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Five dirty truths about clean technology

Alternative Energy

The planet is changing. The complacency is changing. The energy business is changing.

And–after more than two centuries of hydrocarbon use and 150 years of extracting oil–history is changing as a growing number of companies and public-sector entities try to transform the fossil-fuel era in real time.

The clock is clearly ticking as we confront these critical issues, but we should keep the hours, minutes and seconds in perspective. The economic and environmental consequences stemming from our poor energy choices have been building since the Industrial Revolution. So it’s unrealistic to think that we can scrub the skies overnight.

We can’t. And we won’t.

Most meaningful technology transformations usually take up to 100 years, which is why it may already be too late to solve our current energy problems, especially given the growing evidence that production in the world’s largest oil fields may be peaking. The long lag time to fruition is generally due to a lack of workable innovation and perspective; it’s hard to understand the future when you’ve never been there.

We are probably offering false hope when we suggest that there is another generation of Edisons and Hewletts working in garages around America to fix our unprecedented environmental problems.

Misperceptions certainly have punctuated major industrial and information technology changes–and I believe they’ve taken hold today, as a clean-energy revolution starts to gain currency in companies and communities all over the world.

Progress in a postpetroleum society
In seeking to constrain carbon use and combat climate change, we need to keep in mind five dirty truths about clean technology if we are going to make real progress in a postpetroleum society.

• The first truth is that clean tech is a puzzle that is not easily solved. There are a number of complex pieces that have to fit together, including cost, efficiency, emissions and, ultimately, sustainability.

There is no magic energy elixir.

Solar photovoltaic systems have low emissions, adequate efficiency and reasonable sustainability, but they are too costly to compete with fossil fuels. Coal-fired generation is low-cost and has acceptable efficiency, but its emissions are severe, and it is not sustainable.

Transportation fuel is most vexing. First, it was hydrogen–hydrogen from methanol, then hydrogen from gasoline, then hydrogen from electricity.

Next, it was ethanol–ethanol from corn, then ethanol from biomass, then ethanol from switch grass. Ethanol has low emissions and is close to being cost-effective. But it is inefficient and has a negative EROEI (energy return on energy invested), so is not sustainable.

• The second truth–that clean technology may reverse rampant globalization–could make the puzzle even more complicated. Indeed, as the cost of transporting certain forms of energy across vast distances becomes prohibitive, energy use will undoubtedly become more local and make better use of indigenous sources.

The Exxon Mobils, Royal Dutch Shells and BPs of the world remain relevant and must lead.

This is not to say that we’ll miss the global standardization imposed by a petroleum-based economy. It is only to point out that we need to be prepared for balkanized energy consumption and all that this means.

• The third truth also keeps it real. We are probably offering false hope when we suggest that there is another generation of Edisons and Hewletts working in garages around America to fix our unprecedented environmental problems. In the end, this clean-technology revolution, unlike that for IT, may not be driven by venture capital-backed start-up companies.

New forms of mass energy supply will be needed over the next century as oil and natural gas reach peak production and begin their slow decline. Wind and solar power will help, but if the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine, there is no electricity. And electricity won’t do anything for cars, trucks, ships and aircraft.

We have to face facts: despite whether we like it, the distribution channels for much of our energy supply are still controlled by large incumbents.

This is why the Exxon Mobils, Royal Dutch Shells and BPs of the world remain relevant and must lead. It may be heresy to say this, but in the future, we will probably look to these behemoths for clean mass-produced transportation fuels other than ethanol and biodiesel, which can’t replace more than a third of our oil consumption.

One of the most promising alternatives with the necessary scale to augment oil is the Fischer-Tropsch process. Fischer-Tropsch produces synthetic fuel from coal, which is abundant in America. The process was pioneered by Germany during World War II and later used by South Africa during the boycott on apartheid to keep its vehicles on the road.

This kind of massive industrial endeavor simply can’t be undertaken by a venture-backed start-up. But start-ups can play a significant role in helping reduce the energy intensity of the American economy by facilitating efficiency and eliminating waste.

The real issue is whether shareholders of publicly held enterprises will stomach the risk–and appreciate the reward–that comes with pioneering new clean technologies.

