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Old 04-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
Tommycat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur View Post
OK, guys, I know what she's saying.

Hydrogen is extracted from water by running an electrical current through the water, which is known as electrolysis. D-Y is arguing that power plants must produce this electricity, and that these power plants pollute, which is essentially correct, given that a large percentage of them in the US burn fossil fuels like coal, which is not a good thing.

Before things got carried away in the other thread, I was under the impression that I had clarified that the first priority would be to completely switch to non-emissive methods of generating electricity, such as nuclear power plants, to generate all of the electricity necessary to produce the hydrogen, which would make the hydrogen truly emission-free. A secondary priority would be to ensure that these methods use renewable resources (or close to it, as in the case of breeder reactors) and that the net cost of the power generated is so cheap that the efficiency question isn't such a big issue.

One source of energy with the potential to solve this particular problem is tidal power. If constructed with environmental considerations in mind, tidal hydroelectric power plants have the potential to generate vast amounts of cheap (once the construction costs are recovered), emission-free power while making a minimal impact on the environment.
As I noted, earlier. When you have a choice of burning fossil fuels in a 30% efficiency system or a 90% efficiency system, it makes better sense to at least move it there. Baby steps if you will. Gotta crawl before you walk. Gotta walk before you can run.

As for tidal power it suffers from the same drawbacks as solar, wind and geothermal. The middle of the US can't utilize it because it isn't available in all areas. It is location dependent. That is not to say we shouldn't use it. Just that we have to have something that is not location dependent. Until we have a viable replacement, nuclear is still the best for other areas.


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