Green energy

jonna

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
37
For decades it has been recognised that we are running out of oil,coal and gas..A friend of mine built his house 12 years ago and put solar pannels onto his roof..It cost him at first, but now he has said to me that his initial investment has paid off..
Why is Ireland considering Nuclear, when we are an Island which can harnass tides..And if we were never an Island..Why hasn't the government invested in alternative energy(i.e Solar and possible other) in all the new houses that have been built in the last 10 years?

jonna
 


civic_critic

Active member
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
119
Because that would be too much like extracting one's snout from the trough for a moment and engaging in reflection and consideration and even some medium term planning. Naturally that didn't happen because, as Fianna Fail are fond of telling us, we must be 'realistic'.
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
The current debate about nuclear is worrying; this article firmly puts nuclear in perspective. It may be a long article to read on screen; I downloaded the pdf and printed out a few copies to hand round. It should be compulsory reading for all politicians, particularly British ones.

If Britain builds more reactors, we'll be in the hypocritical situation of being able to - and having to - buy more electricity from them, particularly in the light of recent shutdowns of power stations here.
 

LiberalGreen

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
7
I think it should be pointed out that Feasta are a rather partisan organisation and some of the facts they have included about nuclear power are debateable.

Regards their comments that nuclear is not carbon free, this is correct, however i have my doubts about their carbon calculations. According to the UK Sustainable Development Commission, nuclear emits 4.5 tonnes of carbon for every GW of electricity, whilst gas emits 97 tonnes. The Commission did come out as against expanding nuclear but not on the grounds of carbon more on the grounds of proliferation. They also seem to be supportive of extending the lifespan of the existing stations.

I really think it is important that we stick to the facts regards energy.

Regards green energy, it must be remembered it has taken the rather sudden price hikes to make them economical. (Ironic that Bushes war will lead to greener energy)
 

qtman

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
280
jonna said:
For decades it has been recognised that we are running out of oil,coal and gas..A friend of mine built his house 12 years ago and put solar pannels onto his roof..It cost him at first, but now he has said to me that his initial investment has paid off..
Why is Ireland considering Nuclear, when we are an Island which can harnass tides..And if we were never an Island..Why hasn't the government invested in alternative energy(i.e Solar and possible other) in all the new houses that have been built in the last 10 years?

jonna
In a world where there are people who think it is necessary to buy plug-in air fresheners, it will be a very long time before a populist government takes energy seriously.

Actually, here's an question: whats the ridiculous use of energy you know of?

My vote goes to plug-in air fresheners.
 

zakalwe

Active member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
171
Plug in air fresheners are particularly idiotic.

i think that outdoor heaters are a waste. not the ones keeping the poor smokers warm outside pubs in the depths of winter though but the ones used by my neighbours in the middle of summer while having a bbq.

i also think that the current infatuation with 3-4litre SUVs (or jeeps as we used to call them before MTV Cribs) is a spectacular waste of:
money
petrol
steel
common sense (they're being sold to families on the premise that they are safer than cars yet are inherently unstable at high speeds on a road)
 

qtman

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
280
zakalwe said:
Plug in air fresheners are particularly idiotic.

i think that outdoor heaters are a waste. not the ones keeping the poor smokers warm outside pubs in the depths of winter though but the ones used by my neighbours in the middle of summer while having a bbq.

i also think that the current infatuation with 3-4litre SUVs (or jeeps as we used to call them before MTV Cribs) is a spectacular waste of:
money
petrol
steel
common sense (they're being sold to families on the premise that they are safer than cars yet are inherently unstable at high speeds on a road)
A few other tools essential for survival in modern suburbia are:

Leaf Blowers ( for when you absolutely, postively have to move a pile of leaves from point A to point B, where point B = point A + 10 yards)

Lawn Irrigators (because sometimes it doesn't rain for up to 3 days on end)

Ride-on Lawnmowers (because to need something as big as an Open Micra to mow the front lawn 6 times a year)

Electric Corkscrews (Yes, electric corkscrews...)

Heated towel rails

etc etc
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
LiberalGreen said:
I think it should be pointed out that Feasta are a rather partisan organisation and some of the facts they have included about nuclear power are debateable.

