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Old 04-14-2006   #21
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Snowmass, Colorado
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Agreed. The boating community does have a greater use of large vehicles than does the commuter in their Hummer. At some point I'd like to have a beater high clearance vehicle for those odd days when I need to pull a trailer or get to a rough put-in. On the days I don't NEED the oversized fuel guzzler I'll stick to my civic.

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Old 04-14-2006   #22
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Englewood, Colorado
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Probably the ideal setup for minimizing consumption.


There may be lots of oil, but any reputable geologist will tell you that the amount that is cost-effective to extract is only enough to last 30-150 years more at current rates of consumption. None of them are going to say that there are hundreds, let alone thousands of years worth of oil left that is actually practical to extract and use.

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Old 04-14-2006   #23
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Re: there is no shortage of oil

Originally Posted by Caspian
...but what of the fact that these are renewable sources that require much less maintenance than a coal plant or oil refinery? Would that not more than make up for the fact that the initial cost is heavy - esp. when oil starts hitting $100/bbl?
The price comparisons I mention are levelized prices--meaning they include all costs of producing the electricity including paying off the equipment, paying for fuel, and paying for maintenance. I can only assume gasoline prices include the cost of maintenance on the oil refineries. And if they don't, someone's not doing their job.

I don't know what oil price it will take to make solar+hydrogen competitive. I just think there are other options that will make sense before solar+hydrogen. Even wind+hydrogen would make more sense. Solar will have to come down in price by 50% or more to really compete with other renewable options. Until then, it needs pretty hefty subsidies, or people that just like to do it because they think it's neat.

Originally Posted by earthNRG
Electrolysis (using electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen gas) is not the only method used to produce hydrogen. Currently it is reformed out of natural gas. This still uses a fossil fuel that is of limited supply. Another option being worked on is direct extraction of hydrogen form water using a solar device. There are others working on designing bacteria that "exhale" hydorgen (much like how plant life "exhales" oxygen).

A hydrogen economy is not dead in the water just because electrolysis is inefficiant. There are other ways that may work out better.
Yes, there are other ways to make hydrogen. I think we can rule out getting it from natural gas in the long term, since we're already seeing a natural gas shortage and it doesn't much reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Making it with biological processes is interesting, but will it work, when, and at what cost?

Electrolysis is not really that inefficient...80 or 90% is pretty darn good as far as energy processes go. But the losses don't end there. You also have to think about the efficiency of transporting the hydrogen (about 90%) and the fuel cell (50% in theory). The net efficiency of this is 38%. Not only are there losses, but there is a lot more equipment (some of it not yet available, or available only at very high prices): electrolyzer, hydrogen delivery infrastructure, and fuel cells.

Assuming you're starting with renewable electricity, why go through the added complication and losses of converting to hydrogen at all? The electric grid can get it to you at better than 90% efficiency. You can then charge a battery in your plug-in hybrid, which has an efficiency of about 64% considering losses in charging batteries and the efficiency of the electric motor. The net efficiency is 58%, and it can be done with technology and infrastructure that already exists.

I have my own cynical theory about why the notion of a hydrogen-powered cars continues to thrive:

1. It sound good, in a sound bite: "Hydrogen-powered car emits nothing but water!" But, you have to look past the headline to understand it either takes fossil fuels to produce that hydrogen (i.e., diminishing supply and resulting in emissions) or high-priced renewable energy.

2. Industry is behind it: "There's infrastructure to be built and new technologies to be developed. Who cares if this makes any sense? Bring on the government initiatives and funding!"

3. The Bush administration can use it as a stalling tactic: "We don't have to push car makers to improve fuel efficiency, and we can keep using oil, because we're working on the technology for hydrogen-powered cars. There's a bright future ahead!" Meanwhile, we do nothing, and if this doesn't work, Bush will be long gone before we figure it out.

