Talk:Renewable energy/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

Petroleum substitutes

There are many possibilities, even more, in fact, the oil is no more than an extract of cellulose, which is very common in nature, every plant is made of cellulose ... This material can produce biodegradable plastics (which is not possible with oil) Biodiesel, ethanol, alcohol, methane, hydrogen and city gas. There are many crops for this purpose, the "LEGO" that of bricks, using wood. Can be grown maize, sunflower, rapeseed, with the sole purpose of producing fuels. One of the more massive production systems is with the use of photobioreactors. These machines are growing algae and plankton in controlled environments, and utilize light energy (the sun for example) to fix CO2 that's in the air, or using the emissions of a turbine thermoelectric nearby. One of the most fascinating is " '20Gas% 20Station'" which uses an underground tank of about 20,000 liters that can produce up to 1 liter of biodiesel per day. The tank is illuminated with a sunlight collector and in the garage there is only a device for the extraction of oil and the fuel container, the whole thing takes no more than 1 square meter and below you can bury all the tanks you want. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Silvano En. (talkcontribs) 00:42, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Classical unobtainium.--E8 (talk) 00:50, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Biomass issues

"85 of 107 biomass plants operating at the start of 2012 [have] received citations from federal or state regulators during the past five years for violating clean air or water laws."
“According to the Energy Information Administration projections for 2017, biomass is expected to be about twice as expensive as natural gas, slightly more expensive than nuclear, but is much less expensive than solar panels,” said Myers.

Cupco 15:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Image gallery suggestion

I think we should start an image gallery, near the end of the article, so please add any additional images there initially, then we can discuss them and sort through them. Thanks. Johnfos (talk) 18:31, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, but gallery thumbnails are only something like 100-120px if I remember right, so there's little reason not to put them closer to the front of the article where people will see them when they scroll and know they are there if they want to go back. Relegating them to the end does seem to be standard practice in many articles, but I think it's sub-optimal that way. —Cupco 20:23, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Sustainable energy vs. Renewable Energy

Should we merge the Sustainable energy page with this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gabefair (talkcontribs) 21:39, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, unless anyone has a distinction prominent in peer reviewed literature reviews (not industry publications.) —Cupco 12:57, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Wind vs. solar costs

This article seems to put a very heavy emphasis on solar, when wind is the only renewable source competitive with gas and coal, and about a third the cost of photovoltaics currently.[1] Someone please convince me that solar isn't a boondoggle at present, with the understanding that I fully support it in laboratory research and demonstration projects to scale manufacturing. I think it might be a good idea to have, say, one or two pictures of photovoltaic panels, instead of the five that are in there now. I'd suggest replacing three of those with maybe a pumped storage hydro plant and a solar water heating panel? —Cupco 08:28, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The photovoltaics article says:

As of 2011, the price of PV modules per MW has fallen by 60% since the summer of 2008, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates, putting solar power for the first time on a competitive footing with the retail price of electricity in a number of sunny countries. The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from PV is competitive with conventional electricity sources in an expanding list of geographic regions,[1] particularly when the time of generation is included, as electricity is worth more during the day than at night.[2] There has been fierce competition in the supply chain, and further improvements in the levelised cost of energy for solar lie ahead, posing a growing threat to the dominance of fossil fuel generation sources in the next few years.[3] As time progresses, renewable energy technologies generally get cheaper,[4][5] while fossil fuels generally get more expensive: "The less solar power costs, the more favorably it compares to conventional power, and the more attractive it becomes to utilities and energy users around the globe. Utility-scale solar power can now be delivered in California at prices well below $100/MWh ($0.10/kWh) less than most other peak generators, even those running on low-cost natural gas. Lower solar module costs also stimulate demand from consumer markets where the cost of solar compares very favorably to retail electric rates".[6]

Regarding images, I think we should start an image gallery, see below... Johnfos (talk) 18:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Is there a peer-reviewed source agreeing with the Reuters projection? —Cupco 20:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

September 2012 review

This peer reviewed literature review from September 2012 states:

"solar power is still more expensive than conventional and other renewable energy options, and in most applications solar power still needs continuing government policy support.... the extent of cost reduction through creation of large demand remains to be seen...."

Is it fair to say that a reader of this article as it stands today would not be left with that impression?

On a related note, this February 2012 preprint from NREL and LBL illustrates in no uncertain terms that the levelized cost of wind power is the least it has ever been, which is confirmed by this February 2012 peer reviewed literature review, and according to this May 2012 NREL/LBL conference paper review the cost of wind power is projected to fall more quickly than any other source of energy. —Cupco 13:24, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Synthetic transportation fuels

Isn't there anything here on traditional liquid fuels for transportation being synthesized with point-source carbon dioxide (e.g. from power plant exhaust) or seawater carbonic acid? I've been reading quite a bit about it lately. From night-time wind power I understand that it's fairly competitive. (talk) 00:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps we could add something on this to the "New and emerging renewable energy technologies" section, if you have reliable sources. Johnfos (talk) 01:42, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Is he referring to renewable methanol? The page already covers that topic.--E8 (talk) 02:02, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Good point. Maybe he will reply with reliable sources and let us know... Johnfos (talk) 08:30, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I incorporated sections of Carbon neutral fuel into a new section in this article. —Cupco 08:42, 8 September 2012 (UTC)


Carbon neutral fuels are not merely research or speculation. They have been proposed since 1965 and there is a 250 kilowatt methane synthesis plant operating in Stuttgart, planned for 10 megawatts in weeks to months. The discussion of costs of carbon and energy to hydrogenate it is crucial to understanding the potential. —Cupco 20:34, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

I note that the section has now been completely deleted without discussion here on the talk page again. Wikipedia:Summary style#Basic technique says that summary sections are "usually several good-sized paragraphs long." This article is filled with hype from the biofuel and photovoltaic industries sourced to news reports based on press releases. The deleted section was based on several peer reviewed WP:SECONDARY reliable neutral sources. I am beginning to suspect that there are more than just WP:OWN issues here because of this deletion of the century-old synthetic fuels process in favor of biofuel hype based on far less efficient and thousands of times slower microbial processes that are neither sustainable over the long term or economical without massive subsidy, driving up the price of food, converting rainforest to farmland laying fallow most of the year, and requiring massive agricultural efforts. When I brought up these issues below, they were met with little more than non-peer reviewed press releases from the same EPA departments which have been pushing corn-based ethanol in cahoots with big agribusiness. Please discuss these issues before any further deletions of this material.Cupco 01:24, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

I do not think we should repeat the same content in multiple articles. Pick one and link to it from the others. Also, please wait for a response from other editors before restoring content that has been reverted (per WP:BRD). Jojalozzo 01:48, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Four paragraphs doesn't contraveine the guideline, and the summary is appropriate in all those articles. This encyclopedia has been going for ten years before anyone other than I thought to make an article about fuel from the Sabatier process, which was a major chapter of WWII, by the way. Do you have any substantive reasons why the WP:SUMMARY doesn't conform to the guidelines? Are there any reasons we should put up with all the press release-based junk in this article at the expense of statements supported by peer reviewed literature reviews from academic journals? —Cupco 02:12, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Jojalozzo and do not think we should do massive duplication like this. See also: Carbon neutral fuels#Duplication of article elsewhere. Johnfos (talk) 09:09, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Do you intend to give any more substantive reasons why you disagree with WP:SUMMARY#Basic technique guideline of "several good-sized paragraphs"? Four is hardly "several" in most cases. There is plenty of duplicated material on biofuels and photovoltaics sourced to press release-based news stories. Is that not more important to address? —Cupco 14:55, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support Jojalozzo & Johnfos --Trofobi (talk) 21:59, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
For what reason? Everyone is saying four paragraphs based on secondary peer reviewed sources is too much, but is unable to provide any reasons why? Or why the extensive biofuel and photovoltaic text based on press release news isn't more important to excise? A consensus based on WP:IDONTLIKEIT does not overrule the fundamental requirement that we are supposed to rely on secondary sources, not copy-pasted press releases. —Cupco 22:26, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I think bringing up other deficiencies of the article confuses this thread. Let's stick to the matter of the redundant content. I have restated my position against repeating large sections of material in different articles just below. Jojalozzo 00:38, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Generally, instead of repeating the same content in different articles we pick one and then summarize it in the others. I think that is a good way to operate since we only have one place to make improvements and correct errors. I am not sure which article would be the best home for the carbon neutral/negative fuel material, though I think there might be sufficient content for a separate article. Jojalozzo 00:33, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

There already is a nine-paragraph Carbon neutral fuel. Why is four paragraphs a poor choice of summary length? That's the average section length in this article. —Cupco 00:47, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I am glad to hear there is a proper home for this subject. That puts us on solid ground.
In my view a summary should be much less than half the length of the subject article.
I also think we that when we want to include content about a topic in other articles we should tailor the content to fit the article where we're placing it and not just copy/paste the same text wherever it might fit. Jojalozzo 02:06, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Why is that better than following WP:SUMMARY? —Cupco 15:17, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Shorter version to attempt compromise

Here is a two paragraph version of the disputed portion. Are there any objections? —Cupco 16:13, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Carbon neutral and negative fuels

Carbon neutral fuels are synthetic fuels — such as methane, gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel — produced from renewable or nuclear energy used to hydrogenate waste carbon dioxide recycled from power plant flue-gas emissions, recovered from automotive exhaust gas, or derived from carbonic acid in seawater.[7][8][9][10][11] Such fuels are carbon neutral because they do not result in a net increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases.[12][13] To the extent that carbon neutral fuels displace fossil fuels, or if they are produced from waste carbon or seawater carbonic acid, and their combustion is subject to carbon capture at the flue or exhaust pipe, they result in negative carbon dioxide emission and net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, and thus constitute a form of greenhouse gas remediation.[14][15][16] Such fuels are produced by the electrolysis of water to make hydrogen used in turn in the Sabatier reaction to produce methane which may then be stored to be burned later in power plants as synthetic natural gas, transported by pipeline, truck, or tanker ship, or be used in gas to liquids processes such as the Fischer–Tropsch process to make traditional transportation or heating fuels.[17][18][19]

Carbon neutral fuels can provide easily distributed storage for renewable energy, eliminating the problems of wind and solar intermittency, and enabling transmission of wind, water, and solar power through existing natural gas pipelines. Such renewable fuels alleviate the costs and dependency issues of imported fossil fuels without requiring either electrification of the vehicle fleet or conversion to hydrogen or other fuels, enabling continued compatible and affordable vehicles.[17] Germany has built a 250 kilowatt synthetic methane plant which they are scaling up to 10 megawatts.[20] [21][22] The least expensive source of carbon for recycling into fuel is flue-gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion where it can be extracted for about USD $7.50 per ton.[9][13][18] Automobile exhaust gas capture has also been shown to be economical in theory, but would require extensive design changes or retrofitting.[10] Carbonic acid can be extracted from seawater where it is in chemical equilibrium with atmospheric carbon dioxide.[23][24] Carbon extraction from seawater costs about $50 per ton.[11] Nighttime wind power is considered the most economical form of electrical power with which to synthesize fuel, because the load curve for electricity peaks sharply during the warmest hours of the day, but wind tends to blow slightly more at night than during the day. Therefore, the price of nighttime wind power is often much less expensive than any alternative. Off-peak wind power prices in high wind penetration areas of the U.S. averaged 1.64 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009, and only 0.71 cents/kWh during the least expensive six hours of the day.[17] Typically, wholesale electricity costs 2 to 5 cents/kWh during the day.[25] Commercial fuel synthesis companies suggest they can produce fuel for less than petroleum fuels when oil costs more than $55 per barrel.[26]

Compromise revision

I don't think we need so much detail and just a single overview source (which I leave for others to supply).

