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Green Energy Issues

posted 2/13/2017 2:37:52 PM |
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tagged: wind, energy, environment, land

As technology and green energy advances, I'm all for alternative methods of energy. However, as I mentioned before, oil has become so entrenched in everything we do and use in our society, so far we haven't come up with a viable alternative that can replicate everything that oil provides.

I do have some questions with regards to the 'clean' energy though, that many people don't seem to think of. We'll take solar panels to start. I've seen the fields of solar panels that are being praised in Germany and various other areas. I have a few concerns about this. Fields equals farmland and real estate. As our societies increase, how can we justify using so much land for energy instead of for food and housing?

The same with wind farms. Real estate and farmland, although I suppose food could be grown at the base of the towers. The other thing with wind farms is that they're noisy and no one wants to live nearby. So you're looking at even more real estate. With the cost of real estate here, there's no way anyone would justify using our precious farmland or any viable land for anything other than food and housing. And yes, they do affect the environment in a very visible way. Are you advocating cutting down forests in order to build solar or wind farms?

And with solar panels, what happens when it freezes and snows? Who's going to brush the snow off the panels? Or does it just melt? What about freezing?

Another item I question is electric cars. Although a great idea in theory, for travelling distances, in mountains and in frigid temperatures, they just aren't a viable option. A ten hour drive to Vanderhoof to visit my daughter could end up being a 2 or 3 day trip in order to recharge the battery on an electric car. In freezing weather, the batteries get run down faster, so what happens during the winter?

Last week, the highways were closed in the mountain passes, stranding many drivers stuck in between. What would happen in an electric motor? The battery would drain faster and then what if you weren't close to a recharging station? You'd just freeze to death?

All these solutions for green energy are great when you live in ideal conditions. But what happens when you don't? The one thing that oil pipelines do not do, like it or not, and that is take up farmland and real estate. Yes, I'm aware that an oil spill can damage the environment to the point where people can't live or work the land, and hopefully the powers that be are smart enough to have put pipelines where the least amount of damage can occur.

I'm not advocating pipelines and oil rather than green energy, I'm simply pointing out that until we've perfected alternative energy sources, we're a bit stuck with what we have in the process of moving towards a better solution. As much as people would like to just see oil production cease, our entire world relies on it for too many things to just shut off the taps.

Living in Canada with long distances between cities, rough terrain and treacherous mountain passes, it's just not feasible to look at electric cars as a viable alternative. When 8% and 11% grades are usual, there's no way a battery operated vehicle would navigate the passes as easily and effectively as a gas-powered vehicle.

As much as I'd like to see less of a reliance on oil, at this point in time, I simply can't see a complete move to solar or wind, when land is becoming more and more scarce due to the population growth.

There's absolutely no way I can support anything that would use our diminishing farmlands for solar panels, instead. Solar roofing panels? Sure. Again, what about freezing and snow?

I'm guessing that these issues haven't been addressed and why we aren't building solar and wind fields as I type, and why electric vehicles are not more prevalent here.

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Feb 13 @ 5:47PM  
I've seen the fields of solar panels that are being praised in Germany and various other areas. I have a few concerns about this. Fields equals farmland and real estate. As our societies increase, how can we justify using so much land for energy instead of for food and housing?

Germany is far more crowded than the US or Canada. Fields in this case equal not farmland, but land that would be dedicated to the construction of power substations. Solar power via photovoltaics in Germany is a mixture of small rooftop panels as well as the larger solar parks, which have taken the place of the construction of substations burning coal, etc.

Feb 13 @ 8:28PM  
As our societies increase,

THAT is the root of many of the problems, such as global warming, pollution,
depleted resources & space, etc...

This is why "Population Zero" is critical.
It does not mean there should be no people.
It means there should be no net increase.
Indeed, there ideally should be a decrease.
Every person should produce no more than one other person.
So, for instance, a couple should only have two children at maximum.
Some would have only one and some would have none.

Feb 13 @ 9:37PM  
A big question is "When?". As oil prices rise, the cost of building green power infrastructure with oil powered factories increases, and the payback becomes slower, and installation less likely.

One key issue is"Who has the solar?. In the US the emphasis is on big installations where energy companies get cheaper solar energy and more profits and the public pays more. Home owner installations are paid for by the owner, save the owner money, and need no transmission lines. Don't forget solar heating that in not photovoltaic.Water heating is a major use of oil/electricity at present.

Power companies actively oppose solar. Florida just voted down a scam whereby power companies could charge solar users, because the grid was "on standby". Even our grumpy old people saw that for the scam it was.

Germany has lots of user owned solar. They also have vast wind farms, out in the ocean away from people and wind obstructions. Siemens only sold in Germany until the country was solar wired. Now the Asians, like Renogy, are putting out good, fairly priced units too.

Electric vehicles are an illusion if the electricity is generated from oil or coal. Maybe good for the air or to avoid road taxes on gas, or for hybrid efficiency.
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