So /g/, let's talk about what your source of electricity will be in twenty years. Fusion is only 20 years away, 100 years ago, but solar is a pretty cool guy. You think it'll be the norm in that span?
Solar's pretty fucking impractical, even in super hypothetical futuristic designs it's just got too much required maintenance/replacement.
Battery tech is also shit, so naturally fucked at night if you want to use solar.
Hydro or geothermal's more likely to get some seriousface use someday.
But wind doesn't scale that well, power is best gathered in an (somewhat) isolated way so as to not interfere.
Solar's golden everywhere, but completely impractical for anyone anywhere unless we invent some completely revolutionary tech.
The panels need to be replaced really fucking often and if you take into account the power required to CREATE panels... you're not that far ahead.
The battery shit is also killer, since again.... batteries need to be replaced and they cost energy to produce.
Solar can't be used for mass power production. The worlds largest solar array can only produce a fraction of the power of a single coal plant, and it takes up about 5 times the area. The coal plant can generate power at 100% capacity around the clock no matter the weather, solar cannot.
Solar panels only make sense when installed on the roof of a house or other building, and only used to supplement power consumption. The elephant in the room is that producing solar panels is as terrible for the environment as anything else, and the energy that goes into their production is absolutely ridiculous. When you're expending millions of tons of fuel to mine, refine, process, and transport these materials around before you ever have a finished product you need to look at how long that panel would be producing before it offset its own production footprint.
How many people do you think are going to take a current solar panel, and keep it operating for 30+ years? Probably not a single one, but thats about how long it would take.
The energy density of solar is laughable. Even if you could gather energy with 100% efficiency and only use absolutely ideal locations you'd be getting maybe 400W per square meter.
This is a PATHETIC return for the footprint. Even under ideal conditions it's orders of magnitude too low for mankind's needs.
And we're not even considering the manufacturing and maintenance costs, including environmental damage. Solar panels are anything but green when it comes to their actual manufacture.
Solar has its uses as a backup or off-grid solution but it is worthless as a baseline power source. You could destroy the landscape with miles of solars that'll take 10 years just to pay for themselves, or you could build a single molten thorium salt reactor the size of a small bungalow.
Well in terms of actual production it's not THAT bad (except when you rely on shitty antique battery tech) due to the actual power consumption of everything going down massively at speed.
10 years ago solar was laughable, now solar is being considered but is greatly impractical.
In trillions of dollars.
Liquid Salt Reactor or gtfo. Thorium is the future, but the greenies, and I mean green peace the worlds largest non profit org, are openly against anything that has the N word in it. The fanatics out there, regardless of political or religious/secular sect, are holding us back from using real technologies. GP members openly admit to knowing how great thorium and fusion are, but refuse to endorse it because of fanaticism. Welcome to the future, impulse, ignorance, and fanaticism still dominate. Only the masks on the players have changed.
The future of energy is in a /g/ like meritocracy breaking off and building a thorium powered future.
>So /g/, let's talk about what your source of electricity will be in twenty years.
>source of electricity
That's not where the problem lies you dumbshit. We have no trouble coming up with different ways of generating energy, the problem lies with storage, especially large amounts for a long time. And until that problem is solved, solar panels mean jack shit.
Generation IV fission plants. China and India are building them at rate Walmart imports for their store. China is going to have a Thorium plant by the end of the decade for a major city, and India is developing around 25-40 nuclear plants for their cities. They know oil is too expensive to import and with the security situation in the Middle East, they do not want to invest in the long term. Gas is an issue, because of Russia. Solar is an issue, because it needs conventional fossil fuels to extract the material, and then process it to make the panels. Not to mention, the extraction is dirty and dangerous to the environment. The battery life is an issue htat dates back to the invention of the battery. If you want to improve battery tech, you need figure out how to cool superconductors at room temperature. Wind is fracking useless. Nuclear is your only option to power your future needs.
You want the byproduct of those plants for medical research. The isotopes used in Uranium/Plutonium enrichment are helpful in cancer research, and chemotherapy. This is why Chemo and other cancer treatments are expensive. Not enough plants worldwide to produce a stable supply.
