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[–]mountrich 5363 points5364 points 2 (647 children)

To be clear, that would be 11% of the military budget from 1 year.

[–]BazookaShrooms 2238 points2239 points  (391 children)

So 1% of the military budget could be used each year for 11 years and everyone would get free renewables, nice.

Edit: wow, this blew up a bit. I just want to say that this was just me commenting my thoughts. I didn’t even read the article. It seems like these numbers are not completely accurate or accounting for installation etc. all I know is that the US could 100% be allocating some of this blown up military budget towards renewables. There are so many benefits to them: lower emissions, less reliance on other countries for fossil fuels, new jobs, etc.

[–]Legomaster616 35 points36 points  (5 children)

No, the article says the $80bn is the yearly cost, not just an upfront cost

[–]zz22bb 9 points10 points  (3 children)

United States Government: “yeah we can’t afford that”

[–]joecooool418 449 points450 points  (110 children)

And to be more clear, that doesn’t include anything at all to build the infrastructure.

[–]marktrichards 366 points367 points  (76 children)

Construction is roughly double the materials cost- so that means 3 years. Does 3 years suddenly make this any less absurd?

[–]Last1wascompromised 159 points160 points  (13 children)

Or 33% of 1 year?

[–]Leydonn 54 points55 points  (3 children)

33% of 1 year is absurb there would be major costs in lower the budget that far however a 5 to 10 year plan is reasonable especially given as this process will take time so it makes more sense to go over multiple years.

[–]KuntaStillSingle 14 points15 points  (1 child)

To be frank we could deficit spend for it and probably makr uo the difference from increase in government revenue.

[–]blindfire40 54 points55 points  (39 children)

The commenter above you refers (I believe) to the distribution and management infrastructure required. I work in commercial solar and the timelines and costs we're starting to encounter to modernize the grid enough to allow interconnection are crazy.

This leaves alone the likelihood that if we went gonzo on cyclical generation (wind and solar), we would need some sort of reservoir backing up the generation to safely capture excess generation during high production times, and to supply a relatively consistent base supply. Frankly, based on what's out there right now, i dont know that lithium-ion ESS are where they need to be to accomplish that.

[–]PostingSomeToast 34 points35 points  (30 children)

The battery tech isn’t there. The solar/wind tech(edit because slide) isn’t there yet. I say yet because I look forward to cheap home solar.

60 billion won’t make a dent in energy infrastructure. You could spend that and not successfully upgrade one city to full solar without petroleum or nuclear capacity identical to the solar capacity.

People forget that until the batteries are ready you actually need two power grids. You aren’t replacing coal with solar, you’re just not operating the coal plant during the day. It will double the cost of infrastructure.

[–]HaesoSR 8 points9 points  (11 children)

LAES, Hydropumped storage and various other options are all fine - nuclear beats every source when considering externalities but wind + LAES/Hydro beats fossil fuels before externalities today. If we shifted subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables and storage we'd save money and expand capacity faster.

Batteries are shit and have never been serious contenders for grid storage nor have they ever been designed as such beyond proof of concept dickwaving like Tesla's battery in Australia, so discussing them when considering energy infrastructure is a red herring.

[–]Doeselbbin 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Sounds like a jobs bill to me, let’s do it

[–]KillNyetheSilenceGuy 56 points57 points  (26 children)

And to be even more clear residential consumers (homes) only make up about a third of our energy demand.

[–]ginosanti 41 points42 points  (6 children)

Now imagine 33% of the consumed energy being renewable within, say, 3 years. Or even 10 years, for that matter.

[–]READERmii 1 point2 points  (7 children)

What takes up the other 2 thirds?

[–]LC_Titan 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Commercial and Industrial

[–]searchingfortao 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Usually industry and transport.

[–]Daktush 100 points101 points  (11 children)

Article seemed skewed and too optimistic - I wanted to put these numbers in context so I went and and did some legwork

 

US Gdp/Capita ~~55k

Us spending on military ~~3% of that

That means we are talking 181.5 USD per capita (3% of 55k = 1.65K USD / / 11% of 1.65k USD = 181.5 USD)

Average home spends on electricity 1.307 kUSD - meaning with that 11% from military spending you would put that up by 25% adding 435 dollars since there are 2.5 people per american household.

 

I am not so sure whether the article takes into account energy storage in the electricity price. Prices coming off solar and wind farms are precisely so cheap because they are so unreliable - if they were reliable people would be willing to pay more for them. A lot of pro green articles forget that it's not the same having 20kw during a sunny windy day and 0 for another, than to have a reliable 10 no matter the weather and time of day.

