coal vs wind

Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:00 pm

A concluding thought...

Whoa, now it's 1 million EV by 2015....

When I was young (which was a long time ago) — before cable television, before computers, before DVDs and before the Internet — we read books and worked puzzles. One popular thing was books that contained pages of numbered dots and hints of what the picture would be once you connected them. We would look at the dots, guess what the picture would be, and then connect the dots. Of course, the picture would be crude, but an image would be formed.You never see those puzzles anymore, but the saying “connect the dots” is still used to express the process of looking at something and understanding how the image comes together as the dots are connected. As I read about events in Washington, sometimes I wonder if anyone there ever played “connect the dots.”

This week, Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D-Mich.), proposed legislation that would give car purchasers a $7,500 cash rebate from the government for the purchase of an electric vehicle like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. She stated, “These vehicles represent the jobs of the future, and the more that are sold, the more Michigan jobs will be created.” The bill follows the White House’s plan to have one million plug-in electric cars on the road by 2015.
Senator Stabenow’s legislation also contains a provision that provides businesses that invest in electric trucks a $15,000 to $100,000 tax credit, depending upon the size of the truck. Senator Stabenow states, “This bill provides a tremendous economic potential that will allow Michigan innovation to continue to out- compete the world and create new jobs here.” I always thought that out-competing meant providing a better product at a lower cost. I guess that doesn’t apply in Michigan anymore — all that is really important now is a large government subsidy that promotes the sale of certain vehicles with our tax dollars. In essence, Senator Stabenow’s bill would take tax dollars from the South and use them to create thousands of jobs in Michigan. In fact, she is right — more cars sold mean more Michigan jobs created and more of our taxes being sent to Michigan. Where does the fuel come from to power these new, modern subsidized cars and trucks? As the senator from Michigan and the White House conjure up ways to promote Michigan jobs through subsidies, the EPA plots to close down coal-fired generation plants that provide about 50 percent of the country’s electricity. If those plants are closed as advocated by environmental groups and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, there will not be sufficient electric power to provide electric service as we know it today, much less power a million plug-in electric cars and trucks. Have Senator Stabenow or the White House connected those dots?

Occasionally, when we were doing those connect the dot puzzles, something would happen and we would lose our way, get out of sequence and the picture would make no sense at all. I still remember the frustration and confusion about what went wrong.... and now they are threatening to close down the government? Bring it on.
coalnewbie
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: samhill On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:42 pm

Came across this while looking at something else, coal like almost every other big industry gets subsidies. http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2 ... subsidies/
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:26 pm

yes, coal gets subsidies, but very very little comapared to other industries. Some of what was mentioned in that article has nothing to do with the "coal industry", but more specifically electrical generation, also, loans are not necessarily subsidies unless they default. The subsidies coal receives through various mechanisms are a drop in the bucket compared to what "renewables" receive. wholesale coal power costs typically $.02-$.05/KWH. In the midwest a number of coal-fired plants that recently went online and will be coming online are selling power at a PROFIT wholesale for $.035-.042/KWH - this includes both the cost of the plant and the fuel! The exact costs of power production and contract/sale prices I can't publish to the public for a specific plant because it's frowned upon and in many cases proprietary, but I will make some calls tomorrow and find the delivered cost of fuel as a % of kwh cost and the plant construction costs themselves as a % of KWH costs. With coal - fuel, production, and maintenance costs are known - with renewables they're not. Furthermore, all the wind and solar in the world won't be able to replace ONE single base-load plant that burns gas or coal, if the wind stops, there always needs to be a plant running that can pick up the slack.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:32 pm

This is what we should be putting subsidies behind. If everyone had their own fuel cell, we could tell every other form of power to pound sand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBdscL8hqN4
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:38 pm

There is only one problem with hydrogen. No matter which method is applied, it takes more energy to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water than you can get back by burning the hydrogen in the oxygen to turn it back into water again. Since there is effectively zero natural hydrogen on earth, it can only be produced as long as some other plentiful energy source is available to burn and (inefficiently) generate it, and the surplus of such energy is great enough that no one notices the net loss in the overall hydrogen equation.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:47 pm

lsayre wrote:There is only one problem with hydrogen. No matter which method is applied, it takes more energy to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water than you can get back by burning the hydrogen in the oxygen to turn it back into water again. Since there is effectively zero natural hydrogen on earth, it can only be produced as long as some other plentiful energy source is available to burn and (inefficiently) generate it, and the surplus of such energy is great enough that no one notices the net loss in the overall hydrogen equation.


But if you are using solar panels, and ideally a small windmill, what do you care how inefficient it is? The two power sources would work in conjunction 24/7 to make hydrogen and store it in a tank.

All day while you are at work, the solar panel is making fuel. At night or on cloudy days, the windmill is making hydrogen. When needed, you use the hydrogen to make electricity.

Look at how this guy solved the problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEdQRVQt ... re=related

Then you can fuel your electric car from your fuel cell or if you like luxury cars, go get a hydrogen powered BMW and fuel it from your storage tank.

It COULD be done, we just don't want to.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:49 pm

jpete, we shouldn't be putting subsidies behind ANYTHING. everyone with their own allotment of 50K worth of solar panels? that would be great... until the first good spring hailstorm hit, or during extended and heavy/regular snowfall like we see in buffalo. Right now these renewables can't even get close to competing on a level playing field, and, until they can, we don't need to be wasting america's wealth treading water; we have the capability for some of the cheapest electricity in the world, we need to use it to grow our economy and our competitive edge in the world. We cannot afford to piss our resource advantages away on subsidizing via taxpayers or ratepayers uncompetitive and wasteful "green" energy sources.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:59 pm

jpete wrote:It COULD be done, we just don't want to.


