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Electric cars 'pose environmental threat'

Discussion in 'Access Norton Pub' started by Bernhard, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Bernhard

    Bernhard

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    Apr 20, 2011
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  2. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
    Gotta say, I’ve long thought that electric cars have more than a little “Emperors New Clothes” about them.

    No energy is for free. Man cannot create energy, only transform it from one source to another. That electricity has to come from somewhere!

    Electric cars are the answer to local pollution, ie smog in big cities etc, but I struggle to believe they are the real solution to the macro level problem.

    The carbon footprint of mining the precious metal for, and then making the batteries, is huge. And the batteries have short life spans.

    An article was published recently which said IIRC that if all cars in the UK became electric, we’d need 30 new power stations to supply them.

    And that’s just the UK... imagine the number in the US, and China, and etc.

    What would the total carbon footprint of all that be??

    The technology of electric cars, and green power generation, needs to develop a LOT more before its really the answer IMHO.
     
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  3. frankdamp

    frankdamp

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    Oct 7, 2005
    Instead of 30 new power stations, it's more likely it would be 30,000 more wind turbines.
     
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
    Great, so we can only drive on windy days...

    Bit therein lies further hype. IMHO, wind and sun energy is definitely the future, but the current technology is just too crude. It needs to move a long way forward, fast.

    I did some work in the wind energy industry a while back and it was a bit of an eye opener...

    The concrete that goes into the base of off shore windmills is staggering. And it is always more than estimated. Way more.

    The reliability of the units is shocking. Gearboxes designed to last 25 years need changing in 4-5 years. The size of the compnenets and amount of raw materials in them is all massive, to maintain them, fleets of special ‘platform ships’ need building to access the windmills.

    Thus, the whole environmental ‘business case’ is based on massive under estimations of the resources, and therefore carbon footprint, required.

    Then they claim they’ll be over 80% utilised but struggle to get 50%.

    So, roughly speaking, double the carbon footprint to build and little more than half the energy output!

    Punch that into the ‘carbon footprint balance sheet’ or whatever it’s called and I rather suspect that many current wind farms would come up as environmentally non viable.

    Land wind farms, popular in the US are far more viable. But we don’t have so much land in Europe, and therefore favour off shore.
     
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  5. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Around here, there are people who propagate a spurious argument that renewables cannot provide base-load power. In the 1950s in Australia, the Snowy Hydro Scheme was completed. At Tumut, there are two dams - one much higher then the other. When electricity is cheap on the grid, the Hydro pumps water up to the higher dam and when electricity is dear they run the turbines to get it back. In the 1950s every schoolboy knew about it, however our modern-day politicians did not. Our Federal government recently purchased total control of the Hydro. In Australia, our government has cut funding to the CSIRO and university researchers, so development of renewables has gone backwards. However we have got more sunlight than we know what to do with.
     
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
    And as ALL our available energy originated, and continues to come from the sun, that seems like a pretty sensible place to try and harvest it from to me...
     
  7. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 2, 2013
    I wonder if all these new "impact studies" has anything to do with the tax man realizing he gets no road use revenue from the electrics.

    The bast#rds will compensate for this by using GPS technology to impose road use tax on all vehicles, regardless of motive power.

    Look forward to govt mandated GPS in all vehicles (under the guise it is for anti theft), with prohibitions to defeat the GPS. Next comes the tax by mile bill in the mail.


    Slick
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  8. kommando

    kommando

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    May 7, 2005
    You just have to look at the history of 'Environmental' action took by Governments to know they are doomed to failure. The last decent set was the Clean Air Act which got rid of smog in UK cities and taking lead out of petrol, the rest are disasters which actually do the opposite.

