"Green" Energy

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Birry

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Feb 6, 2007
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#41
Do you guys still have horses?

Because taking a trip by car at first was an insane adventure compared to the same trip by horse. The roads were not ready. There were no gas stations. It was EASY to argue how much better a horse was than a car. And I am sure some people did. It was a much more one-sided debate than the EV vs ICE debate. Fortunately, we didn't listen to the stick-with-horses advocates. Naysayers about advancing tech are nearly never right, especially when they exude such confidence that the current tech is as good as it gets.

What fascinates me is, if you want to stick with a horse, just stick with a horse. Why the overwhelming need for the "horse" people to point out/theorize/flat out falsify every possible flaw in the new "car." Just ride your dang horse if that makes you happy. Trust me, if at some point the government forces you to buy a truck for towing that only goes 100 miles, I'll be right there by your side protesting. But, we all know that simply will never happen.

https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2017/01/get-horse-americas-skepticism-toward-first-automobiles/
The First Road Trip
The tinkerer: Alexander Winton in the office of his bicycle plant in Cleveland, 1893.
That first car worked pretty well, but I saw so many things wrong with it that I started another, using part of my bicycle factory for the work. I foresaw a future in automobiles and tried to interest some people in starting a manufacturing plant. Failing in that, I decided to go on a long trip, hoping attention would be attracted to the machine.

In July 1897, I confided in a friend: “I am going to drive my horseless carriage from Cleveland to New York. I am inviting you to come with me.”

He laughed at me. I sought another friend.

On the morning of July 28, 1897, Bert Hatcher and I left Cleveland. The Horseless Age, one of the few motor publications of that time, wrote about us this way: “Combining business with recreation, Alexander Winton left Cleveland with a companion in a new motor carriage on the morning of July 28, and after a leisurely journey he reached New York City Saturday, August 7. From Mr. Winton’s account, no greater test could have been given the machine as, to use his own words, ‘the roads were simply outrageous.’ Fully two weeks of rainy weather had preceded him on the journey, and in many places the mud and water were hub deep, and in some places the sand was equally as bad. He traveled fully 800 miles, and the best day’s run was 150 miles. The machine consumed on an average of six gallons of gasoline a day, which would be little more than half a cent a mile for the trip. Much interest was shown by the people on the road and especially by those in the mountains.”

Hatcher and I did not return by motor. We had blisters enough. You may wonder why, on this first trip ever attempted by an automobile over a long distance, we were able to complete a day’s journey on an average of six gallons of gasoline. The fuel was more volatile in those days, and we had a low-speed motor. The present high-speed motor uses a great deal more fuel, but it is a more adaptable engine for the needs of modern travel.

In those days there were no gasoline stations, and the only place the fuel could be purchased was in a drug store. If, by chance, the druggist had a gallon of it, we were happy. Seldom were we able to buy in such a large quantity and usually we had to be content with a pint or a quart.
I support better solutions, tech advancements, EVs, etc.... My only point was that the tech isn't competitive for a lot of applications yet and that people are (stupidly) ignoring all data except tailpipe emissions in most of these conversations.

I just wish people could discuss this topic without being so tribal. The best solution should win. And in my opinion, the best solution is a mixture of solutions until battery tech breakthroughs occur, and we see those breakthroughs hit the market at scale.

Also, do you have concerns at all about the amount of lithium available or how it is mined? Or do you reserve such concerns for only oil and NG? What about battery disposal?

What if a fuel was developed that had no harmful emissions? Would ICE be ok then, or would such research be supporting going back to horse-drawn carriages?
 

steross

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#42
I support better solutions, tech advancements, EVs, etc.... My only point was that the tech isn't competitive for a lot of applications yet and that people are (stupidly) ignoring all data except tailpipe emissions in most of these conversations.

I just wish people could discuss this topic without being so tribal. The best solution should win. And in my opinion, the best solution is a mixture of solutions until battery tech breakthroughs occur, and we see those breakthroughs hit the market at scale.

Also, do you have concerns at all about the amount of lithium available or how it is mined? Or do you reserve such concerns for only oil and NG? What about battery disposal?