Carbon neutral and negative fuels

Carbon neutral fuels[src 1] are synthetic fuels — such as methane, gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel — produced with renewable or nuclear energy to hydrogenate waste carbon dioxide recycled from power plant flue-gas emissions, recovered from automotive exhaust gas, or derived from carbonic acid in seawater. Such fuels are carbon neutral because they do not result in a net increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Such renewable fuels alleviate the costs and dependency issues of imported fossil fuels without requiring either electrification of the vehicle fleet or conversion to hydrogen or other fuels, enabling continued compatible and affordable vehicles.

Carbon neutral fuels offer relatively low cost energy storage, alleviating the problems of wind and solar intermittency, and they enable distribution of wind, water, and solar power through existing natural gas pipelines.

To the extent that carbon neutral fuels displace fossil fuels, or if they are produced from waste carbon or seawater carbonic acid, and their combustion is subject to carbon capture at the flue or exhaust pipe, they result in negative carbon dioxide emission and net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, and thus constitute a form of greenhouse gas remediation.

  1. ^ [Here we would offer a good overview source]

Jojalozzo 22:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

The style guide frowns on single sentence paragraphs and requires references to be at the end of sentences, and the good article criteria prefer having every statement sourced. I think you've omitted some of the most important information. How about this:
Carbon neutral and negative fuels

Carbon neutral fuels are synthetic fuels — such as methane, gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel — produced with renewable or nuclear energy to hydrogenate waste carbon dioxide recycled from power plant flue-gas emissions, recovered from automotive exhaust gas, or derived from carbonic acid in seawater.[src2 1] Such fuels are carbon neutral because they do not result in a net increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases.[src2 2] To the extent that carbon neutral fuels displace fossil fuels, or if they are produced from waste carbon or seawater carbonic acid, and their combustion is subject to carbon capture at the flue or exhaust pipe, they result in negative carbon dioxide emission and net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, and thus constitute a form of greenhouse gas remediation.[src2 3]

Such renewable fuels alleviate the costs and dependency issues of imported fossil fuels without requiring either electrification of the vehicle fleet or conversion to hydrogen or other fuels, enabling continued compatible and affordable vehicles.[src2 4] Carbon neutral fuels offer relatively low cost energy storage, alleviating the problems of wind and solar intermittency, and they enable distribution of wind, water, and solar power through existing natural gas pipelines.[src2 4]

The least expensive source of carbon for recycling into fuel is flue-gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion where it can be extracted for about USD $7.50 per ton.[src2 5] Carbon extraction from seawater costs about $50 per ton.[src2 6] Nighttime wind power is considered the most economical form of electrical power with which to synthesize fuel, because the load curve for electricity peaks sharply during the warmest hours of the day, but wind tends to blow slightly more at night than during the day, so, the price of nighttime wind power is often much less expensive than any alternative.[src2 4] Commercial fuel synthesis companies suggest they can produce fuel for less than petroleum fuels when oil costs more than $55 per barrel.[src2 7]

  1. ^ Graves, Christopher; Ebbesen, Sune D.; Mogensen, Mogens; Lackner, Klaus S. (2011). "Sustainable hydrocarbon fuels by recycling CO2 and H2O with renewable or nuclear energy". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 15 (1): 1–23. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2010.07.014. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  (Review.)
  2. ^ Lackner, Klaus S.; et al. (2012). "The urgency of the development of CO2 capture from ambient air". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (33): 13156–62. doi:10.1073/pnas.1108765109. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ Goeppert, Alain; Czaun, Miklos; Prakash, G.K. Surya; Olah, George A. (2012). "Air as the renewable carbon source of the future: an overview of CO2 capture from the atmosphere". Energy and Environmental Science. 5 (7): 7833–53. doi:10.1039/C2EE21586A. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  (Review.)
  4. ^ a b c Pearson, R.J.; Eisaman, M.D.; et al. (2012). "Energy Storage via Carbon-Neutral Fuels Made From CO2, Water, and Renewable Energy" (PDF). Proceedings of the IEEE. 100 (2): 440–60. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2011.2168369. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  (Review.)
  5. ^ MacDowell, Niall; et al. (2010). "An overview of CO2 capture technologies". Energy and Environmental Science. 3 (11): 1645–69. doi:10.1039/C004106H. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  (Review.)
  6. ^ Eisaman, Matthew D.; et al. (2012). "CO2 extraction from seawater using bipolar membrane electrodialysis" (PDF). Energy and Environmental Science. 5 (6): 7346–52. doi:10.1039/C2EE03393C. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Holte, Laura L. (2010). Sustainable Transportation Fuels From Off-peak Wind Energy, CO2 and Water (PDF). 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, May 17-22, 2010. Phoenix, Arizona: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
Is that acceptable? I put it back in the article in hopes that we can go forward with any needed changes as ordinary edits. —Cupco 23:51, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, nice work. Thanks for slogging this out. Jojalozzo 02:35, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Cost and nature of carbon recovery

While some may think that estimated cost is important information, the estimates are possibly "wildly optimistic",[2] and since no one is doing this is not needed. Also, "carbon negative" is an oxymoron. It was removed because "carbon negative" is neither described nor does it appear at all in the section, regardless of the fact that it can not be an energy source. It is not possible to extract energy and remove carbon from carbon dioxide at the same time. Also, I would like to point out that synthetically produced gasoline is just octane, and synthetically produced natural gas is just methane. Saying it can be distributed "through existing natural gas pipelines" is just a tad redundant. However, it is interesting that hydrogen can be distributed "through existing natural gas pipelines". Also this is in the section on commercialization of RE, so the emphasis should be on commercialization of this technology, not on the technology itself. Delphi234 (talk) 19:03, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

This is exactly why I wanted to make sure that the more detailed and sourced information on the different prices involved was included. Firstly, if you are extracting carbon from seawater or air and then burning the synthetic methane in a plant where you are also capturing the CO2 at the flue, it is a fully carbon negative process, as the cited sources say. Secondly, carbon neutral fuels are currently produced in commercial processes: at three private companies in South Carolina, California, and England (mention of those were also removed) and there is a consortium methane synthesis plant which has been in commercial operation in Stuttgart, Germany since 2009 which is currently being upgraded from 250 kilowatts to 10 megawatts.[3][4] Thirdly, the most recent peer reviewed WP:SECONDARY estimates of air capture are from $600 to $1000 per ton[5][6] and the most recent primary peer reviewed work claims $100/ton[7] which is still twice as much as the seawater extraction process high estimate of $50, so air extraction is indeed a non-starter at present, while the Navy is working hard on seawater extraction. Your February 2012 blog source is out of date on flue capture, too: it's closer to $7.50/ton than $10-15[8]. Finally, your EEA source refers to biofuels, not carbon capture-based, potentially carbon negative, synthetic fuels. It says exactly what I have been trying to say about biofuels and biomass elsewhere on this talk page. I am moving it to the biofuels section. —Cupco 20:07, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, are you sure it's safe to run hydrogen through pressurized pipelines without hydrogen embrittlement? —Cupco 21:25, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
The processes that are carbon negative are not energy sources and there is no reason for including carbon negative in this article. There is no perpetual motion. But none of these ideas have been commercialized, so putting them in the commercialization section is premature. As pointed out even biomass is not carbon neutral. I think there is a paper that addresses hydrogen. Delphi234 (talk) 04:56, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
The Stuttgart plant is operating commercially,,, and are operating commercially, and Audi is about to open a second German plant.[9][10] Just because firewood has been traded for 50,000 years doesn't make biomass any more commercial than emerging technologies today. —Cupco 05:22, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
"Capacity: 5-10 litres of liquid hydrocarbon fuel per day."[11] "The plant will annually produce some 1,000 metric tons of e-gas"[12] "The plant is expected to produce annually in Werlte in the years to around 1,000 tonnes of e-gas." (google translation)[13] Germany uses 2 million barrels of oil/day so 1000 tonnes is about enough for 4,000 people (0.005%). The efficiency is inherently low, but does provide a useful way to get rid of excess electricity when the wind is blowing strongly or the sun shining brightly. These plants, though, are neither carbon neutral nor carbon negative. They get carbon from somewhere, use energy, make it into fuel, that gets put back into the atmosphere. A better heading is "Other", but not as carbon neutral, just as one of the other renewable technologies that are being developed. Delphi234 (talk) 17:27, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Where do you see that they aren't all using carbon capture from flue exhaust? The Navy is has been working on seawater extaction since the 1970s. Bushore, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robin Paul (May 1977). Synthetic Fuel Generation Capabilities of Nuclear Power Plants with Applications to Naval Ship Technology (PDF) (M.Sc. thesis). Cambridge, Mass.: Department of Ocean Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 7, 2012. ; Terry, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Kevin B. (June 1995). Synthetic Fuels for Naval Applications Produced Using Shipboard Nuclear Power (M.Sc. thesis). Cambridge, Mass.: Department of Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 7, 2012.  See also [14]Cupco 17:41, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Making jet fuel from the ocean requires energy, and that point is not included in the article. Jet fuel from the ocean is not an energy source, it is an application of energy. The energy available from the jet fuel produced is far less than the energy required to make the fuel. Fuel can be transported very cheaply - even 600 million gallons. What gets expensive is when you have to transfer it to barrels and put it on a boat, like is done for small Pacific islands. The "conversion efficiencies up to 60 percent" sounds more like efficiency of using CO2, not energy efficiency. Where does the energy come from? It certainly does not come from the jet fuel that is produced. Sure it is fine to have an aircraft carrier have a nuclear reactor that is big enough to provide all power used on board, including all of the jet fuel for the airplanes, but that has nothing to do with an article on renewable energy. Delphi234 (talk) 19:39, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Biofuels not sustainable or economical

