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Like it or not, more and more of the energy's electricity is being generated by wind and solar, they are growing by leaps and bounds. Coal is rapidly dropping. Natural gas has replaced some of coal's capacity and therefore has increased. However, renewables have risen from 10% of energy produced in 2010 to 20% in 2020, while nuclear has been stagnant and coal has dropped from 45% to 19%, and natural gas from 24% to 40%.
Solar and wind are reliable. There is still a need for flex capacity, and natural gas has filled that void. However, it's not because it's a better technology inherently. It's because it's an EXISTING technology whose capacity largely already existed, and which can be dialed up fairly quickly. There are several good storage technologies that can be used for wind and solar, but given the choice of an already-amortized natural gas plant vs a new storage facility, the economics of going with what you have will win out. But not necessarily forever.
I will point out that natural gas is subject to the need to extract, transport and store the fuel, and subject to all of the price variation, safety issues, distribution, and potential for terrorist actions that can devastate huge areas. Neither solar nor wind requires extraction or transport or storage of fuel, nor do the 'fuel's pose any safety threat, nor are they subject to any price variation - because they are free forever. That's an enormous benefit that cannot be overlooked.
 
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I never compared oil refineries to solar farms. You did.

Do you want to compare lithium mines to refineries? That would be more appropriate.
You want to add coal mines and uranium mines to the list as well? You made a point about solar panels and wind farms, I countered with one example. I still say solar and wind are much less polluting and less of an eyesore than pretty much any fossil fuel or nuclear source. Unless you have a point to counter that, then I guess I’m done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
You want to add coal mines and uranium mines to the list as well? You made a point about solar panels and wind farms, I countered with one example. I still say solar and wind are much less polluting and less of an eyesore than pretty much any fossil fuel or nuclear source. Unless you have a point to counter that, then I guess I’m done.
Where did I advocate for coal? I didn't. Please do not conflate the issue with things not being discussed.

The majority of uranium comes from in situ leaching and underground mines. Open pits and other eyesores are not used by Western nations so much. So, I do not know where you think uranium mines are an eyesore.

I am sorry, but a beautiful mountain range covered in wind turbines is an eyesore. Thousands of acres of farmland covered in solar panels is an eyesore.

You are free to believe otherwise. But wind and solar are unreliable sources of electricity. This is not debateable.

Building massive storage facilities is not currently cost effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·

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Any time someone says "This is not debatable", it means they are unwilling to look at facts.

And since storage can be done by MULTIPLE means, simply insisting that it's not cost-effective is also a refusal to look at any of them or data about them.
 
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Yes, refineries smell for those who live nearby.

Wind Turbines also cause quality of life issues for those living nearby.
More than 100 residents sue Arkwright project developers | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)

Here are abandoned solar farms and wind turbines. Instead of being recycled or reused (as we were promised), they are left abandoned and create a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Abandoned Dreams of Wind and Light - Atlas Obscura
But they don't cause cancer - oh, wait, we were told that they do....
 
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Any time someone says "This is not debatable", it means they are unwilling to look at facts.

And since storage can be done by MULTIPLE means, simply insisting that it's not cost-effective is also a refusal to look at any of them or data about them.
Do wind and solar produce power on demand? No

That is unreliable.

You cannot power a hospital with solar and wind. People would die. Tell me that I am wrong.
 
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Do wind and solar produce power on demand? No

That is unreliable.

You cannot power a hospital with solar and wind. People would die. Tell me that I am wrong.
You are wrong. Lithium batteries can easily store solar and wind energy and be more reliable than, say, Texas' grid that failed where people died.

Here's the future:
Homeowners, businesses, and Apartment Complex lessees own Plugin EVs. They plug their cars into the green power grid. During high demand or low supply (ex: night in December, or no wind) the EVs power the buildings with no hiccups. During low demand or high supply (ex: Bright July day or windy October night) the EVs charge from the green power grid. Parking for EV owners is free instead of paying because they serve as the backup power system for the complex. Housing owners and vehicle owners benefit. Because the power is generated from a local source, it is immune to terrorist attacks, trees, drunk drivers hitting poles, etc. Even if the solar arrays and/or wind turbines are ALL compromised, the EV vehicles can supply the power for several days.
 

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Do wind and solar produce power on demand? No

That is unreliable.