What if a fuel was developed that had no harmful emissions? Would ICE be ok then, or would such research be supporting going back to horse-drawn carriages?
Please, show me the data that is being ignored. All I hear is "what ifs" all the time or absurdly biased attempts at comparison such as the classic car vs EV one above. What is being put out as "data" is what is stupid. Where is anyone trying to make someone use the tech for a poor application? Why does anyone care what someone else does? People drive cars from coast to coast all the time when airplanes are a far better tech for that trip. So what? If someone wants to take a long trip and stop every 100 miles for a charge, so what?

My concern about lithium supplies is less than but similar to my concerns about oil. We have had more than a century of intense use of oil and we have not created a better alternative. Lithium OTOH is simply the latest battery element. Just like the prior batteries, I think there is a very good chance that lithium gets replaced by something better. Unlike oil, it is recyclable. Tesla already has a battery recycling program and I suspect the other manufacturers will/ will be forced to do the same. Reverse the question, why do you seem more worried about a recyclable battery element than a depleting, polluting resource with no likely way to improve it?

Your last question is pretty pie-in-the-sky. Why would you think I would be so stupid as to not support a fuel with no emissions? That was the goal of hydrogen-powered cars and if that tech was able to advance to real consumer applications I would, of course, support it. I have no idea what you are alluding to with your horse-drawn-carriage comment regarding this miracle tech that has not occurred in over 100 years of improving fuel technology but of course, if somehow someone developed that miracle it would not be going backward. Sorry, even asking such a thing sounds incredibly tribal to me.

I fully agree the best current solution is a mixture of solutions and have never said otherwise. The only reason I comment on these threads are that so many people don't want a mixture of solutions they just want to make up crap about the most American-made cars out there. It is frankly bizarre behavior. If people really want a mixture, why is so much time spent bashing part of the mixture?
 

Birry

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#43
Please, show me the data that is being ignored. All I hear is "what ifs" all the time or absurdly biased attempts at comparison such as the classic car vs EV one above. What is being put out as "data" is what is stupid. Where is anyone trying to make someone use the tech for a poor application? Why does anyone care what someone else does? People drive cars from coast to coast all the time when airplanes are a far better tech for that trip. So what? If someone wants to take a long trip and stop every 100 miles for a charge, so what?

My concern about lithium supplies is less than but similar to my concerns about oil. We have had more than a century of intense use of oil and we have not created a better alternative. Lithium OTOH is simply the latest battery element. Just like the prior batteries, I think there is a very good chance that lithium gets replaced by something better. Unlike oil, it is recyclable. Tesla already has a battery recycling program and I suspect the other manufacturers will/ will be forced to do the same. Reverse the question, why do you seem more worried about a recyclable battery element than a depleting, polluting resource with no likely way to improve it?

Your last question is pretty pie-in-the-sky. Why would you think I would be so stupid as to not support a fuel with no emissions? That was the goal of hydrogen-powered cars and if that tech was able to advance to real consumer applications I would, of course, support it. I have no idea what you are alluding to with your horse-drawn-carriage comment regarding this miracle tech that has not occurred in over 100 years of improving fuel technology but of course, if somehow someone developed that miracle it would not be going backward. Sorry, even asking such a thing sounds incredibly tribal to me.

I fully agree the best current solution is a mixture of solutions and have never said otherwise. The only reason I comment on these threads are that so many people don't want a mixture of solutions they just want to make up crap about the most American-made cars out there. It is frankly bizarre behavior. If people really want a mixture, why is so much time spent bashing part of the mixture?
Such fuels are in development. Biodiesel is already in use. There will hopefully be continued investments into such fuels, and they certainly aren't pie in the sky.

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/...-sustainable-fuel.1ENHVTjKDbXNOIidEJ8okc.html

The reason I'm adamant about pushing back against some of the initiatives is because some of the initiatives are stupid, like banning all ICE vehicles by 2025, etc...that we're seeing in some governments. I agree that we should seek and use all alternatives. I disagree that we have to ban ICE and move away from it when there is no proven alternative for a lot of applications and/or the alternatives create huge amounts of hazardous waste.

The tech is being forced to market by regulation when it isn't ready. That is not the same as the tech organically working it's way into existence by free market forces once they have proven effective or superior.

I fully support people driving whatever they want. I just fail to see how a lithium-ion battery charged by fossil fuels is "better" for the environment than an existing vehicle powered directly by fossil fuels.

Personally, I'm hoping we invest more in nuclear power and work towards a sustainable solid-state battery tech with energy density that competes with existing ICE vehicles. That is what I hope to see in my lifetime.
 
