100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

This is not a standard article but a look just specifically at the issue of energy. To set some basic ground rules we have to agree on some facts:

We are not in an energy crisis, we are in a crisis related to energy waste and poor and ineffective distribution and storage.
1. We waste over 58 % of the energy we use in the USA.
2. This energy waste is double what we actually need.
3. This annual energy waste, production, lack of use, distribution inefficiencies, and waste heat, in just one year in the USA could power the UK for 7 years.
4. We are leaving money on the table that could go economy and help our countries and others.

Inefficient Production
1. Wind and solar have low inefficiencies for energy production compared to other source. So they really only make sense NOW in specific corridors or regions. 
2. The primary problem is these regions are not were the core demand in the USA is located and we lack an energy distribution network. 
3. Inefficient distribution, production, and waste requires building multiple times demand capacity to meet peak demand. Because of the lack of solid storage systems, such as battery technology, inefficient distribution and production we need to overbuild to meet peak capacity if we rely sole on renewable. A thought process:

How to Get There !-   1 Quadrillion Btus per year = 2,739,730,000,000 BTUs/day
Solar (100 % Efficiency) – 433 Btu/hr per square foot
Available 24 hours per day
Need 6100 acres of Solar Panels

Waite – Solar-Assume Solar Efficiency Assume 10% (high) – Only Available about 8 hours per day
Need 182,000+ acres of Solar Panels, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

Wind- 25 % Conversion
Need about 270,000 10 MW Turbines, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

These analysis does not factor in transmission losses.  If there was only a 10% loss and no other inefficiencies, we would multiple the calculated values by 1.1, but we have a use inefficiency of 58%.  This means are multiplication factor is at least 1.9 to 2 +.   So – 360,000 acres of solar panels and 540,000 10 MW turbines.

The goal for renewable should not be based on a Carbon or CO2 hammer and we must stop this myth of Man controlled climate.  Climate on this Earth has not been constant, it is in dynamic equilibrium with Sun, Earth Process, and to a lesser extent life on Earth.

It is very likely man is having an influence on the climate, but this is not likely CO2 production but deforestation, building in the wrong places, heat island effects, and not adapting to our environment.  As an alternative approach, we are suggesting the following:

  1. Fact based discussions about energy, economy, politics, and culture.  We are humans so science (facts) and cultural discussions are linked, but we should not be using Fear as a rally cry.
  2. Concentration on energy waste reduction  – individuals, homes, small business, and government.
  3. Distribution – We should focus on “hardening” the grid and creating capacity and duplicity were needed.  We must start linking “renewable and other energy sources” and take advantage of the energy diversity in the USA.
  4. Storage – we must develop efficient storage technologies.
  5. The solution is not a CO2 hammer, electric cars, or a 100% renewable life cycle, but an all the above approach.  
  6. Remember our beaches are moving, we live on a planet with the plates move and we have the Great Earth Engine.  (Geothermal is a great asset for the USA).
  7. Energy and energy technology – we must not be hoarders, but exports of energy and energy technology and I do not mean low cost solar panels, but micro-grid energy systems that use multiple fuel stocks that can power rural villages and towns and not a Carbon Tax.
  8. If we cut our waste, we cut CO2 emissions. This makes the CO2 emissions benchmark useless and to be honest the arguments based on climate change and CO2 are weak.
  9. Stop the 100 % renewable myth (all the above approach).

I have never recommended a book to read – this is the first, but I strongly recommend “Scare Pollution“, 2016.

I also like “Human Caused Global Warming“, but I really wish the author hired and used an editor.

Bookmark and Share

Could plate tectonics be tied to the development of life on Earth?

Could plate tectonics be tied to the development of life on Earth?
Earth is the only planet known to sustain life. It is also the only planet with active plate tectonics. Coincidence? Most geoscientists think not. In part two of EARTH Magazine’s feature on plate tectonics, EARTH correspondent Mary Caperton Morton examines the links between two phenomena that are unique to our planet.
Although other planets in our solar system possess active volcanoes, faults, and other evidence of surface deformation, Earth’s global plate tectonics is “a very rare animal,” according to Chris Hawkesworth, a geochemist at the University of Bristol in England. And life beyond our planet is rarer still.
The key ingredient for both seems to be water: Aqueous environments spawned the first single-celled organisms, and minerals become weaker when water is embedded in their crystalline structure – weak enough for Earth’s eggshell crust to crack. The development of complex life appears even more closely tied to tectonics, and that may just be a missing piece in the evolutionary puzzle.
Read part two of the plate tectonics double-feature in EARTH Magazine, now online.
The July issue of EARTH is now available online. Read the cover story, “Burying the Sky,” to learn how two projects – one in Iceland, the other in eastern Washington state – are taking advantage of their common underlying geology to capture and store greenhouse gases as carbonate rock. For these stories and more, subscribe to EARTH Magazine

Bookmark and Share

DEP Launches Electronic Informal File Review Request Form

The Department of Environmental Protection launched an electronic informal file review request form that provides a guide to DEP Regional Offices to promote a department-wide uniform standard process for receiving, processing and coordinating Informal File Reviews.

