Monday, April 14, 2008

Tuesday's readings

Wind v. Coal

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

E85

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

as said by cody drake...
wind vs. coal.
i remember talking in class that one of the deterrents(among some others)was the idea that it would cost too much to put wind turbines out in the ocean. (costs including things such as actually placing the turbine and the transmission of the energy to a grid) the article runs several models and proves that the cost can be annualized and amortized over the 20 years plus and interest rate. after looking through the actual costs verses the benefits, the overall costs for placing wind turbines are marginal in comparison to the net benefits of using coal (5.5 cents/kwH) verses the wind turbines (4 cents/kwH). why is there still so much skepticism when it comes to using this clean energy AND reducing costs at the same time? the answer seems simple due to lack of aggregate knowledge and aggregate apathy but it just seems so logical to use the wind power over coal that it should just happen.

Daniel Trevor said...

It seems obvious that wind should be utilized far more than what's currently being done in America. It could easily replace much of our coal production, ultimately being cheaper and far more efficient. The problem still lies in a lack of knowledge on this issue. People aren't used to seeing giant turbines in the middle of the ocean or spread across an open field. I think most of us are just hesitant to accept this great new technology and as a result you hear people complain about the eyesores, noise pollution, or bird mortality rates. Which are truly non issues compared to the acid deposition, CO2 emissions, and other serious problems caused by burning fossil fuels.

Eric Spence said...

Wind Vs. Coal

Wind power really does seem to the obvious answer to the energy crisis, I cant understand why it took so long for people to figure this out. However, The one main problem is energy storage. Coal generated power is made and sent through the grid for instant use, if there is no wind and no efficient way to store wind energy, there would be massive blackouts.

Kiersten Weissinger said...

The health benefits alone are enough to speak for wind power, not to mention the cost benefits if the calculations hold true. However, it is still only one option in a massive alternative energy portfolio. As mentioned previously, there is always the potential for something to go wrong (i.e. blackouts). The implementation of other energy resources, such as solar, is also necessary.

Adam Flora said...

I think wind is a great alternative and as technology advances these turbines will be able to produce more energy with less wind. The one issue not discussed is land reform. I think use of the ocean is must if we are going to strive for 200,000+ new turbines. I don't believe that wind is "the solution". I think wind with combination of solar, nuclear, geothermal, etc, can and will greatly reduce the use of coal as the major energy source.

Geoff Czaplijski said...

I've been seeing more and more reasons why ethanol is not the solution to the energy crisis. It may reduce greenhouse emissions, but the article points out that E85 increases many harmful pollutants that will definitely adversely affect much of the population

mgraham said...

The different sources of energy sited are all being debated in different ways in one hand we have the cost of using windmills and the problem with visibility and then on the other hand the the impact of the different kinds of fuel emissions and the cost to society. The views are many. The conversion to Wind to displace 10% of coal seams like a small amount of energy generation of the total energy supply. Now the thing to do is to convert it so it can move vehicles and then we won't neet all these different kinds of feuls mentioned.

Katie Rosengren said...

It seems that wind is the best alternative and that the associated costs (affecting bird migration, being an "eyesore") are minimal in comparison to the current costs associated with the utilization of fossil fuels. Although the storage of energy is a concern it is likely that this would not be our only energy resource. Just like the approach of wedges with reducing CO2 emissions, alternative energy should be comprised of more than one solution (Nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar energy etc.).

Anonymous said...

I agree that wind power should absolutely be taken advantage of. I also thing that it is also obvious for the people in our class to see that the benefit of increasing our reliance on wind power outweighs the costs. When is everyone else going to realize this so things change?

sue reuschle

Ross Davidson said...

I think, among other things, that wind power will play a major role as a future energy source. This article and everything we have discused says that the benefits far outweight the costs, especially when factoring in the health care costs that current methods lead to. And, as was mentioned in class, for the most part migratory patterns would remain unaffected due to our ability to track and predict them.

Drew Moxon said...

One thing that has been commonly mentioned with wind is that you can't store the power. I beg to differ. Multiple labs are showing (MIT included) that wind energy can be stored in the form of heat. Similar to solar (thought slightly less efficient), you can use the electricity generated by wind to heat a gas "battery." This gas will stay heated and stored, and when more electricity is needed, its heat is used to heat water and spin a turbine. Although this is not as efficient as straight wind power, it enables the excess power generated to be stored to relieve stress on power grids when usage is high.

Jonathan Ziemba said...

