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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 12:29:22

Newfie wrote:The biggest gain to be made in reducing warming gasses is in effiency.

The human mind must be turned from the idea that we can sustain the high burn rate we have to one of conservation. As first steps we need turn to buying only essentials, kill the consumer society. Buy quality products which can be repaired. Kill all unnecessary usage.

We use way too much energy for heat and ac. In my historic home district the houses have 14’ ceilings are were designed for air flow. But they have all been sealed up and run ac instead.

That should be our first effort and sustained mind set. Without that we just waste, waste, waste. It won’t matter how much solar or wind we build, it will never be enough to sate our appetites.

Excellent! I absolutely agree.

As someone who keeps his house cool in the winter and warm in the summer, into the range of discomfort (but mitigating with clothing and fans), the "Summertime Paradox" of places like restaurants often being so cold I have to bring a heavy shirt is so stupid it just kills me. Maybe they do that to help attract all the fatties?

To my parents' generation (depression era babies) conservation and living efficiently were literally as natural as BREATHING. NOT living like that, like on the occasional nice vacation were very much the exception.

How did we travel to literally the other end of the spectrum in under 90 years? It's not like the world is now full of people with money to burn (though ironically, in the first world, if people in the bottom half would practice frugality, they'd usually find it easier to FAR easier to make ends meet).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 14:06:52

Nice cross section.

You say residential is only part of our electricity usage. Correct. We need to conserve across the spectrum.

If we stop buying all this crap then industry will shrink. But then most of us would be without Jobs and many of those fancy office buildings can close down. Without people traveling so much we won’t have to build roads and expand airports making existing infrastructure last longer and putting more industries out of business. Folks won’t have as much excess money to spend on crap so advertising will decrease; billboards will come down, car lots can turn off their lights. I think we could easily shrink government and military as well. Once you start degrowth (depression) we could likely live on less than half of current electricity/power.

I’m one of an infitessimally small percentage of Americans that think this is a good idea.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 18:05:57

Newfie wrote: Once you start degrowth (depression) we could likely live on less than half of current electricity/power.

.

For sure! Just getting the USA down to the current World per capita average energy consumption of all types would cut ours by two thirds.
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.PCAP.KG.OE
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby jawagord » Thu 26 Jul 2018, 07:59:23

A month of almost no wind power in Germany. So much money spent, so little power generated.

https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm? ... 18&month=7

The Red Queen effect will be fully on in 2020, the acme of German wind power is nigh!

Writing earlier this month for the German-language magazine Top Agrar, Hinrich Neumann reported that many of Germany’s 28,000 onshore wind turbines could be decommissioned beginning in 2020.

Under Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which took effect in 2000, renewable energy sources, including onshore wind turbines, secured priority grid access and guaranteed above-market payment for each kilowatt-hour delivered to the grid.These feed-in tariff (FIT) payments lasted for 20 years.
In 2020, the first of those feed-in tariff contracts expire. The Institute for Integrated Production Hannover (IPH), a nonprofit industrial engineering company, estimates that 2.4 gigawatts of installed onshore wind capacity will lose eligibility for guaranteed payments each year.
In 2020, up to 4,500 turbines could come down because they will have been rendered uneconomical without the guaranteed payments, IPH project engineer Martin Westbomke told Neumann.


https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles ... gs.B=hG0hw
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 26 Jul 2018, 12:45:13

pstarr wrote:
Newfie wrote:Nice cross section.

You say residential is only part of our electricity usage. Correct. We need to conserve across the spectrum.

If we stop buying all this crap then industry will shrink. But then most of us would be without Jobs and many of those fancy office buildings can close down. Without people traveling so much we won’t have to build roads and expand airports making existing infrastructure last longer and putting more industries out of business. Folks won’t have as much excess money to spend on crap so advertising will decrease; billboards will come down, car lots can turn off their lights. I think we could easily shrink government and military as well. Once you start degrowth (depression) we could likely live on less than half of current electricity/power.

I’m one of an infitessimally small percentage of Americans that think this is a good idea.

Your degrowth scenerio has a major flaw. Once people are without jobs they die. So for instance highways old and new require constant maintenance afforded by crews with food and jobs. Food that travels thousands of miles on those same roads.

And yes, we represent an infinitesimally small percentage of aware Americans.


