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View Diary: Let’s Kick A Republican To The Curb (219 comments)

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  •  Renewable Energy (9+ / 0-)

    Part of my platform is the conversion of America's fleet to bio-diesel. This would allow for a full 33% reduction in hydrocarbon admissions as well as being a renewable source that we can grow on waste land using waste water for irrigation. Unlike ethanol it would consume no food crops while still producing a viable octane.

    By far it's best feature is that it is something that we, as a nation, could fully implement today. Even the delivery system, since it is still a liquid based fuel, already exists on a national basis.

    There are several other promising alternatives that we need to continue researching such as solar, hydrogen, etc. Like you said, we need to act today rather than wait for the disaster thats coming.

    Full conversion could be completed within 2-3 years, would be a boon for the economy, and will provide an excellent 20-30 year solution that will provide full energy independence and protect our environment both from hydrocarbon reduction and waste water pollutants.

    Side note - Bio-diesel cost would be well below 50 cents per gallon.

    •  Bio-fuels is a good start. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hummingbird, pattyp, RogueStage

      Bio-fuels is a good start.  I'm especially a fan of bio-diesel, since it runs in existing engines without modifications.  (I'm actually planning on getting one of the new Volkswagen TDI Sportwagens early next year.)  And, though it's getting less attention, Butanol is better than Ethanol for the same reason: it runs in existing gasoline engines without any modifications.

      Long term, however, bio-fuels may be a poor solution.  They are a nice transition path, but we don't have enough agricultural space to replace all of our oil usage, even if we avoid food crops.  Algae-based fuels might take care of that, since you can grow tons of algae in ponds or even transparent plastic tubes.

      My latest pet idea is Geothermal Heat Pumps.  They essentially give you free energy. A modern furnace might be rated between 80% up to 96% efficiency, but a geothermal heat pump can easily get 300% efficiency. For every unit of energy you put into the system, you move an additional 3 units of heat into/out-of your house. Instead of trying to pull heat from cold air, or pull cold from hot air, they use water-filled pipes buried in the ground.  Since the ground is usually a moderate temperature year round, you get a massive gain in efficiency.  Imagine the energy savings if just 1/3 the AC units in Florida were rated at 40 EER rather than 15 EER.  

      How about a proposal to provide loans to HVAC installers for geothermal installation education, and more loans/credits to homeowners who replace old & inefficient equipment with geothermal units?

      •  Some small problems w/geothermal... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pattyp, Christopher Walker

        My parents looked into geothermal heating/cooling/energy while building the home they retired to. Essentially, they found that it wasn't worth the cost of installment, just based on the local geology--they were on top of a small hill, so it was extremely difficult to get the pipes deep enough to have any efficiency. Unfortunately, their experience is going to be very common, particularly for individual homeowners.  A geothermal system is fairly large and cumbersome to install properly, especially since it needs to be fairly deep to work well. Individual homeowners or HVAC installers generally aren't going to have the wherewithal to put together a viable system.

        Subdivisions, on the other hand, and commercial or government buildings--there's where geothermal can be a huge help. Imagine if every subdivision developer had to (or at least had the option to) put in a geothermal system and connect every new home to the grid. Or if we could find an easy way to install geothermal systems under existing neighborhoods. Or if each commercial building was cooled by geothermal systems instead of giant central AC units...ah, now that's some efficiency.

        O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

        by RogueStage on Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 07:24:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Vertial & Horizontal ground loops (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RogueStage, Christopher Walker

          There are two ways to build a ground loop, either in a shallow (6' deep) horizontal trench or in a deep vertical hole.  The vertical hole needs the type of drilling equipment normally used for wells, and the horizontal trench needs to be put in before things like sidewalks and driveways get in the way.  So you are right, it's not always easy to put the system in.

          I really like the idea of new subdivisions having a pre-built gound loop to connect to.  And clearly most big commercial buildings can afford a well or two on their property, if they don't plan ahead with a horizontal ground loop before construction is complete.

      •  Would that work in the North (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ashaman

        The temps get a little cooler in the north. By water do you mean just water or does the system still work with some sort of anti-freeze additive? Self heating would not work because minor failure on a sub-zero night would result in system destruction. Send me info Please.

    •  Please review & comment on 'Energize America' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hummingbird, pattyp

      Energize America is the first comprehensive, 'people-powered policy proposal' to emerge to deal with our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.  

      The first concrete piece of legislation to emerge from this Kossack-initiated 20-point plan is the 'Energy Smart Communities Act', a unique, innovative and largely self-sustaining bond program that would reduce the cost of local government and help create an energy smart culture at the grassroots level.  Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and others intend to introduce this legislation in the fall.

      Bio-fuels are an important tactical element, but the strategic need is to migrate to electrified (or PHEV) transportation as quickly as possible, while at the same time generating as much clean electricity as possible (wind, solar, biomass, tidal).

      Lastly, I suggest you change your user ID to 'Clint Curtis 4 Congress' so folks will know instantly what you're up to.

      Energize America: Demand Energy Security by 2020!

      by Doolittle Sothere on Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 07:31:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jen

        The problem I have with present electric migration is similar to the problem with nuclear power. Not the blowing up part but the question of "What do we do with the waste". The Toyota hybrid has a huge storage cell as part of the system. According to my research, in between its seventh and tenth year the car battery system will need to be replace and there is no economical way to reuse those batteries. The cost of replacing the storage cells is projected to cost more than the value of the car. That means tons of lead going into the landfills every year. Possibly even tons of Toyota's going into the junk yards if people choose not to repair them.

        With an approach we can use today (such as bio-diesel). It will accomplish our goals while we work to solve the issues with the preferable technologies. Its beauty is based mostly in the fact that it can be accomplished in a minimal time and produce acceptable, if not perfect, results.

        I actually purchased an electric car from the 70's many years ago. It had the same issues but if we could work those out the concept was great. (A little roomier would be nice, too)

        Right now, we need a solution that buys us that time to fix the issues as well as actively fund the development of such research. We could push fuel costs below the one dollar mark and still collect billions for such research.

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