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overlandsailor
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Thanks to a link provided by christopher in the ad.gif resources thumbsup.gif I learned about an interesting Grass Roots group in America called Americans for Energy Independence.

(I quick plug here. rolleyes.gif With all the information, debate, resource links, fun, etc, that ad.gif provides, have you considered: Donating to, Advertising on, or Subscribing to Americas Debate? thumbsup.gif )

Their goal is to achieve energy independence for America by 2025, focusing first on eliminating the need for Middle-Eastern Oil. The have an interesting and ambitious 20 year "Roadmap" geared towards achieving this.

Please review the plan (link). Within it you will find references to some alternative energy ideas some of you may have never heard of before like Thermal Depolymerization, Clean Coal, and ocean tidal technology development.

The big political problem it likely faces is the use of gasoline tax increases to fund various programs. Considering the high price of gas currently in America, I am no sure the we could get the majority behind these taxes.

However, the first five years of the plan does not include a tax increase at the pump. Perhaps, if American's see the benefits from the first five years, we could "sell" the tax increases of the next phases to them. Maybe we would need to fund the the plan federally for awhile, to get the ball in motion to reduce energy costs and then take advantage of the savings though tax increases of fossil fuels. That might be an easier "sell" (the big question there of course is where would the money come from?). hmmm.gif


For those who read through the plan, a few questions for debate:

Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?

What would you change in this plan?

Are there technological options that the plan missed? If so, any idea why?

For those that support the plan: What approach would you suggest to help "sell" this plan to America?

For those who oppose the plan: What approach (if any) would you suggest America take instead of this plan?
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overlandsailor
I voted yes, but with some changes. I'll explain.

One interesting area in the plan for me is their seeming "lack of commitment" to hydrogen powered vehicles. They address HP cars through research dollars and then at the 5 to 10 year mark we see the "Go/No Go decision on large scale non-petroleum hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure roll-out". It made sense to me to build into the plan the possibility that hydrogen powered vehicles would not work for our long term needs in regards to reducing foreign energy independence. I think it is rather telling, as to how much thought went into the plan when you see that they address the possibility that hydrogen powered vehicles might not work out.

Looking into the issue a bit further I found another link on the Americans for Energy Independence site discussing the differences between what we can do with hydrogen and what we can do with hybrids. In the Hydrogen vs. Electric Hybrid Editorial on there site, the writer explains the difficulties with hydrogen vs. the possibilities of "Plug-In" Hybrids.

In reading this, I can see that Hydrogen might not be the magic bullet. Not just because of the energy required to create it, but also because of it's rather low efficiency. I think one change the plan could make is in focusing more efforts on the "Plug-In" hybrid vehicle and the development of more powerful, more efficient batteries (like Toshiba's recent advancement (Link)).

It seems possible to me that we could address the need for higher MPG vehicles without sacrificing vehicle size, safety, load capacity, performance, etc if we focus more efforts in this area. hmmm.gif
CruisingRam
Being a car and motorcycle nut/junkie/gearhead- I see alot of "pie in the sky" energy plans out there when it comes to personal transportation.

My grandfather, in a fit of rage usually at one machine or another, and having to fabricate a part, often said "Neccesity IS NOT the mother of invention, it is just a plain mutha"

We change by emergency and pain- never with forsight and careful rationalization when talking about the human species. The internal combustion engine itself is the problem here- we should be talking external combustion engines i.e.- steam powered. We have the tech now to make them safe and not so large- I can't figure out why we are not doing it. Solar and wind power are not reliable 24/7- and some places don't have much sun or wind (Alaska comes right to mind thumbsup.gif w00t.gif whistling.gif )

So what is left? Bio diesel sound great- but how much of what kind of plant do we need? Do we have enough arable land to make it feasible, at full consumption?

The first steam powered vehicles should be of the semi variety- that would probably work, considering thier size and what is demanded of thier engines- they don't have to accelerate fast, gearing could take up most of that issue, and diesel powered semi's operate at a pretty narrow power band already- something suited to steam motors.

I don't think ANY plan we have right now addresses our society's energy needs- we are a society based on personal transportation- and it may be our downfall, more than any other issue, by a longshot.

overlandsailor
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Aug 27 2005, 09:35 AM)
...The internal combustion engine itself is the problem here- we should be talking external combustion engines i.e.- steam powered. We have the tech now to make them safe and not so large- I can't figure out why we are not doing it. Solar and wind power are not reliable 24/7- and some places don't have much sun or wind (Alaska comes right to mind  thumbsup.gif  w00t.gif  whistling.gif )

<snip>

The first steam powered vehicles should be of the semi variety- that would probably work, considering thier size and what is demanded of thier engines- they don't have to accelerate fast, gearing could take up most of that issue, and diesel powered semi's operate at a pretty narrow power band already- something suited to steam motors.
*



Do you have any links to good sites that cover the possibilities of Steam powered vehicles? I would be interested in reading more about this. One of the problems I could see with this is how do we generate the steam? Steam is created and maintained through heat. Something has to create and maintain that heat. I would like to learn more on how this can be accomplished. It would seem to me that steam may suffer from the same problems as hydrogen in regards to generation of it.
Erasmussimo
Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?
I like this plan. It brings together a lot of good ideas and has the guts to require sacrifice in the right places. We can have sacrifice forced upon us by reality, in which case it can hurt in the wrong places, or we can plan the sacrifice so that it does the least actual harm. I think this plan does exactly this. The sacrifices are concentrated on large and less efficient automobiles, which are the single most easily fixed source of waste in our energy system. The plan has a good sense of balance, with efforts directed in many directions.

What would you change in this plan?
I definitely don't like its recommendations about solar electricity, which might become cost-effective in the southwest in the next decade, but is definitely a waste of money anywhere else. We're much better off getting solar water heating first, then partial solar space heating. Solar photovoltaic should come last.
They mixed up "inter" with "intra" when talking about intracity commercial vehicles.
I definitely don't like their proposals that are hostile towards OPEC. Energy independence isn't about revenge, it's about making us independent of OPEC. Hurting OPEC members only stirs up a hornet's nest that we don't need to mess with.
I would prefer taxation to mandation. For example, they would mandate radical MPG increases on all vehicles; I would simply tax vehicles by exhaust pollution and MPG, and then let rich people drive their SUVs -- they'd be paying for the poor people to take mass transit.
I don't think they put enough emphasis on mass transit, the need for which will increase as the cost of automobile transportation increases.
I don't like tax rebates for those who can prove that their vocation requires a low MPG vehicle. That's a can of worms. Let the economy adjust to economic realities.
They place too much emphasis on tidal and geothermal. Geothermal doesn't have much expansion capacity -- we're already tapping all the good spots, except places like Yellowstone and Lassen. Who wants industrial facilities next to Old Faithful? Tidal is certainly feasible but requires some special geography. The Bay of Fundy is the best place in the world for tidal power, but still hasn't reached economic viability. The problem with tidal is that it gives you four big surges of power each day, and during the off-peak period they're useless. Moreover, those surges have no relationship to peak demand, so in terms of peak load issues, they're utterly useless. We can handle this with natural gas turbines to handle peak load, and make the tidal stations partial contributors to base loading, but it gets really complicated, because you can't readily throttle the big plants (coal and nuclear) up and down on short notice.

Are there technological options that the plan missed? If so, any idea why?
They missed oil shale, and they said nothing about nuclear, which should be part of the mix.

For those that support the plan: What approach would you suggest to help "sell" this plan to America?
Right now, there are millions of gas stations all over the country doing their best to sell this plan. Every time a consumer buys gas, he realizes that we need to do something. I think we should jump on the current situation and act while people are still shocked.
Bill55AZ
I voted yes, with changes. 20 years won't be long enough to effect the kinds of changes that are needed.
I joined the site, and suggest to any out there who are interested also join. As far as I know, it is the only site/forum of this type.
Correct me if I am wrong....
Christopher
http://www.setamericafree.org/

In many aspects of life Americans have become lazy and fail to harness our ability to not just create the new--but profit from it. I would say "American businesses" will soon regret our failings of both work ethic and weak education ethic--but it is the American citizen who will feel this pain. Business will go on--just on foreign shores.