Yes, over population is a huge problem right here in the USA. We are making more and more people redundant all the time. There are a few who retain value, but just a few. It’s like maintaining a horse shoe forge.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 26 Jul 2018, 14:59:46

pstarr wrote:Your degrowth scenerio has a major flaw. Once people are without jobs they die.

So there are no retirees?

So there are no government programs like SS, or the roughly $1 trillion a year spent on social programs to help poor people annualy, just in the US?

So there are no people who just decide to hell with it -- I'd rather live a modest middle class lifestyle, than kill myself all the time to earn a big salary, at the cost of my health and my general well-being, year after year, and just leave the workforce in middle age (but don't just lie down and die)? (I did, so there are apparently some).

If you mean that without jobs people don't earn wage income, that's a VERY different thing.

...

Thought experiment: If robots could make everything we need and do 90% of the labor, and there were sufficient goods for people to get by with a modest but safe lifestyle, with only 10% of the workforce needing to work -- does that 90% have to die? Or could the 10% who work be quite wealthy, but the 90% get by just fine, if modestly?

IMO, that would just be an extrapolation of the current system where, for example, retirees can live for several decades and do OK, considering their declining health.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 28 Jul 2018, 14:25:35

From the link: “In 2020, the first of those feed-in tariff contracts expire. The Institute for Integrated Production Hannover (IPH), a nonprofit industrial engineering company, estimates that 2.4 gigawatts of installed onshore wind capacity will lose eligibility for guaranteed payments each year. In 2020, up to 4,500 turbines could come down because they will have been rendered uneconomical without the guaranteed payments, IPH project engineer Martin Westbomke told Neumann.”

I can see without the FIT support new windfarms might not be economically attractive. But the implication is that operational expense of an existing windfarm exceeds the value of the electricity produced. They offer no details showing such numbers. Sorry: with those details I find it difficult to believe that maintaining existing turbines costs more then the value of the electricity they produce. I’ve not seen such documentation on windfarms elsewhere. Has anyone?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 28 Jul 2018, 16:09:35

Germany recently made some changes to their feed-in-tariff so I am uncertain about this, but I'm guessing he doesn't mean uneconomical as in costs exceed income. I think he means uneconomical because if you go the repowering route(tear down old turbines, install new ones) you get to drink at the subsidy trough again. A 10-15 year old turbine will cost around 50-60k per year per MW in operation and maintenance costs. Let's say 70k for a 20 year old turbine. It will net around $934k per year per MW in income including subsidies, $467k without subsidies. That still leaves nearly $400k per year in profits per MW. Double the income if you can get the subsidies again. Double it again if the turbines you are installing today are twice as big as your 20 year old turbines. Bigger new turbines + renewed subsidies = more profits than smaller old turbines and no subsidies.

Operation and maintenance costs of wind generated power per MW
5-10 year old turbines: $48,000
10-15 year old turbines: $55,000
Aging US Wind Energy Fleet Driving Surge in Operating and Maintenance Spending

As a rule of thumb, the annual income per MW fed to the Grid from wind energy is around £800,000[$933,800], half from the sale of the electricity, the other half from the subsidy.
How much profit will a turbine turn?

U.S. average turbine size was 2.0 MW in 2015, up from 1.11 MW in 1999.
Wind Energy Factsheet

WORLDWIDE: The average turbine capacity installed in 2017 was above 2.4MW for the first time, following a 11.3% increase compared with 2016.
Average turbine size reaches 2.4MW
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 28 Jul 2018, 16:40:51

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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby jawagord » Fri 09 Nov 2018, 19:35:44

Checking on our old friends the Germans, seems they've installed 100 gigawatts of wind turbines and solar panels. The Germans daily peak use is a little over 70 gigawatts. Home much power is Solar and Wind generating this week - as low as 2 GW on Thursday! A 2% capacity utilization must be a new low record? And a peak of 22 GW on Wednesday noon. Kudos to German engineering for showing again wind and solar are not reliable.

https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm? ... 18&week=45

https://www.statista.com/statistics/421 ... n-germany/

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/05/31/ ... -in-april/
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby cephalotus » Wed 14 Nov 2018, 16:33:10

jawagord wrote:Checking on our old friends the Germans, seems they've installed 100 gigawatts of wind turbines and solar panels. The Germans daily peak use is a little over 70 gigawatts. Home much power is Solar and Wind generating this week - as low as 2 GW on Thursday! A 2% capacity utilization must be a new low record? And a peak of 22 GW on Wednesday noon. Kudos to German engineering for showing again wind and solar are not reliable.


