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kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #100 on: September 12, 2020, 09:12:29 AM »
That and/or just focus on some points.

You need fossil fuels to manufacture components needed for renewable energy, from mining to manufacturing to shipping.

There is no need for this in the long term.

Also theoretically gains from the US in renewable energy/reduction in consumption could free up a lot of space for the rest of the world population.
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #101 on: September 12, 2020, 10:37:03 AM »

It's as if you do not see that fossil fuels and renewables are interchangeable from an energy standpoint. The peak oil crowd, dealing with diminishing returns and EROEI and hoped-for physical limitations for years and decades, often has trouble grasping that oil can be eliminated with not much harm done, and a lot of good. I wish that oil would have run out a long time ago, but it didn't, and we are stuck with the consequences and with the need to stop consuming it long before it runs out, not because of peak oil and EROEI, but because of pollution and AGW.

To your point, higher returns for renewable energy could easily mean (and should mean) replacement of fossil fuel energy infrastructure, cleaning up the global energy use, and not necessarily increasing energy consumption.
In parallel, global energy demand is growing, due to rising affluence and population growth. Renewable energy growth should be high enough to cover both the energy demand growth and the need for replacing fossil fuel infrastructure. As renewable growth is currently not high enough, reduction in consumption is indeed very much needed in parallel, to enable a shorter transition period until fossil fuel use is eliminated.
However, calls for consumption reduction should not be instead of renewable energy rollout, which needs to happen fast in any case so that fossil fuel plants and engines can be shut down. And denying the physical ability of renewable energy to power energy demand will eventually lead to a slower rollout, thus advancing AGW.

Only if renewable energy components don't need mining, manufacturing, and shipping across extensive supply chains stretching tens of thousands of km, which in turn require extensive fossil fuel inputs, and for a global market that doesn't have a lot of infrastructure in place, and which in turn will require even more fossil fuel inputs, not to mention the same for consumer goods that will use that energy.

Even the computer that you're now using involves such! Claims that one wishes that we had run out of oil a long time are are absurd.
Again it's as if you do not realize fossil fuels and renewables are interchangeable.
Mining equipment can be replaced with electric motor and battery operated equipment. This will enable much better working conditions especially underground, and will be cheaper.
Most manufacturing can be made with electricity.
Trucking can be made electric easily.
Shipping energy is the hardest to replace, but still possible. But then again, solar panels are much lighter than oil and coal and take up much smaller volume so the problem is not gigantic.

All that is needed is first and foremost to deploy renewable electricity production in much larger numbers that cover not just electricity demand growth but also existing electricity production to enable stoppage of new fossil fuel plants and faster closure of existing such plants. Hint: This will happen faster if people from the peak oil crowd and from other agendas stop spreading anti-renewables stuff.

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #102 on: September 12, 2020, 10:49:39 AM »
Kiwigriff, his posts are all replies to other forum members. You were wrong with your hint. And if he's on ignore (shame on you) why do you have to scroll so much since you don't see his posts?

Please be nice to forum members and not just to your 'friends'.
He is new, give him some slack. Tom and Freegrass were also very active when they were new members if I recall correctly.

edit: I see now that KiwiGriff has removed his post. Tail between legs? Hmm. Next time I'll put the quote in.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 08:15:59 AM by nanning »
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etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #103 on: September 12, 2020, 10:49:55 AM »
Every energy is interchangeable, but the problem is hat fossil fuels are at such a high percentage, for sure in Luxembourg. So reducing consumption is a need.

The data come from here https://statistiques.public.lu/stat/TableViewer/chartView.aspx?ReportId=12771&sCS_ChosenLang=en
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 03:38:33 PM by etienne »

Jim Hunt

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #104 on: September 12, 2020, 11:24:04 AM »
Roof solar on industrial buildings remains the best concept. The problem is that if it has not been planned from the beginning, the structure of the building could be too weak.

Sadly here in the UK that is often the case. Lightweight "flexible" solar PV might help?

Quote
I am not so convinced of removing land of agricultural use to produce energy.

Neither am I. I have even campaigned against the construction of solar "farms" on land suitable for growing food for humans:

http://econnexus.org.uk/the-fulford-solar-kettle-gets-lost-in-translation/
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #105 on: September 12, 2020, 11:41:07 AM »
The best estimate I get from solar power, for example, is a return of less than 6, according to Prieto and others from 2017, and that's using real-world conditions rather than nameplate power.

An EROEI intro from a certain Euan Mearns:

http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

Quote
If we lived in a society with a single global currency (the EJ) and without taxes or subsidies, then money may represent a fair proxy for ERoEI although distortions would remain from the different efficiencies with which that money (EJ) was spent. However, in the real world, different currencies, interest rates, debts, taxes and subsidies exist that allow the thermodynamic rules of the energy world to be bent, albeit temporarily. We are at risk of exchanging gold for dirt.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #106 on: September 13, 2020, 05:36:46 AM »
That and/or just focus on some points.

You need fossil fuels to manufacture components needed for renewable energy, from mining to manufacturing to shipping.

There is no need for this in the long term.

Also theoretically gains from the US in renewable energy/reduction in consumption could free up a lot of space for the rest of the world population.

There is obviously reason for that in the long term if the transition time is lengthy:

https://www.businessinsider.com/131-years-to-replace-oil-2010-11

There will definitely be gains for the rest of the world since the U.S. has only around 4 pct of the world's population but uses around 20 pct of world oil production to power almost a quarter of the world's passenger vehicles and generally uses a lot of resources worldwide. The catch is that most want middle class conveniences as well.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #107 on: September 13, 2020, 05:44:00 AM »
Again it's as if you do not realize fossil fuels and renewables are interchangeable.
Mining equipment can be replaced with electric motor and battery operated equipment. This will enable much better working conditions especially underground, and will be cheaper.
Most manufacturing can be made with electricity.
Trucking can be made electric easily.
Shipping energy is the hardest to replace, but still possible. But then again, solar panels are much lighter than oil and coal and take up much smaller volume so the problem is not gigantic.

