Anybody got $2.9 trillion lying around?

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chikie The same deviled egg
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144,000 offshore wind turbines could power the entire US east coast

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Placing wind turbines off the East Coast could meet the entire demand for electricity from Florida to Maine, according to engineering experts at Stanford University.

It would require 144,000 offshore turbines standing 270 feet tall — not one of which exists since proposals have stalled due to controversy and costs. But the analysis shows it's doable and where the best locations are, says study co-author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The team is not advocating for an "all wind" approach, saying it'd be foolish to put all of one's energy eggs in a single basket, but they do think it could reach up to 50 percent. Today the U.S. gets about 4 percent of its electricity from wind, but only via turbines on land.

The first large-scale offshore wind farm was proposed in 2001 off Massachusetts' Nantucket Island. But vocal opposition, including from political heavyweights like the Kennedy family, are seeking to block the $2.6 billion Cape Wind project, arguing the 130 massive turbines would mar views and endanger boat and air traffic.

"The question that I would first ask" critics, Jacobson told NBC News, "is would they rather have a coal or natural power gas plant in their neighborhood, which affects their health and that of their children as well as their quality of life and property values, or an innocuous turbine that they could barely see during those times when they were actually looking offshore."

For the analysis published in the journal Wind Energy, Jacobson's team created a computer model with 144,000 wind turbines that produce 5 megawatts of electricity each, similar to the turbines installed off Denmark and Germany. They then plugged in historical wind speed data to come up with estimates.

They also favored places with lower hurricane risk, essentially excluding any area south of Virginia.

The best locations are "way out of sight" from coastlines, Jacobson said, and the worst-case scenarios would be distant views of turbines about the size of one's extended thumb.

[...]

"Connecting the power to the grid would be technically as easy as laying a cable in the sand and hooking it directly into the grid without the need to build often controversial transmission lines on the land," said Mike Dvorak, the principle author of the study.

He also noted that offshore wind has an advantage over land-based wind turbines.
"People mistakenly think that wind energy is not useful because output from most land-based turbines peaks in the late evening/early morning, when electricity demand is low," Dvorak said. "The real value of offshore wind energy is that it often peaks when we need the most electricity — during the middle of the day."



By my math and some of the numbers contained within this article, this project would cost $2.9 trillion and provide 720 GW of installed power production, which could replace up to two-thirds of our current production.

The cost might sound big, but the result would be revolutionary.
obvs not a cultural imperialist
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This is the type of infrastructure investment that the government should spend money on.
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He also noted that offshore wind has an advantage over land-based wind turbines.
"People mistakenly think that wind energy is not useful because output from most land-based turbines peaks in the late evening/early morning, when electricity demand is low," Dvorak said. "The real value of offshore wind energy is that it often peaks when we need the most electricity — during the middle of the day."



I read an article in a Wired magazine a few years ago about some guys trying to set up wind turbines on discontinued oil platforms in the middle of the gulf for exactly this reason.
If you take $2.9 trillion and spread it over ten years, you end up with around $300 billion per year. Which is stick fiddling nothing. It's sure not not Manhattan Project scale; it could be done pretty easily.

Of course the real reason why this could never be done is the same reason why America can't have single payer health care. Big companies making big bucks and no one willing to cause damage to profitable industries.
Mustapha Mond Daring to be stupid
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Get it? Revolutionary? Get it? Get it? Ha!
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Won't somebody think of the poor seagulls?

Seriously, if we don't get this done before every other country with a coast does, we're officially stupid forever. And WTF is up with the Kennedys? fiddlesticks them. Are they all dead yet? Can we stop pretending they were progressive liberals?
blurt mundus vult decipi
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The people with $2.9 Trillion have it invested in mines, wells, railroads, pipelines, and power plants.

The only other outfit with that kind of money is the US gov't. They're not interested in using it to subsidize wind energy. Why? See paragraph 1.
chikie The same deviled egg
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blurt wrote:
The people with $2.9 Trillion have it invested in mines, wells, railroads, pipelines, and power plants.

The only other outfit with that kind of money is the US gov't. They're not interested in using it to subsidize wind energy. Why? See paragraph 1.

Actually, the federal government subsidizes the production of wind turbines.

So please stop posting.
chikie The same deviled egg
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
If you take $2.9 trillion and spread it over ten years, you end up with around $300 billion per year. Which is stick fiddling nothing. It's sure not not Manhattan Project scale; it could be done pretty easily.

Ten years is probably pretty optimistic. You would have to install 14,400 turbines a year to meet that target. You would also be spending $290 billion a year, which is no drop in the bucket.

I think 50 years is a bit more realistic. That would require the installation of 2880 turbines a year for the paltry sum of $58 billion a year.
blurt mundus vult decipi
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chikie wrote:
blurt wrote:
The people with $2.9 Trillion have it invested in mines, wells, railroads, pipelines, and power plants.

The only other outfit with that kind of money is the US gov't. They're not interested in using it to subsidize wind energy. Why? See paragraph 1.

Actually, the federal government subsidizes the production of wind turbines.

So please stop posting.

I'll post where and when I choose.