And still 40% of our electricty power is noe produce by renewables, up from 4% 20 years ago.

In 2030 we will be at 60%+ share of electricty power. Impossible? People like you said that about 40% when we have been at 20%.

This is decided and supported by a huge majority of energy companies, a huge political majority, a huge majority of the population and even a huge majority in the industry.

Removing old wind turbines is a good idea in most places, because modern one can produce so much more power and much, much more reliabale output. Also some of this old turbines are to load, are standing to close to buildings and so on. It's good for acceptance of that technology if your remove / replace the older stuff.

New wind turbines usually also produce cheaper electricity, so in many cases thos old wind turbines will be replaced anyway.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 14 Nov 2018, 22:36:01

jawagord wrote:Checking on our old friends the Germans, seems they've installed 100 gigawatts of wind turbines and solar panels. The Germans daily peak use is a little over 70 gigawatts. Home much power is Solar and Wind generating this week - as low as 2 GW on Thursday! A 2% capacity utilization must be a new low record? And a peak of 22 GW on Wednesday noon. Kudos to German engineering for showing again wind and solar are not reliable.

No one credible ever claimed that ONE green power source can replace anything like 100% of the FF powered grid. Green power deniers love to pretend that is a big issue though.

However, if you start looking at wind (generally good at night) AND solar (generally good by day) and others like geothermal, etc. AND battery backup solutions, which are rapidly being shown as a credible method to make backup power viable for not only green power, but FF power as well -- then, OVER TIME, green power solutions look much much better for people willing to deal with facts and data.

So what is your claim? That solar isn't high output EVERY day? Ever hear of clouds? Storms? No functioning adult but you should be surprised. Why should your "point" here be taken seriously?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 16 Nov 2018, 09:29:13

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
jawagord wrote:Checking on our old friends the Germans, seems they've installed 100 gigawatts of wind turbines and solar panels. The Germans daily peak use is a little over 70 gigawatts. Home much power is Solar and Wind generating this week - as low as 2 GW on Thursday! A 2% capacity utilization must be a new low record? And a peak of 22 GW on Wednesday noon. Kudos to German engineering for showing again wind and solar are not reliable.

No one credible ever claimed that ONE green power source can replace anything like 100% of the FF powered grid. Green power deniers love to pretend that is a big issue though.

However, if you start looking at wind (generally good at night) AND solar (generally good by day) and others like geothermal, etc. AND battery backup solutions, which are rapidly being shown as a credible method to make backup power viable for not only green power, but FF power as well -- then, OVER TIME, green power solutions look much much better for people willing to deal with facts and data.

So what is your claim? That solar isn't high output EVERY day? Ever hear of clouds? Storms? No functioning adult but you should be surprised. Why should your "point" here be taken seriously?


They may not say point blank that Solar & Wind are the best solution but they imply it all over the map in certain pressure groups. In addition all this talking about the German Miracle achieve 40% renewable electricity is fully predicated on being grid tied to France which sells Germany surplus nuclear electricity 24/7.

Certain parties love to isolate out a single technology or a single country has all the answers is great, if that country is an energy exporter like France or Saudi Arabia. On the other side of the coin if the country is a net IMPORTER of energy in whatever form is being discussed we must look at the larger picture of what those import sources are and now reliable they are as part of the total picture.

Talking about the German 'Renewable Miracle' is valid in the same way that talking about the American 'Shale Miracle' is valid. In both cases a great deal more of in one case solar/wind electricity and in the other petroleum production increases have taken place. But in neither case is the new production actually supplying all of the domestic needs.

Also in both cases the new supply is a somewhat mismatch from the existing infrastructure. Shale oil is much lighter than several decades worth of conventional oil production which lead to blending issues. Solar/Wind are intermittent power supply for a civilization that requires 24/7 baseload power to be reliable and this has been dealt with by expanding fossil fuel supply (more coal power) and imports from the grid where France is the major exporter of Electricity.

Given that the power supply in France is not something unique to France, IOW it is not a mineral found locally being exported but a widespread technology being used, the obvious solution would be for Germany et al to adopt the French electricity generating system where 70% of supply is baseload nuclear and renewables, mostly hydro electricity are supplemental.

