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Cash for Clunkers for Coal?

cashforcoalWe now know that American citizens will take free money to clean up their cars. And while it might not be a tremendously cost-effective way of reducing vehicle emissions, it is helping modernize our vehicle fleet and www.celebratinglife.org stimulate our economy.

So, what's next? What are the true clunkers in our societies...classic cars or coal power?

In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner propose (for the first time that I've seen) a cash for clunkers program for companies that replace coal plants with less-polluting or non-polluting power. T. Boone, of course, wants the major replacement for coal to usa generic cialis be natural gas...because he owns lots of it. But it could (and should) work just as well for renewable power. So let's talk about this for a second.

To start out, coal power plants are extremely expensive to build. The companies building and financing these plants recognize that they will not pay for themselves for decades, and so they are relying on the fact that, once built, coal plants will produce power for at least fifty years.

That's a long time, and it's bad news for climate change. It means that even if all of the enter site how to buy cialis in canada new power generation capacity we add from now on is clean (which, actually, it might be), we'll still have dirty coal plants for at least another fifty years. Unless...

Unless we pay power-generation companies that run dirty plants that might otherwise produce dirty power for another 20 years to close those plants down and replace that power with clean supply.

Unfortunately, we can't just keep printing money. The trillion dollar economic stimulous of the last year has alraedy all but bankrupted our government. If you thought cash for clunkers was expensive, get ready for some serious sticker shock for cash for coal. I can't imagine a program that would mean significant change costing any less than a hundred billion dollars.

A much more effective policy, of course, is just to put a cap on carbon emissions and force companies to make these changes on their own. Of course this would mean that electricity costs would rise while electric companies paid for new technology. But we either spend money we don't have or we spend money we do have. That seems to be the real debate here, and I'm more or less in favor of tramadol buy pay cod spending money we do have and letting the market decide the best way to decrease carbon emissions is.

Especially if, instead, we have T. Boone Pickens deciding what the best future technology (NATURAL GAS!!! PLEASE PLLEAASE NATURAL GAS!!) is.

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Cap power?
written by Seth Martin Ward, August 17, 2009
"A much more effective policy, of course, is just to put a cap on carbon emissions and force companies to make these changes on their own"

They've already proposed this. It's called cap and trade.
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consider the macroeconomic impact
written by Andy Harless, August 18, 2009
"Unfortunately, we can't just keep printing money. The trillion dollar economic stimulous of the last year has alraedy all but bankrupted our government."

I disagree. The stimulus has not "all but bankrupted" our government, and we can keep printing money, up to a point, which point I don't think we are anywhere near yet. The limit on how much money we can print comes when the money starts to compete for real resources, so that the http://vignovin.com/professional-cialis price of those resources starts to rise. With labor markets extremely weak and only here drug generic viagra the unemployment rate expected to remain elevated for years to come, real resources (at least the human kind) are quite slack, and printing more money is not going to drive up the price of those resources any time soon.

If we weren't in (or slowly coming out of) a severe recession, a cap-and-trade system (or, even better, a carbon tax) would be efficient (considerably more so than government subsidies). But under today's circumstances, such an approach could impose significant real costs on our economy that could be reduced or avoided by using subsidies instead. There are a lot of people wasting their time looking for jobs who could be put to work doing something useful. Your approach essentially says that, if we want to put people to levitra generico work building clean power plants, we're going to have to put someone out of work somewhere else (which would be the effect of rising power costs, as people reduce their expenditures on other things). But we don't. For the moment (by which I mean the next 5 years, a conservative estimate of how long it will take the labor market to recover fully), such as it is, we can have our cake and eat it too.
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written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009
Natural gas would seem to be an excellent bridging technology to help us get off of coal.

Gas turbines are quick and relatively cheap to build and install.

Natural gas releases about 50% as much carbon into the buy viagra atmosphere per unit electricity as does coal.

And natural gas can serve as an excellent backup for green production methods such as solar and wind. NG turbines can be spun from a dead stop to full speed in fifteen minutes or so.

If we quickly built a bunch of low cost canadian viagra NG generation we could shut down at least the dirtiest of coal. (Cap and trade could make it finanancially lucrative for the coal plant owners to 10mg cialis close down.)

Then, as we build out green sources, we could put the NG turbines into a backup mode, which would automatically happen as they are expensive to fuel.

I know people hate T. Boone for a variety of reasons, but this time it might just be that he's choosing to do the right thing. (And I really don't care if he makes a bucket of money off it. I just want the job done.)
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cashforclunkers
written by jimwhenry, August 18, 2009

You can buy or trade in both domestic and foreign vehicles so not just the US made cars.