I feel little sorrow for those who hold no decent level of education for I believe firmly you are on your way to a permanent third world style life. Hopefully you have not consigned your children to it as well---although I guess I will always need someone to mow my lawn. thumbsup.gif

The weakness of America in regards to our energy policy and allowing our dependance on yesteryear's technology makes a crackwhore look both responsible and full of will power.

The lame story excuse of " the consumer defines the market" is pure garbage because if offered a decent vehicle that does not look like a lump on wheels for a decent price American consumers would snap up vehicles that save them money--which for most Americans is dearly needed at home.

But hey for those in the oil business
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/b...pt11boom27.html
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1207035.cms

Our oil dependance is great news. Anyone want to guess if alquaeda will also benefit from this? I certainly think so.

Instead of being the leaders in the fields of not "alternative" fuel sources but "THE" fuel sources of the future, we are the followers. We should own these new ventures and be the first to create these markets. Instead we have become either followers or worse--customers.

For those that support the plan: What approach would you suggest to help "sell" this plan to America?

I would start by appealing to the greed. Less fuel is more money in your pockets.

Americans sense of decency: Why should we send our own to die to maintain oil access for the benefits of the few.

If Unions ever want to regain any power they should hammer the auto industry to get ahead of the curve and should also make the sacrifices to get these technologies on the streets. This will give you great jobs for future union members.

This goes for my fellow Americans--wanna make money off the stock market--these new technologies mass produced and sold to a energy starved world will result in untold amounts of wealth to those who produce them---Those who buy will get squat.

Think about all the new jobs!!!!!!!!

What about simple pride. We are Americans--We should be better than the rest. us.gif
CruisingRam
OS- sorry I do not have any links, only can tell you some of my families own experimentation with it-

A couple of points gearheads know, that escapes those that, jump in thier car, turn the key, offer a prayer to the transportation gods, and go to work LOL w00t.gif

1) internal combustion engines are used NOT because they are or can be over 30% efficient, but rather, because they are small and light- it is a tradeoff for size and explosive power vs using every erg of fuel for forward movement.

2) Most of your power in your car goes right out the exhaust- it is lost energy- i.e.- heat.

Also, the fuel we burn today, no matter what the induction system, is a "heterogeneous mixture"- meaning, there are drops of fuel atomized and floating in air, and in the most effecient and best motors "X" amount of raw fuel goes out the tail pipe.

So- with an external combustion engine- HEAT provides the power itself- so, there is very little "going out the tail pipe"-

Diesels are more efficient simply because they don't use a spark plug to initiate combustion- no parasitic power loss just to keep the combustion going, compression itself creates pressure, which creates heat, which creates "boom" LOL

Turbine engines are the most efficient internal combustion of all- because combustion is not started and stopped- it is continually burning, and no moving part provides the initiating spark- and the fuel, in a good turbine is burnt almost completely, though some raw fuel does escape.

Turbines are expensive for parts though- that is why they are used primarily for large scale expensive items- jets, power generation plants.

Now, back to steam, it is scientifically POSSIBLE to obtain 99% efficiency from a steam engine- because all power generating combustables can be used to create power, with cool air exiting the stack.

I have built a steam engine to run logging equipment with my father- and burnt about a cord of wood in a day, and had we a diesel generator of the same power output- we would have burned hundreds of dollars of diesel per day! As long as you keep the pressure up on the steam engine, and have a good heat recycling system (think of a liquor still here with coils transfering heat back to the combustion area) - you don't need much energy to maintain it once you get combustion started- though, bringing the water to a boil initially takes some energy- and that is why steam engines, from what I have read, haven't achieved maximum efficiency yet- once they are producing steam, it doesn't take much energy to keep the "mo" going.

However:

Steam engines are large

Steam engines operate with, usually, air packed into a tiny space, which means, it is not idiot proof right now and could go "boom" - but I think if we concentrated as much effort on building safe steam engines as we do making gas motors more efficient, which is really a lost cause in the end, we would probably have vehicles that use 1/10 the energy our most fuel efficient cars do now!

And something I mentioned about heterogenous mixtures earlier- the late great race car pioneer Smokey Yunik came up with a homogenous system in the 80s, looked very promising, but I think it had longevity problems, Toyota made him a very rich man for the patent, but they have never produced it, and the conspiracy theorists point to it like the modern 200mpg carberator (never existed, a fairy tale) as car companies buying patents and hiding the tech, but most think it had some safety and longevity issues - remember, a car made and sold in a western market has to meet rigorous "dummy proofing" LOL
TedN5
Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?

This is a good plan for discussion but very very difficult to gain public support for and even harder to get enacted into legislation. The public is too wedded to their big cars and wasteful ways while both the President (any president) and the Congress are too tied into the fossil fuels industry to take such a fundamental step - even with the "clean coal" subsidy included. Politicians on the right would continue with their cry against any new taxes and the public would respond - at least until we are over the energy cliff.

Overall, the plan isn't too different than what the Carter Administration attempted in the 1976 to 1980 period. Their program included heavy subsidies to improved energy efficiency, wind, solar, and other renewable energy research - which I whole-heartedly supported. It also included heavy subsidies to create a substantial synthetic fuels industry including $20 billion for oil shale, another large commitment for coal gasification, and other technologies - which I opposed and still do without tight environmental controls including CO2 sequestration.

Even if there were some dead ends in subsidized technologies the benefits to the general society would far out weigh the costs.

What would you change in this plan?

Because of the political difficulties alluded to above, I favor a plan that subsidizes new technological development and eliminates subsidies to fossil fuels use, but that allows the market to chose between the available alternatives. The one thing I would subsidize heavily is a massive improvement in the end use efficiency of all energy. This potential is not emphasized enough in the roadmap. I highly recommend reading at least the Executive Summary to RMI's Winning the Oil Endgame. This is a detailed 372 page analysis of what is possible using existing technology to achieve energy independence. Some of you may want to look at the Rocky Mountain Institute home page and link to things like RMI's Advance Automotive News and from there to their Hyper Car, Hydrogen, and the Automotive Transition.

Are there technological options that the plan missed? If so, any idea why?

The potential for improved efficiency is the main oversight.

For those that support the plan: What approach would you suggest to help "sell" this plan to America?

Changing it to eliminate the tax or at least change the tax to one that is refunded on a per vehicle or per commuter basis which would punish large and inefficient vehicle owners and reward efficient ones and those who rode mass transit. This could be advertised as revenue neutral and might go over better. Subsidies for alternative research could be funded from subsidies removed from fossil fuel production.

For those who oppose the plan: What approach (if any) would you suggest America take instead of this plan?

I don't really oppose it but view it as politically unviable. I have suggested that the Lovin's approach as presented by RMI is more soundly researched and more practical politically. On the other hand, the power of the entrenched fossil fuel industry to resist any change that hurts it financially or lessens its control of energy should not be underestimated. It will take a protracted struggle to enact any positive energy policy.
Trouble
QUOTE
Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?


I think some parts of this plan could work. Until the discussed systems are in place and people can assess the extent of their use - finding a dollar cost will be difficult.

Of the three technologies listed I know of two that are in development.

For clean coal I watched Alberta's Epcor plant finish contruction last year

I heard that New York is setting up an underwater wind farm around the manhatten area. I don't have a link.

QUOTE
What would you change in this plan?


After reading Matt Simmon's book Twilight in the Desert the biggest motivator for change will be 100 dollar/barrel oil. Speculation among economists have put oil around the 70 dollar mark for the winter of 05-06.

Should another unforseen jump in oil occur, Simmons recommends first cutting the trucking industry and returning to a rail system. Supposedly the largest gains will be from taking trucks off the road.

Not really mentioned but I have watched new investment into LNG terminals take place. I do not feel this is a step in the right direction with falling production.

I would reduce importing liquified LNG into the american economy. It is declining in Canada and is America's largest importer. Money spent in this area will be diverted capital that could be better spent elsewhere.

QUOTE
Are there technological options that the plan missed? If so, any idea why?


I think there should be a greater emphais on making existing homes R2000 compliant.
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Hobbes
Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?

Let's play devil's advocate a bit, here.

1. We buy new vehicles with the goal of improving MPG by 30-40% . Where is the money for this going to come from? How much more are these new vehicles going to cost? How many people will actually buy them (high mileage vehicles are available today...if the public really wanted them, we wouldn't need this plan). I think this is very pie in the sky, and completely devoid of any details--which is indicative of either naivete or the difficulty of achieving this result.

