Template talk:Sustainable energy/Archive 1

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Use of this template

See Template talk:Renewable energy sources#Template: Sustainable energy -- Johnfos (talk) 21:27, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion this template should not be used anywhere, as it is a massive violation of WP:NOR. In fact I am just going to redirect it to the Renewable energy sources template. (talk) 13:26, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

In general, templates cannot be NOR. In view of your objections, I have renamed it to a more inclusive category. LK (talk) 15:13, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
It is when you include items that have nothing to do with sustainable energy, like flex fuel vehicles and hybrids. I still would not recommend this template be used anywhere because it is way too huge. These belong at the bottom of an article, not at the top. And it is such an eclectic combination of articles as to be useless. I would classify it simply as some of the articles you are interested in, and as such should only be used on your user page, not on any article. (talk) 12:29, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
And before you start spamming it all over the place, please get consensus that the template is a)useful and b) properly designed. As it stands it is neither. However, what you could do, is redesign it so that it goes at the bottom of the articles, like the {{Peak oil}} template, and lose the goofy green colors. This is an encyclopedia, not a popular magazine. It needs to be useful, not hip. Using "green" for "green energy" is simply not appropriate. You will also need to restrict the articles linked to ones that are directly related to sustainable energy, although I would point out that renewable energy is synonymous with sustainable energy, other than, to some people, some forms of nuclear that do not currently exist. And creating a template that included renewable energy topics with nuclear topics is a recipe for a nighmare. (talk) 13:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Dear, Please do not mass undo an editor's work, so as to impose your preferences. That is neither civil nor appropriate. I note that you object to the size of this navbox, but this nav box is small compared with the majority of navboxes on wikipedia. In my opinion, the contents are all related to sustainable energy, as I have mainly followed the links on the page sustainable energy to put this navbox together. But if you think some links should be removed, please do so and leave a reason here on the talk page. However, please be prepared that others may disagree with your and add them back. LK (talk) 15:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I will wait to see if others add them back. So far every comment on your template has been in opposition to it. If you can get it to the point that people like it, sure they will add it. But there is no excuse for you adding it. You are just spamming if you do. (talk) 19:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Currently, most of the pages that this navbox is sitting on have no other navboxes, as such I think this navbox is useful, as having a navbox there helps people find other relevant articles. LK (talk) 15:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
That in my opinion is a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of a navblock. It is not a suggestion of "you might also like these articles", it is a list of closely defined articles to allow readers to flip back and forth between them. There is nothing wrong with every article not having a navblock, let alone any article not having a navblock. Large navblocks in particular are to be avoided like the plague, as they take up valuable real estate at the beginning of the article. (talk) 19:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