All that is needed is first and foremost to deploy renewable electricity production in much larger numbers that cover not just electricity demand growth but also existing electricity production to enable stoppage of new fossil fuel plants and faster closure of existing such plants. Hint: This will happen faster if people from the peak oil crowd and from other agendas stop spreading anti-renewables stuff.

They are definitely not interchangeable unless components like electric motors have been developed that can replace diesel-powered ones for heavy equipment used in mining, for engines in container ships, and more.

As pointed out several times, one study mentioned here states that a full transition is possible, but the lag time is lengthy:

https://www.businessinsider.com/131-years-to-replace-oil-2010-11

And because energy returns are lower, buffer stocks are needed, which is why several interviewed in a 2006 Four Corners documentary about peak oil argued that the transition should have started in the 1990s.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the move to renewable energy should not continue, but it is very likely that it will not maintain a global capitalist economy that needs a lot more energy and resources, which is the point of this thread.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #108 on: September 13, 2020, 06:02:34 AM »
Kiwigriff, his posts are all replies to other forum members. You were wrong with your hint. And if he's on ignore (shame on you) why do you have to scroll so much since you don't see his posts?

Please be nice to forum members and not just to your 'friends'.
He is new, give him some slack. Tom and Freegrass were also very active when they were new members if I recall correctly.

AFAIK, this site is mainly about Arctic Sea Ice and climate change, and those are two things that I know much less about. But I am not new to discussions on peak oil, renewable energy, energy in general, and how they relate to economies, which is why I don't understand why I am readily dismissed in this forum or even seen by some as sort of climate change denier. I'm still waiting, BTW, for those updated numbers for energy return and even net energy, not to mention how they reverse diminishing returns for mining and oil production.

That said, I have the following points to summarize the issue:

- The global economy is capitalist and competitive. Much of it is controlled by only around 500 corporations, and mostly financial. Businesses are characterized essentially by maximization of profits and returns on investment, and that means, among others, overconsumption and overproduction.

- The majority of human beings are poor, which means we are far away from global industrialization or its benefits. We can achieve that by producing the equivalent of one more biosphere to meet basic needs (given biocapacity per capita) and much more than that to maintain economic growth.

- Population continues to grow due to momentum, and unless rapid industrialization takes place (as implied in the study submitted to Lancet and others), then it cannot peak. But that means significant scaling up of energy very quickly.

- Energy returns for renewables have been growing but they are still small to meet all of the points given above.

- Peak oil is a given, with production per capita peaking back in 1979, conventional peaking after 2005, and unconventional said to peak soon. Oil in the form of fuel and petrochemicals are the main buffer stuck for global industrialization and is what we are essentially counting on to manufacture renewable energy components and more, and to move away from it.

- Some climate scientists and even environmental scientists argue that we have reached or have gone past tipping point (which some argue is something past 350 ppm). Some energy experts add that we should have started the transition to other energy sources in order to avoid peak oil at least two decades before 2005.

- Everywhere we are seeing the effects of diminishing returns and the threat of a resource crunch coupled with the effects of climate change, as seen in increasing costs for extracting minerals and oil needed for renewable energy to soil damage to seafood harvest declines.

That means any renewable energy transition will be done not to maintain business as usual but for survival. In addition, all energy resources will have to be used as the global population faces a combination of a resource crunch and pollution coupled with the effects of climate change (which include arctic sea ice issues) and ecological damage on a significant scale. "Black swans" like conflict (with risks increased due to, among others, a multifold increase in armaments production and deployment worldwide, as reported by the FAS) and pandemics (with increased vectors due to the spread of disease as economic activity grows) can only make matters worse.

This is the context in which renewable energy transition and consumption is and will be taking place.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #109 on: September 13, 2020, 06:09:17 AM »
Every energy is interchangeable, but the problem is hat fossil fuels are at such a high percentage, for sure in Luxembourg. So reducing consumption is a need.

The data come from here https://statistiques.public.lu/stat/TableViewer/chartView.aspx?ReportId=12771&sCS_ChosenLang=en

Keep in mind that the majority of the world is not like Luxembourg or even the UK. We are looking at many countries where only a fraction of roads are paved, where 25-40 pct of children 0-5 years of age face under- or malnutrition, where there is a significant lack of hospitals, clinics, nurses, doctors, lab technicians, and more, where only around 60 pct of various areas have enough electricity, where only a fraction of people complete education, where education is still lacking due to a lack of teachers, school rooms, books, desks, doors, electricity, and potable water, where many still lack access to things like toilets, sanitation systems, and more.

Given current biosphere limitations, among others, if the 25 pct of the world population that makes up the middle class were to even sacrifice not just energy but even resource consumption by 50 pct or more (that is, if by some miracle, they will even do that), the amount will barely be enough to provide basic needs for the current population.

Which will continue growing.

In a world where increasing ecological damage is taking its toll on resource availability.

And where the same resource availability is affected by diminishing returns, in turn driven by a combination of physical limitations and gravity.

Large oil inputs will be needed to enable increasing industrialization for most of that world, among others, which can, in turn, allow for infrastructure needed for renewable energy.


ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #110 on: September 13, 2020, 07:02:08 AM »

An EROEI intro from a certain Euan Mearns:

http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

Quote
If we lived in a society with a single global currency (the EJ) and without taxes or subsidies, then money may represent a fair proxy for ERoEI although distortions would remain from the different efficiencies with which that money (EJ) was spent. However, in the real world, different currencies, interest rates, debts, taxes and subsidies exist that allow the thermodynamic rules of the energy world to be bent, albeit temporarily. We are at risk of exchanging gold for dirt.

That's right, and many of the points raised in the guide support what I've been saying across two threads. Other sources include Charles Hall, Ugo Baldi (whose Seneca Cliff is similar to the Net Energy Cliff shared by Mearns), and more. For another interesting video intro, try Martenson, who refers to the three "E"s that essentially make up the context of this issue: the economy, the environment, and energy:



The gist is that the global economy is primarily dependent on energy: to get more energy, to make goods and services that will use that energy, and energy to be used for both basic needs and wants.