The peer reviewed literature review [15] indicates that essentially all biofuels are not actually sustainable when measured in terms of net energy balance, and [16] indicates that biodiesel in particular, while the most developed of the biofuels, is not economically viable at present. Should biofuels be included in this article? —Cupco 23:32, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Aren't there differences in meaning between sustainable and renewable? You seem to be using the terms interchangeably. --ELEKHHT 01:44, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Granted; I withdraw the question but suggest that the gist of the conclusions from those sources should be included. —Cupco 01:47, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Hi Cupco, thanks for this. Please can you set out here, a little more, how you got to your conclusions from those two articles? The first article only seems to refer to palm oil, but your conclusion refers to "all biofuels". And the second article, for its economics, seems to rely on an IEA report from 2004 ErnestfaxTalk 06:02, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Both articles are recent literature reviews. The first uses palm oil as its primary example, but makes many statements about the totality of all biofuels, including that their net energy balance is very negative. The other cites several sources in support of its conclusions regarding the cost versus market price of biodiesel. Do you know of peer-reviewed literature reviews which come to different conclusions? —Cupco 16:53, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes. There are quite a few. See e.g. DOI: 10.2175/106143012X13378023685718 algal biofuel production with an EROEI ~ 1.44; or DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05279.x with EROEIs up to 11, as well as some below 1. As to the economics, that latter paper gives an example of economic biofuels too. And it's all going to depend on the assumptions, and on what price one puts on the externalities. There are a bunch of figures in the literature showing the cost of a particular biofuel to be greater, equal to, or less than, oil, depending on the assumptions being made. As with biofuels, so with any sufficiently complex system (rarely pure, and never simple): the danger is for anyone who was to start with a conclusion, and then look for supporting evidence; whatever conclusion one might start with, there will be some supporting evidence for it. Happily, through this collaborative exercise, we can collectively avoid falling into such traps. ErnestfaxTalk 08:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Does the latter paper really give examples of economic biofuels? The last sentence of its abstract says, "These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria." (emphasis added.) Its conclusions state, "Among the currently and foreseeable commercial biofuels, only cellulosic ethanol has the potential to be produced and consumed on a sustainable basis [given] concerns about food security and distribution, greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, water pollution, and water supply.... While most of these problems can be addressed through better farming practices (many of which require more fuel inputs), pressure to expand biofuels production makes these issues challenging."
As for algae, I have two issues. First, the former paper states that their 1.44 figure does "not include capital, labor, and other required expenses, suggesting that profitable deployment will be challenging." But the strangest thing I've learned about microbial syntheses is how incredibly slow they are. I've looked at the 80 percent efficient process using bacteria to convert electricity to methane at [17] which was for at least a few years the most efficient such process. While it needs concentrated pure CO2, not air, it takes 60 hours to make a milliliter of methane in a 600 ml reactor (Figure 5(A) on p. 3956.) I believe that is something like 20,000 times longer than the Sabatier reaction which is about as efficient. —Cupco 07:20, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Q: "Does the latter paper really give examples of economic biofuels?". A: Yes it does: Brazil. (see also Mariordo's contribution, via JohnFos, below). ErnestfaxTalk 19:56, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Something User:Mariordo wrote a few years ago about Sugarcane in Brazil being the world's first sustainable biofuels economy. Johnfos (talk) 09:49, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Brazil’s production of ethanol fuel from sugarcane dates back to the 1970s, as a governmental response to the 1973 oil crisis. Brazil is considered the biofuel industry leader and the world's first sustainable biofuels economy.[27][28][29][30] In 2010 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel due to EPA's estimated 61% reduction of total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including direct indirect land use change emissions.[31][32]

Brazil sugarcane ethanol fuel program success and sustainability is based on the most efficient agricultural technology for sugarcane cultivation in the world,[33] uses modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock, the residual cane-waste (bagasse) is used to process heat and power, which results in a very competitive price and also in a high energy balance (output energy/input energy), which varies from 8.3 for average conditions to 10.2 for best practice production.[29][34]

A report commissioned by the United Nations, based on a detailed review of published research up to mid-2009 as well as the input of independent experts world-wide, found that ethanol from sugar cane as produced in Brazil "in some circumstances does better than just “zero emission”. If grown and processed correctly, it has negative emission, pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere, rather than adding it. In contrast, the report found that U.S. use of maize for biofuel is less efficient, as sugarcane can lead to emissions reductions of between 70% and well over 100% when substituted for gasoline.[35][36] Several other studies have shown that sugarcane based ethanol reduces greenhouse gases by 86 to 90% if there is no significant land use change.[34][37][38]

Given the issues we have seen with EPA certification of corn-based ethanol, I would like some independent confirmation that the land use change emissions figures on which the EPA certification of sugarcane-derived fuel from Brazil are based were relative to the original use or natural state of the farmland involved, and not relative to fallow clearcut former rainforest. —Cupco 22:16, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Please be careful, clearly you are questioning EPA and CARB official rating of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel (even considering ILUC) for the purpose of pushing your POV. Wikipedia is not a blog to push our personal views.--Mariordo (talk) 02:03, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I have replied to Mariordo at Talk:History of ethanol fuel in Brazil#More carbon emissions. I object to the implication that I have any personal POV beyond what the reliable sources such as those shown below say. I do have a point of view that Wikipedia policies have not been followed here, in particular WP:NPOV. —Cupco 02:14, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

More carbon emissions

"One couldn’t pick a worse place to harvest cane than Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. There, sugar cane crops have led to deforestation and, paradoxically, more carbon emissions." Kozloff, Nikolas (April 9, 2010). "The Dirty Underside of Lula's Clean Energy Revolution". Foreign Policy. 

"Brazil now ranks fourth in the world in carbon emissions, and most of its emissions come from deforestation.... the basic problem with most biofuels is amazingly simple, given that researchers have ignored it until now: using land to grow fuel leads to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands that store enormous amounts of carbon. Backed by billions in investment capital, this alarming phenomenon is replicating itself around the world. Indonesia has bulldozed and burned so much wilderness to grow palm oil trees for biodiesel that its ranking among the world's top carbon emitters has surged from 21st to third according to a report by Wetlands International.... Deforestation accounts for 20% of all current carbon emissions.... no one checked whether the crops would ultimately replace vegetation and soils that sucked up even more carbon. It was as if the science world assumed biofuels would be grown in parking lots. The deforestation of Indonesia has shown that's not the case. It turns out that the carbon lost when wilderness is razed overwhelms the gains from cleaner-burning fuels. A study by University of Minnesota ecologist David Tilman concluded that it will take more than 400 years of biodiesel use to "pay back" the carbon emitted by directly clearing peat lands to grow palm oil; clearing grasslands to grow corn for ethanol has a payback period of 93 years. The result is that biofuels increase demand for crops, which boosts prices, which drives agricultural expansion, which eats forests. Searchinger's study concluded that overall, corn ethanol has a payback period of about 167 years because of the deforestation it triggers.... biofuels aren't part of the solution at all. They're part of the problem." Grunwald, Michael (March 27, 2008). "The Clean Energy Scam". Time. 

Does this make it clear why I think including biomass/biofuels and excluding carbon neutral and negative synthetics is not just wrong but completely unwise? —Cupco 00:44, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

No, it doesn't make it clear. It confuses things. Earlier, your objection was on the grounds that you were sure that biofuels had an EROEI less than 1. But it turns out that some have EROEI less than 1, some greater than 1 (I take it we agree on that, now). You were sure that biofuels were uneconomical (a dubious measure of sustainability, given how transient economic unviability can be), but it turns out that some are uneconomical within current markets, and others are economical within current markets (I take it we agree on that too, now). And now the objection is that some biofuels involve rainforest clearance. Well yes, and some biofuels do not involve rainforest clearance. This all points consistently to a consensus position that it is possible to do biofuels sustainably; and that it is possible to do them unsustainably. ErnestfaxTalk —Preceding undated comment added 06:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
This advice makes no sense to me - biomass and biofuel is clearly a renewable energy source, and close to hydroelectricity in the amount of energy produced. It is erroneously thought that biomass and biofuel are carbon neutral, a very common misconception. In mentioning carbon neutral I think the only appropriate thing to say is that biomass and biofuel are often erroneously considered to be carbon neutral. Ditto for synthetic fuel, wind fuel, etc. You go look for carbon somewhere, use energy to make it into a fuel, and put it into the atmosphere. How can anyone consider that carbon neutral? Biomass and biofuel are "mainstream" renewable energy sources. Wind fuel and the rest are just hypothetical energy sources that might work if oil was over $55/barrel, even though oil has been over $55/barrel for a long time and no one has started doing it on any significant scale. Maybe we should also have a section on dylithium crystals or anti-matter? Delphi234 (talk) 05:08, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it is pretty easy to find references that talk about problems with biofuel, in particular, but this article is not an essay on ways to improve the world, it is an article on renewable energy. Delphi234 (talk) 05:12, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
In the long run, unsustainable implies non-renewable to some extent. —Cupco 05:25, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
If you look at the amount of energy the world has been using, something like 470 EJ/year, off the top of my head, it is not sustainable to get that from coal, oil, natural gas, and it is not sustainable to get it from any carbon based fuel. But it is sustainable to get 3% of it from biofuel and biomass, which could be where it will end up. Most of the estimates for 2035 just plain make no sense. I tend to believe the 100% renewable projections, as they do make sense. All that we can do is report on what we are doing now, and what some of the projections say. The more speculative renewable sources can go in a section at the end, but really do not deserve more than a couple of paragraphs. But a better heading might be "Other sources", not "New and emerging renewable energy technologies". At this late stage there are no magic sources out there waiting to be developed that will emerge as dominant sources, which is what people tend to think of when they talk about say wave or tidal power. But the more I look at the TOC the more I think that the entire article should be re-arranged. At this point a history section would be helpful, right after overview, to pick up the early development of wind and solar in the 1970s. All of our energy was renewable until we started using coal, and that can be mentioned. There is a graph of energy use in the United States that goes back to I think 1635. The graph of energy use from 1650 until 1900 is interesting for comparison because it shows the development of coal, and by 1900 oil was about as important as wind is today. It does not, however include either oxen, mule or horse power, or waterpower for mills, which is a strange and significant omission. Sort of like making a graph that shows energy use in ancient Egypt that left out the energy used to build the pyramids. Delphi234 (talk) 06:45, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

100% renewable energy

This section has been expanded now using mainly the work from Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of engineering at Stanford University. These are some of his papers:

Certainly demonstrates what can be achieved with renewables... Johnfos (talk) 20:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

And you can always add other costs of using oil. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was originally called Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL). This estimate puts the military cost of using oil at $7.41/gallon, and the climate change cost brings the total to $68 Trillion/year (about $300/gallon). Most of the environmental damage is not compensated.[18] Delphi234 (talk) 00:52, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Some new projects move ahead...

