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Barring generating your own renewable power, I was wondering what is the best state to own a volt in terms of CO2 emmisions from the electricity we would feed the volt.

The following website has a state by state breakdown and it looks like WA state or ID would be the winner since they are heavily reliant on hydro. 85% emmisions free in WA state. Charging at night would probably be even better NatGas peaker plants are not run. I would imagine parts of canada would be even better.

http://www.getenergyactive.org/fuel/state.htm

Wyoming and KY look bad - over 90% coal
Hawaii has to be the worst at over 90% fuel oil generated electricity.



A thought experiment maybe someone can answer. What is worse in terms of CO2 emmisions

Drive a volt 30 miles using 10.4 KWhr (volts usable battery) on electrcity generated by 100% coal
or
Drive a car 30 miles 100% gasoline that gets 30 mpg

I am considering the volt and in my area (NOVA) we get about 40% Carbon Free electricity - mostly nuclear. I know this a simplistic assessment but just for a rough estimate. What other factors should we consider.
 

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Being from Niagara Falls myself (see my Avatar), I'd have to say NY due to the amount of Hydropower in the general area. But anywhere near a good-sized hydro-electric plant woul be optimal.

I grew up within walking distance of this: http://www.nypa.gov/facilities/niagara.htm
 

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Some cities in California (and elsewhere) have their own utilities companies. My local electric company provides a "green" power option: pay a small surcharge to support acquisition of electricity from renewable sources (in this instance, primarily wind, with a little bit of solar). In theory, this merely changes either the overall content mix or provides the utility with more money to use to buy (again, in theory) more power from renewable sources.

From a feel-good standpoint, the "green" option customers can feel as though we're getting all our electricity from non-polluting renewables (at least, not polluting in most conventional senses).
 

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I participate in what Alan is referring to, and am in the DC area. I use CleanSteps Wind Power provided by Washington Gas Electric Services:


http://www.wges.com/page/wind.php

I actually pay a little more than the going rate, but my contract is up in a month or two so I'll be renewing at the new lower rate of 11 cents per kilowatt hour to get 100% wind generated electricity added to the grid for every kwh we use (for Volt and Home)

I'd have to presume that many Volt roll out markets have this option available. Much like other Volt owners, every mile my Volt travels de-employs someone in the middle east, but it ALSO specifically adds additional demand for EMPLOYING people building out our nations Wind energy infrastructure. This has the added effects of reducing domestic demand for coal so that it can be exported overseas. Believe it or not the US has been building up a substantial industry in the export of both natural gas and coal for the past few years, with most regions of the world growing their purchases of US coal in the double digits. Circulating dollars amongst ourselves is fine and good, but we have to get exports UP if we're going to get back to where we need to be. Since wind can't be easily exported as an energy source, use that for your Volt and Home and EXPORT the coal, natural gas, etc. that it displaces.
 

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As long as one is in a deregulated area of Texas, you can choose from 20-30 different electric providers. Many have 100% wind or some other eco-friendly options (at higher costs of course). Basically, while one's individual home might be using coal, they would produce 100% wind power equal to that amount somewhere else to balance things out.

Paul (Cari's husband)
 

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I think California is in the process of requiring 30% of the electricity supplied come from renewable sources. I didn't vote for the current Governor (Brown), but it looks like he is serious of making this happen.
 

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I punched in my zip in the http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energ...how-clean.html site and got some really fishy numbers.

I live in northeast Illinois, and that site claims that the power company for this area (Commonwealth Edison) is 73% coal, 22% nuke, 3% gas. That's not even close to right. I get an annual Environmental Disclosure statement from ComEd (required by state law) and it's consistently ~50% nuke. In 2010 it was 50% nuke, 38% coal, 9% gas.

IL produces more MW-hrs of nuke power than any other state in the country, and the vast majority of the plants are up north. So I'm not sure where epa.gov is getting their numbers for ComEd, but they're clearly not right. Wish they were tho. It'd be a handy site otherwise.
 

