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A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 00:05:49

ralfy wrote: Finally, such a scenario assumes that there is more than enough in terms of biocapacity per capita. That may also be questioned:


I read your link. I might opine that all the renewable energy systems we will ever need for a sustainable population have already been built. 1 to 2 billion. Everything else perpetuates overshoot. Most of the renewable systems that will ever be built may already exist. We may be on the cusp of the end of growth of everything except weeds--for a hyperbole. 8)
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 00:45:17

Ralfy, even globally crude oil is mostly consumed by transportation. In the past transportation was less than half of global oil consumption. But today it is closer to 2/3rds. Non transportation use of oil has actually been shrinking during the last few decades:

Oil demand in the transport sector experienced annual average growth of 33.4 mtoe between 1973 and 2012. Naturally, this is related to the increased use of transport vehicles such as passenger cars and airplanes. Conversely, oil consumption in industry dropped from 448 mtoe to 310 mtoe during the same period, i.e. by 3.5 mtoe on an annual basis. Therefore, it is easy to explain how cyclical consumer behavior works its way to crude oil markets. For example, seasonal patterns in the northern hemisphere (where the majority of population lives) affect fuel demand and oil prices. Gasoline demand is usually higher during the summer driving season.

In industry, and in power generation in particular, oil was partly replaced by coal. IEA data show that in 2012 the share of industry in the world’s total coal consumption was around 80 percent, up from 56.6 percent in 1973. In absolute numbers, global industry consumed 727 mtoe of coal in 2012, i.e. approximately double the 1973 level. Data from BP, the oil major, confirm that the rise of coal, natural gas and nuclear in power generation is one of the reasons behind the relative decline of oil for industrial use.

From 1975 to 2012 (roughly the same period as the one covered by the IEA data on oil demand), the number of road vehicles increased from 137.9 million to 253.6 million, according to information from the US Bureau of Federal Statistics. These figures account for passenger cars, light duty vehicles, trucks, motorcycles and buses. In other words, it’s not surprising that the global oil demand shifted towards transport use.

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Breakdown of oil consumption by sector
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 01:36:47

I'd like to see how traditional daily commutes factor into the transportation chart. I am still leaning on the idea that a shift towards telecommuting would be the least painful adaptation for society to make.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 02:32:56

In the US, about 60% of transportation energy consumption is for personal vehicles. About a quarter of that is work related.

Average Annual person miles of travel per Household
All Purposes_______________33,004
To/From Work_____________ 6,256
Work Related Business_______ 2,078
Shopping__________________ 4,620
Other Family/Personal Errands 5,134
School/Church_____________ 2,049
Social and Recreational______ 9,989
Other____________________ 2,878
SUMMARY OF TRAVEL TRENDS

One might think that airplanes, trains, and buses would consume most of the energy used in this sector but, in fact, their percentages are relatively small—about 9% for aircraft and about 3% for trains and buses. Personal vehicles, on the other hand, consume more than 60% of the energy used for transportation.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 12:19:36

pstarr wrote:
Monte wrote:The developed industrial world was not only built on fossil fuels, it was built for fossil fuels, as can be readily observed by just looking out the window.

No kidding. It wasn't as if we had shopping centers gas stations and car washes, and then some bright person said "Hey! Cars would look really nice in this mix!" And his buddy said "what's a car?" and then first guy (a bona fide entrepreneur of his time) says "I have this great idea. We can stop walking!"


On second thought, Pete, maybe it should have read, "The developed industrial world was not only built on fossil fuels, it was built for the automobile, as can be readily observed by just looking out the window."
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 12:58:09

pstarr wrote:Monte, our sensibilities and strategies are not the same. But we agree. I would argue the entire urban/suburban matrix is a rather complex tool to solve a very simple problem: how to keep the masses off the land and out of the way. The real wealth of any nation is in the soil, timber minerals and the capital that accrues by managing that wealth. Pesky citizens only get in the way.