In terms of format and usefulness I would compare this sidebar to Template:Recycling. However, there are a number of topics currently included that seem to be weakly related rather than sub-topics of Sustainable energy. I would suggest that conservation and transportation article links are removed, as though it can be argued that they are related to sustainability, they are not examples of sustainable energy.—Teahot (talk) 15:30, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Your points are well taken. Although I recognize your concerns, and I understand why you make them, I would like to note that on the sustainable energy page it states that, "Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable sources, such as biofuels, solar power, wind power, wave power, geothermal power and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency." And so I think the section on efficiency should remain. (BTW I did not write that paragraph, but the emphasis is mine.) However, I do agree that some of the articles are only tangentially related, and can be removed. (Recycling for example.) LK (talk) 17:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Well you can unwrite that highlighted section. Efficiency is important, but not a part of sustainable energy. Efficiency is important for three reasons. 1) If you have a limited supply of energy the quickest way to increase your supply is to increase your efficiency and use less. 2) It is stupid to waste energy needlessly regardless of your supply. 3) Efficiency in itself does not pollute more, it pollutes less, and is therefore good for the environment. So no, efficiency is not a part of sustainable energy, but instead is a part of any energy policy. Do you believe everything you read in Wikipedia? (Don't answer that - I don't want to know.) (talk) 19:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
That was a personal comment and just rude. Please try an be WP:civil. LK (talk) 19:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I would also like to note that several non-profits and other organizations define sustainable energy as any technologiesthat increase the amount of energy available for future generations, including increased efficiency etc. For example Invest, an technologically orienteered nonprofit organization states: "Our Definition of Sustainable Energy: Any energy generation, efficiency & conservation source where: Resources are available to enable massive scaling to become a significant portion of energy generation, long term, preferably 100 years.. " [1] LK (talk) 19:48, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Efficiency and conservation are important parts of any energy policy, but are not unique to sustainability. Anyone who includes them in a definition of energy is stretching the definition of energy - they are not a source of energy, but if you use them you have more energy that can be used for other things. We used to call that negawatts. There may be an article about it. (talk) 06:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, the book Sustainable energy by J. W. Tester, et. al from MIT Press, define sustainable energy as: "As dynamic harmony between equitable availability of energy-intensive goods and services to all people and the preservation of the earth for future generations." And states that "The solution will lie in finding sustainable energy sources and more efficient means of converting and utilizing energy."
And,the book also suggests another well know definition: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
Since that academic book from MIT press is a reliable source, I believe that its clear that sustainable energy is about more than just renewable energy sources. LK (talk) 20:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, anytime someone puts two words together, I tend to look up the meaning of each word and come to my own conclusion as to the meaning of the term, I guess. If I was writing a book on Sustainable Energy, I might put in a grandiose expectation of sustainable energy, but I would not write "the definition of sustainable energy is a dynamic harmony between equitable availability of energy-intensive goods and services to all people and the preservation of the earth for future generations." Also, as pointed out, efficiency is not unique to sustainable energy, but is a part of any energy policy. (talk) 06:08, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Is this template appropriate?

Since there has been some controversy over this, I would like to call for an RfC to settle this issue. Questions:

  • Is this template, Template:Sustainable energy, appropriate and/or useful?
  • Should this template be displayed on the pages that it links to?