-- Johnfos (talk) 10:09, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 16 November 2012

Simply replace "Renewable energy" with "Renewable Energy" for proper title grammar. Please, and thank you! ShadowCipher (talk) 16:23, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Not done: Per the Manual of Style, article titles use sentence case rather than title case. This means that any word in an article title after the first is not capitalized unless it is part of a proper noun. In this case, "renewable energy" is not a proper noun so it should not be capitalized. —KuyaBriBriTalk 18:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View?

This is a generally good article, and I commend all contributors. However, the recent 'fiscal cliff' and the possible loss of the production tax credit has gotten me to thinking:

Does this article adequately examine the weaknesses of the various renewable energy resources?

I have read the article several times, and the positives are (rightfully) presented strongly. But there are bound to be negatives associated with these technologies. Those negatives are not presented in any serious, thoughtful fashion.

Thoughts? (talk) 21:12, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

The negatives are summarized in the debate section, and other than that have been split off into a separate article, as that section was getting too long (about 20,000 bytes). Delphi234 (talk) 03:28, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
That is a U.S. centric point of view, and is more appropriate in the Renewable energy in the United States article, etc. There is a cost to transition to renewable energy, but the cost of not transitioning is greater. For example, in 2012, a gallon of gasoline costs about $300 when the environmental damage is included, most of which is not restored. Right now wind power is about the cheapest form of electricity. The only form cheaper is hydro, and that is only because it is from old dams which if built today would cost as much as ten times as much. Delphi234 (talk) 04:03, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I understand how a lack of a neutral point of view has anything to do with a US-centric point of view. Are you asserting that there are no drawbacks of any kind associated with renewable energy? That seems...too good to be true.

As for your assertions of 300 dollar a gallon gasoline.... I'm a bit taken aback. Do you have a citation for this price level? If so, this should definitely be included in the article.

Unless there's more substantive discussion of this POV issue on the talk page, an NPOV tag may be required for this article.

Morg00 (talk) 01:45, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

The fiscal cliff and the production tax credit are solely U.S. issues. The renewable energy debate article, which is summarized in the article, discusses potential negatives to renewable energy. There is something in the article about the cost of not using renewable energy ($8 trillion over the next 25 years), but that figure is just for the cost of fuel, and does not include any environmental, etc., costs. Delphi234 (talk) 00:06, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm. Ok, fair enough. (Although I'm not sure where you get that 8 trillion dollar figure from.)

I went to bing and typed in two searches: "germany high electricity prices" and "denmark wind problems". I chose these two searches more or less at random, as both countries are working very hard on renewables.

Here's four links I quickly picked as indicators:

This entire search process took me less than five minutes.

Those articles are not US centric.

Why are these issues not reflected in this article? (Note, this is just a small sample, I'm sure there's many, many other issues to be addressed as well.) This article practically reads like an advertisement for renewables.

Which is cool, I like renewables, but does not follow Wikipedia core principals, namely, neutrality.

Morg00 (talk) 05:00, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can see we cover those objections adequately. There is such a thing as undue weight that needs to be considered. Delphi234 (talk) 03:10, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Where, exactly, does the current article present, fairly and equally, the negatives of renewable energy? Skeptics of renewable energy are not some 'tiny minority' and neither are they outside the mainstream. "Bayer" (to choose from one of my four quickly chosen links) is a household name worldwide. There are serious concerns about many renewable energy resources, things such as uncontrollability, backup power installations, reactive power on the grid, power grid upgrades, and yes, monetary cost. I see very little in this article which addresses any of these real concerns, to name but a few.

Does anyone else have any stance on this? I get the impression this talk page isn't widely seen.

Morg00 (talk) 04:58, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the fact that this article is not neutral: it only talks about renewable power plants growth and how it will replace everything else, so it should be discussed even on any facet. I was looking for information in purpose of comparing nuclear power and renewable sources, but, while the nuclear power has both positive and negative points, this article doesn't talk about economical and ecological problems. I feel a bit disappointed for this. (talk) 13:40, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I will see what I can do about adding that information to the nuclear power article. It does not need to be added here because nuclear is a dead issue (pun intended). Delphi234 (talk) 15:39, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, I'm adding a POV tag to the article, so we can hopefully generate some more discussion and balance this sucker out a bit. Morg00 (talk) 06:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The section on biomass is definitely unbalanced and POV. Particularly for wood biomass, many recent studies have shown that carbon neutrality is not achieved for many decades and sometimes not for over a century. (Of course industry contests that.) EPA in the US and EEA in Europe are both considering policy changes on this, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has already adopted revised regulations that act on the issue. This has all been in the news (as well as in scientific journals) and should be covered in the article in some fashion. Coastwise (talk) 07:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

This article is an overview article of renewable energy, and can not cover everything about every topic. All we need is a summary of the most important issues. I have not seen much about biomass and the time it takes for CO2 to abate, and while it is obvious, I would put that into the biomass article. On the other hand, biofuel vs. food has gotten a lot of attention and it is possible that a sentence could be added, but really the place to put that information is also in the biofuel article. This article is at the point where if anything is added, something has to be removed to make room. Delphi234 (talk) 04:56, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Please see the article Renewable energy debate, which used to be a part of this article but was split off and summarized per wp:SS. The purpose of a POV tag is that there is a problem with the article, I have tried to fix it, and have given up. As none of this is the case there is no reason for the tag. Feel free to add a link and a brief notice that biomass is not carbon neutral, but the tag does not apply and does not belong. Delphi234 (talk) 03:24, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

So far in this discussion, three people feel there is a POV problem, and one person does not. Links have been provided to credible, mainstream sources of differing opinion. The article is not balanced, and one of Wikipedia's core principals is violated. I am sorry that you have given up on this article, but there are many other editors who may be able to improve it. Replacing the POV tag. As stated in the tag guidelines, please do not remove until this issue has been corrected.

Morg00 (talk) 04:59, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

WP:Sofixit. The purpose of a POV tag is not to say the article is unbiased, it is to say that I tried to fix it and could not, and until my objections are resolved it would be helpful for someone else to fix it. We do not have any intention of tagging any articles as POV, no matter how many POV's there are on the subject. We address all sides and remove the tag. So the question is not does anyone think it is NPOV or POV, but what needs to be corrected? Please list them here, and I am certain they can be resolved without needing to give up and tag the article POV. Per the template usage instructions, the template is clearly not appropriate. Delphi234 (talk) 17:37, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


If none, the tag will be removed. Delphi234 (talk) 05:28, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm starting to look at how we'd fix this, since the influx of interested editors has been underwhelming. :)

Probably the first question I'd ask is, do we need articles on both 'renewable energy' and 'sustainable energy'? They're both huge, and they seem to chew over the same ground to me. I've been tinkering on the concrete article for practice, and trying to puzzle out how we'd tackle this thing here. I'm kind of leaning toward stripping this one of cites, deleting it, and using the sustainable energy article as the 'bones' of a consolidated article.

Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morg00 (talkcontribs) 04:33, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

If there are no issues, the tag can be removed. Technically renewable and sustainable are separate issues, but obviously a lot of the same subjects are included in both. There is no reason to attempt to merge the two topics. For example in sustainable energy there is extensive discussion of sustainable living (energy efficiency), which has no place in this article whatsoever. The focus is totally different, and best leave the two articles that way. This one is nuts and bolts, that one is chicken soup. Delphi234 (talk) 08:46, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Hmmmm. Ok, then maybe the sustainable energy article needs to have the duplications between this renewable topic removed?

And, yes, there are serious issues with this article, sadly.

Just as an example, and following up on the biomass discussion above, I binged a search for 'biomass kills'. I figured, get radical with it!

This popped up:

Total search time? Maybe 30 seconds.

The graphic in this article shows that biomass is by far the largest component of global renewable energy use, but no where is it mentioned that global biomass is poverty fuel, and responsible for millions of deaths. Isn't that worthy of mention? Global biomass isn't something to applaud, it's something to battle against. These sorts of issues are completely mainstream (the cite is from The Learning Channel, for instance) and yet the deep POV bias in the current article does not think it's even worth a mention.

Assuming no-one else steps up, I'll be starting in on this soon. (anyone? beuler?) Morg00 (talk) 16:44, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I see no reason for mentioning that in this article. Put it into the biomass article, but not as "poverty fuel" or "biomass kills". We already mention it there though. As I see it there is nothing that is POV, and it is inappropriate to suggest otherwise. Delphi234 (talk) 22:18, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
If biomass is "bad" like you say it is why not just remove it from renewable energy altogether? I thought renewable energy was supposed to be only the "good" stuff. Same goes for biofuels. In other words, I would like to see a list of renewable energies that I can support with a blanket statement like: "I support renewable energy." With the list in its present state that is impossible. You could mention it at the bottom like: "Some publications include biomass and biofuels as renewable but we are not including them here because..." Brian Everlasting (talk) 23:02, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Brian, I wish it were that simple, but it's not. The problem is "renewable" has a definite meaning, but people are asking renewability to be the solution to problems that it isn't suited to assuredly solving. Some but not all renewable energy sources are suited to solving certain problems. Humanity needs a new word of phrase for what you want. "Renewability" was on target in the mid-20th century when avoiding fossil fuels was a concern for many, but the concerns in today's world are more complicated than that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coastwise (talkcontribs) 06:32, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Synthetic fuel

Please see Talk:Renewable energy/Archive 5#Synthetic transportation fuels. This is not a major form of renewable energy, and does not deserve inclusion in the commercial development section - yet. Nor is it normally called "carbon negative/carbon neutral" which is more like a Madison Avenue hype term. Delphi234 (talk) 04:59, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Most synthetic fuels are made from coal, aren't they? That's what synthetic fuel says: "Synthetic fuel or synfuel is a liquid fuel obtained from coal, natural gas, oil shale, or biomass. It may also refer to fuels derived from other solids such as plastics or rubber waste." None of those except some relatively uncommon forms of biomass are actually carbon neutral, are they? As for the term we have [19], [20], [21], [22], and [23] etc. and those are just from the peer reviewed academic literature, most of them WP:SECONDARY. As for commerce there is [24] and [25]. Do you see any sources saying "carbon negative/carbon neutral" is being used for marketing purposes? The closest I can find is [26] but it doesn't really say that specifically. JS Uralia (talk) 16:42, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
"biofuels anything but carbon neutral", so if they are not even carbon neutral, they certainly are not carbon negative. When the "World’s largest Power-to-Gas plant for generating methane enters operation" is only 250 kW, and there only one of them, this is just a research project, and not a dominant energy storage method. Note this is only energy storage - all of the energy comes from some other source, such as wind power. Delphi234 (talk) 20:10, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
As above, only a very small subset of "biomass" is carbon neutral, and I am not trying to suggest that anything commercially sold as a "biofuel" is. That 250 kW plant is being upgraded to 10 MW and many others just like it are being built by commercial concerns, such as this 6 MW plant opening in February. The other one is already producing more than 2% of Iceland's transportation fuel, which is way more than the proportion of wind power in the US or the world when we first had an article on wind power. And that one in Iceland at 50,000 liters/year is just a prototype for the 50,000,000 liter/year plants which CRI has announced they are building. You are correct that only renewable energy sources can be used for carbon neutral or negative fuels. That is why linking to "synthetic fuels" which are almost entirely produced from coal is misleading. JS Uralia (talk) 21:29, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
They are certainly all synthetic fuels. The fact that most synthetic fuels are from coal is immaterial. Delphi234 (talk) 20:27, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Per [27] and [28], almost all synthetic fuels are currently produced from fossil fuel. Therefore, removal of the term "carbon neutral" is incorrect, especially for this article. I'm reverting back because I can't think of any more accurate way to state this. JS Uralia (talk) 17:03, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

