and animals and plants. I find it very hard to understand that so many seem to find this so very hard to understand.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
I understand that renewable can be costly, but honestly we need to start shifting toward them, even if they might lack some benefits of other fuels. The carbon emissions of fossil fuels are leading to the destruction of our climate. If we want to avoid the heavy consequences this will bring, we have to use renewable energy whether it is more efficient or not.
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
but dude if they cost too much businesses wont make money
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
My question to people is What is wrong with SCIENCE. This should not even be a fucking issue of economy, this is an achievement of mankind and SCIENCE. Instead of guarding investments perhaps business leaders should look on how to best diversify their investments. This is why the American solar panel industry is paling in comparison to China, a country without proper infrastructure, because investors there see solar panels and think, DAMN I can be making money of this stuff.
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:iconkeydan:
Keydan Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Sigh... it is sad that science these days is often the bitch of capitalism. If it has not short-mid term profit - it gets scarpped or at best sold/canned.
Just look at aerogel, we could have been making insulated glass for windows for like... 30 years already, but the costs of mass producing the damn thing were all to high up to mid 00s. And aerogel is almost 80 years old!
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Part of it could be that in China they can get away with breaking safety requirements, and therefore save themselves a ton of money. It's tough to get away with dumping silicon tetrachloride, a corrosive, toxic pollutant that produces toxic gas hydrogen chloride upon contact with water, in the US, but apparently it's acceptable in China.
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Excuse me if I'm wrong but aren't you for deregulation? Look, you can even make jobs by convincing people it would make good business cleaning up toxic waste.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
That said, there's some irony to you wanting to regulate everything, but are totally okay with dumping pollutants. Strange, innit?
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Who ever said I was for regulating everything?
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
That was certainly the implication of your post.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
I am for deregulation, although I'm not quite so anti-government that I believe we should be able to dump tons (literally) of highly toxic biproducts. Regardless, the point was that there may be another reason for us not having much of a solar industry besides "Teh Chinese are smarter hurr hurr."
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
I know part of the problem with solar power is that the panels are reflective. Which doesn't sound like a big deal, BUT when you have a solar farm, or even just a neighborhood with a lot of environmentally conscious people, it can mess with airplanes and impact pilots vision.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
I've never heard that, and I can't imagine it's an especially big issue (but what do I know?). A more prominent one is that solar panels have to be powerwashed regularly, but the ideal solar farm location are all deserts, where water isn't exactly gushing out of the ground.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
And where there is an abundance of loose dust.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
What could possibly go wrong?
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Not that they are smarter, but it is good to have a competitive industry.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
And ours won't be competitive with China's for as long as we don't dump toxic wastes all over the place.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Isn't China's solar industry heavily subsidised by the state?
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Yep.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
So you can hardly say China's solar panel industry is "competetive" when it is infact incapable of surviving without massive support from the state? By definition it isn't competing at all.
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(1 Reply)
:iconunvalanced:
Unvalanced Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Coal power is an achievement of mankind and science.
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
And Solar is not? Why not research more into either of them? Why not research into alternatives. Why not diversify our investments and generate jobs?
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:iconunvalanced:
Unvalanced Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not saying it isn't. I'm ridiculing the "For SCIENCE!" line of reasoning.

And what you're talking about isn't science. It might be engineering. Mostly it sounds like the social sort of engineering, however.
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:iconmachine-intellectual:
Machine-Intellectual Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Holy shit! Why haven't we done this yet?!
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:iconyangfeili:
yangfeili Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
I'm sure renewable energy will be great and all once it gets up and running. As for the renewable energy industry, on the other hand, I suspect that everything people hated about Big Oil will be just as true about Big Green.
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:iconzodiacgal:
zodiacgal Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I KNOW WHAT WE CAN USE FOR ENERGY! THE TESSERACT! :dummy:
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:iconscnal:
Scnal Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good luck with that.
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:iconzodiacgal:
zodiacgal Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
PSSSHHHHH XD
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
There are various problems with renewables. The most obvious is they cost a lot more and have far lower energy densities. I'm for renewable energy but I think it should be able to compete on an even footing with current energy sources (and potentially future ones as well). Something I'm more in favour of than moving to renewables is looking at ways to reduce energy usage and improve efficiency. I'm also in favour of the idea of micro-generation.
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:icontrorbes:
Trorbes Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
The most obvious is they cost a lot more and have far lower energy densities.

The second most obvious issue is, we're treating renewable energy like a curiosity rather than a necessity. I have a feeling fixing one might have an effect on the other.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
That's because they aren't necessities yet. They would become necessities if we were having power shortages, we had exhausted all our supplies of fossil fuels and the price of alternatives was much higher. As it is we are constantly discovering new sources of fossil fuels and markets don't tend to tap into unprofitable markets if they are currently in one that is highly profitable. Governments need to keep energy costs down for their populations and doing that with renewables requires huge subsidies. Subsidies tend to prevent people from bothering to innovate as they are guarenteed to still have their stuff bought. Ultimately I don't think renewables have an economically viable future ever. As I said, the energy density of the sources is simply too low. A more viable future would be in things like nuclear making up a baseline and other systems for peak production such as natural gas.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
The problem is that wind/solar are expensive as fuck-all, and provide little benefit. According to the DOE, solar energy recieved a massive $775.64 per MWh in subsidies, yet as a percent of US energy it accounts for 0% and a rounding error. Wind's better at $56.29 per MWh for 2.3% of national power generation, but it's not that good when you take into account that the next most expensive energy source, nuclear, costs a mere $3.14 per MWh at 19% of US energy generation. Some "investment."

