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PeakOil is You

Sustainable power

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 13:23:08

Tikib wrote:I feel like I am missing something. I didn't say it
Was easy to build renewables without fossils. But it is doable providing the renewables resource was big enough.
You are missing something. Scale. The issue is not quantity of renewables (sun power is endless) but rather availability. We don't have the resources or plans to gather that sunlight in a reasonable time frame.
Tikib wrote: I think your big gripe is the liquid fuels issue and that's a biggy as its very difficult to move stuff without oil. All I can say is sail boats and electric trains. no neither of us them is as good as the fossil alternative but I didn't say they were.

Scale. We can't go back.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby GHung » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 17:20:04

Tikib: "I think your big gripe is the liquid fuels issue and that's a biggy as its very difficult to move stuff without oil. All I can say is sail boats and electric trains. no neither of us them is as good as the fossil alternative but I didn't say they were."

I, personally, don't have many gripes, and the remarkable utility of petroleum products isn't one of them. It's how consumers, especially in the west, squander that utility that I've been known to gripe about. Try to name any economically important process that doesn't have petroleum embodied in it, including the financial segment. I can't. Considering the utter interconnectedness of virtually everything and every process in the global economy: extraction, transportation, manufacturing, marketing, consuming, the financial processes that enable all these things in highly leveraged economies that thrive only on credit.....

http://www.scribd.com/doc/100103277/Fin ... c-Collapse

Who, pray tell, is going to plan and administer this hyper-complex transition? Do some homework, read the above and Sunweb's stuff and get back to us. Gail Tverberg (http://ourfiniteworld.com/) has also covered this subject extensively.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 17:36:49

My career is electric trains. My hobby is sailboats.

Yeah, not so much.

Where does the electric come from? Where does the sail cloth come from? Fossil fuels.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 18:39:02

This thread is getting boring now. Newfie I get it you don't think it's possible.

Of course if you live in France the electric comes from nuclear power. And sail boats did exist pre fossil fuels.

And as I repeatedly stated I was considering a thought experiment for a small area not a country or the world or whatever as that would take decades. Which we don't have.

I do think though that if we have started earlier we could have built a lasting society that was more intensive than before oil using renewables but the oil age would likely always be the high point.
Last edited by Tikib on Tue 09 Dec 2014, 19:11:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby GHung » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 19:08:28

".... I do think though that if we have started earlier we could have built a lasting society"...

There is no "we"; not in the sense you're talking about. Now go be bored.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 19:13:17

Yea that's pretty much the problem.
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 19:21:15

This link I found from the sunweb link posted above.

They HAVE done the math. It's not pretty.

http://energyskeptic.com/2013/tilting-a ... -solar-pv/
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 20:10:58

Yea I have seen that and your right it's not. They do assume that pv only lasts 25 years their though and their are 50 year old cells still producing usable power.

Also I would be interested to see the effects of mass installation on returns as stuff like roads etc only has to be done once
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Team at MIT developing fusion power

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 11 Mar 2018, 14:18:19


If this is achieved, the researcher team from MIT - with financial and technical assistance from Commonwealth Fusion Systems in the United States and Italian energy company Eni - believes its system could demonstrate one of the holy grails of nuclear fusion technology: positive net energy from fusion, meaning you get more energy from what you put in. They will use ultra powerful electromagnets to control the reaction and force the nuclei to fuse together. In Italy, which rejected the development of nuclear power in a referendum in 1987 following the Chernobyl disaster, renewable energy initiatives are mainly driven by utility Enel and its global Enel Green Power unit. FUSION power - the clean energy technology wryly said to always be 30 years from reality - could be demonstrated within just 15 years, thanks to new research efforts at MIT. In a statement, Eni


Team at MIT developing fusion power
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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Re: Sustainable power

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 12 Mar 2018, 09:11:26

Tikib wrote:Yea I have seen that and your right it's not. They do assume that pv only lasts 25 years their though and their are 50 year old cells still producing usable power.

Also I would be interested to see the effects of mass installation on returns as stuff like roads etc only has to be done once

Having worked in highway construction and maintenance for forty years I can tell you that much of roads and bridges are not once and done propositions. The cuts and fills need not be done again but pavements and steel guardrails and bridge beams wear out and rust away. It is a constant expense and effort to keep up with the rate of rut and the rate of rust.
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