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Nov 6, 2010
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#44
Such fuels are in development. Biodiesel is already in use. There will hopefully be continued investments into such fuels, and they certainly aren't pie in the sky.

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/...-sustainable-fuel.1ENHVTjKDbXNOIidEJ8okc.html

The reason I'm adamant about pushing back against some of the initiatives is because some of the initiatives are stupid, like banning all ICE vehicles by 2025, etc...that we're seeing in some governments. I agree that we should seek and use all alternatives. I disagree that we have to ban ICE and move away from it when there is no proven alternative for a lot of applications and/or the alternatives create huge amounts of hazardous waste.

The tech is being forced to market by regulation when it isn't ready. That is not the same as the tech organically working it's way into existence by free market forces once they have proven effective or superior.

I fully support people driving whatever they want. I just fail to see how a lithium-ion battery charged by fossil fuels is "better" for the environment than an existing vehicle powered directly by fossil fuels.

Personally, I'm hoping we invest more in nuclear power and work towards a sustainable solid-state battery tech with energy density that competes with existing ICE vehicles. That is what I hope to see in my lifetime.

Certainly not a magic bullet by any means, but at the very least, electricity delivery is much more efficient and environmentally friendly than gasoline. Gasoline has to be refined, which is pretty bad environmentally I believe, then trucked to various locations, pumped into holding tanks, and then vehicles have to drive to those locations in order to fill up their tanks. Electricity is already "piped" to about every house already, so none of that additional distribution is needed. Not a huge deal, but I would think if all were taken into consideration, the lithium would be the better option, particular when you combine the recycling aspect of it.
 

andylicious

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Nov 16, 2013
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#45
Worrying about what someone drives or doesn't drive is a good discussion. The discussion that is disconcerting is that the Green Energy folks are now coming after fertilizers and herbicides.
 
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#46
Worrying about what someone drives or doesn't drive is a good discussion. The discussion that is disconcerting is that the Green Energy folks are now coming after fertilizers and herbicides.
I'm confused by the "now" part. Those have been targeted by environmentalists for decades. Even the dead zone in the Gulf has been a thing for several years. Do you mean there are more environmentalists in congress now?
 

Birry

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#47
Certainly not a magic bullet by any means, but at the very least, electricity delivery is much more efficient and environmentally friendly than gasoline. Gasoline has to be refined, which is pretty bad environmentally I believe, then trucked to various locations, pumped into holding tanks, and then vehicles have to drive to those locations in order to fill up their tanks. Electricity is already "piped" to about every house already, so none of that additional distribution is needed. Not a huge deal, but I would think if all were taken into consideration, the lithium would be the better option, particular when you combine the recycling aspect of it.
How do you think lithium is mined, processed, and transported from a mine in China to a battery in a Tesla? There's a carbon footprint there as well.

How do you think the electricity is being generated in most places right now (hint: it isn't "green").

The best argument in support of EVs is the efficiency of the drivetrain compared to the losses inside of a typical drivetrain. There is a lot of inefficiency in just getting the energy from the engine to the tires EVs make way better use of the energy in the end. That part is pretty straightforward, and probably why electric drivetrains will be the preferred system over time, especially once battery tech advances in a few key areas.

The biggest jump that could happen is finding a way to store energy from wind and hydro reliably and without the use of rare minerals. If we could figure that out, combine it with more nuclear, then we'd be off to the races.
 
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andylicious

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#48
I'm confused by the "now" part. Those have been targeted by environmentalists for decades. Even the dead zone in the Gulf has been a thing for several years. Do you mean there are more environmentalists in congress now?
True, but they are getting serious about it now.
 

steross

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#49
Such fuels are in development. Biodiesel is already in use. There will hopefully be continued investments into such fuels, and they certainly aren't pie in the sky.

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/...-sustainable-fuel.1ENHVTjKDbXNOIidEJ8okc.html

The reason I'm adamant about pushing back against some of the initiatives is because some of the initiatives are stupid, like banning all ICE vehicles by 2025, etc...that we're seeing in some governments. I agree that we should seek and use all alternatives. I disagree that we have to ban ICE and move away from it when there is no proven alternative for a lot of applications and/or the alternatives create huge amounts of hazardous waste.

The tech is being forced to market by regulation when it isn't ready. That is not the same as the tech organically working it's way into existence by free market forces once they have proven effective or superior.

