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Alternative Fuel Sources in the European Union

by darin Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 12:34:18 PM EST

With resources dwindling, finding alternative fuel sources is a major theme in the beginning of the new century, but one can hardly title it a new problem. Ever since the creation of the steam engine, alternative power sources have been tested - from solar power to the recently introduced fuel cells, all are carefully monitored by the big players.


The role of the European Union as a representative of all the comprising nation states comes as no surprise, especially as we are talking about a part of the economy, which amasses a large portion of the global market. The actual problem, which the European Union faces, is the lack of large fossil fuel deposits in any of the current member states. Logically, the European Union will have to rely on import, bargaining for lower prices of the already scarce fuel resources, turning to Russia or OPEC. Another argument would be the fact that the majority of the fuel exporting states use U.S. dollars as an exchange unit and recent attempts to employ the Euro were unsuccessful.

Currently there is a discussion  that the European Union needs to turn to alternative fuel sources as soon as possible, as to be able to remain economically unaffected by the fluctuating fuel prices on the global market. Most of the current alternative fuel technologies are either expensive or inefficient. For example, electrically powered cars were considered to be the next step in powering everyday transport vehicles, but the increased electricity consumption means higher load on the electrical power plants, of which only the nuclear plants have the capacity to sustain such a high consumer demand and at the same time exhibit a small environmental footprint. This creates another problem - not all member states will be willing to build nuclear power plants on their territories, and focusing all the power production in one member state (a good example would be France) will seriously polarize the political climate within the borders of the European Union.

As another big player, trying to find an ecological and powerful energy source, China just released a new power plant:

"Started in the 1980s, China's nuclear power industry now has generators with a total installed capacity of 6.7 million kW, with 10 generators under construction with combined capacity of some 9.3 million kW. Currently, nuclear power accounts for 2.3 percent of electricity generated nationwide annually, yet the proporation has reached 13 percent in economically developed Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, as against the 16-percent average of the world."

This news item should act as a warning that the European Union has to take seriously the need for an alternative fuel source, as we can see China trying to dampen the impact of any eventual fuel crisis.

The Alternative Fuel Directory  is a large collection of alternative fuel sites, available online for the interested reader. One of the most discussed methods for generating alternative power is the windmill technology. One such windmill is capable of generating about 500kW of power  (enough for a household), but fails as a serious power producer when compared to a nuclear power plant, which generates roughly 1000mW, or in other words, 2000 times the power output of a windmill. Although windmills were initially thought as harmless to the environment, many ornithologists reported windmills to disturb the annual migration of different birds. One such recent case was that of the city of Burgas, in Bulgaria, where Japanese contractors planned, with the cooperation of the Burgas municipality, to build a series of windmills along the coastline of the city - but the project was hindered, as the local ornithologists organized a protest, claiming the windmills will be built exactly in the migrating area of protected species, which nest in the local "Atanasovsko" lake, protected by the Bulgarian law as a reservation for rare or endangered birds.

Lastly, one of the most viable options for future alternative fuel is the so called "bio fuel" or "bio diesel". Paul Hodson, from the Commission's Transport and Energy DG, explains:

"'There is one fuel that we are certain will be on the market, it's biofuels', he says. `We don't know when', he argues, but as oil prices continue to go up and stocks continue to decrease, `we will end up adopting them'. In his opinion, biofuels are `dead easy' to develop, and `don't really require major adaptation to cars'. Moreover, he argues, they offer opportunities to poorer countries and offer EU farmers alternative sources of income'."

Whatever the choice of an alternative fuel technology, it is high time for the European government to organize a strong policy towards promoting alternative fuel sources. This will allow a head start, which will provide a much needed protection from eventual fuel shortages, whether caused by economical or political problems.

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All true. However, is this optimistic? While alternative energy solutions would benefit Europe as a whole, it's probably that some forms of alternative energy would benefit certain countries more than others.

So would a scientific debate about which forms of energy are preferable be overridden by a discourse dominated by statements like "Well, yes, but we have to keep the French ethanol industry" -- or whatever -- "happy, so we're funding that instead." Is it better for the EU as a whole to approach this, or for the EU to say something along the lines of, "All member countries must move over to alternative sources" by a target date?

by DrOrder on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 12:46:25 PM EST
First, thank you for the constructive comment!