2. We retrofit homes with solar electric installations
Again, where is the money for this coming from? Solar panels are available currently...if they were that economical, they'd already be everywhere.

3. Federal Government phases in a $1 per gallon tax on gasoline and a $10 per barrel VAT tax on all OPEC imported oil .

The problem with oil taxes is that they are very regressive. So, who is actually going to push for this? Especially given that the returns are 20-25 years down the road...which is of little concern for politicians trying to get or stay elected now.

I don't see any cost-benefit analysis...maybe because there aren't any costs present...or economical benefits, either.. What would be the impact on our economy of a $1/gal tax on gas? How much money would that raise? What would be the costs of all these proposed programs? Would the money raised be sufficient? What if it isn't?

In short, while there are many things in this 'plan' I like...it has a long, long ways to go before it deserves that moniker. Right now, it's essentially something a couple of knowledgeable people might put together over a few beers on a couple of napkins. It might take 20-25 years for it to become enough of a plan to even start to be something that could be enacted. The most glaring omission is any mention of the cost of any of the programs proposed. Until that is present, this isn't a plan, it's a wish list.






Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Aug 29 2005, 12:47 AM)
Federal Government phases in a $1 per gallon tax on gasoline and a $10 per barrel VAT tax on all OPEC imported oil .

The problem with oil taxes is that they are very regressive.  So, who is actually going to push for this?  Especially given that the returns are 20-25 years down the road...which is of little concern for politicians trying to get or stay elected now. 

I don't see any cost-benefit analysis...maybe because there aren't any costs present...or economical benefits, either..  What would be the impact on our economy of a $1/gal tax on gas?  How much money would that raise?  What would be the costs of all these proposed programs?  Would the money raised be sufficient?  What if it isn't? 
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I was completely with you Hobbes, until you got to the gas tax. I had to cop out on this one and put I don't know because of exactly what you said, we don't know the costs. This roadmap seems to be rightfully concerned with oil, but it seems to me that we wouldn't want to encourage solar in the Northeast as it is less effective there. Yet the Northeast is where much of the homes heated with oil are. They would be better served with geothermal. There is no distinction and therefore, no incentive to make smarter choices based on effectiveness that I see. If the solar panel is free, why not get one no matter where you live.

We have answered many of the gasoline tax questions here. If phased in at 10 cents a year for 10 years, it raises over $100 billion in year 10(about $12 billion in year 1). I don't know the costs of the programs, but that amount of cash could certainly cover business expenses to lower fuel economy to meet a new fleet average. As for how to sell it, I don't know. The tax is regressive, but it would fix the problem long term. How do you sell a long term fix to the American public? Social security reform has come close after 20 years of education efforts. unsure.gif
Hobbes
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Aug 29 2005, 01:02 AM)
We have answered many of the gasoline tax questions here.  If phased in at 10 cents a year for 10 years, it raises over $100 billion in year 10(about $12 billion in year 1).  I don't know the costs of the programs, but that amount of cash could certainly cover business expenses to lower fuel economy to meet a new fleet average.  As for how to sell it, I don't know.  The tax is regressive, but it would fix the problem long term.  How do you sell a long term fix to the American public?  Social security reform has come close after 20 years of education efforts.  unsure.gif
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Calculating how much the gas tax might bring in (Thanks!) is the easy part...figuring out realistically how much the proposed programs might cost, or the economic impact of imposing the tax, is the hard part. The plan talks about replacing the entire gasoline distribution system...and that's just one part of their plan. That part alone could easily eat up the entire amount collected from the gas tax, leaving nothing left for the other programs.

Other aspects not dealt with in this plan:

What about workforce relocation for all those employed in the oil industry?
What about decommissioning the refineries and gas stations, which could otherwise become an environmental hazard?
What about the impact that collapsing the economies of the Middle East (already in shambles) will have on foreign relations and our fight against terrorism?
What about the impact singling out OPEC oil for the VAT tax might have on the same?

I bring all these questions up not because I am against coming up with a plan, or disagree with the goal. As I stated in other threads, there is a reason our energy plans have focused on supply as they have...and its not just because of Big Oil. Our entire economy is oil-centric. Changing that is going to going to be extremely difficult, and will certainly cost many hundred of billions of dollars. That is very hard to justify when you have an existing system that already provides everything that is needed, and provides them more economically than the alternatives. It is further harder to justify when all of the various alternatives can take off on their own when, as the price of oil rises, they become economically feasible. Is it really justified to spend those hundreds of billions of dollars on a problem that is self-correcting? Or, to put it another way....which governmental programs should we cut to come up with the money (and I can tell you right now that defense, while an easy answer, isn't going to be it)?

Plans to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil have been in the works for several decades. There is a very simple reason none of them have been successfully implemented...oil is very hard to replace economically. The cold hard reality is that it probably is better to extend supply, and that as prices rise, other alternatives will become economically attractive and take off on their own. ANY plan that seeks to change this MUST demonstrate need and economic justification, or it's dead in the water.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Aug 29 2005, 10:51 AM)
Calculating how much the gas tax might bring in (Thanks!) is the easy part...figuring out realistically how much the proposed programs might cost, or the economic impact of imposing the tax, is the hard part. 
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We can certainly guess the impact to the economy from a gas tax. Prices have shot up $0.73 from last year. It's reasonable to think $0.10 a year would have less economic impact than the natural price adjustments that we are seeing now.
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Aug 29 2005, 10:51 AM)
Plans to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil have been in the works for several decades.  There is a very simple reason none of them have been successfully implemented...oil is very hard to replace economically.  The cold hard reality is that it probably is better to extend supply, and that as prices rise, other alternatives will become economically attractive and take off on their own.  ANY plan that seeks to change this MUST demonstrate need and economic justification, or it's dead in the water.
*


Please show me a serious plan that has addressed lowering demand Hobbes. Have we closed the loophole on SUV mileage standards? Lowered the fleet average? Increased the gasoline tax? Token tax incentives and the allowing of highway funds to be used for sidewalks and bike paths are the only things that I have seen. Our demand for oil has increased year over year for two decades. Am I missing something?

The cold hard reality is that you can not extend supply to a point that it will make America independent of foreign oil. Extending supply just lines the pockets of many of the countries that are sympathetic to terrorists because it just leads to extending demand. We need to do both because continuing down the path we are on will prolong the war on terror IMO. Why attack militarily if you are not going to attack economically? It's infuriating because dollar for dollar, the terrorists are kicking our butts. We spend way more to hurt them and promote our cause than they spend to hurt us and promote theirs. If this continues on, we have to lose. That is unless we can convince the American people to sacrifice so that we can hit the fundamentalists where it hurts - the wallet.
Bill55AZ
Well, Hobbes, if you are going to interject cold, hard logic into the equation, you are going to take all the fun out of this issue. tongue.gif

Certainly just about anything we decide to do as a nation, with both sides of congress cooperating, can be accomplished. Hopefully the next presidential election will provide us with some leadership that can accomplish that first hurdle, again, getting both sides of the political arena to agree that we must do something now. A gas tax to pay for it is basically a consumption tax, so the heavy users pay the heavier price. I can go for that.

I don't see us being able to simply or easily leapfrog from what is currently a liquid fuels supply for our vehicles to a gaseous fuels one. Currently existing gaseous fuels may become more expensive or in short supply, just like oil. Hydrogen is still a long term prospect. And if what we do ends up making our cars extremely complicated to maintain is part of the answer, we had better beef up our schools so we have the large numbers of technicians that will be needed.

If car makers will first provide us with more multi-fuel engines, it will be a major first step. But there has to be a multi-fuel supply, and until government gets behind the idea and subsidizes the startup phase of such a transition, it won't happen. That takes money, so we are back to more taxes.

Until the taxing/funding for new fuels happens, we will just have to learn to use less of what we have.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Aug 29 2005, 09:11 AM)
Please show me a serious plan that has addressed lowering demand Hobbes.  Have we closed the loophole on SUV mileage standards?  Lowered the fleet average?  Increased the gasoline tax?  Token tax incentives and the allowing of highway funds to be used for sidewalks and bike paths are the only things that I have seen.  Our demand for oil has increased year over year for two decades.  Am I missing something? 


