Coal

Patman3Patman3 Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
Why is coal advertising on TV? americaspower.com , is it for publicity acceptance or am I supposed to go out and buy some coal, maybe for my BBQ? Do I have a choice, should I oppose coal expansion?

Comments

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    Patman,

    The link below may answer your question. Note the forum rules against "political- and special interest causes" and "Al Gore saving the planet", so we want to be careful about where we go with this discussion.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/17/AR2008011702837.html

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    Coal is used for large-scale electrical (i.e. grid) production. There is also talk of coal liquification for auto fuel purposes, similar to what the oil-poor German Third Reich did in WWII. The reason being that the USA has a LOT of coal reserves, esp. in the western states. The term for the USA the "Saudi Arabia of coal" has been thrown around. I don't think they are asking you to go out and buy coal, but if you are on-grid then you are already indirectly buying coal. The talk of phasing coal out of use (due to carbon concerns) seems unrealistic and premature to me.
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    The reason for those ads is public sentiment. Coal is a dirty burning fuel, but can be cleaned up. It costs money to burn clean coal vs just chucking it into a fire though, and legislation will force them to clean it up to use it. The idea behind the ads is to make coal seem like a clean fuel when in fact it isn't.

    Personally I'd like to see the grandfather clauses in these environmental acts be removed, and give the power plants a choice between closing a one old coal fired plant for each two new ones are opened, with one of the new plants being opened on the same site as the torn down old one, or bring the old plant up to modern emissions standards regardless of how old it is. Yes, it'll mean higher electrical costs, but it'll also mean cleaner air. A modern coal fired plant with the latest scrubbing technology can be as clean as a natural gas fired plant. It'll still be emitting pollution, but at a very small fraction of what current, older coal plants do now.

    And, coal being dirty isn't a political issue or a special interest issue, it's a fact of life which can be seen in the physical haze around any city that uses coal plants with no emissions controls. If it's putting out thick black smoke and the air upwind can be seen, it's polluting.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    The original question was about coal ads on television. I believe the article in the link I provided an appropriate answer the original question. The pro-coal advertising campaign is clearly a special interest, and it's also quite politically charged.

    My request that we continue to honor the forum rules doesn't mean that I'm for against coal. However, due to the topic's likely sensitivity, it's just a preemptive but simple request that we continue to abide by the rules we agreed to when we joined the forum.

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Coal

    I tend to agree with Crewzer we are all hear for the purpose of learning teaching and helping each other down the renewable energy route and coal and oil and gas and Nuclear Power are not part of it.

    Yes they are part of our everyday existence but I didnt join NAWS for discussing Power Plants and 101 ways of using them. :p
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    I heard one of those coal ads today, talking about the challenge of carbon sequestration, but that they are up to it. One aspect of coal that might affect the PV industry is whether coal can clean up its act and once again drive solar electricity to the fringes as happened in the 1970s. I'm hoping that PV goes mainstream and becomes an important source of energy production in future. But the fossil fuel interests are a strong lobby. (Hope saying that is not against house rules.)
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    I kinda think that the alternatives are here to stay now that laws have been passed requiring a certain amount by percentage be generated with the alternatives. Consider that Spain now requires all new buildings, period, to provide at least part of their own power now, for example.

    I was reading an article on Yahoo news recently about how wind generation is a hot new career path. They have schools set up to turn out wind engineers, and people who are interested that never heard of wind power are being offered 20 bucks an hour to start. The bad thing is, you are expected to climb 200 foot towers in all weather, when a generator fails. If you know what you are doing, you can write your own ticket, to quote the article.

    Not only this, but they've made a number of advances in solar panels since the 70s. I recently read an article where they made an advance that will increase the power generated by a panel 10-fold, which means that even if the panel cost 2000 dollars, you might only need 1 where before you needed 10 to make the same power. Even the military is working on making solar uniforms that can provide power for a soldier's equipment in the field. Right now the gear our troops use have to be powered by C and D cell batteries, and when you have to provide batteries for a company of men, that's a lot of batteries. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if in 10 years or so machine washable shirts and pants didn't come with a pocket made for you to drop your cell phone in that automatically attaches a power supply point to the phone, for your clothes to keep the phone charged.

    Unfortunately I don't have links to these articles so this is hearsay, if I saved every interesting article I've ever read I'd have a bookmark list in the gigabit size by now :p, so take this post with a grain of salt. But, with the current push to go off fossil fuels, I really think that momentum has pushed along far enough to keep the ball rolling.
  • Patman3Patman3 Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    Thanks Crewzer - since I'm in Nevada I see the ads were targeted at me. I live in Las Vegas and didn't know any of that stuff (in article) so thanks again for finding that article. Do you read Washington Post or did you find that via a search engine?
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Coal

    Glad to help. I have a subscription to the Post, but I probably used a Google search string that probably looked something like this.

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
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