The form will assist department staff, preserve resources and remove ambiguity from the Informal File Review Process DEP makes a wealth of information available through its website including information about program areas, applicable laws and regulations, as well as, DEP policies and reports. Through the website’s eFACTS system, a variety of information about regulated facilities is available. If the information required is not available on the DEP website, you can request public information by scheduling an informal file review or requesting specific documentation under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (RTKL).

DEP recommends doing an informal review first; it is the easiest and quickest way for the public to access DEP records.
Records available under an informal file review include notifications, inspection reports, notices of violations, enforcement orders, applications, permit review letters, sample results, remediation plans, approvals, denials, pollution prevention plans and external correspondence. Internal email correspondence and records considered privileged (attorney-client, attorney work product or other privilege) or records otherwise considered confidential are not available under an informal file review.

Informal file reviews are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments are scheduled in half-day and full-day sessions. Hours can vary depending on office location.

For more information, visit DEP’s Informal File Review webpage.  The form.

Bookmark and Share

Radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania

Evaluation of radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, 1986–2015, with application to potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air
Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5018

“Results from 1,041 groundwater samples collected during 1986‒2015 from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, associated with 25 or more groundwater samples with concentrations of radon-222, were evaluated in an effort to identify variations in radon-222 activities or concentrations and to classify potential radon-222 exposure from groundwater and indoor air. Radon-222 is hereafter referred to as “radon.” Radon concentrations in groundwater greater than or equal to the proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for public-water supply systems of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) were present in about 87 percent of the water samples, whereas concentrations greater than or equal to the proposed alternative MCL (AMCL) for public water-supply systems of 4,000 pCi/L were present in 14 percent. The highest radon concentrations were measured in groundwater from the schists, gneisses, and quartzites of the Piedmont Physiographic Province.

In this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, groundwater samples were aggregated among 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania to identify units with high median radon concentrations in groundwater. Graphical plots and statistical tests were used to determine variations in radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air. Median radon concentrations in groundwater samples and median radon concentrations in indoor air samples within the 16 geologic units were classified according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits to explore potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air. All of the geologic units, except for the Allegheny (Pa) and Glenshaw (Pcg) Formations in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, had median radon concentrations greater than the proposed EPA MCL of 300 pCi/L, and the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc), which is in the Piedmont Physiographic Province, had a median radon concentration greater than the EPA proposed AMCL of 4,000 pCi/L. Median concentrations of radon in groundwater and indoor air were determined to differ significantly among the geologic units (Kruskal-Wallis test, significance probability, p<0.001), and Tukey’s test indicated that radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air in the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) were significantly higher than those in the other units. Also, the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) was determined to be the area with highest potential of radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air and one of two units with the highest percentage of population assumed to be using domestic self-supplied water (81 percent), which puts the population at greater potential of exposure to radon from groundwater.

Potential radon exposure determined from classification of geologic units by median radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits is useful for drawing general conclusions about the presence, variation, and potential radon exposure in specific geologic units, but the associated data and maps have limitations. The aggregated indoor air radon data have spatial accuracy limitations owing to imprecision of geo-coded test locations. In addition, the associated data describing geologic units and the public water supplier’s service areas have spatial and interpretation accuracy limitations. As a result, data and maps associated with this report are not recommended for use in predicting individual concentrations at specific sites nor for use as a decision-making tool for property owners to decide whether to test for radon concentrations at specific locations. Instead, the data and maps are meant to promote awareness regarding potential radon exposure in Pennsylvania and to point out data gaps that exist throughout the State.”

Link to Study 

Water Testing Radon

Air Testing Radon

Radon Air Monitoring

Bookmark and Share

DCNR Announces Improvements To PA’s PaGWIS – Private Well Owner Database

DCNR Announces Improvements To PA’s PaGWIS
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently announced improvements to the PA Groundwater Information System (PaGWIS) private water well database. PaGWIS is a repository of half a million water well records dating back to 1965. Changes to the database include the addition of more than 1,600 springs found in the Commonwealth, and improved search tools, data packages, and report formats.

To find out more, please see the link below:
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/news/DCNR_20032750.pdf

Get Your Water Tested 

Bookmark and Share

Next Page »