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So this is "Green Energy"?

Jerry
(@jerry)
Peach Extraordianire

People talk about how we need more "renewable sources" for electricity.  Do they know what has to be given up to put in those sources?

I recently went by the old farm in Twiggs County Ga and was kinda sad at what the area I had gone hunting, fishing, and gathering wild fruits had become.

If you have Google Earth, go to 32.36.34.71 N by 83.29.03.39 W  That's a birds eye view of the house I lived in.  If you go up Hgwy 129 you'll see Charlane Dr which is the road to Chuck Lavelle's house.  Look at the area across 129 and you will see a huge area of solar panels.

Go to the lower left corner, click on the icon and go back in time.  1999 would be a good one.  See the trees, clear cut areas, streams, and wetland areas.

Go back to present day and guess what you no longer see.  No wetlands, clogged streams, NO TREES.

I thought the global warming group wanted us to PLANT trees, not obliterate whole forests.  We need to keep feeding the planet, but I've seen thousands of acres of farmland covered in solar panels with erosion setting in on the hillsides.

Do we want to run out of oxygen and food to satisfy the "Green Energy" crowd?  Seems like we are going backwards on several counts.

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Topic starter Posted : November 17, 2021 2:05 pm
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach

Green Energy is a broad term and I think you're citing a small anecdotal sample size. Solar and Wind rarely lead to the destruction of wild habitat, especially compared to industrial mining holes in the earth. Properties do change over time, sometimes very quickly nature returns. I believe you're jumping to conclusions regarding causality of the change, there could be many factors depending on property owners, be it private or the municipality.

The biggest problem with solar panels is actually the chemicals used to manufacture them, and how to safely dispose of, or, hopefully, recycle them.

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : November 17, 2021 2:23 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

I tried doing the coordinates, not sure if it pulled it up right.  I don't see a 129.  It put me some area north of a town called Empire.

So they had to cut trees to put up those panels?  I thought planting trees and having trees is good for CO2 gases, seems a little counterproductive.

Wondering, what is the line of thinking these days on offshore wind farms?  Are they still too ugly for people to look at or has the need for green energy surpassed the selfish objections of those who didn't want them ruining their view out into the ocean?  Seem to remember that being a thing.

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Posted : November 18, 2021 10:42 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

I found one, outside of Cochran off of 129, but I don't think that is the same one you were trying to point out?  Looks like it is kind of down and across from a school.

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Posted : November 18, 2021 11:33 pm
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach
Posted by: @nebish

I thought planting trees and having trees is good for CO2 gases, seems a little counterproductive.

I can't see the area referenced, but this doesn't mean trees weren't planted elsewhere. Tree canopy rebounded for a few decades in the US, but has been on the decline due to suburban development, which is a much greater threat to natural areas than clean energy. Some states are doing a better job than others: https://www.fs.usda.gov/inside-fs/delivering-mission/deliver/tree-cover-declining-us

States with the greatest annual net loss in tree cover by acre were Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Here in FL, development and invasive agriculture clear out acres of natural areas every year. In south FL, nearly all the land to the east of the Turnpike is developed right up to the Everglades. It causes irrigation issues every year, which taxes Lake Okeechobee (the damage extends into the ocean via canals) because the land is meant to absorb and hold water.

Solar vs Trees is a legit debate for large- and small-scale solar projects, since both trees and clean energy remove CO2 (but obviously not only do trees have much more uses like wildlife habitat, recreation, and shade from the sun, etc, they are necessary to the survival of the planet). The hope is that clean energy technology becomes more efficient so we don't need as many acres for the amount power yielded. Many urban areas are installing them, on rooftops or even "solar trees" that generate power and create urban shade in what are otherwise hot spots.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180907091523.htm

But coal mining and coal plants are harmful to trees and the environment as well. As this article states, tree people and solar people are on the same side - protecting the environment:

https://earthtechling.com/2012/08/not-made-in-the-shade-can-solar-trees-get-along/

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : November 19, 2021 10:04 am
Chain
(@chain)
Peach Extraordianire

As with many topics, “Green Energy” requires a nuanced discussion.

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Posted : November 19, 2021 11:00 am
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach
Posted by: @chain

As with many topics, “Green Energy” requires a nuanced discussion.

Agreed, and I've seen a recent trend that if something isn't a 100% effective solution it is somehow faulty. We are constantly learning more, it's a process as unforeseen variables constantly enter the equation. It's not a destination it's a journey.

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : November 19, 2021 11:57 am
Chain
(@chain)
Peach Extraordianire

@porkchopbob 

 

Indeed...Well said Porkchop....