Rather than focusing so much effort on hydrogen, why not start pushing up auto efficiency now, which will have an immediate effect, and pushing for plug-in hydrids, which are much closer to being a reality than fuel-cell cars?
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Old 04-14-2006   #24
Join Date: Jul 2004
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who are the arabs

you bet I least working very closely with them to control and maipulate prices along with other world leaders. Why did we invade Iraq AFTER Saddam was contained and BEFORE he could start selling his oil again....because his vast oil reserves were going to flood the market, and with him in power in Iraq the country was stable and the oil would have flowed....keeping prices and profits low. The Saudis are running out of oil, not the world, and King George owes them big time...why he doesn't push the Saudi-9/11 connection and keeps trying to make it sound like it was was Saudi money, Saudi citizens that did the attack.

The price of oil started climbing with the invasion and hasn't stopped. The oil companies want the prices high not only for vast profit, but also to bulldoze enviromental concerns about refineries, shipping, drilling in sensitive areas, and any other obstacle that might hamper the profits.
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Old 04-14-2006   #25
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Is this a troll? There are so many inaccuracies in you're writing I won't even attempt to address them all. But I'll take the bait.

Caspian's already noted that there aren't thousands of years of oil in the ground. We're finding oil at a slower rate than we're using it. US production peaked in the early 70s and has been diminishing ever since. Middle East oil will production will also peak someday; some have said it already has.

I don't think Bush is promoting the idea that we're running out of oil. He and his business partners wouldn't want to create too much of a panic that would make us strongly consider alternatives.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, you can opt for your electricity to be provided by wind power and use that to charge a plug-in hybrid car. You don't have to use the standard fossil-fuel-generated electricity your utility provides.
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Old 04-14-2006   #26
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I used to have some similar views as IkayakNboard. But data has a nasty habit of changing your mind.

Check out:

If you want to see an alternative view point, check out
but this is laughably wrong.
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Old 04-14-2006   #27
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dudes, you are totally overlooking the flux capacitor. it doesn't just power a powers a frickin time machine. that's where we need to focus.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 04-14-2006   #28
Join Date: Jul 2004
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plenty of oil

There is plenty of oil, and as a previous poster stated we have the technology to make oil of almost any organic matter...thermal depolymerzation...a plant is already up and running converting turkey waste at a turkey procesing plant into oil. It is all just a big marketing scam.

And for all of you I'm greener than others...we are all just spoiled children burning up oil for our silly little pleasures. Hyppocrites all! I love my one ton diesel 4x4 van and so does everyone else who jumps in it for a gas guzzling ride to a river. The only complaint is when it is time to pay, and it is still cheap really. If you want to preach then get out of your plastic boat, your synthetic clothes, your car, quit buying food at the store, turn off the power, etc.

Why is it better to drive a suv to a river than to work? Is hauling a kayak 'greener' than hauling your kids to school?
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Old 04-14-2006   #29
Join Date: Jul 2004
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why is gas so high?

The simple answer: Why is gas so high? BECAUSE WE ALL STILL BUY IT!
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Old 04-14-2006   #30
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, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 169
Originally Posted by Paul
Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, you can opt for your electricity to be provided by wind power and use that to charge a plug-in hybrid car. You don't have to use the standard fossil-fuel-generated electricity your utility provides.
This is not a viable option. We do not have the infrastructure to provide wind energy to the entire population. If everyone in the Denver metro area called Xcel tomorrow and said they wanted all their electricity from Wind, there is no way they would be able to comply. Also, batteries are evil and I don't think they should be used to power a car. Did you know that our current use of batteries (all batteries), although taking up less than .05% of the space at your local landfill, is accountable for 65% of the lead seeping into the soil? 75% of the Cadmium? Overall, battery disposal makes up almost 80% of the heavy metal toxins found at municipal waste sites, which leaks into our environment.

The bigger the battery, the more likely it is to explode. Whole house batteries that people who are "off the grid" use explode very frequently, and cause so much more environmental damage than the "grid" they are so against.

As far as us running out of oil in 30 - 150 years...BULL$#!+. We will NEVER run out of I mentioned, we can even make it from biomass (virtually any organic material, such as animal byproduct). Saying we are going to run out of oil is about as ignorant as saying Antarctica is melting and getting warmer, when the fact is the continent is getting colder.

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