There have been some implemented, but the lack of any major plans is proof of exactly what I have been talking about....most of them have never been implemented, or even gotten into serious discussion in Washington. Why? Because of all the problems I am trying to bring to light.

Consider this: Washington State eliminates HOV lanes
HOV lanes are underutilized around the country, and yet they represent probably the simplest, easiest way to reduce gasoline consumption. People who use them would save not just gas, but time as well. Yet they're almost always relatively empty. This is very indicative of the problem....Americans love driving their cars, they are going to drive the cars they want to drive, and it will be very difficult to get them to change.

QUOTE
Extending supply just lines the pockets of many of the countries that are sympathetic to terrorists because it just leads to extending demand.  We need to do both because continuing down the path we are on will prolong the war on terror IMO.  Why attack militarily if you are not going to attack economically?  It's infuriating because dollar for dollar, the terrorists are kicking our butts.  We spend way more to hurt them and promote our cause than they spend to hurt us and promote theirs.  If this continues on, we have to lose.  That is unless we can convince the American people to sacrifice so that we can hit the fundamentalists where it hurts - the wallet.


Yes, cutting off funding to these countries might indeed have a positive effect..but then again it might incite mass violence and make the problem much worse. My point is that it must be discussed in whatever plan is put forth, with reasonable analysis and justified conclustions. It isn't even mentioned in this plan, which is a glaring omission, IMHO. In fact, this plan doesn't really discuss anything...it is simply a wish list of available alternatives. Any one of us could come up with a similar list in 30 minutes or so....and those lists would probably look very good on the surface. But, dig in a little deeper and start examining real costs and real impacts, and most plans rapidly fall apart, mainly due to the massive scope of the issue, and the fact that alternatives simply aren't economical. Put another way...all such plans skirt around the fact that our entire economy is based on oil. Changing that is going to take a MASSIVE investment, which is going to require MASSIVE funding. A few billion here and there isn't even going to dent it, or even a few tens of billions...we would more likely be talking hundreds of billions or even several trillions of dollars. This plan talks about retrofitting homes with solar panels...lets do a little math on just this one, small part of their plan. Forget the solar part...investment in any alternative is likely to be similar in scale.

Let's assume 4 people per house. Let's further assume $20,000 per house to retrofit. That's $5,000 per person...just for that one part. Do you have $5,000 to give? I don't. Then start mulitplying that for the other parts of the plan. You're going to quickly get to $40,000 or $50,000 per person (not taxpayer...person). That's $150-$200,000/household. Sure, there would be some cost savings to offset this...but the investment comes up front, and that money has to come from somewhere. Just a cursory examination of the costs shows why it is omitted from this plan....the numbers simply wouldn't add up. That is why we've got the energy plan we do...and why any plan seeking to really change things must have sound economic justification to be considered. Otherwise, we're likely to spend many tens of billions of dollars, and still have the very same situation we do right now, only with more debt.

Again, I'm intentionally playing devil's advocate here. Solving this problem is not going to be easy, and it will take a lot more than a little wish list. Facing up to the tremendous costs of changing things must be done to have a realistic chance of success. I'm not against doing that...I am against going off half-cocked without a reasonable idea of just what things are really going to cost and how we're going to pay for them. Otherwise, we're going to be stuck with both high gas prices AND higher taxes...not exactly the outcome any of us should want.
Just Leave me Alone!
I'm not arguing that this plan is feasible, or even good for that matter. So we are in agreement on this plan. I am arguing that the gas tax by itself is a feasible solution so maybe this would be better served under that topic. I am also arguing that nothing serious has been done to decrease consumption and that it is paramount to national security that this change. Of course it isn't going to be easy. My question is where has been the call to sacrifice from our leaders been these past 4 years? The military men and women are frustrated that the public does not seem to even notice the work they are doing, or that the public does not seem to want to be a part of the solution. If asked, I believe that the public would step up.
Bill55AZ
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Aug 29 2005, 03:41 PM)
Put another way...all such plans skirt around the fact that our entire economy is based on oil.  Changing that is going to take a MASSIVE investment, which is going to require MASSIVE funding.  A few billion here and there isn't even going to dent it, or even a few tens of billions...we would more likely be talking hundreds of billions or even several trillions of dollars.  This plan talks about retrofitting homes with solar panels...lets do a little math on just this one, small part of their plan.  Forget the solar part...investment in any alternative is likely to be similar in scale.

Let's assume 4 people per house.  Let's further assume $20,000 per house to retrofit.  That's $5,000 per person...just for that one part.  Do you have $5,000 to give?  I don't.  Then start mulitplying that for the other parts of the plan.  You're going to quickly get to $40,000 or $50,000 per person (not taxpayer...person).  That's $150-$200,000/household.  Sure, there would be some cost savings to offset this...but the investment comes up front, and that money has to come from somewhere.  Just a cursory examination of the costs shows why it is omitted from this plan....the numbers simply wouldn't add up.  That is why we've got the energy plan we do...and why any plan seeking to really change things must have sound economic justification to be considered.  Otherwise, we're likely to spend many tens of billions of dollars, and still have the very same situation we do right now, only with more debt.
*



Retrofitting homes for solar electric, IMHO, is the most wrong thing we can do at this point, especially if those homes are old, drafty, poorly insulated, etc. Wait, old doesn't matter, there are new homes being built that fit that description.
The progress that we have made with vehicle emissions is partly due to better engine design, lighter materials, overdrive transmissions, and the like, but mostly due to the fact that the average age of a car that could be considered a daily driver is probably only a few years. Nearly all the really old cars are gone, with a great deal of those that are still here being used infrequently. I have a 79 that gets used less than 2000 miles a year, and it still easily passes the emission requirements for its age bracket.

Consider the average age of our houses. We should have mandated stiffer requirements, on our buildings the same time, and same way, that we did for our vehicles. That was over 30 years ago.

And there should be expensive civil penalties for those builders/contractors who knowingly violate those requirements. My home is 11 years old, and I watched over the construction carefully. I caught the drywall man putting up sheetrock BEFORE the insulators had completed their job. He was on a schedule, and it wasn't his house, so he didn't care.

We may not be able to make everyone else care, but we can make it expensive enough for them to consider changing their attitudes about wasting energy whether in their homes or vehicles.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Aug 29 2005, 09:54 AM)
I'm not arguing that this plan is feasible, or even good for that matter.  So we are in agreement on this plan.  I am arguing that the gas tax by itself is a feasible solution so maybe this would be better served under that topic.  I am also arguing that nothing serious has been done to decrease consumption and that it is paramount to national security that this change.  Of course it isn't going to be easy.  My question is where has been the call to sacrifice from our leaders been these past 4 years?  The military men and women are frustrated that the public does not seem to even notice the work they are doing, or that the public does not seem to want to be a part of the solution.  If asked, I believe that the public would step up.
*



The gas tax is indeed a potential solution...economically. It simultaneously raises money while making alternatives more economically viable. However, it's effect on the overall economy should be considered...and ignoring the political repurcussions might doom an otherwise sound plan to failure. But, in all honesty, I don't see an energy plan working without a gas tax...otherwise there won't be sufficient incentive to change.

I also think the American public would step up if required. Unfortunately, this goes against everything else they've been told the past few decades...namely that someone else is always responsible; hat the government is there to give them money, not the opposite; and that everything has a quick fix which won't really cost them a thing. Changing that is possibly an even bigger problem than our dependence on foreign oil. I also think they'll only step up if the economics of whatever plan is put forward are sound, and that the costs and benefits are clearly laid out. They'll need to know exactly what sacrifices they're going to make, why they're making them, what will happen because of those sacrifices, when it will happen and how much it will cost, and what benefits they'll get from it. I would also add that they should know what the other options were, and why they weren't chosen.
CyndiLoo
While I applaud the people attempting to implement the changes indicated in this plan for their willingness to address these difficult issues, I have to vote no. It seems the only goal of this plan is to attempt to become independent of foreign dependency for fuel sources. This plan is not scientifically researched from a technological perspective. The technologies in this plan do not a) alleviate dependency on fuel sources from the earth which are limited and at some point will be depleted, cool.gif promote the wellness of the planet, or c) realistically address cost effectiveness issues associated with the implementation and operation of the stated fuel alternatives.

