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THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 13 Jul 2015, 18:32:30

ralfy wrote:Why not, especially given the fact that the low price is included, the assumption that the manufacturer will still be around to honor warranties, etc?

Consider the energy costs of these. In fact, consider the energy and material resource cost across capitalization, energy generation, energy distribution, and use.
Let's go back to the basics here. A definition of EROI:
Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of the energy delivered by a process to the energy used directly and indirectly in that process. EROI = Quantity of energy supplied / Quantity of energy used in supply process.
Energy return on investment (EROI)

Now lets define taxes:
A tax is a financial charge or other levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state to fund various public expenditures.
Tax

Taxes are levied against the rate payer, in the case the Solar PV plant. The Solar PV plant generates the revenue to pay the taxes from the output of electricity from the plant. IE, taxes are paid from the OUTPUT of the plant. You are making an argument to take the OUTPUT of the plant and count it as an energy INPUT. This is not correct.

ralfy wrote:And there are other factors to consider besides taxes.

The study doesn't deal only with taxes or even money but multiple factors:

http://energyskeptic.com/2015/tilting-a ... -solar-pv/

The was criticism of the study but also responses from Prieto (see the same link).
As Prieto mentioned, 2/3rds of the factors he used are not the energy used to create the solar PV panels as you suggested we should use. But instead "other" factors. Ex:
insurances, fairs exhibitions, promotions or conferences, administration expenses, municipality taxes, duties and levies, cost of land rent or ownership, circumstantial labor (notary publics, public officers, civil servants, etc.) agent representative or market agent, inscription and registration bonds and fees as required by the authorities. Some of these factors may certainly have diminished with time. Many others, have certainly increased over time. Taxes, for instance, have raised sharply.


Prieto goes on to bring up another point brought up. That if we are calculating EROI with the goal of replacing existing fossil fuel generating capaciting, the Solar PV EROI values should be multiplied by 3 since fossil fuels waste 2/3rds of their energy:
use a multiplying factor on the order of 3 for solar PV. The world uses about 13 BToe/year of primary energy or more than 510 EJ/year. Of that, approximately 170 EJ of fossil + nuclear go to produce an equivalent of 40 EJ of clean and useful electricity, this making the point of Raugei valid to some extent, if the solar PV systems would entirely go to replace electricity produced by fossil fuels, because of the losses of about 2/3 of the primary energy in the conversion process.
Thus using this logic, if we go with Iman's figure of 6 or higher for Solar PV, this value should be trippled to an EROI of 18+ when comparing it to the EROI of existing fossil fueled generation sources. Some authors take the opposite approach and reduce fossil fuels EROI by 2/3rds to get an apples to apples comparison.

ralfy wrote:It's the same thing when one refers to the low dollar prices of panel, or argues that the economy can decouple from energy through more money creation.
When BP made the argument that world economic growth and world energy consumption growth was decoupling, they did not use an agument it was because of money creation. Their argument was that it was because much of the recent economic growth was happening in less energy intensivive industries. Ie, less heavy industry more services.

ralfy wrote:Your second sentence contradicts your first.

Large quantities <> high production rate. That's why we're now resorting to shale oil.
Your video link was talking about production rates, not reserves.

ralfy wrote:The IEA argues that conventional production has to flat line to allow oil and gas production to increase by around 9 pct across two decades. At the same time, at least 70 pct of oil demand increase has to be replaced by RE.

To allow for that flatlining, oil producers will have to go for max. depletion rates at little or no profits, and heavy coordination and cooperation has to take place across economies, together with significant levels of regulation.

The complete opposite has been taking place for the past six decades. In fact, we've seen the complete opposite the past five years: bailouts, volatile oil prices, reliance on junk bonds to keep expensive production afloat, etc.
So you think the IEA's projections are BS? You think ASPO projections are more likely? It's possible. It has not been the case over the last few years(Oil projection is higher than ASPO said it would be), but it's possible oil production figures will be lower than IEA's projections. However even ASPO shows us as having oil flow rates just a few percent lower in 2030 than right now.

ralfy wrote:Saudi Arabia is using other energy sources not because they offer higher output but because of peak oil.
Good. Burning oil for electricity production seems like a huge waste to me. Better to free it up for transportation and other uses where it can serve a better use.

ralfy wrote:More efficiency in capitalist systems don't lead to less consumption but the opposite.
We also have governments that sit atop those capitalist systems and which can pass laws, mandates, taxes, etc that can alter the natural flow of capitalist systems. Ex: automotive mpg numbers increased in Europe. More efficiency should have led to more consumption right? But that didn't happen. European fuel consumption went down. Why? There was a countervailing force at work. Namely high fuel taxes.

ralfy wrote:In which case, don't expect sales for LED bulbs, among other things, to plummet or even stabilize.
Plummet? I'm expecting LED bulb sales to increase as incandescent light bulbs are phased out. It's energy consumed for lighting in the US that I am expecting to decrease. Not just from LED bulbs but fluorescent, automatic shut off controls, etc.