Thanks, -LK (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

  • I made this navbox template with links and categories guided by the page on Sustainable energy, which I believe is the overarching concept for energy related articles like 'green energy', renewable energy', 'energy conservation', 'alternative energy', 'energy efficiency', etc. I have noticed that there is a veritable host of pages about these and related topics, and very often, no well defined structure or relationship to them. They often don't mention each other, and there's no way to figure what's there or how everything fits together. That's why I made the template. As is standard practice for a template, I added it to all the pages the template linked to that were without navboxes, and a few other obviously related pages (also without navboxes). This was done in the hopes that it will help people understand what's there, how things fit together, and find related articles. I still feel strongly that something like this navbox is necessary. If not the navbox I created, then something like it, e.g. parent article/subarticle headings in the articles to help people understand what's there and how things fit together. LK (talk) 09:55, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it is useful. The main question off-wiki and possibly here too may be how to prevent apologists for the petroleum industry and their familiars arguing that "sustainable" should mean "slightly less damaging". Flexible-fuel vehicle is a dubious inclusion in my view. Ben MacDui 08:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak Support It is useful but needs trimming to be fully appropriate. The template should include examples of sustainable energy but not related topics, such as transport and conservation. Other templates already exist for these associated topics. The second point seems moot as the point of such a sidebar template is that it gets displayed on the pages it links to, otherwise it may as well be a category (a good argument for limiting the number of included links).—Teahot (talk) 09:05, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The only place it is useful in its present form is on a user page. One can simply not make a list of a huge number of articles and think that it is going to be useful. Articles simply do not have the space for huge infoboxes, and they contribute nothing. It could be cleaned up, have the colors replaced with neutral colors like on {{peak oil}}, and used at the bottom of articles, however, but that is up to the discretion of whoever is working on the article, and should not be automatic just because the link is on the navbox. Using green for green energy is fine for a popular magazine, but not acceptable for an encyclopedia. It is just plain goofy. (talk) 12:45, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Not useful. I echo some of 199.125.109s comments. One can simply not make a list of a links for a large number of articles and simply think that it is going to be useful. The front end of articles simply do not have the space for large infoboxes, and they contribute little except clutter and distraction in articles which already have a large number of links in the text. However, we already have the compact "Renewable energy sources" template, shown to the right, and this has served well on many renewable energy articles. There is no way that this should be replaced by the new "Sustainable energy" template. And no way that we should have this and the new template as well on any given page. Johnfos (talk) 18:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Not particularly useful. The various types of use of energy (passive solar/solar thermal for heating, for example) are also parts of Solar energy - why include them twice? Conservation and efficiency is an important part of anything economical and sustainable, not only power. This template is less focused than "Renewable energy sources", less coherent in content, and takes more space on a page. MaxVT (talk) 14:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In conclusion, there are two editors who find it could be useful in some articles, but more who consider it to be of little use. I would suggest not re-adding it to any article that it has been removed from. The issues of trimming it remain, for example, removing conservation and transportation. As an aside, I still think that green is too goofy a color to use, but then, it is also highly likely that I will simply remove it from any article I see it on. (talk) 16:05, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Bit early to be closing isn't it? Also, you haven't taken my views into account. Including myself, I would count that as three on each side so far. LK (talk) 18:02, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Needs improvement. There are certainly many people researching energy sustainability these days, and they will want to browse through a range of articles similar to this. Sustainability is about matching demand and supply in the long-term, so there is a need for a navigation box that covers both ends of the system. Having said that, I don't like its visual design. The green is fine - no one said encyclopedias have to be colourless, and green does not indicate bias. On the contrary, the green colour is a useful visual cue, part of the good visual design that I would want to see. The main problem is that it's way too big, and unnecessarily so given all the empty space. I have to use the scroll bar to see it all. And many of the links lead to a somewhat different page (though relevant) that the display text. These flaws work to defeat the purpose of a navbox - rapid navigation shortcuts. To improve this template, I would start by going back to basics - just list renewable energy, energy conservation, green building, and sustainable transport, and don't pipe the links. If we really want the template to be comprehensive, a footer {{Navbox}} should be considered.--Yannick (talk) 05:53, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Good points. I will edit as you suggested. Please feel free to edit as you see fit as well. LK (talk) 06:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
It's already much better now! I'd say that's a useful template.--Yannick (talk) 10:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this box should be on more pages, its hard to suss out whats around. Darx9url (talk) 05:03, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Electric Vehicle vs Electric Car

The template currently links to the article on electric cars in place of the article on electric vehicles, though the latter term is used in the infobox. Would it be more appropriate to direct the reader to the article on electric vehicles in general, rather than just one form of a mode of sustainable transport, the electric car? AniRaptor2001 (talk) 22:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out. LK (talk) 06:06, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Replaced biofuels with plug-in hybrids

Biofuels are not necessarily sustainable. Many of them have a relatively large carbon footprint and very few have a neutral or negative carbon footprint. The same can be said of plug-in hybrids except that as a transitional appropriate technology they have a far greater chance of reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector as a whole, being as they are electric vehicles unless recharging isn't available. (talk) 02:22, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Accepeted that some biofuels are unsustainable, but some certainly are - for example biogas produced from anaerobic digestion of waste organic matter and woodgas derived from the gasification of sustainably sourced biomass. You could however also argue that wind power is not sustainable - it only currently provides useful energy when the wind is blowing. Microgeneration may also not be sustainable and is linked here. Plug in hybrids are also not necessarily sustainable if the power is derived from fossil fuel power plants.--Alex Marshall (talk) 12:45, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

'Traditional Renewables'

A recent inclusion into this template has been reverted. Sustainable energy should certainly not relate to 'traditional renewables'. Sustainable energy needs to encompass all renewable energy technology categories and not just bloody windfarms. There is great potential to think outside the box to include all relevant renewable energy technologies - gaseous ones being an important component of that and a significant contributor to the overall renewable energy sector.--Alex Marshall (talk) 13:59, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Traditional or mainstream renewables are those defined by the International Energy Agency:

Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources.[1]

Other technologies are not normally classified as renewable and should not be included in the Renewable energy section of this template. Johnfos (talk) 23:46, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Johnfos: I accept your citation of the International Energy Agency (IEA). You clearly must not have an understanding of their work. The IEA bioenergy department has a series of tasks related to different forms of bioenergy.

