Obama Stimulus Plan - Double Renewable Energy!

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Rybold, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    10,339
    14
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    No.

    You do both.

    Efficient can be done immediately and will pay back immediately. But we should also be pushing infrastructure and renewables because those will take longer. The very fact that they will take longer means we can't wait.
     
  2. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    4,717
    79
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Efficiency means that we can build fewer power plants, or decommission the worst ones without adding anything new. Obviously, we should do both, it's idiotic not to. I think Skruse is objecting to the focus on new power generation when we should be equally focused on vastly improved efficiency. We need to massively overhaul building codes to improve efficiency for the reasons that Shawn brings up. Obama has talked about saving money by making gov't building more efficient. This is huge as buildings comsume something like 40% of our enery.

    The important thing is to start smoothing out the demand curves. This will allow utilities to be more efficient. To do that, we need smart devices and a smart grid. It's a cool concept that is being piloted in a few areas around the country.
     
  3. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    1,340
    25
    0
    Location:
    san jose, ca
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    rigor's joke of the day

    "oh i thought the economic stimulus plan, was all the obama stickers, trading cards, plates, etc"
     
  4. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    2,760
    320
    3
    Location:
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Interestingly, it does have an effect. The problem though is that most of that stuff is made overseas and sold via internet and telephone, so the quantity of US jobs created is minimal.

    Now, if we can just get companies to sell Obama solar panels for the roof of your house. "Solar you can believe in." Haha. :D
     
  5. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    on a Kansas wind farm to generate electricity the barriers;

    1) very high start up costs especially when there is little guarantee of income after the power plant is built (seems counterintuitive but just because you can create green power, there is no guarantee you can find a buyer

    2) limitations caused by regulation, inefficiency and a "feudal power supply system"

    3) lack of government guarantees that renewable energy credits will extend beyond the current administration. (up till now it hasnt. case in point, i bought a 100% BEV didnt get a single penny in rebates, tax credit, deduction, pat on the back, NOTHING... but i was stupid enough to buy in bush's watch...) this creates an uncertain business model making it impossible to get the money to even start a company. hard to bet your money on a technology that could become impossibly profitable simply because the wrong guy won the election. even long term low interest loans would really be all that is necessary to get private business into the fray, but even that is impossible to come by.

    4)regulations, regulations regulations... ok, this is not a new point. this is in reference to the feudal power supply system in which over 1000 companies with nearly 1000 sets of rules control how power is distributed around the country. this is the reason why someone with a few hundred million cannot go into Kansas, build a windfarm then sell the power to California at premium prices (but still significantly undercut the going rate) and pay back their investment in less than a dozen years. in any long term investment, a 10 year payback is considered pretty attractive business model...

    but that scenario would not happen because for that power company in Kansas to sell power to cali, they would have to pay toll and line charges to probably more than 2 dozen companies, reducing their profit to less than chump change, iow, it simply CANT HAPPEN with our current system and that is a crying shame because regulation, not the cost of a windmill is the reason why wind has not penetrated the market much more much faster
     
  6. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    8,553
    18
    0
    Location:
    manhattan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Why not quadruple renewable energy production?

    Are we excluding hydroelectric in this computation?

    i did not catch any mention re: nuclear power,,, is this in the plan?

    btw... can we stop calling this an economic stimulus plan,,, and just call it what it is ,,, a democratic political action plan?
     
  7. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    4,089
    459
    0
    Location:
    Bahstahn
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The other thing that must go hand in hand with making the grid
    smarter is making it more *secure*. SCADA is a complete mess
    right now, and far too many counter-interests know that.
    .
    _H*
     
  8. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,224
    139
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    That would be a good start.

    Probably, as there is only so much you can do without really messing up existing eco systems. Hydro projects are also longer lead so they don't lend themselves well to more rapid stimulus.

    Considering the lead time for nuke projects (decades?), it wouldn't make much sense to put them in a stimulus plan. Besides, the waste issue has never been resolved. When the country has demonstrated it is willing to commit to dealing with the waste, then nuke has a future. As it is, other power sources look more economically feasible and can be in place sooner.

