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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 » Thu 21 Jan 2016, 23:07:32

kublikhan wrote: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.


First you need to convince people that growth is no longer possible and that, until the population declines, the pie we divide is going to get smaller every day. Then you have to dismantle the armies and ban guns, so we are limited in our ability to wage war on one another as we fight over the remaining scarce resources.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 22 Jan 2016, 10:28:14

kublikhan wrote: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?


My dream is the same as yours, but I'm afraid it will remain only a dream for reasons I explained to you in posts in other threads. To recap,

The global economy is capitalist and based on competition, which means it needs increasing credit, energy and material use, and production and consumption of goods. That's what we've been seeing for several decades.

The global population needs that global economy to be so, as the former is growing as well as energy and material resource use per capita. That is, a growing global middle class.

Businesses, governments, military forces, and households want the same because their continued existence and goals are dependent on such. That is, businesses want to profit and grow, governments want them to do so in order to receive more tax revenues and expand services, military forces want more and better armaments and personnel (and need more wars to justify military spending), and households want not just basic needs but also long-term financial security and middle class conveniences (which is why they want what businesses, governments, and military forces want). In short, they all want to grow and can only do so if the others grow.

Given such, any powerdown will take place not because it will be implemented but because it will be enforced by physical laws:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... g-collapse
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 20:14:44

Ralfy, I was more interested in your opinion of what we can do, not what we can't. What policies would you recommend we follow to get to the best outcome(or least bad outcome) given the current limitations we have?
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 22:33:50

The main policy that will have to be followed is a power down (i.e., a decrease in material resource use and energy) across the board (i.e., by businesses, governments, military forces, and households) except for basic needs, and for many decades. We can't do that for reasons explained in my previous posts.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 23:08:33

ralfy wrote:The main policy that will have to be followed is a power down (i.e., a decrease in material resource use and energy) across the board (i.e., by businesses, governments, military forces, and households) except for basic needs, and for many decades. We can't do that for reasons explained in my previous posts.


I see a major crisis as the only tipping point that will propel action, and that will be rationing to start, which will decrease demand, but lead to hoarding, which will lead to more rationing. Rinse and repeat.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 18:55:06

In short, an inevitable power down due to limits to growth.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ennui2 » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 19:26:26

pstarr wrote:But isn't hoarding what capitalism does, managing markets and controlling contracts. So with the government issuing chits and controlling distribution we will have socialism. And hoarding will move to the street and out of the boardroom. Yay


You got a better idea? Maybe fall back to might makes right? That's what the zombie horde is all about, is it not?
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby StarvingLion » Tue 26 Jan 2016, 00:41:13

Can't have both a massive and rapid transition away from fossils to renewables and a massive and rapid old-style industrialization (eg. Indonesia) going on at the same time with already a huge-over-shoot of population at 8 billion. If the population was 1-2 billion but now...

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ennui2 » Wed 27 Jan 2016, 00:50:24

Here is a news story that is fairly relevant to this thread.

http://www.sciencealert.com/us-could-sl ... mitstart=1
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby MonteQuest » Fri 05 Feb 2016, 14:08:08

Renewable energy investors are pulling back in Europe. Also, Spain, U.K, Italy have cut incentives for renewable-energy projects to reduce government spending.

Image

World-wide investment growth is slowing.

Image
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Limits to Renewable Energy (II)

Unread postby Zarquon » Mon 09 May 2016, 12:58:07

(Not sure why the old thread has been locked. I've been a lurker here for a while, but this is my first post, so pls excuse me if there's any family feud I don't know about)

Here's what Rockman wrote in October '14:
...Granted Germany is offered by some as the best country on the planet when it comes to transitioning away from fossil fuels but lets start at the top end anyway.

From: https://www.destatis.de/EN/FactsFigures ... ction.html for the last complete year (2013) of annual statistics Germany has since 2011:

Increased renewable sourced e- from 124 to 155 billion kWh
Decreased NG sourced e- from 86 to 67 billion kWh
Decreased nuclear sourced e- from 108 to 97 kWh
Increased hard coal sourced e- from 112 to 122 kWh
Increased lignite sourced e- from 150 to 161 kWh

In total Germany increased e- from all sources from 613 to 631 kWh

So Germany, the global leader of the "transition" away from fossil fuels, has not replaced any coal or lignite sourced e- with renewables. In fact they increased the amount of e- from the worse sources of GHG. But to be fair they did replace some GHG production from NG. And also replaced some of the e- from the non-GHG producing nuclear.

