# YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

by russ_watters
Tags: crisis, energy
P: 1,672
 Quote by mheslep That doesn't sound like a build out of the H2 infrastructure is well on its way.
That's a rather naive statement. Its obvious that there are remote locations in the world that won't have H2 fueling stations just as there are routes that don't have gas or diesel stations.
PF Gold
P: 3,021
 Quote by Topher925 ...just as there are routes that don't have gas or diesel stations.
In the US? What routes would these be?
 P: 10 Wires are cheaper than hydrogen pipelines.
 P: 39 Seems to me there is a good solution if you believe in our ingenuity. I personally believe we can solve almost any engineering problem if we put enough will, brains and money into it. We had a smart president once who believed that and we went to the moon. There were probably many nabobs of negativism then who were against it or didn't believe it was possible. I am sure many of those same types will pan this idea too. I will say right now they are wrong. Every single person on this planet is standing on top of an unlimited clean source of power. Geothermal energy if exploited would solve almost all our energy needs essentially forever. All we need is another Kennedy to focus the national will and resources and all the obstacles could be solved. I KNOW that is true.
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P: 3,021
 Quote by moejoe15 ... Every single person on this planet is standing on top of an unlimited clean source of power. Geothermal energy if exploited would solve almost all our energy needs essentially forever.
Do you know how you know this is true, and can explain how, or is that statement a matter of faith?

 All we need is another Kennedy to focus the national will and resources and all the obstacles could be solved. I KNOW that is true.
The Moon landing was a spectacular achievement, yet it still amounted to sending only three men there a few times over. Constructing a mechanism that can provide something like energy cheaply to billions of people is an entirely different venture.
P: 1
 Quote by tumor For start, force people to switch from incadescent lightbulbs to fluorescent ones. In USA fluorescent bulbs are still BIG news.Small steps like this can make big difference.
Actually, LED bulbs are starting to be available that are lower power input, longer-lasting and not subject to breakage and mercury leakage. These need to be better - right now LEDs available are too expensive, too heavy for some applications, and not bright enough (I looked recently for a 100W replacement, and didn't find one).
P: 39
 Quote by mheslep Do you know how you know this is true, and can explain how, or is that statement a matter of faith?...
I was under the impression that there is molten core at the center of the earth? Not true? You don't have to dig far in some places to tap heat and heat is energy. Geothermal is already used in places where the heat is close to the surface and easily tapped. It's there everywhere if you dig deep enough and think it is just an engineering problem and if there is anything we do well it is overcome engineering problems. There are places in the US where it isn't far under the surface. Yellowstone for one. We routinely drill over a mile down now, I think we can get much farther down if we tried. The point is the energy is there, all we have to do is figure out how to get it instead of throwing up our hands and saying it's impossible as people like you want to do.
Mentor
P: 5,351
 Quote by moejoe15 I was under the impression that there is molten core at the center of the earth? Not true? You don't have to dig far in some places to tap heat and heat is energy. Geothermal is already used in places where the heat is close to the surface and easily tapped. It's there everywhere if you dig deep enough and think it is just an engineering problem and if there is anything we do well it is overcome engineering problems. There are places in the US where it isn't far under the surface. Yellowstone for one. We routinely drill over a mile down now, I think we can get much farther down if we tried. The point is the energy is there, all we have to do is figure out how to get it instead of throwing up our hands and saying it's impossible as people like you want to do.
Nobody was suggesting it was impossible but there are huge technical challenges with widespread geothermal power. Suggesting it as an option without providing good explanation as to why and how is as sensible and productive as saying "if we had lots of solar power we could cheaply power the Earth". It's superficially true but working out the science and engineering of how to make it work is a different story entirely.
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P: 3,021
 Quote by moejoe15 ... The point is the energy is there, all we have to do is figure out how to get it instead of throwing up our hands and saying it's impossible as people like you want to do.
Yes and the energy of the Sun is there, all we have to do is figure out how to send spaceships to the sun and get it. Look, this is an engineering forum. It seems to me you have two options: actually engage in investigating the possibilities of energy sources such as geothermal, if that is your interest, or preach dogma (to an appropriate audience somewhere else).
 P: 39 I see, so I should either go out and drill or shut up. Thanks for clearing up the purpose of this thread.
Mentor
P: 5,351
 Quote by moejoe15 I see, so I should either go out and drill or shut up. Thanks for clearing up the purpose of this thread.
It's not just the purpose of this thread it is the purpose of this entire forum to provide thorough and well reasoned explanations in as much detail as possible using sources from peer-reviewed literature. Initial ideas are fine but when questioned you should be prepared to back up a claim with detailed data and if you read the first post in this thread you will see that the specific purpose here is not to throw around initial ideas but to present fully thought out proposals.