IEA task 37 is a dedicated group for biogas, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas http://www.iea-biogas.net/

IEA task 33 is a dedicated group for thermal gasification of biomass http://www.gastechnology.org/webroot/app/xn/xd.aspx?it=enweb&xd=iea/homepage.xml

  • Biogas - Is a renewable & sustainable source of power originating from the biological decomposition of recently grown materials (DERIVED FROM BIOMASS/BIOFUELS AS PER IEA QUOTE ABOVE)
  • Landfill gas - As above and is widely supported throughout the European Union and beyond as a source of renewable power. I could accept the arguement this isnt wholly sustainable but it is certainly renewable (DERIVED FROM BIOMASS/BIOFUELS AS PER QUOTE ABOVE)
  • Gasification - When biomass is used as the fuel for the gasifier this is deemed to be renewable / sustainable energy (DERIVED FROM BIOMASS/BIOFUEL AS PER QUOTE ABOVE).

Sustainable and renewable energy is NOT just about hydro and wind.

Please cease from making unjustified alterations to this template.

Thanks --Alex Marshall (talk) 10:16, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Many people see their pet energy technology as renewable. Even nuclear power advocates see their technology as renewable. Where will it end? I think the safest thing to do, especially in a small template where limited space is available, is to stick to the mainstream renewables as defined by the IEA in the renewable energy section of the template.
But I can see that you will be unwilling to accept this, given your shouting (use of capitals) and the strident comments you have made. So be it.
If you are a professional person why would you resort to a comment like "ABSOLUTE RUBBISH" instead of discussing the issue in a sensible way? It just undermines your own credibility and makes it look like you are POV pushing. Johnfos (talk) 00:15, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
1) Anaerobic digestion , gasification and the generation of power from landfill gas are not my 'pet energy technologies'. The technologies are recognised globally (and by the IEA as you quote) to be renewable technologies, this is not POV this is FACT. By definition, nuclear energy in its current form is not renewable. It utilsises a finite fuel source to feed the process. Nuclear energy is however one of the closest technologies we currently have to being near zero carbon.
2) With respect to this template 'sustainable energy' and 'renewable energy' should represent just that. Not just technologies people readily recognise as renewable such as wind power, hydro and solar. These technologies alone are currently NOT capable of meeting our existing or future energy supply requirements, subject to some great change in technology (think demand, electricity peaking, potential and think how often does the wind blow/sun shine?). Clear distinctions are needed in wikipedia between 'renewable', 'sustainable' and 'low carbon'. They are not mutually inclusive.
3) As per my earlier comment, anaerobic digestion, (biomass) gasification and landfill gas ARE 'mainstream' renewables. Again I strongly dislike the utilisation and the term 'mainstream' technologies as it is misleading and your deletion implies you only consider this to be widely recognised and visible technologies. During the last 20 years in the UK, landfill gas was one of the few forms of renewable energy technology that was widely deployed and I'm sure this isn't far from the truth in the US also. In the future, in accordance with the EU 2020 targets, bioenergy technologies are set to make a contribution of over 20% of future UK renewable energy production UK Renewable Energy Strategy. Papers have been published to show bioenergy could account for 15% of global primarly energy by 2050.
4) My comments were strongly worded as you instantly reverted my edits without discussing your concerns. You nonchalently stated 'mainstream renewables only'. I stand by my comment that it is absolute rubbish that only 'mainstream' (widely recognised) renewable technologies should be considered in this template. Your edit and comments above also suggest to me you are more interested in keeping the template neat rather than having an appropriate structure. What further concerned me about your actions is that you reverted my edit on the gasification page with respect to its renewable credentials. I have clarified and referenced my further adjustments.
5) This template provides value by leading wikipedia readers to all forms of renewable energy where practical, if the template cannot be balanced and neutral it should not exist at all.

--Alex Marshall (talk) 12:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ IEA Renewable Energy Working Party (2002). Renewable Energy... into the mainstream, p. 9.