Ok, I see your point. The European Union tends to give economical roles to member states, so different power sources will be needed in different states. At the same time, all the states have civil and commercial vehicles, which heavily rely on fossil fuels. So, yes, specific decisions for alternative fuels must be taken by member states, but since the automotive sector is so big and using mostly fossil fuels, a decision for alternative fuels on a EU level should be taken as well  - it's a global problem, surpassing the boundaries of the EU.

An extreme viewpoint of your comment would be "every man for himself", which kind of a misses the whole point of the European Union. But again, you are right that each state should think about specific alternative power sources.

Be careful! Is it classified?

by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 01:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
500kW of power  (enough for a household)
That's quite a household.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:28:47 PM EST
<laugh> I should have been clearer on that part. Since windmills are usually employed in rural areas, this includes the required energy of a farm with its facilities.

For example, here in Bulgaria, windmills are gaining popularity as a power source for meat producing complexes (small pig farms with a meat processing facility). But I think you have a point there, as I hear some of the farm managers sell part of the electricity to the neighbouring towns.

Be careful! Is it classified?

by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for these details!

BTW, could you give us a list of active Bulgarian wind power plants you know of?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:19:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This would require some additional research on my part, because they are not listed on a public space. I know for sure of at least four functioning ones, three of which are close to each other, but of different design. They are near the city of Stara Zagora (if you have a Bulgarian map handy, it's the middle of the country). I will see what I can do to provide some details, there was some media coverage on the issue.

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the city of Stara Zagora (if you have a Bulgarian map handy, it's the middle of the country)

I know it is a railway hub :-)

I will see what I can do to provide some details, there was some media coverage on the issue.

Thanks!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found information about a windmill park in the region of Shabla, which is in the most north-eastern part of the country, but couldn't dig up technical data. No info about those three or four windmills I've spotted near Stara Zagora either.

Check this out:

Windmill experts are searching for the most dense currents (not the fastest ones) on a height of 10m. Using that, experts depicted the perfect spots for windmill power in Bulgaria. The darkest areas are the most efficient spots, the lighter ones are not efficient for windmill energy production.

So we have the eastern part of the country (next to the Black Sea - Burgas and Varna, but with natural reservations)and the mountain areas, which are hardly exploitable. The northern part of Bulgaria has a lot of gray areas, which are perfect for windmills (only plateaus there).

Stara Zagora, is in one of the lighter areas - what's up with that? Are people richer there, or are they trying to get the best out their land? Maybe they are better informed (supposedly there is big EU grant for development of clean energies in the region).

Be careful! Is it classified?

by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the map! A 10-m high study, that is very low-altitude. I am guessing that it is either an old study, or one based on normal meteorology stations. The 500-kW-class turbines on 40-m-high towers would certainly get better wind in larger areas (80-m-high towers probably again significantly more), that may explain the Stara Zagora turbines.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 08:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the mountains, I found this:

Bulgarian company Ecosource Energy will build 44 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 100MW in the area of the 1687 m Murgash peak, in the Balkan Range, the company's manager Vladimir Nikolov said on Wednesday, February 8.

...The 156 mln lev project will be implemented in 2 stages with half of the turbines to be installed by the end of 2006. The 2.3MW turbines will be supplied by German manufacturer Enercon.

That will be an uprated version of the same E-70 type as the five on my photo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 08:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparanetly I've should have searched foreign media, not Bulgarian. Oh, an about the altitude, the Stara Zagora windmills are quite small, I seriously doubt they are over 50 meters tall. I should search into the matter more.

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 02:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reading more and more the last year or so, that nuclear power is going to expand dramatically to meet the needs for power generation for homes and offices.  I had not realized how much power is nuclear today--78% of power provided by nuclear plants in France, 20% in the US.  I just didn't realize it was that big.  And many people make the point that it has been extremely safe--though I don't think the issue of disposal of spent rods has been adequately addressed, and of course that is a huge issue.

Transportation seems to be the problem, in the sense that their is no clear, it works now, kind of solution to replace oil.

by wchurchill on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 05:55:32 PM EST
Electric cars and trains?
by asdf on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 09:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess I'm not knowledgeable enough.  In the case of nuclear power, my understanding is it works well, it is very cost effective, and it can be rolled out immedeatly--except plants take a while to build.

How does the electric car & train compare on those same three points?  I don't know.

by wchurchill on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 10:29:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's true that nuclear plants can be built pretty quickly if there's a standardized design and a streamlined approval process--neither of which is in place in the U.S. today. But even so it takes a few years to do the construction.