This section provides the results of the quantitative savings analysis. The Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and Energy Cost Index (ECI) are reduced with
each subsequent edition of the IECC. On a weighted national basis, the 2009 IECC results in 8.7% energy savings over the 2006 IECC, and the 2012 IECC results in 18.6% energy savings over the 2006 IECC.
Energy and Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the IECC for Commercial Buildings

ralfy wrote:Ultimately, we need to look at the energy returns needed to sustain a growing global economy plus deal with physical limits. I don't think the first is possible given the second.
...
Most important of all is that there is actually no "topic creep" for the simple reason that fossil fuels, given energy returns, energy density, etc., have been used for industrial civilization and the global capitalist economy for several decades. he same economy requires extensive material resource inputs, including petrochemicals. Why should these be ignored? Is it simply a matter of energy return, and in this case nameplate power vs. actual power produced?
I disagree, there is definitely topic creep. Discussing the EROI of Solar PV panels is one topic. Generating the energy returns needed to sustain a growing global economy and deal with physical limits is a second topic. Infact, having an answer to the first topic would help us dive into the second topic. For example: Say we wrap up the first topic we come to the conclusion that Solar PV has an EROI of 6. Then in the second topic you mention we need a return of at least 15 for a growing middle class. We could use the information gathered in the first topic(EROI of 6) to conclude that Solar PV will not meet the goal in the second topic: EROI of 15. Or when making the energy conversion to compare Solar PV to existing fossil fuel generation and multiplying it by 3, we can conclude that the 18:1 EROI of Solar PV panels does indeed meet the requirement.

Let us assume for the moment that fossil fuels in general have an EROI greater than renewable energy and are also cheaper than renewable energy. Thus from a global capitalist economy point of view, it makes sense to continue consuming fossil fuels as a feedstock to power our society. However our fossil fuel reserves are also depleting. And once gone, fossil fuels cannot be used again. Alternatively, we can consume fossil fuels in the production process of renewable energy. This greatly multiplies the total amount of energy we can get out of the fossil fuels as opposed to burning them as a feedstock.

if we have to use fossil fuels to manufacture renewable plants, doesn't it mean that renewables are useless? Raugei's answer is a resounding "no". In fact, the EROEI of fossil fuels acts as a multiplier for the final EROEI of the whole process. It turns out that if we invest the energy of fossil fuels to build renewable plants we get an overall EROEI around 20 for a process that leads to photovoltaic plants and an even better one for wind plants. So, if we want to invest in our future, that's the way to go, until we gradually arrive to completely replace fossil fuels!

It seems that this argument is too often brought up to imply that, since PV development and deployment is currently (largely) underpinned by fossil energy, and hence PV is not (yet) a fully independent and truly 100% renewable energy technology, then "why bother" in the first place?

It is worth looking at the issue from another angle. Let us assume that the average EROI of the current mix of fossil fuels (which still represent our main sources of primary energy, globally) is some value X > 1. And let us also agree that we (as a society) need a large and ever-growing share of our energy budget in the form of electricity (to power our computers, telecommunications, trains, home appliances, etc).

Broadly speaking, we therefore have two options:
1) keep using all the oil (and other fossil fuels) directly as FEEDSTOCK fuel in conventional power plants. In so doing, we would get out roughly 1/3 of the INPUT energy as electricity (electricity production efficiency in conventional power plants being ~0.33). This would be the "quick and dirty" option, that maximizes the short-term (almost instantaneous, in fact) "bang for the buck".

2) Use the same amount of available oil (and other fossil fuels) as (direct and indirect) INPUT for the production of PV plants.

Building and deploying a modern crystalline silicon PV system requires approximately 3 GJ of primary energy per m2. What this means is that the c-Si PV system would provide an output of electricity roughly equal to 18/3 = 6 times its primary energy input, which corresponds about 6/0.33 = 18 times the amount of electricity that we would have obtained, had we burnt the fuel(s) as FEEDSTOCK in conventional power plants (option 1 above), instead of using them as INPUT for the PV plant.

A planned long-term investment might be advisable, for instance, aimed at bringing about a gradual transition. The latter is in fact what many have been advocating, often only to be met with rather negative ‘gloom and doom’ reactions by others on a number of prominent discussion forums. It seems as if, in the minds of the latter, the desire to show that ‘the emperor has no clothes’ (i.e. that PV and other renewables are not yet, and might never be in full, a real, completely independent and high-EROI alternative to fossil fuels) overrides all other considerations, and prevents them from realizing/admitting that, after all, it may still be reasonable and recommendable to try and push this slow transition forward.
If we have to use fossil fuels to manufacture renewable plants, doesn't it mean that renewables are useless?
The oil barrel is half-full.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 03:58:39

kublikhan wrote:
ralfy wrote:Why not, especially given the fact that the low price is included, the assumption that the manufacturer will still be around to honor warranties, etc?

Consider the energy costs of these. In fact, consider the energy and material resource cost across capitalization, energy generation, energy distribution, and use.
Let's go back to the basics here. A definition of EROI:
Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of the energy delivered by a process to the energy used directly and indirectly in that process. EROI = Quantity of energy supplied / Quantity of energy used in supply process.
Energy return on investment (EROI)

Now lets define taxes:
A tax is a financial charge or other levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state to fund various public expenditures.
Tax

Taxes are levied against the rate payer, in the case the Solar PV plant. The Solar PV plant generates the revenue to pay the taxes from the output of electricity from the plant. IE, taxes are paid from the OUTPUT of the plant. You are making an argument to take the OUTPUT of the plant and count it as an energy INPUT. This is not correct.



