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Re: Powering a carfree city

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  • william stewart
    ... Sure there is; www.greenpower.com ... There is a hydro storage facility near my home; there was broadbased support for its construction.
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 10, 2004
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      >
      >
      >From: "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@...>
      >
      >
      >
      >>1. On-Grid: If the city in on a regional power grid, then buy green
      >>power. Not much of an issue there.
      >>
      >
      >Okay, we are talking about a CITY, here. One million people, more or
      >less. The municipal government COULD simply buy power from a major
      >supplier, but I'm not sure there IS that much green power. :)
      >
      Sure there is; www.greenpower.com

      >>2. Off-Grid: If the city is not on a regional power grid, there are
      >>
      >>
      >lots
      >
      >
      >>of green options (and the more diverse the better), but they get
      >>
      >>
      >fairly
      >
      >
      >>sophisticated if there is not some large scale hydro storage
      >>
      >>
      >capability
      >
      >
      >>nearby.
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >Hydro and windmills would be ideal, but good luck getting a new hydro
      >project past the eco-wackies. :)
      >
      There is a hydro storage facility near my home; there was broadbased
      support for its construction.
      http://www.dom.com/about/stations/hydro/bath.jsp

      >
      >Heck, sadly enough, it's starting to look like windmills will be
      >facing the same sort of opposition. <sigh>
      >
      >
      There are tremendous amounts of wind power being added to the US energy
      market every year.
      http://www.awea.org/pubs/documents/globalmarket2003.pdf

      >>And having a peaking natural gas turbine would be the most
      >>reasonable fallback if the wind stops blowing and the sun stops
      >>
      >>
      >shining
      >
      >
      >>for more than a week or two.
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >A week or two? Are you talking about using some kind of a storage
      >battery system? That would be...expensive. The carfree city
      >reference design is so compact you'd save a bundle on transmission
      >lines, but still.... Or are you counting on getting a hydro
      >installation?
      >
      Hydrogen is an excellent storage medium as well, and large scale fuel
      cells are an existing technology.

      >
      >Also, combined-cycle gas turbines are far from ideal. They emit CO2,
      >NOx, and aren't exactly cheap to run. Gas is expensive right
      >now. :)
      >
      They emit very low amount of CO2 and NOX in comparison to coal. Again,
      only used on a spot basis.

      >A more sensible alternative is to install a nuke or two and pipe
      >the "waste" heat out as district heating when the weather warrants
      >it. Maybe provide warm steam to heat pumps in the wintertime, that
      >sort of deal.... Hrrrrm.
      >
      Now I see your spin. Sorry, can't say I'd like a terrorist target near
      my home that would wipe out the entire city.

      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >> Note that everything in the city would
      >>have to be very energy efficient, and the climate would ideally be
      >>temperate without much in the way of extremes.
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >More siting restrictions. Where exactly could we build this ideal
      >model city?
      >
      Note the qualfier "ideally".

      >
      >
      >
      >
      >>There are architectural
      >>solutions for cold or hot climates, but they can get expensive or
      >>require significant lifestyle compromises.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >I concur. Flipping the coin over, though, with enough clean power,
      >many sites that are not viable for a current city could be used for a
      >Carfree City. For example, if you design for a cold climate from the
      >ground up, why couldn't you build a Carfree City on Victoria Island?
      >Bound to be beautiful sightseeing up there, and for sure you could
      >have your pick of locations. :)
      >
      >Buy up 100 square miles with the best scenery, install some nukes,
      >use the waste heat for free district heating, and hang the cold. You
      >could name the city "Aurora." It would be a tourist destination!
      >
      >
      You said 'clean power'; nukes have the pesky problem of dirty
      radioactive waste.

      >
      >
      >
      >>I myself live in a low-energy house that is powered by solar PV and
      >>heated for the most part by passive solar heat backed up by a
      >>woodstove. We only use AC if the temperature is forecasted to go
      >>
      >>
      >above
      >
      >
      >>85 F (and we are in humid Virginia). The entire house is
      >>designed/constructed with energy conservation in mind, including
      >>
      >>
      >all of
      >
      >
      >>the appliances and HVAC. Near my house is zero-energy home that
      >>
      >>
      >creates
      >
      >
      >>as much energy as it uses averaged over the course of a year.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >I agree that window placement, super-insulation, and a whole-house
      >controller can get major advances in efficiency, but at what costs?
      >
      About $1300 more than a typical 2500sf home. Not much, especially when
      I purchased a manufactured home and saved about $40,000.

