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View Diary: Election Time in Iceland: A Zombie Constitution To The Left, Pirates Sailing To The Right (68 comments)

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  •  Oh, near Keflavik. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei, FarWestGirl

    I've been to Keflavik (briefly) but never went north of it to Helguvik.

    a place like Reykjanes that's basically just a giant, young, non-diverse lava field, and running off of geothermal power, well, it's hard to think of a better place in the world for one.
    Yeah, I really can't think of a better place to put it.  The airport is already right there, and it's not too far from Reykjavik.  I would imagine it has to be somewhere with a port for the material transport.
    •  And they really need the jobs in the area, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl, MGross

      Some large chunks of Keflavík are practically a ghost town since the NATO base closed.  And a lot of the small fishing villages are on the decline  because of the quota system.

    •  This might give some background (0+ / 0-)

      Actually sounds pretty disturbing and dirty.

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:34:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with him about the rivers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, MGross, ArkDem14

        But not about the geothermal.

        First off, his statement about how unprecedently large these plants is flat-out false.  I'm sure he knows well (or at least hope he knows!) that Hellisheiði, for example, is 300MW, a far cry from the 40MW he's talking about.  And he specifically cites the Svartsengi plant from whence the Blue Lagoon comes.  It's only the fourth biggest in Iceland, but even it is 76MW (150MW thermal).  So he's simply wrong there.  

        Then his immediate next slide is wrong.  Using old figures, it took about 50MJ/tonne to produce steel and 300MJ/tonne to produce aluminum.  That's six times as much, not thirty.  And, as we all know, aluminum is a light material, so per-tonne figures are distorting - steel is three times as dense as aluminum.  But those are old figures.  The energy cost for producing aluminum has fallen dramatically, and new plants use about 130MJ a tonne.  Which is per-unit-volume comparable to steel.  And producing metals isn't just about energy; per unit (whether mass or volume) produced, steel smelters are one heck of a lot more polluting than aluminum.  And once the products are produced?  The aluminum will never rust away and need to be replaced, and it melts down easier than steel.  And lastly, as mentioned, aluminum's main increasing usage is in vehicles of various varities, where it overall saves a tremendous amount of energy.  The per-pound lifetime savings varies but averages something like 70 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of aluminum used instead of steel, which is a huge difference.

        His argument about how people are producing aluminum so that people can throw away cans fails a reducto ad absurdum because you could apply it to everything (people waste some of everything we produce), and therefore, nothing should be produced, and therefore, humans should all live naked in caves and 98% of the population starve to death. Want to try to improve the recycling rate?  Great, please go do that, I've got your back.  But don't make the ridiculous argument that because some people waste stuff, we need to stop producing goods.

        And beyond all this, he also pushes the fallacy that the only way one can produce power is "the way people are producing power now".  The reality is that people produce power using conventional resources (conventional hydro, conventional geo) because it's the cheapest.  But let's just say that's totally unacceptable to you?  Fine, power is dirt cheap here, we can use unconventional resources and still be cheaper than in most countries.  

        Geothermal is only 1/4 of our electricity production but 60% of our primary energy (all forms of energy combined).  How could this be, when primary energy also includes things like gasoline?  Simple: the overwhelming majority of our current geothermal energy production is simply for heat.  Wells in the 100-130 degree range, not as cheap to produce electricity from as the higher temperature plants.  Of course 100-130 degrees is too hot to send into the municipal hot water system, so what do they do?  They just blend it with cold water.  Throwing away the extra heat.  So, too opposed to the production of what's probably the lowest-environmental-impact-per-MWh form of energy on the planet via producing new geothermal wells?  Fine, hike the price by a few krónur per kilowatt hour and start recovering the power that we're throwing away today.

        So yeah, to sum up,I'm well in disagreement with him.

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