And I would argue that "civilization" so removed man from a connection with the land that it destroyed the land in the process to maintain that separation.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 16:43:28

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 19:08:47

kublikhan wrote:Ralfy, even globally crude oil is mostly consumed by transportation. In the past transportation was less than half of global oil consumption. But today it is closer to 2/3rds. Non transportation use of oil has actually been shrinking during the last few decades:

Oil demand in the transport sector experienced annual average growth of 33.4 mtoe between 1973 and 2012. Naturally, this is related to the increased use of transport vehicles such as passenger cars and airplanes. Conversely, oil consumption in industry dropped from 448 mtoe to 310 mtoe during the same period, i.e. by 3.5 mtoe on an annual basis. Therefore, it is easy to explain how cyclical consumer behavior works its way to crude oil markets. For example, seasonal patterns in the northern hemisphere (where the majority of population lives) affect fuel demand and oil prices. Gasoline demand is usually higher during the summer driving season.

In industry, and in power generation in particular, oil was partly replaced by coal. IEA data show that in 2012 the share of industry in the world’s total coal consumption was around 80 percent, up from 56.6 percent in 1973. In absolute numbers, global industry consumed 727 mtoe of coal in 2012, i.e. approximately double the 1973 level. Data from BP, the oil major, confirm that the rise of coal, natural gas and nuclear in power generation is one of the reasons behind the relative decline of oil for industrial use.

From 1975 to 2012 (roughly the same period as the one covered by the IEA data on oil demand), the number of road vehicles increased from 137.9 million to 253.6 million, according to information from the US Bureau of Federal Statistics. These figures account for passenger cars, light duty vehicles, trucks, motorcycles and buses. In other words, it’s not surprising that the global oil demand shifted towards transport use.

Image
Breakdown of oil consumption by sector


What is the purpose of transportation? My understanding is that most people worldwide earn less than $10 a day, and thus can barely afford basic needs, let alone middle class conveniences such as using fuel for leisurely travel. Also, I think road conditions are poor, and infrastructure for mass transport and even shipping of goods and services inadequate.

Given that, the amount of resources in general needed to even meet basic needs will very likely outstrip what is available:

https://theconversation.com/if-everyone ... uble-43905
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 19:21:17

"Demand: Non-OECD"

https://www.eia.gov/finance/markets/demand-nonoecd.cfm

That is, strong connections between economic growth and oil use in developing countries, the use of oil for manufacturing rather than for services, increasing oil use for transport as economies continue to grow in order to move more people and goods (the implication is that transport strongly involves shipping and work), etc., and coupled with growing populations.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 19:28:41



Thanks for repeating that link. It throws water on the notion that the main problems we face are greedy 1st-worders edging out 3rd worlders and we should just make a few sacrifices and spread the wealth and happily ever after. We're already in a lifeboat ethics sort of world.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 19 Jan 2016, 20:41:44

Ralfy, that link is just supporting what I was saying. Transportation in general and personal vehicles in particular are driving oil demand growth:

In countries that are poor but rapidly growing, the raw increase in the number of vehicles on the road swamps any technical improvements in their efficiency. If a prosperous Brazilian family upgrades to a shiny new Prius, whatever they used to be driving will find a loving home with a previously carless family, just lately rich enough to afford a used clunker. Millions of Chinese people are converting each month from bicycles to scooters and from scooters to small cars, while the country’s top 2 or 3 percent develop for the first time a taste for western luxury vehicles. It’s quite possible that average gas mileage in developing world automobile fleets is in fact rising, but the fleets are growing so fast so that the total demand for oil is voracious.
The New Gas Guzzlers

Growing economic activity and vehicle ownership in the developing nations is expected to drive significant growth in petroleum fuels demand for transportation.

Growing Economic Activity And Vehicle Ownership In Developing Nations
Faster economic growth and industrialization also results in higher personal incomes and urbanization, which is expected to drive higher vehicle ownership in the developing nations. Currently there are around 20 and 80 vehicles per 1000 population in India and China, respectively. This compares to almost 800 vehicles per 1000 population in the U.S. and almost 600 vehicles per 1000 population in Germany and Japan. Therefore there is significant scope for growth in vehicle ownership in the developing nations. BP expects the global vehicle fleet, which includes commercial vehicles and passenger cars, to more than double to 2.3 billion units by 2035 from just around 1.1 billion units now, with a majority of growth (~86%) coming from the developing nations.
Key Factors Driving The Global Demand For Petroleum Fuels

Rising incomes in China are offsetting the impact of its industrial deceleration, propping up global oil prices, and increasing car ownership. This high demand is keeping the country on track to overtake the U.S. this year and become the top oil importer.