    No. It is still economic stimulus because it results in intelligent expenditures that improve our economic competitiveness for years to come. It is essentially reinvestment in our infrastructure, something conservatives seem to hate, but they do love to exploit that infrastructure. The only mistake is that the size of the reinvestment is too small. Considering the trillions wasted over the past 8 years on stupid things (the GOP "political action plan" to borrow your phrase), this is a very small step.

    Contrast that with p****** away several trillion as "stimulus" through cutting taxes on the wealthy and shipping our energy expenditures overseas. That's the Bush-Cheney anti-stimulus plan we've lived under. It's been a rousing success too at unstimulating the economy back to conditions not seen since the Hoover era. Remember the genius of "conservation is not the answer."
     
  9. rpatterman

    rpatterman Thinking Progressive

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    756
    226
    0
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Let's look at the last real "democratic" energy plan....need to go back 30 years.

    What if Reagan had not ended Carter's Energy Plan of 1988???

    What if we now had 30 years of EV, RE and conservation experience???

    -We would not be sending $700 billion dollars out of OUR country for fossil fuels.

    -We would not be fighting wars for oil.

    -We would not need to support the Saudis.

    -GM would not have "crushed" the EV, we would have mass transit.

    -China would be importing OUR green technology and China would be outsourcing to OUR engineers.

    -We would not be going bankrupt paying for transportation and heat.


    30 years without an energy policy has put OUR country where it is today.

    Wish we had started in the 1980's, but now is better than never.
     
  10. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    4,319
    1,526
    0
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    The President does not determine the success or failure of Renewable Energy efforts. (This is strickly a comment on the limitations on the office of the President, not Obama.) Success is dependent on the larger population. My education started with the following paper:

    http://www.nrel.gov/csp/troughnet/pdfs/sand91_7014.pdf

    From a technical perspective, the stunning capabilities of concentrating solar (Trough Plants, Power Tower, Sterling Engines) can make an incredible addition. The down side is it takes money, and this requires taxing someone broadly or deeply.....and not repeating the lessons of the above paper.
     
  11. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    4,884
    969
    0
    Location:
    earth
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    While no president can really "determine the success or failure" of any policy. What a president can do is demonstrate leadership on an issue. Something that has been sorely lacking in recent years on many fronts.

    Let's hope the current leader is!

    Icarus
     
  12. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    quadrupling renewable output might not be such a bad idea. NOAA (oops...typo) now predicts that if we dont dramatically slow down our output of greenhouse gases, it could take over 1000 years to reverse the effects of man-made climate change.
     
  13. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    8,553
    18
    0
    Location:
    manhattan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Q? how many americans are currently employed in green energy production facilities?

    Q? what is the cost per kw/hr or however its measured for green energy - solar and wind?

    Q? will we need other sources of energy production during those down times when mother earth is not providing green energy for the 300 million of us. and what should those sources be.

    Q? in terms of a somewhat limited amount of money (obviously with obama and team democrat in control that phrase is of little meaning,,, i refer to it as the amount of debt and the cost of carrying that debt and its economic impact) what are the best allocations for those funds in terms of our energy needs? is modernizing the grid more important? is getting nuclear power plants and building up that industry which could lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs more important?
     
  14. rpatterman

    rpatterman Thinking Progressive

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    756
    226
    0
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    dberman,

    Have you paid any attention to the national debt in the last 8 years?
     
  15. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,224
    139
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Does it matter??? If we were to begin moving toward 4X the renewable production that means that we would have to develop U.S. manufacturing, construction, and servicing for the equipment. Chances are the largest proportion of that will be in the U.S.

    Think this stuff through instead of swallowing the right wing drivel.

    I've seen various numbers quoted, such as 4-6 cents/kWh. Depends on location which is why areas like Kansas and West Texas should do really well. Economies of scale should make it cheaper and distributed production is also a good thing (lower transmission requirements at times that also happen to fall near peak loads.) Considering all the nice shiney new nat. gas facilities in Texas predictably bumped my rates up to 14 cents/kWh a few years ago, I won't sweat the return on the capital investment of renewables. (Whereas the local nat. gas cogen venture was a financial failure.)

    Interesting thing is solar and wind appear to be cheaper than nuke in many cases...probably more so if one figured in long term storage/disposal.