Bottom line: the renewables in Germany haven't transitioned the country away from all fossil fuels... just the cleanest one. Can probably give Putin partial credit for that. LOL. The renewables in Germany, as in Texas, aren't replacing coal and lignite as much as they are supplementing them. Which, like Texas, is a good thing: they are inhibiting further expansion of that ff burning infrastructure. But overall Germany, as of the latest stats, is not transition away from fossil fuels in general. And since it's put out as the King of Renewables it doesn't say much about all the other countries.

The future? Who knows? Folks are certainly free to offered their OPINIONS. We'll just have to wait to see what FACTS develop.


Here's the current numbers, compared to the above post:
https://www.destatis.de/EN/FactsFigures ... ction.html

Renewables are 196 TWh (30%)
Lignite 155 TWh (24%)
Hard coal 118 TWh (18%)
Nukes 92 TWh (14%)
NG 60 TWh (9%)

Total electricity production was 638.7 Twh (2013), 627.8 (2014) and 651.8 (2015). I don't even know why production decreased in 2014.

Renewables are 30%, up from 24% two years ago (wind +5, solar +1). Lignite and hard coal are down 1%/2%. Gas is down 1.5%. Total consumption is going up, FF are slightly going down. The first coal plants to be closed this year. Ammo sales rather moderate, but Mad Max IV quite popular. Still no blackouts, though.

At the same time Germany is (and pretty much always has been) a significant net exporter of electricity:

https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/news/n ... lion-euros

The data show that Germany has generated over 13 billion euros in revenue from electricity exports over the last ten years. In 2015, Germany’s electricity export surplus amounted to 50 terawatt hours, also a new record. During 8074 of 8760 total hours in the year, or 92 percent of the time, electricity exports exceeded imports. On average, the amount of power exported was 5.7 GW, which corresponds to about four nuclear power plants. Germany exported the most electricity to the Netherlands, who sent some of it on to Belgium and Great Britain. Second in line was Switzerland, who sent nearly all of the electricity from Germany directly on to Italy. Most of Germany’s electricity imports came from France. Here Germany acted, for the most part, as a transit country, passing the electricity on to other countries.


http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... er-in-2015
Denmark produced 42% of its electricity from wind turbines last year according to official data, the highest figure yet recorded worldwide.


Ireland got 24% of its power from wind in 2015. Three cheers for global warming!
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby DesuMaiden » Mon 12 Dec 2016, 19:37:19

There are many reasons why renewable energy will never replace fossil fuels in terms of the ability to provide industrial civilization with the current levels of energy consumption. First of all, let's define what kind of renewable energy we are talking about. I can tell from this discussion we are talking about wind turbines and solar panels for generating electricity. Forget about zero-point or free-energy. That's a silly myth that many conspiracy theorists believe in. Nobody has proven zero-point or free-energy to be anything realistic or possible. So it will always fall under the realm of science fiction.

But many people have now announced that solar panels and wind energy can generate enough electricity to power the whole world's energy demands for the present and even into the future (when energy demands will undoubtably be even higher due to population growth and more people consuming more energy per capita). But is this claim true? Can solar and wind-generated electricity power industrial civilization? Unfortunately, this claim is unlikely to be true for a number of reasons.

First of all solar and wind power are intermittent. You can only have solar panels gathering electricity while the sun is up (so during the night time when there is no sun in the sky, how you are going to generate electricity with solar energy?The answer is you simply can't). You can only have wind turbines gathering electricity when there is sufficient wind blowing. When there isn't enough solar radiation or wind blowing, you need either have a back up energy resource for providing electricity 24/7 (i.e. coal, nuclear fission or natural gas) or a way of storing excess electricity from the period when there is sufficient sunlight or wind blowing. The first opinion is the only truly viable opinion because the second one is simply unfeasible due to the laws of physics. There simply doesn't exist any way to store the enormous quantity electricity necessary to power industrial civilization 24/7 while the sun and wind are not available (assuming you want to power your entire electricity grid on solar and wind energy). It is simply impossible to have 24/7 electricity on the scale that industrial civilization needs anywhere based entirely on solar and/or wind energy. That's why places that use solar and wind can only rely on it partially for generating electricity (at most). And for the rest of the time when there isn't enough solar radiation or wind blowing, they need another less intermittent (more consistent) source of energy that can provide them with constant electricity such as hydroelectrical, nuclear fission, coal or natural gas powered energy plants.

