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Obama's new energy & environment cabinet members

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by dpeilow, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    I am not arguing that solar and wind are better alternatives. I am just saying we need to use them all to make the most difference. Especially, if we want to increase our use of renewable energy to 25% in a few years - as Obama's plan states.
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Perhaps not a good sign:

    Obama Bets Big on Biofuels | Autopia from Wired.com

    [​IMG]

     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #47 TEG, Feb 6, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
    We need to teach land owners that they are better off with solar farms than with rotating "energy crops". With a field full of solar panels there is very little maintenance, and if you get paid per kWh generated, they should be happy to retire their tractors and fertilizer. I guess once you are used to growing stuff it is hard to go in another direction. We have the same problem with people used to putting liquid in their cars, not hooking up a wire.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  6. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I don't think it is an education thing as much as cost. Solar panels are still way too bloody expensive. Corn certainly gives a better return short term. Probably long term as well.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, well, if we do like Germany and offer government subsidies on generated electricity it will be easy to get a loan to buy the equipment with a guaranteed payoff.

    Germany Launches Its Transition To All Renewables

    [/FONT]
    GERMANY: Solar subsidies are victim of their own success
    (An anti-problem: The demand is too great!)
     
  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  9. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    I believe it was late last year that Germany and other European countries seriously cut back on the awesome government funding for solar panels which resulted in a large decrease of buyers. That decrease caused a lot of panel supply to suddenly become greater than demand. I think a lot of it has to do with this economy though.

    The pictures of the solar farms TEG posted looked really cool though :biggrin:

    -Shark2k
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #52 doug, Mar 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  11. SteveF

    SteveF Member

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    Dr. Chu is an impressive fellow, and gives one hope that our future will be much greener. I also was very encouraged that he believes we may be less than 5 years away from a battery for cars that would last the lifetime of the car, with much better energy density. After all, he's not just some guy in a lab or an entrepreneur looking for funding for a battery startup company - he's our Energy Secretary. I was worried from things I heard on this forum that Dr. Chu might be too focused on biofuels to the exclusion of batteries for car propulsion. After listening to this, I am much less worried about that.

    Thanks for posting this, Doug.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Doug,

    That made my day.
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Obama appoints Jon Wellinghoff as new Energy Commission Chief. There are many changes in the works on who has how much decision power. It all favors Obama's and Jon's belief in a smart grid including V2G.

     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    That is a vision that I think makes a lot of sense.

    President Obama just visited SCE which does V2G research.

    I wonder how much utilities will control V2G as apposed to other entities like Better Place, AC propulsion, etc.?

    WE STILL NEED CHEAPER BATTERIES WITH HIGHER CALENDAR AND CYCLE LIFE!

    It would be great to see a smart grid with lots of solar and V2G storage come to be in my lifetime. It is exciting to see it start to happen, but I am sure that there will be many entities and naysayers try to slow it down or stop it.
     
  15. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    I have no problem with the technical aspects and benefits of V2G. My problem with V2G is the negative effect on the battery w.r.t. its long-term life. Why should I let the utility (/other customers) benefit from the energy stored in my battery unless I am properly compensated for the reduction in battery life ?
    It would be great though to have that energy available during the occasional power outage around here (2.5 hours about a week ago at 2am).
     
  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    The effects on battery life is a legitimate concern. However, most of the benefit of V2G technology could be realized by simply allowing the power company to control when your car is charging for the purpose of load balancing. Ideally the consumer would be able to choose different levels of service. E.g.,

    • I always want my car charged as fast as possible.
    • I only need my car to be charged to x level by y point in time.
    • I'm willing to allow my car battery to supply power back to the grid.
    If some customers are willing to allow the charging of their cars to be paused (particularly if going to be parked for a long time, or the car doesn't need much juice to make it to the next destination), taking that load off the grid can have the same net effect of getting power from the batteries of other cars.

    The pricing structure should be constructed in a way that encourages customers to get the service that gives the utility the most flexibility.

    Computers should be pretty good at determining the rate at which each individual car should be charging based on a given set of rules, including the consumer preferences and the status of the grid.
     
  17. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Yes, those two features should be merged together into smart charging.

    Supplying energy back to grid isn't really necessary nor helpful when there are thousands of cars capable of momentarily pausing their charging.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #60 TEG, Mar 22, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
    April '09 WIRED cover:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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