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Topic: Beyond Coal, Closing Coal-Fired Power Plants< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:04 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sierra Club Urges TVA to Move Beyond Coal

Closing each dirty paper mill, oil refinery, steel mill, and manufacturing facility has resulted in incremental improvements in US air quality, but coal-fired power plants still pollute. The air that we breathe, though much cleaner, is still being fouled by harmful pollutants — including mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

But now the Sierra Club and other environmental groups in Tennessee are targeting coal-fired power plants and urging their closings. As a result of Sierra Club urging, TVA’s plants are at their lowest pollution levels ever, and the agency has committed to retiring 18 coal-fired power plant units. The Sierra Club contends TVA should focus on energy efficiency programs.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have apparently walked on the moon, we have our first bionic man (artificial intelligence coming), growing organs and transplanting limbs, and so much more fascinating technology, but we're still powering up with dirty nasty non renewable fuels. The sun powers my house and could power the planet.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The problem is there really are no viable economic replacements at this time.

Solar is great... when you live somewhere with year 'round sun: won't work in many places.
Wind... same thing.
No one wants to accept new hydro these days although it is one that would be virtually 100% reversible in the future.
Nukes... no one wants one anywhere near them and with regulations, none will get built.

True that something must be done but shutting down any power plant causes shortages.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 11:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:45 am)
QUOTE
The problem is there really are no viable economic replacements at this time.

Solar is great... when you live somewhere with year 'round sun: won't work in many places.
Wind... same thing.
No one wants to accept new hydro these days although it is one that would be virtually 100% reversible in the future.
Nukes... no one wants one anywhere near them and with regulations, none will get built.

True that something must be done but shutting down any power plant causes shortages.

At one point last year Germany was creating over half its energy from solar alone.  And Germany hardly has "year 'round sun."  Spain creates more energy from wind than any other source.  And all those countries continue to ramp it up.  Anyone thinking about it intelligently knows that diversity of sources is a key to true energy security and independence.

Your contention that "it can't be done viably" is just industry-fueled propaganda.  The rest of the world is leaving us in the dust by proving otherwise.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My local TVA power plant just made the switch from coal to natural gas. They also announced last year or the year before that they were buying wind energy from one of the Dakotas.

It's a start.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

But but what about all the canaries that will be out of a job?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 08 2013, 9:59 am)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:45 am)
QUOTE
The problem is there really are no viable economic replacements at this time.

Solar is great... when you live somewhere with year 'round sun: won't work in many places.
Wind... same thing.
No one wants to accept new hydro these days although it is one that would be virtually 100% reversible in the future.
Nukes... no one wants one anywhere near them and with regulations, none will get built.

True that something must be done but shutting down any power plant causes shortages.

At one point last year Germany was creating over half its energy from solar alone.  And Germany hardly has "year 'round sun."  Spain creates more energy from wind than any other source.  And all those countries continue to ramp it up.  Anyone thinking about it intelligently knows that diversity of sources is a key to true energy security and independence.

Your contention that "it can't be done viably" is just industry-fueled propaganda.  The rest of the world is leaving us in the dust by proving otherwise.

Yes, many alternative energy sources are viable but not economically feasible.

A homeowner in Bozeman was lauded for making many "green" improvements to their house during remodeling but those improvements cost in excess of $100,000. Too bad it will take over 100 years to offset that expense.

I'm not disagreeing that something needs to be done but it can't be done overnight or even over a single decade.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Yes, many alternative energy sources are viable but not economically feasible.

A homeowner in Bozeman was lauded for making many "green" improvements to their house during remodeling but those improvements cost in excess of $100,000. Too bad it will take over 100 years to offset that expense.

I'm not disagreeing that something needs to be done but it can't be done overnight or even over a single decade.
Unless, of course, we include the REAL ENVIRONMENTAL (and other social) COSTS of all those other fuel sources in your "thumbnail calculation".
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 8:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Costs will continue to determine what energy sources we use. Wanting clean air is great and I want it too. That's why I'm a rural dweller... I can't stand the air quality in an urban area. But shutting down coal plants before there's a replacement in place pushes power prices higher and reduces what is available. That may not bother those who can afford it but to someone who's borderline on being able to afford power is not going to care about the negative effects of burning coal. A social conscience will only come into play when someone is warm and fed with a decent job and a bank account.