Electric cars with moderate range (100 miles) are completely practical today. Recent progress in battery technology has been very rapid, and there's nothing particularly difficult about making the car itself.

Electric trains are already in use. It would be very expensive to electrify the railways in the American west because of the distances, but again there's nothing particularly difficult about it.

A big problem would be to migrate from our current goods hauling system based on trucks, which give flexible point-to-point pickup and delivery, to a rail-based system that requires two intermodal transfers (from truck to train, then from train to truck.) Ideally all the big warehouses would be on rail lines, like they were until about 1950.

by asdf on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 10:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Electric cars use electricity guys - so, again we are facing with the question of nuclear energy. And though it is environmentally friendly during operation, mining and disposal of uranium is not.

About the edvanced battery technology - this is probably one of the few technologies that hasn't moved a lot during the past 100 years (i.e. since are used). Batteries are still using the same design and the only new thing is that they now come in different shapes and sizes (mind you, this is hard as well).

Be careful! Is it classified?

by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 02:18:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
only the nuclear plants have the capacity to sustain such a high consumer demand and at the same time exhibit a small environmental footprint.

No, nuclear plants aren't the only ones capable of that, though the nuclear industry would like us to believe that. The ecological footprint of a plant itself may be small, but when we count the mines, the fuel factories and waste too, I don't think so. Furthermore, Europe doesn't have big uranium resources either - those have to be imported just like oil, and will face a shortage just like oil. (At least this is my opinion, I know some here at ET are of an opposed opinion.)

This news item should act as a warning that the European Union has to take seriously the need for an alternative fuel source, as we can see China trying to dampen the impact of any eventual fuel crisis.

Unfortunately, no. China is just trying to keep increase supply enough to keep up with rising demand for electricity, and doing so by building everything possible at breakneck speed (coal-fired power plants, giant dams, and wind power too). Unfortunately, at the same time, they facilitate a massive expansion of car traffic, which doesn't decrease their fuel dependency at all.

One such windmill is capable of generating about 500kW of power  (enough for a household), but fails as a serious power producer when compared to a nuclear power plant, which generates roughly 1000mW

The obvious solution: erect 2000 windmills 500kW(=0.5MW) each. Or 200 windmills 5 MW each. (Actually four times that many: average power is less than maximum power.) For scale: last year, 2450 MW of new wind power was erected in the USA, and 1800 MW in Germany; at the end of the year, Germany had a total of 18,000 MW working, Spain 10,000 MW, the USA 9,150 MW, India 4,430 MW, small Denmark alone 3,130 MW (this gives 15-20% of Danish electricity). Much more wind capacity is erected each year as nuclear coming on-line, and the rate of buildup could be raised by magnitudes.

It makes no sense to compare single units. In fact, there is an advantage to have power production in smaller units: when one unit breaks down or needs repairs, there is no need for a sudden massive replacement power.

On the other hand, big power plants are a nice basis for economic and political power: large companies that want to keep control of the market, as well as corruptable politicians hoping for some funds to get back into their pockets, will prefer them.

Although windmills were initially thought as harmless to the environment, many ornithologists reported windmills to disturb the annual migration of different birds.

Your Bulgarian example is an interesting addition, however, I note that the "bird problem" is rather 'well known' from the beginnings, and not ignored. Birdkills were observed to be a serious problem at Altamont Pass in the USA in the eighties.

However, later studies at other sites showed magnitudes lower birthkill rates. It turns out there are specific factors that enhance the danger: mountain passes (where birds fly through and fly low as they have to climb), bird migration routes, freshwater close by. Such danger zones can be (and, in form of a planning requirement, should be) identified beforehand. In EU countries with large wind power buildup, there is usually such a planning requirement, it would be good for Bulgaria to adopt one too.

Whatever the choice of an alternative fuel technology, it is high time for the European government to organize a strong policy towards promoting alternative fuel sources.

