We are all accustomed, or rather we have been accustomed, to the thought ofthe fact that electric cars and in general everything electric is much safer for the environment than hydrocarbon energy sources that have already become traditional. On the one hand, yes. The electric motor does not smoke, does not make noise, does not pollute and does not overheat the atmosphere, but not everything is as good as it might seem at first glance. Even if you ride Tesla, heat the house with the energy of the earth, and the electricity will be generated using solar panels, you still can’t leave the children a clean planet. No need to build illusions.
We wrote many times about electric cars and many morejust write about them. They are really of great interest to users. “Refueling” costs at times, or even dozens of times, cheaper, dynamics are higher, efficiency is higher, operating costs are lower, even the governments of many countries (including Russia) support the purchase and ownership of electric vehicles with various benefits. Such benefits include, for example, a reduction in the tax on electric cars, free transportation on highways in Norway, and free parking in Russia.
- 1 Cons of electric vehicles
- 2 Cons of nuclear power
- 3 Dangers of hydroelectric power plants
- 4 Cons of Solar Energy
- 5 Alternative Energy
- 6 Is it possible to completely switch to electricity?
Cons of electric cars
The first minus of electric cars follows from their advantages. Since fuel is not burned, but there are no “horns” like a trolleybus on the roof, you need to somehow carry an energy supply with you. To do this, huge batteries are installed at the bottom of the car. A side effect of this solution is a lower center of gravity and a more rigid body structure, which has a very positive effect on handling and safety.
But, do not forget that the battery ”is not onlyvaluable fur ”, but also harmful chemical production. In addition to the fact that a large amount of harmful substances is released into the atmosphere during production, components for production, including rare earth metals, must also be extracted. This is also a very negative impact on the environment. Let me remind you, the extraction of rare earth metals is one of the dirtiest extractive industries.
Do you think electronics does not affect human health? Even as it influences! Here is the proof.
Now imagine how many devices you have withthe battery. A smartphone, tablet, laptop, watch, a couple of "batteries" at home and all. To simplify, we say that this is about a kilogram of batteries, perhaps one and a half, but not more. So many batteries are now used by people. And now we’ll throw at least another 300 kilograms of batteries for every person who has a car. It will result in an increase in consumption hundreds of times. At the same time, it is not necessary to say that not everyone has a car. They will take over the batteries that will be installed in buses, taxis, car sharing cars and other vehicles. As a result, we obtain an approximately equal distribution.
Already, many are seriously thinking aboutbattery recycling, because even a smartphone’s battery does irreparable harm to the environment, and one finger battery pollutes up to 20 square meters of land. What can we say about the battery of a car or bus, which will weigh hundreds of kilograms. For example, a Tesla Model S battery weighs 540 kg and has dimensions of 210x150x15 cm.
As such an efficient recycling procedurebatteries, if it is not lead samples, no. When processing lead batteries, the process efficiency is very high and no more than 10 percent of the original product is lost. Everything is used, including plastic, lead and acids, but the processing itself is not very economical, as it requires a large amount of water and energy to support the operation of the whole enterprise with smelters and other demanding equipment.
Battery cells of electric vehicles and portableTechniques can be processed significantly worse and the useful yield is not so high. In addition, a large amount of water is also used, which, even after filtration, is discharged into the sewer, and energy is used to support the operation of the enterprise.
It turns out that the electric car is environmentally friendly only at the stageoperation? It turns out like this. Of course, in the production of a car with an internal combustion engine, there are also harmful production, but the chemistry in this process is significantly less. Yes, and then remelting it is much easier.
In addition, do not forget that electricityin sockets also does not propagate by budding. It must be obtained and delivered to the consumer. With an increase in consumption to the level of “electric car in every home”, it will be necessary to build more than one new power line, which pollutes nature with electromagnetic radiation. There are still minuses in the load on the network of cities, when tens of thousands of cars will get up to charging at 19:00. True, storage technologies such as super-flywheels or the same batteries that need to be recycled can help.
Cons of nuclear power
Various methods can be used to generate energy, the growth of demand of which has already exceeded the growth rate of the world’s population. For example, nuclear energy, which many simply idolize.
On the one hand, getting such energy seemsvery profitable, since the substances that are needed for this are relatively inexpensive and very energy efficient. Just do not forget that you need to spend large sums on production, and even more on the disposal of radioactive waste. All this leads to the fact that energy also does not become free. In addition, the station itself, equipment, specialists and security systems are also worth a lot.
But fuel reserves for nuclear plants atthe current effectiveness of their work can be considered inexhaustible. The only problem is that the experience of Chernobyl and Fukushima shows how dangerous a peaceful atom is. Of course, there were many mistakes made, but they got out only at the time of the accident. Perhaps there are even more serious flaws somewhere, but so far no one knows about them.
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The dangers of hydroelectric power plants
The cheapest way to get electricityare hydroelectric power plants. This judgment is quite fair. Compared to nuclear power plants, their operation is 5-6 times cheaper, and the payback is 3-4 times higher. It would seem that the problem has been solved, but not so simple.
According to experts, hydropower can coveronly 20 percent of the needs of mankind, even at the current stage of its development. With increasing consumption, the situation will only get worse. True, while the effectiveness of using this method does not exceed 50 percent. In Russia, this indicator is at the level of 30-40 percent.
If you can still install on mountain riversSince such stations are relatively harmless to the environment, when placing hydroelectric power plants on flat rivers, flooding of fertile lands, disturbance of fish spawning, changes in the population of other river inhabitants, and an increase in the amount of blue-green algae, which have a very bad effect on water quality, occur.
Also, in the case of rivers that flow throughseveral countries, it will be necessary to somehow resolve the issue with neighbors who are unlikely to be happy with the deterioration of fishing and a decrease in the amount of water flowing through their territory. The UN has even certain restrictions on such activities.
Cons of Solar Energy
In the case of solar energy, we againfaced with the need for harmful production. In addition to the fact that the batteries themselves already require large production capacities, we again face the need for energy storage.
In addition, the production of solar panels so farquite expensive. Efficiency, in turn, although it has grown recently, is still insufficient to fully replace other energy sources. That is why it is possible to completely switch to consumption only in the case of small households in sunny regions. In other cases, this is only an addition.
Alternative energy production methods
In addition to obtaining energy from the abovemethods and burning of fossil fuels, which you should not dwell on, there are other ways to generate electricity and heat. An example is tidal power plants and well-known windmills. But they are also expensive. For example, a wind farm has a fairly high efficiency, but costs from 300,000 euros without installation, and you need to install a lot of them. In addition, it requires expensive maintenance.
In this sense, they look very attractiveStations operating on the warmth of our planet. Simplified, their design is a pipe deepened hundreds of meters underground. In the deep layers, mainly at the sources, the water or substance in the pipe heats up and flows upward. The resulting heat can be used both for generators and for heating. It looks simple, attractive and inexpensive. The only disadvantage will be not very high efficiency and limited service life due to the large number of salts and minerals that damage pipes and equipment.
Is it possible to completely switch to electricity?
For several decades, scientists have been fighting overthe transition from fossil non-renewable energy sources to renewable ones. The imperfection of technology prevents them in this way. Even at the current level of consumption, it is impossible to completely abandon coal and oil. What can we say about the appearance of electric vehicles, which will require significantly more energy.
It turns out, is not everything so rosy in this direction? Another minus, by the way, will be that with the advent of a large number of cars with electric engines, the cost of energy is likely to increase. It will turn into what oil is now. Jumps in the cost of electricity will affect the economies of entire countries, and monopolists will dictate their terms. So not everything is so rosy in the complete transition to electricity. This process has both pros and cons.