Politicians are interested in procuring pork for manufacturing jobs. They are not particularly interested in subsidizing wind energy.
chikie wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
If you take $2.9 trillion and spread it over ten years, you end up with around $300 billion per year. Which is stick fiddling nothing. It's sure not not Manhattan Project scale; it could be done pretty easily.

Ten years is probably pretty optimistic. You would have to install 14,400 turbines a year to meet that target. You would also be spending $290 billion a year, which is no drop in the bucket.

I think 50 years is a bit more realistic. That would require the installation of 2880 turbines a year for the paltry sum of $58 billion a year.


Well, think about this ... you could balance the program with a solar effort, say by requiring new homes to include solar panels on the roof, or at least offer generous tax incentives to do so. Maybe create a North American power grid to make better use of Canadian hydropower.
We've already got tax incentives or incentives from the local electricity provider in many parts of the US. Sometimes both apply. Most people around here still balk at the installation cost, which can run several thousand dollars. There's also a few companies that lease your roof space while they own the solar panels. Those installations are often free. Lease payments usually come in the form of reduced power costs every month.
But if the whole thng is wrapped in the branding of a big-ass green initiative, people might finally start to do it. Even if every house just had 100 square feet it would make a diff.

Though my fantasy is enough solar panels to charge an EV ...
I think the biggest obstacle is the installation price. It doesn't matter to those living paycheck to paycheck, that the return on investment makes solar installations attractive.
Okay, but what if you make it for new building construction? Incorporate it into initial building costs?
There is some of that around LA. Some cities mandate solar installations for homes built in their city.
Well, there you go. They're doing things the Shnicky Way™.
Those are usually the cities not growing the fastest or desiring slower growth. ;)
It has of course been a while since the builders came in and created entirely new towns in the local desert. Those builders usually get their way, i.e. solar optional, on their projects.
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Well, there you go. They're doing things the Shnicky Way™.

The wrong way but faster? I keed.
C. Ives Lacks Critical stick fiddling Thinking
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I got it off a hair dryer.


Unless solar panels have improved drastically there is very little value in getting them installed up here in The Great awhile North.
Solar panels have improved slowly and steadily. At least here in SoCal its now somewhat better than break-even to install them. They'll pay themselves back in less than five years. That assumes LA electricity prices. Most solar panels have a seven year minimum lifetime.

Further North, you get the benefit of cooler operation which increases efficiency. However you also get less consistent sunshine. I'm not sure how that affects the payback calculation.
I think the way to view solar power isn't as a total replacement for existing generation methods, but as a supplement. You don't need it to provide 100% of the requirements of a house, but what about 20%? Or even 10%? Spread that out across the land and you realize it's a hell of a big deal. Especially if you can extend it to businesses, factories, you name it. Hell, even street lights.
Here in SoCal given the way laws are written there's absolutely no advantage to installing more solar power than your average monthly usage (one year's average power usage). You will not be paid for the excess power pumped back into the grid.
What? That's absurd.
If you wish to be paid for your excess power you must have a large enough installation to make it worth SoCal Edison's trouble to audit your place. They want to verify the accuracy of the meter periodically. Your vanilla home meter with the little revolving metal disk running backwards ain't accurate enough. ;)
I hear one needs a large building's worth of solar panels, say like a typical Home Depot, to reach the threshold.
Here in Ontario they have smart meters and they pay you for every scrap of power you pump back into the system. I'd have thought Cali would be world leaders on this front, especially when it comes to solar.
SoCal Edison has been rolling out those better meters over the last few years. They've been unevenly implemented. New construction and older homes with broken meters get the new meters. That does not affect our local rules, much as one might hope. We'll see if the law gets relaxed once those better meters are in wider use.

Its certainly most cost effective to install as much capacity as possible if one can afford the installation costs.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Here in Ontario they have smart meters and they pay you for every scrap of power you pump back into the system. I'd have thought Cali would be world leaders on this front, especially when it comes to solar.

I'm sorry, what you thought was California is just Berkeley now.
Metacell wrote:
Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Here in Ontario they have smart meters and they pay you for every scrap of power you pump back into the system. I'd have thought Cali would be world leaders on this front, especially when it comes to solar.

I'm sorry, what you thought was California is just Berkeley now.


:(

Bummer, man.
DukeofNuke FREE RADICAL
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Hell, even here in the backwoods we've got the digital meters that bluetooth the reading to the meter-reader's truck, so he doesn't have to get out and deal with the dogs.
Old Yoda agitator
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DukeofNuke wrote:
Hell, even here in the backwoods we've got the digital meters that bluetooth the reading to the meter-reader's truck, so he doesn't have to get out and deal with the dogs.

In the real backwoods where I live the meters send the reading via the line to the co-op.
OldYoda wrote:
DukeofNuke wrote:
Hell, even here in the backwoods we've got the digital meters that bluetooth the reading to the meter-reader's truck, so he doesn't have to get out and deal with the dogs.

In the real backwoods where I live the meters send the reading via the line to the co-op.

Same here, they got rid of the bluetooth ones.
They do a monitoring test too apparently, they know when you are out of power before you can call it in most of the time.
Yeah, the ones around here also send the information back to the power company on the power lines.
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Anybody got $2.9 trillion lying around?