That is not how WP:BRD works. The deleted material remains deleted until there is a consensus to add it. Synthetic fuel: "Synthetic fuel is a category of fuels that includes any fuel 'produced from coal, natural gas or biomass feedstocks through chemical conversion'". "Fischer-Tropsch Fuels from Coal, Natural Gas, and Biomass". Now lets look at Carbon Neutral: "Carbon neutral fuels are synthetic fuels produced by hydrogenating waste carbon dioxide recycled from power plant flue-gas emissions, recovered from automotive exhaust gas, or derived from carbonic acid in seawater." Where does the energy come from? It certainly does not come from the carbon dioxide or from the carbonic acid. This is simply another feedstock for synthetic fuel, but requires more energy to produce, and as such is simply a form of energy storage, not an energy source. Also, listing it in the commercialization section between 9.6 Photovoltaic power stations 9.7 Carbon neutral and negative fuels and 9.8 Biofuel development is not appropriate - this is a proposed process, and belongs in the Other technologies section only, and calling it carbon neutral or carbon negative is false. When you remove Carbon from Carbon dioxide to burn it and make carbon dioxide again, there is no net reduction of carbon dioxide. The only way to reduce carbon dioxide is to use it to create something that does not re-enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide again. And removing carbonic acid from the ocean and putting it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide? How by any stretch of the imagination can that be called either carbon neutral or carbon negative? The inclusion is not appropriate in this manner, and actually I see no need to include it at all, as it is not an energy source. There are a lot of others who have edited this page and it would be best to see what they think. Delphi234 (talk) 20:20, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Saying that carbon neutral fuels are not a source of energy is like saying that petroleum or coal are not sources of energy because their energy came from the solar power that grew the biomass from which they were formed millions of years ago. JS Uralia (talk) 21:45, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

The reason I called the labels "carbon neutral and carbon negative" Madison Avenue, is that they are a false attempt to gloss over the fact that they still put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - the concept that the source of the carbon being from the atmosphere, in trees or vegetables, instead of from coal and oil, is a false concept - the fact is that the only thing that determines the atmospheric CO2 level is how much carbon we burn, and it makes absolutely no difference where that carbon comes from to burn. Delphi234 (talk) 20:40, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Can you find any examples in the peer reviewed literature of synthetic fuels produced exclusively from non-biomass renewable energy which are called synthetic but not carbon neutral or carbon negative? JS Uralia (talk) 21:39, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
I see what you're saying. It looks like this accounts for the amount of fuel being used at one time, since it is a cycle, of carbon burned to carbon being taken up. The net carbon that is being used at one instance, instead of bringing more net carbon from crude sources. It looks like a balance between being carbon negative and how much carbon is being used on the whole. Sidelight12 Talk 02:30, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
The fallacy with that is that carbon dioxide is still being put into the atmosphere. Imagine there are 100 million cars. It makes absolutely no difference if they are fueled from carbon from the ground or from carbon that comes from any other source. The exhaust still goes into the atmosphere and the exact same amount is in the air whether the carbon came from trees, oil, or from carbon dioxide. While it sounds better to get carbon from the cycle and put it back into the air instead of importing it from the ground the net effect on the atmosphere is identical Delphi234 (talk) 01:27, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Can it be distinguished as bio-synthetic and crude synthetic? That clears up a problem that I saw in the questioned text. Also, its really confusing to follow what went in, and if what got taken out of the article, when a lot gets added, and moved around in one edit. I think that biofuels are considered renewable energy, even if its use is not widespread, which it is in Brazil. Maybe not always eco-friendly, however, their sugarcane yields 10 units of energy per 1 unit of energy put in to raise the crops, unlike corn crops (something like 1 unit put in per 1 unit). -- Sidelight12 Talk 02:02, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
That's exactly what [29] is about: alcohols from Brazilian sugarcane are the only biofuels which store enough energy that the carbon produced by burning them does not stay in the atmosphere long enough to accumulate when they displace fossil fuels. Therefore they are the only known carbon negative biofuels, and essentially every other biofuel along with almost all biomass energy sources, commercial or in development, result in an atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gas -- less of a burden than burning fossil fuels, of course, but not carbon neutral or carbon negative. Which is another reason blurring the distinction between carbon neutral and carbon negative synthetics and synthetic fuel in general is so misleading. In a way it is similar to talking about the cost benefit of gasoline-ethanol blends without mentioning the affect on the price of food.
As for the distinction between synthetics from biomass and fossil fuel, both of those are almost always not carbon neutral or carbon negative. Only capturing flue exhaust gas or using the carbonic acid in seawater are economical sources of carbon for recycling. Trying to pull carbon out of the air costs at least twice as much as pulling it out of seawater, because it's much easier to get a given proportion of liquid molecules in contact with a reactive surface than it is to get the same proportion of gas molecules. And the carbon dioxide in the air is where the carbonic acid in seawater comes from, which is why fossil fuels are bleaching away coral reefs, so it's just as ecological to take the carbon from the sea as from the air. But it's much easier and less expensive to recycle it at the power plants. JS Uralia (talk) 06:20, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • If something takes over 100 years to clear up the carbon balance, saying it is carbon negative, but to a negligible amount, is accurate. article:time to offset soybean '100'yrs, cane sugar '17' yrs. The point is the net amount of carbon in the air, from adding more net from crude sources, to recycling the same carbon through biofuels. 10 units of crude, being used over and over (through biosynthetic recycling) for 100 units of output/10 units of carbon, compared to 100 units of crude used for 100 units of output/carbon. The more that is available is the more that will be used up at one point, but this still is an important consideration. Sidelight12 Talk 12:53, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
"The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is estimated of the order of 30–95 years" per Greenhouse gas#Atmospheric lifetime. JS Uralia (talk) 13:53, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Does that suggest that some biofuels cause more carbon than it removes? I think it still needs to be mentioned, why it does or doesn't. Also, that sugarcane doesn't, and the possible problems with sugarcane and the Brazilian ecosystem. It'd be better to put the text to be inserted on the talk page, and/or work it in piece at a time, with what is unquestioned first. Sidelight12 Talk 14:02, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Per the Biofuel development section, "According to the European Environment Agency, biofuels do not address global warming concerns." JS Uralia (talk) 16:03, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
That quote is vague. It doesn't say the same thing. Sidelight12 Talk 16:19, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
The cited source goes into detail. JS Uralia (talk) 16:53, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I fail to see how any of the above discussion justifies this edit[30] and I recommend reverting it. Delphi234 (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Why do you think that synthetic fuel is more pertinent to renewable energy than carbon neutral fuel? JS Uralia (talk) 00:12, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
That is like asking "why do you think that dogs are more important than Collies?" First, carbon neutral fuels are not carbon neutral, and second, they are synthetic fuel. Third they are simply in the experimental stage right now. There is a concept called WP:UNDUE which says that if it is not important to a subject it gets little or no mention in the article. Carbon neutral and carbon negative seems to be of particular interest to you, but it is not an important topic with regard to renewable energy - at the present time. Wikipedia is not a WP:Crystal ball and can not predict the future. However, since this type of synthetic fuel is, like hydrogen, not an energy source, but simply an energy storage/distribution method, it will never get much mention in this article. From a cost standpoint I would not expect either hydrogen or synthetic fuel to be used much - it is far cheaper to make electric cars than fuel based cars, and far more efficient, plus there is almost no maintenance, and for all of those reasons far cheaper. Using an electric car is like buying gas for $0.60/gallon. Using carbon neutral fuel is like buying gas for $300/gallon from the environmental damage caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide. What we can do, though, is decide how much co2 to put into the atmosphere to regulate the temperature of the Earth at 1900 levels for the next billion years, and use "carbon neutral"[sic] fuels to increase the CO2 level, and not use them to reduce it. Delphi234 (talk) 19:55, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
What is your source for the assertion that carbon neutral fuels are not actually carbon neutral? The peer reviewed [31], [32], and [33] sources discussed above all describe them as such, and are WP:SECONDARY, the most reliable of the peer reviewed academic journal articles. You don't dispute that the vast majority of synthetic fuels are produced from fossil fuels, so how could you think describing carbon neutral and carbon negative fuels as such would be an improvement to the article, even if it turns out, say, that 50% of carbon neutral fuel is actually a hidden carbon source? We have plenty of examples of commercial sources for sale today in Iceland and Germany, and many more coming on line. I'm not opposed to electric and plug-in hybrid cars, which is why I replaced the template which links to those sustainable technologies. Nor am I opposed to returning carbon dioxide to 1900 levels. How is that possible without the carbon recycling technology used for the synthesis of carbon neutral methane and transportation fuel? JS Uralia (talk) 20:46, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Liking something does not justify adding something that does not belong to an article. That template does not belong here. Most of the articles on it have nothing to do with renewable energy. Talking about carbon neutral is the same problem that the US government has when they talk about balancing the budget when the problem is not balancing the budget but eliminating the debt. If the same CO2 is added back to the atmosphere as is removed there is no gain whatsoever, and as energy needs increase, the level of CO2 goes up, not down, so carbon neutral is not carbon neutral. We need to get levels back down to 280 ppm, not stabilize it at 380 ppm or higher, and the only way to achieve that is to stop burning carbon. Delphi234 (talk) 00:26, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
You're making more claims here which I can't find in any peer reviewed or mass media sources. Leaving aside the question of whether a navbox linking to an article as a main heading belongs in that article (I believe it almost always does) for now, what are your sources for these claims? If electricity is replaced by renewables and transportation fuel is replaced by recycled carbon feedstock, why would that not result in a reduction of net atmospheric carbon input in both cases? Plant matter would not suddenly stop absorbing carbon because transportation fuel transitions from petroleum to recycled fuel. JS Uralia (talk) 22:18, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
None of these are the issue at hand, which is where to put information about synthetic fuel. Right now it is little used, so only needs to be mentioned, all types of synthetic fuel, at the end, in the other technologies section. But since much of it is not even an energy source, I am not sure it even belongs here at all, other than along with hydrogen. Delphi234 (talk) 03:10, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Why do you insist on calling it synthetic fuel when you have repeatedly admitted that synthetic fuels are almost entirely not produced from renewable energy? You claim this must be done for clearly false reasons which are not only contrary to the peer reviewed secondary sources, but for which you are unable to produce even a single mass media source? You claim that carbon neutral fuels are somehow not commercial, when they are already 2% of transportation fuels in Iceland and a quarter megawatt, soon to be several of methane production in Germany? Is there a single reliable source that agrees with you? Is there a single editor who agrees with you? JS Uralia (talk) 14:33, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I call them synthetic because that is what our article on them calls them ("Carbon neutral fuel is synthetic fuel") and that is what they are. And they are definitely not an energy source. All the energy to make them comes from somewhere else. That makes them, like hydrogen, an energy storage and distribution method, and not an energy source. While energy storage is an important part of using renewable energy, it is not a renewable energy source. Delphi234 (talk) 02:23, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I have tagged the article as in dispute and listed the dispute on WP:3O. JS Uralia (talk) 19:17, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