An irl example of renewable costs is Germany, who is trying to go full renewable (around 50% of economy now AFAIK) is seeing costs that are triple those in the US - 0.30 EU per KWh compared to 0.12 USD - and as you increase the % of your electricity generation that is unreliable, the more grid storage you need, meaning the costs skyrocket.

 

Could you change your grid to be fully green with the equivalent a residential 0.03usd per kwh tax? Probably not. It definitely would not be a one off payment, and we have to think as well of what the US would lose by defunding 10% the military

I'll take this article with a truck of salt. Those funds could probably fund nuclear (France is 70% nuclear, 97% green and they pay like 0.15EU per Kwh and 35% of that is taxes), but not solar and wind electricity.

 

E: And my calculations were off by a factor of 10 ayy lmao, ty /u/JL421

E2: Worth mentioning - the article assumes all electricity usage in the US is by private households, wikipedia puts that at 37% of total usage - meaning that even with the articles very optimistic figures, it would cost at least 3 times as much to transition the whole grid

[–]JL421 63 points64 points  (3 children)

Your math is a bit off there.

11% of 1.65K USD is 181.5 USD. This would mean that the 1.307K USD spent on our current electricity consumption is actually ~7.2 times greater than the estimated number in the article. We'd actually need to spend close to 80% of our military budget to cover current electricity costs.

That number also just pays the yearly bill charged by electricity generators which is mostly used to pay the already sunk cost of generating that power. That includes fuel, interest on the loans for current infrastructure, employment expenses, etc. If we want to replace the grid, that is a multi-year project that will take that 80% every year of the project. My local electric coop amortizes their generation infrastructure over 10-20 years, which is included in the price I pay per kWh. If we apply that to the above math, we will spend 80% of our military budget every year for the next 10-20 years to build and maintain our current electricity consumption. That equates to 2.4% of our GDP per year.

Finally if we bring it around, we're looking at between 24% and 48% of our GDP if we wanted to do it in a year. Now I'm not saying that is impossible, but the numbers provided by this article are nowhere near realistic. We can definitely do it, but it'll be a 10 year project that costs a majority of what we spend on the military.

[–]Kurso 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This seems like a dubious claim. So let’s just say 11% is $100B (that’s a very generous round up but let’s just go with it). One of the worlds largest and most advanced solar plants was just built in Arizona at a cost of $2B. It’s expected output is 900k MWh (it’s never hit that but we will go with it). That enough for about 65000 homes. So if we built 50 of these (the very generous rounded up budget) we could power 3.25M homes. There are 125M homes in the US so we don’t need 50 we need 1750 of these.

EDIT: And I should point out that's a low estimate based on rounded up budget and power output never achieved. And that only fills the need of 20% of the US electricity consumption, and doesn't take into account drastic increases in residential consumption as we shift to EVs. We would easily need 15,000 of these to power the entire US, excluding electric vehicles.

[–]chuiu 52 points53 points  (83 children)

I've been saying for over a decade now that we could solve every problem in this country by tapping into that unnecessarily inflated military budget. Healthcare, education, infrastructure, homelessness, renewable energy. All of that could be covered by money that goes to the military budget and our military would still be better funded than than China and Russia combined.

[–]Yuno42 59 points60 points  (39 children)

Healthcare

Not going to contest the other points but cutting 100% of military spending wouldn't cover Medicare/Medicaid

[–]ThatOtherOneReddit 25 points26 points  (36 children)

Healthcare needs price regulations full stop. Nothing else will even maybe fix this issue.

[–]pennies0000000001 105 points106 points  (34 children)

[–]Ravenclaw968 47 points48 points  (16 children)

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are considered mandatory payments that the US government has to commit to meaning if Medicare and Medicaid require $600 billion to fund their operations, $600 billion will be appropriated.

The military, research, border protection, other small safety nets are under the domain of the discretionary budget. The discretionary budget has a sunset provision every fiscal year and it is up to Congress to determine the allocations of spending. That being said, the military has a little over 50% of the discretionary budget. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid, and SS have been showed to be solvent till a decade later, but I learned this information before the tax cuts in 2017 so I don’t know what the figure is now.

[–]Kakarot_faps 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Though to be fair, it's not as if the government can't change those to make them not mandatory.

[–]Oogutache 11 points12 points  (3 children)

We spend 700 billion on military Medicare for all would cost 3.1 trillion.

[–]box_of_pandas 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Does this estimate include all the dark money generated through arms dealing and drug running?

