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## Pickens Plan -alternative energy

 Quote by rolerbe [RANT = ON] .... Are we doomed to go dark, or is there an out? Yes -- Fusion. Leads to solutions for all the issues above. But, its too long of a play for the corporate world to take on. We need to push our governments to start doing what governments should be doing -- which is looking long term -- 60+ years, not just the myopia of the 6 year election cycle. We need to fund Fusion research big time, not the piddles it is currently getting. If the US were serious about maintaining the premier superpower position, they would lead this charge, not just tag along as an ITER also ran. Write your congressman! [/RANT]
I completely agree with you Cheeto. from my perspective, the world knows that using fusion to generate the electricity to power the world is possible. Of course there are speed bumps and mountains that must be traversed as usual. But this was also the case during WWII. They knew a massive uncontrolled fusion reaction capable of leveling a city was possible; given the money and resources, they succeeded. I think this is just as important if not more than this case.
After all, its about saving the planet; not just the USA... (there's some perspective for ya)

With these spirits in mind, could someone give me a rough estimate of how much $would have to be spent to just get this research going steady? Excluding the funding money for the following years; who knows how long and how much money would go into it. but Fusion is a topic for another thread. Should our next President carry such ambition? I think so. Because it's up to the people in power to see past their desk and succumb to reality and do the right thing. I too encourage everyone to write a letter to your respected governor or congressman about this crisis. Help them see past their desk...  Blog Entries: 1 Recognitions: Gold Member I think Pickens Plan is a good start; capable of giving the 'green' trend some momentum around the world. They've got some good forums and updates about all this stuff on the Pickens website.  Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus Pickens will be on Lou Dobbs, next Monday. http://loudobbs.tv.cnn.com/ As for the potential for fusion discussed earlier: No time. Just like McCain's battery, fusion is a forty year old promise. The day for each may come, but we can't wait for all of these already dated, pie-in-the-sky promises. Also, I doubt that fusion would prove to be the ideal source of energy that many people expect. IMO, if there is one lesson to be learned from the pursuit of the ideal energy source, it is that there is no perfect option. Many people were inappropriately led to believe that nuclear fission power would be "too cheap to meter". In fact, it has never been able to compete [pricewise] with coal. Recognitions: Gold Member http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1215...ml?mod=Letters  ...Recent cost comparisons by Deutsche Bank's auto analysts suggest electric cars will be cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles. Fuel costs per mile for gasoline-fueled cars are$0.27 in Germany, $0.24 in Britain,$0.17 in Brazil and $0.11 in the U.S., with differences driven by local fuel taxes. For electric vehicles, the cost per mile is a mere$0.02. Adding in a battery amortized over the life of the car, the cost is still only $0.10. Batteries will be expensive, at least in early years, but electric cars won't need costly engines or complex transmissions like today's autos...  Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus When they have a battery that costs less than the price of two cars, let me know.  Recognitions: Gold Member Ok, they do, now, letting you know. Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by mheslep Ok, they do, now, letting you know. This is verging on misinformation, which is worth a third of the points needed for banning. There is not a viable battery for electric cars; not cars that can meet the practical needs of drivers, less a small percentage of the population. If you only want to drive a golf cart ten miles a day, of if you can afford$50K or $60K worth if Li ion batteries every few years, that is another matter. This is why Pickens is pushing for NG combustion, rather than electric cars. This is also why McCain wants to offer a 300 million dollar prize for the company that can make a viable battery [which is silly since the incentive already exists]. Are you saying that McCain is simply lying and trying to dupe the public? Blog Entries: 1 Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by Ivan Seeking Pickens will be on Lou Dobbs, next Monday. http://loudobbs.tv.cnn.com/ As for the potential for fusion discussed earlier: No time. Just like McCain's battery, fusion is a forty year old promise. The day for each may come, but we can't wait for all of these already dated, pie-in-the-sky promises. Also, I doubt that fusion would prove to be the ideal source of energy that many people expect. IMO, if there is one lesson to be learned from the pursuit of the ideal energy source, it is that there is no perfect option. Many people were inappropriately led to believe that nuclear fission power would be "too cheap to meter". In fact, it has never been able to compete [pricewise] with coal. That is merely your opinion Ivan. I for one like to keep my hopes up. Still aim for that ultamate goal 'up in the sky'. (not offense) Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by Ivan Seeking Many people were inappropriately led to believe that nuclear fission power would be "too cheap to meter". In fact, it has never been able to compete [pricewise] with coal. For sure it isn't "too cheap to meter", but concerning the competition with coal, have a look here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by taylaron I completely agree with you Cheeto. from my perspective, the world knows that using fusion to generate the electricity to power the world is possible. Of course there are speed bumps and mountains that must be traversed as usual. But this was also the case during WWII. They knew a massive uncontrolled fusion reaction capable of leveling a city was possible; given the money and resources, they succeeded. I think this is just as important if not more than this case. After all, its about saving the planet; not just the USA... (there's some perspective for ya) I would like to chime in. It is not about "saving the planet" (that's some Gaia worshippers' religion's claim), but about "saving our lifestyle". So we should find solutions compatible with our lifestyle to save it in the first place. That means that whatever we are going to use as energy sources must be plentiful and economical (including external costs). There's a big difference between making an atomic bomb, which is in fact "easy" (nature does it for you, you just have to configure things correctly), and making a power-delivering fusion reactor, which has turned out very very difficult. I'm also convinced that one day, fusion will be a possible power source. The point is that this day is probably at least a century away from us: net energy production has not even been demonstrated in extremely sophisticated LABORATORY conditions. So doing this on an INDUSTRIAL scale, and in a COMPETITIVE WAY, is still science fiction. We need to "shift gears" technologically before this becomes conceivable. So putting some brilliant scientists together and giving them unlimited budget for a few years (like the Manhattan project) won't do. Making a nuke was child's game compared to this challenge. Fission is "waiting to happen". Fusion, you have to force it.  With these spirits in mind, could someone give me a rough estimate of how much$ would have to be spent to just get this research going steady? Excluding the funding money for the following years; who knows how long and how much money would go into it. but Fusion is a topic for another thread.
ITER is going to run for 30 years, to try to demonstrate for the first time the possibility of producing as much energy as has been put in. Halfway through ITER one will have to determine the design parameters of "DEMO" which should start around 2050 or so, which should demonstrate the possibility of *practical* (but not economical) power production. After that, one should find out whether it is industrially and economically feasible to design a genuine reactor (DEMO will be an international collaboration of which every KWh will be several times the market price if everything works well).

