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2864Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

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  • Roxanne Boyer
    Jan 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Gary,
      I kind of agree with you that renewable energy can not economically provide our energy needs now.  I also think it is realistic that renewable energy can become a larger fraction of our energy supply as time goes on.  I have reviewed Smalley's presentations and I think he agrees.  It is quite realistic that renewable energy could dominate the electric market by 2050.  Current trends - technical and economical - point that direction.  Transportation and industrial energy remain a big question; but a question that must be answered by 2050.  The search for a solution starts today.  A nation that controls the solution will be the next world superpower.  Professionals that are part of the solution will be in the wealthy class.  I also think the answer will have multiple solutions.
       
      I have summarized my finding on the Renewable Energy Potential in the US in a paper.  It is too large to attach as e-mail here, so I'll hand it out at the next HREG meeting. 
      Regards,
      Chris
       
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gary Beck
      Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 11:19 PM
      Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

      Thanks Mike,

      Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these
      ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts.

      Sorry, but we differ here. Saying "A majority of the energy consumed in the
      US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources" is just not
      realistic. This is due to the shear scale of our energy thirst, the limits
      of all available renewable technologies, the limits on transmission
      technologies, and the limits of any economy and to pay for dramatic energy
      system changes. Plus all renewables, even solar and wind, are not always
      environmentally cleaner or environmentally better solutions.

      I'll stick to the energy outlook and arguments by the guy with the Nobel
      Prize. See a clear energy presentation at
      (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1) and other
      similar discussions at their link at
      http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862). I accept the basic energy
      resources and energy timing predictions his group researched and quoted as
      better than most. (I don't agree with the idea that nano-energy technology
      will save us, any more than I thought fuel cells and hydrogen will save us.)
      Mechanical energy efficiency has been my area of work for half of my career,
      and most recently I have pushed and supported energy system optimization in
      different forms (check out www.wasteheat.com). And while I support different
      renewables for different reasons, I feel it is important to have a realistic
      view of their time, technology, and economic limitations. All good
      ideas/discussions, but economics unfortunately has proven repeatedly it will
      rule over all but the 'no brainer' energy arguments.

      Only conservation is immediate. All it takes is individual behavior change
      like a green product buying decision or a green design decision for a system
      that better supports energy conservation.

      Gary Beck. P.E. 

      Eco-Holdings LLC
      Design Consulting
      USGBC-LEED(Accredited), BSE(Civil), TDI(Wind Storm - Structural)
      Texas P.E.(Mechanical), Authorized Service (Capstone Microturbines)     

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mewert@...]
      Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 10:10 AM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
      alternative energy and conservation

      Gary,
       
      You wrote:
      "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
      in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
      numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
      starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
      but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
      now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
      winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
       
      I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation, which
      is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I would add
      "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while using
      less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
       
      Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of the energy consumed
      in the US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is true!
       
      US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
      Source: http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/statistics/energy.htm
       
      I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a nice
      study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from it:
      Source: http://www.infinitepower.org/resoverview.htm
      Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
      12 quads/yr from wind
      13 quads/yr from biomass
      4300 quads/yr from solar
      Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we can use
      (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our land area
      for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
       
      Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the
      electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it with
      gas (granted the gas is underground).
      source: http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/FactSheet-08.pdf 
       
      For information on the global level, check out this recent report by the
      International Solar Energy Society.
      http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp 
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative
      energy and conservation
      Oh Politics!
       
      I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our officials
      and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the best
      government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push?
      (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).
       
      Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off" renewable
      energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is president. That
      would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and general
      fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very well
      organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1
      seat.   
       
      For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any impact
      without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.  Take
      the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every university,
      news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with. 
       
      To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event”
      by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My suggestion
      is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s 1st
      moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned moon
      landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed their
      "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would
      become international news.
       
      Gary Beck , P.E.  
      Eco-Holdings LLC 
       
      PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
      in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
      numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
      starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
      but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
      now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
      winner Richard Smalley - try this link:
      (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see all his
      group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862
       
       -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and
      conservation
      I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides of the
      energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the renewable/sustainability
      side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is
      shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the other
      side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually - the
      goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The
      concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require our
      government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and
      energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a letter
      you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president, members
      of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on our
      nation's energy direction. 
       
      To the Honorable [Name]:
       
      Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a
      sustainable energy economy over the next ten years. 
       
      The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as seen
      by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil
      fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit produced,
      causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for industries
      relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels have
      reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of
      living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high
      cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large
      fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade deficit in
      the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided dependence
      on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.
       
      The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to
      relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A
      majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass,
      wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have a
      greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank you for
      your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.
       
      Sincerely,
       
      [Your Name]
       




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