What for? The tag says "This article's factual accuracy is disputed." Yet no one is disputing any factual accuracy. Only one editor wants to inappropriately give undue weight to to synthetic methanol. Asking for a 3rd opinion is fine, tagging the article is not. Delphi234 (talk) 03:50, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
The description of carbon neutral fuels as general synthetic fuels is inaccurate, which is why that section is also tagged. The implication that carbon neutral fuels are not available commercially is also inaccurate, which is why the article is tagged. Currently commercially available carbon neutral synthetic fuels include methane as well as methanol. JS Uralia (talk) 06:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
On both accounts that tagging is completely inappropriate. It most certainly is synthetic, and there is very little commercialization of it at the present time - and even if it was widely used, it is not an energy source any more than hydrogen, and does not belong in this article, other than in brief mention. Delphi234 (talk) 15:31, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Nor is that kitchen soup template appropriate, as discussed before. Please quit changing it. Delphi234 (talk) 15:48, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I note you have removed the dispute tags even though you have been unable to support your opinions with a single source, against at least three peer reviewed secondary sources, and dozens of other peer reviewed and mainstream media sources. JS Uralia (talk) 16:22, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
That is because they do not belong there. Nothing in the article is disputed as being inaccurate, and if it was the correct thing to do is to make the correction, or at worst, propose the change here, and not tag the article. The article even uses the words carbon neutral fuel, even though they are certainly not carbon neutral. The only dispute is providing undue weight to them. This is simply not the right article for them - just like hydrogen they are nothing but a way of storing electricity and burning the fuel later. Delphi234 (talk) 19:50, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I have removed the listing at 3O as it did not comply with the instructions. There appears to be one other participant in this dispute. Should you believe that further discussion with these editors will not bear fruit then you should consider filing an RfC. Also, Uralia, you should not announce that you are seeking a third opinion.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:00, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I sort of backed off on the issue. Oil synthetics and other synthetics need to be distinguished as separate, and it looks like that isn't continually seen in the talk page. The other point that is missed: any fuel that produces more energy than is put into it is carbon neutral, no matter if its in mass use or not. It's neutral because its not adding more net. As long as this part is understood, the text should reflect that. I said this, and these points keep being missed on the talk page or the edits. The wind power to storage section was carbon neutral by technicality, from not being produced from the standard grid. However, I won't make a further big issue of this. Its best that an expert defines carbon neutral, and have a better say on this. Sidelight12 Talk 04:05, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
However, any definition of carbon neutral belongs only in the carbon neutral article, and not here. This article is solely about renewable energy. Delphi234 (talk) 21:49, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
On the contrary, referring to synthetic fuel here is objectively worse than referring to carbon neutral fuel, because the former almost always means fossil fuel-derived synthetics. Similarly implying that commercialization has not begun is false. So let's try an RFC: JS Uralia (talk) 01:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)


The dispute here is regarding this diff. JS Uralia (talk) 01:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The question at hand is, is synthetic fuel, specifically methane and ethanol a renewable energy source and how much weight should be given to synthetic fuel be given? This type of synthetic fuel is made using electricity - it is not an energy source, but is simply a way of storing energy and making it available for burning later, just like hydrogen. A second question is, should it be called carbon neutral, just like biogas and biomass? The problem with that is none of them are truly carbon neutral - if your goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then no carbon based fuel can be burned, and if it is burned, the more that is burned, the greater the atmospheric level of CO2, making it no better at reducing emission levels than burning coal or oil. Delphi234 (talk) 15:37, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • My best understanding of carbon neutral is that it means over the entire cycle of production and comsumption, no net increase in atmospheric carbon is produced, where the cycle time is at most some decades. For instance, if one was to grow a field of wheat using the sun and renewable energy for the farming effort, then burn it for energy, there would be no net gain in carbon in the atmosphere.
If this is a reasonable definition, then whether a synthetic fuel generated from carbon dioxide is carbon neutral depends upon the source of electricity used to produce it. IIRC, one of the examples in the article used night wind energy; this seems carbon neutral.
Renewable energy sources is a different concept than carbon neutral--will the source run out over human time scales, or not? Whale oil is a renewable resource, if we maintain whale populations sustainably, but petroleum is not, because it takes geologic time scales to renew. For synthetic fuels, we are in no danger of running out of carbon dioxide any time soon and can renew it by burning the synthetic fuels. So the question again becomes, is the source of electricity a renewable one?
I have nothing useful to say about appropriate weight, as I know little of energy economics or politics. Mark viking (talk) 16:22, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
My recollection is the argument was that carbon neutral synthetic fuel was made both from renewable sources or from nuclear power, but the issue that I brought up is more carbon neutral fuel burned more CO2 in the atmosphere making it no better than burning coal or oil, if your goal is reducing emissions. But since no energy is produced, why call it an energy source at all? All of the energy it produces is from the energy used to produce it, and is inherently less than the energy used to produce it, so it is just like hydrogen, except with the drawback that it puts CO2 into the atmosphere. I have no problem with mentioning it, but only in the other technologies section, and even there only at the end, because the others, like wave power actually produce energy. Actually, I deleted the Synthetic fuel heading because Renewable methanol covers the same subject. Delphi234 (talk) 19:03, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Except for the methane that you referred to only four hours earlier above. I've corrected to include the more general term. Any progress on your attempt to find a source which agrees with your ... unique opinion that carbon neutral doesn't mean what the secondary peer reviewed sources say it does, or that such fuels aren't really energy sources because they were originally solar energy like everything but nuclear and geothermal anyway? JS Uralia (talk) 05:13, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
This is basic science. If you get energy out, such as burning oil, or wind power, it is an energy source. If you have to put more energy in than you get out, it is not an energy source, but is a storage mechanism. While there are certainly sources that explain that, something that simple really does not need to be explained, or at least not in this article. The place for that information is in the synthetic methane article. When anyone defines what renewable energy is, they have to apply a little common sense (this does not always happen). Physicists like to ask the question, if you open the refrigerator door, is that going to cool the house? The answer is, well is the refrigerator plugged in? If it is then electricity is being used to heat the house, regardless of if the refrigerator door is open or closed. If someone is planning on running their country on synthetic methane are not importing it nor have any other source of energy, they will have no way of making synthetic methane, and will have no energy. This however, is not a discussion that is needed, as it constitutes discussion of the subject of the article, and not the content of the article. Delphi234 (talk) 04:37, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but when you are contradicting several recent WP:SECONDARY peer reviewed sources, you can't say it's simply "basic science." If you can't find a source which agrees with you that carbon neutral fuels aren't actually carbon neutral or won't actually help reduce atmospheric carbon, can you at least show your math supporting such a conclusion? Otherwise nobody can help find the error no matter whose error it is. JS Uralia (talk) 00:48, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
It is not possible to get energy out of carbon dioxide. No one is saying that they are energy sources. They are saying that they can use excess wind energy to make fuel. That is the same as making hydrogen. At this point very little mention is required here. Delphi234 (talk) 01:12, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
You have repeatedly stated above that you think carbon neutral fuels will not help reduce greenhouse gasses. If you have mathematical calculations in support of those assertions, then please share them. If you do not, then please attempt them to check the veracity of your hunches. JS Uralia (talk) 01:18, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Synthetic fuel deserves mention on this page, but it should be limited its relationship with renewable energy (as a storage medium). The primary discussion belongs on Energy carrier; does Renewable methanol merit having its own page? Given the frequency of mention on WP (discussion is scattered across numerous pages), I think it does. At very least, it should have a subsection (perhaps at Methanol economy) and have a search redirect.--E8 (talk) 21:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Folks, I am only here because of the RFC and I have not previously seen the article, let alone the talk page, but we are in a nasty position here. As the article stands it has a lot of content, but much of it is technically illiterate and I don't get the idea that all the contributors realise it. For example, even the lede is full of incoherencies and confusion, and of ill-defined or undefined terminology. If we don't get some decent work into the article we would be better off deleting the whole thing than leaving it to embarrass everyone who cares for the WP image. I haven't been through the whole talk page, so I presumably am overlooking other technically competent contributors, but Delphi234 (with whom I have not to my memory collaborated) is generally correct in the points s/he is trying to make and this raises serious difficulties. Those points are indeed elementary science/engineering (mostly schoolwork rather than Phys 101 IMO) and it is no good talking about say, "...contradicting several recent WP:SECONDARY peer reviewed sources..."; peer-reviewed sources, whether in good faith or not, are of no better use than their relevance and appropriateness to the points conceived as being supported by those citations. It is not easy to locate exact sources for the propositions the techies are trying to make, largely because they really are very elementary, but cover broad topics. To shout them down just because the keepers of the sacred cows perceive their herds as being gored, is no substitute for encyclopaedic contributions.
We could of course provide citations to practically any school science textbook, let alone appropriate first year physics or engineering textbooks, but what good would such refs be? They would refer to diffuse topics covering multiple chapters; it would amount to telling the readers to RTFM and like it! What is needed is not bare facts, but connections and logical structures and practical considerations. Those are the things that the non-techie authors cannot provide; it is the difference between seeing the statements in the book and understanding their significance in that nasty confusing universe out there. As for asking for supporting calculations, someone must be kidding! The calculations would be trivial, but anyone needing to demand them in the contexts I have seen would have to take their bases on trust; a calculation is an assertion, not a magic wand; if you don't understand what the statements are that it is meant to support, it means nothing more than the unsupported statement.
I would reckon that most of those shortcomings could be addressed by dissecting the article and exporting appropriate topics to other articles, and substituting links for citations. Those who see their views as thereby being slighted will scream that we may not cite WP; they will determinedly ignore the fact that the linked articles are in turn properly cited, and it makes no sense to repeat their citations second-hand, which would burden editors with an impossible maintenance task without assisting the reader to verification of anything in particular. Now, power engineering is not my field, but I would not mind helping any team who would wish to structure and word the material competently, with due regard for all objections and queries. But I am not interested in bunfights, and if we cannot buckle down in earnest and cooperate on something worthwhile, my vote is to scrap the article as it stands. JonRichfield (talk) 18:09, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how scrapping the entire article is better than making specific incremental improvements to the problem areas you see. Since the topic is now getting substantial coverage in the mainstream press because of commercialization, I'm putting the section back in the commercial development area with the less misleading title. JS Uralia (talk) 23:08, 9 February 2013 (UTC)



OCEANOGENIC POWER: hydropower, super clean, cheap (up to less than 1 cent per Kwh CIF), renewable, scalable worldwide, and now, enough. The same that moves the oceans: the earth's rotation around its own axis, and the force of gravity, mainly between the earth and moon. The very nature has allowed us a place to extract this clean energy: Panamá , within 9 degrees north, where the tangential velocity of the earth is greater than 450 meters per second and the bulge of earth with ocean water, due to the respective centrifugal force, is 22 kilometers high. It is the place that separates all the oceans of the world with 70 kilometers (44 miles) of land, and 300 meters (900 feets) maximum of height, which stops the two daily tsunamis that represent tides and travel the 40,000 kilometers of the circumference of our planet.