• The fourth truth may sound trite, but it is right: collaboration, rather than competition, is going to win the day here. The large incumbent organizations in the old energy economy–whether they are in oil, electric utilities or the automotive industry–aren’t innovating fast or well enough. Their R&D budgets are shrinking, and the best and brightest engineers are no longer flocking to them.

Venture capital-backed start-ups, on the other hand, are constantly and rapidly innovating, and they are beginning to flood the market with clean-technology options.

In the transportation efficiency arena alone, for example, there are fledgling companies that have developed almost anything and everything that will eek out additional fuel savings.

How will all these options be developed, evaluated and implemented in a cost-effective way in time to make a difference?

Perhaps the best approach is a new hybrid model that blends the creative strengths of venture capital-based start-ups with the muscle and might of traditional large enterprises. Large corporations like Intel, Microsoft and Cisco Systems have already shown the way by accessing innovation externally, outside of their own central research organizations and mergers-and-acquisitions operations.

The key question in the long run is whether these large consolidating companies will embrace or resist change, once they make new energy economy acquisitions. To achieve optimal value, they must understand and nurture the clean-tech start-up culture rather than just buying revenues and earnings, and amalgamating human capital and intellectual property.

• The fifth–and last–truth is all about managing risk and responsibility in the postpetroleum era. The only way that clean technology can fulfill its promise and potential is if venture start-ups and large established companies handle the upside and downside together. Venture capitalists routinely deal with risk, so that’s not a problem. The real issue is whether shareholders of publicly held enterprises will stomach the risk–and appreciate the reward–that comes with pioneering new clean technologies.

If large corporations partner with venture capitalists and allow them to vet innumerable clean technologies before assimilating the “derisked” winners, and if venture capitalists then permit big enterprises to incubate the new businesses and operate them crisply, we would have an ideal combination–one that would propel this clean-energy revolution forward and give us a better chance of reversing decades of environmental damage.

This is not an either-or proposition. A true meeting of the minds is essential here, if we are to save the planet, serve communities and reward stakeholders.

CNET



41 Comments on "Five dirty truths about clean technology"

  1. Dredd on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:14 pm 

    “The planet is changing.”

    No dipshit, Oil-Qaeda has been “changing the planet” with its psychopathic, lying murdering scheme.

    You may not be aware that suicide-murder is a reality.

    Read a book (The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan – 5).

  2. Outcast_Searcher on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:16 pm 

    “Solar photovoltaic systems have low emissions, adequate efficiency and reasonable sustainability, but they are too costly to compete with fossil fuels.”

    What a joke. The (“photovoltaic” and “too costly” links to the articles cited for this are CNET and 10 and 11 years old.

    Since the price is declining steadily, this is just more doomer “it can’t be done” talk. Besides, without mentioning at WHAT FF cost (i.e $2 a gallon for gasoline, or $8, for example), this statement is meaningless anyway.

    It’s not difficult at all to Google cost curves on Solar Voltaic cell costs, generation costs, and production increases.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_solar_cells

    Hint: Since the production curve is roughly a line on a logarithmic scale — the increase is exponential.

    I’m not saying this transition will be easy or fast, but if we’re going to discuss it, if we can’t be bothered to use REMOTELY timely or accurate data, why bother>

  3. Dredd on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:23 pm 

    “Five dirty truths …”

    No dipshit, truth is not dirty.

    Your lies are dirty.

  4. Dave thompson on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:26 pm 

    Truth number never talked about, there is nothing now or ever going to be available in the future, that will replace liquid form fossil fuels .

  5. Dredd on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:29 pm 

    Dave thompson,

    The coming death of civilization as we know it, thanks to your friends in Oil-Qaeda, will.

    Whoopie, “we” won !

  6. Dredd on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:39 pm 

    “The military is the lead federal agency on climate change … and that is extremely dangerous.”

    https://youtu.be/tjKQ5dZrc7U

  7. Davy on Sun, 14th May 2017 2:42 pm 

    Outcast, the subject is more complex than a price
    comparison. The “price” has different dimensions. To argue either way without a complex focused discussion is just more ideological sparing. This solves little and just perpetuates more distortions on both sides. Alternatives are great additions to the grid to a point. They are great for an individual to a point. Fossil fuels are bad for the planet period but thinking we can eliminate them with alternatives is half baked in multiple ways. Scale and time frame are uncertain. The economic behind any future FF or alternatives world is uncertain. Just crowing about price is intellectual laziness and allows so many distortions to enter the conversation.