It is those basic needs and wants and meeting them that make up the economy, and to make transactions smoother, we use credit to trade energy, goods, and services. In addition, we use credit to speculate on all sorts of things to create even more credit.

The type of economy in which these take place is generally free-wheeling. That is, people lend, borrow, produce, sell, buy, and work and invest to earn as they please, and given competition, they make decisions based on what is most profitable. There are regulations that limit what they do, but because regulators are also dependent on funds from the same people, then they tend not to impose too many regulations.

Given the desire to maximize earnings coupled with competition, more credit is eventually concentrated among fewer people, who eventually control that economy and want to gain even more credit. Everyone else wants to earn more as well so that they can buy and use more.

Meanwhile, population increases due to lower infant mortality rates and more prosperity, while more prosperity leads to lower birth rates. But because there are large numbers of poor people worldwide, then population continues to increase, together with more energy and resources needed for that population and more energy and resources per capita as more people want basic needs and more.

That "more" was achieved through cheap energy, which is what the world had for some time, e.g., only a barrel of oil needed to get a hundred from the ground. But because the same planet from which resources are extracted is limited, then in time more energy is needed to get more resources, then the same amount of resources, then fewer resources.

More credit can be created to get more resources, which is what happened with shale, but in the long run, that only leads to increasing debt (which is what credit essentially is) and doesn't reverse the amount of energy needed to get more resources. Hence, diminishing returns, which affects not only resources extracted but even the energy needed to extract resources.

Meanwhile, as more resources are used, then more pollution takes place, with more carbon emissions. Couple that with chemical and air pollution, soil damage, etc., then the environment is damaged and resource availability is hampered. With that, the economy is also affected.

Thus, in order to maintain that capitalist economy, a lot of cheap energy (i.e., high energy return) will be needed to meet basic needs and wants of a growing population and growing resource demand per capita. In order to counter diminishing returns which affect energy return and extraction of resources, then additional energy is needed. To deal with environmental damage (including the effects of climate change), then energy on top of that.


etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #111 on: September 13, 2020, 08:08:27 AM »
Hello Ralfy,

I don't know how to say it, but I feel that you are locked in ideas of the "old normal". You refer to Ugo Bardi, which means that you have a good understanding of the situation, but here is a quote out of his blog :
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-triumph-of-catastrophism-how-greta.html
Quote
Then, of course, all what I said up to now will turn out to be wrong if we see the famed "recovery." Most people seem to think that once we have a vaccine for the dreaded little monster, everything will return to normal in the best of worlds. But that's questionable, to say the least. Someone who understands that there won't be a "normal" anymore is Charles Hugh Smith of the "Of two minds" blog. Below, let me report an excerpt from one of his recent posts where, among other things, you can find an excellent illustration of how the Seneca Effect works.
The situation has changed so much with the Covid19 that I feel that we have to "wait and see", that the rules that have been good since the industrial revolution might not work anymore.

Here is another quote of the same person about predicting the future : https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2020/01/how-to-predict-future-confessions-of.html
Quote
1. Always trust thermodynamics
2. Always mistrust claims of marvelous new technologies
3. Always remember that the system has unpredictable tipping points


I think that right now, the 3rd point is the most important. Have any tipping points been reached with Covid 19 ? I'm sure, but I don't know which ones, I guess nobody knows.

"Wait and see" doesn't mean sitting in a chair watching television, it means that when acting, you should keep in mind that planning right now is impossible, and that could be one of the reason why recovery might be so difficult this time. 

It means that short term has become much more important for companies, but long term also became much more important, because if you chose the wrong business, there will be no way to keep it running.

I have no answers, only questions, and I am very worried.

Regards,

Etienne

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #112 on: September 13, 2020, 09:53:41 AM »
Again it's as if you do not realize fossil fuels and renewables are interchangeable.
Mining equipment can be replaced with electric motor and battery operated equipment. This will enable much better working conditions especially underground, and will be cheaper.
Most manufacturing can be made with electricity.
Trucking can be made electric easily.
Shipping energy is the hardest to replace, but still possible. But then again, solar panels are much lighter than oil and coal and take up much smaller volume so the problem is not gigantic.

All that is needed is first and foremost to deploy renewable electricity production in much larger numbers that cover not just electricity demand growth but also existing electricity production to enable stoppage of new fossil fuel plants and faster closure of existing such plants. Hint: This will happen faster if people from the peak oil crowd and from other agendas stop spreading anti-renewables stuff.

They are definitely not interchangeable unless components like electric motors have been developed that can replace diesel-powered ones for heavy equipment used in mining, for engines in container ships, and more.

As pointed out several times, one study mentioned here states that a full transition is possible, but the lag time is lengthy:

https://www.businessinsider.com/131-years-to-replace-oil-2010-11

And because energy returns are lower, buffer stocks are needed, which is why several interviewed in a 2006 Four Corners documentary about peak oil argued that the transition should have started in the 1990s.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the move to renewable energy should not continue, but it is very likely that it will not maintain a global capitalist economy that needs a lot more energy and resources, which is the point of this thread.
It is very difficult to discuss, when you continue to rely on sources from 10 and 15 years ago, in a field that is changing so fast.

But let's at least summarize the things we seem to agree on:
* A full renewable transition is possible, but the lag time is lengthy.
* The move to renewable energy should continue, but it is very likely that it will not maintain a global capitalist economy that needs a lot more energy and resources.
* The transition should have started a long time ago.

It seems to me that for you these points stem from physical limitations on renewables. I believe that the main limitation is people's and governments' decision making, and there are no serious physical limitations. It is possible and doable to make a full renewable electricity transition in a decade and a full renewable energy transition in two decades, if humanity decided this was World War III. Then the lag time would not be lengthy, negating the first point. And if that were to be done, the higher needs of the future population could be met from an energy standpoint, negating the second point. Obviously, it would have been easier if we started a long time ago, so the third point needs no discussion.

