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It's the end of the world... or is it?
October 30th 2003, 19:55 CET by Quicken

Last weekend I was talking to a friend of mine who once again brought up the Giant Solar Power Tower as great idea. This time however he's planning to invest some money in it. While there are a lot of energy alternatives running around, few are actually cost effective. Dams work well enough but have their own impact on the environment that would not be welcome should we need to build a thousand more. Solar and wind power stations are common enough but are rarely cost effective.

The solar chimney is ambitious, it requires building a structure of record smashing size, and wind generated will effect the surrounding environment. But it will pay for itself and can match a coal power station by generating 650 GWh compared to about 400-700 GWh burning about 200000 tons of coal a year. Or even a nuclear plant that generates about 3000-6000 GWh.

So until warm fusion becomes a reality I can see this concept becoming very popular. Especially for those with large open areas or who sign the Kyoto Protocol.

Can this save the world or are we doomed to destroy ourselves? And how will this effect the gameplay of SimCity?
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Home » Topic: It's the end of the world... or is it?

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#1 by Charles
2003-10-30 19:58:29
www.bluh.org
frost pist

How many it had cost in the amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell.
#2 by Desiato
2003-10-30 19:58:57
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Simcity will always favor solar over nukes, those bastards.

But seriously -- how can a mega-solar chimney compare to just increasing the efficiency of solar panels themselves? Apparently this is being done, but it doesn't come close to the fossil equivalent. I'm in favor of supporting hybrid car technology. I've got a Honda Civic Hybrid that gets (roughly) 500 Miles to a tank. The tank is about 12-15 gallons. The battery and electric motor do the rest. Until other options are available, that is about as far as I can go supporting alternative technology without becoming some hermit in a lean-to with a windmill.

...like the color of a tv screen tuned to a dead channel.
#3 by BobJustBob
2003-10-30 19:59:56
I think we should blow up the earth and get it over with. We're going to die out anyway, and we'll probably take the planet with us. Might as well make it quick.

Dood.
#4 by Shadarr
2003-10-30 20:01:55
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I'm not a scientist, but it seems to me there ought to be a more efficient solar collector.  For starters, one that doesn't have moving parts.  However, I fully support anything that even remotely resembles the Arm collector from Total Annihilation.
#5 by Chunkstyle
2003-10-30 20:02:03
The solar chimney is a fine idea, as long as it isn't built near my house.  Giant eyesore, blocking my sun, etc.

I put the lime in the coconut, I drank it all up.
#6 by E-ph0nk
2003-10-30 20:03:26
http://www.electrophonk.be
I tend to agree, but they should announce it first... Something like: people, we found out that this planet is totally fucked, and we decided to destroy it in 4 weeks.
Or maybe even better: only destroy those country's that didn't sign the Kyoto protocol.

*sigh*
#7 by Charles
2003-10-30 20:03:49
www.bluh.org
terrorist

christmas is for shopping and the shopping god is everything
#8 by Jibble
2003-10-30 20:04:25
#2 Desiato
Simcity will always favor solar over nukes, those bastards.

But seriously -- how can a mega-solar chimney compare to just increasing the efficiency of solar panels themselves? Apparently this is being done, but it doesn't come close to the fossil equivalent. I'm in favor of supporting hybrid car technology. I've got a Honda Civic Hybrid that gets (roughly) 500 Miles to a tank. The tank is about 12-15 gallons. The battery and electric motor do the rest. Until other options are available, that is about as far as I can go supporting alternative technology without becoming some hermit in a lean-to with a windmill.

We will continue to use fossil fuels until our supply is exhausted.  The Hybrid was an *excellent* way to transition the fuel-consuming demographic into the modern lower-consumption world.  I wish I could afford one myself (or any new car at all, for that matter), as I test drove one a while back and loved it.  What really needs to happen is that "hybrid" should be an option rather than a model.  Let people add it to any model car, and you'll likely sell a lot more of them.

PANZERFAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUST
#9 by jafd
2003-10-30 20:07:03
You know what would go a long, long way to solving these problems?

Mass culling. I'd tell y'all to get on that, but it's clearly proceeding apace. Call your mom and tell her you love her.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#10 by jafd
2003-10-30 20:08:53
#8 Jibble
We will continue to use fossil fuels until our supply is exhausted.