On the other hand, the tidal amplitude offshore (0.3 meters), coincide with the variation of distance calculated by applying to the derivative of the formula of universal gravitation, the variation of gravity due to the moon. This body of water has to move at the same speed of the tsunamis: Maximum, a little less than 300 meters per second. Then, when the moon move from Panama to Asia in 12 hours (463 meters per second), each tide would have 24 hours to do the same route, so that when a high tide reaches the other end of the Pacific in Panama already there is a new high tide.

By the other side, in the Atlantic, the bulge of water is stopped by the Americas, and its onset, especially in the northern hemisphere, has to expect the relative path of the moon on Europe, Asia and Africa, which corresponds to one quarter of the circumference of the planet or six hours.

The roundness of our planet, and the position and direction of motion of the moon relative to Earth, defines, and makes it impossible for the ocean in Cape Horn change its direction of motion, the same as the rotation of our planet.

Therefore, 24 hours a day, every day, the Pacific is exposed to the forces (two resultant) that move the whole mass of water present on earth, and every 6 hours, the exposure is practically alone on it (total force twice). The Atlantic is never alone in front of these forces; every 6 hours, it is not exposed to them; and when exposed, is only to one of them.

With a simple equation, it demonstrates why altimetry measures the Pacific is 37 cetimeters above the Atlantic.

As the cyclical components of gravitational forces is only in one direction, of most importants: towards the moon and sun, the same equation requires that the 37 centimeters also represent the minimum average difference between the Pacific and Atlantic. This difference, we have personally measured, lock to lock in the Panama Canal, already enables scaling up to 160 GW of continuous power; plus 12 Twh per day to refine cleanly sea water, oil, biomass or whatever. This is enough for five U.S. states like California, with its unquestionable research infrastructures. All the U.S. needs 2 tw average, for not using a single drop more oil, nor for power nor as raw material for industrial uses.

To convert the 0.37 to 4 meters difference in level between the Atlantic and Pacific in Panama, in heads of water of sufficient size to use hydraulic turbines, we open an spillway in Panama at the level of the Atlantic and 40 meters deep, physics tells us that in less than 45 minutes will form between the world's largest oceans, a stream whose average smaller would be 2 meters per second. High tide in the Pacific Panamanian lasts 4 hours minimum.

If the spillway is 300, 1000 or 2000 meters wide, the respective flow will be 6, 21 or 42, million gallons per second of seawater. The dynamic change of this volume of water will cause the same thing happens at the origin of any tsunami, when in the inlet and outlet spillway, this current is confronted with the hydraulic conditions, practically immutable, of two different and immense oceans.

At one end, directing and controlling the flow against the rotation of the earth and the oceans, static to each other, but in Panama, cosmically moving at 450 meters per second and 22.000 meters in height of his rest in the gravitational field. This will change the cross slope of the water in the stream, respect to the slope of the ocean. Just like when we turn the coffee into a cup, water will rise when stopping their speed and it will spill into the center of the cup, where the vortex of the vortex. In our case, the vortex of the vortex is the north pole, the effect of the spoon is by the spillway by Panama, and will decrease only slightly, the 450 meters per second rotation speed.

At the other extreme, the Atlantic: the permanent cyclonic current in the respective Panamanian coast, and due to the powerful Gulf Stream, will reduce the output speed of the current of spillway, which, by design, will be a small sample of such, causing a vacuum in the entire spillway, enough to add to the difference of real sea level where hydroelectric dam will be constructed, the apparent level of low tide caused here by the turbulent currents of the Gulf of Panama.

The Earth is a giant hydraulic pump without flow. Therefore, we can consider any of these, as analysis model.

No matter their inefficiency, when there is no flow of water: efficiency is zero, and all the energy in the shaft, is lost in heat or internal energy, and self-recirculation. When the flow rate increases, so does the efficiency until it reaches its maximum; being transferred more energy from the shaft, and lowering the energy loss. That is, one flow is primed, which implies, a percentage of the total shaft energy.

The rotational energy of our planet is 63 yottawatt-hour, at 1% efficiency, we would have at our disposal 630 zettawatt-hour.

Also, there are estimates of the energy in the powerful, ocean currents, that I think, the most powerful are four; already such estimates of lost energy (370Tw) is enough to justify our discovery. But the interesting thing is that, until the more inefficient, centrifugal pumps on our planet, if its impeller rotates, its efficiency is not less than 1%. Why think that the earth not have this efficiency, in the worst case? However, the discovery: Oceanogenic Power, and all its extraordinary implications, it is justified, although the efficiency be less than 0.000001%.

This is the source of OCEANOGENIC POWER of Panama, that only in Panama, with current technology, we can extract.

After a first project will be possible to research the details to take advantage of the same principles and escalate to serve the entire U.S. or also the whole world.

Ocharpen (talk) 11:29, 12 March 2013 (UTC)Osmand Charpentier Ocharpen (talk) 11:29, 12 March 2013 (UTC)OCEANOGENIC POWER — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ocharpen (talkcontribs) 14:38, 9 February 2013‎ UTC

Please explain what this is and what you propose we do with it. Jojalozzo 22:26, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Nuclear power proposed as renewable energy

Information on nuclear power should be in this article. It should include the fact most reactors aren't sustainable beyond a few hundred years right now, but fast reactors are.

Presently only 1 major reactor technology operating can be consider sustainable, essentially forever, the BN-600, but Phénix also demonstrated a greater than one breeding ratio and operated for ~30 years.

Therefore Nuclear power can be sustainable, as sustainable as Geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy is classified as a conventional renewable energy source here, however it consumes radioactive decay heat in the ground, with the geothermal electricity page confirming that all geothermal power plants have reduced their output after their peak. Therefore it is illogical for it to be classified as renewable whereas man made breeder reactor nuclear power is classified as non renewable(by some sources). Indeed that is one of the many reasons why pages such as Nuclear power proposed as renewable energy exists. As Stanford Professor Navid Chowdhury pointed out - The IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), decision that it will not support nuclear energy programs because its a long, complicated process, it produces waste and is relatively risky, proves that their decision has nothing to do with having a sustainable supply of fuel.

Both the Phénix reactor of the 1970s and the presently operating BN-600 are successful breeder reactors. Nuclear power has been demonstrated to be sustainable, and there is enough U-238 to run in breeder reactors for hundreds of thousands of years according to the OECD (references on the Nuclear power page). So nuclear power is just as 'renewable' as geothermal energy which as that article points out, also runs on nuclear processes - nuclear decay and is technically also 'finite' on astronomical timescales so to is breeder reactor technology. Boundarylayer (talk) 17:36, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Renewable fuels

This is not a particularly meaningful section heading,[34] as there is something completely different that is called renewable fuels - biofuel and biomass, which we already cover. Some other title is needed. What is wrong with Synthetic methanol, or Synthetic fuel? Delphi234 (talk) 04:46, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