  8. Outcast_Searcher on Sun, 14th May 2017 4:00 pm 

    Davy, I’ll be more impressed with such arguments (which have zero figures or citations, I notice), when you learn to spell “sparring”.

    Intellectual laziness? Maybe you should look up “irony”.

    But I know, you don’t want to hear that green power is working, so you wave away critical issues like cost, as though they don’t matter. This is only credible to deniers.

  9. Davy on Sun, 14th May 2017 4:43 pm 

    I have said many times on this board I am dyslexic both spatial and dysgraphia. I am honest about my limitations. This has been a handicap all my life but one I have learned to accommodate. What about you what is going on with you?

    Often times this is the case, if you get called out on spelling it is becuase they are unable to argue the subject. If you are told you are off your meds then they are indicating you have lost the argument. This are games we play. Are you playing here outcast?

    I have made a solid point and one that would take many lines to cover. If you want to argue the figures and references start the process. I am at the moment servicing a farm tractor and will not be able to research the issue until tonight. I am on an iPhone trying to type with arthritis and a crazy auto complete thingy.

  10. Cloggie on Sun, 14th May 2017 10:40 pm 

    Outcast is right… trying to defame solar with an article on price of solar from 2007, is fundamentally dishonest, unless this article is itself from 2007, when we all still believed in the relevance of peak oil. Thank God we now have the ApneaTurd to amuse us with new doom stories, keeping us from the streets at night.

    This article belongs in the garbage bin. Alt-energy won, considering the figures of new installed energy production capacity, which in majority is renewable.

  11. Jan on Mon, 15th May 2017 1:18 am 

    I wonder how many of the pro solar brigade heat their homes without gas. I wonder how many are off-grid producing all they need from their solar panels and storing the electricity in their environmentally costly and difficult to recycle lithium ion batteries.
    Cloggie? Outcast?

  12. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 1:25 am 

    My electricity needs are covered with solar panels.

    Regarding space heating, I’m working on this and expect to become largely independent from gas in 1-2 years:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/solar-air-heater/

  13. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 2:08 am 

    “Outcast is right… trying to defame solar with an article on price of solar from 2007, is fundamentally dishonest,”

    Ya it’s what you do all the time Fuck-O

  14. makati1 on Mon, 15th May 2017 2:32 am 

    Solar electric is less than a percentage of a percent of all the electric power in the world and that is less than 20% of all the energy used in the world from ALL sources. Not even a drop in the bucket and never will be any significant percentage. The life cycle of a solar system is less than a decade. Much less for it’s electronics. Nice to have an independent system on your roof for emergencies, but not for a long term dependency. All solar will be just junk within 20 years of the end of BAU and oil. Probably less.

  15. Davy on Mon, 15th May 2017 3:02 am 

    “The life cycle of a solar system is less than a decade. Much less for it’s electronics.”
    Mine is doing fine and it is approaching 10 years. Maybe if you ever had solar you might understand this.

  16. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 4:35 am 

    Solar electric is less than a percentage of a percent of all the electric power in the world

    It is more interesting to study a PV Watt per capita ranking of larger countries to see what is possible if you have a dedicated renewable energy policy in place instead of playing empire:

    Germany: 491
    Italy: 308
    Belgium: 287
    Japan: 271
    USA: 79
    China: 32
    India: 4

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_by_country

    So basically every German has on average 2 standard 100×160 cm solar panels installed. And counting (and 6x that of an American and 15X that of a Chinaman).

    And that 1% means nothing; instead you should look at growth rates to understand the future of solar:

    http://c1cleantechnicacom-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/files/2016/08/solar-price-drop-installations.jpg

    All solar will be just junk within 20 years of the end of BAU and oil.

    Complete BS. The trouble is that solar was virtually at zero around 2000. So it is too early to tell how long average panels will last, but there are encouraging signs:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/low-degredation-of-solar-cells-over-time/

    Meanwhile the Netherlands has begun dismantling its first offshore windpark, after 22 years of solid service. Not because it broke down, but because the technology was hopelessly outdated, with two blade rotors and merely 500 kW. It was just standing in the way:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/nuon-dismantles-offshore-wind-farm-in-the-netherlands/

  17. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 4:43 am 

    https://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/27/solar-panels-creating-electricity-for-much-longer-than-20-years/

    Solar panels lose 0.5% power year, which means that after 40 year they still produce 80% of the nominal value.

