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  1. 10 Feb '15 10:29
    Electricity from biomass with carbon capture could make western US carbon-negative while allowing for some continued but reduced use of fossil fuels:

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-electricity-biomass-carbon-capture-western.html

    I think this strategy should at least be looked into and considered and it can, of course, always be combined with other measures.
  2. 10 Feb '15 10:56
    Originally posted by humy
    I think this strategy should at least be looked into and considered and it can, of course, always be combined with other measures.
    Carbon capture has already been looked into and considered. The big problem is policy and who is going to pay for it. Until government puts a price on carbon emissions, it is simply not economically sensible to capture cabon rather than emitting it for free.
    As for power from biomass, it is clearly a good idea, and is slowly being implemented world wide. Even my sister on a small farm in Zambia has considered getting a small biogas plant. So far, she reckons its not economical, but it is a close thing. But Zambia has cheap hydroelectic power, and most other countries have more expensive electricity making biogas more viable.
    It is often overlooked that Germany's green energy program includes a significant proportion of biomass power. (30% according to Wikipedia).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany
  3. 10 Feb '15 11:36
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Carbon capture has already been looked into and considered. The big problem is policy and who is going to pay for it. Until government puts a price on carbon emissions, it is simply not economically sensible to capture cabon rather than emitting it for free.
    As for power from biomass, it is clearly a good idea, and is slowly being implemented world wide. ...[text shortened]... s power. (30% according to Wikipedia).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany
    That's 30% of it's renewable generation, not 30% of it's generation.

    Which is how I read your post [I appreciate you could read it either way]

    And I would note that Germany still has significantly greater CO2 emission's
    at greater cost than France with it's ~80% nuclear power.
  4. 10 Feb '15 12:20
    To grow a tree thus collecting CO2 from the atmosphere, and then burn it releasing the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, cannot ever be carbon negative! It can at most neutral, nothing more.
  5. 10 Feb '15 13:36
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    To grow a tree thus collecting CO2 from the atmosphere, and then burn it releasing the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, cannot ever be carbon negative! It can at most neutral, nothing more.
    It's negative with carbon capture, where you extract the CO2 from the exhaust
    gasses and bury it underground. [Assuming it doesn't leak back out]

    However all current 'commercially viable' [maybe] carbon capture schemes are
    viable only because they use the liquefied CO2 [or dissolved solution thereof]
    to help extract more oil/gas from the ground making more available to burn.
  6. 10 Feb '15 14:48
    Originally posted by humy
    Electricity from biomass with carbon capture could make western US carbon-negative while allowing for some continued but reduced use of fossil fuels:

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-electricity-biomass-carbon-capture-western.html

    I think this strategy should at least be looked into and considered and it can, of course, always be combined with other measures.
    Too expensive like every idea for a carbon reduction goal and probably impossible short of population reduction. It is basically a fantasy, but the people who want to tax carbon don't care about your goal. They know it will not ever happen. They just want to expropriate money. That is why they don't talk about specific solutions much. They want your money first so they can use it for something completely different than your goal. They want to convince people that higher taxes are a good enough solution and it isn't. People are going to keep burning fuel and higher carbon taxes will do little to curb that. What it will do is make poor people poorer. People living in rural areas will have to pay more to drive to work, farm subsidies will be increased so farmers can still farm, taxes will become more complicated, etc. It would be a mess!
  7. 10 Feb '15 14:52
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    And I would note that Germany still has significantly greater CO2 emission's
    at greater cost than France with it's ~80% nuclear power.
    How did you work out the cost? Did you factor in cleanup costs that France is not yet paying for?
    Also, in the future, Nuclear will remain expensive and in some countries like the US, it is more expensive than France whereas renewables are getting cheaper all the time.
  8. 10 Feb '15 14:58
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    How did you work out the cost? Did you factor in cleanup costs that France is not yet paying for?
    Also, in the future, Nuclear will remain expensive and in some countries like the US, it is more expensive than France whereas renewables are getting cheaper all the time.
    Move to 4th generation nuclear power and do it on mass scale like France did
    and nuclear costs also massively drop AND the current waste is now fuel.


    Making every reactor as a one off special case is of course going to be expensive.