[–]jsully51 2322 points2323 points  (240 children)

This is false. Demonstrably.

The estimate to convert the entirety of the US grid to renewables is about $2.5-3.5T. It's not just the cost of new generation - you need tons of new transmission because the grid isn't built to bring that much power from the remote areas where solar and wind resource is best and you need either a lot of storage capacity or a ridiculous overbuild of generation to handle intermittancy.

Source: I work in the renewables industry. There are many studies on this, just too lazy to go grab them right now. Check MIT's energy research, GreenTech Media, Utility Dive, etc.

Edit: This post blew up way more than I thought it would - so here's some extra thoughts:

  1. Links GTM Utility Dive MIT
  2. Don't take this as any commentary on whether the investment is worth it or not. Believe me those of us in the renewables industry are trying to deploy clean energy generation as fast as possible.
  3. I personally don't believe the defense of our country is something we should hold at odds with climate change efforts.
  4. This is an immensely complicated topic and I would encourage all sides to think about it critically rather than hold up small biased reports as evidence that their particular viewpoint is correct.

[–]ColonelSwede 370 points371 points  (51 children)

And it only refers to private homes. Whereas I imagine the real problem is supplying energy the industry and businesses, many of which need to be operating 24/7.

[–]magus678 129 points130 points  (48 children)

[–]BigWang2020 19 points20 points  (41 children)

Where the hell is that other 60% going?

[–]magus678 83 points84 points  (39 children)

Industry, mostly. It is a similar thing with water. Only a small part is actually used residentially: about ~90% of our water use is industry and agriculture.

[–]blindfire40 38 points39 points  (0 children)

To be fair to the actual article, they cited 4.5T for full renewable, which is in line for a comprehensive cost. They then conveniently forget that some of those costs still apply even if you're talking residential power, and come up with the line that this post title is based on.

[–]Dorudia 47 points48 points  (1 child)

Yeah the headline gives the impression that this is some sort of legit study, when really it's just wildly oversimplified napkin math from a blogger with no expertise in the field.

[–]Enigma_King99 430 points431 points  (102 children)

Most of these type of articles are just bullshit perfect world crap. Like stuff like this would even pass is laughable to me.

[–]QuantumDischarge 265 points266 points  (75 children)

It’s saying military = bad, renewables = good. Anything like that will cause a bunch of people to support it regardless of shaky or nonexistent evidence.

[–]Fr00stee 40 points41 points  (31 children)

Still we could probably cut off a small chunk of the military budget to work on renewables

[–]terminbee 5 points6 points  (7 children)

I wonder if the military is already working on it. Maybe not renewable but at least more efficient ways to store energy (which would help renewable). Seems to be in their best interests anyways.

[–]A_Crinn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One of the requirements of the M855A1 round that the military put into service a few years ago was that it had to have a reduced environmental impact compared to traditional round.

[–]LinusWiger 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Which is good still right? Minus the optics.

[–]silentstrife 46 points47 points  (4 children)

It’s almost like people are preying off the naive because it works...

[–]jorper496 20 points21 points  (18 children)

Just do it over 10-15 years. Give incentives to states.

There are no downsides in reducing carbon emissions and building renewable infrastructure sooner rather than later.

[–]dannycake 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Except the costs and the fact that alternatives like nuclear energy are better, kill less people, are actually better for the environment, cheaper, more reliable, and don't require an entire rehaul of the electrical grid and a call for non-existent theorectical massive batteries.

[–]KnotSoSalty 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think even 3.5T$ is low when you factor in battery storage and the long term replacement costs. And that’s just for domestic energy production. Deep decarbonization will double that cost.

[–]este_hombre 82 points83 points  (7 children)

I mean 2-2.5 T over the course of a decade is still cheaper than a decade of war in the middle east.

[–]MisterGuyManSir 7 points8 points  (4 children)

My brother has his masters in energy policy and is writing a book about how that plus switching to nothing but electric cars would be $50T to $70T in infrastructure

[–]impy695 4 points5 points  (3 children)

What is his background? I'm not sure Masters degree on it's own is enough to be considered a reliable source.

[–]foxyramirez 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Way to rain in on the circlejerk, reality man.

[–]Reigningchamp4eva 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It would cost that much every year, although that’s on the high side.

If the government is paying 100% for it, obviously we wouldn’t give the electricity away for free. To simplify things, if the government subsidized wind/solar/storage ~50% you would get there in about 15 years.

That’s ~1.2T funding, or about 2.4T of total capital deployed, and that is assuming solar/wind don’t do anything crazy like...get cheaper. Like they have over the last 30 years. In response to 2.4T of new renewable spending...

