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Science Forum

  1. 03 Apr '18 15:44 / 2 edits
    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-oil-solar-saudis-renewable-energy.html

    They are thinking of going solar and with huge battery storage but they are also thinking of going partly nuclear, a move I wouldn't be against.

    I find it interesting that they have calculated that in Saudi Arabia, because of the almost ideal conditions for solar in the desert there;
    "...the economics favour solar power. Electricity from solar sources costs less than half that of nuclear power...."

    I wondered how well they could complement that by putting both wind turbines and more hydroelectric damns on their tallest mountains.
  2. 03 Apr '18 19:41
    Originally posted by @humy
    [bI wondered how well they could complement that by putting both wind turbines and more hydroelectric damns on their tallest mountains.[/b]
    I've never been but much of the Asir Mountains in Saudi Arabia are supposed to be beautiful, pristine, and largely undisturbed natural areas. It is thought to be one of the few habitats that remain for the Arabian leopard.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Apr '18 02:08
    Originally posted by @humy
    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-oil-solar-saudis-renewable-energy.html

    They are thinking of going solar and with huge battery storage but they are also thinking of going partly nuclear, a move I wouldn't be against.

    I find it interesting that they have calculated that in Saudi Arabia, because of the almost ideal conditions for solar in the desert there;
    " ...[text shortened]... ment that by putting both wind turbines and more hydroelectric damns on their tallest mountains.
    ''Wildlife Impacts
    Dammed reservoirs are used for multiple purposes, such as agricultural irrigation, flood control, and recreation, so not all wildlife impacts associated with dams can be directly attributed to hydroelectric power. However, hydroelectric facilities can still have a major impact on aquatic ecosystems. For example, though there are a variety of methods to minimize the impact (including fish ladders and in-take screens), fish and other organisms can be injured and killed by turbine blades.

    Apart from direct contact, there can also be wildlife impacts both within the dammed reservoirs and downstream from the facility. Reservoir water is usually more stagnant than normal river water. As a result, the reservoir will have higher than normal amounts of sediments and nutrients, which can cultivate an excess of algae and other aquatic weeds. These weeds can crowd out other river animal and plant-life, and they must be controlled through manual harvesting or by introducing fish that eat these plants [4]. In addition, water is lost through evaporation in dammed reservoirs at a much higher rate than in flowing rivers.

    In addition, if too much water is stored behind the reservoir, segments of the river downstream from the reservoir can dry out. Thus, most hydroelectric operators are required to release a minimum amount of water at certain times of year. If not released appropriately, water levels downstream will drop and animal and plant life can be harmed. In addition, reservoir water is typically low in dissolved oxygen and colder than normal river water. When this water is released, it could have negative impacts on downstream plants and animals. To mitigate these impacts, aerating turbines can be installed to increase dissolved oxygen and multi-level water intakes can help ensure that water released from the reservoir comes from all levels of the reservoir, rather than just the bottom (which is the coldest and has the lowest dissolved oxygen)."

    This is part of a piece by the union of concerned scientists.

    I think solar and wind, wave or even nuclear power is better, even if hydro is cheap.
  4. 04 Apr '18 07:06 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by @sonhouse
    ''Wildlife Impacts
    Dammed reservoirs are used for multiple purposes, such as agricultural irrigation, flood control, and recreation, so not all wildlife impacts associated with dams can be directly attributed to hydroelectric power. However, hydroelectric facilities can still have a major impact on aquatic ecosystems. For example, though there are a varie ...[text shortened]... ntists.

    I think solar and wind, wave or even nuclear power is better, even if hydro is cheap.
    I have been here before. As usual, there are workarounds.
    For example, run-of-the-river hydroelectricity (which currently, just like marine current power, is massively under-exploited) can be used to avoid building large dums and thus have minimal environmental impacts;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-of-the-river_hydroelectricity

    This can be combined with several other ways to keep the environmental impacts to an acceptable minimum, such as making side slipways for migrating fish so they can get past the dum without difficulty or danger.
    etc.

    In one way I see these objections against hydroelectric as similar to those against nuclear in the narrow sense that in both cases the objections are weak because there are workarounds. In the case of nuclear, and unlike most of those for hydroelectric, the usual objections are about safety and yet it is just a simple matter of incorporating all the most modern up-to-date safety design futures into the power stations to reduce the dangers to a perfectly acceptable minimum.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Apr '18 15:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @humy
    I have been here before. As usual, there are workarounds.
    For example, run-of-the-river hydroelectricity (which currently, just like marine current power, is massively under-exploited) can be used to avoid building large dums and thus have minimal environmental impacts;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-of-the-river_hydroelectricity

    This can be combined ...[text shortened]... design futures into the power stations to reduce the dangers to a perfectly acceptable minimum.
    And, in nuclear, there is the thorium reactor which when fully developed will be a hundred times safer than uranium and the like.
    Thorium is also good because it cannot be converted to bombs.
    One big problem though is disposing of nuclear waste, which is significant but like you said there are workarounds like sequestering the stuff in glassy substances. But the stuff no matter how sequestered they will still be radioactive, maybe not as bad as some materials but still radioactive and that for 10,000 or more years.