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Old 03-14-2005, 06:51 PM   #31
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by gulo
I've been running on alternative fuel (E85 rather than gasoline) for almost two years now.
Quite frankly, the stuff is much better than regular gasoline.
-----%<-----
I haven't heard of that being available "this side of the pond" (apart from very specialised fuel suppliers that is). The only "proper alternatives" that seem to be available (and that's only in certain locations) is LPG/CNG.

But whenever someone "official" asks why it's not more widely available, the petrochem companies just "bleat" about the cost of installing the infrastructure - perhaps if "they" put some of those massive profits where their mouth is and just went ahead and installed the facilities, then people might think more about getting vehicles that'd burn it! (the UK has an added incentive, because whereas current prices are between 80 and 85 pence per litre (yes that's about 1$ per litre, not per gallon) the LPG and CNG alternatives are just under half of that).

regards

John
 
Old 03-14-2005, 07:27 PM   #32
KimVette
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Quote:
Originally posted by gulo
How about photo voltaic? The technology exists to shingle homes with PV cells that
can be hooked to the grid to make every home an electricity producer. Market entry costs
are too high for most ppl to even consider this, so why not subsidize that industry in an
equal way to the petroleum industry (which is heavily subsidized).
Between the production costs (in terms of energy spent) to produce the photovoltaic cells, not to mention the losses incurred in recharging the batteries on a daily basis (at best 30% efficiency there), AND the need to periodically replace the batteries and energy required to produce new ones, does going the photovoltaic route actually SAVE energy when all of the costs of production and purchase are added up?
 
Old 03-14-2005, 09:51 PM   #33
gulo
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Hi Kim,

The answer is yes. You don't need batteries with PV. Your house remains on the grid and while you're at work
and not using power at home, or at least much power, and your meter runs backwards. At night, when you're home
using more power, your meter runs forward. You're using the power company as your batery.

I think the pay-back on PV right now is around 10 to 15 years, but that's with market entry barriers and low
efficiency in production. Subsidize the industry for a while, get production up and more efficient, and that pay
back time would drop quite a bit.
 
Old 03-14-2005, 10:11 PM   #34
KimVette
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What is the point of connecting to the grid? Feeding the grid at below wholesale and then paying the full rate when you're not producing (e.g., cloudy day, night, etc.) doesn't make any sense -- or cents.
 
Old 03-14-2005, 10:14 PM   #35
vharishankar
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The real problem of course, is that the so-called "oil crisis" has been a permanent fixture in countries which import and consume petroleum and that the only long-term solution is to give up the dependence - not all at once - but in stages. The goal should be that in 10 years from now, the world should stop running on oil and be ready to use renewable energy sources as a mainstream source of energy. Unfortunately, as Lee Iacocca in his book, observed during the Iran Crisis, the Americans have an addiction for cheap gas which has really not come down over the years.

The alarming trend is that, long-term objectives are being sacrificed for short term satisfaction. The only long-term solution to the oil crisis is to totally stop depending on oil as the source of energy. Fossil fuels are not going to last forever and there is a good chance that the world will run out of fossil fuels in the forseeable future (next 50-100 years?). Every nation has to be prepared for such an eventuality and the only solution is to start getting rid of the oil dependency in stages. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be listening.

If current renewable energy sources technology are not adequate to meet the demands of energy, then the research should be pushed in that direction. Funds have got to start flowing into research and development of renewable and clean energy sources rather than drilling deeper and deeper into the Earth's surface. Long term American interests (and the interest of every energy-consuming country in the world) lie more in pursuing this kind of activity rather than pour more funds into drilling and draining off the last drop of oil from the Earth's surface.

What can we as citizens do about it? I guess that conservation is important, but more than conservation, people have to start taking notice and actively using any kind of renewable energy available for small things. Production of energy should become decentralized to a degree where every village, every town and every city will be self-reliant as far as energy production goes. This may sound like a pipe-dream, but imagine how the Industrial Revolution changed the whole life in the planet as we know it? A similar Energy Revolution has to take place for the world to become a better, more environment friendly place.

