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RE: [carfree_cities] Re: Powering a carfree city

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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