Like it or not, and I don't, coal fired plants will be with us for a long while yet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 9:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cgaphiker @ Feb. 08 2013, 10:08 am)
QUOTE
My local TVA power plant just made the switch from coal to natural gas.

You do understand that although it's cleaner, they just replaced one non-renewable fossil fuel with another?

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 10:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Which is a good stop gap measure.  Reducing pollution while searching for a better alternative.  In Oregon, we are pressuring the state to revoke the licenses for all coal fired power plants.  We have plenty of available space for wind.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 5:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Payback on a PV installation for a moderate sized home is about ten years, hardly unaffordable. Since utilities make capitol investment in power plants that require a far longer payback, one could argue that there is more money to be made by financing home installations for solar power, and upgrading to a smart grid that better deals with a distributed power supply.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 10 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 08 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:45 am)
QUOTE
The problem is there really are no viable economic replacements at this time.

Solar is great... when you live somewhere with year 'round sun: won't work in many places.
Wind... same thing.
No one wants to accept new hydro these days although it is one that would be virtually 100% reversible in the future.
Nukes... no one wants one anywhere near them and with regulations, none will get built.

True that something must be done but shutting down any power plant causes shortages.

At one point last year Germany was creating over half its energy from solar alone.  And Germany hardly has "year 'round sun."  Spain creates more energy from wind than any other source.  And all those countries continue to ramp it up.  Anyone thinking about it intelligently knows that diversity of sources is a key to true energy security and independence.

Your contention that "it can't be done viably" is just industry-fueled propaganda.  The rest of the world is leaving us in the dust by proving otherwise.

I just read somewhere Germany is going back to coal..can't find it now tho..still looking.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 10 2013, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Germany generated half its power needs from solar at some point last year? Given http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012....llapses Uses a far different percentage I'd like to see some data. Granted that articles tone was negative overall but their 0.3% of total power solar generated is to different from that o ignore.

"Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3% of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the “world wind-energy champion”)."

Maybe the EIA has data.

Reuters writes 3% "FRANKFURT, Dec 29 (Reuters) - German solar power producers raised electricity output in 2011 by 60 percent over 2010 to 18 billion kilowatt hours, grabbing more than 3 percent of total power output volumes, its lobby group Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW) said on Thursday... BSW said if there were reliable conditions, the industry would continue with targets to supply 10 percent of all power by 2020. (Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by James Jukwey)"

http://www.reuters.com/article....sp=true

ETA: Ah for a cloudless Friday afternoon.... http://www.smartplanet.com/blog....54
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 10 2013, 12:29 pm)
QUOTE
Germany generated half its power needs from solar at some point last year?

Yes.

http://www.reuters.com/article....0120526

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs....-of-sun

http://www.wired.co.uk/news....-record

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog....54


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 12:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 08 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
At one point last year Germany was creating over half its energy from solar alone.

I was stunned to find that Syracuse has more solar potential than Germany (average), and Syracuse ain't
generally known for being the sunniest place on earth.

{Factoid taken from a display at our local wind farm}


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 12:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 11 2013, 8:00 am)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 10 2013, 12:29 pm)
QUOTE
Germany generated half its power needs from solar at some point last year?

Yes.

http://www.reuters.com/article....0120526

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs....-of-sun

http://www.wired.co.uk/news....-record

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog....54

And that reiterated my ETA, with thr correction that it was a cloudless Saturday afternoon, Friday they hit about 30%.

"Despite the feat [a few hours on one day, a Saturday when factories and offices were closed at that], it is worth noting that solar power still only accounts for around four percent of Germany's annual electricity generation -- and Germany has almost as much solar power capacity as the rest of the world combined. The German government is committed to reducing carbon emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020."

My bolding of the significant statistic regarding annual total production, momentary data "feat" aside.

ETA: I'm a fan of alternatives but on the other hand I still see conservation as the better deal. The least impactful power generation being the one you don't build at all is my viewpoint. Such as an article I read this weekend about white roofs being a big, easy, cheap and low tech way to reduce energy consumption and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions. All without any sort of bleeding edge untried tech...