Both local and foreign players are preparing to expand their market share as consumers advance their purchases because of concern their city might cap the growth in vehicle ownership. This implies a positive sentiment in the oil consumption industry. An increase in number of vehicles would lead to higher fuel demand connected to the direct increase in oil demand. Companies are working to increase market share, which will increase oil demand.

For the first four months of 2014, China added 6.48 million cars to its passenger fleet—an increase of 10% from the same period last year. Industry analysts believe that if China follows the path of Korea and Japan, motor vehicle ownership—which in 2008 stood at just 30%—could reach 600 per 1,000 people by 2030. There’s a transnational shift of consumers resorting purchasing more vehicles.
Why China’s car sales are driving global oil demand
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 20 Jan 2016, 19:59:59

kublikhan wrote:Ralfy, that link is just supporting what I was saying. Transportation in general and personal vehicles in particular are driving oil demand growth:

In countries that are poor but rapidly growing, the raw increase in the number of vehicles on the road swamps any technical improvements in their efficiency. If a prosperous Brazilian family upgrades to a shiny new Prius, whatever they used to be driving will find a loving home with a previously carless family, just lately rich enough to afford a used clunker. Millions of Chinese people are converting each month from bicycles to scooters and from scooters to small cars, while the country’s top 2 or 3 percent develop for the first time a taste for western luxury vehicles. It’s quite possible that average gas mileage in developing world automobile fleets is in fact rising, but the fleets are growing so fast so that the total demand for oil is voracious.
The New Gas Guzzlers

Growing economic activity and vehicle ownership in the developing nations is expected to drive significant growth in petroleum fuels demand for transportation.

Growing Economic Activity And Vehicle Ownership In Developing Nations
Faster economic growth and industrialization also results in higher personal incomes and urbanization, which is expected to drive higher vehicle ownership in the developing nations. Currently there are around 20 and 80 vehicles per 1000 population in India and China, respectively. This compares to almost 800 vehicles per 1000 population in the U.S. and almost 600 vehicles per 1000 population in Germany and Japan. Therefore there is significant scope for growth in vehicle ownership in the developing nations. BP expects the global vehicle fleet, which includes commercial vehicles and passenger cars, to more than double to 2.3 billion units by 2035 from just around 1.1 billion units now, with a majority of growth (~86%) coming from the developing nations.
Key Factors Driving The Global Demand For Petroleum Fuels

Rising incomes in China are offsetting the impact of its industrial deceleration, propping up global oil prices, and increasing car ownership. This high demand is keeping the country on track to overtake the U.S. this year and become the top oil importer.

Both local and foreign players are preparing to expand their market share as consumers advance their purchases because of concern their city might cap the growth in vehicle ownership. This implies a positive sentiment in the oil consumption industry. An increase in number of vehicles would lead to higher fuel demand connected to the direct increase in oil demand. Companies are working to increase market share, which will increase oil demand.

For the first four months of 2014, China added 6.48 million cars to its passenger fleet—an increase of 10% from the same period last year. Industry analysts believe that if China follows the path of Korea and Japan, motor vehicle ownership—which in 2008 stood at just 30%—could reach 600 per 1,000 people by 2030. There’s a transnational shift of consumers resorting purchasing more vehicles.
Why China’s car sales are driving global oil demand


I am referring to not only newly industrialized countries but emerging markets and least developed countries.

The status of the middle class even in industrialized countries, especially given the point that they focus heavily on service industries, may be dependent on the rise of a middle class in newly industrialized countries. Meanwhile, emerging markets and least developed countries continue to meet basic needs.

Thus, your dream of continuous economic growth through a growing service industry may only be attained given not only continued manufacturing but a growing global middle class in newly industrialized countries, and global stability can only be maintained as most people in emerging markets and least developed countries are able to access basic needs. The material resources and energy needed to ensure these will be far greater than what renewable energy and credit creation technofixes will allow.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 01:33:46

Least developed countries have very low oil consumption. India alone has more oil consumption than all of Africa combined. Thus my original point if you want to reduce oil consumption you should be looking at oil consumption in transportation in the OECD, BRICs, etc, not the least developed countries.

