YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.4
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Jun 19th, 2019, 2:25am

Home Home Help Help Search Search Members Members Login Login



   Waxology, a place to discuss
   Waxings
   The Environment
(Moderators: mitakeet, torporchair)
   Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Previous topic | No topic »
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Redwood trees vs solar panels  (Read 1537 times)
mitakeet
Administrator
*****



Font of useless information

   
View Profile

Posts: 338
Redwood trees vs solar panels
« on: Feb 29th, 2008, 3:44pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

From CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/02/29/redwoods.vs.solar.ap/inde x.html.
 
One neighbor buys $70K worth of solar panels and situates them near his next door neighbor's several redwoods.  Several years later the redwoods have grown enough to shade the solar panels.  Invoking the obscure law (this is California) The Solar Shade Control Act, the solar panel guy gets the courts to order that some of the trees be cut down.  
 
Who is right?  It may be that the solar panel guy had no where else to situate his cells, but he had to know that the redwoods would grow to shade them out at some point (or should have, they are green growing things after all, some of the tallest plants in the world).  I am not sure I would make a $70K investment unless I was sure I would get the economic value back from my investment and certainly knowing that your neighbors had trees that would shade the panels would certainly cut into the long-term economic value of them.  On the other hand, it is just a tree after all and I am sure that rational people could come to an agreement on alternative landscaping.  Still, if I owned the trees I might expect my neighbor to freely pick up the tab for the landscape alterations as without his poor choice (though he may have had no choice) of location none of this would have been an issue.
 
Of course, all this would be solved with nuclear energy.
IP Logged

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
torporchair
Administrator
*****



Weasonable?

   
View Profile

Posts: 474
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #1 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 7:51am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I tend to side with the owner of the Trees. Dude with the panels had a few good years of use out of them, and although he will come out behind if he is unable to re-locate them, the very idea of destroying the naturally-occurring solar energy units (the trees that is trees: making sunshine into oxygen and mulch etc, providing habitat for birds etc) in favor of man-made solar energy units smacks of ugliness.  
 
It has got to cost a lot of money to cut down Redwoods, too! So here the neighbor of the panel dude is suddenly looking at thousands of dollars (I have no doubt it would cost thousands to cut down a few big Redwoods, especially near houses!) he has to pay because Dude Bonehead has situated some panels without thinking ahead.
 
Solar Panel Dude should be able to sell the panels to recoup some of his money, I would think.
 
As for Nuclear, how 'bout that cold confusion or fission or what have you? Safer more efficient methods available for Nuclear?
IP Logged

"The facts, however, show that there are always new soaring dogs in evidence..."
-Franz Kafka from: Investigations of a Dog
mitakeet
Administrator
*****



Font of useless information

   
View Profile

Posts: 338
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #2 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 11:59am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Cold fusion has basically totally failed to be anything.  While some people are occasionally able to produce what they feel is 'excess heat' (and lack physics to explain why), the amount of heat produced is far below what would be needed to recover the amount of energy put in, let alone run New York off it.  There are other slightly more promising things in the realm of 'table top' fusion (to distinguish from 'cold' fusion; the physics is accepted and understood), but only slightly (did you know that the inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, invented table top fusion in the early 1930's?  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor) and nothing currently being reported to the public has any real chance of economic success.  Having said that, the 'big' fusion programs (like the tokamak) where the world has collectively pissed away hundreds of billions of dollars has just about as much chance of being an economical source of energy, so where is the love?
 
I agree that the current paradigm of fission energy is dumb, dangerous and leaves a 100,000 year legacy of waste, but the ironic thing is that we (US tax payers) have already funded all the development for an inherently safe, low waste reactor starting  in the early 1950's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor.  However when it came time to choose the molten salt reactor vs. the solid core reactor (what essentially the entire world's nuclear reactors are designed with) the US military wanted the solid core reactors since they are much more effective at producing plutonium.  There are some efforts to get the molten salt core reactor research started up again, but the US public is so anti-nuclear (you realize, don't you, that a conventional fusion reactor, if one could finally be built, would produce just about as much radioactive waste as our current fission reactors, right?  Didn't think so) that few organizations want to bother.  Molten salt core reactors are cheaper to build, cheaper and safer to operate, can be built so it is not physically possible to have a meltdown, burns nearly 100% of the nuclear 'waste' (which we want to bury in a Nevada mountain, what a moronic idea that is!) and what waste it does generate decays to less than the ore it came from in 300 years and is more than 40% more efficient at converting heat to electricity.  What is not to love?
 
