Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The Pickens Plan (Energy)


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Smitty Is Our Savior

Smitty Is Our Savior

    Jesus Shuttlesworth

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,717 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:29 PM

I dunno if anyone else has ever heard of it, but I've always thought it was a very good idea.

The main points of the plan are as follows...
  • Create millions of new jobs by building out the capacity to generate up to 22 percent of our electricity from wind. And adding to that with additional solar generation capacity.
  • Building a 21st century backbone electrical transmission grid.
  • Providing incentives for homeowners and the owners of commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and other energy saving options.
  • Using America's natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel in addition to its other uses in power generation, chemicals, etc.

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan Here's the link to the plan for more info.

It seems pretty reasonable. Our natural gas potential is huge, and I personally believe it could replace our dependency on foreign oil.

The only problem I see with it is that the current method of getting most of our natural gas, the hydrofracking technique, is extremely unsafe, both to the environment and to the people living in the areas in which the fracking is being done. Watch the documentary "Gaslands", a fantastic film, for more on that.

So what are yalls thoughts? Good idea, bad idea, realistic, unrealistic?

#2 Niner National

Niner National

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:03 PM

Our natural gas potential is big, but overstated. Emails were leaked from industry executives stating that the recoverable gas quotes out there were simply not attainable. Some even referred to it as the next great ponzi scheme.

Basically big gas gets contracts and sells the rights to a smaller well operator knowing well and good that many of the contracts they sold are worth less than the gas that can be extracted.

It is actually estimated that the life cycle carbon emissions of natural gas is higher than that of coal because of the way it is extracted. There are also issues with water contamination (which you touched on already). Fracking should have been (and still needs to be) studied in much more depth before new drilling is allowed. If the products used are not harmful, then why are the gas companies so opposed to releasing what they contain? Nobody is asking them to give their exact formula, but they should be required to list every chemical used.

Bullet points 1-3 are solid. Wind energy is incredibly reliable and cheap to produce in areas that have good wind resources (much of Texas and the Great Plains). Off-shore wind is currently very expensive to produce, but it is expected to be on the same level as nuclear by 2020(ish).

Bullet points 2 and 3 should be the most important, yet they are not emphasized nearly as much by the government as bullet point one. The tax credit for energy efficiency is woefully inept, yet could actually do more good than wind and solar installations on homes. It is currently only $500 per homeowner.

A $30k solar array (pre-incentives) will offset about half of a typical homes electricity usage. For $10k, a home can often reduce its energy use by 30ish percent. 3 homes reducing their electrical usage by 30% > 1 home reducing electrical usage by 50%.

I believe commercial and utility solar and wind incentives should remain at 30%, but at the household level, solar and wind rebates should be reduced and efficiency incentives be significantly increased.

We need to tackle our energy waste from a number of sides.

-We need to move away from finite energy sources as much as possible. The costs will only increase and the environmental damage to retrieve them as they become increasingly scarce will become more severe.

-We need to become more efficient at the production level. People poo on solar quite often because the best panels are only about 24% efficient. Few fail to realize that other energy sources are also very inefficient at turning their fuel source into electricity. Coal plants burn at about 33% efficiency while natural gas combined cycle plants burn at about 50% efficiency. That is a lot of wasted potential energy.

-We need to become more efficient in our homes and businesses. We literally throw away billions of dollars worth of electricity annually because our electricity is cheap. In other nations, electricity often costs 3-4x as much as it does in the U.S., but their electricity bills are similar to what we pay here. They're simply more energy conscious than we are here in the States.

-Our power production needs to be more distributed than it currently is. A lot of energy is lost through transmission lines. The further power is transmitted, the more energy that is lost. Billions are lost annually through transmission losses. This is where solar, wind, and small hydro projects are especially useful.

-We need to invest further in power storage technology. I'm not convinced batteries will ever be a suitable source for large scale electricity storage. They have short life cycles and they take a long time to charge. They also are not exactly environmentally friendly to produce or dispose of. Capacitor technology intrigues me. Capacitors can be charged and discharged millions of times without loss of efficiency. Their problem though is that they discharge electricity rapidly and are not gradually depleted like a battery's power. On the plus side, they can be charged in a matter of minutes. If the limitations can be overcome, they are ideal for powering electric cars and storing energy produced by wind and solar systems.

#3 jim stone

jim stone

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,920 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:06 PM

Relative???


#4 beach

beach

    |~~~~|

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,898 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:54 PM

I wish there was more focus on Natural Gas & Ocean Current Energy. These two should be explored and considered (especially natural gas). If we can find a more efficient and inexpensive manner to utilize natural gas, we could see some great development imo. North America has the most natural gas potential in the world.

...and we need to start more developmental research for the liquefied natural gases on the ocean floor (particularly in the north north east). I'm talking methane

compressed motha f*cking methane

And maybe more Hydrogen based development.

There needs to be a way to fuse this into the current energy situation

Edited by Beach, 17 October 2011 - 05:57 PM.


#5 tight lines

tight lines

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 585 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:36 PM

O

A $30k solar array (pre-incentives) will offset about half of a typical homes electricity usage. For $10k, a home can often reduce its energy use by 30ish percent. 3 homes reducing their electrical usage by 30% > 1 home reducing electrical usage by 50%..


If I were to spend $30k to cut my electric bill in half it would take 25 years for me to break even. The life expectancy of a solar panel is 20-25 years
On the other hand I could put $30k in a savings account at 2 percent interest, and pay half my electric bill every month from this savings account and have $10k left in 25 years.
The solar panel isn't sounding like a good investment.