Regards their comments that nuclear is not carbon free, this is correct, however i have my doubts about their carbon calculations. According to the UK Sustainable Development Commission, nuclear emits 4.5 tonnes of carbon for every GW of electricity, whilst gas emits 97 tonnes. The Commission did come out as against expanding nuclear but not on the grounds of carbon more on the grounds of proliferation. They also seem to be supportive of extending the lifespan of the existing stations.

I really think it is important that we stick to the facts regards energy.

Regards green energy, it must be remembered it has taken the rather sudden price hikes to make them economical. (Ironic that Bushes war will lead to greener energy)
The report more or less concurs with those figures, but that's not the whole point of it. Have you read it thoroughly? It makes several important points about the extraction and disposal of materials as well as the blindsiding that the nuclear issue engenders.
 
G

Guest

I'm all for green energy; frankly the more, the better. But I read in the Indo recently that a great many proposed wind farms are being refused planning permission. This is surely a great impediment to increasing our capacity to produce clean energy. NIMBYs are, as usual, holding things up. But perhaps they have a point: headaches and nausea are said to be experienced by those living close to the turbines. Why then are they not positioned in the shallow waters off the coast?

Another thing that I've been wondering: although I would not like to see a nuclear power plant built on this island, 'green' countries all over western Europe use them. Why?
 

LiberalGreen

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
7
Granted David I only glanced through the feasta document. However they were making assumptions regards decommissiong and waste which the SD Commission say are impossible to make any scientific assumptions abouts.

Second of all from what i remember Feasta say that a nuclear plant produces a third of the amoung of carbon as a gas when you take construction and minining into accountant. Am I right in saying that (Im studying for exams here so I don't have time to read the paper in depth) which is quite different from the SD Commissions figures.

Third of all, lets not foreget, metal for windmills isn't exactly grown on trees, the manufacture of solar pannels is quite energy intensive and quite toxic from what I hear (I need to check that up) and as for biofuels, do not get me started and the farmers new excuse for subsidies which could actually be as bad as oil for the planet. Life cycle analysis is quite complex with many variables. Did feasta take into account the use of low carbon cement, did feasta consider the use of mining machinery run on green power.

Regards offshore windfarms they are an excellent idea but they are far more expensive than onshore
 

Sidewinder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Messages
442
I've often wondered about some kind of combined off-shore platform utilising wind turbines, solar panels and wave power all at once. Is there any reason why not?

Also, and I am no aerodynamic engineer, but it always seems to me that wind turbines are kindof implicitly inefficient. I mean, they're pretty tall structures, there's a lot of wind out there, but they are only catching the amount that hits the blades? Surely there should be a better design that would extract more wind energy?
 

qtman

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
280
asteroid said:
I'm all for green energy; frankly the more, the better. But I read in the Indo recently that a great many proposed wind farms are being refused planning permission. This is surely a great impediment to increasing our capacity to produce clean energy. NIMBYs are, as usual, holding things up. But perhaps they have a point: headaches and nausea are said to be experienced by those living close to the turbines. Why then are they not positioned in the shallow waters off the coast?
A lot of the resistance to wind farming stems from the landslide at Derrybrien in Mayo a few years back. The landslide wasn't caused by the farm per se, rather by the removal of peat to site the farm i.e. the slide would have occured regardless of what was being built. However, the media blamed the whole thing on wind farms, Hence stuff like this:

www.savekilbraney.com

asteroid said:
Another thing that I've been wondering: although I would not like to see a nuclear power plant built on this island, 'green' countries all over western Europe use them. Why?
A question that causes problems for environmentalists e.g Sweden has a plan to completely remove its oil dependency by 2050, but over 50% of power in Sweden is produced by a handful of collosal nuclear reactors. The same applies in Finland, However, I do think a lot of these countries have stopped further expansion of nuclear power, buts that has as much to do with the cost of de-commisioning as anything else.