As the big rail advocate here, it falls on me to state: alternative fuels aren't enough, changing the transport system (e.g. a massive buildup of public transport/railfreight) would also be a good part of it. (In countries like Bulgaria or my home Hungary, that would mean that governments stop letting their state railways degenerate and its trains turning into unwashed foul-smelling rolling slums.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:14:19 PM EST
BTW, there is also a technology to run coal-fired power plants without emissions. But I'm not sure if this is more than an idea, and how sound it is - Jérôme, if you found time to read this diary, do you have a short comment?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, nuclear plants aren't the only ones capable of that, though the nuclear industry would like us to believe that. The ecological footprint of a plant itself may be small, but when we count the mines, the fuel factories and waste too, I don't think so. Furthermore, Europe doesn't have big uranium resources either - those have to be imported just like oil, and will face a shortage just like oil. (At least this is my opinion, I know some here at ET are of an opposed opinion.)

Well said, but can you point out a power source with such a good ratio between produced energy and space for exploitation? We need about 1000-2000 medium output windmills to produce the power of just one nuclear power plant. I suppose people won't mind having an ugly windmill in their backyard if they knew how many people die in uranium mines and that there is no glow-in-the-dark waste around their town.

Unfortunately, no. China is just trying to keep increase supply enough to keep up with rising demand for electricity, and doing so by building everything possible at breakneck speed (coal-fired power plants, giant dams, and wind power too). Unfortunately, at the same time, they facilitate a massive expansion of car traffic, which doesn't decrease their fuel dependency at all.

Why doesn't China use windmills then?

The obvious solution: erect 2000 windmills 500kW(=0.5MW) each. Or 200 windmills 5 MW each. (Actually four times that many: average power is less than maximum power.) For scale: last year, 2450 MW of new wind power was erected in the USA, and 1800 MW in Germany; at the end of the year, Germany had a total of 18,000 MW working, Spain 10,000 MW, the USA 9,150 MW, India 4,430 MW, small Denmark alone 3,130 MW (this gives 15-20% of Danish electricity). Much more wind capacity is erected each year as nuclear coming on-line, and the rate of buildup could be raised by magnitudes.

It makes no sense to compare single units. In fact, there is an advantage to have power production in smaller units: when one unit breaks down or needs repairs, there is no need for a sudden massive replacement power.

On the other hand, big power plants are a nice basis for economic and political power: large companies that want to keep control of the market, as well as corruptable politicians hoping for some funds to get back into their pockets, will prefer them.


You are right, but have in mind that some countries have a specific geography, which limits the possibility of introducing a chain of windmills in a certain region. I will refer to Bulgaria again - there is a big mountain passing through the long side of the country, basically separating the territory in two climate zones, northern and southern. Open spaces are usually privately owned agricultural lands and owners are either not interested on buying windmills or can't afford it.

However, later studies at other sites showed magnitudes lower birthkill rates. It turns out there are specific factors that enhance the danger: mountain passes (where birds fly through and fly low as they have to climb), bird migration routes, freshwater close by. Such danger zones can be (and, in form of a planning requirement, should be) identified beforehand. In EU countries with large wind power buildup, there is usually such a planning requirement, it would be good for Bulgaria to adopt one too.

You are thinking big. Bulgaria is a small country, with many natural reservations. The "Atanasovsko" lake is just 10x7km wide (approximately). The warm currents of the wind pass through that area, which is the reason why birds nest there - but also the reason why this is the perfect spot for a chain of windmills (wind all the time).

As the big rail advocate here, it falls on me to state: alternative fuels aren't enough, changing the transport system (e.g. a massive buildup of public transport/railfreight) would also be a good part of it. (In countries like Bulgaria or my home Hungary, that would mean that governments stop letting their state railways degenerate and its trains turning into unwashed foul-smelling rolling slums.)

Hungary and Bulgaria are going through a process of Americanization - where everyone needs to have a transport of his own. Why use the train system, when we can use our cars, right?


Be careful! Is it classified?

by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need about 1000-2000 medium output windmills to produce the power of just one nuclear power plant.

Yes. So what?

Why doesn't China use windmills then?

China does use windmills, too. At the end of 2005, China was eight in the world with a total of 1280 MW. The plan is to increase this to at least 30,000 MW by 2020 (though the local wind industry expects at least the double of that). I note this is grid-connected capacity - as for stand-alone systems, there are hundreds of thousands of small wind turbines chiefly in Inner Mongolia. Still, this is not enough to balance rise in demand.

some countries have a specific geography, which limits the possibility of introducing a chain of windmills in a certain region.

Yes, for example unfortunately most of Central Europe has rather poor winds. On the other hand, a recent realisation is that higher windmills can access much stronger winds even in these places.

privately owned agricultural lands and owners are either not interested on buying windmills or can't afford it.

