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View Diary: For electric power generation, the end of fossil fuel is in sight (215 comments)

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  •  And to help pay for some of this (3+ / 0-)
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    cynndara, Words In Action, Sandino

    how about phasing in a carbon tax on domestic and international goods and services based on some reasonable estimate of their carbon footprint. Make it high enough to be able to raise a meaningful amount of investment capital and discourage use of carbon-contributing products and services.

    Obviously, this will require the yet more bureaucracy and regulation, which will cost something and put an extra burden on companies. But if it offsets the burden already being placed on society and thus companies too, it's worth it.

    As for storing excess renewable energy, how about hydro pumped storage?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:00:24 PM PST

    •  pumped hydro is off the shelf tech (0+ / 0-)

      in fact old school, we built about 22 gigs of pumped hydro by 1996 IIRC. Though mostly matched to coal plants.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:09:42 AM PST

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      •  Still the most efficient way to store (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        excess capacity from what I've read, so might as well use it. I'm sure that smaller-scale versions can be built that would be cost-effective.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:58:26 PM PST

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        •  Yes, small and mid size hydro (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          were hardly exploited in the big dam building years, so lots can be added to capacity.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:54:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A while ago I had this hairbrained idea (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roger Fox

            about using excess electricity to power desalination plants on the pacific coast, then pump the much-needed water to the Central Valley and over or through the Sierra Nevadas for irrigation and local water use, using the downflow of the water to power turbines to recapture some of the electricity used to pump them up. It would probably be too inefficient to be practical, but who knows.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:46:27 PM PST

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            •  Important stream of thought (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie

              I've been following Polywell fusion for a few years. Small compact fusion, no waste, little radioactivity. 1000mw plant 35x35x35 building.

              SO build Polywell plants on the west coast to desalinate seawater, this provides coastal agriculture water, cities and towns drinking water, so the rivers arent pumped dry. Pump water inland to alleviate water use pressure also.

              Yeah pumping water uphill is very energy intensive, friction loss by itself is a killer. But yeah with spillover power it could be done.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:07:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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