More coal plants closeing.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by PracticalMac, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
    Despite calls from Republicans and tweets from "art of the deal" maker #45, 2 major coal plants will close in next few years. The other in TVA are uncertain.

    Naturally as demand for huge quantities of coal diminish, cost of mining goes up, making coal power less affordable. Possible in a decade coal will no longer be sustainable.

    Meanwhile natural gas production is increasing.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. FrenchRoasted macrumors regular

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    #2
    The evil fracking is directly responsible for this and is a good thing.
    Say what you want about CO2, modern methane fueled electrical plants produce virtually zero particulates and scant NO2 emissions.
     
  3. mac_in_tosh macrumors 6502

    mac_in_tosh

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    #3
    The other side of the coin is the tons of toxic chemicals pumped into the ground to extract the gas.
     
  4. lostngone, Feb 15, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019

    lostngone macrumors 65816

    lostngone

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    #4
    Coal “can” be a relatively clean source of power. A few places has tried but it ends up being to expensive to compete. It is really to bad considering how much coal we have.
     
  5. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

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    #5
    Considering how cheap solar+batteries is now and the fact that sunlight is basically infinite for all intents and purposes, I see no more need for coal, especially expensive "clean" coal.
     
  6. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #6
    Except the methane leaking out of the ground and from equipment as a result of fracking is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in existence (see link).
     
  7. lostngone macrumors 65816

    lostngone

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    #7
    Solar panels only about 20% efficient they are NOT cheap in large scale. Batteries and solar cells or not environmentally friendly to make.
    Coal is still highly abundant and it has the ability to output much more power than solar currently.

    With that said if we can get the solar panels that are ~90% efficient maybe then it would be worth filling hundreds of thousands of acres with panels to replace all other power generation sources in the U.S. but until then we need other options and I don’t see nuclear as being very accepted.
     
  8. szw-mapple fan, Apr 25, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019

    szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

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    #8
    Solar and wind are actually very cheap now on a large scale. It’s cheaper to newly install them than to operate more than 74% of coal plants in the US according to this study with the projected cost to come down by another 40% by 2020 (both were numbers from Jan 2018). The efficiency rate of the panels does not actually matter because unlike coal, the amount of solar energy available is essentially infinite. While a higher efficiency would be nice in the long run, it wouldn’t really have a big impact regardless. Given this, investing in coal today is not really a viable solution anymore financially in most regions.

    As for the lithium in large scale battery installations, the environmental benefit of solar will erase any production impact to the environment within a couple years at most. Lithium is also highly recyclable, bringing the environmental cost down even more for future production generations.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2019 ---
    I think the person you are replying to is referring to when methane is burnt. Unlike coal, methane produces only CO2 and water when burnt during well oxidized combustions.
     
  9. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Natural Gas is dirt cheap. It's so cheap that Shale Oil players are flaring significant amounts of it in the Permian Basin. I guess that there's no way to get it to market at this time. We're exporting a lot of it too. The major problem in my area is pipeline capacity. We have a lot of NIMBY so we pay high prices for NG despite an abundance of the stuff along with really low prices nationally.

    Coal has one advantage over natural gas - it's easy to ship via rail. The search for renewables is causing a lot of power and NG heating problems in New England but that's because of policy and grass roots. Solar doesn't work as efficiently in New England as we don't get as much sunlight as areas further south and we have this stuff called snow which can shut your power off for several days.

    Solar has a big problem with disposal too. It puts a lot of hazardous materials in landfills.

    Wind works better in NH. Windmills can provide 10% of our state's requirements. My guess is that it's exported. Our main sources of power are nuclear and natural gas. Lots of countries moving to nuclear to reduce emissions. It's the best way to provide baseload power.
     
  10. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #10
    Agreed, technology and the market have moved beyond it. IMO working on giving green jobs to those impacted by the loss of employment would be far better use of Government resources than trying to revive a dying industry.
     
  11. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michae...hey-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/#64ff68ff121c

    Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”

    Obviously a problem for down the road but it might get here faster than expected.
     
  12. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #12
    Sure. I get that, but the price is that methane leaks from the supply chain and it is a very potent greenhouse gas. In the end using fracked methane is not a eco-friendly as one might imagine if that is taken into account.
     
  13. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #13
  14. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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  15. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #15
    Not so much about clean, its about CO2

    (not sure why this graph does not match above statement, to do with facility.)
    [​IMG]

    The US can stop coal in 72% of plants (switch to NG) and barely affect cost of electricity I am certain.
     
  16. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    It hasn't worked in New England. NG requires pipelines, and, if nobody will let you build pipelines, then NG electric power gets expensive. Especially when it's needed for heating.

    Of course there's nuclear.
     
  17. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #17
    Agree: Solar in NE is poor choice. Wind far, far better (and steady wind too?)

    Solar hazardous?? How? It is >70% silica, rest is metals like Al, Fe, and Tn. It is one of the least harmful products ever made
     
  18. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Wind works in the empty parts of New England. I posted an article on the toxic materials used in solar panels.
     
  19. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #19
    Yea, what a small price to pay for poisoning the land and water with fracking chemicals we aren’t allowed to know about.

    Fracking is a sham.
     
  20. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #20
    Yes, NIMBY, well, those selfish pepl can either have crap on their cars (soot) or pay super high elec rates.

    I am not opposed to nuclear myself, but it is such a bag of worms. Well, another reason for the NIMBY's to agree to NG and Wind, if they do not want a nuke.
     
  21. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    The NIMBYs want renewables and clean natural gas. They just aren't willing to let pipelines go near their property. They did propose one 1 mile south of where I live and on a road that I drive on daily. No problem for me. Half our power comes from Nuclear. Most of the other half comes from NG. I imagine that we export a lot of power to other states that want to claim that they are clean.
     
  22. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #22
    I agree there are small amounts of the toxic materiel, but look at the big picture:
    Compared that to the rechargeable batteries and smart phones that also contain hazardous materials, a good portion of that end up in landfills.

    The 100,000 lb of cadmium is practically nothing. (and I am not even looking at how much Coal plants produce)

    Of course there needs to be mandatory EOL recycling planned, but that is a tolerable level of Hazmat waste in comparison to other sources.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 26, 2019 ---
    I know NIMBY's do not like the spoiled view, but we cannot have it all.
    Sure, have a reasonable distance, 1 mile is plenty. 1/2 a mile is OK. Plenty of room.
     
  23. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Batteries are a big problem. That requires a technological solution. Trader friends of mine have been talking Lithium companies and they have been very volatile. Apple is nice in that they do recycle computer hardware. I have a couple of systems to bring over to The Apple Store once I get the data off and reformat the disk.

    I think that all states have significant areas that aren't populated and wind farms can go there. I recall my first trip through the windmills in Palm Springs - it was a different feeling going through them but most people would just get used to them and ignore them after a while. The noise can be a problem.

    But in our state, they're located in the sparsely populated northwest.
     
  24. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #24
    Texas is one of largest wind power producers, seen some of the installations.

    Regardless, I simply want to see electrical coal plants drastically reduced, even eliminated (go NG or shut down).

    I also would like to see more renewable stations built.
    Say a nationwide $0.02 kW/h tax used to fund renewable projects (PV, Wind, Wave, GeoT)
     
  25. lostngone macrumors 65816

    lostngone

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    #25
    Clean coal can release little to no CO2 into the atmosphere. There are different clean coal technologies that handle the CO2 in different ways.
     

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25 February 15, 2019