[–]DunningKrugerOnElmSt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah my spidey senses were tingling on this one. Maybe it would fund a. Existing infrastructure of renewable energy, maintenance upgrades and probably only residential.

Even the green new deal recognizes this will have to cost trillions. But it will likely save trillions after initial investment.

[–]mongoosefist 650 points651 points  (191 children)

Given how famously wasteful the military is with money, it's more shocking still that such funds could be taken from the military budget and not affect capability if they were more accountable for the money they spend.

[–]Hrothen 288 points289 points  (56 children)

Something ridiculous like a quarter of the budget is spent on projects the Pentagon doesn't even want, like building tank models we don't use anymore.

[–]GeauxCup 272 points273 points  (46 children)

I remember that story! Pentagon officials asked Congress to PLEASE not direct funds to the building of the tanks bc they already had so many that they were rusting out in a field somewhere. ...but the congressman leading the charge ran on that issue bc the tank factory was in his backyard.

[–]filbertsnuts 191 points192 points  (11 children)

It’s almost as if the military budget contains a secret jobs plan.

[–]AmeteurOpinions 114 points115 points  (8 children)

Welfare with extra steps (and war).

[–]YesIretail 66 points67 points  (6 children)

Well, corporate welfare, not welfare for the people. That's an important distinction.

[–]Harbinger2nd 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Part of the reason the military industrial complex has been so successful is because they have factories and installations in all 50 states. This makes it political suicide to go against them as the politician will have both the military contractors along with their constituents whose jobs are tied to the industry against them.

[–]colmusstard 34 points35 points  (29 children)

It's not quite that simple. It's hard to spin up a workforce in a short period of time, so defense projects will often slog along even when they don't seem fully necessary so that in case of need, there is a workforce available

With that said, the tank situation is definitely wasteful

[–]Swissboy98 40 points41 points  (28 children)

It's hard to spin up a workforce in a short period of time

GM and Ford went from producing cars to planes and tanks in how little time at the start of US involvement.

Spinning up a workforce takes a long time. Converting already existing forces doesn't.

[–]Fimoreth 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I'm by no means a historian, but wasn't the US already producing/selling equipment to the Allies? I remember hearing that the US was doing that partly to setup their manufacturing because they anticipated their eventual involvement.

[–]mbm7501 29 points30 points  (8 children)

I can tell you have no experience with modern manufacturing. Just to even set up an assembly line as complex as a tank, get suppliers on order, and start building is a minimum of 4 years.

There are connector suppliers that have lead times of a year.

[–]wavefunctionp 12 points13 points  (9 children)

To be fair, the equipment was of simpler design in WW2.

[–]clairebear_22k 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Our manufacturing capability was simpler and less flexible too... Nobody else has billions of tanks and planes flying around it's unnecessary.

[–]copperholic 113 points114 points  (10 children)

Capability wouldn't be effected at all, just arms industry graft.

[–]TheUltimateSalesman 24 points25 points  (9 children)

maybe some day a full audit

[–]harrietthugman 4 points5 points  (6 children)

iirc the Pentagon is so bloated, unorganized, and unsupervised in their post-9/11 spending that auditing is almost impossible. There have been a few failed attempts, but nothing fruitful

[–]Obvious_Award 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Wasn't it something like a couple of billion in dollars that had just completely gone missing from their spending?

[–]harrietthugman 5 points6 points  (2 children)

There are a few figures out there, but the number is in the billions. Here's a really interesting investigation from last November by The Nation.

The Pentagon is openly committing wide-scale fraud, and has been for decades. It's beyond the scope of conspiracy theories. They're funneling billions in tax dollars toward the military industrial complex with zero accountability or oversight. Their excuse is their scale and lack of oversight. It's insanity.

[–]PmMeYourWives 8 points9 points  (1 child)

We've investigated ourselves and have found no waste, fraud, or abuse.

[–]sovietshark2 24 points25 points  (8 children)

I read somewhere that, when a military buys a bolt for $7-8, they are basically guaranteeing it to work. Sure they could go to the hardware store and pick up a handful for a few bucks, but if one/multiple of those fails it could take an entire jet with it, or helicopter, or whatever it is. So, paying the extra money is basically for rigorously tested stuff and a kind of insurance that it will not fail.

As for other wasteful spending, yea... can’t really say much about that.

[–]mxzf 13 points14 points  (5 children)

Discussions like this always make me think of the $400 ashtray in The West Wing.