Bear in mind too that when the Greens went into Government in Germany, they had to change their policy re. nuclear power. The situation in Ireland is somewhat different, in that none of the parties support nuclear power, but I'd expect a few of them to break ranks over the coming years. They're probably waiting for the price of petrol to hit 1.50 before they test the water.
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
zakalwe said:
Plug in air fresheners are particularly idiotic.

i think that outdoor heaters are a waste. not the ones keeping the poor smokers warm outside pubs in the depths of winter though but the ones used by my neighbours in the middle of summer while having a bbq.

i also think that the current infatuation with 3-4litre SUVs (or jeeps as we used to call them before MTV Cribs) is a spectacular waste of:
money
petrol
steel
common sense (they're being sold to families on the premise that they are safer than cars yet are inherently unstable at high speeds on a road)
I've just read that General Motors are offering to cap the price of a gallon of gas to $1.99 for a year if you buy one of their SUVs in Florida or California. I sincerely hope it backfires on them.

qtman said:
Actually, here’s an question: whats the ridiculous use of energy you know of?
Well, every manufacturer would come up with reasons for their product, the main one being, “People buy them, so we supply them.”

A short list of unnecessary contributors to energy/resource depletion:

electric toothbrushes;

any ‘standby’ and associated leds;

400 watt floodlights on houses;

most remote controls;

any building material brought in from abroad (a neighbour had some ‘stone cladding’ from Greece: it was coloured, shaped concrete)

any private vehicle that does under 35 mpg;

one-house sewerage which has to be connected to the grid to function;

motorbikes for kids;

plasma tvs;

‘disposable’ cameras

all one-use beverage cups (plus lids, plus ‘spoons’);

spuds from Israel, apples from America, onions from New Zealand;

incandescant light bulbs;

recordable CDs (when they’re used for tiny files);

heated toilet seats (I mean it!);

bottled water;

lights on motorways;

electric carving knives;

cappuccino frothers;

heated conservatories with uninsulated roofs;

electric lights on gate posts;

junk mail;

Christmas;

practically all external lighting not on pirs;

electric curtains;

under-sink waste disposal units;

jacuzzis and 'power showers';


and, of course,

these tiny pots of skimmed milk people are buying are utterly stupid, you know, the ‘pro-biotic’ drinks or some such. What packaging for a marketing scam! With a normal, varied and healthy diet, these are a complete waste in terms of money, energy, resources, advertising space, time, the planet...
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
PinkoLeftie said:
LEDs? Lighting on motorways?
Seriously David?
Yes; what's the point of having everything on standby? Collectively, the world uses masses of energy for this. It was said that Sizewell B in the UK was unnecessary, if only there were no tvs left on standby.

As for lighting on motorways...err, tell me again, what're those bright things on the front and backs of vehicles for?

I agree with you entirely about cling film. Terrible invention.

Virgin aluminium foil too. Disastrous stuff. Most of it is one-use, too.
 

PinkoLeftie

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
64
david said:
Yes; what's the point of having everything on standby? Collectively, the world uses masses of energy for this. It was said that Sizewell B in the UK was unnecessary, if only there were no tvs left on standby.
Having a TV on standby, and powering the LED which tells you it is on standby, are 2 different things, I think. Its not the LED that is wasting power, but the rest of the TV.. no?
david said:
As for lighting on motorways...err, tell me again, what're those bright things on the front and backs of vehicles for?
The lighting tends to be only at junctions, not the whole length of the motorway. I'd like to see stats on the safety of lit junctions versus unlit junctions before making up my mind on this one.
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
Aah but...even an led uses power, albeit a miniscule amount and I do take your point.

Multiply that led by billions, though...
 

Quartz

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
1
Another contributor to energy/resource depletion are UK road signs - most of which are backlit, instead of reflective signs in Ireland (purely a fluke I imagine though for Dept. of Transport).

The two biggest problems is the design of the grid and planning legislation:

The Irish grid is centralised and inefficient, however it is a legacy issue. Moving forward we need to decentralise the grid and energy production to a local level.

Small wind turbines are coming on to the market at affordable prices, solar power is also becoming cheaper. The problem though is planning legislation.

We can't keep our heads in the sand forever; the options are to pay $100 for a barrel of oil, build a nuclear station or invest in solar/wave/wind power in addition to focusing on energy efficiency.
 

david

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2003
Messages
190
A thoughtful article from Jonathan Porritt.

We’ve burned our way through billions of barrels of oil with no thought for the future and no thought for the environmental consequences. That is now beginning to change.The ‘peak oil’ debate has been well and truly revived, and Renewable Energy World has carried articles from a number of the most eloquent exponents of the theory that global production will peak much earlier than either the oil companies or the majority of ‘independent experts’ would have us believe.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top