RFK Jr. Wants Every Home In America To Be A Power Plant

“We need a grid system that would turn every American into an energy entrepreneur, every home into a power plant, power our country based upon American ingenuity, resourcefulness, human energy what Franklin Roosevelt called American industrial genius, rather than Saudi Arabian oil.”

http://www.talkradionews.com/

About stevengoddard

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22 Responses to RFK Jr. Wants Every Home In America To Be A Power Plant

  1. Glen Shevlin says:

    the man has a point, of course the oil companies might not like it much

  2. PhilJourdan says:

    Mao’s Great leap forward.

  3. Mike Davis says:

    We can all build 17th century coal fired power plants that do not have scrubbers and produce more pollutants per unit of power generated. Then claaim we reduced the large CO2 emitting plants. \RFK jr must be high on something!

  4. suyts says:

    Geez, no wonder the east coast is so screwed up. Someone should clue in that dolt that our grid isn’t powered by oil, Arabian or otherwise. (An insignificant amount.)

    Coal 1,764,486 petol liquid 25,792 petrol coke 13,035 Nat Gas 920,378 other gases 10,698 nuclear 798,745 hydro 272,131 other renewables 141,115

    Numbers in thousands of Megawatt-hours…… Numbers for 2009.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html

    Something alarming from that link. All cheap sources of electricity(coal, nuke, and hydro) have a downward production trend. To all the whack jobs like junior, thanks for exasperating the recession. Its nice to know people like junior don’t have to decide between food or heat this winter. How many will die this year because of these whack job Malthusian Neros.

  5. peterhodges says:

    i dunno, i think it’s a great idea.

    i would like to be energy independent but i just can’t afford it.

  6. mkelly says:

    Let’s outfit all homes with the same power plant in space craft. Small nuclear ones.

  7. BioBob says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with developing and deploying natural gas based “fuel cell” tech in homes — provided it can be done economically. There is certainly a possibility that this is feasible in the short term.

    • suyts says:

      Bob, I don’t see it being economical, at least in the short term. Perhaps we’ll get there one day with mini-nukes in each home, and I hope we do. But nat gas? The cost would probably be prohibitive, as that it is already very expensive without a further increase in demand.

      • peterhodges says:

        and if you are going to distribute gas you may as well just distribute electricity

      • CameronH says:

        Bob, Natural gas is much more expensive and dangerous to transport than electricity. Electricity is the cheapest form to energy to “transport” by a large margin. The move away from the cheapest forms of electricity generation is basically criminal, in my view, as it will put a large, and increasing, percentage of the population into energy poverty. This will not be good it the servere winters of the past few years continue.

      • BioBob says:

        Suyts, your information is in error.

        In the USA, typically, electricity is 50% MORE expensive than natural gas per btu delivered. With the addition of the newly discovered/proven reserves from the Marcellus, Bakken, Montney, etc hard shale deposits, the US has over 200 years of natural gas reserves now. Natural gas is already distributed to over 52% of all US homes already with an extensive distribution system ( http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/images/map_us_ng_pipelines.gif ). 70% of all new US house construction includes a natural gas connection.

        At this point, all that is needed is enough mass market penetration to drive down unit expenses and perhaps some cheaper implementations and it would take off.
        http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/22/the-bloom-box-a-power-plant-for-the-home-video/

        It certainly is on the edge of possible solutions, and certainly could slip into mainstream with minimal energy price shifting.

    • suyts says:

      Biobob,

      No, my information is not in error. First, let me say NG has a huge role in powering this nation. However, 52% is a ludicrous statistic. That means nearly half doesn’t. More to the point, why do you think there isn’t natural gas propagated to 30% of the new homes being built today?………. Because it isn’t cost effective.

      Today, my house, and all of my neighbors, for miles around, use propane. Why?