Definitely not hydro, the damage it causes to the local ecosystem is irreversibly devastating. Geothermal is definitely a contender.
Personally, I've always preferred methods such as solar or nuclear. Wind farms can die for all I care.
B-b-but with solar the energy is 'free'!
>The elephant in the room is that producing solar panels is as terrible for the environment as anything else, and the energy that goes into their production is absolutely ridiculous
Solar energy will be the future, because the future is decentralization in general. With people dealing with their own solar panels (and everything that brings along), things like black-outs can be localized to smaller geographic locations. Plus, it doesn't require a monthly electric bill.
>Ok, the hardest part is over with now that all of the solar panels are installed. All that's left is to distribute the power which shouldn't be too hard, right?
Solar makes sense in space
Nuclear is a lot better on earth
Natural gas hybrid vehicles when? stop trying to make fucking shitty batteries to be the only power source for cars.
Why even use batteries? Why not ultracapacitors? Wears out less than a battery, has a wider discharge rate (and doesn't have as much internal resistance at high discharge), and you can take the braking energy and shove it right back in to the cap.
>muh thorium shilling
Fuel cost isn't a problem with current Uranium reactors, the problem is the utterly enormous capital costs of building nuke plants in the first place. There's no incentive to invest vast sums of money on a unproven technology and replacing large amounts of infrastructure when gen3+ works fine and has pretty good passive meltdown protection.
Remember when PBRs were gonna change everything? Never did.
While nukes can provide baseload power reliably they can't ramp up and down for peak demand so they suffer the same problems renewables have, you need either lots of modern dispatchable gas/coal or get energy storage to work or massively overbuild on plants that have extreme costs to begin with.
Thorium molten salt reactors have near 100% fuel efficiency (ie: all the Thorium you put in the thing can be fissioned) and common medical isotopes are abundant in the dominant decay chains.
As an added bonus fuel processing is done on-line so you can pull a steady stream of shit like I-131, P-32 and Tc-99 out of the fuel loop. It's transuranic elements that something like a LFTR is very poor at producing. You either process it out on the fly and get insignificant quantities, or the reactor loses reactivity and shuts down because the fuel becomes poisoned.
Payback times is between 6 months and 3 years depending on climate.
Many manufacturers have 25 year warranties.
Thin film CdTe is becoming increasingly popular over traditional crystal panels.
Windmills experience tens of thousands of equipment failures and around 100 human fatalities annually. On average 2/3 of those deaths are maintenance workers while the rest are members of the general public.
Windmills also kill a shit-ton of birds but not nearly as spectacularly as solar reflector towers do.
Still nowhere near as deadly as coal, though. That shit kills a quarter of a million people annually.
>the utterly enormous capital costs of building nuke plants in the first place
The LFTR design is tiny and cheap as chips. The real barrier is red tape.
Hell, the real barrier to even the ridiculously expensive solid fuel reactors we currently use is still the red tape.
Solid fuel uranium reactors are multi-billion dollar projects but this isn't much a hurdle on a national scale for something as important as energy.
And most of that cost is actually for safety features rather than energy generation. Liquid-fueled reactors don't even pose most of the more expensive solid fuel risks so many costs aren't applicable. Chief among those being meltdown prevention.
>they can't ramp up and down for peak demand
Liquid reactors don't have this problem. You have fine control over the fuel in the core. It's also self-regulating; if you reduce heat extraction due to lower demand, the rising temperature in the core makes it less dense and limits the fuel's reactivity.
I never know whether to take you guys seriously or not. Do you people actually want info on solar or are you just trolling?
Let me give you the benefit of the doubt. There are two important things to consider about solar.
First is that the costs are still dropping and expected to be cheaper than every other form of energy.
Second is the US utilities think solar is going to destroy them.
They said 20-50 years away, and even today, we're saying 20-50 years away.
Google Fusion is only * years away and watch the random estimates fly from all sides. OP isn't much better.