However for reasons of emotion, irrational political decision making and so on this is not the strategy that was adopted by Germany. That is fine so long as we are honest in assessing the results of those decision rationally rather than through the emotional lens of what we want to be true. In truth Germany has some of the most expensive electricity in the EU because they so frequently have to import from the grid to supplement their 'miracle' supply on calm and cloudy days.

I have no problem with wind and solar properly deployed as supplemental power supply for the grid. My problem is with people pretending they are the miracle solution that will solve all our future problems while sweeping the facts about them under the rug. Wind and Solar are still built almost exclusively where subsidies are available and almost nowhere else. That should tell you a lot about them as a source of power.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 16 Nov 2018, 10:15:02

Main renewable electricity sources were in first half of 2012: Wind energy 36.6%, biomass 22.5%, hydropower 14.7%, photovoltaics (solar) 21.2% and biowaste 3.6%.[29] Wood-fire plants fuelled by wood pellets are included in biomass. Half of Germany's timber production is consumed by wood fired plants. Wood fired plants are counted as renewable energy by Germany and the European Union counting them as "carbon neutral".[30]


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany

And more on burning wood as a “renewable” in the EU.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.dw.com ... a-41586050
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 16 Nov 2018, 12:38:25

Those wood pellets are harvested in Canadian forests using 2-cycle chainsaws and petroleum fuelled trucks, then transported to Germany in ships fueled by petroleum bunker fuel, where they are distributed to power plants by diesel trains. Calling that wood either "green" or "carbon neutral" is completely wrong and deceptive.

Lest we forget also, that nuclear power is not carbon free either. Uranium is mined with petroleum fueled machines, and the yellow cake concentrate is processed from the ore using more petroleum machinery. The high speed centrifuges that spin the hot uranium hexaflouride gas that seperates U-235 from U-238 are electrically powered. All of the transport of fuel and wastes are via petroleum fuels. Nuclear energy today when the entire cycle is considered causes about 15% to 20% of the carbon emitted by coal plants generating the same amount of energy. Nor do we even have designs for the machinery that would be needed to mine/refine/transport nuclear fuels and wastes without petroleum fuels. That is not impossible, but my point is that nobody is even considering designing such machines today.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby cephalotus » Sat 17 Nov 2018, 15:47:00

Tanada wrote:They may not say point blank that Solar & Wind are the best solution but they imply it all over the map in certain pressure groups. In addition all this talking about the German Miracle achieve 40% renewable electricity is fully predicated on being grid tied to France which sells Germany surplus nuclear electricity 24/7.


You are wrong.

The last critical event in Central Europa has been Februray 2012.

A very cold winter with electricity demand up to 100GW in France. The first winter after Germany shutting down 8 nukes after Fukushima. Russia lowered gas exports and German gas storage was empty because operators speculated with that gas improving profit. Because of the natural gas shortage four gas fired power plants in Southern Germany had to shut down.

And guess what happened in that last extreme case of electricity scarcity in central Europe?

Germany sold ca. 3GW of electricity to France at times of peak demand!

On the spot market electricity cost was 16€ct/kWh in Germany and up to 2€/kWh in France. France was very short of brownouts and would have experienced significant brownouts and maybe even blackouts if Germany wouldn't have backed their electricity grid. Since February 2012 there was no similar situation.

Maybe we will see more problems in 2021/22 when the last nukes will be shut down in Germany, because grid expansion from North to South is way behind schedule because of protests against those new grid lines.

Some years ago France also had problems supporting demand during times of drought and heat waves in summer, because they had to reduce power output from their nukes not to destroy the ecosystems in the rivers.
Germany sold them electricity than.
Those problems didn't occur during the last years because in times of heat waves Germany now produces an abundance of solar power. This was also quite helpful in the 2018 drought.

Talking about the German 'Renewable Miracle' is valid in the same way that talking about the American 'Shale Miracle' is valid. In both cases a great deal more of in one case solar/wind electricity and in the other petroleum production increases have taken place. But in neither case is the new production actually supplying all of the domestic needs.


Who talkes about supplying ALL the demand?

40% in just 20 years is quite a good start. In 2030 we will see 60-65%. Even better.

AFTER THAT we have to start talking about some minor additional storage and at 80-90% we have to start talking about long term storage, most likely hydrogen or methane made from electricity and water (and CO2).
So for the last 10-20% you use gas power plants or fuel cells and replace the natural gas time by time with synthetic gases or biogas.