The different EROIs are given in the slides presented here:

http://energyskeptic.com/2015/tilting-a ... -solar-pv/

That is, more than 8 for conventional (i.e., just the components needed to operate a system), less than 3 for direct costs (includes the cost for setting up the infrastructure and maintaining the system), more than 3 if there are technological improvements, and lower than 2 if financial costs (including municipality taxes).

Thus, the EROI of 3 does not include taxes.


Prieto goes on to bring up another point brought up. That if we are calculating EROI with the goal of replacing existing fossil fuel generating capaciting, the Solar PV EROI values should be multiplied by 3 since fossil fuels waste 2/3rds of their energy:
use a multiplying factor on the order of 3 for solar PV. The world uses about 13 BToe/year of primary energy or more than 510 EJ/year. Of that, approximately 170 EJ of fossil + nuclear go to produce an equivalent of 40 EJ of clean and useful electricity, this making the point of Raugei valid to some extent, if the solar PV systems would entirely go to replace electricity produced by fossil fuels, because of the losses of about 2/3 of the primary energy in the conversion process.
Thus using this logic, if we go with Iman's figure of 6 or higher for Solar PV, this value should be trippled to an EROI of 18+ when comparing it to the EROI of existing fossil fueled generation sources. Some authors take the opposite approach and reduce fossil fuels EROI by 2/3rds to get an apples to apples comparison.


That's what I said before: energy returns go down across the board.


When BP made the argument that world economic growth and world energy consumption growth was decoupling, they did not use an agument it was because of money creation. Their argument was that it was because much of the recent economic growth was happening in less energy intensivive industries. Ie, less heavy industry more services.


One of those services is the finance industry.

And given what I shared in another thread, there appears to be no decoupling between oil, energy, and GDP:

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2015/02/05/ch ... e-economy/

The oil and energy data come from BP.

Your video link was talking about production rates, not reserves.


Exactly. What do you think world leaders keep talking about when they try to wish away peak oil?


So you think the IEA's projections are BS? You think ASPO projections are more likely? It's possible. It has not been the case over the last few years(Oil projection is higher than ASPO said it would be), but it's possible oil production figures will be lower than IEA's projections. However even ASPO shows us as having oil flow rates just a few percent lower in 2030 than right now.



Aleklett discusses the issue here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... report.pdf

in reference to WEO 2008 which gives the same forecast.


Good. Burning oil for electricity production seems like a huge waste to me. Better to free it up for transportation and other uses where it can serve a better use.



Oil will still be needed for RE components. Also, as shown above, the energy returns are low.

We also have governments that sit atop those capitalist systems and which can pass laws, mandates, taxes, etc that can alter the natural flow of capitalist systems. Ex: automotive mpg numbers increased in Europe. More efficiency should have led to more consumption right? But that didn't happen. European fuel consumption went down. Why? There was a countervailing force at work. Namely high fuel taxes.


Given what has been happening the last six years, if not the last three decades, I don't think governments sit atop capitalist systems.


Plummet? I'm expecting LED bulb sales to increase as incandescent light bulbs are phased out. It's energy consumed for lighting in the US that I am expecting to decrease. Not just from LED bulbs but fluorescent, automatic shut off controls, etc.


That won't be the only reason why they'll increase. For more details, view

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470


This section provides the results of the quantitative savings analysis. The Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and Energy Cost Index (ECI) are reduced with
each subsequent edition of the IECC. On a weighted national basis, the 2009 IECC results in 8.7% energy savings over the 2006 IECC, and the 2012 IECC results in 18.6% energy savings over the 2006 IECC.
Energy and Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the IECC for Commercial Buildings


Unfortunately, U.S. <> the world.

I disagree, there is definitely topic creep. Discussing the EROI of Solar PV panels is one topic. Generating the energy returns needed to sustain a growing global economy and deal with physical limits is a second topic. Infact, having an answer to the first topic would help us dive into the second topic. For example: Say we wrap up the first topic we come to the conclusion that Solar PV has an EROI of 6. Then in the second topic you mention we need a return of at least 15 for a growing middle class. We could use the information gathered in the first topic(EROI of 6) to conclude that Solar PV will not meet the goal in the second topic: EROI of 15. Or when making the energy conversion to compare Solar PV to existing fossil fuel generation and multiplying it by 3, we can conclude that the 18:1 EROI of Solar PV panels does indeed meet the requirement.


I don't think the topic thread is only about about EROI, or even EROI in a vacuum.


Let us assume for the moment that fossil fuels in general have an EROI greater than renewable energy and are also cheaper than renewable energy. Thus from a global capitalist economy point of view, it makes sense to continue consuming fossil fuels as a feedstock to power our society. However our fossil fuel reserves are also depleting. And once gone, fossil fuels cannot be used again. Alternatively, we can consume fossil fuels in the production process of renewable energy. This greatly multiplies the total amount of energy we can get out of the fossil fuels as opposed to burning them as a feedstock.