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Posted : November 19, 2021 12:04 pm
Jerry
(@jerry)
Peach Extraordianire

@nebish 

Open Google Earth and search for Bullard, Ga.

You should see the crossroads of Bullard Rd, county 87, US 23 and US Alt 129.

Go south along the highway and you will see Calvary Church Road.  Slightly south of Calvary Ch Rd on the opposite side of the road is the driveway to my old house.

Go north and there is Charlane Dr, the road to Chucks' house.

Then click on the "Go Back" and see what the area looked like up to 2015.  This was a wildlife preserve.  Now, no wildlife, no trees, and erosion headed toward Flat Creek.

Look around my old house and notice that I kept the trees which helped clean the air coming from Macon and Warner Robins AFB.  Same as now, if it didn't need to be taken down, it stayed up.  Less than a third of our land was cleared, contour plowing didn't allow erosion, and we had plenty of wildlife coming through.

 

Offshore wind farms I have no problem with, but then again I live in central Ga.  I've always thought that the propeller type of wind turbine was wasteful and inefficient.  The "squirrel cage" and anemometer types have always been the ones I thought everyone should use.  You don't have all that weight tied up in the propeller.

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Topic starter Posted : November 21, 2021 7:16 pm
robertdee
(@robertdee)
Peach Extraordianire

Carbon capture beyond tree planting is crucial. CO2 comes from so many sources. Aviation is trying to move to SAF ( sustainable aviation fuel) that mixes with kerosene ( regular jet fuel) resulting in an 80 percent reduction in CO2 released by a typical jet engine. 

Also more efficient jet engines are here now and better one's are on the drawing board. Pratt and Whitney has the Geared Turbofan Engine out now. It debuted in 2016. Delta and Spirit already have dozens of these engines in the air and Delta has 150 Airbus A321neo jets ordered with the P&W GTF engine. 

This is very important as I'm 30 years there will be thousands more airlines in the air worldwide. 

Fossil Fuels will never disappear but with carbon capture, more efficient engines and CO2 capture will make using fossil fuels more friendly. 

I predict the US and western Europe will significantly reduce their use of fossil fuels by 2050 but China, Russia and some others will not. Hopefully it will be enough though to keep warming under control. 

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Posted : November 22, 2021 10:03 am
robertdee
(@robertdee)
Peach Extraordianire

@porkchopbob Biden goes from stating Fossil Fuel executives may go to jail for what they have done to wanting OPEC to pump more and even working on a deal where Iran can get it's oil back on the market and Venezuela too though the US doesn't recognize the current leader as legitimate. 

Here is Biden on fossil fuels just a couple of years ago. 

 

I don't get it. Are we getting off fossil fuels or no? 

(Actually I doubt we ever will completely. Carbon capture and Sustainable Aviation Fuel ( half cooking grease and half kerosene) should take care of what is left. 

Right now the US uses 20 million 600 thousand barrels a day. Don't you think cutting that in half is about as far as we can go by 2050? Thanks for any insight. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by robertdee
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Posted : March 11, 2022 9:38 am
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

Saying oil executives should go to jail is an example of how a once moderate Joe Biden has shifted more towards the far left.  I don't mind Joe Biden, but clearly as his party has been pushed more left, he has responded in kind and I would like a more centric Joe Biden.

Asking countries like Iran and Venezula to produce more oil is very problematic.  Those countries are no better than Russia, they are in bed with Russia and are no friends to the US or free loving nations around the world.  I resent that we would ask or we would try to somehow enable more oil from those nations to get on the world market.  Cutting Russian oil out to let Iranian oil in...yeah I get it in the moment right now we are trying to inflict damage on the Russian economy, but where is the foresight about how this might boost another enemy and regional/global adversary.  It is a very bad move.  But different people have different opinions on things and they are the ones in power, so they get to make policy.  I certainly would not support it.

I've always laughed at the irony that we import so many green energy related products from China when China is the biggest gross polluter on the planet.  But I guess that makes some people feel good to use their Chinese made LED lights or solar panels.

I have nothing against green energy, it's just how does it happen, I mean where does it come from.  If we are going to have an over dependence on foreign nations to supply us with it then we will be in no better position than we have historically been about dependence on foreign oil.

Metals and rare earth elements for batteries - how much of that, to the extent we have it here, are the Democrats going to let us mine vs what we will have to import.  Will public land mining leases be granted to mine?  It's going to be a similar dependency on foreign countries.

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Posted : March 11, 2022 10:14 am
Chain
(@chain)
Peach Extraordianire

I hear you Neb regarding the importation of various inputs needed for “green energy.” The good news is we are beginning to see the decoupling, for lack of a better word, of our dependence on imported metals, components, etc. to move even more toward energy independence.