      What about the price? Do you think that if we suddenly started supplying almost half of this nation with natural gas that the price wouldn’t almost double? How much is it in your neck of the woods? Have you broke it down in terms of BTU’s? In terms of generating electricity, it is 3 times as much as coal.

      A quote from your second link, ……………………………………………………………….
      “Bloom’s design feeds oxygen into one side of a cell while fuel (natural gas, bio gas from landfill waste, solar, etc) is supplied to the other side to provide the chemical reaction required for power.”

      Solar and natural gas? Really? Please show me how that works. As far as I know, (and I don’t proclaim to know much of anything) solar power only generates electricity. As far as I know, natural gas generates power by igniting. I suppose there could be a pressure thing going on with NG, but that would be a waste.

      Bob, I don’t mean to be mean, but with the links provided, it is a scam. 60 minutes is famous for not knowing chit from shinola. NG is a good thing. We should pump as much as we can. But right now, in terms of cost effectiveness, it doesn’t come close to nuke, coal, hydro, or even oil and its byproducts. I should also mention, NG would be more cost effective if we didn’t have these insidious windmills that drive up the cost of natural gas. Maybe in the next decade or two, but we still have the availability and transport to worry about.

      Bob, if you’ve any thing else to add or to detract, for that matter, I’m more than willing to read and attempt to digest what you are stating. Thanks,

      James

      • BioBob says:

        I didn’t want to get all technical on you suyts/James, but here goes w math proof, since you are too lazy to google the sad truth.

        therm = 100,000 British thermal units = 100 cu ft nat gas = between $1.05 and $1.59
        [10 x 100 = MCFT (1,000) = 10.48 to 15.87 for 2010]
        http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n3010us3m.htm

        KwH = 10.54 cents to 12.02
        http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_3.html

        A furnace efficiency of 80% will use 12.5 therms to produce the million BTU’s. An electric heater would consume 293 kilowatt hours to produce the million BTU’s.
        http://www.familytymes.org/familybudget/gasvselectric.htm

        and here is the sad truth:
        Gas = 12.5 x $1.05 = 13.125
        Gas = 12.5 x $1.59 = 19.875
        Elec = 293 x $0.1054 = 30.8822
        Elec = 293 x $0.1202 = 35.2186

        So electricity is from 268% to 155% more expensive than elect, even worse than I said before. psssssffffssssss!!!

        It is pretty obvious that Nat Gas is much cheaper per BTU of heat than electricity.

        I fail to understand why you think the fact that approximately 85 million homes is “a totally ludicrous” marketplace for natural gas and natural gas fuel cells ?. The remainder of the homes in the USA without natural gas are similar to those without cable or cell phones today. It is simply too expensive for the utility to run the gas lines to one house miles away from the nearest gas line etc etc. The reason why 30% of new homes are not hooked up to nat gas is the same.

        Let’s assume the cost for natural gas is $15.00 per 1,000 cubic feet. This means that $15.00 will purchase approximately 1.03 million BTU’s of energy. This would be equivalent to 11.26 gallons of propane. At $2.50 per gallon of propane, natural gas would be a more cost effective energy solution. Breaking it down even further, natural gas needs to be more than $28.00 per 1,000 cubic feet for propane to be a more cost effective energy solution (provided the cost for propane is $2.50 per gallon.
        http://www.propane101.com/propanevsnaturalgas.htm

        Propane is employed where natural gas in NOT available = no pipelines from utility, as I said above.

        As you can see from my earlier link for natural gas, the price per MCF has actually dropped considerably because of the recent “Glut” and all the new discoveries, however, since propane and a considerable portion of electricity is made from natural gas, electricity and propane will ALWAYS be more expensive barring new tech.

        Fuel cells are not scams. NASA has been using fuel cells for decades. You clearly do NOT understand what a fuel cell is and I won’t try to educate you. A fuel cell does not ignite natural gas. Look it up and learn something.

        You could use some education in logic while you are at it.