In the real world this crash renewable program will not be happening due to politics, short-term thinking and human nature, thus the three points stand.

But even if this program was put in place, humanity would still be facing many other obstacles stemming from climate change and carrying capacity limitations, though certainly abundant clean energy could help in facing these obstacles. Human population is simply too high for this planet, but that is the point of a different thread.

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #113 on: September 13, 2020, 10:42:38 AM »
Ralfy,

The EROI argument was put to bed some years ago. The energy input constructing and installing Wind and PV is paid back in a few months of operation.

On the money side “Induced energy”- (If you spend money, you create work and knock on consumption) – the cheaper the energy the lower the induced component is.

The transition is do-able. Scotland is at nearly net 100% renewables for electricity, though there is still a way to go on heating, cooking, transport.

Over consumption of non energy resources is a different and harder to solve problem - how to persuade 7.5 bn people to consume less stuff.
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KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #114 on: September 13, 2020, 11:03:21 AM »
They are definitely not interchangeable unless components like electric motors have been developed that can replace diesel-powered ones for heavy equipment used in mining, for engines in container ships, and more.

Ummm
see this?
 
Its diesel electric .
As is all the big mining hardware and trains etc.
Battery tech is improving  fast as billions is being spent by the automobile industry.
Land based mining is not going to be difficult simply swap out the diesels for battery's .
Off shore shipping is another kettle of fish .
The future  is to use some form of manufactured fuel from renewable energy.
 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 12:23:09 PM by KiwiGriff »
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Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #115 on: September 13, 2020, 11:08:27 AM »
Ralfy,

I'd be very wary of quoting Euan Mearns, he is strongly anti-renewables and pro Nuclear.

His articles are lengthy and sound convincing , but usually have an obvious fatal flaw which I pointed out in the comments.

He gave up up posting in summer 19. Some of my point-outs are there,  most have been deleted.

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #116 on: September 13, 2020, 11:35:09 AM »
Ralfy,

Ah, I see it. His numbers are from a paper by  Ferroni and Hopkirk which has been debunked.

If it looks and smells like BS it probably is.

Looks like he has removed all comments. He's just another BSitter who has given up BSitting because it's increasingly obvious BS.

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #117 on: September 13, 2020, 02:16:35 PM »
Ralfy,
The EROI argument was put to bed some years ago. The energy input constructing and installing Wind and PV is paid back in a few months of operation.

The energy input, certainly, there is no question that wind pays itself back in terms of energy uset to manufacture very quickly.  Even better is the more renewables we get, the less FF energy we use to manufacture and transport.

The value prospect is another matter. I did a bit of digging and found a recent article which priced out the cost of survey, construction, decommissioning and annual maintenance for a 1GW offshore wind farm.

At max UK energy prices for 2019, using UK government %capacity figures from 2019, the 25 year (yes their life is designed for 25 years), average annual profit was £43 million.  But the setup costs were over £600m and decommissioning was £300m.

At the moment energy strike prices are over the max wholesale prices, but they are falling.  The difference dropping to £10 per Mwh.

When government subsidies have gone and it is time to renew, 25 years from now, I'm not sure where we will be going.  Solar has a life closer to 40 years now and it is getting longer.  But Solar doesn't have moving parts.

I'd love to think we have it all sorted out, but stepping back to view the whole picture says that we are only at the beginning of our climb out of fossil fuel dependency and what seems like a slam dunk today may look like folly in 50 years.

I'm not saying we should not ramp up wind as fast as we can, I'm just saying don't expect it to solve all our problems.  Any more than solar can in winter with our current infrastructure.

There are some excellent thesis papers out there and they are not anti renewables, the are pro knowledge.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2020, 03:17:36 PM »
Very few people in Western societies are employed by primary production. Farming, fishing, mining, and forestry are dominated by corporate businesses. None of the primary production businesses large or small are powered by renewable energy and until the  transportation sector is transformed into electrics the transport of primary production goods is also fossil fuel dependent.
 There is a slow transition of home electricity and personal transport into “renewable” options but those options are still expensive so the transition to renewables is largely from the one percent. There is not a transition into renewables from primary producers and transport because those options don’t exist.
Yes Tesla has a semi on the drawing boards and NEXT year there may be one or two companies selling battery electric farm ~ 30 horsepower farm tractors but any transition imagined will be very expensive for decades into the future. Here is a nice 30 horse battery electric tractor for ~ $40,000. It is no more than a toy to corporate farming scales of production.
https://www.solectrac.com/efarmer
 Even with subsidies available converting a small farm to renewable options is expensive. There just aren’t examples where you can look at the costs of the ” renewable “ infrastructure and the yield in calories for what is produced. There has to be more food calories produced than the calories it took to manufacture the renewables or we are just talking BAU. The ten fossil fuel calories to produce one calorie of food is simply unsustainable and you’d think someone would be working on at least reducing that ten to one number but I have never seen one example or even one proposed study to test currently available “ renewable “ options.
 For example my 5kWh home solar cost $22,000 installed, $12,000 after rebates
                   my 27kWh powerwalls cost $22,000 installed $12,000 after rebates
Small electric tractor $40,000
Electric truck to get produce to market $40,000plus
Land costs, fertilizer, well pumps, and a solar home are more costs.

 So you are looking at three or four years of wages for low end earners even in the 1% class to just purchase enough “ renewables “ to get started with a very small farm that likely couldn’t ever pay back the investment before all those batteries needed replacing.  That doesn’t consider land costs or taxes.
 So even though I am making good headway in testing what is currently available and I am very happy with a solar/battery home it is still more or less a hobby farm. How many other people would purchase a $40,000 tractor before they get their nice model 3 ?  Very few I assume and as long as we are content to remain dependent upon the corporate food system to feed us this situation will not change until the profit margin of that decision favors “ renewable “ farming infrastructure.
 In Calif. you really need to be a millionaire to buy a farm with good dirt and water . Then you need to fork over a couple hundred thousand more to get solar/ battery equipment to run a farm that will never pay back your investment.
 So ralfy’s opinion reflects current reality and until somebody figures out how to feed us all it will be BAU to the wall. Trying to do all of the above after the climate throws  more 122F days at me , and drought years expand , and food production and price competition remains dominated by fossil fuel
produced food is ( pick your adjective ) .
 Everyone’s decision matrix is still dominated by comfort. Food can be ignored, the climate is someone’s else’s problem and the extinction we are precipitating is just bad news , or fake news. We will still buy shining new cars and oversized homes and hope someone else feeds us. I am not sure it’s better than nothing because it is just so damn frivolous.
 
