Renewable Energy Group

Donald asks…

Renewable Energy Essay?

I am doing an essay for my English class about solar power. I wanted to start it off with some frightening facts about what will happen if we keep using nuclear power, coal, oil…
Is there a good website with these facts?

Thanks

Windmill Farms answers:

Http://www.ipcc.ch

Covers the science of global warming, believed to be caused primarily by greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 released from burning fossil fuels. Coal, gas & oil all contribute to global warming.

The problems of nuclear aren’t anywhere near as bad; environmental groups just have an irrational hatred of nuclear power. Nuclear power releases very little CO2 (just the CO2 from building the power station and mining/processing the fuel). In terms of human deaths per unit of power, nuclear is very safe. Far safer than coal or gas, this blog has a graph showing hte results of some research:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html

Including radioactivity dangers etc, nuclear causes about 0.04 deaths per TWh (TWh = a billion kWh or ‘units’ of electricity). Coal causes about 25 deaths for the same electricity, mostly from air pollution.

Fossil fuels kill thousands and thousands of people every year and cause severe health problems.

Nuclear is nowhere near as bad: wind/solar/hydro might be slightly better, but biomass (a renewable power) is worse.

Thomas asks…

environmentalists group?

is there a group or organization i can join for people who are interested in saving the environment. You know, like animal lover have PETA.

Windmill Farms answers:

I recommend Renewable Energy Access.

I am a member of this group

This is a mainstream group, not a crazy left wing group that will make the mainstream Democrats vote Republican.

We do not need any more Presidents like George Bush. Some of the environmental groups are so crazy they scare the daylights out of some of the Democrats.

That is how George Bush got himself elected in the first place.

Nancy asks…

what is Renewable Energy Boot Camps?

what is Renewable Energy Boot Camps?

Windmill Farms answers:

The name implies that these are short structured training seminars for renewable energy.
These may be hosted at a facility that accommodates groups of students in a intensive training courses. The should include hands on and class training. Technical, government, and safety issues should be covered for installations and functioning of Wind, Solar (both Thermal and PV) and micro-hydro.

Chris asks…

Non-renewable energy resources?

Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, oil, and natural gas.

My question is, what are some common challenges with managing nonrenewable energy resources?

Windmill Farms answers:

They all involve extracting, transporting, refining, burning and cleaning up the mess from burning.
They all contribute to poisoning the environment and or causing global warming.

They involve enormous costs that are not apparent to the consumer. They are all subsidized heavily.

Http://www.setamericafree.org/saf_hiddencostofoil010507.pdf is the source of the following.

“Total of all oil-related external or “hidden” costs of $825 billion per year.
This total is nearly twice the figure authorized for the Department of Defense in 2006.
To put the figure in further perspective, it is equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price
of a gallon of gasoline refined from Persian Gulf oil. This would raise that figure to
$10.73, making the cost of filling the gasoline tank of a sedan $214.60, and of an
SUV $321.90.”

“The Energy Policy Act of 2005 added an additional $85 billion in subsidies over 10 years, according to consumer group Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS, 2005), and legislative activity to bring still more continues. Earth Track’s preliminary subsidy estimates (Exhibit 2) for 2006 peg federal support at between $49 and $100 billion per year. This is well above the 2003 estimate. Neither the 2003 or the 2006 estimate includes credit subsidies to energy enterprises, which would boost the totals by a few billion dollars more.”

http://www.earthtrack.net/earthtrack/library/SubsidyReformOptions.pdf

http://www.progress.org/2003/energy22.htm

“The federal government provides the oil industry with numerous tax breaks designed to ensure that domestic companies can compete with international producers and that gasoline remains cheap for American consumers. Federal tax breaks that directly benefit oil companies include: the Percentage Depletion Allowance (a subsidy of $784 million to $1 billion per year), the Nonconventional Fuel Production Credit ($769 to $900 million), immediate expensing of exploration and development costs ($200 to $255 million), the Enhanced Oil Recovery Credit ($26.3 to $100 million), foreign tax credits ($1.11 to $3.4 billion), foreign income deferrals ($183 to $318 million), and accelerated depreciation allowances ($1.0 to $4.5 billion). ”

“Tax subsidies do not end at the federal level. The fact that most state income taxes are based on oil firms’ deflated federal tax bill results in undertaxation of $125 to $323 million per year. Many states also impose fuel taxes that are lower than regular sales taxes, amounting to a subsidy of $4.8 billion per year to gasoline retailers and users. New rules under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 are likely to provide the petroleum industry with additional tax subsidies of $2.07 billion per year. In total, annual tax breaks that support gasoline production and use amount to $9.1 to $17.8 billion.”

