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Renewable energy

GrumpyGranddad

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Really interesting article in The Telegraph magazine on Saturday about ‘renewable energy’ and the seriously negative impact on the environment from the extraction/processing of rare earths/metals. In the pursuit of reducing climate change we’re doing enormous environmental damage which will only accelerate over the coming years.
 
RodCouncil

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Really interesting article in The Telegraph magazine on Saturday about ‘renewable energy’ and the seriously negative impact on the environment from the extraction/processing of rare earths/metals. In the pursuit of reducing climate change we’re doing enormous environmental damage which will only accelerate over the coming years.
What rare metals are needed to create wind / wave / solar production means beyond what's used in fossil burning production of machines and end use fossil consumption.
 
GrumpyGranddad

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What rare metals are needed to create wind / wave / solar production means beyond what's used in fossil burning production of machines and end use fossil consumption.
For example the extremely strong magnets used in wind turbines.
It is a good objective article to read - don’t shoot the messenger.
 
Wildcamper

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What rare metals are needed to create wind / wave / solar production means beyond what's used in fossil burning production of machines and end use fossil consumption.
Neodymium used in high strength magnets that are necessary for high efficiency electric motors. Hugh environmental damage caused in its extraction in China, do a search there are a lot of articles. For the UK alone, if all cars were EVs then neodymium mining and extraction would need to increase by a factor of 10 - UK alone!. The acid lakes will never support life! Cobalt (not a rare earth) required for high efficiency batteries, even Tesla has said that use if Cobalt is unsustainable. Most Cobalt comes from central Africa, and then from conflict zones. Terrible working condition for the mostly female and child workers. Is an EV life saved in the West worth an African or Chinese life lost in Cobalt/Neodymium extraction. Then lithium from South America. Again huge environment damage. Don't take my word do your own research.
 
briwy

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I sometimes wonder how long it takes a wind turbine to produce the energy that is needed to make it. They also use energy when not producing it apparently as the internals need to keep rotating. I would have thought that wave power would be ideal if the same amount of investment and research had gone into it.
 
GrumpyGranddad

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I sometimes wonder how long it takes a wind turbine to produce the energy that is needed to make it. They also use energy when not producing it apparently as the internals need to keep rotating. I would have thought that wave power would be ideal if the same amount of investment and research had gone into it.
Same with all the renewable technologies, the ‘environmental debt’ from the manufacturing process is huge. Additionally, at end of life there’s more ‘debt’ from recycling (actually no recycling solutions available yet for some things i.e. wind turbine blades).
 
willwander

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I sometimes wonder how long it takes a wind turbine to produce the energy that is needed to make it. They also use energy when not producing it apparently as the internals need to keep rotating. I would have thought that wave power would be ideal if the same amount of investment and research had gone into it.
The pay back on energy input to produce a wind farm is 3 to 6 months. 1 to 3 years for solar. Both have an expected lifespan of 25 years.

Wave power had investment until they realised it didn’t work, energy is too dispersed , tidal is promising but is currently more expensive than wind. current tidal schemes have high environmental impact.
 
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Wildcamper

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So we should continue burning oil....?
This really needs an answer but is this the appropriate forum? There have rightfully been complaints about politically sensitive comments posted here. This forum is really about campervans not other stuff. However, your question needs an answer: it is important. I will give a short response and suggest one of the Moderators requests a longer one if required.

In my experience the environmental lobby sees EVs and renewable energy in a black and white context. Oil is back, renewables and EVs are white. In reality both are grey and to 100% back either is a knee jerk reaction. There are so many examples where a poorly considered (but well intended) solution to a problem creats another or more problems. Consider the toads introduced into New South Wales Australia. The thought was that the toads would eat the pests that ate the crops so remove the pests = introduce toads = better crop yields. However, the toads liked eating the local wildlife better and because the toads were poisonous they had no preditors. Result, toad population mushrooms, local wildlife decimated, crops still eaten by pests. Now NSW has to deal with two problems, pests eating the crops and toads eating the local wildlife. NSW now offers a bounty for each toad caught and killed - but there are millions of toads. Yes it was unintended, no one thought to tell the toads to only eat the crop pests. There is no point replacing the combustion engine with electric motors if they just create another set of problems. In my view there is a solution but that is the long response.

You asked me a question, I ask you one. Is a white life in say Bristol, saved by better air quality, more valuable than a black life (probably a child or female) in Angola lost mining Cobalt?

I am not going to take any more part in this exchange, wrong forum.

Maybe a moderator should remove this thread!
 
willwander

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This really needs an answer but is this the appropriate forum? There have rightfully been complaints about politically sensitive comments posted here. This forum is really about campervans not other stuff. However, your question needs an answer: it is important. I will give a short response and suggest one of the Moderators requests a longer one if required.

In my experience the environmental lobby sees EVs and renewable energy in a black and white context. Oil is back, renewables and EVs are white. In reality both are grey and to 100% back either is a knee jerk reaction. There are so many examples where a poorly considered (but well intended) solution to a problem creats another or more problems. Consider the toads introduced into New South Wales Australia. The thought was that the toads would eat the pests that ate the crops so remove the pests = introduce toads = better crop yields. However, the toads liked eating the local wildlife better and because the toads were poisonous they had no preditors. Result, toad population mushrooms, local wildlife decimated, crops still eaten by pests. Now NSW has to deal with two problems, pests eating the crops and toads eating the local wildlife. NSW now offers a bounty for each toad caught and killed - but there are millions of toads. Yes it was unintended, no one thought to tell the toads to only eat the crop pests. There is no point replacing the combustion engine with electric motors if they just create another set of problems. In my view there is a solution but that is the long response.