So please don't think there is anything wrong with posting initial ideas such as "I think we should use more geothermal energy" but when somebody asks you to elaborate you should provide proper and thorough explanations and proposals rather than becoming defensive and dismissive.
Mentor
P: 11,989
 Quote by moejoe15 I see, so I should either go out and drill or shut up. Thanks for clearing up the purpose of this thread.
You could provide an estimate of how much power geothermal energy can provide. How many kW per square meter? How many square meters are required to power the United States (or the world, or other country of your choice)? Without doing that, you don't really know if geothermal is viable or not.

If we had those estimates, we could have a discussion about the merits of geothermal power.

And if you can't provide the estimates yourself, you may simply ask "What about geothermal power? How many kW per square meter could it provide? etc. etc."
 P: 446 wikipedia gives us "Geothermal gradient is the rate of increasing temperature with respect to increasing depth in the Earth's interior. Away from tectonic plate boundaries, it is 25–30°C per km of depth in most of the world." Seems like a great source for a community heat pump for heating in winter.
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P: 1,370
 Quote by edpell wikipedia gives us "Geothermal gradient is the rate of increasing temperature with respect to increasing depth in the Earth's interior. Away from tectonic plate boundaries, it is 25–30°C per km of depth in most of the world." Seems like a great source for a community heat pump for heating in winter.

Ha ha! I was just joking about the gold, and here I found someone who thinks there is a pot full down there!

 Earth's Inner Fort Knox Wood has calculated that 1.6 quadrillion tons of gold must lie in Earth's core.
Let's see, at the current spot price, that's $53,968,760,000,000,000,000,000, which works out to about$7.7 trillion per earthling.

Finally, I'll be able to afford an electric car, without having to make the damn thing myself.

But anyways, geothermal is a good idea. I'm curious why no one has tapped the energy from the deep water vents yet. No drilling required. And if you have a blow out, the worst thing you get, is a bunch of seawater.
 PF Gold P: 1,370 Of course, I'm a huge fan of solar, and think I may have a convert: I constructed a solar powered volleyball court watering system a couple of years back, out of 3 panels, 3 bilge pumps, and a slew of garden hoses, to get the water from the river, to the furthest court, about 100 yards away. My friend Cal, who had a gas powered version, (which I have never seen), constructed the above system over the last year. I was quite impressed when I saw it yesterday. I don't really know what this has to do the the US Energy Crisis, but I thought that maybe if people understood their options, it might be a good start. Sometimes, it's not about brute force. Sometimes, it's about going with the flow. (my Sunday Zen moment of the day.^.^. Ommmm.......... Thank you Astro!) ps. Some of those eco-terrorists came through town the other day......
 Admin P: 21,637 The American Energy Innovation Council is pushing for more government and private investment in energy innovation. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/d...or-the-future/ http://www.americanenergyinnovation.org/ http://www.americanenergyinnovation.org/full-report Interestingly, there are several organizations that use the phrase Energy Innovation or Energy Innovations in their title, e.g., http://www.energyinnovations.com/ http://www.seiinc.org/
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P: 3,021
 Quote by Astronuc The American Energy Innovation Council is pushing for more government and private investment in energy innovation. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/d...or-the-future/ http://www.americanenergyinnovation.org/ http://www.americanenergyinnovation.org/full-report ...
Bad timing on their part for a PR campaign

Solyndra Bankruptcy Reveals Dark Clouds in Solar Power Industry

 Quote by Sept 6 Solyndra had received \$527 million in federal loans authorized by a program in the 2009 stimulus act.
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P: 1,370
 Quote by mheslep Bad timing on their part for a PR campaign Solyndra Bankruptcy Reveals Dark Clouds in Solar Power Industry