Lockheed Martin's compact fusion reactor is steadily eroding the competition. Energy generation is no longer a topic of debate. America'a global influence is massively diminished due to oil becoming comparatively irrelevant. The world is more peaceful and prosperous. Resources previously invested into new methods of power generation are used for nanotechnology and space exploration.
Is it just me or has ITER's estimates gotten less conservative over time? I'm pretty sure they said 2060-something back in 2006.
Official statement from my local authority:
(Rough trabslation) ~ due to overproduction of electricity you are not allowed to feed in our powerlines.
Btw, in our area all electricity consumed is produced through water energy. And as no one buys such expensive energy we can't produce more than we (locals) actually need.
>and even today, we're saying 20-50
Who are you and how would you know. You're just talking out of your ass at this point.
Wendelstein 7X in Germany will be able to contain the plasma for 30+ minutes soon (as in a few months away). This is not even comparable to what we had 20 years ago. This is getting serious.
>Solar makes sense in space
Actually, Solar's efficiency drastically decreases in space, relative to Nuclear. They handle the temperature extremes and cosmic radiation very badly compared to nuclear.
Nuclear has been operating on the moon for like 60 years.
Passive dams all the way down rivers.
Not huge dams, just small-scale, and loads of them.
Maintenance costs are laughable, since small dynamos are cheap to replace.
They could also use brushless, increasing its age considerably with only a little more expense.
Passive dams will run constantly, and are also not held back by the fact that large dams need to be placed in very specific areas so as to not destroy the land around it, a huge downside.
You can get a lot of heat from your own back-garden. Enough to heat an average house even in (a Scottish) winter. There is heating sorted.
You can even install this on your own in a weekend. More and more people are getting in to this. The deeper you go, the more heat you will get.
Solar is still shit, but they recently fixed the stacked solar panel problem, which will make it to market very soon. Actually very soon, not "it will just take 5 years" every 5 years.
"This kills the bird."
Anyone who is against Nuclear power is a literal retard. I hate you. Please die.
People who are against nuclear power think of you as the retard, and wish you to die.
If you want to convert an anti-nuclear nut, you have to understand the points they make, not dismiss them as being retarded.
I'm not even going to say which side I'm on, but you're going to assume I'm on the side you dislike because then it gives you an excuse to dismiss me as a retard.
For satellites, you can't use nuclear, they already have a hard time shielding against cosmic radiation
They could /maybe/ use betavoltaics, but solar panels probably last longer out there (considering probes from 20+ years ago are still going)
Also why are threads where we have actual good discussion so slow? I went to bed and woke back up and only 25 more replies
There's only 230 years worth of uranium power if the usage doesn't increase, and all suspected reserves are found.
We use 70,000 tons a year to provide ~11% of the yearly production total
All of the sudden, if nuclear were the only option, we would have 25 years of conventional reactors. Assuming demand does not increase.
Also you should make note that it takes more Thorium to produce similar levels of power, and that (known) reserves sit at a mere 1.5-2Mn tons. This isn't regarding that thorium designs are typically breeder types that can be fed from spent uranium waste, but still.
Nuclear isn't special and it isn't the answer either.
Except producing solar panels is worse for the environment
> and use low power devices
Why not just do this for all power sources?
And what's wrong with being on the grid?, it's more efficient
>never goes out
So, you keep it in batteries that are also probably horrible for the environment and will wear out in about 5 years? great!
Why not just get one small solar panel, charge a battery, use the grid and switch to the battery when there's a power outage, which probably hardly happens for you anyway.
>not storing it in a flywheel with 0 friction
Step up, get knowed nerd.
But really, storage methods suck so hard.
Also, fuck the environment. Nobody cares about that, they just want reasonable power.
Renewables != people want to save da erf. They just want cheaper power.
You'd be lucky if even 5% of the people that bother to get solar and wind even give a shit about the environment at any reasonable level.
>relying on a centralized structure where the generator of the power retains control over it
solar panels are about freedom for the user of the power
It's simple switch to nuclear power, invest in new tech that prevents many of the issues. Make and subsidies the recycling of the the nuclear waste into usable materials... Not hard, but it would solve the problem and no one in power wants that.