    You get no economies of scale.
  9. 10 Feb '15 15:31
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Move to 4th generation nuclear power and do it on mass scale like France did and nuclear costs also massively drop AND the current waste is now fuel.
    Easy to say, not so easy to put into practice. In countries like the US, there are so many regulations that apply equally to 4th generation nuclear power, that it is simply not cheaper than renewable's nor likely to be so in the near future. As for renewables, they too benefit from economies of scale, arguably significantly more so than nuclear does.
    I believe Nuclear is still viable in China where sentiment against it is less of a direct obstruction, and regulations are less of a cost, but almost anywhere else in the world, nuclear is not the most economical way forward.
  10. 10 Feb '15 16:00
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Easy to say, not so easy to put into practice. In countries like the US, there are so many regulations that apply equally to 4th generation nuclear power, that it is simply not cheaper than renewable's nor likely to be so in the near future. As for renewables, they too benefit from economies of scale, arguably significantly more so than nuclear does.
    I b ...[text shortened]... f a cost, but almost anywhere else in the world, nuclear is not the most economical way forward.
    Arguing that nuclear isn't viable because it's unpopular or badly regulated is
    just as bad as arguing that renewables aren't viable because they are unpopular
    or badly regulated.

    Laws and regulations can change, as can attitudes.

    I am arguing only from a safety, engineering, economics perspective.

    If a country has stupid regulation then change the damn regulation.
  11. 10 Feb '15 16:41
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Laws and regulations can change, as can attitudes.
    Highly unlikely in the near future. More importantly, I would rather put the effort into changing policy and attitudes towards renewables than changing it with regards to nuclear.

    I am arguing only from a safety, engineering, economics perspective.
    From both perspectives, renewables are already on par with nuclear and soon to be significantly cheaper - if we invest in them instead of putting more money into nuclear which has no real future.

    If a country has stupid regulation then change the damn regulation.
    Easy to say, not so easy to do. What we really need to do policywise is to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.
  12. 10 Feb '15 16:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Highly unlikely in the near future. More importantly, I would rather put the effort into changing policy and attitudes towards renewables than changing it with regards to nuclear.

    [b]I am arguing only from a safety, engineering, economics perspective.

    From both perspectives, renewables are already on par with nuclear and soon to be significantly c ...[text shortened]... ay, not so easy to do. What we really need to do policywise is to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.[/b]
    I don't live in a country quite as stupid as America.

    If our government did actually decide it wanted to take action it's really easy to change policy.


    EDIT: Also, it's not either or, I [strongly] advocate for renewables as well.
    The problem comes when people waste all their time sniping at people advocating for
    other alternatives [like nuclear] and thus wasting time and effort that should have been
    directed at policy makers against fossil fuels.

    If the green movement hadn't stupidly and irrationally spent decades attacking nuclear
    power we would have much less of a problem today, and an easy way forward to fixing it.

    Lets stop making that same stupid mistake.
  13. 10 Feb '15 20:31
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    It's negative with carbon capture, where you extract the CO2 from the exhaust
    gasses and bury it underground. [Assuming it doesn't leak back out]
    This is not a technology currently in use anywhere in the world. More than experimentally in a very low degree. And will not ever be in use for a very long time in the future.

    Let's not fool eachother with this kind of arguments, please.

    US is currently the big bad guy in the world community, per capita much worse than China and the most other countries in the world.
  14. 10 Feb '15 21:06
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    This is not a technology currently in use anywhere in the world. More than experimentally in a very low degree. And will not ever be in use for a very long time in the future.

    Let's not fool eachother with this kind of arguments, please.

    US is currently the big bad guy in the world community, per capita much worse than China and the most other countries in the world.
    I wasn't commenting on the practicality.

    I was simply pointing out that the plan espoused in the OP would be carbon
    negative if Carbon Capture was used as it was claiming.

    Claiming that the plan wouldn't work or be practical is different from claiming that
    the plan isn't carbon negative.
  15. 11 Feb '15 06:08
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    EDIT: Also, it's not either or, I [strongly] advocate for renewables as well.
    The problem comes when people waste all their time sniping at people advocating for
    other alternatives [like nuclear] and thus wasting time and effort that should have been
    directed at policy makers against fossil fuels.
    I disagree. The promotion of other costly alternatives is a popular strategy with oil companies trying to stop renewables. For example, the whole fiasco about the 'hydrogen economy' in the US as a tactic to delay the introduction of electric cars.
    Nuclear power is heavily subsidized. If you were to put those subsidies into renewables instead it would do a lot more good. There is simply no good argument for wasting money on nuclear power.