      • suyts says:

        Wow Bob, good morning! I went to bed and this morning I woke to this! Kinda like discovering a bag a chit on your porch by stepping in it……….eeeewww.

        Bob, first let me acknowledge that I’m sometimes a bit too blunt in my writing style that evokes emotive responses. Sorry for that.

        Your second link, go up one directory, and look at figure 3. As you can see, I was in error. Gas doesn’t cost 3 times as much right now(it did last winter), but is closer to 2.5 as much, although I expect it to rise as we go through winter.

        One of the big problems people run into when discussing prices and cost of energy is the thought that all things are static. They aren’t.

        Earlier you stated, “Natural gas is already distributed to over 52% of all US homes already with an extensive distribution system…” So what happens to the cost when you almost double the demand and lower the available supply? More than that though, earlier I stated, “….Because it isn’t cost effective.

        Today, my house, and all of my neighbors, for miles around, use propane. Why?” It was my hope that you’d see that I was alluding to the cost of delivery and administration. Bob, I heat by propane and electric because it is the most cost effective alternative I have at the moment. You wanna pay to deliver NG to my home? By all means get jiggy with it. But I would caution you, there’s several miles of rock that you’ll have to burrow through to get it here.

        As far as your fuel cells(as seen on 60 minutes) I asked for an explanation on how it converts both solar and natural gas in the same little box. You get “all technical” on me with the price per kWh and BTUs, (oddly, without perusing the rest of the material available) but you couldn’t be bothered to remotely clarify what occurs within your fuel cell?

        Another pratfall the people often fall into, is the assumption that just because a person asks a question that the person is entirely ignorant of the subject. I’m assuming you are referring to the electrochemical cell that transforms energy sources to electricity. As you quoted earlier, with your furnaces, NG in its present state is much more efficient to burn than converting it to electricity. It doesn’t make sense to heat a house or cook with electricity generated by NG. You lose too much in the conversion process. More, once converted to electric, the energy is subject to Ohm’s law.(I’d break it down for you, but I’ll keep with your precedence of not getting too technical.) But I will summarize for you, Bob, as I stated earlier, NG is vitally important to the energy equation in the U.S. But, mucking with it is insane. NG works when it is delivered in its present state, and then ignited to utilize its energy potential. Converting it to another form of energy(electricity) reduces efficiency and increases cost. More over, as you stated earlier, almost half the homes in the U.S. do not have access to NG. The reason is because it isn’t cost effective to pipe it there.

        Bob, try decaf. I mean, really? since you are too lazy to google.. and You could use some education in logic.. Gee Bob, if you’d bothered reading my post above, you’d see where I reference the EIA before you did. Secondly, you’re moving your utilization of NG in various forms energy and errantly assuming the same efficiency. Also, you didn’t consider supply and demand economics in your pricing quotes. While you stated I was too lazy to Google, you, apparently, were too lazy to even read the material available at the web site you were already on. In the interest of goodwill, (it being the season and all) I won’t even approach the subject of your logic.

        Best wishes,

        James

  8. Mike Davis says:

    I have to add a half cent to this discussion!
    The most cost effective way to use natural gas for power is to use it to produce electricity commercially in the largest steam plant that can be built because volume reduces unit cost.
    I had to use Propane for heat in winter 2005 /06 it cost 40 dollars a week for cooking and heat unless it was real cold then it went up to 60 dollars. Of course I was living in a trailer until my house was built and using portable tanks that needed to be taken to a refill site as propane is not available delivered in my neighborhood without a premium and natural gas is not available here in the woods.
    We are 30 years behind on nuclear energy and the environmentalists are the reason for that. But for the time being coal needs to be utilized until this country can be populated with enough nukes to provide all power that is not provided by hydro plants whose primary purpose is flood control line the one that dams up the lake behind my place or Boulder Dam in Nevada. The positives out weigh the negatives for coal right now but hopefully coal plants can be phased out, as they reach retirement age, with new forms of energy production.
    Any form of small energy production facility for personal use is not a cost effective solution. I could have stayed off grid in my house but it would have been throwing away money with negative return on investment and more money needed to replace worn out equipment before it paid for itself based on average product life.
    and environment factors.