Within 20 years the US could convert nearly all its energy infrastructure to nuclear and we wouldn't have to worry about an 'energy crisis' (which is really an 'I don't want to pay so much for my energy' crisis) for at least 1,000 years.  There is no doubt in my mind that with some incentive we could build nuclear reactors small enough and efficient enough to power individual sky scrapers dramatically diversifying our energy sources, not to mention reducing the huge wastage of energy in all these thousands of miles of transmission lines.  
IP Logged

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
torporchair
Administrator
*****



Weasonable?

   
View Profile

Posts: 474
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #3 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 7:32pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify


What do you think is the best way to 'dispose' of nuclear waste from our current reactors?
IP Logged

"The facts, however, show that there are always new soaring dogs in evidence..."
-Franz Kafka from: Investigations of a Dog
mitakeet
Administrator
*****



Font of useless information

   
View Profile

Posts: 338
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #4 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 7:50pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Burn it in a nuclear reactor, of course!  It is only 'waste' when used in a conventional solid core reactor.  In a molten salt core it becomes an ideal fuel.  The basic difference betwixt the solid core and the molten salt core is that the molten salt is fairly straightforward to reprocess as part of its use (in fact, this is required when the source fuel is thorium instead of uranium).  This allows for the removal of so-called poisons that rob the reaction of its efficiency so that unlike the solid core designs, the reactor is always working at peak efficiency.
 
Simple difference, but with the anti-nuclear attitude, nearly impossible to get people to listen.
IP Logged

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
torporchair
Administrator
*****



Weasonable?

   
View Profile

Posts: 474
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #5 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 8:11pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Unbelievable! I have never even heard of this Salt Reactor. Man, what the heck is going on here when such a decent source of energy is being ignored? NIMBY! But wait, let me explain what the difference is with this reator... NIMBY! But John Q, I haven't explained... NIMBY!
 
How 'bout them huge wind turbines? Wild looking suckers ain't they? And the dude goes in the access door and climbs up into the top of the huge thing. Weird and awesome machines. Would put a hurtin' on an aircraft...
IP Logged

"The facts, however, show that there are always new soaring dogs in evidence..."
-Franz Kafka from: Investigations of a Dog
mitakeet
Administrator
*****



Font of useless information

   
View Profile

Posts: 338
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #6 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 10:16pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Wind turbines kill birds and bats, now the tree huggers consider them as bad as coal fired power plants.  Plus the d**n things are barely economical (I have studied wind turbine electricity generation for many years; without tax breaks it is not possible to compete with coal, gas or hydroelectric).  Solar is another boondoggle; it is only 'economic' if you assume a bunch of very problematic situations AND a 30-40 payback.  The most major critical assumption is that the price of electricity is going to skyrocket in the near future.  However, except for a few Enron-esque episodes, the real price of electricity (i.e., after inflation) has been flat or trending downward for decades (partly due to the fact that no one is paying to maintain or upgrade the transmission lines, but that is another story).  What is left?  Biofuels?  Wonder why the cost of food has been increasing?  Corn is about the dumbest possible source of ethanol, yet because everyone is using it to run their car the price of corn is now up 5x over the price several years ago.  Soybean oil is basically a waste product, so turning it into biodiesel is fine, except for the tiny little issue that there isn't enough to make a d**n bit of difference.  
 
Of course, if people would just walk or ride a bike and turn the d**n television off, perhaps the problem would solve itself.
IP Logged

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
torporchair
Administrator
*****



Weasonable?

   
View Profile

Posts: 474
Re: Redwood trees vs solar panels
« Reply #7 on: Apr 7th, 2008, 3:40pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify


The Redwoods vs Solar Panels was in todays NY Times:
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/science/earth/07redwood.html?_r=1& oref=slogin
IP Logged

"The facts, however, show that there are always new soaring dogs in evidence..."
-Franz Kafka from: Investigations of a Dog
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | No topic »

Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.4!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board