      >And more important, where are you going to get a million people to
      >live in it?
      >
      >
      >
      Where the city is, of course.


      Will
    • Patrick McDonough
      We are buying green power here in NC through a great program set up by the state and energy companies. www.ncgreenpower.com
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 10, 2004
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        We are buying green power here in NC through a great program set up by the
        state and energy companies.

        www.ncgreenpower.com
      • mauk_mcamuk
        ... I m sorry, but that link goes to a company selling juicers. How is that indicative that there s anough gren power for sale on the US grid to supply a
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 10, 2004
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          See replies inline below:

          > >
          > Sure there is; www.greenpower.com


          I'm sorry, but that link goes to a company selling juicers.

          How is that indicative that there's anough gren power for sale on the
          US grid to supply a full-on city of a million people? Even a very
          efficient one?


          >
          > >
          > >
          > >Hydro and windmills would be ideal, but good luck getting a new
          hydro
          > >project past the eco-wackies. :)
          > >
          > There is a hydro storage facility near my home; there was
          broadbased
          > support for its construction.
          > http://www.dom.com/about/stations/hydro/bath.jsp


          That was built 20 years ago. Today, opposition to hydropower is
          widespread, and some existing dams have had to be dismantled due to
          ecological concerns. (Remember the opposition to the Three Gorges
          Dam?)

          That said, I like hydropower (as I stated before) but I am also a
          realist. Getting a hydropower project approved today, especially a
          large one, is going to be a real chore.

          Not to mention that there really aren't that many good large-scale
          hydropower sites left in the USA... or the world, for that matter.

          >
          > >
          > >Heck, sadly enough, it's starting to look like windmills will be
          > >facing the same sort of opposition. <sigh>
          > >
          > >
          > There are tremendous amounts of wind power being added to the US
          energy
          > market every year.
          > http://www.awea.org/pubs/documents/globalmarket2003.pdf
          >

          The wind power industry in the US is basically at a standstill right
          now, because the Energy Bill was filibustered. The Energy Bill
          contained the extension for the tax credit for wind power. Without
          that energy credit, wind power cannot compete, and no new windmills
          get installed.

          Yes, this really sucks, and Congress should stop being silly and pass
          the Energy Bill.


          > >
          > >A week or two? Are you talking about using some kind of a storage
          > >battery system? That would be...expensive. The carfree city
          > >reference design is so compact you'd save a bundle on transmission
          > >lines, but still.... Or are you counting on getting a hydro
          > >installation?
          > >
          > Hydrogen is an excellent storage medium as well, and large scale
          fuel
          > cells are an existing technology.


          Ah! I agree.

          That said, this is not going to be inexpensive, though.


          >
          > >
          > >Also, combined-cycle gas turbines are far from ideal. They emit
          CO2,
          > >NOx, and aren't exactly cheap to run. Gas is expensive right
          > >now. :)
          > >
          > They emit very low amount of CO2 and NOX in comparison to coal.
          Again,
          > only used on a spot basis.


          Also true, but gas is still expensive and has a nasty habit of
          blowing up. Plus, nuclear power emits fewer greenhouse gases than
          gas turbines. So do windmills, and hydropower.


          >
          > >A more sensible alternative is to install a nuke or two and pipe
          > >the "waste" heat out as district heating when the weather warrants
          > >it. Maybe provide warm steam to heat pumps in the wintertime,
          that
          > >sort of deal.... Hrrrrm.
          > >
          > Now I see your spin. Sorry, can't say I'd like a terrorist target
          near
          > my home that would wipe out the entire city.
          >



          Oh, good grief. Way to be alarmist! Nuclear power plants are
          required to have hefty security forces onsite, and have solid
          physical security. Not to mention that any new nuclear plant would
          be built MUCH more safely than the current crop of plants. We can
          build better cars now than in the 70's, why can't we build better
          power plants?

          If you look at the facts, nuclear power has killed fewer people than
          any other major source of power. This isn't spin, it's fact.

          For a Carfree City, why not use the cleanest, safest power you can?
          That means nuclear, wind, and hydro are your best choices.

          As a matter of fact, nuclear power plants are small and easily tucked
          out of sight, I could readily see you putting a couple of them a
          hundred miles away from the city itself and running powerlines.
          There, safety assured. :)


          > >

          > >
          > >
          > You said 'clean power'; nukes have the pesky problem of dirty
          > radioactive waste.
          >


          Which is easily rectified by recycling, geological storage, or both.
          The perceived problems with nuclear are all old problems, and good
          solutions to them are now readily achieved.