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pen4v,

1 pound of coal carbon is about 1.66 kwh at the socket. 40% 'clean' -> 2.77 kwh at the wall socket per pound coal carbon.
Using Volt EPA of 0.36 kwh/mile, one pound of coal carbon in a 60:40 mixture moves the car 7.7 miles.

7 pounds of oil carbon is one gallon of petrol in the tank.

The break-even petrol car then is 7*7.7 = 53.9 MPG.


-----
Constants and links --
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#Hilt.27s_Law
MW of carbon = 12, H = 1
Hydrocarbons are ~ CH(2)
Coal Thermal Efficiency:

Petrol:
6/7 of weight is carbon
gallon weighs 6.7 pounds, and so contains 5.743 pounds of carbon
18% of oil lost in refining to petrol, so 7 pounds of carbon is 33.4 kwh of petrol in tank

Coal:
Coal: 670 grams carbon per 28.47 MJ = 7.9083 kwh
Combustion 33% -> 2.609739 kwh out of the plant
6% transmission losses to home
 

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hehe I participate in the solar_dave generating station, Going to see how it works out with the most local power available, my roof. Once I did the latest round of conservation on my little homestead I think I can run the volt completely CO2 less.

Given that we may be looking for a second Volt if I like mine alot. Delivery is set for about 10days from now. Working on the charge station this week.
 

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To solar_dave,
If you're going to get another Volt if you really like the first one, you'll be getting another Volt.

I tend to come up with analogies and scenarios that are not understandable by sane people:
What if we assume that ALL electricity is generated by automotive gasoline? Also, ALL cars are electric and getting charged on the grid using this gasoline based electricity.

Now compare my nether-world to an approximation of reality where (practically) all cars run on gasoline purchased from our existing network of gas stations.

My contention is that the former is more efficient (less total fuel used and less pollution emitted) than the latter (present reality).

A nice new car that gets 30 mpg only really gets 30 mpg when it's still new and right after a tune-up. Although millions of new cars are sold every year, there are several times more "older than new" cars on the road than new ones. If every driver got a tune-up once a year, then half the cars on the road HAVE NOT had a tune-up in six months or more; therefore they are not operatiing as efficiently as possible. Of course, in reality, everyone doesn't regularly tune up their cars (many people do though) and there are plenty of vehicles that have awful gas mileage due to this or just "hoggish" design.

Compare to a power plant. An electric utility does one thing - generate electricity. Their biggest expense is fuel. They do everything they can to ensure the plant is operating at maximum efficiency. They are a big stationary target for the EPA - they get regular inspections by teams of experts (unlike SOME automotive emission stations who seem to be in a perpetual cat and mouse game with the State to try things to defeat the integrity of the testing).

The transmission line loss for electric utilites is counterbalanced by the energy costs involved in gasoline distribution: gas station construction/maintenance/operation; trucking gas to thousands of stations that would be serviced by one power plant.

So, IMHO, an electricity based transportation system is intrisically more efficient and clean than our present petroleum system.

Add to this the heavier reliance of our present electric generating infrastructure on domestic sources AND the flexibility of using multiple fuels and/or renewable sources; it should be intuitively obvious (as my old math teacher used to say) that electric transportation is the future.
 

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ham - Great analagy about turning the industry "upside down". There is some loss to the electric car paradigm. The storage-loss in batteries over time (fewer kWh storable after x recharges). Also, charging loss (up to 20%). But probably not near the amount of loss to heat and idling for an ICE engine and add ot that pollution/greenhouse gasses/etc. With electric motors in the 90% efficiency range, that makes up for the 50% efficiency of gas cars ICE engines.

Best of all worlds - day-time charging an EV from local Solar PV. Energy input is "free" (after cost of PV array) and energy usage is emission-free while driving the EV (Volt in CD mode). The Sun's energy is hitting the earth already - why not capture it and use it.
 
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