As a final thought, let me add, all oil-importing countries need to start thinking today about how to shed reliance on oil. It may take a decade or two to be totally free of dependence on external sources of fossil fuels, but the process has to start now.
 
Old 03-14-2005, 10:24 PM   #36
gulo
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Quote:
Originally posted by KimVette
What is the point of connecting to the grid? Feeding the grid at below wholesale and then paying the full rate when you're not producing (e.g., cloudy day, night, etc.) doesn't make any sense -- or cents.
Good question Kim.
There are a few reasons:

You're still making $$$$ by selling power to your utility company (even at a low rate). Perhaps some legislation is in order to force power companies to
pay a market rate for your power?

You're avoiding the cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining large batteries over several years.

To be eligible for many of the subsidies out there (if they exist in your area, they do in mine) you must remain on the grid.
 
Old 03-14-2005, 10:41 PM   #37
GOBY
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Save this Alaskan oil drilling thing for a rainy day. The oil's not going anywhere.

Yes, gas prices are high by American standards but no, this is not a rainy day. I'll believe it's a rainy day when less than half of the vehicles on the road are gas-guzzling SUVs, or the seats in the vehicles actually have people in them.

Also, a little pressure ought to be put toward the development of solar/wind/biodiesel/other alternatives.
 
Old 03-14-2005, 10:46 PM   #38
gulo
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Harishankar, I agree & I think there needs to be some pretty strong government mandates to get things really rolling. The technology appears to exist today, it just needs to be implemented.

A good start might be to mandate something like the following:

* All new construction (both commercial and home) must utilize PV or wind power and remain on the grid.

* Offer large tax breaks and directly subsidize the PV and Wind Power industries.

*Mandate that all cars and trucks sold in the US must be capable of running on bio-fuels for a period of 5 years (say 2007 thru 2012 model years). This would be very easy for the auto manufacturers as they already have much of their fleets running on E85. Diesel trucks and cars are already capable of running on Bio-D as-is. After the 2012 model year, all non diesel cars and trucks must be ethanol dedicated & optimized.

* Mandate that all new gas stations must offer E-85 and any new Diesel pumps must serve a bio-D blend.

* Mandate that all large chains must offer E-85 within two year's time. Small independent stations within 5 years.

* Subsidize the building of modern cellulose ethanol production facilities.

Now, I know some people get all itchy when you start talking about mandates and subsidies, but here are the facts. The real cost of gasoline isn't what you pay at the pump. It's really between $6 and $15 per gallon depending on how you do the math and what you consider. I.E our fuel costs are already heavily subsidized by the US government in a variety of ways. Moreover, much of that money is heading out of the country. What I'm talking about here is mostly shifting of such subsidies and keeping that money in the country, producing more economic activity (and tax revenue) which should largely off-set the costs if not actually make the country richer in the mid to long term. Also, there is precedence for this in the switch from leaded to unleaded in the 70's and that worked rather smoothly, even in the middle of the oil crisis. The oil companies will whine about this, about costs, whatever. They've been ripping us off (the US tax payers) for some time now. They receive heavy subsidies intended for them to build new refineries which they've just been pocketing.

Oh, as an interesting FYI, did you all know that the first Model "T"'s were all designed to run on pure alcohol? Ford intended all his cars to run on alcohol rather than on gasoline & had a vision of a partnership with the American Farmer. You can do a google search on this.

Likewise, the diesel engine was designed to run on vegetable oil!

Last edited by gulo; 03-14-2005 at 10:55 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2005, 02:02 AM   #39
al_periodical
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Quote:
I've been running on alternative fuel (E85 rather than gasoline) for almost two years now
and the rest of the "solar panel" guys

I am really ashamed of myself in front of these guys

i believe that for every communities (including the so-called linux community) of any kinds needs to have faiths in what is good and what isn't , what is right and what isn't. Richard stallman might not be as complex as what we thought.His might be as simple as what is right and what is good.Only when we start to apologised for what we are not ,then inconsistencies of thoughts and ways of living happened among the linux communities.
Linux communities needs to be consistent in their faiths of what it should have been.Nobody is asking them to dress themselves up in underwares and live in caves ,having penguins meals if we are in Alaska,and start bartering sea shells for a living,right?
Most people simply can't afford the luxary to sound or doing what is right in the real world and they don't have to.Part if not all of the purpose of these self styled communities is to show and educate this world that history ,progressiveness,inventions and most importantly,changes, doesn't stop at anybody wishes .