          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > Where the city is, of course.
          >


          So, Victoria Island, anyone? :) Or maybe Baffin Island?


          >
          > Will
        • dubluth
          If you are going to reply, please read the entire post and make a good faith effort to understand before you begin. All this talk of electical generation
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 11, 2004
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            If you are going to reply, please read the entire post and make a good
            faith effort to understand before you begin.

            All this talk of electical generation source for a car free city is a
            bit beside the point. A modern city does need electrical power, but
            the issues of this group were originally building a city without cars
            and the exclusion of cars from cities. For other people, the source
            of power IS their issue and they are only interested in powering the
            proposed city with or without nuclear, depending on their inclination.

            As far as I'm concerned, the only thing of worth to come from this
            discussion is the reminder that there are a numerous necessary inputs
            to a city and energy is one of them.

            Electrical generation capacity already exists. I'm not moved by
            advocacy for more electrical generation capacity when it comes from
            someone who argues as though ever more energy for heating and for
            running machinery is virtue itself.

            How should society decide how much capacity to build? The market is a
            pretty good guide. Building more capacity has costs, and if the costs
            of building and operating aren't recovered from ratepayers over time,
            the investors have to figure they made a mistake.

            If a carfree city were built within this generation, its population
            would immigrate from other areas. Some of those areas would be
            supplied by the same grid that the city could tap into. It seems
            that, while the car-free city's per-capita energy demand would be well
            below the national average, the demand for electical power would
            likely rise because of the mass-transit system. Even if overall
            demand rises, that doesn't assure that the cost of building and
            operating a new power unit would be justified by the market.

            Of course since the building of domestic nuclear facilities in the US
            ended some time back, conditioning a car-free city on a new nuclear
            facility might be an assurance that no car-free city would happen for
            many more years. I don't favor inviting more impediments.

            As far as wind and hydro power, the unquestioning acceptance of these
            is no better than an over-reaction against or for nuclear (no pun
            intended). Not everyone believes that a unit of electricity
            generation should take precedence over the wildlife by harmed by dams
            and killed by windmills. Hopefully the environmental oversight
            process won't be gutted for the sake of erecting someone's favorite
            type of generating station.

            Bill Carr
          • mauk_mcamuk
            ... good ... ?? What do you think I am failing to understand? ... a ... but ... cars ... IE, using old-fashioned muscle to supply much of your people-moving
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 11, 2004
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              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "dubluth" <dubluth@y...> wrote:
              > If you are going to reply, please read the entire post and make a
              good
              > faith effort to understand before you begin.
              >


              ?? What do you think I am failing to understand?


              > All this talk of electical generation source for a car free city is
              a
              > bit beside the point. A modern city does need electrical power,
              but
              > the issues of this group were originally building a city without
              cars
              > and the exclusion of cars from cities.


              IE, using old-fashioned muscle to supply much of your people-moving
              budget. This strikes me as an excellent idea, we're too fat
              already. :)

              Plus, cars are dangerous, they isolate people, they dehumanize the
              city in scale and attractiveness, etc, etc.

              I get it.

              But as I posted, cars are only a fraction of our total energy usage,
              and continuing to use coal is, frankly, stupid. :)


              > For other people, the source
              > of power IS their issue and they are only interested in powering
              the
              > proposed city with or without nuclear, depending on their
              inclination.
              >

              The power source for a Carfree City is only one aspect I am
              interested in. I am VERY intrigued by the possibilities of high-
              bandwidth datalinks in such a city, embodied by fiber-to-the-home for
              every building. The topology to do this could be interesting. More
              importantly, the affects on life could be profound.

              I am also intrigued by the way a Carfree City could affect Unions.
              Would cottage industry become a major factor again? What about
              protectionism? Since a Carfree City, at least as I understand the
              model, has far fewer ingress points than a traditional city, would
              entry fees become common? What about security checks to get in? If
              the local unit of polity is currently the county/city within a state,
              how would more or less independent Carfree Cities cause changes?
              Would tax moneys flow into or out of Carfree Cities? Etc, etc.


              > As far as I'm concerned, the only thing of worth to come from this
              > discussion is the reminder that there are a numerous necessary
              inputs
              > to a city and energy is one of them.
              >

              Yup! I will posit that it is a rather vital one, though. If the
              lights are off and people are cold, it's not fun anymore. :)


              > Electrical generation capacity already exists. I'm not moved by
              > advocacy for more electrical generation capacity when it comes from
              > someone who argues as though ever more energy for heating and for
              > running machinery is virtue itself.
              >

              Are you at all familiar with history? In general, access to more
              energy = better quality of living. Do you expect this trend to
              reverse? If so, why, and how?