Bio-diesel and Thermal Depolymerization burn just as much energy as it takes to create them. Clean coal would still be limited in scope, and stripping the coal from the earth damages the earth. Wind Power is not reliable, and needs batteries to store the energy, which would continue to contribute to issues concerning battery disposal. Ocean Tidal Technology systems can have environmental impacts on tidal basins because of reduced tidal flow and silt buildup. Photovoltaics are not cost effective or practical, and again there is the issue of batteries, which are not only limited in the amount of energy they can store, but also a waste hazard.

There is one technology not cited in this plan that to my knowledge is perfectly clean, stores energy for a week without using a battery, and is amazingly cost effective to implement as compared to other technologies now in use. This technology is called a Solar Power Tower. Here is a link: http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumerinfo/pdfs/solar_tower.pdf

A Power Tower generates electricity from sunlight by focusing concentrated solar radiation on a tower-mounted heat exchanger (receiver). This system uses sun-tracking mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight onto the receiver. It utilizes molten salt stored in an insulated storage tank. The insulated tank can retain the temperature of the molten salt for up to a week, much longer than current battery storage is able to achieve. The idea is the concentrated sunlight hits the mirror, is reflected to the heat exchanger which heats the salt. The salt is stored in the hot salt storage tank. The salt proceeds to be processed through a conventional Rankinecycle turbine/generator system. The generator uses the molten salt to create steam in which it uses to create electricity. The salt is recycled back through a cold salt storage tank where the process begins again.

Power Towers are already in use in Spain, Italy, Japan, France, Russia, and the U.S.A. One thing to note about this perfectly pure stand-alone solar process is the government is attempting to modify it into a partially fossil fueled technology. Excuse me one moment while I gasp with exasperation!

If this type of stand-alone technology were used widespread, then perhaps some of the hybrid and electric vehicles would be much more feasible as a reliable, although not entirely environmental friendly option.

It is not effective both from a cost perspective or an energy perspective to burn as much or in some instances more fuel than what a process is able to generate during the creation of some of the fuels listed in this plan. In addition, the cost to implement some of the technologies listed in this plan does not justify the amount of energy savings to be realized after the technology is in place. It seems really unrealistic and disappointingly not thought through to consider only the manipulation of tax dollars and consumer consumption costs when creating a multi-diverse plan with widespread implications.

My thought is perhaps the U.S. Government should declare a national emergency and provide funding for research into new applied technologies in which America can truly become not only nondependent of foreign fuels, but also environmentally sound. We have only one planet in which to live.

Cyndi
Just Leave me Alone!
smile.gif Thank you CyndiLoo for the link on Solar Towers and welcome to AD. Here are a few more that I found.
Link 1
Link 2.
These were easier for me to understand. While the current cost of the electricity is about 3 times what we currently pay, it appears that advancements could get the cost down to today's levels.

To truly go after energy independence, I agree that a multidiverse plan is certainly needed. Increase supply, decrease demand. We seem to have one side that only wants to do one and one side that only wants to do the other.

In addition to tax dollars and consumer consumption costs, I also think that more things should be considered. The long term benefits to the economy, the environment, and public safety need to be considered. Can you think of any other areas?
CyndiLoo
Hi Just Leave Me Alone! Thank you, for your welcome, and for your thoughts!

The links are great! Thank you. I will add them to my list.

In regards to price comparison of the Solar Power Towers and current technologies in the links you provided, the first link does in fact state the Solar Power Tower is quite cost effective as compared to current technology. The second link was written earlier than the first link and at that time the Solar Power Towers were not price competitive. My thought is since both of these articles were written/released, oil has increased making this technology even that much more cost effective.

It was also stated in one of the links you provided that 9% of the State of Nevada could provide electricity for the whole United States. I find this remarkably adequate. I do know electricity can be transferred nationwide if for no other reason the State of Texas experiences "brown outs" in order for the State of California to have additional electricity.

Power Towers are a viable cost effective and environment friendly answer to America's current energy woes.

It it my observation we are all working toward the same goal, which is to bring America into better solutions for our energy needs. It is especially difficult to read the August 2005 economic indicators reflecting a whopping 12% reduction in vehicle sales, gasoline up 4.4%, and consumers tightening their budgets in order to survive the current energy crisis. Now more than ever this project is needed. Please do not be discouraged by all of the different thoughts pertaining to this subject. If we do not explore all possibilities, how can we successfully accomplish this task? Certainly the people involved in placing these thoughts into actions are to be commended, respected, and supported.

Could there be some merit to the thought in the end, capitalism will provide at least in part some of the answer? Consider for a moment, obviously Americans are not purchasing fossil fueled vehicles. Would that not encourage auto manufacturers in some part to speed up production of the clean-fueled vehicles in order to maintain profit?

As to your request to continue to consider options, most certainly I will!

Note: A recent survey by Yale University stated 93% of Americans would purchase clean-fueled automobiles if they were available to purchase. This did not reflect a concern for environmental issues, but more so the idea of being free of dependency on foreign oil. We are American and we take our freedom seriously!

Have an amazing day!
Cyndi

CyndiLoo
Oil companies are publishing reports stating the world oil supplies will be completely depleted in less than 100 years, more likely not even 100 years as the BRIC nations become more prominent in the world economy. We should note India is building nuclear reactors, which could affect these projections. Of course, the first time a terrorist blows one of these reactors up, or it leaks, or blows up due to some unforeseen occurrence, chances are nuclear technology may become less popular in India. At some point we will have to deal with the decommissioning of oil refineries and the gasoline stations. Doesn’t it make sense to do this before we run completely out of oil while we can still maintain some type of control of the situation as a nation?

People often comment, “What about the jobs the oil industry supports?” Oil industries are also reporting they are finding it more and more difficult to recruit college graduates and the younger generation into the oil sector as it is considered to be an area without a future. Even if America did make a sudden dramatic change into clean energy, oil companies would still have markets in other countries, and there would still be some vehicles running off of gasoline in the U.S. for a limited time giving oil related jobs time to make the transition without affecting the economy or the workers in an overly dramatic way. The new technologies would also need to employ people.

While I do not begrudge OPEC or any of the other nations the United States purchases oil from, my thought on it is, it seems like the fact we are purchasing oil from them is creating the terrorist situations in that the money seems to stay in one place and does not seem to benefit the overall population. If these monies were being designated to educating and modernizing the people so the people and their countries were able to function in harmony with the rest of the world, it would go a long way in alleviating terrorism in the Middle East. Perhaps if we were not supporting this tragedy by purchasing oil from these countries, they would have to address some of these issues in order to compete in world markets.

We need economical, clean technologies and we need them now. Our country is LARGE. We are dependent on transportation to maintain our economic stability. We do need to be independent from foreign oil. We also need to be intelligent and seek out and implement the technologies that will continue to keep our nation strong by not limiting us by depleting earth resources, will not pollute, and will be cost effective.

JMHO, Cyndi
Dingo
The most important part of the energy independence plan is that it commits us to energy independence and it places it on a reasonable time table much like Kennedy did when he committed us to landing on the moon before the end of the 60s. One must first have the big important idea, then the time table and then bring the expertise from every relevant discipline to work out the details. In this a whole nation has to be mobilized. Perhaps we need to create a cabinet post of energy independence to demonstrate federal government seriousness.

Two issues that need to be part of the solution are energy efficient building construction and proximity to the work place. I also think walking and biking ought to be more considered in urban design. I think a petrol tax should be phased in reflecting by greater degrees the REAL, unsubsidized cost of gasoline. This actually can be argued in laissez-faire terms, to wit you should pay the real costs rather than the subsidized cost of what you purchase. I like the idea of bio-diesel. Imagine everything from old tires to food scraps being converted into useful energy. That cleans up the environment, provides us with energy and is close to zero sum when it comes to adding additional carbon to the atmosphere (It mostly recycles). It also lends itself to more localized solutions.
erich
A New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy

Over the past year many luminaries have made clarion calls for a concerted effort to solve the energy crisis. It is a crisis, with 300 million middle class Chinese determined to attain the unsustainable lifestyle we have sold them. Their thirst for oil is growing at 30% a year, and can do nothing but heat the earth and spark political conflict.

We have been heating the earth since the agricultural revolution with the positive result of providing 10,000 years of warm stability. But since the Industrial revolution we have been pushing the biosphere over the brink. Life forces have done this before -- during the snowball earth period ( Cryogenian Period ) in the Neoproterozoic toward the end of the Precambrian - but that life force was not sentient!

