A Conversation for Don't Blame the Vogons


Post 1


I want to thank you for being one of the people who are trying to spread awareness of global warming! It's pretty scary … but I believe there's still time for us if we act fast. But will we?


Post 2


Thanks Willem. smiley - smiley I think we should do what we can. Perhaps if we make enough noise, people will listen.


Post 3


Very fascinating perspective, mvp. An interesting journey from your introduction to the Vogons, via your life, to the issues of our time. I like articles that make me think in completely new ways. Thanks!


Post 4

Caiman raptor elk - Infinity lies outside the box

I agree.

The current problem with all the actions that are now put into legislation is money. The me versus them question of who is going to pay for that.

Dutch government rules that our house need to go off natural gas (for cooking, heating) somewhere around 2030. This means we need to revert to geothermal and electrical heating. In order to make this feasible, my house needs extensive insulation activities (read: rebuilding). There are a lot of buildings where it is just impossible to revert to alternative means of heating (how about monuments). We also have to buy electric cars, also before 2030.

Where does all this electricity come from? If we have to burn coal or gas for that I don't see where the improvement comes in. Also,the current grid cannot handle the peaks you get when everybody gets home and plugs their car in the charger and turns up the electric heating at the same time.

Speaking for myself, we will get solar panels installed next month, and we can afford to improve insulation step by step. What we cannot do is pay for the whole package in the timeframe that we are facing now.

What I envision as a solution direction is huge government led investments that either ensure sufficient cost price reductions to make improved technology affordable for everyone, or are all inclusive groundbreaking new ways to handle transport, living, etcetera.

A clear timeline would also be nice, because I want to know when I will loose my current job as diesel engine engineer and need to be prepared for something else. (just like the other 2.5 million people working in the EU automotive industry (not counting parts suppliers))

So yes I want that actions are taken against climate change, I just see that there are a lot of potential problems in the current developments.


Post 5

Caiman raptor elk - Infinity lies outside the box

One problem was in the news this morning: Soccer club is not allowed to install solar panels, because the local grid can't cope with the over-production. Billions of Euros are needed to upgrade the national grid.

The reasons why:

Before green energy (wind/solar) we produced energy in power plants when needed and in the most efficient way. Now the power plants have to be able to react fast to variations in sun and wind, which makes the power plants themselves less efficient. We also need some kind of buffer, because we produce energy when we don't need much, and we need energy when we don't produce much.

A choice must be made whether we want to arrange buffering locally or a national/global scale. Current home solar systems are set up to rely on a global solution, while local buffering would ease the strain on the grid.

Another news item last year: due to a row about electricity production between Serbia and Kosovo last year, the net frequency dropped from 50Hz to 49.996Hz in all of Europe. As a result, all clocks based on net frequency lost 6 minutes in 1.5 month. If the grid is that sensitive, what will huge amounts of solar and wind energy do in terms of "electric pollution"? How accurate are all these DC/AC converters in terms of frequency?

Do not get me wrong. I am a strong supporter of going green. It's just that I see huge technical and financial challenges. That scares me.


Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Good points. I hope somebody is working on those problems now.

One place solar energy really makes sense is Greece. But whenever we'd stay in that cheap hotel on Samos, we'd have to try to take a shower before all the other tourists came back from the beach. Otherwise, they'd run out of hot water. smiley - laugh Solar panels on every house.

Talking about local energy, my sister's farm has its own gas well. This is only a hop,skip and a jump from Titusville, home of the US's first oil boom in the 1860s, so it makes sense. These very old farms have their own gas and water supplies. They only need to run in electricity. smiley - smiley


Post 7

Caiman raptor elk - Infinity lies outside the box

Another reason to get off natural gas is that the region where we get ours is experiencing earthquakes as a result of the reducing backpressure.People in the area have been complaining for decades, but polital interest in the issue came only recently.(the gas was a steady source of earning for the state).

Target for solar/wind energy is 75-80%. They are still trying to find a controllable source of co2 neutral energy. This is where it gets harder to explain, because biomass (burning wood) is considered CO2 neutral. Why isn't oil or gas CO2 neutral then? Those just have a longer cycle time....


Post 8

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Good question, that, about biomass.


Post 9

Caiman raptor elk - Infinity lies outside the box

Especially since burning biomass is equally or more polluting compared to coal, locally.

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