-We need to become more efficient at the production level. People poo on solar quite often because the best panels are only about 24% efficient. Few fail to realize that other energy sources are also very inefficient at turning their fuel source into electricity. Coal plants burn at about 33% efficiency while natural gas combined cycle plants burn at about 50% efficiency. That is a lot of wasted potential energy.


.

The lower end of the efficiency of a natural gas combined cycle plant is about 50% There are some plants with closer to 60% efficiency now.

#6 Niner National

Niner National

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:19 PM

If I were to spend $30k to cut my electric bill in half it would take 25 years for me to break even. The life expectancy of a solar panel is 20-25 years
On the other hand I could put $30k in a savings account at 2 percent interest, and pay half my electric bill every month from this savings account and have $10k left in 25 years.
The solar panel isn't sounding like a good investment.

.


Solar isn't a good investment everywhere right now, but it is at grid parity in many parts of the world and some areas of the U.S.

Electricity in NC (and most of the south/midwest) is very cheap. Still, solar prices have dropped 50ish% in the last 5 years and will continue to drop 10+ % per year. GE expects solar to be cheaper than fossil fuels in 3-5 years. On-shore wind in wind rich areas with consistent wind flow is already cheaper than anything except hydroelectric.

It takes a long time to get manufacturing facilities, supply chains, distributors, etc set up. Solar is becoming established and economies of scale are taking effect. It is following almost an identical price pattern that other tech devices have (computers, microchips, cell phones) in their life cycles.

Solar panels have a manufacturers warranty for 25 years. Realistic life expectancy is 40+ years. They have no moving parts, there is really nothing that can break on them.

Your math also assumes that energy prices will remain stagnant, which is not going to happen. Electricity prices are expected to rise approximately 5-7% annually nationally. With the average age of coal plants being over 40 years in the U.S. and even older in NC, there will be significant rate increases to pay for the construction of new power facilities and upgrades to existing facilities over the next 15 to 20 years. That's coming straight from energy company executives themselves.

Anyway, I'm not really a big proponent of residential solar. Utility and commercial scale are the most cost-effective ways to go. Economies of scale make it cost competitive even without subsidies in some areas.

#7 Smitty Is Our Savior

Smitty Is Our Savior

    Jesus Shuttlesworth

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,717 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:38 PM

I agree with most of what you said. I'm really high on wind energy. I wrote a paper on wind energy potential specifically in NC a while back, and I found that we actually have a significantly high ceiling with wind. Obviously, we might not want wind turbines covering all of our mountains or right offshore where it could affect the natural beauty and tourism, but we could keep it reasonable and still manage a bunch of energy.

#8 Niner National

Niner National

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:45 PM

I biked from Pittsburgh to DC in May and along the way encountered a mountain ridge with wind turbines that stretched for miles. They didn't look bad from the distance I was (5-10 miles) away, but I don't know what they look like up close. I did pass a few that were only a few hundred yards away from me, but they were in farmland and not on mountain ridges.

What I thought was amazing though is that I could feel no wind blowing, but they were spinning away at a good clip.

It's mind boggling to see a turbine that is 200 feet across spinning in virtually no wind.

There is a wind turbine design in Japan that is very promising.


#9 venom

venom

    oneinfiniteconsciousness

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,805 posts
  • LocationPleiades

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:00 PM

free energy based on tesla technology is the only answer. it exists.

#10 Niner National

Niner National

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:04 PM

there is no money in free. It will never exist.

#11 Smitty Is Our Savior

Smitty Is Our Savior

    Jesus Shuttlesworth

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,717 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:12 PM

I've actually seen that before. It's pretty brilliant. That brings up another point concerning energy. Right now, obviously we should change how we're doing things, but we don't necessarily need to. But I think when we're on the brink of a legitimate crisis, people will realize sh*t needs to be done. Once a bunch of extremely smart people put their minds to it, there's no end to the kind of brilliant things and ideas they could come up with.

Hopefully it doesn't take that long to sort everything out, but I honestly think it will happen eventually, no matter what.

#12 venom

venom

    oneinfiniteconsciousness

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,805 posts
  • LocationPleiades

Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:32 AM

there is no money in free. It will never exist.


It does exist and its being intentionally suppressed. I see big changes coming to our society in the future, this will be key in its coming to fruition.

#13 Bronn

Bronn

    Sellsword

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,694 posts

Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:39 AM

I'm not going to trust that vampire T. Boone Pickens with anything...

While this plan seems to cut dependency on oil, I'm sure he'll find a way to make it equally as profitable...

#14 Bronn

Bronn

    Sellsword

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,694 posts

Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:43 AM

Upon a little further reading, this is nothing more than an attempt at further privatizing citizen AND government dependence on corporate energy conglomerates...

Next thing you know, they'll try to regulate the poo out of things so that people will be forced to buy their alternative energy rather than harness it themselves!

Holy poo people... Open your eyes...

#15 Niner National

Niner National

    Senior Member

  • HUDDLER
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts

Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

I'm not going to trust that vampire T. Boone Pickens with anything...

While this plan seems to cut dependency on oil, I'm sure he'll find a way to make it equally as profitable...


He's a gas guy. He's wrapped wind and solar into his plan to get support from the environmental crowd, but this is primarily a natural gas play for him.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Contact Us: info@carolinahuddle.com - IP Content Design by Joshua Tree / TitansReport.