“Beyond program subsidies, governments, and thus taxpayers, subsidize a large portion of the protection services required by petroleum producers and users. Foremost among these is the cost of military protection for oil-rich regions of the world. US Defense Department spending allocated to safeguard the world’s petroleum resources total some $55 to $96.3 billion per year. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a federal government entity designed to supplement regular oil supplies in the event of disruptions due to military conflict or natural disaster, costs taxpayers an additional $5.7 billion per year. The Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration provide other protection services totaling $566.3 million per year. Of course, local and state governments also provide protection services for oil industry companies and gasoline users. These externalized police, fire, and emergency response expenditures add up to $27.2 to $38.2 billion annually.”

“Environmental, health, and social costs represent the largest portion of the externalized price Americans pay for their gasoline reliance. These expenses total some $231.7 to $942.9 billion every year. The internal combustion engine contributes heavily to localized air pollution. While the amount of damage that automobile fumes cause is certainly very high, the total dollar value is rather difficult to quantify. Approximately $39 billion per year is the lowest minimum estimate made by researchers in the field of transportation cost analysis, although the actual total is surely much higher and may exceed $600 billion.”

“Considering that researchers have conclusively linked auto pollution to increased health problems and mortality, the CTA report’s estimate of $29.3 to $542.4 billion for the annual uncompensated health costs associated with auto emissions may not adequately reflect the value of lost or diminished human life. Other costs associated with localized air pollution attributable to gasoline-powered automobiles include decreased agricultural yields ($2.1 to $4.2 billion), reduced visibility ($6.1 to $44.5 billion), and damage to buildings and materials ($1.2 to $9.6 billion). Global warming ($3 to $27.5 billion), water pollution ($8.4 to $36.8 billion), noise pollution ($6 to $12 billion), and improper disposal of batteries, tires, engine fluids, and junked cars ($4.4 billion) also add to the environmental consequences wrought by automobiles.”

a few of the things listed in the above paragraph are related to automobiles in general, not just oil, but you get the picture.

Http://www.monitor.net/monitor/10-9-95/oilsubsidy.html

Here are different studies from different years, so you get varying numbers, but no matter how you look at it, it’s way too expensive to continue using fossil fuels for energy. And they wonder why the economy is having problems.

With a clean electric grid based mostly on solar energy there would never be any fuel to mine refine or transport and no pollution. Here’s how we can achieve that.

Http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-plan

Article from Scientific America Jan 2008

Sharon asks…

Why is petrol a non-renewable energy source?

question says it all?

Windmill Farms answers:

Normally, oil found in underground reservoirs is not renewable within human timescales…it takes many years for nature to produce it although some people believe that some forms of oil are abiotic in nature….they are produced by ongoing processes within the earth and possibly utilize bacteria and are not the result of buried organisms.

However, oil can be made by human methods and a renewable resource. We have the technology today to convert the billions of tons of garbage and waste products we produce every year into oil using the same methods that occur in nature…extreme heat and pressure….only much faster than nature provides. All of our current and near future oil needs in the US could be met by using that waste and garbage and renewable crops to produce oil. Any carbon-based product can be utilized in this process…the millions of old tires we dispose of every year, sewer sludge, food wastes, wood pulp, consumer garbage and waste, even renewable, fast growing junk crops. The process is known as Thermal Depolymerization.

Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWf9nYbm3ac

Another method is called “biomass catalytic cracking” used to produce oil rather quickly.

“One group pursuing innovative fuel technologies has recently benefited from an influx of capital and the addition of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a senior adviser.

Housed near Houston, Texas, biofuels company KiOR has been scaling up its proprietary method of converting plant matter–such as wood chips–into a “high-quality, renewable crude oil that is a substitute for conventional crude oil,” according to the website of its Silicon Valley parent firm, Khosla Ventures. This technology has definite potential, but what is really interesting is the way it works.

Called “biomass catalytic cracking,” KiOR uses a unique chemical to catalyze, or greatly speed up, the “cracking” of larger plant compounds into smaller oils that can be refined for practical use. Their goal is to build small processing units that will be used in rural areas to produce energy, yielding only water and ash as waste products. The process can generate “green oil” in seconds, in contrast to the crude oil that supposedly required millions of years to develop”

http://www.icr.org/article/new-technology-makes-oil-fast/

Some info on abiotic oil…….

Http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Abiogenic_petroleum_origin

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59991

http://321energy.com/editorials/engdahl/engdahl092607.html

“ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2009) — Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have managed to prove that fossils from animals and plants are not necessary for crude oil and natural gas to be generated. The findings are revolutionary since this means, on the one hand, that it will be much easier to find these sources of energy and, on the other hand, that they can be found all over the globe.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084259.htm

http://harvardmagazine.com/2005/03/rocks-into-gas.html

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