A global capitalist system needs not only higher energy returns but increasing energy returns. That's because of a growing global middle class (see above), which is part of an industrial civilization.

The implication is that not only RE but even fossil fuels will likely not be enough to sustain it.

Fossil fuels can and will be used to develop more RE, but the energy needed to sustain the same global economy will have to be equivalent to one Saudi Arabia in new oil every three to seven years.

if we have to use fossil fuels to manufacture renewable plants, doesn't it mean that renewables are useless? Raugei's answer is a resounding "no". In fact, the EROEI of fossil fuels acts as a multiplier for the final EROEI of the whole process. It turns out that if we invest the energy of fossil fuels to build renewable plants we get an overall EROEI around 20 for a process that leads to photovoltaic plants and an even better one for wind plants. So, if we want to invest in our future, that's the way to go, until we gradually arrive to completely replace fossil fuels!


The point isn't that RE is useless. It's that it won't maintain "business as usual."

"Business as usual" in the global economy involves not only the finance industry but sales of middle class conveniences, not to mention basic needs for much of the global population. Most of these needs require fossil fuels but do not involve RE.

That's why the best that the IEA could give was only a 70-pct replacement of additional oil demand per annum with RE. But even to ensure that, oil and gas production has to rise by 9 pct during the next two decades. And that is possible only if conventional flat lines. How is that possible given increasing marginal costs and capex?

It seems that this argument is too often brought up to imply that, since PV development and deployment is currently (largely) underpinned by fossil energy, and hence PV is not (yet) a fully independent and truly 100% renewable energy technology, then "why bother" in the first place?


That's not what I'm implying. My argument is that it won't maintain the global economy.

In short, if any technologies are used to replace fossil fuels, they will be used because of peak oil.


It is worth looking at the issue from another angle. Let us assume that the average EROI of the current mix of fossil fuels (which still represent our main sources of primary energy, globally) is some value X > 1. And let us also agree that we (as a society) need a large and ever-growing share of our energy budget in the form of electricity (to power our computers, telecommunications, trains, home appliances, etc).

Broadly speaking, we therefore have two options:
1) keep using all the oil (and other fossil fuels) directly as FEEDSTOCK fuel in conventional power plants. In so doing, we would get out roughly 1/3 of the INPUT energy as electricity (electricity production efficiency in conventional power plants being ~0.33). This would be the "quick and dirty" option, that maximizes the short-term (almost instantaneous, in fact) "bang for the buck".

2) Use the same amount of available oil (and other fossil fuels) as (direct and indirect) INPUT for the production of PV plants.

Building and deploying a modern crystalline silicon PV system requires approximately 3 GJ of primary energy per m2. What this means is that the c-Si PV system would provide an output of electricity roughly equal to 18/3 = 6 times its primary energy input, which corresponds about 6/0.33 = 18 times the amount of electricity that we would have obtained, had we burnt the fuel(s) as FEEDSTOCK in conventional power plants (option 1 above), instead of using them as INPUT for the PV plant.

A planned long-term investment might be advisable, for instance, aimed at bringing about a gradual transition. The latter is in fact what many have been advocating, often only to be met with rather negative ‘gloom and doom’ reactions by others on a number of prominent discussion forums. It seems as if, in the minds of the latter, the desire to show that ‘the emperor has no clothes’ (i.e. that PV and other renewables are not yet, and might never be in full, a real, completely independent and high-EROI alternative to fossil fuels) overrides all other considerations, and prevents them from realizing/admitting that, after all, it may still be reasonable and recommendable to try and push this slow transition forward.
If we have to use fossil fuels to manufacture renewable plants, doesn't it mean that renewables are useless?


Again, I never argued that RE is useless. If any, I stated that their use plus that of other sources of energy are inevitable because of peak oil. However, they will not maintain capitalist systems.

If this study mentioned in this article is right,

http://www.businessinsider.com/131--the ... oil-2011-1

then it will take several decades for a full transition to take place, but oil supply issues may take place much earlier.

What this means is that if replacement refers to maintaining the current global economy, which includes businesses profiting from RE and using fossil fuels for mining, manufacturing, and shipping, not to mention the resources needed for infrastructure, as well as all sorts of goods that people will want (from electric cars to smart phones), then likely neither fossil fuels nor other technologies will be enough.

But if replacement refers to maintaining at most basic needs, then we will need everything that we can to do so, and that will likely require a dramatic drop in financial speculation, profiting, the manufacture of middle class conveniences, and the removal of unnecessary services. But will most households, governments, and businesses worldwide agree to such?
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 15:43:27

ralfy wrote:The different EROIs are given in the slides presented here:

http://energyskeptic.com/2015/tilting-a ... -solar-pv/

That is, more than 8 for conventional (i.e., just the components needed to operate a system), less than 3 for direct costs (includes the cost for setting up the infrastructure and maintaining the system), more than 3 if there are technological improvements, and lower than 2 if financial costs (including municipality taxes).

