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Renewable Energy Surge In Portugal

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  • Renewable Energy Surge In Portugal

    A recent article in the New York Times by reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal highlights the remarkable stride Portugal has made in shifting from dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy. It has pretty good motivation to do so; it is poor in fossil fuels but has relatively abundant flowing water and wind for power generation. As a result, five years ago Portugal made a commitment to move its power generation, to the extent possible, from fossil fuels to renewables.

    The results have been impressive. Five years ago only 17% of Portugal’s electricity was generate using renewable energy; today that number stands at 45%, and Portugal has done some pretty creative things to overcome some of the problems of renewables – such as uneven generation. Wind blows at different rates and solar only provides power in daytime, so excess power generated in off-peak time is used to pump water up into reservoirs to use for hydroelectric generation in peak times.

    The surge in electrical generation hasn’t made as much of a dent in total energy production, since the transportation net still runs primarily on fossils fuels. In 2011, however, Portugal will become the first country in the world to have a nation-wide network of electric car charging stations.

    Here’s an additional article on Portugal’s move to renewables in the Guardian.




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  • #2
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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    • #3
      Duly noted Doctor, but we gotta get off the fossil fuels, regardless of global warming. one, burning that crap, especially coal, can't be good for the environment or the urban jungle. Second, fossil fuels just aren't renewable. We won't run out of them, but they will increase in price. Better to ween off now than be forced off in the future and Third, and this is more directed at oil, our 'cheap oil' is dependant on thugs who run Muslims states, And Latin American crap holes, mostly Venezuela but also Mexico. It's just not safe for us to depend on these sources for political reasons. Besides, autuky is just awesome if it can be done, so I personally give props to the Portuguese.
      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolery View Post
        Duly noted Doctor, but we gotta get off the fossil fuels, regardless of global warming. one, burning that crap, especially coal, can't be good for the environment or the urban jungle. Second, fossil fuels just aren't renewable. We won't run out of them, but they will increase in price. Better to ween off now than be forced off in the future and Third, and this is more directed at oil, our 'cheap oil' is dependant on thugs who run Muslims states, And Latin American crap holes, mostly Venezuela but also Mexico. It's just not safe for us to depend on these sources for political reasons. Besides, autuky is just awesome if it can be done, so I personally give props to the Portuguese.
        What makes more sense?

        Our gov't artificially increasing the cost of fossil fuels relative to renewables in an effort to entice the marketplace to actually deliver economically superior alternative energy sources?

        Or...

        Allowing the marketplace to operate as freely as possible; enabling alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels in much the same way that the internal combustion engine replaced horses.
        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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        • #5
          Problem is I don't think anything will get us off of oil other than a rapid and cruel cost of fuel. Even then the problem has never been supply, but the political stability and friendliness of unstable regimes where the populace has been taught to hate us. Now funding for oil alternatives does require government funding, but the government need not jack up prices to do that. They raise gas taxes for Many, MANY other reasons. Most of then irresponsible. Such is life.
          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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          • #6
            OK this is going from a speech of one of our more wacko MP's BUT I tend to believe it as it hasn't been challenged by his opponents:

            Basically when he was Minister for Energy and Mining in QLD he discovered that if he put solar panels on government owned houses he could delay building a A$100 million coal fired electricity plant for 9 years. Government housing only.

            Now with my limited understanding of things that sort of investment would lower the price per unit as production would rise, and with the profits more money could be put into making the technology better thereby making it more attractive for private consumers to purchase which would lead to a greater delay in building the plant.

            Makes sense to me that putting money into these things can only have long term benefits to the environment but also to the economy as whoever leads the world on these things can export the technology.
            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
              Yeah, but does that take into account that the coal mine has already been dug, the gas pipes laid etc.?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                Yeah, but does that take into account that the coal mine has already been dug, the gas pipes laid etc.?
                No. The coal mining and gas pipeline companies dig mines and build pipelines because it's a fun hobby.



                Of course the price includes the cost of mines and pipelines...

                Coal mining companies dig mines and sell the coal to utility companies. If the cost of the mines weren't covered by the sale of the coal, there would be no coal mining companies left in business.

                Gas pipeline companies build pipelines and buy gas from gas producers or charge the gas producers an access fee or tariff to transport the gas to utility companies. If the cost of the pipelines wasn't covered by the sale of the gas, there would be no gas pipeline companies left in business.

                The costs on the chart are the wholesale costs per MwH to produce energy from the various sources. It's basically what the utility companies pay.
                Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                  OK this is going from a speech of one of our more wacko MP's BUT I tend to believe it as it hasn't been challenged by his opponents:

                  Basically when he was Minister for Energy and Mining in QLD he discovered that if he put solar panels on government owned houses he could delay building a A$100 million coal fired electricity plant for 9 years. Government housing only.

                  Now with my limited understanding of things that sort of investment would lower the price per unit as production would rise, and with the profits more money could be put into making the technology better thereby making it more attractive for private consumers to purchase which would lead to a greater delay in building the plant.

                  Makes sense to me that putting money into these things can only have long term benefits to the environment but also to the economy as whoever leads the world on these things can export the technology.

                  Solar: $160 to $420/MwH

                  Coal: $50 to $55/MwH

                  In 2009, US utilities generated 1,764,486,000 MwH of electricity from coal. At $50-$55/MwH, the total cost was between $88 billion and $97 billion.

                  If that same 1,764,486,000 MwH of electricity was generated by solar power, at $160-$420/MwH, the total cost would have been between $282 billion and $741 billion.

                  Solar-generated electricity "costs" 3 to 8 times as much as coal-generated electricity. If our gov't was paying 3 to 8 times more than necessary for solar-generated electricity so that they could put off building power plants that generated electricity for 12% to 34% of what the gov't was paying for solar... I think I'd send them a copy of Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" letter and "tell them I'm coming and Hell's coming with me!"

                  Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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