 
 

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2020, 03:48:34 PM »
Bruce while your take on the food production issuer is spot on, I have some questions on farm costs.
I am trying to understand the difference in costs between FF and renewables options. Whether small-scale farming is possible or not is a much bigger question. But corporate farming should also hopefully be transitioning to renewable electricity at some point, or we are doomed. (I know we are doomed, but still).

In order for a transition to renewables to be economical, the farmer should not be deeply out of pocket compared to the FF alternative. Otherwise it will simply not happen.
Electricity - should be renewable supplied by the grid. One shouldn't have to install one's own panels to get clean energy.
Batteries - same. Grid should iron out intermittencies.
Tractor - EV tractor needs to be priced similarly to the FF variety, taking into account some of the savings related to lower fuel costs and lower maintenance costs of electric engines. What would be the current cost of a 30hp farm tractor? Trying to compare to the $40k figure which I am sure will come down in the future. And what is the annual fuel and maintenance cost?
Truck - same consideration price with operations cost should be similar or better than FF variety. What is the current cost of a FF farm truck? And annually?

In general, a renewable electricity powered farm might be competitive in a decade. I doubt it can be made to work now. This is part of the transition - there should be a crash program in making these things cheaper and better. Waiting for BAU to disappear on its own will not end well.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #120 on: September 13, 2020, 05:45:03 PM »
Oren, Equipments costs and scale are related. So many chores require different equipment , cultivating requires less horsepower than deep tilling. But tilling , even small scale farming, requires horsepower. Diesel is so powerful and a diesel engine can last decades. A diesel pickup can still haul a ton of vegetables to market thirty or forty years after it was made. A new diesel pickup might cost $60,000 or $70,000 new but that same truck will lose value long before it loses utility. That is why I bought a twenty year old truck that I am still driving ten years later, but yes maintaining it adds costs. But a decent truck that still has a couple decades of use in it would cost maybe $25,000. Farm equipment loses value slower I think but engine hours tells a bigger story than age. A nice old 50 horse tractor with a couple decades of use in it ~ $10,000. Should cost very little to maintain. Sid could probably ballpark equipment costs better than I can because I am so small and cheap I don’t buy much and never have. But no matter how low you can get your costs down scale becomes an issue.
 Very small and frugal equipments costs for 10-20 acres, one small and one larger tractor $16,000 used
$25,000 used truck. But equipment for farming a thousand acres wouldn’t cost 16,000 + 25,000 x 100.
Even new equipment would be cheaper I think. Again Sid could do a better job with the numbers.
 I cannot imagine how battery electrics will power thousand acre farm machinery. There are options of pulling around electric cables that make much better sense to me. Batteries only needed to get back and forth from the barn to the field and the cable connection. Small farms seem practical for battery electrics at least in concept but affordability is something else.
 One of the biggest issues is farm produce prices. Although equipment costs, land costs , labor, and fuel have gone up two or three fold over the last couple decades the price we are paid for produce has remained constant. I tell people to think about $1 a pound vegetables. How many 40lb boxes does it take to make $40,000 gross ? Now think about how much work goes into growing, picking, packing and transporting those thousand boxes of vegetables. Now take out your overhead. Off topic I suppose.
 
I always sound so pessimistic but I am willing to buy those tools I need to prove , at least prove to myself, that battery/electrics are relevant to farming. It works for my home, I am comfortable, it works for very microscale production. I am just finishing up hand harvesting my Indian corn crop. By hand and with my little electric cultivator I have about ~ 400-500lbs. in the drying shed. Wheat is not finished enough to get a good weight estimate but maybe 75lbs.  So as an adjunct to lots of hand labor solar water pumping and a small electric tiller can feed a family.  400-500lbs. of cornmeal and a 50lb sack of flour isn’t worth much in $ but for me it has been a lifetime of effort to get here. I grew other vegetables with my electrics also but corn and wheat can easily be converted into food calories for counting purposes. Will it scale up , yes I think so but profitability and self sufficiency are different subjects. What is self sufficiency worth ? Nothing until you are hungry.
 If I can get an electric tractor it will happen long before I can purchase an old used model three although I have wondered how well an old Tesla might pull a one bottom plow... won’t scale.

A new 30 horse John Deere ~ $20,000
https://www.deere.com/en/tractors/compact-tractors/3-series-compact-tractors/3032e/

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #121 on: September 13, 2020, 05:52:19 PM »
Neil,

Strike price (minimum paid, they will sell for more if the market will pay) is now around 4p/kWH and they are willing to go ahead, they believe they will make a profit.

There are NO subsidies, only the minimum strike price.

Turbines are bigger - more production for capital

The "wholesale price" varies, it can even be negative at times

No one tech will do it on it's own we need a mix, e.g. more wind, less sun in winter.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

Iain

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #123 on: September 13, 2020, 06:20:54 PM »
Thank you Bruce for all the detailed info. It appears cost-effective farm transition is farther off into the future, and needs more improvements in technology. Time is what we don't have though, a big bummer.
Hopefully the Tesla Cybertruck will create a market for used electric pickup trucks in about 5 years. Not sure if this will help farmers.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #124 on: September 13, 2020, 08:43:01 PM »
Electric tractors.
https://www.producer.com/2019/12/are-we-ready-for-electric-tractors/

The "ford" sourced  from India without engines and converted to electric  is actually a Massy Ferguson design based on the trusty te20  like Hillary took to the south pole. They are incredibly robust  and can still be seen working today on many hobby farms around NZ . Almost all parts can be brought new other than the major castings.