Thus, the EROI of 3 does not include taxes.
The 2.7 EROI for direct costs does indeed include municipality taxes. It's line item a22. I didn't see a breakdown for what is included in "technological improvements", but "direct costs" has some other items that I find questionable as well. Such as line item a11 "Fairs, Exhibitions, promotions, Conferences, etc." Note that these "direct costs" are not even energy costs. They are dollar costs. Then the dollars were "converted" to energy and added to the energy input side of the equation. From the tilting at windmills article:

The idea that financial input can be converted to energy input is simply wrong. It’s like claiming that the cost of a car should be a factor in calculating its fuel efficiency!

GDP increase and money creation are two completely different things, and the latter leads the former. The former is likely to increase energy use, but it is not proportional to energy use. Whereas money creation occurs when money is borrowed into existence, though an equal amount of debt is created so that it sums to zero. When the money is spent it becomes part of GDP. But if you’re tracking the energy cost of what it gets spent on, it would be double counting to then assign the average energy cost to the money spent.
...
Thank you Aidan, for reminding us that Mr. Prieto directly converted financial inputs to energy burdens in his EROI calculations. Economic Input/ Output (EI/O) is only valid when done within narrow data categories and only for comparison purposes. Mr. Prieto converted business air-fares for solar consultants travelling in/out Spain to the energy burden for installations in the country! This type of “energetic expense” is never accounted for in Life-Cycle Assessments of competitive power sources (e.g., coal, oil, nat. gas, nuclear) and show how unbalanced and consequently wrong, Mr. Prieto’s estimates are.
Cheers,
Vasilis Fthenakis


ralfy wrote:That's what I said before: energy returns go down across the board.
I'm not certain we are talking about the same thing here. I believe you are talking about declining energy returns because the easy resources are being depleted and the harder to extract resources require more energy. I was talking about the amount of energy in fossil fuel derived electricity is only 1/3rd of the amount of energy in the raw fossil fuel. So when comparing it's EROI to solar PV you can reduce it's EROI by 2/3rds to do an apples to apples comparison because solar PV output is already electricity.

ralfy wrote:One of those services is the finance industry.

And given what I shared in another thread, there appears to be no decoupling between oil, energy, and GDP:

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2015/02/05/ch ... e-economy/

The oil and energy data come from BP.
And I responded in that thread. Did you see what BP said about energy and GDP decoupling?

Continuing declines in energy intensity – the broadest indicator of improving energy efficiency across the economy – lead to a marked widening in the gap between GDP and energy consumption.

This reflects the end of the phase of rapid growth in energy demand in developing Asia, centered on China, driven by industrialization and electrification. Slower economic growth and an accelerated reduction in energy intensity* (as economic growth becomes less dependent on heavy industry) play roughly equal parts in explaining the slowing of energy growth.
BP Energy Outlook 2035

2014 in review

Global primary energy consumption decelerated sharply in 2014, even though global economic growth was similar to 2013. Global primary energy consumption increased by just 0.9% in 2014, a marked deceleration over 2013 (+2.0%) and well below the 10-year average of 2.1%. Growth was significantly below the 10-year average for Asia Pacific, Europe & Eurasia, and South & Central America.
BP Statistical Review ofWorld Energy

ralfy wrote:Aleklett discusses the issue here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... report.pdf

in reference to WEO 2008 which gives the same forecast.
From that report:

In summary, we find the production outlook made by the IEA to be problematic in the light of historical experience and production patterns. After reviewing WEO 2008, we must question the reality behind these numbers. We get a projection of future crude oil production indicating that the peak of world oil production is probably occurring now. the IEA obtains a very different picture using the same data.
That report is more than 5 years old. We can look at the actual data to see who was right and who was wrong.

IEA forecast for global oil production in 2015(from WEO 2008): 92 mb/d
actual oil production: 97 mb/d

Looks like they were both wrong. Actual oil production was higher than that predicted by the IEA, not lower.

ralfy wrote:Oil will still be needed for RE components. Also, as shown above, the energy returns are low.
There is considerable criticism of what is shown above, even at the same link you provided. At the very least, those numbers should be treated as controversial as they are opposed by a wide literature of analysis that comes to very different conclusions.

ralfy wrote:Given what has been happening the last six years, if not the last three decades, I don't think governments sit atop capitalist systems.
Perhaps I should rephrase. Governments can pass laws, mandates, taxes, etc that can alter the behavoir of what you would find in capitialism in its raw, natural form.

ralfy wrote:energy returns at 15 or better and growing to meet a global middle class that will soon reach 50 pct of the world's population;
This point was mention in the comments of the article as well. I do not think this is as settled as you seem to think it is.

The idea that an EROI of 12 or 13 is needed to run a complex civilization like ours is ludicrous. Looking at countries’ EROI figures and using them as a basis of a claimed requirement is like looking at their road systems and saying a speed limit of at least 60MPH is needed to run a complex civilization like ours! A higher speed limit may be advantageous but it is not a prerequisite, and a complex civilisation like ours would still function if the speed limit were lower.