Fact of the matter is that emphasis should be put on nuclear power and hydroelectricity, which are relatively cheap and efficient (unless you want to stick with fossil fuels). Sure, maybe someday solar and wind will be capable of powering a country, but "someday" isn't the same as "now." So unless you want global warming and pollution to choke the planet to death as you wait for solar/wind to actually become practical, you should advocate nuclear/hydro.
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:iconsexy-cowboy-predator:
Sexy-Cowboy-Predator Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I have some issues with hydro being classified as ecologically viable and a good subsititue for fossil fuels. The effects of large dams on river system's are hugely damaging to riparian habitats. I'm no greenie by anymeans, but I do think that if we are going to be shutting down coal plants because they have adverse effects of the environment, shouldnt we hold all sources of power to the same standard?
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:iconviridislament:
viridislament Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Re: Wind turbines - 1 of the key elements for building them is extremely rare.
Something like 80% (not sure of the exact number) of the known world supply is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
If you don't know what is happening in that country, look it up.
Personally I'd rather go back to candle light than support that country.


Solar - will be great in a few years but currently is near useless.
An 8 to 10% energy efficiency is no way near where it needs to be to be useful.
You'd almost be better of generating energy by burning wood.

Hydro - Great except for the permanent enviromental destruction

Oil - most it is coming from Middle Eastern and African countries which have little to no regulations for emissions

Nuclear - Even disregarding recent issues in Japan, there is always the issue of disposing of the spent fuel.
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:iconscnal:
Scnal Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Japan got hit dead on by both an earthquake and a tsunami, and as well their nuclear reactors were outdated and weren't in as secure of a formation as they should have been either. As for the waste [link]
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:iconunvalanced:
Unvalanced Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Rare earth metals are merely -superior- to the alternatives; they aren't a necessary element, merely an improvement.

Wind turbines have two significant issues; first, they're extremely unreliable. You can't replace existing power plants with wind turbines, you can only supplement them. For every hundred megawatts of power supplied by wind, you need eighty megawatts available by another mechanism. Nuclear power plants can't be turned off (it can be turned down, sort of, but not off), and coal is expensive to fire up and fire down; natural gas power plants sitting in reserve are pretty much a requirement for a regular power supply. (Energy storage may be viable in the future, but right now it's too expensive to serve as a viable alternative.) The second issue is that they're extremely expensive; in general, they cost around $2,500 per kilowatt for an onshore installation; offshore tends around $5,000. (And only provide about 25% of the kilowatt that was paid for.) Natural Gas costs between $685-2,000 per kilowatt. You can pretty much throw in $500-1,500 plus operating expenses for natural gas backup systems to the cost per kilowatt for a wind farm. Wind turbines have lifespans of 20-30 years, as well; other power plants have historically had lifespans around 50 years, so the turbines have even higher capital costs than represented, since they must be replaced more frequently.

There are approximately 220,000 hours in a 25 year timeframe; multiply by .27 to account for inactive hours and you get, over the life of a turbine, 59,400 active hours. At $2,500 per kilowatt of power generation, that's 4.2 cents per kilowatt hour of power produced for capital costs. Which looks pretty good. Annual maintenance runs approximately $28.00 per kilowatt; that's an additional $700. I'm not done yet, however; let's not leave out property taxes, because wind farms take up land that could be put to other purposes. Property taxes vary from .6% to 2% annually; assuming .6% and ignoring depreciation and the value of the land itself, that adds another $375 to the 25 year costs. Throw in a cheap $600 backup natural gas plant, and you have around 7 cents per kilowatt hour. (Missing from this is the cost of the transformers and power lines, which are substantially higher for wind power than for centralized power plants, which brings the average cost up to 9-11 cents per kilowatt hour, comparable with coal, and about 50% higher than just running the natural gas backup system and ignoring wind altogether. Theoretically you could eliminate or reduce the need for the natural gas backup system with a large enough system, however in practice you'd need significantly more wind turbines; large percentages of electricity would be functionally wasted on account of coinciding power peaks, and coinciding power troughs would still require a massive backup system.)
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Also isn't the whole point of rare earth metals that they actually aren't rare, it's just production has been in small quantities and china has had an effective monopoly on it for ages?
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:iconunvalanced:
Unvalanced Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Some of them are rare enough to give the argument some weight; I chose to ignore them altogether in consideration that they aren't actually necessary. It's a misleading argument regardless of how common they are.
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:iconabcat:
AbCat Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   Writer
As it happens tantalum capacitors are used in most electronic goods, including laptops and computers, with Brazil and Australia being the most prolific exporters of this material. [link]
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