Converting a small around 30hp tractor  to electric would not be impossible  there are already commercial conversion kits for lawn tractors.

Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #125 on: September 14, 2020, 11:38:40 AM »

There are NO subsidies, only the minimum strike price.

I guess that depends on how you view it.

In a regulated energy market, being able to charge above market price and bill it out to the customer base, to me, is a subsidy.  In the end, whether taxes pay direct subsidy or users pay direct energy bill rises, it is a subsidy.

I hadn't seen under £50 strike price, I only update myself when checking and I see the latest prices were after I looked in 2019.

For instance, Hornsea one:

Quote
In 2011 Smart Wind signed lease agreements with the Crown Estate for "Heron Wind" and "Njord" areas making up the zone.[19] The zone was given provisional contract for difference renewable subsidies by the UK government in April 2014.[20] Hornsea Project 1 was given planning consent in December 2014.[21] The 'contract for difference' strike price was £140 per MWh

Hornsea Wind farm Project 1 completed construction August 2019 and will operate under that strike price.  Which is more than the projected £95 per MWh of Hinckley Point C.

Project 2 Phase 1 was granted a strike price of 57.50£/MWh.  However that was updated to 66.98£/MWh on what appears to be 29th July 2020.

https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds/hornsea-project-2-phase-1


Whilst £41 is below 2018 market prices, it is not below 2020.  It seems to me that the implementation of more renewables will drive down the wholesale price of electricity.  Which will make investments in offshore wind less profitable without a robust strike price.

As the costs of initiating and decommissioning a wind farm are not falling appreciably, this squeeze on strike price is likely to, eventually, impact uptake of offshore wind.

Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #126 on: September 14, 2020, 02:03:08 PM »
Neil,

No problem, I thought you were referring to a subsidy in addition to the SP. To me a subsidy is a no strings gift (e.g Single Farm Payment, not coupled to production) while they have to deliver MWHs to earn the SP.

The SP bidding is a reverse auction - how low can you go, Mr businessman, and still make a profit? The turbines are genuinely getting bigger, so lower capital cost per MWH generated
https://gwec.net/wind-turbine-sizes-keep-growing-as-industry-consolidation-continues/


Average wholesale for baseload, around 4p / kWH pre covid:
https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/data-portal/all-charts/policy-area/electricity-wholesale-markets

But the spot price varies, the Octopus Smart Export Guarantee (FIT replacement) pays around 5-6p/kWh, or 4p most times with a 10p/ kWh premium price at peak times (in normal times, not fixed but based on wholesale price)

That's well short of the retail price of 15-16p/kWH, I understand Grid / LNO charges are only 2-3p. Sure, some Big Six FF plant is underused, available to cope with the winter peak, but the cost is mostly for fuel, so I can't help thinking there is too big a mark up there.
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ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #127 on: September 15, 2020, 03:58:48 AM »
Hello Ralfy,

I don't know how to say it, but I feel that you are locked in ideas of the "old normal". You refer to Ugo Bardi, which means that you have a good understanding of the situation, but here is a quote out of his blog :
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-triumph-of-catastrophism-how-greta.html
Quote
Then, of course, all what I said up to now will turn out to be wrong if we see the famed "recovery." Most people seem to think that once we have a vaccine for the dreaded little monster, everything will return to normal in the best of worlds. But that's questionable, to say the least. Someone who understands that there won't be a "normal" anymore is Charles Hugh Smith of the "Of two minds" blog. Below, let me report an excerpt from one of his recent posts where, among other things, you can find an excellent illustration of how the Seneca Effect works.
The situation has changed so much with the Covid19 that I feel that we have to "wait and see", that the rules that have been good since the industrial revolution might not work anymore.

Here is another quote of the same person about predicting the future : https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2020/01/how-to-predict-future-confessions-of.html
Quote
1. Always trust thermodynamics
2. Always mistrust claims of marvelous new technologies
3. Always remember that the system has unpredictable tipping points


I think that right now, the 3rd point is the most important. Have any tipping points been reached with Covid 19 ? I'm sure, but I don't know which ones, I guess nobody knows.

"Wait and see" doesn't mean sitting in a chair watching television, it means that when acting, you should keep in mind that planning right now is impossible, and that could be one of the reason why recovery might be so difficult this time. 

It means that short term has become much more important for companies, but long term also became much more important, because if you chose the wrong business, there will be no way to keep it running.

I have no answers, only questions, and I am very worried.

Regards,

Etienne

If various experts are right, then tipping points have been reached, e.g., the transition to renewable energy should have started twenty years before 2006, when conventional production started peaking (according to the IEA, but only after they conducted a survey of fields worldwide in 2008 and reached that conclusion in 2010) and when emissions exceeded 300 ppm (which was after 1975).

OTOH, we probably adjusted to them without realizing it. For example, oil production per capita peaked back in 1979, which means we've been relying more on other sources of energy since, but emissions still went up as much of the world is barely industrialized, i.e., to this day, 71 pct of people earn less than $10 daily, only 7 pct of people worldwide each college degrees, etc.

In which case, I think I'm not the only one locked in the "old" normal. Rather, we all are, and have been since the end of WW2. The irony, as your post implies, is that it took not climate change or peak oil but a pandemic to change all that, and that wasn't even a tipping point but a "black swan."

Given all that, what type of planning will be needed? It has to be, as one study pointed out, socialist, and on a global scale, involving at least 143 countries. Some experts in energy add that it will have to start immediately, with large amounts of investments transferred to renewable energy. Some experts in fields connected to climate change argue that all of the oil underground has to stay underground, that 400 ppm is beyond tipping point, and that something like more than half of economic activity in general has to end, with what remains focusing only on basic needs.