You cannot power a hospital with solar and wind. People would die. Tell me that I am wrong.
You are wrong.
"Reliable" does not equate with "on demand". You are mistaken in your definition of reliability. Reliability is quality over time. Quality is meeting customer expectations. The power companies are the customers of energy production - don't confuse them with end users. And the expectation is that they will generate power as expected. Which is when there is light and when there is wind. Solar panels ALWAYS generate power when exposed to sunlight. They are HIGHLY reliable. Wind power is also reliable, windmills generate electricity when there is wind. Failures in modern systems are uncommon. And they continue to become more reliable.
No one would invest in a power source that is unreliable. Yet in the last 20 years, wind power generation has increased by 5,600 percent, and solar by 17,700 percent.
And as stated above, storage is easily done - batteries, flywheel, thermal, hydro - there are many means. This storage market will continue to grow as renewables become larger and larger proportions of our energy mix. Solar and wind generate more power during daylight hours when demand is greatest, thereby relieving natural gas of a burden and allowing it to be more of a flex source than the main source of energy.
 

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Where did I advocate for coal? I didn't. Please do not conflate the issue with things not being discussed.

The majority of uranium comes from in situ leaching and underground mines. Open pits and other eyesores are not used by Western nations so much. So, I do not know where you think uranium mines are an eyesore.

I am sorry, but a beautiful mountain range covered in wind turbines is an eyesore. Thousands of acres of farmland covered in solar panels is an eyesore.

You are free to believe otherwise. But wind and solar are unreliable sources of electricity. This is not debateable.

Building massive storage facilities is not currently cost effective.
Did I advocate for lithium? Nope. Yet you added that to the discussion as well, though we weren't discussing that...so feel free to "conflate" as well.

Are there active open uranium mines in the US? Not currently, but does it only make something an eyesore if its in the US? Is there evidence of open pit mining all across the US for various materials/resources? Yes. Are they eyesores? Yup. Is there environmental damage all across the US that is a direct result of mining practices, both past and present? Yup.

And you're wrong, Canada has open pit Uranium mines:

Nuclear Fuel - Canadian Nuclear Association.

So yeah, once again, I'll take wind or solar over the environmental damage that results from fossil fuels...from source to end usage, fossil fuels are far more environmentally damaging than wind or solar. So feel free to feel otherwise, but you'd be wrong.
 
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Did I advocate for lithium? Nope. Yet you added that to the discussion as well, though we weren't discussing that...so feel free to "conflate" as well.

Are there active open uranium mines in the US? Not currently, but does it only make something an eyesore if its in the US? Is there evidence of open pit mining all across the US for various materials/resources? Yes. Are they eyesores? Yup. Is there environmental damage all across the US that is a direct result of mining practices, both past and present? Yup.

And you're wrong, Canada has open pit Uranium mines:

Nuclear Fuel - Canadian Nuclear Association.

So yeah, once again, I'll take wind or solar over the environmental damage that results from fossil fuels...from source to end usage, fossil fuels are far more environmentally damaging than wind or solar. So feel free to feel otherwise, but you'd be wrong.
You do not have a choice but to use lithium. That is what the industry is using. All the wet dreams about other battery materials are just wet dreams, like most of the battery advocates.

Open pit uranium mining is a small portion of the total. The vast majority of uranium comes from extraction methods you cannot see in the same way you see ugly wind turbines or fertile fields covered in solar panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
You are wrong.
"Reliable" does not equate with "on demand". You are mistaken in your definition of reliability. Reliability is quality over time. Quality is meeting customer expectations. The power companies are the customers of energy production - don't confuse them with end users. And the expectation is that they will generate power as expected. Which is when there is light and when there is wind. Solar panels ALWAYS generate power when exposed to sunlight. They are HIGHLY reliable. Wind power is also reliable, windmills generate electricity when there is wind. Failures in modern systems are uncommon. And they continue to become more reliable.
No one would invest in a power source that is unreliable. Yet in the last 20 years, wind power generation has increased by 5,600 percent, and solar by 17,700 percent.
And as stated above, storage is easily done - batteries, flywheel, thermal, hydro - there are many means. This storage market will continue to grow as renewables become larger and larger proportions of our energy mix. Solar and wind generate more power during daylight hours when demand is greatest, thereby relieving natural gas of a burden and allowing it to be more of a flex source than the main source of energy.
Then put a loved one on a respirator run solely on solar. You will learn what is "reliability".