If they could just figure out an efficient method to store this wind energy during times of no wind.. i think we could completely rely on it. its the cleanest method but i think its only smart to have several different methods. Solar power and others should help. And the point made about wind being 4 cents a kwH compared to the 5.5 for coal...... come on now it only makes complete sense

Darrel Bright said...

How about creating a community of homes and business that utilize photo voltaic technology. Then subsidize the extra construction cost with wind turbines in the same neighborhood. The negative aesthetics would be countered by the positive benefit of having your home be energy dependent. The construction company would maintain ownership of the turbines and incur future revenues, the home owners would save on their power bill every month.

Steven Olszanowski said...

http://www.enviromission.com.au/project/project.htm

Australia is soon
to get 200 Megawatts of clean solar energy from each 2000+ foot solar updraft tower enviromission builds. Australia legislated that by 2010, 9500 Gigawatts of their power had to be generated by clean renewable sources.

Steven said...

oops didn't mean to post that on this thread... but solar of course is another alternative to wind, coal, e85 and hydrogen.

chris mobley said...

Wind energy is probably without a doubt the cleanest most efficient alternate source of energy, and its cheaper than coal and has no environmental repercussions. The only drawback comes when there is no wind at any particular time, and you have to take into account the cost of establishing these wind farms on or offshore, storms such as hurricanes could wipe them out. The other issue is finding a way to store the energy created. This is a cleaner source and much cheaper than coal without the emission of co2 into the atmosphere.

Lynnise said...

Wind power is much better for our planet than coal. Coal usage is a continued threat to our environment. Like any beginning technology there is a huge inital cost, but as the knowledge becomes more readily available the costs turn to profits. What is America waiting for?

lauren fields said...

i think that intelligent advertising is one of the best ways to ensure that a new idea like wind energy will be accepted and incorporated into the day to day decisions of the group.coal extraction sites and processing plants arent attractive either but theyre given their own space to operate bc we understand they have to be there in order for us to conntinue to enjoy the benefits we receive from them. if aesthetics are a problem, i think granting space to wind trubines is more physically attractive than blowing the top off a mountain for coal.clearly the health benefits are there, it just takes a push to encourage the policymakers to step out on a limb and overhaul the whole system bc its so different from what we have now.it seems like the decision that drifts the least away from what we already have is the decision thats making the most headway (E85), but if you can dress up windpower while pushing the facts (like windpower can also be used to produce HFCV's), perhaps it will be more palatable for the people.

Anonymous said...

There are companies already at work to commercialize a compressed air technology to store energy for when there is no wind available. The turbines would basically be modified to send air to an underground storage so that it can be released to power a generator at any time. The technology has been used successfully, but not in conjunction with wind power, as far as I know. Hopefully it works out.

Carol Anne Watts

Anonymous said...

Meghan Shea
I agree with Cody about the fact that wind seems like a very plausible energy source and should be more readily available. I believe the government doesn't want to pay any more on energy or have to start over with finding a new energy source. If you think about it we haven't had to change our energy sources for over 100 years and none of us today had to bare the cost of production of coal fired plants like those that did 100 years ago. Basically even though we have the technology to produce alternative energy our government seems to not want to bear the intial cost (which will save us more in the end not only cost wise but health and environmetnally as well) that our government did before us but instead just sit back and relax and use our money on "more important" things like tax breaks for Hummers.

Darrel Bright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrel Bright said...

President Bush is saying Cellulosic (saw grass)is where we are headed and Ethanol is not the future. This is the only thing I agreed with from his most recent speech in the rose garden. When asked why Ethanol is being subsidized when it a tributes for 80% of the raise in the price of corn. He simply dismissed the question and said it was not true, that government instability was the main reason for the price increase. Also, about twenty times during his speech he referenced drilling ANWR as the answer to solving high gas prices and our dependence on foreign oil. I wander if he really believes the things that he is saying or does he think people are just that stupid?

Anonymous said...

I think a good idea would be to help developing countries aquire technology under which they can sustain themselves, forms of renewables like solar and wind technology, so they do not have to be tied to a grid. Mongolia is a good example of how small-scale wind power can support villages with few to no externalities associated.

-Eric Spence

Nick Lemire said...

I've seen a couple of videos in another class about coal vs. wind and it seems to make wind out to be fool proof way of generating energy. I thought it was particularly interesting how they dont even need to take up land when place out in the ocean which generates very high amounts of energy. I see the technology not quite up to speed to be producing hydrogen powered vehicles right now, but rather a focus on more fuel efficient cars such as the clean diesls used all over the world. It drives me crazy that the US has not moved over to a diesl based vehicle fleet. Not only can they be far more efficient but can actually be more reliable, longer lasting engines.