And alternative energy is a viable approach for the United States why?

Posted: March 10, 2011 by chad98036 in Green Goofs, It's Science!, Liberal FAIL, News

This article in the LA Times outlines the problems that the LA Community College District had in deploying “green energy” on it’s campuses.  Number one is the fact that it isn’t as efficient or as cheap as what is currently produced.  A fact mentioned a number of times:

The problems with Eisenberg’s energy vision were fundamental. For starters, there simply wasn’t room on the campuses for all the generating equipment required to become self-sufficient. Some of the colleges wouldn’t come close to that goal even if solar panels, wind turbines and other devices were wedged into every available space.

Going off the grid did not make economic sense either. Given the cost of alternative energy technology, it would be more expensive for the district to generate all its own electricity than to continue paying utilities for power.

But Eisenberg’s enthusiasm obscured an inconvenient reality: With the technology now available, the cost of renewable power exceeds that of energy derived from burning coal and natural gas.

Green energy advocates often argue that the added cost is justified by the reduction in pollution, particularly carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

One thing was for sure: No matter how it was financed, the bill for all those solar panels and wind turbines would be huge. Eisenberg’s cost estimates for taking the nine campuses off the grid ranged as high as $975 million — this for a college system that in 2010 spent less than $8 million on power bills.

This raises the question, If a relatively small deployment of “green energy technology” such as this is so problematic, why is it such a good idea for the country as a whole?  The LA Times doesn’t ask that question, almost certainly because they would get an answer they don’t like, but they do point out this fact:

"When dealing with issues on the human scale, the laws of Newtonian physics are non-negotiable," [Hoffman wrote.]

Someone needs to embroider that on a wall hanging and send it to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the idiots pushing this green energy fiasco.

  1. SOYLENT GREEN says:

    Spend a billion to save $8 million…yep, there will be nothing left for La Raza to “take back.”
    I need more popcorn.

  2. MikeD says:

    “And alternative energy is a viable approach for the United States why?”


    Man, these green idiots make me laugh. We’ll create “green jobs” by putting government money into them. And by doing so, waste hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Hey libtards! How bout we create brown jobs (or black jobs, or pick a fucking color jobs) and put up nuke plants and natural gas plants and actually create jobs that don’t waste money and produce actual energy.

  3. Veeshir says:

    Geez, it’s like you haven’t been paying attention.

    If your “science” doesn’t tell the hierarchy of the new leftist religion what it wants to hear, it’s not science.

    So for instance, if you show that the Sun is the greatest driver for temps on the Earth, you’re a denier and a tool of Big Heat.

    In this case, you’re a tool of..uhhhh…. who knows? Who really fucking cares anymore? Never try to reason someone out of a position they were not reasoned into.

    I’m just calling everybody Emanuel Goldstein anymore. It’s much easier than trying to remember if it’s Big Oil, the Military Industrial Complex, Sarah Palin or whoever is the villian du jour (Who the hell are the Koch brothers? And why didn’t the short one stay on as mayor of NY?)

  4. davisbr says:

    I trot this out when this subject arise. I copied it in toto from a commenter …here about a year ago (his comment was the most relevant) …and it’s still about the best summation of why the whole subject is futile that I’ve read.

    Here’s a number you need to keep in mind: 3 Terawatts. That’s about how much power we’re using in the country right now.

    If that were used for 100W incandescent bulbs you’d need 30 billion bulbs.

    There’s no way renewable energy is going to come close to that.

    That would require over 2 billion square meters of 100% efficient solar panels: that’s about the same area as all the land in Rhode Island (real solar panels are about 25% efficient so you’d need to pave Delaware’s land as well). And of course solar panels don’t do too well at night, so you’d need to at least double that area, that brings us to the land area of Hawaii, plus you’d need a way to store around 40 TWh’s which simply doesn’t exist. And all that ignores factors such as clouds, dirt, animals, etc.

    So what about wind? The most powerful wind turbine today is ~7 MW, so we’d need around 500,000 of them. They have a rotor diameter of 126m, so they’d have to be at least 65m apart. That means they’d take up 6 billion square meters, about the same as all of Delaware. I can’t imagine it would be good for anything flying. Now this is the peak power, so we’d have to factor in all the time that the wind isn’t blowing hard enough, or when it’s blowing too hard. Again we need a storage system for mind-boggling amounts of energy. Also, has anyone looked at the climatological effects of taking 3TW of convective energy out of the atmosphere?

    Both solar and wind suffer from a fatal flaw: They can’t be controlled. Grid operators can’t dial supply up (we can somewhat do down) to meet demand, and when you’re talking about the electric grid either you balance it or it balances itself…usually in some exciting manner.

    Hydro’s pretty much tapped out in the country, not to mention ecomentalists flip their shit whenever someone mentions building dams. Same thing with geothermal, unless we want to start drilling in Yellowstone.

    Nuclear could do it, but whenever you mention it the ecomentalists set a record in going from zero to stupid.

    That leaves fossil fuels. There’s nothing else. Especially when it comes to moving stuff. We have nothing that comes close to the power density of hydrocarbons when it comes to mobile applications, and hydrocarbons are the only energy source that’s suitable for mobile applications. Everything else (e.g. hydrogen and ethanol) are just ways to make electricity mobile.

    Math may indeed be hard, but you can’t ignore it.

    • HayZeus says:

      That’s so damned on-point that I had to look to see if that guy wasn’t cribbing directly from one of Den Beste’s old posts on power. I re-read the whole post and several follow-ons but I’m still not sure. Good stuff regardless.

      PS: You missed the part about motorboating Scarlett Johannson. 😛

  5. Veeshir says:

    Also, has anyone looked at the climatological effects of taking 3TW of convective energy out of the atmosphere?

    In this house, we follow the laws of thermodynamics.

    I’d never thought of it, I’m kind of embarrassed about that.

  6. davisbr says:

    I just roll my eyes when someone mentions green energy. I remember listening to a retired power company engineer who called-in to a local talk show about 13-14 years ago, who pretty much explained it in the above terms.

    His comments were an eye-opener to me (on a subject I’d previously pretty much went along with as a good idea …in theory, at least).

    After that, I could never credit the concept (even) with any credibility whatsoever. I hear someone start in on the meme, and my brain instantly goes to “Ignore. Irrelevant. Disregard.” mode. I know the person speaking doesn’t have a clue.

    And the math really ain’t all that hard to understand. (And many blessings to the commenter referenced for distilling the core issue so succinctly.)

  7. Iowa Bob says:

    Likewise, when you hear someone babbling about “hydrogen energy” or “hydrogen economy” you can be pretty sure they’re clueless. Ask them where the hydrogen comes from. When they tell you “Duh, from seawater, stupid !!!111!”, ask them how they plan to get the hydrogen out of the water.

  8. socklessjoe says:

    I’d like to hear somebody with some expertise tell me whether Thorium-based nuclear systems are feasible.

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