[Article] – FEE – 41 Inconvenient Truths on the "New Energy Economy"

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | [Article] – FEE – 41 Inconvenient Truths on the "New Energy Economy"

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #253296
      ThouArtThat
      Participant

      41 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”

      A week doesn’t pass without a mayor, governor, policymaker or pundit joining the rush to demand, or predict, an energy future that is entirely based on wind/solar and batteries, freed from the “burden” of the hydrocarbons that have fueled societies for centuries. Regardless of one’s opinion about whether, or why, an energy “transformation” is called for, the physics and economics of energy combined with scale realities make it clear that there is no possibility of anything resembling a radically “new energy economy” in the foreseeable future. Bill Gates has said that when it comes to understanding energy realities “we need to bring math to the problem.”

      He’s right. So, in my recent Manhattan Institute report, “The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking,” I did just that.

      Herein, then, is a summary of some of the bottom-line realities from the underlying math. (See the full report for explanations, documentation, and citations.)

      Snip …

      12. For security and reliability, an average of two months of national demand for hydrocarbons are in storage at any time. Today, barely two hours of national electricity demand can be stored in all utility-scale batteries plus all batteries in one million electric cars in America.

      13. Batteries produced annually by the Tesla Gigafactory (world’s biggest battery factory) can store three minutes worth of annual U.S. electric demand.

      14. To make enough batteries to store two day’s worth of U.S. electricity demand would require 1,000 years of production by the Gigafactory (world’s biggest battery factory).

      Snip …

      21. In order to compensate for episodic wind/solar output, U.S. utilities are using oil- and gas-burning reciprocating engines (big cruise-ship-like diesels); three times as many have been added to the grid since 2000 as in the 50 years prior to that.

      Grief requires us to know the time we're in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are.

      Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.

      - Stephen Jenkinson

      Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

      - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #253313
      rampart
      Participant

      perhaps turning off the bitcoin mines will enable the glaciers to freeze again?

      intermittent generation and inadequate storage are certainly problems for our centralized generation and distribution systems under today’s technology, but why shouldn’t each home or location generate and store its own energy?

      some very smart people are working on new technology and economies of scale are making current technology more available and economical. I plan to market an accessory for the peloton which will enable my wife to generate our own energy during her daily workout.

      and, if we never reach 0 carbon we can certainly reduce.

       

       

      • #253424
        ThouArtThat
        Participant

        @rampart

        Hi rampart,

        Read the list completely.

        13. Batteries produced annually by the Tesla Gigafactory (world’s biggest battery factory) can store three minutes worth of annual U.S. electric demand.

        14. To make enough batteries to store two day’s worth of U.S. electricity demand would require 1,000 years of production by the Gigafactory (world’s biggest battery factory).

        It does not matter how many smart people are working a problem if Physics is the limitation.

        TAT

        Grief requires us to know the time we're in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are.

        Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.

        - Stephen Jenkinson

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #253458
      retired liberal
      Participant

      The root problem are our sheer numbers. At the rate we are going on dealing with that, our atmosphere will be like that of Venus, before we get around to  dealing with the root problem.
      Wind, solar, tide, etc., with their needed batteries to store the intermittent peaks, so as to fill in the valleys, are inadequate stop gaps. They all need fossil fuels to build and even to maintain.

      The North Eastern United States used to be heavily forested. Tens of millions of acres of trees. They were cut down for building and for fuel for cooking and warmth. Now all that land is being used to grow crops, including corn that is mostly used to feed cattle and make ethanol for mixing with gasoline. Ethanol also needs fossil fuels to make. In other words, almost everything we have done so far, to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, has only shifted and hidden our reliance on fossil fuels.
      And still way too many people think that pregnancy and births are miracles to celebrate. Somewhere down the road, they will be as we go extinct.

      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.

      If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.

      Both major political parties are special interest groups enabling each other for power and money, at the expense of the people they no longer properly serve…

      • #253471
        ThouArtThat
        Participant

        @retiredliberal

        Hi rl,

        Spot on – “In other words, almost everything we have done so far, to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, has only shifted and hidden our reliance on fossil fuels.”

        The following is a thoughtful interview with Professor Sid Smith on the collective conundrums facing humanity: population overshoot, earth’s carrying capacity and the commodification of culture. Professor Smith connects the dots with honesty and insight.

        TAT

        Grief requires us to know the time we're in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are.

        Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.

        - Stephen Jenkinson

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #253473
      N2Doc
      Participant

      Today is not the future. Otherwise we would still be using whale oil lamps and steam engines for our factories. Or slave labor. Of course, what’s old can be new again.

       

      The problem is we aren’t even trying to prepare. I suppose the truly cynical way to see it is, most of these issues will go away when >90% of the human population is gone. To be replaced with others, for sure.

      • #253478
        ThouArtThat
        Participant

        @n2doc

        Hi n2doc,

        Spot on – “The problem is we aren’t even trying to prepare.”  And every day we wait, our collective situation only gets worse.

        TAT

        Grief requires us to know the time we're in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are.

        Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.

        - Stephen Jenkinson

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #253477
      doh1304
      Participant

      You’re right TAT, but there’s a deeper meaning. Our real problems are ever increasing demand – and the word demand is the key – and ever increasing population. I could power my life with a couple of solar panels, maybe a third and a battery. But I am 1 person, and I do not drive, I eat less than 1200 calories a day, and I have shirts that are 33 years old. It is true that 1st world birth rates are less than replacement level, but thanks to immigration (and 3rd world refugees) our populations are increasing as fast as they were before the birth rates started to drop. No technological wizardry will save us. We must give up gluttony and lose at least 5 billion people. Only then will we be able to redo the math and get a survivable answer.

      • #253483
        ThouArtThat
        Participant

        @doh1304

        Hi doh1304,

        Spot on – “Our real problems are ever increasing demand – and the word demand is the key – and ever increasing population.”

        To borrow a cultural allusion, all of the George Jetson wannabees would have to accept a new reality: they will not be working for Spacely Sprockets in some Floating Sky Factory reached via Flying Cars. Those cultural fantasies need to die quickly and swiftly.  These to be replaced with honesty about our collective situation and the reality of our collective dishonesty in not being honest about how badly we have abused our home, planet Earth.

        TAT

        Grief requires us to know the time we're in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are unwilling to know things for what they are.

        Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.

        - Stephen Jenkinson

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.