There is no possible mechanism for an EROI of 12 or 13 to be a limiting factor. Likewise with a figure of 7 (which I’ve seen quoted elsewhere). The energy cost can be a limiting factor, but the more advanced a society gets, the more this depends on the value of human work rather than energy inputs. And suitable land can be a limiting factor. But as long as net energy is positive, EROI can not be because (in the absence of some other limiting factor) the problem can be solved with more energy infrastructure.
Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics
The oil barrel is half-full.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 17 Jul 2015, 13:55:11

kublikhan wrote:The 2.7 EROI for direct costs does indeed include municipality taxes. It's line item a22. I didn't see a breakdown for what is included in "technological improvements", but "direct costs" has some other items that I find questionable as well. Such as line item a11 "Fairs, Exhibitions, promotions, Conferences, etc." Note that these "direct costs" are not even energy costs. They are dollar costs. Then the dollars were "converted" to energy and added to the energy input side of the equation. From the tilting at windmills article:

The idea that financial input can be converted to energy input is simply wrong. It’s like claiming that the cost of a car should be a factor in calculating its fuel efficiency!

GDP increase and money creation are two completely different things, and the latter leads the former. The former is likely to increase energy use, but it is not proportional to energy use. Whereas money creation occurs when money is borrowed into existence, though an equal amount of debt is created so that it sums to zero. When the money is spent it becomes part of GDP. But if you’re tracking the energy cost of what it gets spent on, it would be double counting to then assign the average energy cost to the money spent.
...
Thank you Aidan, for reminding us that Mr. Prieto directly converted financial inputs to energy burdens in his EROI calculations. Economic Input/ Output (EI/O) is only valid when done within narrow data categories and only for comparison purposes. Mr. Prieto converted business air-fares for solar consultants travelling in/out Spain to the energy burden for installations in the country! This type of “energetic expense” is never accounted for in Life-Cycle Assessments of competitive power sources (e.g., coal, oil, nat. gas, nuclear) and show how unbalanced and consequently wrong, Mr. Prieto’s estimates are.
Cheers,
Vasilis Fthenakis


Add only items 1 to 10 and the energy return is already around 3.56.

I'm not ertain we are talking about the same thing here. I believe you are talking about declining energy returns because the easy resources are being depleted and the harder to extract resources require more energy. I was talking about the amount of energy in fossil fuel derived electricity is only 1/3rd of the amount of energy in the raw fossil fuel. So when comparing it's EROI to solar PV you can reduce it's EROI by 2/3rds to do an apples to apples comparison because solar PV output is already electricity.


We're talking about the same thing. My point is that I agree with you: the energy returns should be lower across the board.

And I responded in that thread. Did you see what BP said about energy and GDP decoupling?


Financing is part of the service industry. It also won't surprise me if the service industry, especially high-paying jobs, are dependent on more credit created.

Continuing declines in energy intensity – the broadest indicator of improving energy efficiency across the economy – lead to a marked widening in the gap between GDP and energy consumption.

This reflects the end of the phase of rapid growth in energy demand in developing Asia, centered on China, driven by industrialization and electrification. Slower economic growth and an accelerated reduction in energy intensity* (as economic growth becomes less dependent on heavy industry) play roughly equal parts in explaining the slowing of energy growth.
BP Energy Outlook 2035

2014 in review

Global primary energy consumption decelerated sharply in 2014, even though global economic growth was similar to 2013. Global primary energy consumption increased by just 0.9% in 2014, a marked deceleration over 2013 (+2.0%) and well below the 10-year average of 2.1%. Growth was significantly below the 10-year average for Asia Pacific, Europe & Eurasia, and South & Central America.
BP Statistical Review ofWorld Energy


Financing is part of the service industry.

Also, don't forget the article shared, which shows GDP, energy, and oil tracking each other across many years.

Finally, world energy consumption has been following an upward trend:

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/03/12/wo ... in-charts/

From that report:

In summary, we find the production outlook made by the IEA to be problematic in the light of historical experience and production patterns. After reviewing WEO 2008, we must question the reality behind these numbers. We get a projection of future crude oil production indicating that the peak of world oil production is probably occurring now. the IEA obtains a very different picture using the same data.
That report is more than 5 years old. We can look at the actual data to see who was right and who was wrong.

IEA forecast for global oil production in 2015(from WEO 2008): 92 mb/d
actual oil production: 97 mb/d

Looks like they were both wrong. Actual oil production was higher than that predicted by the IEA, not lower.


The report is referring to the outlook where production will flat line across two decades. "Fields yet to be found" (fig. 1) will save the day.

There is considerable criticism of what is shown above, even at the same link you provided. At the very least, those numbers should be treated as controversial as they are opposed by a wide literature of analysis that comes to very different conclusions.


I am very sure oil is needed for RE components, from mining to manufacturing and to shipping. And I am referring to you earlier point that energy returns for various sources should be lowered so that the comparisons make sense.

Perhaps I should rephrase. Governments can pass laws, mandates, taxes, etc that can alter the behavoir of what you would find in capitialism in its raw, natural form.


Given what has been taking place the past three decades, I'm not sure about that.


This point was mention in the comments of the article as well. I do not think this is as settled as you seem to think it is.



I'm open to evidence showing that most people won't want middle class conveniences.