We will mine lithium here. Hopefully in a cleaner fashion then otherwise and we’re already refurbishing the tons of lithium batteries already manufactured and actually making them even better than when originally built...Yes, you read that correctly...A new start up just announced recently its plans to build a massive multi billion dollar refurbishing plant to do so in the state of Georgia...The technology is pretty impressive.

And of course we’re building solar panel manufacturing facilities in numerous states.  Much of the private capital and federal and state incentives require these facilities and companies use America sourced material in their production.

While this is happening slowly, I foresee that this Ukrainian issue, and China’s at present propping up of the Russian economy, will in the long term exacerbate America’s movement toward more self-sufficiency in its manufacturing and installation of greener energy technology.....

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Posted : March 11, 2022 12:13 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

Yes, I would think most would want energy producers or miners here with US regulatory structure rather than turning a blind eye to the less environmentally friendly practices sometimes employed by other countries.

Solar panel industry in the US has grown in recent years.  I like to think the tariffs had an impact and while I wish they were still at 30% I am glad the Biden administration recently renewed the tariffs (the rate reduced from 30 to 15 was part of the Trump tariff (I think?), the Biden renewal will see it reduce modestly over the next 4 years).  Hopefully the reduced rate can still provide enough protection to domestic manufactures.

Asia still dominates.  Without domestic incentives and trade restrictions there is no way they can compete.  And I sure want them to.  Why anyone not under the influence from fossil fuel industry would oppose solar energy on principle instead of burning gas or coal.  I still believe in burning gas and coal when necessary, but solar can take a huge bite out of it.   Jerry's original post about clearing trees to do so seems counter productive, unless the trees were set to be harvested for lumber and the field was to be available for the solar farm anyway.  Most places I see large solar panel installations are in existing wide open spaces.

So it's good.  The more we can do for ourselves and the cleaner we can do it, I am all for that.  I support all domestically sourced forms of energy and the crossroads becomes striving for energy independence and while trying to address climate change.  I care about energy independence more than I do climate change, but I think parties can and should certainly partner for mutual benefit for both sides.

 

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Posted : March 11, 2022 1:54 pm
Chain
(@chain)
Peach Extraordianire

Here's a link to the announcement by the governor of Georgia regarding the company named Battery Resources that plans to build a new facility in Georgia.

https://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2022-01-05/gov-kemp-battery-resourcers-open-north-americas-largest-lithium-ion

What is most intriguing about this company is that they claim their technology allows them to refurbish a battery that holds a stronger charge and allows for significantly more charge cycles in their rebuilt battery.

While the nation and the world will need far more batteries than currently exist as we move toward a greener planet, building better batteries from those rare earth metals that are already in existing batteries the world over is still a significant step forward.  

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Posted : March 12, 2022 8:57 am
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

That is good news on the batteries.  Imagine that...Brian Kemp proclaiming "our leadership position in the electric vehicle manufacturing space"!  Nothing wrong with Republicans participating in the green energy supply chain now is there?

I've spoke to two people over the years who are very misinformed on EV batteries, they think the batteries will somehow become toxic waste and find their way into landfills or something.  Just people who are against EVs and probably don't really know why.  EVs are fine.  Gas and diesel vehicles will still have their place, at least I think they can and should.  And maybe Hydrogen will still be in the mix.  Everything should be on the table really - we need it all.

I do find it can be hard to find places to take consumer batteries for recycling.  Two of the places I used to take them no longer accept them.  Even recycling in general, I have some friends in central Colorado and all their free options to recycle conventional plastics, aluminum, cardboard, glass, etc are gone.  They have to pay now.  Not sure if that is yielding fewer recycled items and more trash?   Wonder if other parts of the country are experiencing anything similar?  In Ohio it's still a free-for-all with people putting way too much trash into their recycle, but it's still all free...just that the secret is people who are putting their recyclable products into plastic bags...those entire bags get thrown in the trash as there is not enough people to sort out stuff people put in bags and then throw into the bins. 

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Posted : March 14, 2022 12:14 pm
Jerry
(@jerry)
Peach Extraordianire

I made a post about methane clathrates in another thread.  Also known as "fire ice", each cubic meter holds about 160 cubic meters of methane gas.  You've heard of cars that run on propane, methane has more energy than propane, so it's possible that less would be needed to run vehicles.  It also burns cleaner than propane.

Years ago a proposal was made to put small windmill turbines up and down the median of interstate highways.  Any road with high traffic areas could be used.  It might not be a constant, steady source, but used to charge battery banks for street lamps would be a good start.