    • suyts says:

      Mike, you’ve made some great points, rightly and correctly! I would like to point out a few things that I may disagree with though. I hope I can do this without gaining any angst against me from you.

      Natural gas is a great power source. It is extremely effective in creating heat. In my mind, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to heat a home(or cook, or heat water) with electricity(generated by natural gas) when one can without the cost of efficiency of the power lines. If one can get natural gas to the home, then that’s a win! If one has to use natural gas several hundred miles miles away, transport the energy via copper/aluminum only to transfer it back to heating food, home and water, then there is no gain, only additional cost and line loss. More to the point, please see my earlier statement on cost of electric generation via natural gas.

      The reason why our power sources are utilize the way they are now is because this is the most efficient way today. Is it efficient in general? No, probably not. For the resources we have today, it is probably the best we have. Cook and heat with natural gas. Light with electricity fired by hydro, coal or nuke. Motor by gasoline. Today, without outside forces, this is your best bang for the buck.

      In the near future, we could, if we chose, be lighted by nuke, heated by natural gas and motored by hydrogen. In the far future, all of the above can be accomplished by the renewables we are pursuing today. The wind and sun. But, not now, and not anytime soon.

      • Mike Davis says:

        suyts:
        Having spent most of my life where natural gas was available in homes I used Balanced Power. The method that was most cost effective was used for my energy needs. Here at my current lication I am many miles away from natural gas and have electric heat for emergency back up. For me the cheapest source of warmth is my South facing sun room where it is 40 degrees warmer than the outside temperature even at 11:30 EST. With insulation properties the house will maintain comfortable conditions until tomorrow morning. I also use a wood stove for heat when it gets colder or the sun is behind clouds. The difference between electricity and having propane delivered resulted in staying with electricity from hydro power on the rural electric grid. If I was living in a more urban or suburban situation I would have balanced power and the use of wood is only because I have over 70 acres of forest available as a source.
        The best BANG for the Buck depends on regional conditions and I agree with your claims!

      • suyts says:

        Thanks Mike, you stated in one paragraph what I babbled incessantly to attempt to say. The search for the panacea of energy or the silver bullet to costs is a pipe dream. We’ll get there one day.

  9. BioBob says:

    You amaze me suyts. Why can’t you simply admit you were wrong about the cost of gas vs electricity per btu and let it be.

    Fuel cells are already a reasonably cost effective source of uninterruptible power where natural gas is available at reasonable prices and utility electricity is expensive, which is a pretty common situation in the US. All that is required for greater market penetration is lowering unit costs by economies of scale and some marginal improvements in tech.

    If the above price improvements do come to pass, there is no reason why homes can NOT have their own cost effective power generation, which is and was my point.

    I never made any claim about the relative expense of coal, wood power, nukes, solar, or chicken crap as a heating source, and frankly I could give a damn. It is not my job to explain to the ignorant how a fuel cell works, but I can simply say you need to DO some homework. And you need some education in logic to learn about sticking to the topic at hand. Particularly read up on “strawman”. Also, you should learn about granny and how to suck eggs. It also would help your argument if you cease to make personal and emotional attacks in place of logical argument. Those are the tactics of the AGWarmistas, so pot – kettle black, dood.

    • Mike Davis says:

      Biobob:
      If Fuel cells had been at a cost effective position I would have used them for the house I live in now as even local electric was costly to extend to where my house is located. I put solar and a generator on my travel trailer to be off grid and my sister has lived off grid for 6 years using solar, wind and gas generator but would be better off cost wise being on grid but that is not an option in wilderness locations and they live a transient life style of Snow Birds following the weather west of the Rockies.
      If Fuel Cells was a viable option my Brother in law would have been first to utilize it being a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer that does consulting for government agencies on Green Projects in 6 western states.