    In no particular order and not comprehensive

    1. Ethanol in fuels (taking food production out of the system increasing food prices etc)

    2. Biodiesel (palm oil based means forests are being dug up to plant palms)

    3. Promoting diesel (UK and Europe wide in the knowledge it reduced CO2 emissions which are not pollution and instead increased pollution)

    4. Moving away from Diesel (just as the engineers caught up with pollution with Urea injection.)

    5. Going for blanket adoption of Electric cars (fine for city centres but not worth the effort elsewhere)
     
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  9. Danno

    Danno

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    Feb 7, 2010
    Hybrids are not electrics, they are gasoline/electric-powered.

    If you charge your wholly-electric vehicle with the power grid,it’s coal/electric or natural gas/electric, but if you use solar panels, it’s photovoltaic and no pollution is produced from charging or running. Manufacturing is a whole ‘nother ball of wax.
     
  10. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 15, 2008
    I've been criticizing electric vehicles since day 2 or 3. EVEN WORSE are wind turbines in wind farm format. to claim they are "saving the planet" in any way, shape, or form, is the highest insult to basic logic.

    Unbelievably stupid for governments to continue funding them with our scarce tax dollars. (Scarce to US, not to the bloody government)

    Life-cycle cost of photovoltaics and batteries is not all that good. Point-of-use photovoltaic not reliant on batteries is nominally cost-effective.

    I admit, hydro power is cost-effective, but how much of our power is produced by hydro?
     
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  11. acotrel

    acotrel

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    In Australia, most right-wing governments achieve balanced budgets by selling public assets. It gets them re-elected. However the first thing to go when power companies are privatised is the maintenance - that way the new owners make a profit. My friend has fitted solar panels to his roof and says that the realises he has just shifted the maintenance costs, from the power company to his own home. We have thousands of houses with solar panels and batteries, which have a finite life of about 20 years. So far there has been no mention of recycling or replacement of used solar panels. I think it will become a massive problem.
     
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    We have hydro in Tasmania with an under-sea cable to Victoria. However further development of hydro in Tasmania has been stymied for environmental reasons, associated with damming rivers. We are about to extend the Snowy Hydro Scheme to give it more ability to store energy.
     
  13. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

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    Yes, you hear very little about reliable life-cycle cost and environmental impact studies, as they typically debunk the "earth saving" baloney.

    The fossil fuel-related transportation and associated enviro aspects of moving the various "environmentally friendly" sub-components around is laughable.
     
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  14. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Politicians grab at the capital that necessarily is concentrated by the economies of scale of electricity generation.

    Follow the money.

    "Green energy" projects are more diffuse, less concentrated, but still large. The money is not so much "on the ground" as in the subsidies and the campaign contributions associated with the subsidies.

    IIRC, Solyndra got about $500M in loan guarantees and its executives made about $50M in campaign contributions. Apparently the buy in 10% when it's other peoples' money. Then, when the company was going bust, executives got bonuses. Of course, rank and file employees got zero severance. While it was a zoom zoom high flier, Senator Feinstein, and other pols got access to early offerings on stock and government guaranteed bonds. The whole deal was initiated under Bush's "stimulus" plan that Obama took over. Later, the Obama people were sorry they made a big publicity push, took credit for it.
     
  15. Bernhard

    Bernhard

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    Apr 20, 2011

    I have just put this to a solar panel house owner and they said they did not think of that.

    Here in the UK the solar panels were encouraged by the government, who gave tax discount to buy/fit them, now discontinued, but the electricity produced can be sold back to the National Grid, hence a lower bill if not used.


    Unless the panels get cheaper in the long run, it will be even more expensive to replace them:(
     
  16. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 15, 2008
    One cost-effective system I was involved with was solar water pre-heating. It's got a good ROI and life cycle cost, as pre-heating water with south Texas sun means your electric or gas water heater almost never fires up!

    The small circulator pump is the only part that can fail, and rarely ever does, as it's only a simple heat exchanger and the impeller is running in glycol like a car water pump.
     
  17. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Look at it this way: with government subsidies over decades, they are STILL not a viable ROI at the typical sale price, even with tax credits and utility buy-back of excess generation.

    Once all the absurd government subsidies stop, it CAN'T get better...
     

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