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View Diary: New Corrosion Research Shows Accelerated Failure At Fukushima Daiichi (33 comments)

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  •  Iceland has geothermal heat and hydro (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of it.  Lucky.  Of all the methods of producing power, hydro is the most efficient for both base load and peak load.  Hydro isn't without its environmental consequences either because dams block fish from reaching spawning grounds and turn free flowing rivers into lakes.

    •  Theer are other ways to do hydro (0+ / 0-)

      For instance, using currents without damming the rivers.

      The same techniques can use tidal movement to generate power.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:35:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with any form of hydro... (0+ / 0-)

        is that by very nature of taking energy out of the river, you're killing the river.  It's this energy that aerates and modulates the temperature of the the river, keeps sediment suspended in some areas, erodes new sediment in others, etc.  The energy is the lifeblood of the river.  You can't tap it without hurting the river.

    •  I personally think hydro is pretty awful. (0+ / 0-)

      The dams impound a rather huge area compared to how much power they produce - about an order of magnitude more than solar in a good location for the same power output.  Less then wind if you consider the spacing of the turbines but a ton more than wind if you consider only the physical turbine foodprints and their access roads/power lines/etc.  

      Wind and solar are best built in vast, open, indistinct wastelands.  Hydro is best built in some of the most sensitive, unique, and beautiful areas on the planet (river canyons).

      Wind's effect on the local environment is debatable but even their most controversial aspect, bird kills, is small enough with modern turbines that even the Audubon society generally supports them.  Solar has a number of positive effects, in that the one thing that's usually in the shortest supply in sunny places is shade ("nurse trees" nurture whole ecosystems).  Dams radically alter and generally destroy the whole ecosystem, from the reservoir to far downstream, in a whole host of different manners (temperature, oxygenation, erosion, silting, etc).

      Geo on the other hand I'm generally quite fond of.  It has a rather tiny footprint for how much power it produces.  It's laid out like a wind farm with a bunch of separate wells with access roads (and pipes instead of power lines) but each unit produces an order of magnitude or more more power than a wind turbine, and it's baseload and high capacity factor.  It's partially renewable (there's usually a ton of initial heat, then a decline to a much lower steady state; if a field is abandoned long enough it will recover).  

      Kind of bothers me when lots of people up here protest it.  I mean, yes, you have to build access roads and power lines out to it, and drilling isn't perfect.  But my god, it sure as heck beats the alternatives...

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