    And 50% after a decade (untested of course).

    Solar EROEI calculations are based on operational periods of 20-25 years, far to conservative.

  18. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 4:44 am 

    And 50% after a decade (untested of course).

    Should read: after a century.

    #YearningForPostEditFunctionDoes

  19. deadlykillerbeaz on Mon, 15th May 2017 4:57 am 

    In the old days, 1900 or so, farmers would order a wind charger from a wind charger manufacturer, have some batteries in the basement of the farmhouse, once the setup was in place, the wind charger would charge the batteries in the basement and the farmer would have lights in his house without lighting candles.

    http://windcharger.org/Wind_Charger/Welcome.html

    In 1916, that was all about to change. America’s inventive spirit during the next 20 years would create an entire industry to provide the convenience of electric power to rural and remote areas. By 1935, nearly one million rural homes, businesses, communities, churches, schools, resorts, and cabins were producing their own electric power with farm and wind electric plants.

    That’s been going on for a long time. Nothing new under the sun.

    The windmills in Switzerland, or is it Holland?, wherever, were used to pump water too.

  20. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 6:02 am 

    The windmills in Switzerland, or is it Holland?, wherever, were used to pump water too.

    Make that Holland, no windmills between the Alps. Large parts of the country wouldn’t exist without windmills pumping below-sealevel water away:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zDauA9QEkQ

    Or sawing wood to construct ships to sail to Nieuw Amsterdam (sometimes misspelled as “New York”).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6FxG3ll-lw

    (Video made by American tourist who clearly appreciates solid mechanics and craftsmanship)

  21. Sissyfuss on Mon, 15th May 2017 10:13 am 

    Clognewable, what is the proper technique for dealing with panels that have reached the end of their lifespan? Do you junk them, can the components be disassembled and some of them such as the framing be reused? Or do you melt them all down and start over?

  22. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 10:21 am 

    Sissquestionare, you know what a youtube is, right? No, it is not iMetro.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81-MEpcA-Rc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2lXOzOfvPA

  23. Sissyfuss on Mon, 15th May 2017 10:51 am 

    Thank you for your sarcastic and insincere reply, Clogpolean. It means the world. And this YouTube deal, a revelation indeed. Can’t thank you less than enough.

  24. Sissyfuss on Mon, 15th May 2017 10:59 am 

    Alright Clogeurzone. I forgive your bitchyness. Those vids were bitchin. That means excellent for you Dikelanders.

  25. rockman on Mon, 15th May 2017 6:09 pm 

    I don’t really care what anyone who isn’t putting their money into solar power right now has to say about its economic viability. I don’t care to try to endlessly run down whatever numbers they toss around. None of that is of f*cking interest to me. LOL.

    What does interest me: companies investing THEIR MONEY in commercial solar projects intent on making a profit. They may not know what the f*ck they’re doing but have enough confidence to risk THEIR CAPEX in the process. Which is a hell of a lot more credible then what any armchair expert claims IMHO. An update on Texas solar…and note nothing pointed out is being done as charity projects or has any motivation to “save the planet” or doing it “for the children. The motives are purely and 100% profit motivated. Maybe they’ll generate the profits anticipated…maybe not. But these investors are voting with the $’s and not just words like all the naysayers:

    “Southern Power announced the commercial operation of the 102 MW Lamesa Solar Facility in Dawson County, Texas. With three large-scale solar power projects operating in the state, Southern Power owns one of the largest utility-scale solar portfolios in Texas. Southern Power acquired the facility in July 2016 from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc.

    Located on 887 acres in Dawson County, the facility consists of approximately 410,000 photovoltaic solar panels and is capable of generating enough wholesale generation to help meet the average energy needs of approximately 15,000 Texas homes. The City of Garland, Texas, is purchasing the energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement.