And then there are those who argue that even the renewables that will be used have low energy returns. For example, here's a study about that from 2018, which I suspect will still be considered "outdated" in this forum:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921800917317044?via%3Dihub

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1blrA8YbRZyZA-PB1mgchEChuEOsdlqHp/view

That is, the EROI for renewables, which means the amount to be invested has to be far greater that even current levels. Add to this issues concerning market penetration and real-world factors which affect EROI (Sc. 4), and it is apparent that every point that I have raised has to be considered. That is, the world has to invest more to cover lower EROIs in renewables, to invest more to do it faster to reduce emissions, and invest even more to increase market penetration, and to invest even more to meet growing energy demand.

But investments are made based on higher returns, remember? That means investors except prices for oil to go up (which makes renewables more attractive) and expect markets to consume more energy and resources, which is the main reason for investing in greater productivity in capitalist systems.

Do you now see why high EROIs were needed in the first place? It's a global capitalist system with investors, businesses, and employees who want higher returns on investment and higher income levels. But that means higher energy and resource consumption and ever-increasing energy and resource consumption, which brings us back to that idea of planning: "planning" for these groups means looking for what is most profitable, but for climate scientists and energy experts it means what will allow for lower carbon emissions plus replace oil. But if the study is right, what can replace is is essentially sources with lower energy returns, and that has to be done in a global economy that needs and is counting on the opposite.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #128 on: September 15, 2020, 04:16:53 AM »
It is very difficult to discuss, when you continue to rely on sources from 10 and 15 years ago, in a field that is changing so fast.

There is nothing in what you have shared that proves that. Even one source that I provided from 2018 still maintains that renewables (both intermittent and geophysically based) still have low EROIs.

Quote

But let's at least summarize the things we seem to agree on:
* A full renewable transition is possible, but the lag time is lengthy.
* The move to renewable energy should continue, but it is very likely that it will not maintain a global capitalist economy that needs a lot more energy and resources.
* The transition should have started a long time ago.


EROIs are also lower, according to a 2018 paper by Sers and Victor.

Don't forget diminishing returns and lag time.

Quote

It seems to me that for you these points stem from physical limitations on renewables. I believe that the main limitation is people's and governments' decision making, and there are no serious physical limitations. It is possible and doable to make a full renewable electricity transition in a decade and a full renewable energy transition in two decades, if humanity decided this was World War III. Then the lag time would not be lengthy, negating the first point. And if that were to be done, the higher needs of the future population could be met from an energy standpoint, negating the second point. Obviously, it would have been easier if we started a long time ago, so the third point needs no discussion.


There are two additional limitations: lower EROIs for renewables, and lower EROIs overall given diminishing returns.

Quote

In the real world this crash renewable program will not be happening due to politics, short-term thinking and human nature, thus the three points stand.

Quote

Also, the type of global economy in which the program will be funded, which is market capitalist.

Quote

But even if this program was put in place, humanity would still be facing many other obstacles stemming from climate change and carrying capacity limitations, though certainly abundant clean energy could help in facing these obstacles. Human population is simply too high for this planet, but that is the point of a different thread.

Yes. Also, because EROIs for renewables are low, then the same global market capitalist economy will not last.

The implication is that the same economy is far from robust: it is vulnerable to shocks like a resource crunch, the effects of ecological damage and climate change, diminishing returns, and even "black swans" like wars, pandemics, and financial crashes.

That's why cheap oil, i.e., high EROIs, was needed in the first place to ensure mass manufacturing and mechanized agriculture on a global scale after WW2. The surplus energy was critical to ensure, among other things, a JIT system with optimal economic order quantities, so that products like solar panels could be manufactured across extensive supply chains involving many countries and businesses, and arrive at the lowest possible costs to places like New Zealand, or to provide the semblance of "green" living in Luxembourg or the UK.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #129 on: September 15, 2020, 04:19:56 AM »
Ralfy,

The EROI argument was put to bed some years ago. The energy input constructing and installing Wind and PV is paid back in a few months of operation.

On the money side “Induced energy”- (If you spend money, you create work and knock on consumption) – the cheaper the energy the lower the induced component is.

The transition is do-able. Scotland is at nearly net 100% renewables for electricity, though there is still a way to go on heating, cooking, transport.

Over consumption of non energy resources is a different and harder to solve problem - how to persuade 7.5 bn people to consume less stuff.

That's payback time involving ideal conditions. In real world conditions, energy returns turn out to be much lower.

No one is saying that the transition is doable. The point, as one 2018 paper (linked in an earlier message) and others raise, is that the energy returns are still low. That means demand will also adjust.

And if those renewable components involve a global capitalist economy with extensive supply chains and is heavily dependent on oil, then there is also a possibility that in the long term, we might even see the world in one heavily dependent on renewable energy, but using technology from earlier centuries.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #130 on: September 15, 2020, 04:41:33 AM »
Ummm
see this?
 
Its diesel electric .
As is all the big mining hardware and trains etc.
Battery tech is improving  fast as billions is being spent by the automobile industry.
Land based mining is not going to be difficult simply swap out the diesels for battery's .
Off shore shipping is another kettle of fish .
The future  is to use some form of manufactured fuel from renewable energy.

Definitely not interchangeable as diesel is still used to supplement machinery (same in manufacturing). Even the batteries and motors that are being improved upon involve the same supply chains dependent on fossil fuels for mining, manufacturing, and shipping.

In previous posts, I shared an article that refers to a study which argues that a full transition is possible but may take up to 131 years.

But I don't think the effects of diminishing returns (which means higher capital expenditures in exchange for lower increases in production) coupled with increasing demand from a much larger chunk of the world population (e.g., 71 pct earning less than $10 daily and who want to earn much more so that they can spend more, and the 29 pct who are counting on them to do so so that they can get higher income and ROIs).

What kind of technology, coordination, and cooperation will be needed to increase renewable EROI to that of oil, will reverse the effects of diminishing returns, will either curtail population to less than 10 billion through rapid industrialization (i.e., provide the equivalent of a "European style of living" to most of the world population in only a decade) or meet the needs and wants of a population that might reach 10-11 billion after two decades or so, and will cut down the lengthy lag time to only a decade (to meet what climate scientists want in order to minimize the effects of global warming and to meet what energy experts want in order to avoid a resource crunch)?