I'm sure there is some degree of wasteful spending going on, but a lot of the higher prices are going to higher standards with regards to tolerances and redundancies.

[–]Arthur_Edens 4 points5 points  (4 children)

I agree with the point in that video, but they used a bad example. Instead of a $400 glass shatter proof ashtray, they could use a $3 tin shatterproof ashtray.

[–]mxzf 6 points7 points  (3 children)

You're not wrong, but it's possible that a metal ashtray would have its own issues. I wouldn't be surprised if there are other issues that a piece of metal introduces that glass doesn't. I don't know for sure though, I'm not an expert on such things.

I mostly just like it as a somewhat eye-opening example that it's not always as simple as "just get cheaper stuff", sometimes there's a very real reason to get the more expensive specialty item.

[–]ChiefQuinby 25 points26 points  (3 children)

I would wager that the military wasted more money on locks than anything else last year.

[–]silnthntr 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is probably the truest statement here.

[–]ChivalrousBasterd 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Random NCO: Who has the keys?

Everyone else: .....

Random NCO: Who has the bolt cutters?

[–]--Reddit--Username-- 55 points56 points  (4 children)

Or, you know, don’t be in 140 countries at once all the time.

[–]Volpes17 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Exactly. People who think the military budget is out of control because of missiles are missing the more boring reality. 2/3 of the military budget goes to personnel and operations. Fewer people and fewer bases—that’s how you really save money.

I mean, I’m all for making fewer instruments of death too. But focusing on hardware is missing the forest through the trees.

[–]fed45 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Fewer people and fewer bases—that’s how you really save money.

This is exactly why they close bases when trying to cut back on spending.

[–]John_Fx 15 points16 points  (5 children)

This program would be equally wasteful if run by the same govt.

[–]12beatkick 22 points23 points  (2 children)

That’s fine, renewable energy wasteful>military industrial complex wasteful

[–]Sproded 15 points16 points  (1 child)

And that’s fine to use as your main point. But to say we should spend government money elsewhere because a lot of it is currently wasted shows a lack of understanding with how the government spends money. Anything the government does is likely to end up wasting money.

The solution isn’t to keep changing what the government spends it on but instead to recognize the waste and add that cost to anything the government wants to do.

[–]donrane 4 points5 points  (1 child)

7 trillion nothing but a rounding error

[–]midnightrambler108 1028 points1029 points  (367 children)

So I find this a little bit of a stretch.

US Military budget is $693 billion x 11% = 76Billion

76 Billion divided by 123 Million households = about $617.

That is enough for 3 solar panels and maybe enough electricity to power a toaster.

[–]Cometguy7 809 points810 points  (171 children)

I don't think the plan would be to put solar panels on everyone's house, but to build wind farms and solar power plants. Much more bang for your buck that way.

[–]avgazn247 165 points166 points  (63 children)

Doesn’t matter. 70 bil is a tiny amount. It probably only enough for one state that’s compact

[–]altmorty 367 points368 points  (47 children)

A detailed estimate (Jacobson et al 2018) puts the figure, for North America transitioning to 100% renewables by 2050, at 15.3 trillion dollars. Averaging to $510 billion a year for America and Canada. The US alone spends $649 billion annually subsiding fossil fuels. Globally, that ~$5 trillion a year subsidy could easily fund a full transition to renewables. It's not even a difficult target.

People might argue that's interfering in a market, but that's exactly what fossil fuel subsidies are. They're government interference in a market.

[–]carpdog112 81 points82 points  (25 children)

What exactly are these fossil fuels "subsidies" that the US spends in excess of $510B a year?

[–]altmorty 86 points87 points  (17 children)

[–]wavefunctionp 51 points52 points  (5 children)

This seems to indicate that subsidies not available to any other industries are around 25B over recent years.

https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fact-sheet-fossil-fuel-subsidies-a-closer-look-at-tax-breaks-and-societal-costs#1

Maybe as high as ~50B if you include all specific provisions used in the recent past.

That's a discrepancy factor of 10x, so idk what's going but maybe the IMF are counting all tax adjustments that generally available to any business in the US?

[–]altmorty 15 points16 points  (1 child)

That fact sheet claims to use "conservative estimates". I don't think that's using detailed studies. The IMF takes external costs into account. That's a legitimate practise.

Even the link you provided concedes the same overall figure:

There are many kinds of costs associated with fossil fuel use in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution resulting from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. These negative externalities have adverse environmental, climate, and public health impacts, and are estimated to have totaled $5.3 trillion globally in 2015 alone.

