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GvilleSC

Energy in South Carolina

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The demand for energy in South Carolina is growing and so is the list of sources that can be tapped into. What avenue will the State take? Which source do you want your energy provided by? And a big question is, how would you feel about wind energy being harnessed off the SC coast?

In addition to the sources listed below, more exist such as solar, coal (cheap, but not as clean), etc.

Wind:

First wind monitoring station goes up, another one planned for North Charleston

Clemson University expands wind research on the South Carolina Coast

These are a joint venture between Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, and Santee Cooper. It has been established that the winds ARE strong enough along the coast and in some mountainous areas of the state, but will this power source with virtually no emissions be pursued?

Nuclear:

Nuclear waste piling up at Oconee power plant.

State may get 4 new nuclear plants. SCANA was already thinking of building one, but now there may be government incentives to construct as many as four new power plants in the state. The low-cost system can help keep energy costs down (Duke's Oconee Station as an example) without the green house gas emissions of coal burning plants.

The state's seven nuclear units produce nearly 53 percent of South Carolina's electricity, the second highest percentage behind Vermont, according to Energy Department statistics. Nationally, 19 percent of electricity is produced by nuclear power plants.

South Carolina's electricity rates have been at least 10 percent lower than the U.S. average for the past five years.

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It seems like I remember reading that Jocassee and Keowee were designed to be able to handle an additional reactor or two.

I'd love to see alternate energy in SC. Wind is an issue, but if they can prove that it will be cost effective to build along the coast and perhaps in the high mountains (maybe a partnership with NC?) then I am for it.

Right now, nuclear power makes the most sense, even in spite of its by products. If the Fed would allow it, we could recycle alot of the waste that we have, creating something like 90% less waste in the end. There is another thread somewhere on UP (in one of the other forums- maybe the Treehugger Lounge) that I posted more about this process. Basicly the French have come up with a way to recycle the water, and they developed a process to refine the byproduct in to a more manageable form.... the only downside is that its weapons grade plutonium. I'd rather have a lot of that hanging around at the SRS than these containers of waste.

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I'd like to see us use wind energy to some degree, but I wonder if lowcountry residents would ever allow such devices to be placed along the coast? The same goes for upstate residents and the mountains. I think they'd be a visual of SOME things progressive in the state.

One benefit of Nuclear energy is the jobs. I read in one of the articles that construction would create about 3,000 jobs and the actual facility would employ 1,000.

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I'm glad to see nuclear making a resurgence. I think its the best bet for right now.

I wouldn't be opposed at all to wind farms off or on the coast. I actually LIKE seeing the windmills, and the coast is about the best shot we have at capturing consistent winds here. I so go at it.

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I know that at one point a project was undertaken by my alma mater, Appalachian State, that involved construction of one of the largest windmills in the country in the early eighties in the mountains of North Carolina. While the project was a success in terms of providing lots of power, it received a lot of criticism due its disruption of television reception. With the transfer of many people to cable lines for television service, I would think it would no longer be a problem for cable users... not sure about satellite users though.

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I like the idea of wind power as well, and off the coast sounds like a perfect location. I think the wind mills would actually add rather than detract, and since it's a clean power source, marine and wildlife shouldn't be negatively impacted.

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The state gets so much sunshine, there really ought to be more effort to get people and businesses to use solar power. There are a lot of options for this ranging from fairly low tech water heaters to solar power generation farms. There are 1000s of businesses roof tops that could be used to take advantage of this.

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Santee Cooper is planning to build a coal plant in Kingsburg in Florence County. IMO, with the technology we have now, it doesn't make sense environmentally to build a coal facility. There was a story on SCNow about protesters at the Florence County DHEC office:

Groups Protest Proposed Coal Plant

On the same site is an article about how much it will cost Progress Energy and their customers (of which I am one) to clean up their existing coal plants:

$1 Billion to Clean Up Power Plants

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I think currently that nuclear power offers us the most benefits .vs the environmental impact. Nuclear waste can be managed, and, as been pointed out, there has been some great research into recycling nuclear fuel.

Wind farms are not a bad idea, but currently they're pretty inefficient when compared to other forms of energy. I remember reading a study somewhere about how only a few locations in the US are ideal for wind farms, and SC wasn't one of them (surprisingly Texas was...).

I'm not in favor of a coal plant unless the CO2 emissions can be significantly cut. They've done a good job at building scrubbers that can take out the majority of the toxins, but CO2 emissions remains a crucial problem with coal plants.

Solar has some promise, but despite tons of research it's still inefficient on a large scale. Smaller, community-wide incentives to utilize solar energy for homes and small businesses would help offset the growing demand.

One approach that I think holds a ton of promise is geo-thermal energy. Sources for it are everywhere, and recent research has been very promising.

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Re wind:

I actually like the look of windwill farms. I find them elegant in design. Ever been to Denmark? They are everywhere. The Danes are the world's windmill specialists, 75% or windmills worldwide are built after danish principles, and 50% of all windmills in the world come from a danish factory. But even in a place like that where people are used to them, where houses are built more efficiently, where practically nobody ever uses AC, there are great wind conditions, and where there is a better conservation mentality (people turn off lights when they leave a room), they still don't expect to be able to cover more than 10-15% of the national consumption.

Re solar:

Passive solar heating is much cheaper and more efficient than photovoltaic. I'd like to install on my house a solar water heater to preheat the domestic water, and one for radiant floor heat (if I were to redo my floors).

I've looked into photovoltaic panels, but it'll take many years to pay back the investment. If there were more incentives for people to install enough panels on their roofs to encourage a surplus production, it would make more sense. Say, if you sold twice your consumption back to the grid, you could not just rewind the meter, but have the incentive of earning back twice the cost. I have a large flat roof and could accommodate plenty of panels without any cosmetic compromise.

re nuclear:

I'm still uneasy about waste products, and even though there are ways to recycle them, the result is something that's closer to weapon grade, as far as I've understood.

re coal:

Apparently there are some ways to burn coal more efficiently in the works, but it's yet to be fully developed. Coal burning plants like the ones we have now are unacceptable in my opinion.

No easy solution in sight...

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Unfortunately, the federal government has been an embarassment when it comes to promoting alternative energy. As a result, there is a gap in governmental leadership in tackling the issue. There is an opportunity for South Carolina to become a leader, but only if they act fast as I doubt the gap will be there much longer after the next presidential election, regardless of who wins.

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Radiant floor heat is a great concept, but unless you're on the bottom floor its not all its cracked up to be.

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