# Climate change: The Critical Decade

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by James R, May 23, 2011.

1. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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BS, you said the US was slow.
I showed they weren't
Now you are just being an ass.

3. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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26,305
You posted a couple of graphs about wind power and biofuels - neither of which showed anything approaching adequate investment in power sources even for those two marginal types ("biofuels", which means ethonol in the US, take almost as much fossil fuel to make as they replace - they aren't renewables).

So I nodded to your evidence for my point - that the US was very slow off the mark here, and falling farther behind necessity with each passing year. But we both knew that anyway, right? I mean, you keep running over into the wind power corner and similar side issues, and now ethanol? Obviously you know what the situation is, and are working to conceal it.

5. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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BS
Wind is a very viable renewable energy source.
Ethanol is a very viable bio fuel, and no it doesn't take nearly as much fossil fuel to make as what it produces or it would cost far more than it does.

As to adequate investment, we wouldn't be the world leader in Wind, Bio and Geo if there wasn't.

Clearly there is.

You were wrong, but as forum history shows, you have NEVER admitted to being wrong about anything.

Arthur

7. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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And the US consumes proportionately more electricty than NZ does, and Wind power plays a proportionately less significant role in US power generation than in NZ.

But as I said - If you think the US can get to 90% RE power generation by 2025...

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
8. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Industry accounts for 35.8% of out total electricity consumption, Residential consumes 34.3% and commercial accounts for 25%.

Our single biggest consumer is Tiwai Point, responsible for consuming approximately 15% of our annual generation capacity (nearly as much as all other industrial sources combined), is one of the twenty largest smelters in the world, has its own dedicated power station and is 79% owned by Rio Tinto Alcan, which along with Rusal is one of the two companies that are bigger than Alcoa.

Tiwai Point produces about 330kT of Aluminium per year, which is 25% of all of the aluminium produced in the US (in other words NZ produces nearly 12 times as much aluminium per person as the US does).

Industry in the US, on the other hand, accounts for only 24% of electricity consumption, so no, your assertion fails - as a percentage of our total consumption, NZ uses more electricity for Industry than the US does.

But if you want to talk about GDP, according to Mark Perry (University of Michigan professor of economics and finance) Manufacturing in the United States accounts for 12.9% of GDP (as of 2009) where as manufacturing in New Zealand accounts for 14.9%.

So no, while the US GDP, and even GDP per capita may dwarf NZ's, as a relative proportion of GDP, Manufacturing makes up a bigger proportion of our economy, and as a proportion of generation, Industry is a larger consumer in NZ than in the US.

9. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Just a statistical anomaly Trippy, in that production of Aluminum uses over 30% of your industrial Electricity, of which NZ has an abundance of (indeed the largest hydro plant is dedicated to this) so your Aluminum manufacturing distorts the picture.

But the NET is the % of manufacturing GDP is pretty much the same and yet we produce more Wind per capita then NZ does even though we are not, as you say, in the favorable "roaring 40s" (your wind turbines produce about twice as many kWhs per year as the global average so, yes we would expect you to install more wind then most nations because your turbines produce nearly twice as many kWhs as a percent of capacity, we in contrast have to offer construction incentives, property tax incentives and a Production Tax Credit of 2c per kWh generated for 10 years in order to get them to be competitive with our other sources of energy)

In contrast, over the next several decades we will blow past our installed wind base with our installed base of PV and Solar Thermal, because even though we lead in wind and will probably always be in the top two nations for wind, Solar is actually our most attractive source of renewable energy.

And no, even so we won't be able to keep up with NZ in the percent of renewables, because we don't have your huge abundance of Hydro and Geothermal energy coupled with a small highly urban country.

But, given what we have to work with we will do quite well.

Arthur

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
10. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Total strawman.
NZ was at 90% RE electrical power generation back in the friggin 80s.
You are just getting back to where you were and it's almost entirely due to the massive amounts of Hydro and Geothermal at your disposal.

But while you are getting back to where you were a few decades ago do remember that you get ~70% of your energy supply from oil, coal and NG today, so this small change, from 70% to 90% of your electricity generation by 2025 is hardly something to jump up and down about.

http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____41143.aspx

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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So the reality - of small, slow, piecemeal, inadequate investments leading inexorably to a crisis situation, very much to the benefit of the nuclear power and other large corporate interests - does not exist?
Studies so far conflict - some claim there is a net benefit and slight but significant reduction of fossil fuel consumption to make ethanol of equivalent power output, others that there isn't.

The problem is the US makes ethanol from industrially grown and processed corn, every step of the process heavily dependent on fossil fuels

The cost break from ethanol is a matter of government subsidies and taxes - for the specific industry and agriculture in general.

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
12. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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What crisis are you talking about?
You don't think Wind, Solar PV and Solar Thermal, GeoThermal are not built/installed/maintained by Large Corporate interests????

As to investments they are HUGE and GROWING and are not "piecemeal" but broadbased in every area of possible renewable and/or CO2 neutral energy:
Nuclear (Fusion and Fission)
Carbon Capture/Clean Coal
http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/coalpower/cctc/index.html#

Wind - 2c kWh PTC for 10 years plus substantial tax incentives for construction/property tax
Solar Thermal (CSP under construction)

PV Solar - 30% Federal Tax Credit on total installed cost + many states offer more and thus 878 MWs of PV were installed in the U.S. in 2010 and ~65,000 solar water heating or solar pool heating systems were installed in 2010.