I don't see what subsidies available to other businesses has to do with this. That's just a derailment. The point was over diverting money to renewables, as per the title, and the affordability of a 100% renewable transition.

[–]bluexy 20 points21 points  (10 children)

Nevermind the undefinable cost of sending our soldiers to Saudia Arabia and the Middle East to work as de facto fossil fuel security details.

[–]the__storm 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I believe the IMF report is accounting for the negative externalities of fossil fuel use.

(Normally/often, a government would tax a product with a negative externality to bring the private cost in line with the societal cost. So, the subsidies included in this estimate are the difference between actual taxes and the taxation necessary to accomplish that.)

[–]SneakyBadAss 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You are still missing the infrastructure cost. It's already in a horrendous state.

Erg you will have clear energy but no way to reliably deliver it to remote households.

[–]hackel 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Do their figures include the massive infrastructure required to produce wind and solar at such a high scale, as well as all of the energy storage facilities required, or are they just assuming the existing wind and solar plants can ramp up generation for free?

It's a same they're using such flawed, sensationalistic reasoning since the larger point is still valid, particularly when you add nuclear power into the mix to cover the gaps.

[–]upvotesthenrages 28 points29 points  (12 children)

It shouldn’t be based on a single years expenses.

10% of the budget over X years would do it

[–]Pikesmakker 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I don’t know where you’re getting your numbers from but the US spends infinity dollars on their military so it’s pretty simple maths from there.

[–]John_Fx 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Forgot to carry the infinity.

[–]wheredidiputit 102 points103 points  (99 children)

Thorium. Salt. Reactors. Wind isn't the answer at all. Geothermal is niche. solar is a great alternative for the south west grids. Hydro up north isn't sustainable and wreaks havoc to ecosystems. Bust safe technology thorium salt reactors are they way to go. Cant understand why nuclear isn't part of the discussion.

[–]Jedi_Lucky 70 points71 points  (20 children)

Nuclear scares a lot of people. Most people dont realize that coal plants produce more radiation than nuclear power plants for instance.

Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

The affordable and do-able solution to our power needs is going to involve a combination of renwables and nuclear.

[–]subreddit_storage 22 points23 points  (13 children)

People aren’t that afraid of the radiation. They’re afraid of a Chernobyl or a Three Mile Island. It’s similar to how a lot of people are afraid of flying after 9/11.

[–]peaceful_atom 11 points12 points  (4 children)

I 100% agree; thorium salt reactors are the best future (until fusion, of course), The problem, though, is that thorium salt reactors aren’t a thing yet and probably won’t be for a decade or two at least unless the government decides to put serious funding towards the technology.

[–]wheredidiputit 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Which is why more people need to be talking about and brining it up in these conversations. Gotta get rid of the nuclear boogeymen

[–]hitssquad 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Thorium is the new anti-nuclear.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Cant understand why nuclear isn't part of the discussion.

It is. Just watched the Bill Gates documentary on netflix and he's spear-heading new Nuclear tech and investing tons of his money into it

[–]Mr_Italics_Man 13 points14 points  (11 children)

It makes suburban moms and woke libs uncomfortable. Therefore we can't have it.

[–]bettorworse 20 points21 points  (10 children)

Are households the majority users of electricity, tho?

EDIT: Nope

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They're not doing the math for building the infrastructure. Just buying the electricity. Which doesn't exist.

[–]burtgummer45 64 points65 points  (39 children)

Simplistic calculations. You need Peaking power plants for all the renewables you stick on the grid. They never account for this in the cost. To dumb it down, every time you picture windmills spinning on the horizon, picture smoke stacks along side them, but in reality, they are hidden away somewhere else on the grid where nobody can see them.

[–]dopkick 48 points49 points  (13 children)

Reddit isn't concerned with the actual engineering challenges of mass power production and distribution. They want feel good stories like this. Who has time for things variable demand, variable production, redundancy, etc.? Just slap down some windmills and solar panels and call it a day, on to the next circle jerk.

[–]TheDevilsAdvokate 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Listen here I've been playing civilisation mmo's since you were a baby Sim so I happen to know a thing or two about building an empire sonny.

[–]WaltKerman 29 points30 points  (1 child)

As someone’s working in the energy industry you are actually right but this will go nowhere on this thread.

Also the renewable that we have is placed in the areas to be most efficient. Prices will go up per unit of energy significantly trying to ramp it up.

[–]WingedSword_ 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Of course it's not on this thread, the top comment does the math and proves they're wrong or are hiding something, but every other comment is about anti military and how corrupt it is.

