"Green" Energy

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Boomer.....

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Feb 15, 2007
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#1
While I do agree that we need to ultimately update our energy sources, most people don't realize the negative effects that some "green" energy products have on the environment. Let's discuss.
 

Boomer.....

Territorial Marshal
Feb 15, 2007
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#2
California went big on rooftop solar. It created an environmental danger in the process

California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.

Beginning in 2006, the state, focused on how to incentivize people to take up solar power, showered subsidies on homeowners who installed photovoltaic panels but had no comprehensive plan to dispose of them. Now, panels purchased under those programs are nearing the end of their 25-year lifecycle.

Many are already winding up in landfills, where components that contain toxic heavy metals such as selenium and cadmium can contaminate groundwater.

“People just don’t realize that there are toxic materials in those electronics, that it’s fine if it’s just sitting in a box in your house,” said Natalie Click, a doctoral candidate in materials science at the University of Arizona who studies the issue. “But once it gets crushed and put into the landfill, a lot of those toxic chemicals and materials are going to leak into your groundwater.”

Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert, says that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled, according to estimates drawn from International Renewable Energy Agency data on decommissioned panels and from industry leaders.

The looming challenge over how to handle truckloads of contaminated waste illustrates how cutting-edge environmental policy can create unforeseen hazards down the road.

“The industry is supposed to be green,” Vanderhoof said. “But in reality, it’s all about the money.”
 

Boomer.....

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#3
Just imagine what's going to happen once EV batteries begin to go bad. Most of the case the replacement batteries will cost more than the vehicles are currently worth.
 

Boomer.....

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#5
And here is one of my favorites that you've probably never heard about:

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills




A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.

The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.

“That’s the end of it for this winter,” said waste technician Michael Bratvold, watching a bulldozer bury them forever in sand. “We’ll get the rest when the weather breaks this spring.”


Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.

Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed. That’s created an urgent search for alternatives in places that lack wide-open prairies. In the U.S., they go to the handful of landfills that accept them, in Lake Mills, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Casper, where they will be interred in stacks that reach 30 feet under.

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,” said Bob Cappadona, chief operating officer for the North American unit of Paris-based Veolia Environnement SA, which is searching for better ways to deal with the massive waste. “Most landfills are considered a dry tomb.”

“The last thing we want to do is create even more environmental challenges.”
 
Jul 5, 2020
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Broken Arrow
#6
While I do agree that we need to ultimately update our energy sources, most people don't realize the negative effects that some "green" energy products have on the environment. Let's discuss.
My beef with the green energy progessives isn't with the issue in and of itself, rather, their insistence we immediately spend money we don't have to try and implement something like this in the short term; as if the only option is to stop fossil fuel consumption and just switch over 100% to green energy at some point in the very near future. It's not a light switch process, the continued development and use of fossil fuels and development of green energy options are not mutually exclusive activities.
 
Mar 30, 2005
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7 Island Suite
#7
Disposal of panels and batteries should be the same as the regulations around disposal of used oil and chemicals. It’s the same concept. It’s good that someone is looking at this; hopefully there can be a productive discourse.
 
Nov 6, 2010
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#8
My beef with the green energy progessives isn't with the issue in and of itself, rather, their insistence we immediately spend money we don't have to try and implement something like this in the short term; as if the only option is to stop fossil fuel consumption and just switch over 100% to green energy at some point in the very near future. It's not a light switch process, the continued development and use of fossil fuels and development of green energy options are not mutually exclusive activities.
I'm not sure there is a huge contingent of people out there that want immediate transition, although there is certainly a large portion of people that are extremely naive and ignorant about energy and where it comes from. I can understand the angst as climate change/global warming has been in the forefront for some time, and the progress does look slow, and the more passionate you are about that issue, the slower the progress appears. And then add in politicians that understand how to use fear to their advantage, and like most issues, the extremes get amplified.
 
Nov 6, 2010
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#9
And here is one of my favorites that you've probably never heard about:

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills




A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.

The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.