The idea that an EROI of 12 or 13 is needed to run a complex civilization like ours is ludicrous. Looking at countries’ EROI figures and using them as a basis of a claimed requirement is like looking at their road systems and saying a speed limit of at least 60MPH is needed to run a complex civilization like ours! A higher speed limit may be advantageous but it is not a prerequisite, and a complex civilisation like ours would still function if the speed limit were lower.



Too bad complex civilizations involve more than just speed limits.

There is no possible mechanism for an EROI of 12 or 13 to be a limiting factor. Likewise with a figure of 7 (which I’ve seen quoted elsewhere). The energy cost can be a limiting factor, but the more advanced a society gets, the more this depends on the value of human work rather than energy inputs. And suitable land can be a limiting factor. But as long as net energy is positive, EROI can not be because (in the absence of some other limiting factor) the problem can be solved with more energy infrastructure.
Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics


It's a limiting factor as more energy is needed to make products such as passenger vehicles, smart phones, etc. That's why ecological footprints for middle class lifestyles are much higher than those who live in poverty.

Such advancement is made possible not through human work but through high energy returns which allows for increased production, etc.

Energy infrastructure requires additional inputs in terms of energy and material resources.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Fri 17 Jul 2015, 15:27:56

Seriously stop wasting your time on solar power. Solar panels might one day produce a good rate of return (maybe as high as 10 eroi).

But wind and nuclear can both produce eroi's of 20 or above, twice the maximum possible eroi of solar power.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 10:03:34

I like articles that cut through the feelgood stuff. (Who wants to feel good, anyway?? :lol: :P ) (Not that I take everything the IEA says as gospel, lol.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/busin ... .html?_r=2

Innovation Sputters in Battle Against Climate Change

In the race to develop technologies to slow climate change, the world is off track.

That’s the latest assessment from the International Energy Agency, which presented a bleak outlook ahead of the planned climate summit meeting in Paris this December, where countries rich and poor are hoping to agree on a strategy to slow global warming.

Even under the more optimistic assessments of humanity’s technological capabilities, limiting the atmosphere’s warming to two degrees Celsius above the average in the preindustrial era — considered by many scientists to be a tipping point toward climatic upheaval — seems to be slipping out of reach.

For the first time since the I.E.A. started monitoring clean energy progress, not one of the technology fields tracked is meeting its objectives,” Maria van der Hoeven, the agency’s executive director, wrote in a foreword to the report. “Our ability to deliver a future in which temperatures rise modestly is at risk of being jeopardized.”
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 30 Jul 2015, 16:44:03

Large-Scale Solar Near Parity In World’s Three Biggest Markets

Utility scale solar is making such inroads into the energy business in the US that utilities are now longer fighting it, with large scale solar likely to be competitive even if current tax credits are removed.

That is the assessment of SunPower, one of the biggest solar module manufacturers and project developers in the US, which this week bought out the 1.5GW solar portfolio in the US built up by Australia’s Infigen Energy.

In a conference call accompanying its second quarter results, president and CEO Tom Werner said large scale solar barely accounted for 1 per cent of total generation in the US, but it had huge potential in the US, even if the investment tax credit (ITC) is removed in 2017.

That’s because of the declining costs. Werner pointed to one contract below $US50/MWh. Others have gone below $40/MWh.

“If you do the math on that and you project post-ITC, and you continue protecting our cost down and performance increases in our systems, that’s where we get our confidence in a potential post-ITC world,” Werner said.

“So, we think that our solar energy is interesting to utilities already post-ITC, assuming there is a post-ITC.”

Costs for large scale solar in the US are falling rapidly, helped by cheap finance from new asset classes and vehicles that analysts say will result in more investment than the oil and gas industries. Werner’s confidence is reflected in the company’s forecast for solar deployment over the next four years, growing at 30 per cent compound rate.


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Controversial compressed air underwater cave energy project

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 05:44:16


The search for new ways to produce energy are often complicated and controversial - and in Northern Ireland, a project to compress air into caverns under the seabed is no different.

It will be used, along with gas, to run turbines when the wind does not blow.

However some are worried that the process could be damaging to the natural habitat, as Andy Martin reports.

Sounds like a great idea if they can get it to work.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 07:27:05

donlan - Feeling cranky this morning...haven't had my first cup yet. LOL. That wouldn't be creating energy but storing it. Which should work: running equipment off compressed air is decades old technology. Most big auto repair shops in the US use compressed air powered tools. But I suspect by getting it to work you mean making it economical. They probably face the same hurdle many such ideas run into: they might be able to afford the generation side of the equation or the storage side. But paying for both can be too much to justify the return.

Storage still seems to be a major problem for many periodic alts.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 08:10:40

Yes, storing it! One of the largest hurdles for all forms of renewable energy to overcome as you can't simply put electrons into a tank and draw down whenever you need it.
The economics of scale are always difficult, but if it is successful it could also be used to shift baseload into storage thus reducing the costs of generating power from any source.