The sooner this happens, the better. It's not like the stuff is a terrifically effective energy source, it's merely terrifically profitable.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#11 by Jibble
2003-10-30 20:09:43
#10 jafd
#8 Jibble
We will continue to use fossil fuels until our supply is exhausted.

The sooner this happens, the better. It's not like the stuff is a terrifically effective energy source, it's merely terrifically profitable.

That's what I meant.  Too subtle?

PANZERFAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUST
#12 by BobJustBob
2003-10-30 20:10:32
Ooh, I want a solar chimney by my house. Goodbye sun, you fucker.

Dood.
#13 by Ashiran
2003-10-30 20:10:49
See also: People are greedy.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#14 by jafd
2003-10-30 20:15:03
#11 Jibble
That's what I meant.  Too subtle?

Not at all. I just wanted to get on your coattails and ride that dog to the moon.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#15 by jafd
2003-10-30 20:15:39
Also: I'm with Bob. No sun, plus 24/7 base jumping? It's like a dream come true.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#16 by Shadarr
2003-10-30 20:24:26
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
You know what would go a long, long way to solving these problems?  Mass culling.


Yeah, if I have to live in a dystopic future world, I want it to be an uninhabited wasteland, not an over-crowded, polluted slumland.
#17 by Trolly McTroll
2003-10-30 20:24:35
My toilet is solar powered.

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - ZEP
" If i ever have a daughter, I'm going to name her Trolly. - The_Joker
"Great, we are being trolled by Paul Schaffer. - LPMiller
"heh." - Squeaky
"You never know how a cow catches a rabbit" - Ashiran
#18 by lwf
2003-10-30 20:38:19
Nothing is fucked here, man.

like a crosseyed baby teething on a rusty knife
#19 by CheesyPoof
2003-10-30 21:07:18
re #0,

While a fine idea I don't think that it will be the end all be all of out energy problems.  I feel that it is too big for the amount of electricity it provides.  The damn thing has a base 4.3 miles across.  For something that big it had better supply enough energy to supply 800,000 homes, not 200,000.
#20 by Shadarr
2003-10-30 21:16:03
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I want somebody to produce a cheap solar panel that doubles as a roofing tile, that everyone can put on their house.  I heard that somebody was developing one a while back, but nothing since then.
#21 by Jibble
2003-10-30 21:26:03
#20 Shadarr
I want somebody to produce a cheap solar panel that doubles as a roofing tile, that everyone can put on their house.  I heard that somebody was developing one a while back, but nothing since then.

Cheap?  Dunno.  But they're out there.

PANZERFAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUST
#22 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 21:47:07
Solar panels are grossly ineffecient and take a large amount of electricity to produce.  Until recently, it would take a solar panel roughly a decade of continous operation to generate the amount of electricity that was used for its construction.  

It would be considerably easier to use less power through conservation and greater effeciency than to find alternative sources.
#23 by jafd
2003-10-30 21:51:36
It just makes my ass boil when I read shit like this. I don't give a rat's ass if alternative energy sources are allegedly inefficient. It's a CERTAINTY that the supply of fossil fuels is FINITE. Fucking find a way, assholes. I don't care if we need to grind up babies and smoke their ashes. MAKE IT WORK. Sooner, better.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#24 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 22:00:46
jafd,
If one uses more electricity to construct solar panels than the solar panels will generate, then the net result is less power.  Solar panels are presently only good for application when one can't plug into the grid.  Of course, I'm in favour of making better solar cells which are more efficient in either their energy production or in their construction.

My point was, at this moment it makes more sense to concentrate on reducing the overall use of energy rather than finding new sources.
#25 by jafd
2003-10-30 22:03:10
You can conserve as much as you want, you're still running out of oil. And totally skewing the geopolitical situation at the same time.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#26 by Jibble
2003-10-30 22:03:24
#24 Hieronymus
jafd,
If one uses more electricity to construct solar panels than the solar panels will generate, then the net result is less power.  Solar panels are presently only good for application when one can't plug into the grid.  Of course, I'm in favour of making better solar cells which are more efficient in either their energy production or in their construction.

My point was, at this moment it makes more sense to concentrate on reducing the overall use of energy rather than finding new sources.

Depends on what you mean...If you mean that devices themselves should reduce their power usage, then I'm inclined to agree.  If you mean asking people to consume less technology, then I don't agree so much.

PANZERFAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUST
#27 by Trolly McTroll
2003-10-30 22:10:55
#25 jafd
You can conserve as much as you want, you're still running out of oil. And totally skewing the geopolitical situation at the same time.


As long as teenagers work at McDonalds, we'll never run out of oil.

<scary BloodRayne 2 /scary>

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - ZEP
" If i ever have a daughter, I'm going to name her Trolly. - The_Joker
"Great, we are being trolled by Paul Schaffer. - LPMiller
"heh." - Squeaky
"You never know how a cow catches a rabbit" - Ashiran
#28 by BobJustBob
2003-10-30 22:13:41
If one uses more electricity to construct solar panels than the solar panels will generate, then the net result is less power.


That's a lot of electricity - more than the solar panels will generate in their lifetimes.

Dood.
#29 by BarneyQue
2003-10-30 22:15:14
Seems we have about 1032 billion barrels of oil to go, as long as no one takes any that I plan on using, I'm not terribly worried about it.
#30 by Trolly McTroll
2003-10-30 22:28:57
#29 BarneyQue
Seems we have about 1032 billion barrels of oil to go, as long as no one takes any that I plan on using, I'm not terribly worried about it.


Can't you see, that I am not afraid.
What was that sandwich that you made?  I go to church with all the spades.  Guess how much I made.  I vant to get laid.

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - ZEP
" If i ever have a daughter, I'm going to name her Trolly. - The_Joker
"Great, we are being trolled by Paul Schaffer. - LPMiller
"heh." - Squeaky
"You never know how a cow catches a rabbit" - Ashiran
#31 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 22:30:28
Jibble,
I mean that the total power consumption should go down.  This can be achieved either by conservation or by efficiency.  The former will be inconvienent and the latter will be expensive.  But these are short term costs and will probably be compensated by long term environmental benefits (which will translate to economic benefits).

For example, overall power consumption has been skyrocketing over the past decade in North America.  One of the main reasons is air conditioning.  We can either use them less, build more efficient units or insulate our homes better so we don't need them.  Any of these options are inconvienent, but will result in less power use, which will result in less air pollution which will result in less need for AC.  An additional benefit will be that less carbon dioxide production will slow global warming, which is likely to be very disruptive.
#32 by Jibble
2003-10-30 22:32:11
You'll have to talk to the Board of Template Houses That We Build To Your Specifications In Three Days about that.

PANZERFAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUST
#33 by Trolly McTroll
2003-10-30 22:33:29
#31 Herkyjerkyonymus

I mean that the total power consumption should go down.


with all the seniors getting on AOL, that'll never happen.  those old farts are living longer now, and with the introduction of porn, grandpa be busy for hours.



For example, overall power consumption has been skyrocketing over the past decade in North America.  One of the main reasons is air conditioning.  We can either use them less, build more efficient units or insulate our homes better so we don't need them.


or we can go live in a cave with the bears.

An additional benefit will be that less carbon dioxide production will slow global warming, which is likely to be very disruptive.


Global warming?!!! Bwahahahahahaha...

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - ZEP
" If i ever have a daughter, I'm going to name her Trolly. - The_Joker
"Great, we are being trolled by Paul Schaffer. - LPMiller
"heh." - Squeaky
"You never know how a cow catches a rabbit" - Ashiran
#34 by Shadarr
2003-10-30 22:39:38
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
We should be building more of those devices you see in movies that last for 1000 years and still work to spec, even after the apes take over.
#35 by Squeaky
2003-10-30 22:48:08
#31 Hieronymus
An additional benefit will be that less carbon dioxide production will slow global warming, which is likely to be very disruptive.

What?



CO2 is essential for life on Earth.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#36 by Squeaky
2003-10-30 22:48:23
Unless you meant carbon monoxide...

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#37 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 22:49:35
BobJustBob,
Yes.  At least that used to be the case many years ago.  Unfortunately, my information is very old and while it is easy to get current information on the generation efficiency of photovoltaic cells, I have not yet managed to google any recent info on the energy cost of these cells.
#38 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 22:49:41
BobJustBob,
Yes.  At least that used to be the case many years ago.  Unfortunately, my information is very old and while it is easy to get current information on the generation efficiency of photovoltaic cells, I have not yet managed to google any recent info on the energy cost of these cells.
#39 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 22:50:49
curses.
#40 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 23:06:45
Squeaky

CO2
#41 by Qmanol
2003-10-30 23:07:40
I recall seeing an article recently that noted the use of optical circuits made from rod of crystalline metals, and that they were higly efficient at both converting electricity into light, and vice-versa. From the numbers quoted in the article, more than a doubling of current state-of-the-art solar panels.