As you agreed above, synthetic fuels, including synthetic methanol, have over the past century meant, and still mean, liquid fuels derived from solid or gaseous fossil fuel sources. As such, those terms are simply and completely inappropriate here. JS Uralia (talk) 00:45, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Was that supposed to be in the previous century? Synthetic fuels are not a century old. But calling them other renewable fuels is fine. Delphi234 (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The Sabatier reaction is exactly 100 years old, and Sabatier was hydrogenating liquid hydrocarbons in the 1800s. If you aren't familiar with the basics, you certainly shouldn't be contradicting the reliable sources based on your hunches. JS Uralia (talk) 01:15, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
It was not until 2012 that the first 250 kW plant was built. I would call that less than a century, as it is just now being developed. WP is not built on hunches but on reliable sources. Delphi234 (talk) 05:22, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
That was the first carbon neutral fuel plant, and I'm glad you agree it's in the past as a commercial development, so I will replace it in that correct section. But as you do not distinguish between carbon neutral and synthetic fuels, please note that "Peak production of 21.5 million barrels was reached in 1944." JS Uralia (talk) 06:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
No that is not in the right section. It is not an energy source, period. See the above "The primary discussion belongs on Energy carrier." And the 21.5 million barrels was from coal - clearly nothing to do with renewable energy. The rest of the sentence was "Germany operated 12 coal hydrogenation plants to produce aviation gasoline (primarily), motor gasoline, diesel, heating oils, and lubricants. Peak production of 21.5 million barrels was reached in 1944." Delphi234 (talk) 10:16, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The problem between you two appears to be that Uralia is rightly pointing out that 'synthetic fuel' is too broad a term as it predominately means the manufacturing of liquid fuels from coal and fossil gas. As renewable fuels are also carbon neutral fuels, this completely excludes classifying geothermal power plant produced synthetic fuel as renewable fuel*. Now of course, the basic chemistry behind making synthetic fuel(e.g the Sabatier reaction) is indifferent to where the carbon and hydrogen building blocks of the fuel come from, the synthetic liquid fuel producing Fischer-Tropsch process can be piped up to any hydrogen and carbon dioxide source to run on. Such as piped up to a landfill gas/'biogas' plant and the synthetic fuel produced would naturally be classified as a renewable fuel source. Another renewable source of synthetic fuel can be found when the chemical process is piped up to many other sources of carbon and hydrogen, such as sea water which contains both carbon dioxide and hydrogen, and just like the biogas to synthetic fuel route, it too needs to be coupled with a power source to provides the heat and electricity to do the chemistry magic to manufacture renewable synthetic fuels. Clearly therefore, only these two scenarios should be regarded as cases of 'renewable fuel'.
This difference should be clearly explained to readers, otherwise unscrupulous fossil fuel(e.g coal) to liquid, and non-renewable CO2 to liquid advocates will start pulling the wool over peoples eyes. For example the CO2 produced by the geothermal plant at Carbon Recycling International comes from CO2 that is not renewable*, and it results in a net increase in the CO2 in the biosphere*, it is CO2 that, (like a less extreme case of coal to liquid,) would otherwise be sent up an exhaust chimney. Sure, this is therefore CO2 that gets recycled before eventually finding its way into the atmosphere, but it is by no means 'renewable' as it results in a net increase in the CO2 inventory of the biosphere. So Renewable_energy#Carbon_neutral_and_negative_fuels should be changed to reflect this fact.
Only synthetic fuels produced with carbon sourced from the inventory already in the biosphere should be classified as renewable synthetic fuel, that includes Carbon from wood, landfill gas, and Carbon extracted from sea water, all of which are truly renewable CO2 sources. For example, Dimethyl ether is presently being produced from wood byproducts derived from paper manufacture, and the US navy are preparing to start manufacturing synthetic fuel derived from sea water via the Fischer-Tropsch Process by using their ubiquitous heat source on their supercarriers - nuclear reactors.
* CO2 from geothermal power plants, a paper presented for the international geothermal conference. - Note Figure 2 that clearly displays CO2 emissions from geothermal zones increase once a power plant begins to exploit the zone. Therefore classifying any synthetic fuel produced by geothermal plants as 'renewable synthetic fuel' is clearly incorrect as it is a net polluter of CO2.
Personally, we should strive to get away from carbonaceous fuels altogether, that is, including a move away from biomass for human health and environmental reasons e.g particulate matter inhalation, and instead for economic reasons, wherever feasible we should move towards electric cars,(reluctantly hybrids) and a reliance on more electric trains(e.g the TGV) and for heating homes - district heating and heat pumps are systems already in operation, and therefore already environmentally friendly and economical. The use of biomass, and renewable synthetic fuel should be only for supplying people and devices in remote areas, such as heating isolated homes and fueling aircraft respectively.
Boundarylayer (talk) 01:39, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Figure 2 in [35] shows CO2 from geothermal power plants which would normally be vented to exhaust instead of recycled. There is no CO2 produced or eliminated from its eventual fate in the atmosphere by the process of recycling it into fuel. It's carbon neutral in that regard. If, however, methane was being produced using CO2 from natural gas plant flue exaust, and it was burned in the same plant as a method of storing night time wind power, then that would be carbon negative because it means less CO2 per watt. (talk) 02:38, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I think you may be confusing two related concepts, that of carbon offsetting and that of carbon neutral. Remember, if the inventory of Carbon in the biosphere increases due to any activity, such as the manufacture of synthetic fuel, then this activity/produce is not carbon neutral, and therefore should not be regarded as a real 'renewable fuel'. Your definition of what is carbon neutral is, I think you'll find, pretty misleading. As for example, just to show you why - in a coal-to-liquid synthetic fuel plant, your definition would still apply - There is no CO2 produced or eliminated from its eventual fate in the atmosphere by the process of recycling it into fuel. It's carbon neutral in that regard. I really do not see how you are regarding this as a 'carbon neutral' fuel. Again I will reiterate, unless you get your Carbon and hydrogen atoms for the synthetic fuel process from carbon and hydrogen atoms already present within the biosphere, then you will be polluting the atmosphere, and you're therefore not 'carbon neutral'. You are just adding to the problem. Especially considering the fact most of all hydrogen gas necessary to produce synthetic fuel is sourced from fossil gas.
The paper presented for the international geothermal conference. note Figure 2, clearly displays CO2 emissions from geothermal zones increase once a geothermal power plant begins to exploit the zone, indeed the geothermal power page states- geothermal power is one-eighth as polluting as Coal, per unit of energy generated. Therefore classifying any synthetic fuel produced by geothermal plants as 'renewable synthetic fuel' is clearly misleading as it is a net emitter of CO2 and a sizable one at that for the power it produces. Now it is, of course, an improvement over a Coal-to-liquid plant, and a gas-to-liquid plant, and gets my thumbs up, but there is no escaping the fact that it is not carbon neutral, as it is still polluting the biosphere with more carbon dioxide than was there before you started.
As I've noted above, a far less questionable example of a truly renewable fuel process is - Chemrec's. As their carbon source is biomass,(biomass-to-liquid) and if they get their hydrogen from water dissociation, then, their liquid fuel produce would be truly a carbon neutral fuel and a real, undeniable, example of a 'renewable fuel'.
Boundarylayer (talk) 00:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that the geothermal plant's CO2 would not have vented if it wasn't being recycled? Or that coal for liquid fuels would reach the atmosphere if it wasn't being used for fuel? (talk) 02:52, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
No I'm not suggesting that. What I am trying to communicate is that, as the CO2 eventually reaches the atmosphere when you burn the synthetic fuel produced from flue gas capture, its not really saving the atmosphere a whole lot at all. Just as you wouldn't call synthetic fuel produced from coal in 1944 Nazi Germany 'renewable fuel', neither should you really call synthetic fuel produced by any modern day Coal plant's flue gases- 'renewable fuel', or for that matter, synthetic fuel produced from a Geothermal plant's flue gases a - 'renewable fuel'.
Now, as I've said, don't get me wrong, the Geothermal plant is a big improvement over the Coal plant(thumbs up!), and there are real CO2 'savings' to be made by manufacturing synthetic fuel from CO2 flue gas emissions from a geothermal plant - savings in comparison to drilling for the black stuff anyway. But don't you agree that Chemrec's process is far less questionably a true 'renewable fuel' - As the Carbon used in this synthetic fuels chemical building blocks, comes from the biosphere, and this carbon will ultimately return to biomass form, upon which time the process could be repeated again?
Boundarylayer (talk) 07:31, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

NPOV editing request

I am concerned by the contribution by Alpha Sigma 111 to the Renewable energy debate section. Though I have only conditional reservations on the statements, their presentation takes the form of debate rather than reporting of debate. I considered doing a revert, but dislike doing that when the author might instead be willing to modify or elaborate text appropriately. Would anyone, (perhaps Alpha Sigma 111 personally) be willing to modify the text so that it reports the debate rather than continuing it in this section of the article? JonRichfield (talk) 16:10, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


According to the article's own definition, biomass should not be renewable, as it is not from "resources which are continually replenished." Yet following that very definition the article includes biomass in enumerating total renewable energy generation. This is confusing and wrong. Worse, it looks to be calculated to give a biased account of renewables' importance.

Pensiveneko (talk) 12:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)PensivenekoPensiveneko (talk) 12:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, many sources of biomass are not renewable. Such as logging in the Amazon jungle, when the area is not replanted with trees. I have added a section in the intro called Indirect land use change impacts of biofuels that somewhat attempts to balance this highly promotional article, that was chock full of unwarranted cheerleading, especially so towards biomass.
Boundarylayer (talk) 20:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Ethanol is no more renewable than petroleum or coal

Once you lump ethanol in with solar and wind, the term 'renewable' begins to lose all meaning. Instead of defining a type of energy generation relying on a self-replenishing resource, it turns into a catch-all term for anything that's not a fossil fuel. Sugar cane is no more renewable than petroleum is renewable as buried biomass turns into petrol. The article misleads the readers and inflates renewable energy's generation capacity by including completely unrelated energy sources such as ethanol and other finite biomass resources. Pensiveneko (talk) 14:05, 7 June 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pensiveneko (talkcontribs) 12:51, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but your remark does not stand up to analysis. It is possible to make ethanol from fossil chemical fuels, certainly, and ethanol from such a process is no more renewable than petroleum or coal, equally certainly, but the main interest in ethanol as a renewable fuel is as produced from recently grown biomass, not "buried biomass". Fuel from such fresh biomass then certainly is renewable in the sense of using solar power to regenerate CO2 to the largely reduced and usable form of ethanol. (Whether this is a useful or even sane thing to do is a larger question and depends on the agricultural, commercial and technical strategies involved, but that is a separate question.) If your point is that fossil fuel is buried biomass, then sure, but useful fossil fuel ranges in age from thousands of years old for some kinds of peat, to hundreds of millions of years old, for some kinds of coal and oil. If we were to conflate those with renewable fuels, given that they all would be burnt up in decades to a few centuries at current rates of consumption, whereas they would take millions of years to regenerate as new coal and oil, then your idea of renewability may be a nice example of positive thinking, but not of practicality. Recycling by growing plants may be harder than some silly tree-huggers and tame politicians thought it would be, but it still offers a renewal cycle of one year to a few decades, depending on the crop. Not the same thing in practice; not by orders of magnitude! JonRichfield (talk) 09:12, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Original poster, although you are technically correct when you write - Sugar cane is no more renewable than petroleum is renewable as buried biomass turns into petrol. The rate of fossil fuel extraction by humans is much higher than the rate at which it is naturally created. So yes, technically speaking, using fossil fuels at the same rate that it is created, would indeed be renewable.
Problem is, we're not following the natural rate.
Similarly logging trees at a faster rate than they grow back is also not technically renewable, doing so is consuming biomass energy but not a renewable biomass energy source. Non-renewable biomass extraction has occurred throughout history for example in Europe, a once totally forested continent, ironically it was only with the switch to coal and oil that saved the European continent from a fate of complete deforestation.
So I agree with the Original poster that biomass is not always renewable, and that fossil fuel usage is not always nonrenewable. In the interest of being informative and preventing this objection being raised again, some explanation to this effect is warranted in the article.
Boundarylayer (talk) 21:06, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Following the convention established in the introduction of the nuclear power page

The nuclear power page includes a paragraph on the debate on nuclear power and a paragraph on nuclear accidents in its introduction. As this renewable energy article made zero mention to both the debate on renewables and on deaths due to renewable energy usage, it was necessary to correct this.

As the saying goes, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander".

The following was therefore added.

There is an ongoing renewable energy debate, the debate on biofuels include the food vs fuel dilemma and the Indirect land use change impacts of biofuels. The debate on hydropower installations usually revolve around the footprint of dam floodplains, with for example the Three Gorges dam, the largest renewable electricity source in the world, having displaced 1.3 million people,[39][40] and garnered environmental criticism.[41] The debate on new renewables, such as wind and solar, is usually much less intense, and focuses on their intermittent supply of electricity, higher cost of electricity, and a small but growing community opposition to the industrialized footprint of large solar and wind farm installations.[42] Renewable energy accidents with large losses of life include the Banqiao dam failure and the inhalation of particulate matter from the burning of biomass.

Boundarylayer (talk) 20:48, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

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