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Is it now the time to switch to renewable energy?

By Aldanatech ·
We've all seen it on TV and felt it at the pumps. BP?s shutdown of half of the nation?s largest oil field in Alaska is just the latest **** in a series of hurricanes, war, pipeline leaks, and just plain greed that have all contributed to rising oil prices and exposed our dependence on fossil fuels. Should now be the time to switch to renewable energy? Why or why not? If you think it is, what should be the best approach? Should Congress provide better support to renewable energy?

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Better...

by onbliss In reply to Is it now the time to swi ...

...late than never!

I would recommend a steady phased approach for the transformation of using more renewable sources of energy in our life. Sudden changes - changes in a short amount of time - could make it little tough to handle the resulting global impact - political and economical.

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I agree

by Aldanatech In reply to Better...

I agree onbliss. Now, would you consider start giving some energy sources a higher priority over others?

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Should.

by onbliss In reply to I agree

Yes they should get higher priorities, at least in thoughts. But, how much of that translates to effectively in the every-day life remains an important question.

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Long Overdue

by w2ktechman In reply to Is it now the time to swi ...

The switch should have been done many years ago. It seems a bit retarded on mankind to keep burning fossil fuels for power that can be obtained much more cleanly. This is not any 1 persons fault, but is the fault of the masses, and greed. Many times we have looked towards cleaner energy, but cost and profit were not in line.

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easy switch to a renewable engery source...

by Jaqui In reply to Is it now the time to swi ...

bio-diesel.

the grease tossed out by the local choke and puke
[ mc donalds ] just needs to b run once through a paper filter and it can go directly into a stock diesel engine.

since the origin of the grease is vegetable oil completely renewable

editing to add:

only a 10% reduction in fuel efficiency with bio diesel

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I saw the mythbusters episode too

by JamesRL In reply to easy switch to a renewabl ...

And I've read many artciles, technical and non-technical, about biodiesel. I saw my first biodiesel in the early 80s.

If everyone, or even a significant number of people start asking for the leftover grease, the McDonalds of the world will start charging for it. And even at a wholesale level, "new" vegetable oil costs more than diesel fuel.

I did see an article for a still to create ethanol from waste wood products (sawdust, wood chips etc). Some manufacturers, GM included, are making flexi fuel vehicles which can run E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) or gas. If you have a farm or a woodlot, this might help.

James

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In the mean time

by TonytheTiger In reply to I saw the mythbusters epi ...

There's coal gasification. Not renewable, but at least we wouldn't be at the mercy of the Saudi's et al, while looking for better.

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Trade-offs here, too

by NickNielsen In reply to I saw the mythbusters epi ...

It takes water to grow the biomass used to produce the ethanol. It then takes more water to reduce the biomass to ethanol than was required to produce the biomass. In fact, it takes more than a gallon of water to produce a gallon of ethanol.

I believe the problem is that the initial burst of funding for alternative fuels research resulting from the 1970s fuel shortages was essentially shut down by the Reagan administration back when oil was "plentiful." Had research funding continued at the levels of the 70s, I don't doubt we would be well on our way to telling the Middle East "We don't need you any more."

My personal preference is for fuel cells, but this is something we need to let the market decide.

Edit: type, post, proofread

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plug in the compressor instead of filling at the pump

by jck In reply to Is it now the time to swi ...

http://www.theaircar.com

This car is going to be featured on The Science Channel on Wednesday at (I believe) 8pm US ET.

125-185 miles on compressed air alone with in-city driving under 45 mph.

And, the car can go (reported) up to 1243 miles (2000 km) on the dual mode engine with mixed speed driving. the dual mode engine runs both on fossil fuel and compressed air. And while the fossil fuel mode is running, it recharges the compressed air tank.

be nice to get about 80-100 mpg, eh?

cheers

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Very good!

by Aldanatech In reply to plug in the compressor in ...

Well done jck. This is one alternative that can at least give us a starting point. Let's just see if the big oil companies don't oppose -- again.

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