And I do not dream of continuous economic growth.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 11:21:53

While generation of renewable energy by wind or photovoltaics is cheap, the utility of that energy is low, so the cost of use is high. Germany is an excellent example of this. The cost of electricity in Germany has risen at exactly the same rate as the renewable energy share of generation has increased — and it has now some of the most expensive power in Europe.

Image

Also, the price of residential electricity in the EU is correlated with the level of renewable energy installed on a per capita basis. The data shows that more renewables leads to higher electricity bills. The notion that renewable energy is cheap has yet to be demonstrated in reality.

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 17:01:31

Fossil fuels appear cheap by comparison because they don't have to pay for the ongoing damage they are doing to the environment or our health. These costs are borne by society and the planet at large.

A draft of a 2007 combined World Bank and SEPA report stated that up to 760,000 people died prematurely each year in China because of air and water pollution. High levels of air pollution in China's cities caused to 350,000-400,000 premature deaths. Another 300,000 died because of indoor air of poor quality. There were 60,000 premature deaths each year because of water of poor quality. Chinese officials asked that some of results should not be published in order to avoid social unrest.
Pollution in China

A new report from the International Monetary Fund says global use of fossil fuels costs taxpayers and consumers $5.3 trillion year. That’s trillion — with a T. The IMF report looked at the overall benefits and harms of fossil fuel use, factors that economists typically put into a separate category called "externalities," and classified these, too, as subsidies. These include such things as increased economic activity, damage to public health and the environment, and the amount of money unavailable for investment in other community goods due to hidden costs. "From an economic perspective the true cost is the true cost. The reason we don't face the true cost is there's no market for these damages.”

The main focus of the report, Coady says, is to compare the cost that people pay for fossil fuel-based energy to the cost that they would pay if they calculated the true cost of the damage done by their consumption — for example, the local damages related to having particles in the air, breathing problems, health-related problems that are believed to increase the mortality rate, or just lower quality of life. “When all of these get factored into account, they're very substantial.”
IMF: 'True cost' of fossil fuels is $5.3 trillion a year

Also, German households consume less electricity than their US counterparts. So total electricity bills are actually lower for German households than US households, despite higher unit costs for electricity.

While Americans pay on average around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity, Germans easily pay twice as much. Germans consume only a third as much electricity as Americans do. Germans only pay around 92 dollars a month for electricity – compared to the US average of 110 dollars.
German power bills are low compared to US average
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 19:17:25

kublikhan wrote:Least developed countries have very low oil consumption. India alone has more oil consumption than all of Africa combined. Thus my original point if you want to reduce oil consumption you should be looking at oil consumption in transportation in the OECD, BRICs, etc, not the least developed countries.

And I do not dream of continuous economic growth.


That should be the case as they are least developed. The catch is that they are so not only because of transportation. And for them to be developed that will mean more oil consumption.

Given that, you should be looking not only at lack of transportation but also lack of infrastructure, etc.

And your recent reference to the service industry ensuring economic growth counters your second point. To complicate matters, the examples given for the industry refer to financing, real estate, etc. All of these are part of middle class conveniences and can only be attained by the three groups of countries mentioned earlier through major improvements not only in transport but also in infrastructure, etc. That will require significant amounts of energy and material resources, on a scale that will certainly exceed biocapacity:

https://theconversation.com/if-everyone ... uble-43905
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 22:21:22

Ralfy, I'd like to here your dream for the future. Since my earlier post was talking about where to cut oil production lets start there: How would you allocate our energy/resources? Which areas would you curtail energy/resource expenditures and which areas would you increase? What kind of economic & political system do you envision? If you are proposing a powerdown how would you implement it? What other measures would you propose?
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 22:59:27

kublikhan wrote:Also, German households consume less electricity than their US counterparts. So total electricity bills are actually lower for German households than US households, despite higher unit costs for electricity.


Well, in that case, German bills would be cheaper probably no matter what they used to generate electricity. My point was that in reality, for the household pocket book, renewables are not being shown to be cheaper.
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