    {FYI: this is part of the reason commercial solar investors are able to access capital: cities and utilities and signing 15 to 20 year purchase contracts. Often at rates a bit above the current market but at substantial discounts over the long term. IOW providing a PROFIT motive for the consumers. The vast majority of whom don’t give a crap about GHG or climate change. LOL.}

    With the Lamesa Solar Facility, Southern Power owns more than 1,200 MW of renewable generation across eight wind, solar and biomass facilities in Texas. The Lamesa Solar Facility fits Southern Power’s strategic business model of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts with creditworthy counterparties. {As just explained above}

    And what has happened at the undisputed petroleum capital of the world…Houston: The city has ranked first in the EPA’s Top 30 Local Government list of the largest green power users. The City is also seventh on EPA’s overall Top 100 green power users. Houston uses nearly one billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which represents more than 89 percent of its total energy needs:

    “The City of Houston, the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S., announced that ENGIE’s 50-megawatt plant recently came online. The facility is capable of providing up to 10.5 percent of the City’s electricity needs with clean, affordable solar power for the next 20 years under a power purchase agreement.

    The solar plant is one of the largest installations in Texas and includes 203,840 solar panels on 360 acres. The energy it produces will be delivered to Hermann Park Zoo, the Bob Lanier Public Works Building, wastewater treatment plants and several Bush Intercontinental Airport terminals. “As the nation’s largest municipal purchaser of green power, we are living proof that large, industrial cities like Houston can have a robust economy” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

    {And again this is the REALITY happening now as opposed to the WORDS being tossed around here.}

  26. GregT on Tue, 16th May 2017 12:35 am 

    “this is the REALITY happening now as opposed to the WORDS being tossed around here”

    “The facility is capable of providing up to 10.5 percent of the City’s electricity needs”

    Yes, this is the REALITY. Unfortunately, we face a liquid fuels crisis, not an electricity crisis. Although even I will admit that 10.5% of electricity generated from alternate fossil fuels based technologies is better than nothing, but not by very much.

  27. GregT on Tue, 16th May 2017 12:45 am 

    And also Rockman,

    ‘Green power’ is an oxymoron.

  28. makati1 on Tue, 16th May 2017 2:41 am 

    I wonder how hurricane proof that solar park really is? I guess we will find out someday. Maybe this summer? Next?

  29. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 2:54 am 

    Alright Clogeurzone. I forgive your bitchyness. Those vids were bitchin. That means excellent for you Dikelanders.

    You could have said Dicklanders… but didn’t. It’s a start. Deep underneath, there must be some hidden sympathy, it must be. It is the only logical conclusion.

    I’ll forgive you your usual inaction and pushing off work you could have done yourself.

    ‘Green power’ is an oxymoron.

    You are so right. If you put a solar panel in the woods, it will do nothing to increase growth rate of the surrounding vegetation, it will just selfishly produce stupid kwh’s, where as if you install a diesel engine in the middle of the forest, apart from producing kwh’s, the CO2 fumes will greatly fertilize said vegetation and enhance growth.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/the-world-is-getting-greener-why-does-no-one-want-to-know/#

  30. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 3:05 am 

    I wonder how hurricane proof that solar park really is? I guess we will find out someday. Maybe this summer? Next?

    You are a bit like these software hackers, who try to break into software systems, under the pretext of finding security loopholes.

    Thanks for identifying weak spots in the projected solar economy. We will apply extra bolts and nuts to make these panels hurricane proof.

  31. makati1 on Tue, 16th May 2017 3:26 am 

    Cloggie, a 250+ kilometer wind is NOT going to make any number of bolts effective. Wait and see.

  32. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 4:23 am 

    Largest Solar Power Plant in Caribbean withstands Hurricane without damage

    LOL

    http://www.soventix.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161013_CN_Soventix_Largest-Solar-Power-Plant-in-Caribbean-withstands-Hurricane-without-damage.pdf

  33. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 5:52 am 

    Have spent some time calculating what it takes to replace the entire global 2013 electricity production with wind energy only:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/iron-ore-mining-for-wind-turbines/

  34. makati1 on Tue, 16th May 2017 6:07 am 

    Cloggie, a one time event is NOT indicative of multiple hits every year. Nor is an ad by a solar company to be used as reliable info. You have no idea what real damage was done. Only their sales propaganda. Wait until the next one hits and the next and the next And they will. As the oceans warm you too will enjoy hurricanes on a more regular schedule.