Solar panels on your house?  Let's put panels on the sides of skyscrapers and large flat roofs (You hear me WalMart?).

Small wind turbines on the corners of tall buildings every other floor could produce a good deal of the energy used by the building.

Does it rain a lot where you live?  Place a turbine in the downspouts of your gutters, and large buildings.  There are turbines made to put into small streams that some folks in the back country use to power appliances.

None of these ideas are new.  I read about a lot of these in Mother Earth News in the mid 70s, and learned several other methods of producing power while in the military.

 

Note:  The area I referenced was a wildlife refuge that underwent "clear cutting" every few years.  A section was cleared, new trees were planted, and cleared again 20 years later.  The fast growing sapling pines sucked up carbon from the air.

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Topic starter Posted : March 14, 2022 3:28 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

How about some of the new building codes in certain parts of the country?  Causing some backlash due to higher building costs.  Things like accommodating for and prewiring car charging outlets, accommodating for and prewiring for the addition of solar panels, eliminating the option of a natural gas line in the home.  What if you want a home backup generator which often run off natural gas...if rolling brown outs are going to be a thing and if power companies are going to shut off power during high winds so that downed power lines can't start wild fires - well, more people will want generators.  Without natural gas, they will have to rely on propane or solar generators?   It gets rather complicated when everything tries to fit together.  I guess mandating provisions for things like car charging outlets in the garage and providing for future solar panel use is a good thing.  I really don't like eliminating natural gas lines though - it's just too restrictive to completely rely upon electric service - and I have not have good experiences or other commentary about electric heat pumps in colder climates as an exclusive heater.

And are we really on the cusp of banning all new sales of gasoline powered leaf blowers and lawn equipment? 

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Posted : March 15, 2022 12:12 pm
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach
Posted by: @nebish

And are we really on the cusp of banning all new sales of gasoline powered leaf blowers and lawn equipment? 

All leaf blowers should be outlawed. The dumbest thing ever invented. 😜

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : March 15, 2022 12:27 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach
Posted by: @porkchopbob
Posted by: @nebish

And are we really on the cusp of banning all new sales of gasoline powered leaf blowers and lawn equipment? 

All leaf blowers should be outlawed. The dumbest thing ever invented. 😜

Haha…Noise pollution?

I love leaf blowers!  I have some 2 cycle weed trimmers, leaf blowers, and a chain saw that are all approaching or over 20 years old. My wife likes electric hedge clippers and weed trimmers because she can’t start the gas engines. But she’s replacing those every few years as the batteries lose capacity and run time. The batteries become obsolete as manufacturers continually upgrade their product lines so you’re left to buy whole new units. I’ll take my 2 stroke engine equipment. 

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Posted : March 15, 2022 1:22 pm
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach

@nebish ha well, noise and pointless. They seem to blow more dust than leaves. I think the guys on leaf blower duty get paid by the hour.

When the leaves drop here I just rake them across the lawn quick and mulch them with the electric mower.

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : March 15, 2022 1:28 pm
Bill_Graham
(@bill_graham)
Peach Extraordianire
Posted by: @porkchopbob

@nebish ha well, noise and pointless. They seem to blow more dust than leaves. I think the guys on leaf blower duty get paid by the hour.

When the leaves drop here I just rake them across the lawn quick and mulch them with the electric mower.

That makes sense if you have a small lawn but I about an 3/4 of an acre of lawn surrounded by different types trees which drop their leaves at different times so racking can take multiple afternoons.

I got a backpack gas powered leaf blower a few years ago, as a 20year anniversary gift from the company I work for, and it takes me a couple of hours to blow the leaves into the woods in my back yard. For me it is one of the best lawn care time and back savings devices I own. It is tremendously powerful and blows the leaves across the lawn making cleanup fast and easy

I am considerate and do not start using the blower before 10am. Since all my neighbors also blow their leaves nobody complains.

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Bill_Graham
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Posted : March 15, 2022 4:15 pm
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach

@bill_graham oh I totally get it for big properties, but I still hate them.

In south FL nobody does their own lawn care except maybe me, and the crews all start at sunrise to beat the heat so sometimes I hear them even first thing Sunday AM. I just think it's funny when they blow grass clippings into the street as if it's not going to go in the gutter.

But I also don't like to do yard work or waste water, so I xeri-scaped my front yard. The mango and the neighbor's seagrape in the back yard drop a lot of leaves, but mulching those with the mower is good for the sandy FL soil. But the front is all palm trees and those are easy to maintain.

Anyways, enough about my arch nemesis.