Thomas Freedman of the New York Times has called for a Manhattan Project for clean energy The New York Times> Search> Abstract. Richard Smalley, one of the fathers of nanotechnology, has made a similar plea http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html3month/2004...ley.energy.html.
We are at the cusp in several technologies to fulfilling this clean energy dream. All that we need is the political leadership to shift our fiscal priorities.

I feel our resources should be focused in three promising technologies:

1. Nanotechnology: The exploitation of quantum effects is finally being seen in these new materials. Photovoltaics (PV) are at last going beyond silicon, with many companies promising near-term breakthroughs in efficiencies and lower cost. Even silicon is gaining new efficienies from nano-tech: Researchers develop technique to use dirty silicon, could pave way for cheaper solar energy http://www.physorg.com/news5831.html
New work on diodes also has great implications for PV, LEDs and micro-electronics Nanotubes make perfect diodes (August 2005) - News - PhysicsWeb http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/9/8/11
And direct solar to hydrogen, I was told they have hit 10% efficiency and solved mass production problems: Hydrogen Solar home http://www.hydrogensolar.com/index.html
And just coming out of the lab, this looks very strong, it brings full spectrum efficiencies to PVs: UB News Services-solar nano-dots
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-execute.c...rticle=75000009

1a. Thermionics: The direct conversion of heat to electricity has been at best only 5% efficient. Now with quantum tunneling chips http://www.borealis.com/index.shtml we are talking 80% of carnot efficiency. A good example is the proposed thermionic car design of Borealis. ( http://www.borealis.gi/press/NEW-GOLDEN-AG...Speech.6=04.pdf ) . The estimated well-to-wheel efficiency is over 50%. This compares to 13% for internal combustion and 27% for hydrogen fuel cells. This means a car that has a range of 1500 miles on one fill up. Rodney T. Cox, president of Borealis, has told me that he plans to have this car developed within two years. Boeing has already used his Chorus motor drives http://www.chorusmotors.gi/.
on the nose gear of it's 767. (Boeing Demonstrates New Technology for Moving Airplanes on the Ground http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2005/q3/nr_050801a.html )
The Borealis thermocouple power chips http://www.powerchips.gi/index.shtml (and cool chips) applied to all the waste heat in our economy would make our unsustainable lifestyle more than sustainable.
You may find an extensive discussion on thermo electric patents at: Nanalyze Forums - Direct conversion of heat to electricity http://www.nanalyze.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1006੾

2. Biotechnology: Since his revolutionary work on the human genome project, Craig Venter has been finding thousands of previously unknown life forms in the sea and air. His goal is to use these creatures to develop the ultimate energy bug to produce hydrogen and or use of their photoreceptor genes for solar energy. http://www.venterscience.org/ Imagine a bioreactor in your home taking all your waste, adding some solar energy, and your electric and transportation needs are fulfilled.

3. Fusion: Here I am not talking about the big science ITER project taking thirty years, but the several small alternative plasma fusion efforts and maybe bubble fusion - Is bubble fusion back? (July 2005) - News - PhysicsWeb
http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/9/7/8 )

On the big science side I do have hopes for the LDX : http://psfcwww2.psfc.mit.edu/ldx/.

.
There are three companies pursuing hydrogen-boron plasma toroid fusion, Paul Koloc, Prometheus II, Eric Lerner, Focus Fusion and Clint Seward of Electron Power Systems http://www.electronpowersystems.com/ . A resent DOD review of EPS technology reads as fallows:

"MIT considers these plasmas a revolutionary breakthrough, with Delphi's
chief scientist and senior manager for advanced technology both agreeing
that EST/SPT physics are repeatable and theoretically explainable. MIT and
EPS have jointly authored numerous professional papers describing their
work. (Delphi is a $33B company, the spun off Delco Division of General
Motors)."

and

"Cost: no cost data available. The complexity of reliable mini-toroid
formation and acceleration with compact, relatively low-cost equipment
remains to be determined. Yet the fact that the EPS/MIT STTR work this
technology has attracted interest from Delphi is very significant, as the
automotive electronics industry is considered to be extremely demanding of
functionality per dollar and pound (e.g., mil-spec performance at
Wal-Mart-class 'commodity' prices)."

EPS, Electron Power Systems seems the strongest and most advanced, and I love the scalability, They propose applications as varied as home power generation@ .ooo5 cents/KWhr, cars, distributed power, airplanes, space propulsion , power storage and kinetic weapons.

It also provides a theoretic base for ball lighting : Ball Lightning Explained as a Stable Plasma Toroid http://www.electronpowersystems.com/Images...20Explained.pdf
The theoretics are all there in peer reviewed papers. It does sound to good to be true however with names like MIT, Delphi, STTR grants, NIST grants , etc., popping up all over, I have to keep investigating.

Recent support has also come from one of the top lightning researcher in the world, Joe Dwyer at FIT, when he got his Y-ray and X-ray research published in the May issue of Scientific American,
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa...F9683414B7FFE9F
Dwyer's paper:
http://www.lightning.ece.ufl.edu/PDF/Gammarays.pdf

and according to Clint Seward it supports his lightning models and fusion work at Electron Power Systems

Clint sent Joe and I his new paper on a lightning charge transport model of cloud to ground lightning (he did not want me to post it to the web yet). Joe was supportive and suggested some other papers to consider and Clint is now in re-write.

It may also explain Elves, blue jets, sprites and red sprites, plasmas that appear above thunder storms. After a little searching, this seemed to have the best hard numbers on the observations of sprites.

Dr. Mark A. Stanley's Dissertation
http://nis-www.lanl.gov/~stanleym/dissertation/main.html

And may also explain the spiral twist of some fulgurites, hollow fused sand tubes found in sandy ground at lightning strikes.


The learning curve is so steep now, and with the resources of the online community, I'm sure we can rally greater support to solve this paramount problem of our time. I hold no truck with those who argue that big business or government are suppressing these technologies. It is only our complacency and comfort that blind us from pushing our leaders toward clean energy.


Erich J. Knight
erich
Dear Folks:

To really gain some perspective on the energy problem , and understand what a tough nut it is, read this reply by Uncle AL, from another Sci-forum:

"Do you have any idea how much energy the US uses/year? It has held reasonably steady at 60 bbl oil equiv/capita. 1 boe = 1700 kWhr-thermal. There are 290 million US folk or

1.74x10^10 boe/year, or
2.96x10^13 kWhr-thermal/year, or
1.065x10^20 joules/year, or...

...or the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2. Are ya gonna alternatively burn algae, git, or catch wind

The US consumes the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2.

You are all clueless. Sparrow farts run through a gas turbine won't get you 10^20 joules/year. Not now, not ever. Pulling 10^20 joules/year out of wind or waves would monstrously perturb the weather. Where do the energy and raw materials necessary to fabricate and install your New Age hind gut fermentations originate? Who pays for the environmental impact reports and litigations therefrom?

What are the unknown hazards? Can you guarantee absolute safety for 10,000 years? Let's have a uniform set of standards, eginineering and New Age *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** both. Area necessary to generate 1 GW electrical, theoretical minimum

mi^2
Area, Modality
====================
1000 biomass
300 wind
60 solar
0.3 nuclear

3x10^7 GWhr-thermal/year would need 9 billion mi^2 of wind collection area. The total surface area of the Earth is 197 million mi^2. 24 hrs/day. Looks like yer gonna come up a little short if 100% of the Earth were wind generators powering only the US.

Are ya gonna alternatively burn algae to generate 10^20 joules/year? Now you are a factor of 3 even worse - before processing and not counting inputs. THEY LIED TO YOU. They lied to you so poorly it can be dismissed with arithmetic. Where are your minds?

--------------------
Uncle Al
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
(Toxic URL! Unsafe for children and most mammals)
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz.pdf "




Now ya know how big the problem is!!


I found this technology page on the Suncone, Sustainable Resources, Inc. - The Suncone Solar Power Generator http://www.sriglobal.org/suncone_intro.htmland
The Claim of a 50 MW array producing at $.046/KWhr is the best I've seen for solar at this level of development, and the PV solar roofing technology they are acquiring looks solid too.