There was also some talk of them possibly breaking the black-body limit w/ respect to the radiation they emitted, but that is not likely to be proven. But, yes research is going on. I just wish it would go a little faster.

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."
 -- (Terry Pratchett, Jingo)
#42 by Squeaky
2003-10-30 23:19:10
#40 Hieronymus
Squeaky

CO2

durr, bluh. scientific and stuff.

Don't trees need CO2 to produce oxygen, and stuff?

PLANT MORE TREES!





Speaking of which I drove through the Village of Belcarra today. Good god, they're tearing down the rainforest faster than I thought possible.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#43 by Hieronymus
2003-10-30 23:26:08
PLANT MORE TREES!

Yes.
#44 by Squeaky
2003-10-30 23:46:12
#43 Hieronymus
PLANT MORE TREES!

Yes.

ugh. too many words.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#45 by "Hoe Muffin"
2003-10-30 23:50:02
#8 Jibble

We will continue to use fossil fuels until our supply is exhausted.  The Hybrid was an *excellent* way to transition the fuel-consuming demographic into the modern lower-consumption world.  I wish I could afford one myself (or any new car at all, for that matter), as I test drove one a while back and loved it.  What really needs to happen is that "hybrid" should be an option rather than a model.  Let people add it to any model car, and you'll likely sell a lot more of them.


Actually, that may not be too far off. Honda already offers a hybrid Civic, the hybrid Escape is coming out next year, and a whole slew of SUV's and trucks will have them slapped on to make them more accessible to the average joe. I'm personally not a huge fan of hybrids, partially because they have been, for the most part, underwhelming, and most people tend to ignore the fact that disposing of the batteries is 1) incredibly expensive and 2) incredibly bad for the environment. Also, hybrids don't make money for the manufacturers and have to be subsidised (though the new Prius is supposed to be at or near breakeven). Cars now are running cleaner then ever before - to put it in perspective you ought to check out this quickie summary of Challenge Bibendum. The problem is that car engines have gotten a hell of a lot more powerful as well.

For my money, nothing works better then low sulfur diesel as far as fuel efficiency and performance go. The engines are incredibly torquey, which is all that really matters, and so far the only 100mpg car is a diesel by Volkswagen (forgot the exact name of the model).

The idea of a giant solar power tower can really only work in a select few places around the world, it has to be largely uninhabited, and have a ton of sun (obviously). And I'm not completely convinced that building a structure that large and the sort of wind that generates will make it both environmentally safe or anything more then a niche product.

Of course, I can't really think of a more efficient solution (maybe bio-ethanol?), so I guess I got nothing.
#46 by Squeaky
2003-10-30 23:54:24
what's this? an anon with something on-topic(wrt the current discussion)? the end is truly nigh.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#47 by Ergo
2003-10-31 00:10:02
On-topic and well-written. Bizarre.

Cogite tute.
DVDs
#48 by G-Man
2003-10-31 00:28:26
jafd in #23 said:
It just makes my ass boil when I read shit like this. I don't give a rat's ass if alternative energy sources are allegedly inefficient. It's a CERTAINTY that the supply of fossil fuels is FINITE. Fucking find a way, assholes. I don't care if we need to grind up babies and smoke their ashes. MAKE IT WORK. Sooner, better.
Solar energy is just as finite as fossil fuels are. We will never run out of fossil fuels, instead the cost to harvest and process them will rise, until it will merely become more efficient to use other energy sources instead. The closer we get to this point, the more money will be invested in researching and developing alternative energy sources. The rate of change will be exponential and there is nothing you or I individually need to do in order to effect this change. So relax dude.

My money is on breeder reactors and those new fusion plants that use uranium pebbles instead of rods.
#49 by jafd
2003-10-31 00:35:07
You're right. Solar energy is finite. In five billion years, give or take, we'll need a new star. We better get cracking!

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#50 by BobJustBob
2003-10-31 01:25:56
We will never run out of fossil fuels


Hmm.

Dood.
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