Who would it be any different when it comes to something like this? Most the people here who constantly upvote the renewable posts don't actually care. They don't care about balancing the budget to support these projects or about making the hard decisions on forcing companies to go green. No, they only care about feeling good for a few seconds while ignoring the truth.

[–]Obi_Kwiet 88 points89 points  (45 children)

This is classic "green movement" accounting. They just throw hilariously optimistic and wildly inaccurate numbers around because they know that no one in their little circle jerk will double check them. It's like Bernie Sander's "Green New Deal". It's a huge scaffold of assumptions that many revolutionary technical breakthroughs will occur in a short amount of time with laughably little funding. That's not a plan. That's just hoping for a massive overnight technical revolution that will solve all your problems and fund yours programs. It's colossally stupid.

If we want to make a real change to our carbon emissions, we need to look beyond lies that promises us a cheap and easy solution to our problems. It will cost real money, it will require some degree of sacrifice, and it will involve a wider range of technology than those that ignorant hippies have decided are arbitrarily decided are cool and green.

[–]godgeneer 23 points24 points  (6 children)

It's the left's version of "build the wall". Still better than a wall I guess. And honestly, even if it only gets half the houses on renewables it would be pretty fruitful.

[–]Jooks64 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Yeaaaah....that’s just incorrect

[–]martijnve 104 points105 points  (16 children)

The biggest joke is that removing that money from the us military and funneling it into climate measures would do more for us security than handing it to the military.

1: It removes money from oil states.
2: It reduces global warming, which in the long run could cause wars for different reasons. (countries becoming undesirable to live in, food shortages, huge areas flooding.

[–]supersnaps 23 points24 points  (10 children)

Yeah but, the military would be essentially helping to make part of itself unnecessary.

Sort of like if the police reduced crime to the extent that their budget shrank. I remember reading about them pushing back against self driving cars; even though they would be safer, they would lose a huge revenue source in traffic tickets.

[–]HEADLINE-IN-5-YEARS 55 points56 points  (1 child)

US Politicians Assure Ratheon They Will Obstruct Any Efforts At Improving American Lives

[–]Acrid5678 11 points12 points  (6 children)

Can we stop peddling this kind of BS?

And stop and think?

How do you calculate this?

Because what you're talking about entails mass use of eminent domain, in order to build solar, wind... And then you only have power if it's sunny or windy- but not too windy.

The massive infrastructure costs of building a decentralized network, the costs to build storage facilities...

Not feasible. Not smart. Progaganda and dumb. Go nuclear.

[–]joneSee 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Heysuess Farg! Does no one actually read that article? The author cites that residential only electricity could be paid for each year for about 80 billion. It doesn't say that 80 billion would be the cost of replacing the grid.

Also, criminally unnoticed if you don't read the article: the US spends about the same amount this year as during the last year of WWII and asks why the American people keep paying for that military instead of doing other things.

[–]Daktush 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Article seemed skewed and too optimistic - I wanted to put these numbers in context so I went and and did some legwork

 

US Gdp/Capita ~~55k

Us spending on military ~~3% of that

That means we are talking 181.5 USD per capita (3% of 55k = 1.65K USD / / 11% of 1.65k USD = 181.5 USD)

Average home spends on electricity 1.307 kUSD - meaning with that 11% from military spending you would put that up by 25% adding 435 dollars since there are 2.5 people per american household.

 

I am not so sure whether the article takes into account energy storage in the electricity price. Prices coming off solar and wind farms are precisely so cheap because they are so unreliable - if they were reliable people would be willing to pay more for them. A lot of pro green articles forget that it's not the same having 20kw during a sunny windy day and 0 for another, than to have a reliable 10 no matter the weather and time of day.

An irl example of renewable costs is Germany, who is trying to go full renewable (around 50% of economy now AFAIK) is seeing costs that are triple those in the US - 0.30 EU per KWh compared to 0.12 USD - and as you increase the % of your electricity generation that is unreliable, the more grid storage you need, meaning the costs skyrocket.

 

Could you change your grid to be fully green with the equivalent a residential 0.03usd per kwh tax? Probably not. It definitely would not be a one off payment, and we have to think as well of what the US would lose by defunding 10% the military

I'll take this article with a truck of salt. Those funds could probably fund nuclear (France is 70% nuclear, 97% green and they pay like 0.15EU per Kwh and 35% of that is taxes), but not solar and wind electricity.