    • suyts says:

      “Why can’t you simply admit you were wrong about the cost of gas vs electricity per btu and let it be. ”

      Because, Bob, you apparently didn’t understand what I was stating. Here is my one and only assertion in this entire thread regarding BTUs……..

      “Have you broke it down in terms of BTU’s? In terms of generating electricity, it is 3 times as much as coal. “ (please note the very next sentence for context.)

      Later, I showed you that it was closer to 2.5 times as much currently. (Or would have if you bothered to go up one directory, as I asked you to.) I’ll make it easier for you. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html

      Bob, you said, “It also would help your argument if you cease to make personal and emotional attacks in place of logical argument. ”

      What the hell? Just for clarity, was this you?…..”since you are too lazy to google.. and You could use some education in logic.. ” Bob, it wasn’t me that became emotive.

      Bob, what strawman argument have I presented? Please point them out. I’ve merely attempted to respond to your incoherent statements. What is clear to me, is that you’re confusing fuels with forms of energy. What’s interesting, is from my one and only statement(actually it was a question, please note the question mark”?”) You speak volumes and accuse me of making strawman arguments.

      Later, you ramble on about fuel cells as if there is a singular type. I asked for clarification of what you were referring to and you insult me. Here’s a list of different types of “fuel cells”. Bob, they don’t all act the same.

      Metal hydride fuel cell
      Electro-galvanic fuel cell
      Direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC)
      Microbial fuel cell
      Upflow microbial fuel cell (UMFC)
      Regenerative fuel cell
      Direct borohydride fuel cell
      Alkaline fuel cell
      Direct methanol fuel cell
      Reformed methanol fuel cell
      Direct-ethanol fuel cell
      Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
      RFC – Redox Liquid electrolytes with redox shuttle and polymer membrane (Ionomer)
      Phosphoric acid fuel cell
      Tubular solid oxide fuel cell (TSOFC)
      Protonic ceramic fuel cell
      Direct carbon fuel cell
      Planar Solid oxide fuel cell
      Enzymatic Biofuel Cells
      Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

      One common denominator is that most fuel cells of which I’m familiar uses fuels(or other sources of energy) to convert to electricity. As you pointed out in one of your earlier comments, gas fired furnaces are better and cheaper at producing heat. And, I’ve agreed with the assertion. However, Bob, that all goes away once you’ve converted gas to electricity. I refer you back to your own statements regarding efficiency of gas vs electricity for heat. If you’re not converting gas to electricity, then the need for your fuel cell is null.

      Bob, your original statement, “I don’t see anything wrong with developing and deploying natural gas based “fuel cell” tech in homes — provided it can be done economically. There is certainly a possibility that this is feasible in the short term.”

      All I attempted to do was to show you that this wasn’t feasible nor economical.

      Bob, here’s what I was getting at when I mentioned BTUs………
      1 watt ~ 3.412 BTUs Using your furnace analogy, how many BTUs are you giving up to convert gas to electricity?

      You wanna take another run at that logic?

  10. suyts says:

    Bob,

    It may be that you’ve misinterpreted my intentions and demeanor. When I stated, “Bob, if you’ve any thing else to add or to detract, for that matter, I’m more than willing to read and attempt to digest what you are stating. Thanks,”

    I was genuinely interested in a dialogue, and had no desire for the conversation to devolve into argument.

    When I stated, “Bob, first let me acknowledge that I’m sometimes a bit too blunt in my writing style that evokes emotive responses. Sorry for that.”

    That, too, was a genuine statement. And a genuine apology if I’ve offended your sensibilities. It wasn’t my intention. Sadly, I’m often reactive in this manner, so I tend to fuel fires where there isn’t a need. I try to disagree without being disagreeable, but sometimes I fall short of the mark.

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