Also in both cases the new supply is a somewhat mismatch from the existing infrastructure. Shale oil is much lighter than several decades worth of conventional oil production which lead to blending issues. Solar/Wind are intermittent power supply for a civilization that requires 24/7 baseload power to be reliable and this has been dealt with by expanding fossil fuel supply (more coal power) and imports from the grid where France is the major exporter of Electricity.


Don't spread wrong data.

Germanys net electricity export has been 55TWh in 2017.

Our largest problems now are not lack of wind and solar, but having to much of them (which is more like a regulatory and financial problem than a technical one)

...the obvious solution would be for Germany et al to adopt the French electricity generating system where 70% of supply is baseload nuclear and renewables, mostly hydro electricity are supplemental.


Germany has very little hydro power potential (ca. 20TWh/a). Btw, we also have quite limited solar and wind resources and our energy demands per available area are one of the highest in the world. If solar and wind works in Germany it would work in almost any other country.
Building new nukes is ultra(!) expensive (see Hinkley C) and there is absolutely no idea how France will pay for decomissioning its actual nuclear fleet.
Germany (payed by the tax payer, not the electricity purchasers) calculates with 40-50 billion Euro to rebuild the remaining nukes. How much waste storage will cost is unknown. And German power companies had to put down mony for that.

EDF in France has a laughable stock of 2 billion Euro for its huge and aging nuke fleet. That's why they can't afford to shut them down, it would cost them probably more than 100 billion Euros. Not counting waste storage.
Tax payers money of course. This is why they have cheap electricity prices.

However for reasons of emotion, irrational political decision making and so on this is not the strategy that was adopted by Germany. That is fine so long as we are honest in assessing the results of those decision rationally rather than through the emotional lens of what we want to be true. In truth Germany has some of the most expensive electricity in the EU because they so frequently have to import from the grid to supplement their 'miracle' supply on calm and cloudy days.


Germany is a huge electricity exporter.

Irrationality depneds on the point of view.

So far every 10.000 reactor-years a nuke explodes (counting Fukushima as only one accident not three and not counting Kyschtym). So if you have lets say 100 nukes running in your country the risc for a INES 7 accident is 1% for every year.

Do you think that risc would be worth it, especially for s rather small and densely populated country like Germany. Would losing even one major city plus surroundings be an acceptable risc?

I don't think so.

Loosing a large city could be more acceptable for the US or China or Russia, which are much larger countries. Your decision.

I have no problem with wind and solar properly deployed as supplemental power supply for the grid. My problem is with people pretending they are the miracle solution that will solve all our future problems...


They will solve our energy problems. The technology is already available. The resources are available. The money is available and the will in politics, population and industry is already there. So this is what will happen.

And if our energy system is not 100% wind+solar in 2050 but "only" 90% wind+solar and 10% natural gas / imports this is still much, much better than all other options that are available today.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 17 Nov 2018, 16:34:02

I don't want to mimimize the task ahead of us. We need to scrap, recycle, and rebuild the infrastructure we have, to make it energy efficient. In fact, the word "infrastructure" does not even communicate the extent of the changes required. What I am talking about is superinsulated homes, industrial, commercial, and government buildings. We need to abandon the use of electric lights unless they are being used. So no street lighting, no security lights, no illuminated parking lights, etc. We need energy efficient transportation in all forms. We need to produce food without mechanized agriculture, probably without soil, in solar greenhouses with hydroponics. Etc. etc. etc.

This is what I was talking about when I said that we could run the USA on one sixth of the energy we currently consume. I was serious, but we need literally decades to bring about the infrastructure renewal required. It would hurt a lot less if we did so before energy got very very expensive. But we have not started. But by the time that we have completed the renewal I am talking about, the relatively feeble renewable energy sources will suffice.

I can't worry about the rest of you, you'll have to save yourselves. I'm not gonna do it, nor will anybody else. I'm planning a net zero energy residence, actually a couple of those, and staying out of debt. Fortunately, I have the means to do this. So do many of you. Or you could just do nothing now and then die later. A lot of people are going to be doing that.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Nov 2018, 06:17:30

KJ,

I think you make very good points, if we don’t use it then you don’t have to produce it and thus avoid all the problems.

And I think you are about correct that we could reduce our energy consumption radically.

We have the knowledge but not the fortitude or wisdom.
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