I think one should do that. But I don't think one should include any speculations about any results in any serious energy policy for the coming decades.

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 Before you plan to install your own wind turbine or wind farm, you must know if the wind resource in your location is adequate.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhy.../wind_maps.asp
If we only had wind everywhere.

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 Quote by vanesch For sure it isn't "too cheap to meter", but concerning the competition with coal, have a look here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html
 Quote by link Nuclear power is cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation, except where there is direct access to low-cost fossil fuels.
I should have said in the US, where we have plenty of cheap coal.

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 Quote by dlgoff http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhy.../wind_maps.asp If we only had wind everywhere.
To me, this wind option still seems well worth pursuing.

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 Quote by Ivan Seeking To me, this wind option still seems well worth pursuing. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=108344
Oh. I agree.
My hope is your algae oil will come to age sooner than later.

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 Quote by vanesch ...There's a big difference between making an atomic bomb, which is in fact "easy" (nature does it for you, you just have to configure things correctly), and making a power-delivering fusion reactor, which has turned out very very difficult. ... Fission is "waiting to happen". Fusion, you have to force it...
Certainly controlled fusion is proving immensely difficult, but before calling controlled fission natural and easy, after the fact of its realization, it is instructive to recall:

 Quote by Albert Einstein 1932 There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.

Controlled fusion may appear easy one day too.

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 Quote by mheslep Certainly controlled fusion is proving immensely difficult, but before calling controlled fission natural and easy, after the fact of its realization, it is instructive to recall: Controlled fusion may appear easy one day too.

It all depends on your perspective

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 Quote by Ivan Seeking This is verging on misinformation, which is worth a third of the points needed for banning. There is not a viable battery for electric cars; not cars that can meet the practical needs of drivers, less a small percentage of the population. If you only want to drive a golf cart ten miles a day, of if you can afford $50K or$60K worth if Li ion batteries every few years, that is another matter.
Perhaps we could both be more precise then and drop the 'price of two cars' rhetoric and stick to exactly how much battery is required, and at what price.

The price of Li ion, cited previously, is $450 to$1000 per kWh [1][2]

You used the same assumption earlier to calculate:
 Quote by Ivan S ...So it would take $11,000 worth of batteries to get the energy storage and output of one gallon of gasoline. http://physicsforums.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=121 That one - gallon equivalent is plenty, in a 50 mpg equivalent PHEV, to cover the daily short distance driving requirements of most of the US population [3][4], not some small percentage, and not in a golf cart. All electric cars are not required to have a large impact on oil use. No serious policy makers are pushing all electric in any case; the non-feasibility of recharging in short times on long trips blocks this. As I've made clear previously, it is PHEVs than can seriously impact oil usage. There is serious literature saying the same:  Impact of Drive Cycles and Powertrain Configurations on PHEV Battery Requirements Date Published: April 2008 Author(s): Jason Kwon - Argonne National Laboratory Aymeric Rousseau - Argonne National Laboratory Abstract: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) offer the ability to significantly reduce petroleum consumptions.. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), working with the FreedomCAR and Fuels Partnership, participated in the definition of the battery requirements for PHEVs. Previous studies have demonstrated ... http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2008-01-1337  Quote by NREL A Preliminary Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles on Wind Energy Markets ...PHEVs ....For the average driver, the use of a relatively small battery delivers much of the benefits of a pure electric vehicle, without the disadvantages of prohibitive cost or limited range.... [5] [1]$450/kWh http://spectrum.ieee.org/sep07/5490/3
[2] $1000/kWh http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/06/bob-lutz-drives.html ($1000/kWh)
[3] Table III.A-6. 29.5 average miles per day, light passenger vehicles. http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/420r06017.pdf
[4] http://www.autobloggreen.com/media/2...-and-speed.jpg
[5] http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy06osti/39729.pdf, page 2

Now, please, no follow ups about how I am implying this solves all problems, or betting everything on one technology, or that this is the only way to go. I only point out what other (cited) sources say, that PHEVs offer a potential substantial reduction in oil usage.

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