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : March 15, 2022 7:13 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

@Bill_Graham We are on our second walk behind leaf blower since the late 90s. If you have a lot of leaves and a fair amount of yard then walk behinds can move a lot on leaves. It can be hard to push, kind of like exercise. We have backpack blower too and I like it. 

@porkchopbob leaf blower doesn’t go far enough in describing this wonderfully versatile machine. I will use it to blow or suck leaves, blow grass clippings, saw dust, bark and other wood shavings, I’ll blow out trailers and truck beds, garage, patios - dirt, dust, pollen, small gravel….clean off outdoor furniture…. I have an attachment to blow leaves off our roof and gutter.  I’ve even used it to blow light snow off the driveway and sidewalk.  I think actually I’d be lost without the venerable leaf blower!  And keep it gas please. 

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Posted : March 16, 2022 12:10 am
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach
Posted by: @nebish

I will use it to blow or suck leaves, blow grass clippings, saw dust, bark and other wood shaving

For me, life is too short to waste feeding grass just to level it, let alone, blow those shavings somewhere else. Gas is still cheaper than ones time, but leaf blower still sounds like the devils tool to me 

If I want to move air I’ve got a Fender amp 😉

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : March 16, 2022 12:32 am
nebish liked
Bill_Graham
(@bill_graham)
Peach Extraordianire

@nebish Yeah I considered a walk behind but I got the back pack blower as a company anniversary gift and it does the job so I can spend the money elsewhere like on my oldest daughters college tuition which she starts this coming fall.

If and when I can' deal with lugging around the backpack blower I think it could be time to hire my neighbor to come do the yard cleanup as he owns a lawn service and give me a discount.

I may also end up buying a riding lawn mower with a big bagger to suck up the leaves as presently I still have a walk behind mower 

Takes me couple of hours to mow and trim the lawn but I just put on the Bose noise reduction headphones and listen to music so I get my exercise and get to listen to music for a couple of hours.

 

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Bill_Graham
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Posted : March 16, 2022 8:52 am
Bill_Graham
(@bill_graham)
Peach Extraordianire

@porkchopbob There is something to be said about not caring about having a nice lawn and not spending time and money to maintain it but my obsessive compulsive nature will not allow me to let my lawn go so I try my best to have  nice looking landscaping.

Living in Massachusetts we only have to maintain the lawn for 6 months out of the year and I find it good therapy for me to take care of the landscaping a couple of hours a week and having a well maintained lawn. Cost a little bit of money and time to mow and fertilize but not too time consuming and like I said I do get to listen to music uninterrupted while getting something done. YMMV 

If I wasn't taking care of the yard work the wife would have me doing other chores like painting which I hate so I don't mind doing lawn care, being outside and listening to good music. 😀 

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Bill_Graham
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Posted : March 16, 2022 10:22 am
PorkchopBob
(@porkchopbob)
World Class Peach

@nebish Wasn't going to bring it up again, but my wife just happened to come home from a long day at work and immediately complained about the leaf blowers outside her office window while she was conducting a huge Zoom meeting haha.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/25/opinion/leaf-blowers-california-emissions.html

https://www.zmescience.com/science/leaf-blowers-health-noise-hazards/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/heres-why-leaf-blowers-are-evil-incarnate-11633613005

PorkchopBob Studio

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Posted : March 16, 2022 8:14 pm
nebish
(@nebish)
World Class Peach

I did skim the NYT article - wow that author and his supporting contributors hate leaf blowers!  I actually own 5 and love them all (only 1 is 4 stroke, the walk behind). The "stench" of gasoline?  I love the smell of gasoline!  It's not just a tool of lawn care, as I have found many varied uses as previously stated. 

I won't argue their emissions as it's pretty common sense burning gas+oil is going to be dirty. But I don't use my hand held or back pack leaf blower for 30 minutes as the article cited to compare it to vehicle emissions. No I use it like 5 minutes at a time, and often less. 

Educate and communicate the difference or benefits of one machine be the other, but a restrictive ban?

But if you must ban things that one group of people feel are necessary to achieve a certain objective then it opens up the idea of banning other things other people feel are necessary, like banning foreign made appliances just off the cuff, or something of that sort. Find something objectionable and ban it - we can do that, I object to a lot of things. 

Tell you what, I will disavow my love for gas powered leaf blowers and vote to ban them if you join me in banning imported household appliances. And yeah, those battery powered leaf blowers sure as shit need to be made/assembled in the USA or it's a no go. Can we partner on this my hypothetical political colleague and offer bipartisan support?

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Posted : March 16, 2022 10:42 pm
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