Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

CO2 emissions (Was: Re: Weather (Was: OT: go nuclear. Was: Detecting ETI via CO2))

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Posted by Rob Dekker on October 1, 2005, 1:52 am
Hi Martin,

I cannot see responses from "eeeeee" or others in this thread on my news server,
forgive me if I touch on things already discussed.

Also, I hope you don't mind that I included 'alt.solar.thermal' on this thread.

Solar energy rules !

When talking about reducing CO2 that we expell, Scientific American had a
pretty good article a few months ago about pushing the gas back underground.

Coal or other fossil fuel power plants could pump CO2 back in the ground,
or store it and sell it (see below) and thus become zero-emission power plants.
To me, that seems a very creative way to transition from the 'old' way of relying
on fossil fuel for energy to the new alternative energies, while meanwhile
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It would also put the fossil fuel plants 'at-par' with alternative energy plants,
since now both could be 'zero-emission' production plants !!

This (CO2 disposal method) actually should not always need to cost more.
CO2 is worth something. In fact, oil production often benefits from pumping CO2
in the well. It revitalizes the oil well and increases yield. So, oil rigs will
CO2, and a lot of it. Why not ship it to them from power plants around the world

For cars : In a later stage, if we would have hydrogen production plants, fueled
by fossil fuel,
then the CO2 can be captured and pushed back underground, while the cars
run on the hydrogen..

Government regulations CAN be effective, but it take a long sustained effort
to make a difference. Europe is the perfect example : Europeans use half the
energy of their US counterparts, per capita. I know that the long term policies
energy taxation and alternative energy subsidies are a major cause of that.
I used to curse the government of Holland when I grew up there and much of
my young engineer money went into my gas tank.

But now I see that the policy has worked for the better benefit of everyone :
Half the energy, double the price, so Europeans pay the SAME for energy as US
but Europeans pay only half that money to the "Saudi's"... The other half is
used to subsidize
public transportation (the best in the world), the roads/infrastucture (hands
down the
most beautiful and efficient and modern in the world), subsidies for more
energy and a host of other good public works. And emit only half the CO2... Hats
off !!

Unfortunately, it takes 20 or 30 years of sustained energy taxation to achieve
level of accomplishment. And there is no way in the world that Americans will
accept a 100% tax on gasoline. Even a 25ct/gallon increase causes questions in

My favorite list of alternative energy for the US, in the short term, in order
of priority :

- Solar panels for water heating : some 60% of domestic natural gas in the US is
used for water heating.
  At about $.5/Watt in investment, this is probably the most cost-effective
alternative energy
  application anywhere. I am actually considering founding a company in this

- Wind: The most cost-effective way to create electricity. Competes with fossil
fuel today.
   Gotta be in windy areas though, and there are some downsides (bird kills,
   complaining about them and dizzy-making movement in the landscape etc)
   Production cost : 5ct/kWh.

- Solar Thermal electrical production : Large scale electrical production in
arid areas.
  Investment cost is currently too high at about $/Watt, but will go down to
about $.5/Watt for
  large-scale production (NREL study).
  Production cost : Now 12ct/kWh, with high volume : 4ct/kWh.

- Nuclear Fission : Many big problems with that, but face it : no CO2. At $/Watt
  investment, and high-power on limited space, it is probably the best immediate
  alternative solution for big-electric.
  Production cost : 8ct/kWh.

- PV panels. At $/Watt, still way too expensive. Local government subsidies
  but since that is our money also, it is overall an expensive solution.

That's my 2cts about this world wide problem.


get out of the silly mentality that Global Warming (&

administration and our following generations clean up the mess".

frequently in the largest city in SA.

Posted by Gary on October 1, 2005, 3:22 pm

of priority :

is used for water heating.

alternative energy


fossil fuel today.


arid areas.

about $.5/Watt for




Hi Rob,

I think that solar thermal space heating deserves a place high on your
list.  My space heating bill is a lot higher than my water heating
bill.  You can build solar air collectors for $ a square foot, and
(as Nick would point out) attached sunspaces for even less.



"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects

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Posted by Paul on October 1, 2005, 4:49 pm

  Here is a link I came across a while back that does a basic overview of
solar home heating.
It is a commercial site and not written in acedemic terms. But it may prove
helpful as a start.

Posted by Rob Dekker on October 13, 2005, 7:29 pm

order of priority :

is used for water heating.

alternative energy


Makes total sense,
It is just a matter of opinion, but I see sunspaces in the same category as
installing dual-pane windows,
wall insulation material, and other common-sense energy savers such as making
doors and windows fit tight.

Remember that you probably need most home heating in the evening; that is, when
the sun is set....
So you need thermal heat storage for home space heating. Probably with a water
Voila. Water-heater system needed....

Also, sunspaces and thermal space heating are mostly applicable for colder
In most US states, people need cooling. Especially in summer.

But everyone needs a water heater....


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