 

E: And my calculations were off by a factor of 10 ayy lmao, ty /u/JL421

E2: Worth mentioning - the article assumes all electricity usage in the US is by private households, wikipedia puts that at 37% of total usage - meaning that even with the articles very optimistic figures, it would cost at least 3 times as much to transition the whole grid

[–]efernan5 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Seriously, why do people shit on Military budget so much? Putting money into the military is reinjecting the money into the economy, all the while protecting everyone and making huge advancements in technology. I’ll never understand why people shit on military spending

[–]ChornWork2 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Just 11% of the Pentagon’s current $716 billion budget -- about $80 billion -- would pay to produce enough wind and solar energy to power every one of the 127.59 million households in the United States**. 

Except residential demand somes when the sun isnt shining brightest and before overnight winds are at their strongest. There is only so much solar or wind you can have before using storage as well.

And I'd wager only thr beginning of the flaws in this piece...

[–]MoldyRat 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I love how people don't even bother to fact check shitty article should like this and updoot 'cause US military bad, durrrr. It would actually cost more than 50% of the current military budget of 740 billion dollars to pay for all the current energy costs of residential homes per year. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table3.pdf

Of course 100% "green energy" is more expensive per KW than the figures reported there so it would probably take over 100% of the current military budget per year to fund some insane idea like that, and probably ten times the military's budget to get the "100% green" infrastructure put in place.

[–]Bullshitbanana 21 points22 points  (27 children)

Sorry, taking 11% of the militaries budget would severely cripple the organisation’s capability. Yes there is wasteful spending but much less than you would expect, and often are the result of projects and innovations that don’t pan out. Funding such projects is the key to keeping competitive in the age of advanced technology, even if it doesn’t always guarantee a return in investment

Currently serving as an Air Force Officer. An 11% cut would be a crippling blow to our operability.

[–]ikindoflikereading 1 point2 points  (8 children)

I'd like to point out that most people arent aware how much the US gets attacked and our necessary security posture. There is a reason the military budget is high but I understand why people don't understand. Unless you see what's really going on behind the scenes, it looks very wasteful and unnecessary. I'm not saying there isn't waste either but the amount of waste has been dropping for years because of computer tracking.

[–]platecanoe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It would take more than 76 billion? I imagine major cities alone would be brutal to outfit.

[–]BigBossN7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I take every "if we got rid of unpopular X then we could get more popular Y" post on r/all with the tiniest of grains of salt.

[–]Lorenz99 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Id love to see this but when you are the police of the world and the world expects you to fill that role you can’t really give up that funding. If other countries would get their shit together and stop relying on the US we wouldn’t need that massive military budget.

[–]Patriots_Fan1989 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I find it hard to believe 77 billion would fund everything....

That seems like a very low ball estimate.

Also I don't think the US electric grid could handle all of that...

[–]jmaverick85 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I guess our 11% is well spent.

https://reddit.unblocked-proxy.xyz/r/news/comments/d7a4w6/video_showing_hundreds_of_shackled_blindfolded/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

But I’m sure undereducated people will continue to complain. Why don’t any of you take your loud mouths to China and make a difference? Oh, that’s right, you can’t. They’ll lock you up. Maybe we should appreciate that 11%🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

[–]noodles0311 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is deliberately disingenuous. The 11% number comes from a 10 year budget for DoD, but the spending on energy is for a single year. So 110% of the military budget could pay for renewable energy. I'll just accept that number at face value, because I don't know enough to refute it. At any rate, the Dept of Defense is about 16% of total spending, so roughly 18% of total spending could get us there is their actual claim. That may well be true. That sounds like an amount of money we could raise by taxing carbon which I support. It makes far more sense to make the polluters pay for renewables than to zero out DoD

[–]TheWhisperingEel 1 point2 points  (5 children)

What percent of the military budget is used to actually pay soldiers? 11% is a larger chunk than some realize, and I do think this is a good idea, but can someone break down what % certain things that are probably unnecessary (unlike soldiers pay) take up?

[–]TheBeautifulChaos 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Unpopular opinion: maybe we should have stricter standards and less soldiers in the military.

[–]NoMoreNicksLeft 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Is there enough renewable energy on the market at that rate to be bought?

If so, why isn't it being bought now?

If it requires more to be generated, then the price wouldn't stay the same.

[–]Nosferatu_Genders 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well China has equivalent military technology now, after Israel sold our secrets to them.

[–]ShortSPY 1 point2 points  (7 children)

If y'all only knew what it felt like to be in the military. Now imagine hearing that they are cutting 11% of your funding.. yeah.

[–]Gon_jalt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bullshit. I work in the energy construction industry. No one ever thinks about the additional infrastructure that would be needed.