This is a pretty normal situation - most wind power plants are in fact on farmland. Why? Because if a wind power developer that has the money pays rent to the landowner, both benefit. The problem in our regions is that even the developers are poorer and states less willing to facilitate construction (often in collusion with their existing domestic electricity providers).

Bulgaria is a small country, with many natural reservations.

I suspect Denmark beats Bulgaria both in smallness and natural reserves :-) It should be no problem to exclude bird-frequented areas like Atanasovsko lake.

Hungary and Bulgaria are going through a process of Americanization - where everyone needs to have a transport of his own.

Actually, Hungary reached the stage where many people realised that this won't work - four-hour traffic jams each day on the road from work to nice suburban home does teach one that. But if the alternative is left to rot, and only highways are built from billions, no wonder the car alternative becomes more competitive even so.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, here is a photo of mine for you, in rather bad weather (thus sorry for quality):

You see 64% of the end-of-2005 Hungarian wind power capacity. The five big units in the foreground are 2 MW units with 113 m high towers, the two smaller in the background are older 600 kW units (IIRC on 40 m towers). All were built by an alliance of local entrepreneurs, rather than big companies or foreign investors. (A boom will follow this year and next: about 300 MW will be added. Investors would build ten times that much, but government policy is to cap it...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You see 64% of the end-of-2005 Hungarian wind power capacity.

<laugh> I can't believe it, it's the same in Bulgaria. So why is the Hungarian government capping the windmill expansion? Let me guess, a state owned electrical company? :)

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No more state-owned except the sole nuclear plant, but big foreign energy giants owning local coal, oil and gas plants means a rather strong counter-lobby. (They can and did threat withdrawal from Hungary is their terms aren't met.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 08:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vaild point. But do check out the map I've provided some posts up.

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:48:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've stumbled upon something interesting. Windmills are not only a problem for birds, but also tend to cause radio distrubances. I am not sure how such a small metal structure (compared to the available radio space) can interfere though. Additionally, lightning encounters with windmills are not studied thouroughly.

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:14:05 PM EST
I'll dig up more detail and links for you tomorrow, but (a) radio disturbances are primarily cited as a problem by the British air force (the RAF), which is strange because the air forces of Spain, Germany and Denmark, as well as military planes of the USA and Britain in Germany saw no serious problems; (b) with over ten thousand windmills each in Germany and the USA, lightning encounters aren't an unknown factor anymore, in fact now we are at the stage that there are patent disputes regarding windmill lighting defense systems.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, all I can say is that I am glad to have you over at my diary. You have great insight into the subject!

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you! Though, I feel guilty of diverting it from the fuel issue to the electricity generation and wind issue...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 08:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Windmills can give interference with radio, radar and other telecommunication equipement. I do not have more info on it yet, but I know there is a professor at the university of Leuven (Belgium) who is often asked to perform measurements because he has the proper equipement.  Such a report is a legal condition in Belgium for windmills.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 07:55:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be interesting to see, I can't believe windmills interfere with radio signals (maybe only adjacent buildings?)

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 02:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A recent document(pdf) describes some problems in Canada.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 06:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just read through through the file. I didn't expect non-metal bladed turbines to cause interference as well. Then again, maybe if they are metal and properly grounded, they won't reflect the radio signal but absorb it?

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 06:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I add a link to a British study on radar interference.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 07:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Europe doesn't have her own supply of Uranium, does nuclear power count as an alternative?
by asdf on Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 09:49:58 PM EST
Good argument, but there is a counter-argument :) First, a single powerplant requires a relatively small amount of uranium to run for a whole year (very fuel efficient) and some of the member states posses uranium deposits. Secondly, Russia's price for uranium export is good enough to justify the building of more nuclear power plants (it all depends on the uranium price/output power ratio, which is very good).

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 02:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GREAT donkey pic!

it describes the future (as i envision it) quite colourfully and succinctly, lol.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 10:54:02 PM EST
I just typed something like "alternative fuel" and Google images came up with that ;)

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Fri Mar 3rd, 2006 at 02:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i wonder how many chickens it would take to pull a truck....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 10:55:17 PM EST
Heheh... a truckload of chickens? :P

Be careful! Is it classified?
by darin (dkaloyanov[at]gmail.com) on Fri Mar 3rd, 2006 at 02:22:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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