Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Joe Fisher, Oct 27, 2018.
BJC: I'll take your word for it on the utilities. But the fossil fuel industry is subsidized.
How does that compare with a regular electric plant? In any case, I ran across one of those on line calculators which said that 150 tons of coal can generate about 1200 megawatt hours. Wouldn't take long for a 3 MW turbine to make up for that.
Can you please provide citations for subsidies of natural gas and coal? They are the major fossil fuels used in the production of electricity.
Note that even if a fuel is subsidized, it does not benefit a regulated electric company.
At the pump, I pay a 38 cents a gallon tax for my fossil fuel.
Wind power would be good for pumping water to a Tom Sauk-type power generation operation, which was a reservoir on top of a mountain that water was pumped to during the cheap electricity times of day and generating power via hydroelectric at high demand times.
The water becomes the battery.
My understanding is that with wind and solar you can never turn off the conventional power plants because of their intermittent nature.
That doesn't begin to cover the environmental damage that future generations must deal with.
The fuel tax is for road maintenance. All energy sources have some emissions of CO2. So no reason to subsidize any of them. But as far as I know, solar and wind users pay no direct tax.
I took your word for it about the electric utilities. But subsidizing fossil fuels means more gets burned, even if it doesn't help the utility. Anyway, I found this government report, which I haven't read all the way through yet. But it addresses these issues:
Note that any such report is only going to get part of the picture. More on that on page 13. In some places in the report, oil and gas get lumped together, so it's hard to tell what's what.
That's a huge leap, logically. How much "some" is varies widely.
That shows how difficult it is to define actual benefit from federally supported programs to the nation as opposed to benefit for the bureaucracy involved. Having dealt with some of the major federal and state bureaucracies, I developed a very skeptical view of their effectiveness in achieving their stated objectives. This is not intended to besmirch the rank and file employees; it is intended to be critical of the organizations.
It's a complicated problem, for sure (including the idea that a favorable tax treatment is an expenditure). Still the nub of the issue is: How much federal subsidy does each type of energy receive? ($ per KWH, joule, whatever). This report appears to be mum on that. Wherever we find that metric, we can be sure the assumptions and inclusions/exclusions made by the hired analyst will be designed to "influence rather than inform."
The report in post 168 said nearly half the federal subsidy goes to renewables, quote:
"Most current federal subsidies support developing renewable energy supplies (primarily biofuels, wind, and solar) and reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency. In FY 2016, nearly half (45%) of federal energy subsidies were associated with renewable energy, and 42% were associated with energy end uses."
Yet renewables are only about 1-4% of the energy to consumers.
State subsidies are virtually 100% for renewable, at least in my state, is my guess.
Since so much capacity is coming on line, I'll bet the figures for 2018 are higher. I don't know where you got the figures for consumers. Seems to me what matters is the proportion of the total that's renewables. If we include biomass and hydro with wind, solar, and geothermal, then the figure is up to about 9 percent of production. I'd use consumption, but I think a substantial but unknown amount of that is renewable. For instance, and maybe it's not true any more, but at one time a large amount of hydroelectric power was being imported from Quebec. Admittedly, some of the biomass must really be processing petroleum into alcohol via corn, so I don't know how much of that we can really count. Note that a large portion of "renewable" subsidies goes to biomass rather than to wind, solar, etc. OTOH, benefits to consumers from energy saving wouldn't show up as increased consumption of renewables, but would reduce carbon footprint and energy bills. I used to have a landlord who didn't have much extra cash lying around. She got her house insulated and weatherstripped through one of those programs, and I'm sure it made a big difference.
I think hydro is about 7% of the nations electric. Hydro is about 90% of Washington states electric, but the state policy makers have decreed that hydro is not renewable! Only solar, wind and biomass are renewable and available to get subsidy.
It seems evident that hydro IS renewable. But of course that doesn't mean it's harmless.
It does seem evident, yet many national environmental organizations’s position is that hydroelectric power is not renewable power. Several actively interviened in the relicensing of a series of hydroelectric dams, insisting that the dams be removed and that the watershed be allowed to flood and dry up with the seasons.
Which seems to show that it is not about the environment at all, but is entirely political.
That attitude presumes that the environment doesn't need the water; flooding and drying are natural processes that many ecosystems are specifically adapted for. Let's remember that the environment doesn't need us either.
Overall, we have done a poor job of fitting ourselves into Earth's ecosystems, and allowing our population to swell to the 7 billion level hasn't helped. However, we are unlikely to experience a crash; that is probably for our children and grandchildren to address. Whether that's fortunate or unfortunate depends on how invested you are in the future of humanity.
Wouldn't it be amusing if there were a site called environmentalactivism.com where we could go to talk about homebuilt airplanes?
Doesnt that attitude in turn assume that the environment doesnt need the sun or wind?
Nothing you do is without impact. You proved my point.
Politics is choosing what you wish to ignore.
Separate names with a comma.