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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    You may argue that the power system has major losses in the powerlines, but that is still far less than the amount of gassoline a truck would use to bring the oil to your house.
    you can either have it piped to your house, or you can have your oil tank refilled once a year or less (like my family). the power system does have some losses in the transformers, but not generally in the powerlines because they use high voltage and low current
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Even though their is some loss of power in the wires, I think it is not comparable to the gain in effeciency due to large scale powerplants. Also, it is a question about economics. If you spend lots of money running expensive renewable resources powerplants, you may have less money to spend on research which may solve the energy problems of the future. Windpower is simply to expensive to be beneficial on a large scale. As for the power loss due to transfer in the wires, it is not as large as you would think due to the high voltage (this is in fact why you transfer electricity at large voltages).
    on that basis, we would never implement any new technology, as it would draw funds away from research.
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    (Original post by riffraff)
    on that basis, we would never implement any new technology, as it would draw funds away from research.
    Of course there is an evaluation to be made. I am just saying that the renewable resources available today would be a poor implementation because the opportunity cost will be so great that it could greatly harm the economy and thus destroying the fundament for other changes which would be more beneficial for the environment.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Of course there is an evaluation to be made. I am just saying that the renewable resources available today would be a poor implementation because the opportunity cost will be so great that it could greatly harm the economy
    i just think that in the future were not going to have a choice here.. its going to be renewable energy with the negative effect that will have on the economy, or a bad knock to the economy anyway as we shell out fortunes to decommission nuclear power stations on the coast that will be flooded by sea level rises, and build flood defences to protect urban areas at risk from flooding.. i dont know a lot about economics, but surely sorting out our future problem gradually now, will be better than the panic fire-fighting tactics that will arise in the future
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    (Original post by presebjenada)
    i just think that in the future were not going to have a choice here.. its going to be renewable energy with the negative effect that will have on the economy, or a bad knock to the economy anyway as we shell out fortunes to decommission nuclear power stations on the coast that will be flooded by sea level rises, and build flood defences to protect urban areas at risk from flooding.. i dont know a lot about economics, but surely sorting out our future problem gradually now, will be better than the panic fire-fighting tactics that will arise in the future
    Well, this depends. New methods of extracting oil from biological material (making the net global warming contribution equal to zero) together with development of fusion and geothermic powerplants may fix the problem. Now, spending loads on renewable resources now may be just a waste of money when you could instead spend money on improved exhaust filtering of cars and powerplants or scietific research. The truth i sthat many renewable resources powerplants are so expensive as compared to the power you get out of them that you actually spend more resources (in form of building material etc) than you save. As an example, solar cells may be very non-poluting but in the fabrication process you use loads of highly environmentally hazardous chemicals.
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    whether the green party like it or not, we are going to have to rely more and more on nuclear power.

    we do continue to find new reserves of oil, coal and gas, but they are finite. Currently wind and solar power do not give high enough yields to justify their economic input, although with more research (and implementation- actually building the things may help to solve their problems) the price of producing them will decrease and their efficiency increase.

    they use of bio-fuels such as sewage and rubbish to generate electricity, either through decomposition to gas or by giving off of electrons (see New Scientist), is promising, but not yet certain as to how much it can realistically provide.

    the fuel for nuclear power stations is abundant and moderately re-usable. If nanobots become reality then the problem of radio-active waste is solved (nanobots could stabilise the nucleus of the atoms).
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    (Original post by riffraff)
    (nanobots could stabilise the nucleus of the atoms).
    ********!

    The nucleus of an atom is about a femtometer in diameter. To use a nanobot to controll the nucleus of an atom can be compared with trying to adjust the bond angle of a molecule with a pair of tweesers (regular size that is).

    In order to give an idea about the difference in magnitude you can considder a model of an hydrogen atom where the nucleus is about the size of a tennis ball. If built to scale, the shell of the atom would be about a kilometer in radius. As nanobots are constructed of atoms, they are about 10 000 magnitudes to large to work on an atomic nucleus.
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    Where will be be getting our power from in 50 years? Will they continue to find new supplies of oil and gas? Will we have shifted towards nuclear power? Or will renewable sources finally take off?

    Personally, I think the future for this country lies in offshore windfarms.

    Yep, I agree (if it's windpower you're specifically talking about), that and solar power, and also possibly geothermal power depending on where you live. Those are good sources of renewable energy.
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    (Original post by danni_bella83)
    Yep, I agree (if it's windpower you're specifically talking about), that and solar power, and also possibly geothermal power depending on where you live. Those are good sources of renewable energy.
    Id put my vote for geothermal. Windpower and Solar cells are cost-inefficient and unreliable. The only problem with Geothermic powerplants seems to be the cost of drilling the hole. Once that is done they are more or less cheap, clean and reliable.
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    Nuclear is likely to be the way forward in the immediate future.

    Gas is becoming too expensive and a lot of utilities companies have shelved their plans to build combustion/steam turbine configurations for this reason. And I should know because I build power plants for a living.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Nuclear is likely to be the way forward in the immediate future.

    Gas is becoming too expensive and a lot of utilities companies have shelved their plans to build combustion/steam turbine configurations for this reason. And I should know because I build power plants for a living.
    I still think Oil is cheaper than nuclear plants. The main reason people oppose them are environmental concerns with global warming. However, new technologies sugest that organic waste can be converted to Oil. Since the plants / animals that created the organic material absorbed as much CO2 as is released when the stuff is combusted the net CO2 released is zero. This process has an advantage in front of burning the waste directly because the water has been removed and the Oil is much cleaner than the organic waste. Thus the powerplants would be much more efficient and it is easier to ensure that the combustion is complete. Nuclear power is problematic because of the problem of storing waste which will be extremely toxic for the next 300 000 years.I think a conversion plant from garbage to Oil is already operational in the US, and more of them are planned throughout America and Europe. The only losers will be the OPEC governments.

    If you include fusion powerplants in nuclear, then the future generation plans are brighter. Fission powerplants are not really built anymore because teh cost of maintainance is to large, however if Fusion powerplants stand ready in 2050 (which is the expectations) then Nuclear power production will be the dominant in the future.
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    Hopefully we will crack nuclear fusion soon. Apparently, if we could do fusion then we could get amount of energy we currently do from 300 gallons of gasoline from simply 1 gallon of water (and think about how much water there is on the planet).
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    fusion power requires alot of investment and the estimates i heard about said about 2050 for the first plant altho i am not to sure how realisitc that was. the main problem for fusion is keeping the plasma from hitting the sides of the reactor and losing energy, this is difficult since it requires an almost perfect magnetic field. the other problem is the temperatures which vary quite considerablely with in the plasma but im dont know as much about this
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    fusion power requires alot of investment and the estimates i heard about said about 2050 for the first plant altho i am not to sure how realisitc that was. the main problem for fusion is keeping the plasma from hitting the sides of the reactor and losing energy, this is difficult since it requires an almost perfect magnetic field. the other problem is the temperatures which vary quite considerablely with in the plasma but im dont know as much about this
    As far as I have heard the main problem is no longer keeping the thing warm and away from the container, but that the plasma is very unstable. Fluctuations in electric conductivity together with continious contractions and expansions as well as sudden changes in temperature makes it severely difficult to keep a fusion reaction going in a steady state. Most likely as computers develop and we learn more about plasmas this final problem will be dealt with. One has managed to produce more energy than one use, but not at an economicly favourable level because the reaction stops after a short time ( 1 or 2 seconds). However one is at the very last step to have a functioning powerplant. 2050 is the estimate for the first comercial plants.
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    Nuclear power, Britain is all about it now!
 
 
 
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