    And of course the big problem with fossil fuels is that we never see fully allocated cost (carbon sequestration or carbon dioxide impact.) Do that and it is a no brainer. But we are already around the breakeven/profit points for the capital from what I can tell.

    Doesn't really matter as we must begin making the transition. Fossil fuel costs will continue to escalate, making renewable projects even more attractive over the long term. Competitive economies will be there first...non-competitive ones like the U.S. under Dubya/Cheney vision will lag.

    Sure we will need some. Lucky thing that a fair portion of the peaks in wind/solar coincide with the AC peak... Of course if one does more with respect to efficiency (rather than the GOP Bush/Cheney "efficiency is not the answer" mantra) then this becomes easier as well.

    I call BULLSHIT!!! I count over 10 trillion dollars in market losses and Federal deficits under GOP rule, and they've handed annual trillion dollar deficits to the Dems. You have absolutely no basis for your claim. It's your mess, not theirs. Bush/Cheney/GOP/bankers in flushing TRILLIONS away on a bogus supply siding and energy policy and you fuss about a few billion that will actually pay back. How stupid is that??? It's funny that you whine about things that will almost certainly pay back with dividends, but are happy to blow trillions that will never pay back. :frusty: Purposely drive us through the ditch and into the tree, then you have the audacity to whine about how much it will cost to fix your mess.

    So your argument is saying nuke is far more expensive? I would tend to agree that it would be far more expensive.

    But it is funny that you seem to think that solar panels and wind turbines just sprout magically from the soil and that there is no manufacturing, tech industry, or employment for them. :flypig:

    The GOP solution always seems to be to exchange one bad habit for another. No, thanks. I think we ought to go after the low hanging fruit first before getting caught up in a mess like nukes. Even worst case we wouldn't be half as bad off as where folks like you have put us so far.
     
  16. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    4,884
    969
    0
    Location:
    earth
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Shawn,

    Stop trying to confuse us with well thought out facts! We only listen to emotional diatribe with little basis in fact!

    What's a trillion dollars, (or ten) in debt between a few well placed friends?

    Icarus
     
  17. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    4,717
    79
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    What Shawn said.

    In many cases (until recently) wind is already cheaper than NG. It's probably not cheaper now.... but global recession is a poor choice of energy policy.
     
  18. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    dbermanmd;

    ok, so you have a few drawbacks to green energy produced in house...

    of course there is only a few for not doing it... a half TRILLION bill annually to pay to people that quite simply want to blow us off the face of the Earth...i sleep very well at night contemplating that.

    and we have filters, chlorine, masks, etc. so clean (or acceptable in this case) water and air can still be had.

    my house is insulated, i have coats, sweaters, etc... so climate change will probably be manageable. but like i said, most of those problems we already deal with, so we kinda used to them problems and we are doing ok right??

    umm, right??

    hello??

    you there??

    whats the matter??

    things not going well?

    hmmm. what should we about that??

    change something maybe??

    do you agree that maybe the direction we have been going over the past several years may not be the way we want to go?

    or are you ok with how everything is going?? (if so, you musta followed the "gold" lady's advice) but then again, if you are a doctor of sorts, then you probably have the money to ride it out... hope for your sake, your kids are as lucky

    well after all the info posted here, if this is all you have to say. this is all i have to say
     
  19. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    4,319
    1,526
    0
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    The referenced paper drives home the point that renewable success takes MULTIPLE presidents to eventually succeed. Obviously a President who makes this a low priority is worse than one that puts teeth into the effort, but California was managing to make big strides in the face of lackluster effort from Washington DC over the previous few years.

    At the end of the day, I think it is a better payoff to educate those around me vs. supporting a politician. My desire for an electric car is not based on any politics or politician, but from drivers who actually are reaping the benefits right now.
     
  20. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    4,717
    79
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Yeah, this is going to be an ongoing process. Having leadership that backs it up with some real policy is quite important though. The best thing that the president can do is to unify the country on this issue. By that, I mean that the fed and the states can work together. Over the past 8 years the states have had to act in a rather ad hoc fashion, without any overarching policy framework. They've done a lot of good things, but have a fed that sees eye to eye with them is going to create some synenergy that will be heplful moving forward.
     
Loading...