But lets go with your definition. Solar panels get dirty or covered in snow and then do not produce the expected output.

So, if you do not know how much electricity you will get on a particular day, how reliable is that system?

The same with wind. Nobody knows how long the wind will last and how much electricity will be generated. That is a lack of reliability.

You cannot rely on wind/solar to deliver X electricity. It is a crapshoot each day based on factors out of your control.

That is why they are unreliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
You are wrong. Lithium batteries can easily store solar and wind energy and be more reliable than, say, Texas' grid that failed where people died.

Here's the future:
Homeowners, businesses, and Apartment Complex lessees own Plugin EVs. They plug their cars into the green power grid. During high demand or low supply (ex: night in December, or no wind) the EVs power the buildings with no hiccups. During low demand or high supply (ex: Bright July day or windy October night) the EVs charge from the green power grid. Parking for EV owners is free instead of paying because they serve as the backup power system for the complex. Housing owners and vehicle owners benefit. Because the power is generated from a local source, it is immune to terrorist attacks, trees, drunk drivers hitting poles, etc. Even if the solar arrays and/or wind turbines are ALL compromised, the EV vehicles can supply the power for several days.

So, when the doctor wakes up and finds his car's battery is depleted, he cannot go to work and save lives. Great system!
 

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I have a feeling that we're only seeing the beginning of what Russia is planning to do to our infrastructure. The pipeline attack is small fish. It's more likely that the doctor will have no gas for his car (along with millions of other Americans) because of ransomware attacks on our infrastructure, coordinated with ransomware attacks on our legacy power grid, that also takes out power for hospitals, businesses, and homes.

Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but in the 50s and 60s, there were "Duck and cover" drills that students had to go through that were really psychological more than anything (since duck and cover would be completely useless in an actual nuclear attack). This was due to the threat of Soviet nuclear attacks. Ransomware attacks have already begun, whereas those nuclear attacks from Soviet Russia never started. Why were we more aware of threats back then? Especially considering we've already been attacked now? Woefully unprepared. Our ancient infrastructure is begging to be taken down by zit-faced Russian children in Guy Fawkes masks, nevermind the actual brains in the Kremlin.
 
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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I have a feeling that we're only seeing the beginning of what Russia is planning to do to our infrastructure. The pipeline attack is small fish. It's more likely that the doctor will have no gas for his car (along with millions of other Americans) because of ransomware attacks on our infrastructure, coordinated with ransomware attacks on our legacy power grid, that also takes out power for hospitals, businesses, and homes.

Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but in the 50s and 60s, there were "Duck and cover" drills that students had to go through that were really psychological more than anything (since duck and cover would be completely useless in an actual nuclear attack). This was due to the threat of Soviet nuclear attacks. Ransomware attacks have already begun, whereas those nuclear attacks from Soviet Russia never started. Why were we more aware of threats back then? Especially considering we've already been attacked now? Woefully unprepared. Our ancient infrastructure is begging to be taken down by zit-faced Russian children in Guy Fawkes masks, nevermind the actual brains in the Kremlin.
We have already seen remote attacks on vehicles. The future is also autonomous vehicles. One step is vehicle to vehicle communications so they can avoid hitting each other and share traffic information.

These are good ideas, but vulnerable to the same types of cybernetic attacks.
 

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I have a feeling that we're only seeing the beginning of what Russia is planning to do to our infrastructure.
I think it's more about the money than the power, these days. Russia is a kleptocracy. They might be trying to make the money from ransoms that our government has seized from the criminals in their government.

Russia has just about as awful a government as anyone can get, and we've done very little about it. I know there aren't that many options, but ignoring Russia’s evils has not made them go away.
 

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An added benefit to this would be the exercise benefits for the panel maintenance crews to dodge all the bees! Having disturbed a nest of bumblebees the other day and getting stung repeatedly as I flailed around like a lunatic with a shovel, I can say it was a decent workout! Though the burning sensation in my wrists and ankles was not so pleasant. Oh well, trade offs with everything I guess.

Side note, I had always heard that bumblebees tend to not sting you and they die if they do. Not true, apparently. They get pissed if you disturb their nest…and the female drones I think can keep on happily stinging you. Learn something new every day!
 

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Hitting bees with a shovel might not have been the best strategy.
Funny thing is when we had different bushes around the house, which the town ordered us to remove ("interferes with sight lines"), we would walk through clouds of bees every day as they happily harvested.
 
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