I'm not sure that we don't want to. I researched it quite a bit. The cost is astronomical. I don't do it because I can't afford to do it, and if I could it would take multiple lifetimes to recoup the initial cost through the subsequent energy savings.

PS: The last solar panel company in the USA (Evergreen Solar) is bankrupt and taking production to China. The economics of solar can not be supported by production in the USA.
Last edited by lsayre on Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:04 pm

Berlin wrote:jpete, we shouldn't be putting subsidies behind ANYTHING. everyone with their own allotment of 50K worth of solar panels? that would be great... until the first good spring hailstorm hit, or during extended and heavy/regular snowfall like we see in buffalo. Right now these renewables can't even get close to competing on a level playing field, and, until they can, we don't need to be wasting america's wealth treading water; we have the capability for some of the cheapest electricity in the world, we need to use it to grow our economy and our competitive edge in the world. We cannot afford to piss our resource advantages away on subsidizing via taxpayers or ratepayers uncompetitive and wasteful "green" energy sources.



Would you also advocate eliminating subsidies to traditional energy sources?

The point is, there ISN'T a level playing field. The government ALWAYS has it's thumb on the scale.

Should we factor in the cost in pollution clean ups into the cost of electricity? Wind power generally doesn't swamp small towns in coal ash.

I'm not a "greenie" by any stretch. But it makes no sense to me to commit blood and treasure to gain a fuel source when we really don't have to. I hate to be controlled and as long as there is a pipeline from the US to the M.E., we will be controlled by them.

I'd be happy to remove subsidies for everything. Maybe then I'd be able to afford my own alternative energy system and the rest of you can fight over the scraps. :D ;)
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:13 pm

lsayre wrote:
jpete wrote:It COULD be done, we just don't want to.


I'm not sure that we don't want to. I researched it quite a bit. The cost is astronomical. I don't do it because I can't afford to do it, and if I could it would take multiple lifetimes to regain the initial cost through the subsequent energy savings.

PS: The last solar panel company in the USA (Evergreen Solar) is bankrupt and taking production to China. The economics of solar can not be supported by production in the USA.


Of course we don't want to. And when I say "we", I mean the collective we as a country. Congress had no trouble finding the money to pay people to scrap their car and buy a new one.

If I had my way, there wouldn't be any subsidies and we'd really see what "affordable" looked like. But as long as Congress is handing out money, they just need to choose who to give it to.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:40 pm

jpete wrote:Congress had no trouble finding the money to pay people to scrap their car and buy a new one.

Yep - they just rolled that into our ever swelling debt. :shock:


Let's see $30K for solar panels ... AND I have to climb up on the roof & risk death or injury clearing snow from them 50 times per winter .... probably another $30K for a windmill that may or may not do what it's supposed to do ... and more than likely will fail the first ice storm we have ... then when we get a nice storm to finally generate some real power, a limb will come down & wipe out the power lines off the tower.

It's tough enough having to feed & empty my Mark III nightly ... but at least I can afford that.

Coal. WINNING.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:45 pm

There is no such thing as the collective "we". There may be voluntary association, but there is no collective we or will or power that supersedes or usurps anything from the individual. I have developed a saying that even wraps this into the flawed concept of democracy (as opposed to the virtuous concept of a republic of law). "Democracy is the belief that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance."
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:50 pm

jpete wrote:Does it come out of their profits or is the government giving it back to them at tax time? If it's a right off, it's a subsidy in my book.


It's been a while since I went over the document that was mentioned so I had to go over it again. For a little background this is a tax collected on all coal mined at the mine.


http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=139337,00.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


IMPOSITION OF COAL EXCISE TAX

Section 4121 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on domestically produced coal. The tax does not apply to lignite. Lignite is defined in accordance with the standard specifications for classification of coals by rank of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The taxes collected on the sales of coal are deposited to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund to finance payments of black lung benefits to afflicted miners.

Producers of coal in the United States are liable for the tax upon the first sale or use of the coal. The producer is the person who has vested interest in the coal immediately after severance from the ground without regard to the existence of any contractual arrangements for the sale or other disposition of the coal or the payment of any royalties between the producer and third parties.

The tax is imposed at two rates, depending on whether the coal is from underground (deep) or surface mines. The tax on deep mined coal is the lower of $1.10 a ton or 4.4 percent of the sales price. The tax on surface mined coal is the lower of $.55 a ton or 4.4 percent of the sales price. Therefore, coal will be taxed at the 4.4 percent rate if the selling price is less than $25/ton for deep coal or less than $12.50/ton for surface coal.



After reviewing it again they include it as a subsidy because the beneficiaries pay no tax on those benefits, there is no tax on the tax. :lol:
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:07 pm

jpete wrote:If a windfarm is built and the wind stops blowing, can I deduct my losses every day the wind doesn't blow?


No but you're going to get 2.2 cents kWh for every kWh you produce, as already pointed out by myself and Berlin you can make electric with coal for total of 5 cents tops. If some of the figures he has are accurate the subsidy is more than the cost for coal.

Besides that you're mixing oil and coal, both have a distinct use and they aren't interchangeable.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:22 pm

OK. You guys are right. It's completely impossible to find a better alternative to fossil fuels.

Sorry guys, it's been that kind of a month and I just don't have the energy(excuse the pun) to beat my head against the wall about this.

No mas.
jpete
 
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