>Also, fuck the environment. Nobody cares about that, they just want reasonable power.
I kind of care ;_;
>But really, storage methods suck so hard.
Does anyone here know how supercapacitors hold? I've been meaning to read up on them for a while but my reading list just queues up annoyingly fast and I've dropped it twice already
but it's not different, and getting from the grid is cheaper for almost everyone than sustaining solar
and if you just used solar as a backup, then what's the difference?
pfft, is it fuck.
You can literally put a tube in your back garden with ease, whack a motor in there and heat exchanger.
It is a weekend project at best. (unless you have a complex garden surface with plants and structures)
You see it all the time with people wanting to save money on heating.
It is on pretty much any house-related TV shows as well. (I remember seeing this really great one before on Grand Designs, but the design itself was not grand in the slightest, don't let that trick you)
You are speaking taking a shovel and digging out cube sections a layer deep.
Then add a slice section in the middle as long as the shovel will go, again.
Add pipe to the end of garden.
Patch it up.
Move on to the next section, just do that iteratively through the garden until you are happy so you don't have a huge mess by digging the entire garden up at once.
A couple meters isn't going to do shit for earthquakes unless you are living on a fucking elephant balancing on a unicycle.
Yeah, my brain kind of died for a bit on that, ugh
Why not do what California (I think it was Cali, maybe Nevada?) does and offer supplying energy back into the grid?
Put a few panels on your roof, whatever you don't use gets shoved out for other people to use.
People are trying to sell off solar because there's not enough demand, governments are subsidising it even to try and get people to use it.
>let's waste energy but its ok because we get money from it
hate hate hate
That is a simple example of how to do it.
There are very easy methods to digging deeper and safer all around the internet.
And it is used by all sorts of people, even archaeologists.
It still doesn't increase the cost.
Not only that, you can spiral it as you refill the land, making sure to have the flow always going downwards. Forcing water upwards is wasteful.
One thing that can increase cost and be hugely beneficial is if you buy very heat absorbing materials to fill in around the pipes and above it.
Dirt is nice and all, but it isn't that efficient.
Just make sure not to end up killing your fucking garden by placing too much of it and starving the surface of nutrients.
Some good ol soapstones should do the trick.
In fact, these can make for good heat storage in general. Having them in a greenhouse is very useful for storing heat.
And 50 years later we'll be 50 years away.
The core problem of fusion seems to be that while the theoretical basis exists, there aren't enough supporting theories and mechanisms to make it actually practical. Basically, the nuclear community is waiting for the next Albert Einstein to make a breakthrough. The problem is that this person may or may not come.
This, so many people don't realize the grid wastes huge amounts of power in balancing it.
One little mistake and shit hits the fan with brownouts or full-on blackouts.
Literally, a fucking eclipse caused a blackout before because the national grid wasn't aware of it and people were turning on lights.
This was more likely them trying to save as much money as possible by not putting in too much power and just letting localised brownouts happen and if they become too common revert.
The power grids get power based on past data.
They get power based on what is going to be expected to be used in the very near future.
So then the power companies need to start shovelling in that black gold and sticking some radioactive rods where rods should not go to generate power, and I think they usually take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes to get to peak, depending on the facility.
This is why power storage is SO BADLY needing some evolution or completely new storage system entirely.
Battery storage is holding back SO MUCH of society, from national power grids to handhelds.
When we finally do get it, the future really will be bright, in a very literal sense.
So much shit will change when we finally get a reliable power storage that keeps up with our needs.
Solar and wind will actually become useful instead of a burden on grids.
Tablets won't be shit. (they'll still be shit)
Na, most people just think you throw the coal on the fire and they magic power to your house through wires.
But really it is a huge balancing act that would put that elephant on a unicycle from above in some post to shame.
This is why so many people think the power companies jew people out of money so hard, which is only partially true.
Nothing wrong with running a profitable business.