What the electricity generating system needs is a way to hold several days worth of power to cover the dull windless days that are common at this time of year (in this locality), then wind & solar will really come into their own as they will be able to build up stores of power for later use.
Ronald Coase, Nobel Economic Sciences, said in 1991 “If we torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 11:42:07

We've been down that road already dolan. Super capacitors, molten metal batteries, pumped storage hydropower stations, compressed air, all of it. There is not way to un-store entropy.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 15:39:59

P, Maybe so, but many of these systems will function sufficiently enough to provide all the energy required for the essentials of life. It is almost certain that this will mean a major down shift in energy consumption for the average consumer as well. If sufficient energy can't be obtained to match demand then demand will be forced to drop to match supply.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 16:46:00

The only alternative is seawater-based Fischer-Tropsch fuel synthesis, which has a 50+ year research history at Brookhaven National Labs, M.I.T., and the US Naval Research Laboratory, and yet still hasn't progressed beyond VERY FUCKING SMALL PILOT STUDIES.

Thats the biggest scandal in history.

Meanwhile they throw more and more fake money at the biggest scam in history:

FUSION.

The governments are full of degenerates. Finance is nothing but degenerates.

There is not even a serious attempt at an energy alternative to fossil fuels.
America cannot afford combustion.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 16:51:05

The issue with Fischer-Tropsch is not sourcing carbon monoxide/hydrogen but rather the expense in equipment and especially energy to rework the molecules into complex hydrocarbon fuel. It was tried by the Nazi's during WWII and the Apartheid regime in South Africa. But the resulting liquids are too expensive to run a war machine, much less a consumer economy.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sun 11 Oct 2015, 23:57:36

pstarr wrote:The issue with Fischer-Tropsch is not sourcing carbon monoxide/hydrogen but rather the expense in equipment and especially energy to rework the molecules into complex hydrocarbon fuel. It was tried by the Nazi's during WWII and the Apartheid regime in South Africa. But the resulting liquids are too expensive to run a war machine, much less a consumer economy.


There you go again ignoring the numerous deficiencies of prices, not only in failing to capture both negative and positive externalities, but in the massive cost-distortion of relying on low-effort gleaning of a massive one-time fossil-fuel windfall that's utterly compromised the production function's value (see the work of Charles A.S. Hall, Energy and the Wealth of Nations).

Plus, you know very well that everyone is secretly working on offshore nuclear fission platforms anyways so seawater fishcer-tropsh is in the works too.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 00:32:45

Starve, you need to stay off the sauce. For just one minute, man.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:11:22

Energy-wise, it seems likely that nuclear based seawater fischer-tropsch synthetic fuel returns half the energy input, for an EROEI of 1:2. Note that's one unit out for two units in. As compared to Middle Eastern oil at ~30:1 to 40:1, that's equivalent to saying that liquid fuel costs will increase 60-80x.

That also probably means that liquid fuels will be reserved for uses in which there are few or no substitutes or other activity alternatives. Marine travel, some overland transport, standby generating capacity, possibly some aviation.

But cheap liquid fuels will be a distant dream.

The fundamental problem is that the Autobahn concept is no longer pragmatic. Piling electronics into 4 wheeled vehicles with constant traffic jams is not feasible.

If Adolph Hitler were alive today, he would (first laugh at the UK and then) recommend autonomous humanoid robots powered by a layer of solar skin with a beyond electro-chemical storage backpack to replace tanks and armies and airplanes for doing God's work.

Thats it...I don't see any other purpose to life.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby hvacman » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 09:58:45

re:entropy - exactly, pstarr. In the long-term, it will be the battle of round-trip efficiencies regarding large-scale energy storage systems for renewable energy generators. Advanced compressed air energy storage round-trip efficiency = 70%. Not bad - relatively low $/kWh storage and there are more viable locations, so it has some potential for large fixed storage. Pumped hydro is about 80%, better but extremely site-limited. Battery storage is about 85% -best efficiency and truly insensitive to location, but high $/kWh investment and questionable long-term battery life. Renewable electrolysis hydrogen is about 35% round trip efficiency. The worst of all worlds. High $/kWh cost. low round-trip efficiency. A truly abysmal option.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 11:22:47

Efficiency is not the only measure. H2 electrolysis has many advantages. The flexibility of hydrogen fuel for one. It is a gas that can be compressed, stored, moved in pipelines. With a fuel-cell it is converted directly back into electricity to power an EV. Or it can be burned directly in an ICE (with minor carborator adjustment. It can power a large gas turbine.

The simplicity of the H2 system is an important advantage. It is truly sustainable. The electrolysis hydrogen generator equipment has a long shelf life. The only part to wear out (and would need replacement) are the simple metal electrodes. Whereas the other devices (pumped storage compression etc.) are very mechanical. So H2 would be amortized while the other equipment needs constant maintenance.

So H2 would be the way to go in an ideal world, where we had powered down and replaced our autocentric dispersed manufacturing and living arrangement with a sensible post-peak infrastructure. As it is we don't have enough energy, time, or the money to build out an effective fuel storage system. FUBAR.
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Re: THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Unread postby dolanbaker » Mon 12 Oct 2015, 12:22:42

If Adolf Hitler was alive today, then they'll have proved that cryogenics work! :badgrin: But I do agree with the rest.
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