This one:
http://www.sfgate.com/technol....070.php
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 11 2013, 10:50 am)
QUOTE
ETA: I'm a fan of alternatives but on the other hand I still see conservation as the better deal. The least impactful power generation being the one you don't build at all is my viewpoint. Such as an article I read this weekend about white roofs being a big, easy, cheap and low tech way to reduce energy consumption and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions. All without any sort of bleeding edge untried tech...

This one:
http://www.sfgate.com/technol....070.php

I agree with that.

But until we can get consumption to zero, there will still be a need for raw energy sources, obviously.  Reducing demand doesn't negate the supply-side discussion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Reducing demand doesn't negate the supply-side discussion."

Didn't imply otherwise. Though I stand by my judgement that conservation is the better deal. Efficient use of energy, not some LaLa Land "zero".
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree that conservation is an important goal, but that seems to run contrary to an American sense of entitlement.

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(Ecocentric @ Feb. 11 2013, 2:32 pm)
QUOTE
I agree that conservation is an important goal, but that seems to run contrary to an American sense of entitlement.

I don't see that at all: just because you use something efficiently doesn't mean you have to cut back on anything other than "waste". Which isn't any sort of sacrifice.

For ex. My intelligent thermostats have't caused me to "lose" anything: in actuality I probably get to have "more" since they custom match the precise temperature I want, every time, all the time. A more fuel efficient car means "more" driving etc. all for the same money.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 5:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I conserve in many ways, but you've read many of the same posts that I have from people that refuse to give up their inefficient light bulbs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ecocentric @ Feb. 11 2013, 2:50 pm)
QUOTE
I conserve in many ways, but you've read many of the same posts that I have from people that refuse to give up their inefficient light bulbs.

Ah, that's true there is the mentality that any sort of change is the slippery slope to the stone age.

Which in some ways isn't entitlement as much as a lack of imagination and knowledge: heck I wouldn't want to be dropped back into a no-electrical power extreme greenie wet dream either but that's hardly the only alternative to keeping on wasting and consuming as we have. Though there are many who make precisely that argument I agree.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 11:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you want to judge renewables on economics, you need to look at the full picture:

"BOSTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The United States' reliance on coal to generate almost half of its electricity, costs the economy about $345 billion a year in hidden expenses not borne by miners or utilities, including health problems in mining communities and pollution around power plants, a study found. Those costs would effectively triple the price of electricity produced by coal-fired plants, which are prevalent in part due to the their low cost of operation, the study led by a Harvard University researcher found."

http://www.reuters.com/article....0110216

Regarding our cost for protecting our oil supply:

"As U.S. operations in Iraq end, tallying up the costs and benefits of a nine-year ordeal is a daunting task. Estimates on Iraq War spending vary. The Congressional Research Service has put the Operation Iraqi Freedom pricetag at $806 billion. President Obama said that the Iraq War would cost over $1 trillion, all told."

http://www.usnews.com/news....u-think

Fossil fuels are more expensive even without figuring in the deaths of soldiers and miners.

For a reference on current solar power costs:

"Solar Energy Industry Electricity Prices - March 2012 Update
The solar electricity index draws exclusively upon the high power band (>125 watts) solar module prices in our survey. This price segment was down 2 cents per watt in March from the prior month. The charge controller index was down, but the inverter and battery indexes held steady. Overall, the high solar condition industrial industry index was down to 15.15 cents per kWh in March 2012."

http://www.solarbuzz.com/facts-a....-prices
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 9:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

4% today, 10% in 2020, 50% in 2040, 75% in 2075 and 100% in 2100! Sounds good.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 10:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of course there can be issues with wind power.

http://www.kcet.org/news....es.html


Do we need to rethink our entire power structure?

Instead of the big central power station do we convert to a decentralized system using solar and wind to power individual buildings and homes.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 10:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have the largest nuclear power plant delivering power to the planet everyday, it's free, it's dependable (5 billion years remaining shelf life) and its clean. It sources all life in addition.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 10:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Chuck D @ Feb. 12 2013, 10:07 am)
QUOTE
Of course there can be issues with wind power.

http://www.kcet.org/news....es.html


Do we need to rethink our entire power structure?

Instead of the big central power station do we convert to a decentralized system using solar and wind to power individual buildings and homes.

Yes.

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