And This new work By Dr.Kuzhevsky on neutrons in lightning: Russian Science News http://www.informnauka.ru/eng/2005/2005-09-13-5_65_e.htm is also supportive of Electron Power Systems fusion efforts http://www.electronpowersystems.com/ . I sent it to Clint Seward and here's his reply:

"There is another method to producing neutrons that fits my lightning model that I have described to you.
It is well known that electron beams have been used extensively to produce neutrons, above electron energies of 10 MeV, well within the voltages reported in the lightning event. (An Internet search produced several articles that reported this). I do not pretend to have researched this extensively, and do not know the actual target molecules or the process, but it appears plausible from what the papers report, and is consistent with my lightning model.
The proposed method you sent to me is a lot more complex, and I would have to say I can not agree with the article as written without experimental results."


A New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy

Cheers,
Erich J. Knight
erich
Dear folks:
Here's an email that is very good news for Paul Koloc's and Eric Learner's work on P-B11 fusion.

He's referring to a power point presentation at the 05 AIAA conference on alternative forms of fusion which high lights the need to fully fund three different approaches to P-B11 fusion . 1.) Prometheus II , 2.) Field Revered Configuration, and 3.) Focus Fusion http://www.focusfusion.org/about.html

It's by Vincent Page a technology officer at GE.
Email me and I'll send it to anyone interested.

Erich



from : Paul M. Koloc; Prometheus II, Ltd.; 9903 Cottrell Terrace,
| Silver Spring, MD 20903-1927; FAX (301) 434-6737: Tel (301) 445-1075
| Grid Power -Raising $$Support$$ -;* http://www.neoteric-research.org/
| http://www.prometheus2.net/%A0%A0%A0------ mailtomk@plasmak.com


"Erich,

Thanks for your update,

A friend of mine, Bruce Pittman, who is a member of the AIAA, recently sent me a copy of the attached paper by Vincent Page of GE. Please keep in mind that I have never communicated with Vincent, but he found our concept to have the highest probability of success for achieving a commercial fusion power plant of any that he examined.

A program manager at DARPA submitted a POM for sizeable funding of extended research on our concept, both here and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, it didn't stay above this year's cut line for the budget funding priorities.

BTW, I agree with Cox that the analysis done by Chen does not fit the criteria of the EST plasmoid that Clint produces. The poloidal component of current in his toroid dominates his topology, which means that the corresponding toroidal field, which is only produced within the torus, also dominates. Consequently, the outward pressure on the EST current shell must be balanced by some external inward force. The toroidal component of current is weak and cannot produce the external poloidal magnetic pressure that would bring the toroid into stable equilibrium. If the plasmoid lasts for .6 seconds without change of shape or brightness level, then it must be continuously formed with his electron beam source. Otherwise, the plasma would decompose within microseconds.

By comparison, our PLASMAK magnetoplasmoids (PMKs) have negligible change in shape, size or luminosity over a period of one or two hundred milliseconds after the initial tens of microseconds impulse that forms them has ceased. That may not sound like much of a lifetime, but compare that to the decomposition of Lawrence Livermore's spheromak plasma within 60 microseconds. The other interesting thing is that we have recently produced PMKs of 40 cm diameter (under work sponsored by DOD), and with the installation of our new, additional fast rise capacitors, we expect to obtain lifetimes of seconds.

Cheers,
Paul "




Cheers
Erich
Vermillion
I am staggered by just how wrong this whole diatribe is. Whatever the other sci-forum is, you should post the following factual corrections back to it:

1) According to the US Department of Energy, American oil/energy consumption is just below 25 barrels per day per person. It has remained steady at about 25 for several years, the highest it has ever been was 31 barrels per person, in 1978. Nowhere close to the 66 barrels of oil per day listed earlier.

2) Apart from that, the 'quote' starts with facts and figures, and suddenly stops providing them, asserting that 'sparrow farts' cannot generate any electricity. Really?

The ENTIRE energy producing apparatus of the US, from ALL sources (renuable, nuclear fossil fuels) is just under 750 gigawatts. The 'quote' asserts that there is no way that 'sparrow farts' can ever make that much. However, Canada, that nation to the north with just 15% of the population of the US, produces over 66% of its power through hydroelectricity alone, thats 67 Gigawatts. That is not wind farms or biomass or anything else, that is JUST Hydroelectricity. If canada can produce 67 gigawatts of power from that one renewable source, is is really so hard to imagine that the US could produce a lot more from a combination of all renewable sources?

Britain is in the process of constructing a large offshore windfarm, stretching several miles across, using new, high efficiency wind turbines. The single wind farm is expected to produce about 10 gigawatts. As an aside, these windfarms are all 8 km from the coast, making them nearly imposible to see and not affecting the view, or inconveniencing anyone.

The Yang-Tse dam project in China, a single dam system, is expected to produce as much as 80 Gigawatts of power.


Sustainable energy cannot be dismissed out of hand, at least without completely invented numbers and fictional arguments...


QUOTE(erich @ Sep 25 2005, 04:58 AM)
Dear Folks:

To really gain some perspective on the energy problem , and understand what a tough nut it is, read this reply by Uncle AL, from another Sci-forum:

"Do you have any idea how much energy the US uses/year? It has held reasonably steady at 60 bbl oil equiv/capita. 1 boe = 1700 kWhr-thermal. There are 290 million US folk or

1.74x10^10 boe/year, or
2.96x10^13 kWhr-thermal/year, or
1.065x10^20 joules/year, or...

...or the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2. Are ya gonna alternatively burn algae, git, or catch wind

The US consumes the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2.

You are all clueless. Sparrow farts run through a gas turbine won't get you 10^20 joules/year. Not now, not ever. Pulling 10^20 joules/year out of wind or waves would monstrously perturb the weather. Where do the energy and raw materials necessary to fabricate and install your New Age hind gut fermentations originate? Who pays for the environmental impact reports and litigations therefrom?
erich
"60 bbl oil equiv/capita" That Uncle Al states is total equivalent energy use for all sources. not just oil.

My reply to UncleAl:

"Dear Uncle Al,
Your logic and math are impeccable, However you seem to ignore the macro energy equation.
All fossil and nuke fuels ultimately add to the heat load of the biosphere while most of the solar / wind / thermal conversion technologies (except geothermal) recycle solar energy instead of releasing sequestered solar energy. This is the goal and definition of sustainability, not over loading the dynamic equilibrium of the biosphere.

At least you seem not to take account of this, and I feel you dismiss the rising curve of increasing efficiency for PV, direct solar to hydrogen, wind and thermal conversion to electricity, not to mention P-B11 fusion.
From what I understand of the direct solar to hydrogen fabrication technology it is a much greener process, and cheaper that silicon based PVs. ( Hydrogen Solar home http://www.hydrogensolar.com/index.html )

And the nano-dot approach to PVs also promises full spectrum conversion efficiencies along with clean production processes. ( UB News Services-solar nano-dots http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-ex...rticle=75000009 )"

and: Here's a reply to UncleAl by Ophiolite
http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=13502#13502

"Erich,
re your earlier post quoting Uncle Al. Uncle Al is of course living proof that intelligence plus an education do not always equal correct conclusions. Your response to him was a pertinent one.
You might have added this.
The surface area of the sphere at the Earth's orbital radius is 1.81 E16.
The surface area of this sphere intersected by the Earth is 2.01 E08
The portion of the sun's output interesected by the Earth is 1.11 E-08
The sun converts 4 billion tons of mass to energy per second
In one year it converts 1.46 E12 tons
The Earth intercepts the energy of 1.46 E12 x 1.11 E-08 converted tons: 1.62 E04
The amount of this incident energy required to meet US energy needs is 0.007%.
Even if I am out somewhere by a factor of 100, then the needs would be met by less than 0.1% of the energy falling on the Earth.

erich
Correction:

"Dear folks:
Here's an email that is very good news for Paul Koloc's and Eric Lerner's work on P-B11 fusion.

He's referring to a power point presentation at the 05 AIAA conference on alternative forms of fusion which"



Vincent Page's presentation was given at the 05 6th symposium on current trends in international fusion research

Sorry,
Erich
Amlord


Let's not debate what people on other sites are saying.

Quoting other forums borders on SPAM.

QUESTIONS FOR DEBATE:

Can this plan work? Will the financial gains expected from various parts of the plan every produce more for America then the costs of the plan? Why or Why not?

What would you change in this plan?

Are there technological options that the plan missed? If so, any idea why?