Also, the production, maintenence and disposal/ recycling of solar panels and wind turbines relies on fossil fuel energy/infrastructure at every step of the process. You simply cannot create wind turbines and solar panels without certain rare earth elements and other minerals/ elements that require extensive amounts of fossil fuels to acquire. Simply put, without a large enough fossil fuel infrastructure, you simply cannot manufacture any electricity from wind or solar energy. So wind and solar are definitely dependent on fossil fuels in everyway imaginable.

I'm not saying wind or solar energy are entirely useless. They can be useful for generating decentralized electricity for small communities of people. But to expect them to be able to power the entirety of industrial civilization is stretching it a bit too far.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby diemos » Mon 12 Dec 2016, 19:59:22

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 12 Dec 2016, 20:21:18

DesuMaiden wrote:The first opinion is the only truly viable opinion because the second one is simply unfeasible due to the laws of physics. There simply doesn't exist any way to store the enormous quantity electricity necessary to power industrial civilization 24/7 while the sun and wind are not available (assuming you want to power your entire electricity grid on solar and wind energy). It is simply impossible to have 24/7 electricity on the scale that industrial civilization needs anywhere based entirely on solar and/or wind energy.
At this point it is not economically feasible to build a giant national grid energy storage system. However there is no law of physics that says this cannot be done. Some islands are already 100% renewable powered. Denmark has plans to go 100% renewable by 2050. Hawaii is planning for 100% of renewable power generation by 2045.

And there are more than just those 2 options. You can expand grid interconnections so you can route power from an area with surplus power to an area with a deficit. You can use demand response to lower demand to match supply. Etc.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby efarmer » Tue 13 Dec 2016, 11:56:06

You look at all the US cities with giant suburban rings around them all interconnected with roads for ICE vehicles and it is obvious we bet the farm on the premise of affordable liquid fuels. I do not believe this bet can be covered by nips and tucks or smart technology applied to our lavish build out of an energy hog civilization. Renewable energy will have to evolve with compatible living arrangements and we simply did not build ours on such concepts. We went full hog on exponential growth, period.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby diemos » Tue 13 Dec 2016, 13:05:29

pstarr wrote:Actually Kub, there are laws of physics that say this cannot be done. Trust me. Really. You can't build a giant energy grid if you don't have energy. It's more or less a horse/cart thing.


Well, it's more subtle than that. You have to divert current consumption into investment in order to create the future renewable infrastructure so there's a bottleneck you have to pass through between here and there.

We already have a baseline amount of wind/solar/hydro/nuclear but it's not enough to both power current levels of consumption and investment in future infrastructure. Something's gotta give.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Tue 13 Dec 2016, 13:27:56

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Dec 2016, 15:51:38

"Some islands are already 100% renewable powered." Like the one owned by the Rockman's top dog. Just because he owns a fossil fuel company it doesn't mean he can't see the path we're on. LOL.

d - "You have to divert current consumption into investment in order to create the future renewable infrastructure so there's a bottleneck you have to pass through between here and there." I would add an even bigger circular logic problem then that: the monetary hurdle. Many will point out that the X alt would create cheaper energy the current ff source. But while that may be true that alt system doesn't exist. And the required capex needed to build out the alts will be in addition to those monies spent on ff systems that have to be maintained until the crossover is made. The savings from switching from the fossil fuels to the alts won't begin until they are in place.

Again back to the world class Texas wind power system. It has not replaced 1 Btu of ff source energy in the state despite supplying a bit more the 10% of our electricity consumption. More power plants had to be built to meet the fast growing demand in Texas. Thus the huge capex required for NEW fossil fuel fired plants had to compete with the cost of the turbines. And even though the state had to spend $7 BILLION of tax payers's money to expand the grid much if not most of that expense would have been required to accommodate new fossil fuel powered plants.

In that sense the alts met the fossil fuels on a level playing field...an economics focused field. And thus wind won. As such environmental considerations had little to no impact on the motivation for the growth of Texas alt energy. It was all about the economics of building out wind power vs building out NEW ff powered systems.

Nothin' moral...just good business.
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