Henry
Blogger
www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
0
Cash for cluckers?
written by Questionable, August 18, 2009
A diverse power grid powered by different fuels that are produced and order levitra from canada consumed locally might be a more efficient approach to supplying our long term energy needs.
It would be nice if we could really clean up coal somehow, but it's dirty to begin with. Maybe, with done microbial assistance coal could become a new type of cleaner fuel, but that is well beyond my knowledge. Anyway, gotta go!
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009
A diverse power grid powered by different fuels that are produced and consumed locally might be a more efficient approach to supplying our long term energy needs

Sure. But the question is how to get from here to there.

I'm under the impression that we can build and install NG turbines a lot quicker than we can build and install greener methods.

If I'm wrong, fine, forget NG. But if I'm not, then to me NG is the viagra how much lesser of the evils between which we have to choose.
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009
A diverse power grid powered by different fuels that are produced and consumed locally might be a more efficient approach to supplying our long term energy needs

Sure. But the question is how to get from here to there.

I'm under the impression that we can build and install NG turbines a lot quicker than we can build and install greener methods.

If I'm wrong, fine, forget NG. But if I'm not, then to me NG is the lesser of the evils between which we have to choose.
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written by russ, August 18, 2009
@Andy - the cost of oil per barrel in 98 in USD = approximately 40 and in Euros 48.

The cost of oil in 2009 in USD approx 70 and in Euros 48.

The USD is in the toilet and someone (Obama's 1 trillion social package) just jerked the chain!
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009

russ, russ, russ...

"Obama's 1 trillion social package"

Be careful to cialis fedex turn your head away from your monitor when you post stuff like that.

The sudden increase in nose length is likely to damage your screen.
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...
written by Silent Spring, August 18, 2009
Natural Gas is a dangerous bridging alternative. It is not exactly a 'new' idea and I can see a new scramble for Natural Gas resources globally. New conflicts and an over reliance on a non-renewable energy source cannot be the best way forward.

We just need to dig REAL deep and invest in true renewable energy sources. It will hurt us a lot in the short term but we need to overcome this obstacle if we're going to deal with our continuous energy crisis.
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009
I'll use it again...

Perfect is the enemy of canada medication viagra good.

Sure, digging deep and rapidly converting our grid from fossil fuels to renewables would be best for us. But it's not politically/economically feasible right now.

I believe (and I'm glad to be proven wrong) that we can build significant numbers of gas turbines quicker than any other technology to get coal closed down and our sequestered carbon reduced.

The nice safe guard with NG is that the fuel is expensive. At least expensive compared to sunlight and wind. As we build out more solar and wind NG will automatically be moved to backup status. Even the most bull-headed old utility company dinosaur is not going to fork out good cash for NG fuel when sun fuel and wind fuel are free.

--

BTW, I just saw the most incredible thing this morning on PhysOrg.

According to levitra canada generic a survey from Photon Consulting, while it costs a German firm such as Ersol 1.01 dollars per watt to produce a solar cell, Chinese company Suntech can manufacture the same cell for 35 cents per watt.

http://www.physorg.com/news169792072.html

Focus on that.

Solar PV produced for $0.35 a watt. That's 1/3rd of the best reported price for producing a watt of thin-film solar.

With reasonable mark up and look here cheap fast viagra efficient installation that can mean a
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 18, 2009
With reasonable mark up and efficient installation that can mean an installed price of
0
while it's clear for many that funds are tight for alternative energy...
written by Chicago, August 19, 2009
Obama will be funding oil drilling in Brazil:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574346610120524166.html

"The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of we like it lowest priced levitra increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the www.diabetes.org.br money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas."

===================================================

why waste money in FOREIGN OIL DRILLING if money is tight domestically?
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 19, 2009


Perhaps there's a bit of political spin here?

We trade with Brazil. About $30 billion last year. And we export to them about as much as we import from them.

This is a loan from a government agency that works to promote trade. We might be loaning the money or (probably more likely) we would be underwriting the loan. Doing a trading partner a favor.

A loan or loan guarantee.

To say that "Obama will be funding oil drilling in Brazil" is an inaccurate statement.

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no political spin, it's an honest question
written by Chicago, August 19, 2009
if this administration believes that alternative energy is worth it, why send two billion dollars to another country when that money can be used to tramadol order overnight provide capital for alternative efforts here at home?

why enable more oil drilling if we need to establish alternative energy here?

okay, so it's a loan, why not loan that money to alternative energy companies here in the US? why not loan that money out to enable smart grid systems in the US?

there's so many alternatives to how that 2B dollars can be used here instead of it being used to drill for more oil. trading with Brazil has nothing to do with the question. the question is why send 2 billion dollars for more oil drilling when that money can be used for alternative energy efforts in the country. no political spin, just an honest question.
0
what about carbon capture?
written by kent, August 19, 2009
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 19, 2009
The post and the WSJ article are spins.