For those that support the plan: What approach would you suggest to help "sell" this plan to America?

For those who oppose the plan: What approach (if any) would you suggest America take instead of this plan?
erich
Dear Folks:

Clint Seward just sent this update of their progress at http://www.electronpowersystems.com/ , a very nice time frame, if Clint can find the funding:

QUOTE
"Hi All,


          The following is the annual update to the EPS progress toward a clean energy solution to replace fossil fuels.  Below is a brief summary of where we are.  Attached is an updated copy of the manuscript describing our project.


It remains clear that we have made and patented a new discovery in physics: a plasma toroid the remains stable without external magnetic fields.  This is so far beyond the experience and understanding of plasma scientists today that, to say the least, we are having trouble convincing reviewers.  We have completed the design of an improved neutron tube.  This is what we have to build to demonstrate a clean energy source, and I plan to do the first steps in 2006, with a first demo in 2007 if all goes well. 

<snip>

We plan to do this by making a new, high energy neutron tube.  There are several thousand neutron tubes in use in the US today that safely collide hydrogen ions to produce neutrons, which in turn are used for explosives detection, industrial process control, and medical testing.  Figure 1 shows the neutron tube schematically.  An ion source produces hydrogen ions (deuterium), which are accelerated to 110 kV, then directed to hit the target (also deuterium), a process which produces neutrons (see reference below). 



Figure 1: A One Meter Long Neutron Tube Schematic

Neutron tubes today are limited by the low density of the hydrogen ions.  We plan to overcome this limitation by adapting the EST Spheromak to increase the ion density to produce a high output neutron tube.  The EST Spheromak is patented jointly by EPS Inc. and MIT scientists who also have published papers confirming the physics and data.  Since each part of the development has been done by others or by EPS, we anticipate that this will be an engineering project to produce a proof of concept lab demo in two years, with modest funding.
<snip>

            The development is a scale up of work completed to date.  We make EST Spheromaks in the lab and accelerate them.  Each step has been shown to work individually, and we plan to adapt them to produce a lab demo in two years.  Milestones:

            1. Defining Patent: (Note:  co-inventors are MIT scientists).                          2000

            2. Spheromak acceleration:                                                                            2001

            3. Spheromak capture in a magnetic trap:                                                        2006

            4. Spheromak collision for a lab proof of concept demonstration:                  2007

            5. First neutron tube commercial prototype:                                                    2008

            6. First commercial product:                                                                          2009

<snip>


Edited to remove entire reposting of potentially copyrighted material. When citing others' works, please refer to the Rules for citation allowances.

__________________
Erich J. Knight
"Religion Is Bunk " T. A. Edison
RedCedar
Great topic!

I think the plan can work. You can say it's impossible because Americans are energy pigs, but the room we have to cut our energy consumption is HUGE.

When you have people driving Hummers when gas is over $3/gallon, that alone is evidence we consume way, way, way more than we should.

How about florescent light bulbs? How about high insulation buildings? Mass transit? Urban sprawl? Increasing MPG?

Again, the gap between efficiency and plain, flat out, hogs at the trough is GIGANTIC. You make energy outrageously expensive and watch people follow this plan....they'll have to.



I don't like the comparison to Man on the Moon or Manhattan project, because it's way more than new technology. We HAVE the technology now. We need to change the hogwild attitude of Americans. I'd compare it more to Eisenhower building the freeway system.

We need to invest infrastructure cost and push education. We absolutely don't need a vice president that says Americans should drive Hummers if they want.


I have another take on this. Instead of energy independence from the middle east, how about energy independence for each individual?? Solar power? Electric vehicles? Human powered energy?

I am in the process of rigging up a heater that is totally energy-supplied from an exercise bike. Just think if we could exercise during the day and store all that energy so we can watch TV at night?

With prices going through the roof, people will look to alternatives just so they won't have to pay a lot to stay warm or stay cool. And how else can you be independent if you don't provide the energy yourself?



One more thing. Is that buoy thing to harness wave power seem like the wrong approach to anyone else? I always picture some type of paddles, like on a steam boat that would get turned by the tides. Or maybe even props, like water-based windmills that turn with incoming/outgoing tides.

No doubt, there is a lot of energy to be harnessed that it seems only desperation with move us toward.

The plan seems solid, the politics to get it in action don't. You have to remove the oil men from DC as a first step. crying.gif
RedCedar
QUOTE(erich @ Jan 13 2006, 10:09 PM)

            6. First commercial product:                                                                           2009


Is it just me or does anyone else feel that sometime in the near/distant future that a reliable, safe, renewable energy source will be created that makes all our worries today seem trivial?

I can just picture people in the future going "why did they worry about energy so much?". Sort of the way we may ask why travel was such a big deal back 100 years ago.

Whether it be fusion or something else, I have confidence that we will break through technically with a solution to consumption of energy. The universe is just filled to much with free energy for there not to be an easy solution.
Vermillion
QUOTE(RedCedar @ Jan 15 2006, 06:40 AM)
Is it just me or does anyone else feel that sometime in the near/distant future that a reliable, safe, renewable energy source will be created that makes all our worries today seem trivial?


Its possible to be sure, but it is no certainly, and there is no concept of the time frame even if it does happen.

Either way, it in no way abrogates the people of the present from responsibility for their actions.

Its a bit like a smoker looking at the history of medicine:
"There has been SO MUCH advancement in medicine the last 40 years, I'm just going to keep smoking because I'm sure they will discover a cure for cancer..."
erich
Looks like Eric Lerner is moving down the road with his Aneutronic approach!!

U.S., Chilean Labs to Collaborate on Testing Scientific Feasibility of Focus Fusion http://pesn.com/2006/03/18/9600250_LPP_Chi...ear_Commission/

GE has also chimed in:

Vincent Page (a technology officer at GE!!) gave a presentation at the 05 6th symposium on current trends in international fusion research , which high lights the need to fully fund three different approaches to P-B11 fusion (Below Is an excerpt).
He quotes costs and time to development of P-B11 Fusion as tens of million $, and years verses the many decades and ten Billion plus $ projected for ITER and other "Big" science efforts:


"for larger plant sizes
Time to small-scale Cost to achieve net if the small-scale
Concept Description net energy production energy concept works:
Koloc Spherical Plasma: 10 years(time frame), $25 million (cost), 80%(chance of success)
Field Reversed Configuration: 8 years $75 million 60%
Plasma Focus: 6 years $18 million 80%


Anyone who wants to view the pdf, just post me for a copy

Cheers,

Erich j. Knight
teamusajohn11




I voted yes but with a change. Not that I know everything it would take to make these changes I do know of one thing I have not heard from either side. Maglev Trains, possibly in Vacuum tubes. We have the interstate highway system and the medians are a waste of space. although some do not have medians through urban and mountainous areas, most do have the medians. If we put in the energy efficient Maglev Trains and used it for Transport of goods alone it will reduce the price of goods, reduce the demand for Oil, and that will boost the economy much like Reagan, Kennedy and the current president have done through tax cuts. Thus allowing the IRS to take in more money through taxes. The plan will pay for itself. This is not the only solution, nor may it be the best. But it is something that should be considered. Truckers will still be needed for local and regional deliveries.

We would also need to replace the internal combustion engine, not that I have a great idea on how to do that, but there are smarter people than I who have great ideas on what to replace the century old technology with.
Ted
QUOTE
Vermillion
Britain is in the process of constructing a large offshore windfarm, stretching several miles across, using new, high efficiency wind turbines. The single wind farm is expected to produce about 10 gigawatts. As an aside, these windfarms are all 8 km from the coast, making them nearly imposible to see and not affecting the view, or inconveniencing anyone.


The Yang-Tse dam project in China, a single dam system, is expected to produce as much as 80 Gigawatts of power.


All good ideas. Our problem in the US is we cannot agree how to get anything done. “Wind Farms” – hey we have been trying to get one approved off the coast of Mass for a over 5 years. Idiot Teddy K opposes it because he can see it from his compound. Others say it ‘may” kill some birds.

The environmentalists have this country tied up in knots. Can’t explore for oil, or drill, or build anything without decades of “impact” studies. Best bet is huge solar arrays that could provide giga watts of power if we can give them say the area of the states of north and south Dakota. Same for wind. Good luck getting funding and approvals.
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