Biomass & Biofuels including Cellulosic Ethanol Plants
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/pdfs/mypp_april_2011.pdf

GeoThermal

Wave & Tidal
http://www.eere.energy.gov/topics/water.html

No possible way.
The wholesale cost of the oil needed to make a gallon of gasoline is ~$2.70 per gallon, but a year ago the wholesale cost of a gallon of Ethanol was only$1.10 (for equiv energy use \$1.65 for 1.5 gallons of Ethanol) its quite clear that the fossil fuel cost is not that large of a percent of the cost of Ethanol. (price before any subsidy)

Arthur

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
13. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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No. You don't get to get away with that argument, especially not after claiming that the US electricity consumption per capita is artifically high due to industry. Remember? That's what we were talking about.

Try a different argument, I'm sure you can find something better.

Yes, I've already aknowledged that your wind production per capita is higher, and? You also consume more electricity per capita, so this isn't neccessarily the best measure. Although, I'm fairly sure that in 10-15 years we may well have surpassed the US there as well. (wind generation per capita, that is).

I'd need to look into the statistics, but I'm fairly sure that NZ isn't unusually urbanized.

14. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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No, actually, here in NZ we've recognized the long term effects of Geothermal, and Hydro isn't widely known for its popularity these days - recently a major hydro project wound up being ditched because of the negative impact it would have on summer low flows, and the habitat of the pied stilt.

Yes, I've even raised this point as well, if you were paying attention, I even mentioned that over the same time frame we expect to increase RE as a fraction of our total energy consumption.

But then, I haven't raised the total energy consumption of the US, and we weren't talking about total energy consumption, we were talking about electricity.

15. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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A pissing contest isn't worth the time Trippy.
I'm sure you would find that Americans and NZ's use of energy is comparable.
I've never been to NZ but on my several trips downunder I found that Aussies and Yanks lived just about the same.
Given the same climatic conditions we would of course be much closer.

You want to compare NZ to America, then pick out a STATE that is roughly comparable to NZ in size, climate and type of resources and you will find that we are much more alike.

Try Washington State for instance, where they have a maritime climate and Hydro based Renewables represent 75% of their electricity, a much more realistic comparison to NZ.

http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/state_profiles/washington.html

You don't now, and with our very lucrative PTC in place I sincerely doubt you will in 15 years either.
Are you kidding?
Over 30% of your population lives in one friggin city.
NZ is one of the most urban countries around, nearly 70%
Not to mention a very mild climate for most residents and you can see why your energy needs are less.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_New_Zealand

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
16. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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I agree. But a pissing contest wasn't the point being made here.

Possible, even probable.

You may be right, but in 10-15 years, if all of the planned capacity is installed, we will be roughly on a par with where you are now, on a per capita basis, but that brings me back to one of the points I was in the process of making.

The flip side of that coin, especially in consideration of this point:
Is this: Why would we need to?

You've aknowledged that out wind turbines are twice as efficient as yours, because of our position in the roaring fourties, so we logically need to install half the name plate capacity to achieve the percentage of market share, which is one of the reasons why I suggested considering the percentage of power generated, rather than the total kWh, or the name plate capacity, because the market percentage would be the most directly comparable.

Well, 31%... Yes, I'm aware of that, having grown up in Auckland.

Like I said, I'd have to look into the statistics.

Well, mild in places anyway, one of the advantages of living on an Island, is that it is surrounded by water, which tends to buffer the climate. Parts of New Zealand, however, are more directly comparable to parts of the US and Canada (with a continental climate).

17. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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To illustrate further:
US electricity consumption per capita: 13654 kWh (2008)
NZ electricity consumption per capita: 9492 kWh (2008)
38,130 = 95% of 40,180
9,492 = 70% of 13,654

Incidentally, I screwed this bit up:
5015*62 = 310,930 not 31,093 (I misread my calculator without realizing it).

18. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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But that's not what's driving the installations.
We are HEAVILY subsidizing our Wind installations and NZ isn't (doesn't have to).
But even though our turbines essentially are half as effective as NZ's we still have more per capita capacity installed.
Remember this was where this started when I challenged Ice that we weren't slow on renewables. Clearly this shows that we aren't.

Well it's mild where most of your people live, and that's what counts.

19. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Actually that was based on Dec 2010 US totals and NZ June 11 totals.

The US installed 2,151 MW in the first 6 months of 2011, bringing us up to 42,331 MW, or 90%.

As of July 1st there were 7,354 MWs under construction.

We also have some HUGE farms in various stages of planning (I don't put that much stock in these numbers, but since you mentioned planning ....)

DeepWater - 1,000 MW
Hartland - 1,000 MW
Pampa - 4,000 MW
Shepards - 845 MW
Titan - 5,000 MW

Arthur

20. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Yes, and the point that I took exception to was the assertion that the US was leading the way, and the point that I made was that this was only true if you consider the total name plate capacity, and that if you consider other slightly different perspectives, or look at the data in slightly different ways, then the balance shifts.

21. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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They're at the stage of getting resource consents from the various authorities, before they can do that, they need to have finalized designs. They're at the very final stages of planning, essentially, they're just waiting on permission to put them up, but in NZ that can be a complicated process, and result in the resource consents getting declined, or some degree of redesign may become neccessary as a result of conditions imposed.

I'll post some other stuff when I get to work, and get my work station set back up, I have to jet for now.

Resource Consent on Wiki

The Resource Management Act 1991 is the piece of legislation that I enforce in the Otago region.

22. ### GustavBannedBanned

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12,575
That is feeding the machine. You don't think that's wrong? You must be just another enemy of the working bat and bird

23. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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Yes and no; the US economy is about 10% more energy intensive (in terms of energy consumption per dollar of GDP) than Australia or NZ, but per-capita energy consumption in the USA is like 70% larger than in NZ, and about 50% larger than in Australia (all from wikipedia, though some of the data is a few years out of date).

The United States is only marginally less urbanized than NZ - wikipedia says 87% for NZ, 82% for USA. They're both in the top 20:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_by_country

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011