I fully support people driving whatever they want. I just fail to see how a lithium-ion battery charged by fossil fuels is "better" for the environment than an existing vehicle powered directly by fossil fuels.

Personally, I'm hoping we invest more in nuclear power and work towards a sustainable solid-state battery tech with energy density that competes with existing ICE vehicles. That is what I hope to see in my lifetime.
Biodiesel?

That would be a whole new controversial thread. Low efficiency, concerns for deforestation and use of food production for energy. If you have concerns about EVs and not about biodiesel, you simply aren’t looking. Sure, if they could overcome those obstacles and market it, great. But it has been around for years and it simply hasn’t happened.

I fail to see how anyone can’t look even the slightest bit forward and realize that just because EVs in their infancy are partially fueled by electricity that comes from point source fossil fuels (which is still environmentally much better than multi source like millions of ICE engines) it isn’t going to stay that way as the tech advances.

It is like you want EVs to start with the future. As if any technology is started with the final advancements already in place. It is like getting 1995 dial up internet and saying “How stupid, I can watch complete movies on TV. This tech sucks! Don’t put it out until gigabit speed broadband!”

The only reasonable arguments you are making are:
1. People should drive what they want (Then I wish people like yourself would stop whining about it. There are TONs of mispurposed ICE vehicle use every day but I don’t blast the internet about it)
2. There should be no law forcing EVs by 2025.
 

andylicious

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#50
Biodiesel?

That would be a whole new controversial thread. Low efficiency, concerns for deforestation and use of food production for energy. If you have concerns about EVs and not about biodiesel, you simply aren’t looking. Sure, if they could overcome those obstacles and market it, great. But it has been around for years and it simply hasn’t happened.

I fail to see how anyone can’t look even the slightest bit forward and realize that just because EVs in their infancy are partially fueled by electricity that comes from point source fossil fuels (which is still environmentally much better than multi source like millions of ICE engines) it isn’t going to stay that way as the tech advances.

It is like you want EVs to start with the future. As if any technology is started with the final advancements already in place. It is like getting 1995 dial up internet and saying “How stupid, I can watch complete movies on TV. This tech sucks! Don’t put it out until gigabit speed broadband!”

The only reasonable arguments you are making are:
1. People should drive what they want (Then I wish people like yourself would stop whining about it. There are TONs of mispurposed ICE vehicle use every day but I don’t blast the internet about it)
2. There should be no law forcing EVs by 2025.
There is a ton of money flowing in to biodiesel. ExxonMobil just dropped $132,000,000 for an option to buy a huge California crush plant. There's a desert plant that actually does well in arid environments that has the same oil crush potential as canola.

The thought process is you get meal left over after the crush that is great cattle feed. Will it all work? Who knows, but if their idea is it could potentially replace oil in the petrochemicals. My chemistry degree tells me it's all fantasy but ExxonMobil does have knowledgeable chemists. I've been following it.
 

Birry

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#51
Biodiesel?

That would be a whole new controversial thread. Low efficiency, concerns for deforestation and use of food production for energy. If you have concerns about EVs and not about biodiesel, you simply aren’t looking. Sure, if they could overcome those obstacles and market it, great. But it has been around for years and it simply hasn’t happened.

I fail to see how anyone can’t look even the slightest bit forward and realize that just because EVs in their infancy are partially fueled by electricity that comes from point source fossil fuels (which is still environmentally much better than multi source like millions of ICE engines) it isn’t going to stay that way as the tech advances.

It is like you want EVs to start with the future. As if any technology is started with the final advancements already in place. It is like getting 1995 dial up internet and saying “How stupid, I can watch complete movies on TV. This tech sucks! Don’t put it out until gigabit speed broadband!”

The only reasonable arguments you are making are:
1. People should drive what they want (Then I wish people like yourself would stop whining about it. There are TONs of mispurposed ICE vehicle use every day but I don’t blast the internet about it)
2. There should be no law forcing EVs by 2025.
How is it "whining" to recognize the limits of current EVs and their very real carbon footprints? I'm not knocking people that drive EVs. I hope to drive one someday. What I'm knocking are the people who claim that they are superior and/or support legislation to force them to market when they aren't yet superior for myriad reasons, then acting like they are superior for such support.

Fuel can be developed just like batteries can be. Why do you consider yourself "looking forward" while writing off legitimate, practical sources of energy now that we'll need for another 30 years to get us to your lithium-powered Utopia?