Last edited by al_periodical; 03-15-2005 at 02:39 AM.
 
Old 03-15-2005, 05:22 AM   #40
floppywhopper
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In most countries price-fixing between companies is illegal so why is it legal for OPEC to fix high prices and why is Russia not a member of OPEC. Why aren't we buying oil at true market prices where different countries and companies compete for the customer.

Why is it that Gas produced here in Western Australia is sold at OPEC prices to the locals rather than at the real much lower cost.

The real solution to the so-called oil crisis is to get rid of OPEC.

Albany - Western Australia is currently home to Australia largest wind farm but it would have been much bigger except that there was so much opposition due to aesthetics. Now everybody wants to expand it, but that will cost much more than if they had built it to the original specs in the first place. No politician had the %$#* to do the job properly in the first instance. Therein lies the other half of the problem, politicians who care about short term popularity rather than the long term good of the state.

floppy
 
Old 03-15-2005, 05:41 AM   #41
prj
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donboy
.............Have you seen the price of gas lately?...........
You should try living on this side of the pond. 81p ($1.56) per litre, or $5.90 per US gallon.

SUV, I wish. I can only just about afford to run a tarted up lawn mower
 
Old 03-15-2005, 05:51 AM   #42
floppywhopper
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Speaking of Lawn mowers ...

I used to work in a plastics factory where we made acryllic sheet plastic and we used Methanol in part of the process which would then be dumped. So I grabbed a 20 Litre tin of the stuff to be dumped and fed it into my Aunt's lawn mower.
Holy Cow after that, that mongrel only had one speed - Turbo

Well all good things must come to an end and the tin of meth ran dry and the lawn mower went back to petrol and its normal speed.

But one does wonder why we are forced to use petrol when Methanol is generally cheaper to produce, has less emisions and runs just as well... sort of sounds familiar to the Microsoft / Open source argument doesn't it.

floppy
 
Old 03-15-2005, 05:57 AM   #43
prj
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Alternative sources such as the Brazilians using sugar to make alcohol and over here recycled oil from chip shops used to replace diesel sound good.

Good excuse for a fish and chip supper after the pub shuts anyway

I'm also lead to believe that the petrol and car companies buy up any new ideas pretty quick, but don't release them for sale to the public if they can help it (read - get away with it) - Is this true?

Last edited by prj; 03-15-2005 at 05:58 AM.
 
Old 03-15-2005, 07:05 AM   #44
stabile007
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Quote:
Originally posted by floppywhopper
In most countries price-fixing between companies is illegal so why is it legal for OPEC to fix high prices and why is Russia not a member of OPEC. Why aren't we buying oil at true market prices where different countries and companies compete for the customer.

Why is it that Gas produced here in Western Australia is sold at OPEC prices to the locals rather than at the real much lower cost.

The real solution to the so-called oil crisis is to get rid of OPEC.

Albany - Western Australia is currently home to Australia largest wind farm but it would have been much bigger except that there was so much opposition due to aesthetics. Now everybody wants to expand it, but that will cost much more than if they had built it to the original specs in the first place. No politician had the %$#* to do the job properly in the first instance. Therein lies the other half of the problem, politicians who care about short term popularity rather than the long term good of the state.

floppy
OPEC is a group of Oil producing countries. So we would of course need to take over all the coutnries involved. Which I doubt many people would like.
 
Old 03-15-2005, 07:19 AM   #45
vharishankar
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OPEC stands for "Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries" (If I remember correctly) Most of these countries are Middle East countries I think.
 
  


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