  35. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 6:14 am 

    Cloggie, a one time event is NOT indicative of multiple hits every year. Nor is an ad by a solar company to be used as reliable info.

    So true. Now why don’t you defend your case and find me some data that illustrates your point.

    Find statistics about how many solar panels the world meanwhile has installed and how many of them are destroyed by hurricanes, gusts of wind, etc. I would be interested to know and am even willing to write a blog post on the subject, provided the damage is serious.

    Spoiler: I don’t think it is, otherwise I would have heard about it; wind turbines in contrast are far more subjected to excessive wind forces, but even here it is not a real problem, c.q. a threat to the wind business.

    https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article160887479/Warum-knicken-derzeit-so-viele-Windraeder-einfach-um.html

  36. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 6:17 am 

    From the link:

    Bei 26.500 Windkraftanlagen in Deutschland kommt es im Schnitt zu sechs bis sieben Zwischenfällen im Jahr.

    26500 turbines in Germany, with 6-7 cases of severe damage per year.

    No showstopper.

  37. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 4:04 pm 

    http://www.4coffshore.com/offshorewind/

    Global offshore wind map with status of every commissioned or planned wind farm.

    Zoom in on North Sea, where currently 90% of the global offshore wind action is.

  38. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 4:30 pm 

    http://www.4coffshore.com/windfarms/

    Here is country list with all projects under evaluation or implementation.

    http://www.4coffshore.com/windfarms/vessels.aspx?catId=3

    Here a list of vessels dedicated to wind farm construction:

    244 heavy lifting and construction
    268 construction support ships
    519 wind farm service vessels

    This is an entire new industry that in a couple of years will take over in size from oil exploration.

    Available North Sea area with a depth of less than 40 meters: 200,000 km

    Potential Electricity generation from this area: 1600 GW or 3 times the total EU electricity consumption.

    Source: https://www.amazon.com/Sustainable-Routledge-Explorations-Environmental-Economics-ebook/dp/B004OBZY8O/ref=sr_1_1

    Holland has the shallowest North Sea water, 50,000 km2 or 25% of 200k chunk, so it is unlikely we will miss our old Slochteren natural gas field very much, because it is difficult to imagine where electricity can be cheaper produced than in the North Sea… for the entire EU.

    And to tease Rockman a little: in offshore wind there is no such thing as a “dry hole”. What you see is what you get.

    What we are witnessing will dwarf the “oil Bonanza’s” of the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

    Sorry that I can’t be a doomer.lol

  39. Davy on Tue, 16th May 2017 6:22 pm 

    “Sorry that I can’t be a doomer.lol”

    Great links Clog and impressive techno optimism. This is the real stuff and I salute it. Too bad Clog you don’t understand there is more to doom than energy. If energy issues were all we were facing I may consider joining your party but there is so much more to it.

  40. Cloggie on Wed, 17th May 2017 3:54 am 

    The North Sea is going to be the new Persian Gulf, this time of renewable energy engineering:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/the-enormous-energy-potential-of-the-north-sea/

    There is a free iOS app called “Ship Finder” that tracks many ships, location, destination, etc. Currently am maintaining a list of Seajacks to see on what projects they are working on:

    Aeolus, Bold Tern, MPI Discovery, MPI Enterprise, Pacific Orca, Pacific Osprey, Sea Installer, Seajacks Hydra, Seajacks Kraken, Vole au Vent, Wind Server

  41. Apneaman on Wed, 17th May 2017 9:37 am 

    The North Sea is rich in signs of what made the modern world. It’s also a monument to what awaits us in the Anthropocene

    “As apex predators, albatrosses have significantly higher concentrations of toxic compounds in their bodies than is present in their habitats. Northern fulmars belong to the same seabird family. They are pelagic, which means that they spend their lives foraging out at sea, and return to shore only to breed. They rove from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific and, because of their indiscriminate appetite, they’re effective biomonitors of the distribution and abundance of plastic pollution in the North Sea. Around 95 per cent of northern fulmars in the North Sea now have plastic in their stomachs.”

    https://aeon.co/essays/the-north-sea-is-a-sign-of-what-awaits-in-the-anthropocene

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