Only problem, which is true for most business, is those faggot execs getting the huge bonuses so they can take their self, their family and their extended family on first class trips around the world. Fuck.
In 20 years the market will still be dominated by hydro and coal which is starting to get phased out slowly.
There will be a mix of renewables and non renewables with a slightly higher percentage of renewables compared to today.
You want to fight about it n8?
It is a common idea, especially in passively heated farms.
A tube deep in to the ground and a pipe in it can be even easier that laying pipes flat after digging your garden out, now that I think about it.
You'll maybe need to hire a pneumatic drill to do it though, or get a corkscrew digger.
>keep pushing out about 10% more than needed
>have small backup cells/generators if there's a large peak that can push out a lot in a little time
>rev up the plant and hope it comes up before the backups die out
Do they not do this or is there something wrong with that plan
Guys after planning and regulation and building s a power station can take 20 years to start running, even if a country committed its self to 100% nuclear *today* it would end up being 50 -100 years before they are likely to even get close to that target.
As far as I can tell it wasn't as dangerous as people made it out to be, sans coming into direct contact with it.
He did and experiment in the desert with a much smaller version and had no issues with lighting up lightbulbs 2 miles away without frying anyone.
And then you get people like the NRA that killed off a very promising SMR (small nuclear reactor)
They never even bothered to look in to seeing it it was safe or anything, they just straight up said "no" and the project died.
No we have a *huge* amount of Uranium that we can get.
You know people stop looking for new place to find minerals/ores once the known reserves hit a certain level right?
Thats why oil reserves have been 20-30 years left for the last 100 years.
Nuclear is the most efficient way and will always be, solar takes fucking miles. Just look at how much energy you get as your raw output, fucking E=mc^2 per mass unit. Fusion is even better because it does not involve heavy metals, and the only step beyond would be antimatter annihilation.
> people arguing about utility scale solar when they should be talking about using solar on homes, businesses, and over parking lots to offset the need for centralized power generation
>Definitely not hydro, the damage it causes to the local ecosystem is irreversibly devastating. Geothermal is definitely a contender.
Hydro changes the ecosystem. Hardly devastating, and it's highly localized. Put it like this, 50 years after a dam was build if you removed it the current ecosystem would be changed.
Geothermal causes earthquakes, and leaches radioactives from the rocks. The waste water emissions from a geothermal plant would get any nuclear power plant shut down.
>While nukes can provide baseload power reliably they can't ramp up and down for peak demand so they suffer the same problems renewables have, you need either lots of modern dispatchable gas/coal or get energy storage to work or massively overbuild on plants that have extreme costs to begin with.
With a high temperature nuclear reactor, you can use natural gas as a booster for meeting demand. But you need to be above the temperature point of all PBRs. At least 500C, although that's not doing much, the higher the better.
>There's no incentive to invest vast sums of money on a unproven technology and replacing large amounts of infrastructure when gen3+ works fine and has pretty good passive meltdown protection.
Still wasting 99% of the fuel, much more expensive than a LFTR. China's aiming to have it's first LFTR critical by 2020.
Unproven is a funny term for a reactor design that ran for years already.
>Payback times is between 6 months and 3 years depending on climate.
That's all subsidy however. Cut the government grant and it's payback time is never, if you subtract investment returns from it.
>For satellites, you can't use nuclear, they already have a hard time shielding against cosmic radiation
Tell that to the Russians. They put nuclear powered RADAR sats in orbit. And not RTG or BVs. Actual nuclear reactors.
You still need to clean them. Dust, bird shit, etc, even a small layer of dust can take off 10+%
Hybrid/electric cars that charge up in parking lots shaded by solar panels, there's a pretty neat idea (hopefully not more than half need to charge at once though (and it'd still need to be on the grid for cases like that, or on a "rainy day" /pun))
>all these people arguing over which energy solution is 'best'
Providing energy for the world's population is a complex problem that requires a mulit-faceted answer, every method of energy production will be the 'local best solution' somewhere. Currently renewables provide approx. 22% of the world's power. The only imperative is reducing carbon emissions.