You asked me a question, I ask you one. Is a white life in say Bristol, saved by better air quality, more valuable than a black life (probably a child or female) in Angola lost mining Cobalt?

I am not going to take any more part in this exchange, wrong forum.

Maybe a moderator should remove this thread!
Unintended consequences are by definition unintended.

There is no dependency on exploitation of mine workers. That’s just bad practice. Exploitation is just exploitation.
 
vmaxkiddy

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Same with all the renewable technologies, the ‘environmental debt’ from the manufacturing process is huge. Additionally, at end of life there’s more ‘debt’ from recycling (actually no recycling solutions available yet for some things i.e. wind turbine blades).
Turbine blades going to land fill, although new, recyclable blades are being manufactured now.
 
soulstyledevon

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There’s a great answer to climate change that was pushed by a man called Starley in 1871.
Sometimes you need to look backwards before going forwards...

Now if we could build our lives around it. Sustainable cities, people working locally instead of all over the country. We might just be able to save ourselves.
 
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I am not going to take any more part in this exchange, wrong forum.

Maybe a moderator should remove this thread!
There's certainly a place on this forum, it's not like we can talk about camping! And don't see there's any need to remove the thread, all this has always been known, but like you say - the world continues down this path blinkered to what the consequences might be.
 
BrugseB

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It's easy to focus on one single aspect... how many people die in coalmines? Ever tought of the damage done to the environment while winning oil and gas? And transporting it? Modern turbines don't use neodymium anymore, and yes, modern batteries use cobalt and that's also a polluting business. As Will said: a large wind mill produces green energy beyond its own CO2 footprint within a year and pays itself back after 4 to 9 months (read 50 scenario's in IPPC); then it produces energy at 15gCO2/kWh, versus 450g/kWh for energyplants on gas and 900 g/kWh on coal.
And on the recycling part: metal and electronic parts make up to 85% of the turbine, the blades indeed are now being shreddered to powder and used as burning fuel (cement) or as raw material for building plate material.
The author of the Telegraph article has a lot of critics by many real climate scientists... but hey, fake news and alternative truth is very popular these days. No offence though, as it is also a complex story.
 
Bellcrew

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It's easy to focus on one single aspect... how many people die in coalmines? Ever tought of the damage done to the environment while winning oil and gas? And transporting it? Modern turbines don't use neodymium anymore, and yes, modern batteries use cobalt and that's also a polluting business. As Will said: a large wind mill produces green energy beyond its own CO2 footprint within a year and pays itself back after 4 to 9 months (read 50 scenario's in IPPC); then it produces energy at 15gCO2/kWh, versus 450g/kWh for energyplants on gas and 900 g/kWh on coal.
And on the recycling part: metal and electronic parts make up to 85% of the turbine, the blades indeed are now being shreddered to powder and used as burning fuel (cement) or as raw material for building plate material.
The author of the Telegraph article has a lot of critics by many real climate scientists... but hey, fake news and alternative truth is very popular these days. No offence though, as it is also a complex story.
Why are they called turbines?
I have looked deeply into their designs, low and behold absolutely no turbines anywhere, just a few large rotor blades and an electricity generator. Obviously a description given by an arts graduate many years ago and the journalists kept repeating the stupidity until it became the given name, still gormless though.
 
GrumpyGranddad

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It's easy to focus on one single aspect... how many people die in coalmines? Ever tought of the damage done to the environment while winning oil and gas? And transporting it? Modern turbines don't use neodymium anymore, and yes, modern batteries use cobalt and that's also a polluting business. As Will said: a large wind mill produces green energy beyond its own CO2 footprint within a year and pays itself back after 4 to 9 months (read 50 scenario's in IPPC); then it produces energy at 15gCO2/kWh, versus 450g/kWh for energyplants on gas and 900 g/kWh on coal.
And on the recycling part: metal and electronic parts make up to 85% of the turbine, the blades indeed are now being shreddered to powder and used as burning fuel (cement) or as raw material for building plate material.
The author of the Telegraph article has a lot of critics by many real climate scientists... but hey, fake news and alternative truth is very popular these days. No offence though, as it is also a complex story.
Interesting comment on Neodymium BrugseB. What is being used instead of Neodymium? I can’t find any information on that but am genuinely interested. What I did find is :-

“Neodymium magnets are the obvious choice in wind turbine manufacturing because of their strength and small size, which reduces the weight of the turbine significantly. Without them, turbines will be a lot less effective and the money that is being poured into their development could be wasted.” 26 Mar 2020
 
Californication69

Californication69

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I love the way the Nordic communities come together to drill 200m deep and supply heated water and steam to drive turbines for free.
They get 10 or so house’s to stump up the cash to invest. How cool’s that.
 
GrumpyGranddad

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I love the way the Nordic communities come together to drill 200m deep and supply heated water and steam to drive turbines for free.
They get 10 or so house’s to stump up the cash to invest. How cool’s that.
Went to Iceland years ago and they really do maximise the geo thermal activity.
 
GrumpyGranddad

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Amazon is doing it’s best to support the neodymium extraction business.
 

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