              More importantantly, existing generation capapcity is horribly dirty
              stuff. Do you LIKE coal or something?


              > How should society decide how much capacity to build? The market
              is a
              > pretty good guide. Building more capacity has costs, and if the
              costs
              > of building and operating aren't recovered from ratepayers over
              time,
              > the investors have to figure they made a mistake.
              >
              > If a carfree city were built within this generation, its population
              > would immigrate from other areas. Some of those areas would be
              > supplied by the same grid that the city could tap into. It seems
              > that, while the car-free city's per-capita energy demand would be
              well
              > below the national average, the demand for electical power would
              > likely rise because of the mass-transit system. Even if overall
              > demand rises, that doesn't assure that the cost of building and
              > operating a new power unit would be justified by the market.
              >

              The US population is rising nicely, driven by immigration. Honestly,
              though, I would expect a Carfree City to be built first in a place
              with much less infrastructure than we have now. I have suggested the
              far north of Canada already, I could also point at India as a likely
              place, or perhaps China.



              > Of course since the building of domestic nuclear facilities in the
              US
              > ended some time back, conditioning a car-free city on a new nuclear
              > facility might be an assurance that no car-free city would happen
              for
              > many more years. I don't favor inviting more impediments.


              Okay, some more facts. I know they're pesky things, but I believe in
              being informed. :)

              The US nuclear power industry added the equivalent of 13 1000
              megawatt plants of production between 1998 and 2002 alone.

              http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=2&catid=49

              It did this through becoming more efficient, and adding uprates to
              existing plants.

              The existing fleet of plants has about reached the limits of how much
              can be gained through this process, so nuclear power utilties are
              quietly starting the process of building new plants.

              http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-licensing/license-reviews/esp.html

              Add in the fact that there are 4 reactors with still-valid
              construction permits, it becomes obvious that the US has been
              building nuclear power without a pause for the last 30 years.

              The industry has just been subtle about it. :)




              >
              > As far as wind and hydro power, the unquestioning acceptance of
              these
              > is no better than an over-reaction against or for nuclear (no pun
              > intended).


              LOL! I like it, though! :)



              > Not everyone believes that a unit of electricity
              > generation should take precedence over the wildlife by harmed by
              dams
              > and killed by windmills. Hopefully the environmental oversight
              > process won't be gutted for the sake of erecting someone's favorite
              > type of generating station.
              >

              Okay, let's look at this dispassionately for a moment.

              One of the reasons why I like Carfree Cities is because I have an
              interest in high-density living for humans. It is a fact, that if we
              could achieve a population density equal to that of Manhattan for the
              entire human race, the current population of the world, all 6 billion-
              plus of us, could live in Texas. (Yes, this requires overall
              population densities quite a bit higher than the reference design,
              but it is not THAT large of a stretch to get there.)

              Carfree Cities are the best-realized scheme I have come upon to date
              to make such high-density living not only palatable, but downright
              attractive. I'd LIKE living in such a place!

              If the human race all wanted to move into high-density environments,
              we could, for example, move large numbers of us to less-valuable
              territory (like Victoria Island) and leave the entire rest of the
              world alone. Wouldn't it be nice to let the entire Eastern Seaboard
              revert to temperate forest? If people treat the entire world as a
              park, but maximally utilize small chunks of less-valuable land, the
              damage done to those less-valuable pieces is more than offset by the
              recovery of the rest of the place. Right?

              Enticing people to live in high-density environments strikes me as a
              darn good idea. :) If that means designing using every technology
              available, so be it.
            • Bijan Soleymani
              ... Cars consume more energy than walking, bicycles and mass transit, therefore cars = better quality of living. Therefore this whole carfree thing is a waste
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 12, 2004
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                "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@...> writes:

                > Are you at all familiar with history? In general, access to more
                > energy = better quality of living. Do you expect this trend to
                > reverse? If so, why, and how?

                Cars consume more energy than walking, bicycles and mass transit,
                therefore cars = better quality of living. Therefore this whole
                carfree thing is a waste of time. We should make sure each person has
                a personal jet aircraft. So that their quality of life can be even
                better :)

                Bijan
                --
                Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                http://www.crasseux.com
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