“That’s the end of it for this winter,” said waste technician Michael Bratvold, watching a bulldozer bury them forever in sand. “We’ll get the rest when the weather breaks this spring.”


Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.

Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed. That’s created an urgent search for alternatives in places that lack wide-open prairies. In the U.S., they go to the handful of landfills that accept them, in Lake Mills, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Casper, where they will be interred in stacks that reach 30 feet under.

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,” said Bob Cappadona, chief operating officer for the North American unit of Paris-based Veolia Environnement SA, which is searching for better ways to deal with the massive waste. “Most landfills are considered a dry tomb.”

“The last thing we want to do is create even more environmental challenges.”
This is pretty interesting, and I had never considered it. If these things are truly that "indestructible", seems they'd last a little longer. I wonder what the alternatives are??
 
Nov 6, 2010
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#10
Just imagine what's going to happen once EV batteries begin to go bad. Most of the case the replacement batteries will cost more than the vehicles are currently worth.
Yea, I'm running that little experiment now, just got a Tesla. I'm curious to see how it all works out between higher electricity bills, longevity, etc. However, I have read that lithium is highly recyclable and several companies are popping up to do that.
 

Birry

Federal Marshal
Feb 6, 2007
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#13
Yea, I'm running that little experiment now, just got a Tesla. I'm curious to see how it all works out between higher electricity bills, longevity, etc. However, I have read that lithium is highly recyclable and several companies are popping up to do that.
I met a guy that worked at a local battery refurbishing company (don't remember the name) a couple of years ago. He said it's fairly lucrative right now. They take entire batteries and remove individual DOA cells, store the good ones, and re-package matching cells as refurbished, and said they often supply these to dealerships to be sold in new vehicles. If EV batteries are just a huge bank of hundreds of matching individual smaller cells, I don't see a problem with this. I think he also mentioned how they process and sell the dead batteries to make the whole thing fairly circular. We will have to do this on a mass scale if EV's become a large % of the vehicles on the road.

Personally, I'm holding out for a battery tech that doesn't rely on such an environmentally un-friendly material like lithium before I dive into the market. I'll enjoy my two paid-off ICE vehicles for another decade in the meantime.
 

cowboyinexile

Have some class
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Jun 29, 2004
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#17
I've seen at least 18 articles on it in the past two weeks.
Do you have links? I haven't heard anything on this.

That seems insane. Normally things would be looking great but Ukraine and Russia are obviously issues. IMO its less global famine and more concerns about grain prices impacting inflation here but something that can limit production here the former becomes a next year concern.
 

andylicious

Territorial Marshal
Nov 16, 2013
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#18
Do you have links? I haven't heard anything on this.

That seems insane. Normally things would be looking great but Ukraine and Russia are obviously issues. IMO its less global famine and more concerns about grain prices impacting inflation here but something that can limit production here the former becomes a next year concern.
I've been reading them on Flipboard, they show up in fluries. The people's republic of Canada is serious about this.

Grain prices aren't going to drive inflation when you have a dollar that's worth $1.09. We had the biggest foreign sale of wheat in 15 years last week and the market dropped. The July 23 futures are $.15 higher than September
 
Sep 6, 2012
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nunya
#19
And here is one of my favorites that you've probably never heard about:

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills




A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.

The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.

“That’s the end of it for this winter,” said waste technician Michael Bratvold, watching a bulldozer bury them forever in sand. “We’ll get the rest when the weather breaks this spring.”


Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.

Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed. That’s created an urgent search for alternatives in places that lack wide-open prairies. In the U.S., they go to the handful of landfills that accept them, in Lake Mills, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Casper, where they will be interred in stacks that reach 30 feet under.

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,” said Bob Cappadona, chief operating officer for the North American unit of Paris-based Veolia Environnement SA, which is searching for better ways to deal with the massive waste. “Most landfills are considered a dry tomb.”

“The last thing we want to do is create even more environmental challenges.”
My oldest daughter is dating a guy that maintains and installs wind turbine. There is so much stuff that hit the landfills and it's just not the blades.

I said this before, and I will say it again. We are just trading one problem for another. I read that electric make up like 5% of the autos on the road.