Obama is not financing off shore drilling. They are not paying money to have someone drill. They are loaning money to a friendly country so that country can do something that they wish to do.

I would imagine that we loan money to other countries so that are more favorable about trading with us.

What we see here is the WSJ and the poster taking something and retelling it in a dishonest way for political gain.

Now, why might we want to assist drilling in Brazil? While drilling oil and burning it is overall a bad practice, it's a necessary practice for the near future. If we don't keep our economy moving then we will not build a renewable future.

And better to spread our sources of oil so that we don't encounter excess pressure from any one part of the world.

Right now the major hurt for renewables such as solar is a collapse of visitkansascityks.com the installation market. Spending is way down and solar companies are going out of business. Until we get the economy going again things are going to be slow for renewables.
0
Carbon capture...
written by Bob Wallace, August 19, 2009
From you link...

The Elsam industrial pilot is expected to halve the cost per ton of CO2 avoided, to between €20 and €30.

Perhaps this plant has figured out how to capture carbon for half what other projects have found.

It's not clear to me if the levitra pfizer online stated figure includes all costs such as the cost of capital, transporting the CO2, maintaining storage facilities, etc. From what I understand coal-generated electricity in the US would be very expensive in a new plant as construction costs have greatly increased since most existing plants were built. New coal faces the same construction costs barrier as does new nuclear.

But whatever the actual cost, it adds to it's great! drug generic cialis the price of coal-generated electricity. With wind and solar prices rapidly dropping and best price viagra name brand the other environmental problems of coal carbon sequestering may be a dead end road.

We'll have to wait and see....

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Correction...
written by Bob Wallace, August 19, 2009
A bit up page I posted this...


According to a survey from Photon Consulting, while it costs a German firm such as Ersol 1.01 dollars per watt to produce a solar cell, Chinese company Suntech can manufacture the same cell for 35 cents per watt.


Thirty-five cents per watt is not the total manufacturing price of a PV cell, it's the cost of taking a manufactured wafer and turning it into a working cell.

I received this from Photon in an email exchange...

Quick answer: $0.35/W is a processing cost turning wafer to cell. That cost is called “cell processing cost”. It varies by technology, location, size, operation factors (utilization rate, yield, etc.) That means company processing cost is very different among others. A weighted average cell processing cost is about $0.50-$0.55/W. But we see a cost close to $1.00/W (or even higher) and $0.30/W for the best practice.


Not as good news as I originally thought, but certainly not bad news.

And add to that the fact that wafer prices are dropping due to the fact that the refined silicon shortage is behind us and excess manufacturing is driving those prices down giving us better wafer prices.
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...
written by Oakleigh Solargroupies, August 19, 2009
Nat gas is not a great solution, even as a "bridge" to get us off coal. Scrubbers already remove alot of the nitrates, sulfates, etc but NG and coal BOTH produce CO2, let's ot kid ourselves. For more, see: http://digg.com/d311GFL?f
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written by Bob Wallace, August 19, 2009
Oakleigh -

Here's the takeaway that I got from your link.


Okay, I can already see the http://www.tevaka.com/discount-drug-levitra investors like Jim Cramer lining up to discredit me. But burning more fossil fuels will not lower carbon levels in the atmosphere.


We're talking about NG as a way to reduce our use of coal, not as a transportation fuel alternative, which your post addresses.

Your statement is factually incorrect when it comes to electricity produced by coal vs. NG. Were we to turn on our existing NG turbines 24/365 and shut off displaced coal plants we could drastically cut our CO2 emissions instantly, about 50% per unit electricity produced.


You please read this...

http://climateprogress.org/2009/08/18/hybrid-csp-concentrated-solar-natural-gas-power-plants-provide-power/comment-page-1/#comment-103580

And don't forget that we know how to harvest gas from land fills, sewer systems, and farms and feed that carbon-neutral gas into the NG pipeline for additional sequestered CO2 reduction.
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, August 20, 2009
.
Some more on "Obama financing Brazilian oil wells"...


Moreover, the bank lends money to foreign companies so that they can purchase American goods and services.

In this case, Cogan said, the proposed loan would likely finance engineering services, sales of ships to service oil platforms, or drilling equipment.

"This is the government doing what it's supposed to do: Create jobs and make sure that Americans get a fair shot at selling goods and services -- not the British or the French or anyone else -- and to help American workers compete on a level playing field," Cogan said, noting that most developed countries have similar credit-export agencies."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/20/palin-feuds-with-bank-get_n_263972.html

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