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #131 on: September 15, 2020, 04:49:11 AM »
Ralfy,

I'd be very wary of quoting Euan Mearns, he is strongly anti-renewables and pro Nuclear.

His articles are lengthy and sound convincing , but usually have an obvious fatal flaw which I pointed out in the comments.

He gave up up posting in summer 19. Some of my point-outs are there,  most have been deleted.

My sources include Charles Hall.

FWIW, I'm not anti-anything. I have this feeling that we will need every source of energy available to deal with the issues I raised in previous posts, and even that won't be enough.

In short, following one premise of the 2018 study shared recently, I don't think we have the surplus energy to make choices. Our high EROI oil is becoming the opposite because of peak oil, and our low EROI renewables are not ramping up considerably.

One problem, by the way, with nuclear, is a lack of uranium and even the rare minerals needed for reactors. I think, at best, following what experts like Albert pointed out, we can only get 4 TW of power for nuclear given all mined resources, recycled fuel, and whatever can be extracted economically from seawater. And that assumes that we even have enough safe places to construct reactors.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #132 on: September 15, 2020, 05:02:11 AM »
Ralfy,

Ah, I see it. His numbers are from a paper by  Ferroni and Hopkirk which has been debunked.

If it looks and smells like BS it probably is.

Looks like he has removed all comments. He's just another BSitter who has given up BSitting because it's increasingly obvious BS.

My source is Hall, but I can add Victor et al, as seen in their recent 2018 paper, and Cleveland and others who deal with energy economics.

But I think they all mostly limit themselves to expected demand and don't consider issues like diminishing returns, which is part of Limits to Growth (Bardi and others), although Hall and Prieto did look at real world conditions in which renewables are used.

Similarly, what you and others post are also limited, usually focusing on monetary costs, nameplate power, and payback time based on ideal conditions.

What I've been doing is connect the dots: real-world conditions in which RE is used with limits to growth (e.g., diminishing returns, increasing capex for lower increases in production), market issues (e.g., penetration, investments vs expected outcomes), lag time for a transition, urgency raised by climate scientists (e.g., the tipping point will take place sooner than we thing) and energy experts (e.g., transitions should start two decades before the expected peak oil an energy source that will be replaced), and expected and desired demand (e.g., 71 pct of people are poor but want to be richer, 29 pct want them to be richer, which means more energy and resources have to be consumed) coupled with ecological footprint and biocapacity (e.g., ave. ecological footprint for the current population is higher than biocapacity, with increasing population and ecological damage not yet considered) in light of an RE transition and consumption.

The closest I've seen to groups doing that include those that deal with limits to growth. But I don't think you'd interested in that.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #133 on: September 15, 2020, 05:24:58 AM »
Very few people in Western societies are employed by primary production. Farming, fishing, mining, and forestry are dominated by corporate businesses. None of the primary production businesses large or small are powered by renewable energy and until the  transportation sector is transformed into electrics the transport of primary production goods is also fossil fuel dependent.
 There is a slow transition of home electricity and personal transport into “renewable” options but those options are still expensive so the transition to renewables is largely from the one percent. There is not a transition into renewables from primary producers and transport because those options don’t exist.
Yes Tesla has a semi on the drawing boards and NEXT year there may be one or two companies selling battery electric farm ~ 30 horsepower farm tractors but any transition imagined will be very expensive for decades into the future. Here is a nice 30 horse battery electric tractor for ~ $40,000. It is no more than a toy to corporate farming scales of production.
https://www.solectrac.com/efarmer
 Even with subsidies available converting a small farm to renewable options is expensive. There just aren’t examples where you can look at the costs of the ” renewable “ infrastructure and the yield in calories for what is produced. There has to be more food calories produced than the calories it took to manufacture the renewables or we are just talking BAU. The ten fossil fuel calories to produce one calorie of food is simply unsustainable and you’d think someone would be working on at least reducing that ten to one number but I have never seen one example or even one proposed study to test currently available “ renewable “ options.
 For example my 5kWh home solar cost $22,000 installed, $12,000 after rebates
                   my 27kWh powerwalls cost $22,000 installed $12,000 after rebates
Small electric tractor $40,000
Electric truck to get produce to market $40,000plus
Land costs, fertilizer, well pumps, and a solar home are more costs.

 So you are looking at three or four years of wages for low end earners even in the 1% class to just purchase enough “ renewables “ to get started with a very small farm that likely couldn’t ever pay back the investment before all those batteries needed replacing.  That doesn’t consider land costs or taxes.
 So even though I am making good headway in testing what is currently available and I am very happy with a solar/battery home it is still more or less a hobby farm. How many other people would purchase a $40,000 tractor before they get their nice model 3 ?  Very few I assume and as long as we are content to remain dependent upon the corporate food system to feed us this situation will not change until the profit margin of that decision favors “ renewable “ farming infrastructure.
 In Calif. you really need to be a millionaire to buy a farm with good dirt and water . Then you need to fork over a couple hundred thousand more to get solar/ battery equipment to run a farm that will never pay back your investment.
 So ralfy’s opinion reflects current reality and until somebody figures out how to feed us all it will be BAU to the wall. Trying to do all of the above after the climate throws  more 122F days at me , and drought years expand , and food production and price competition remains dominated by fossil fuel
produced food is ( pick your adjective ) .
 Everyone’s decision matrix is still dominated by comfort. Food can be ignored, the climate is someone’s else’s problem and the extinction we are precipitating is just bad news , or fake news. We will still buy shining new cars and oversized homes and hope someone else feeds us. I am not sure it’s better than nothing because it is just so damn frivolous.

I recall one short point in a DoE primer which pointed out that oil use for developed economies heavily involve those for personal use, such as passenger vehicles and home use. But in developing economies, it's used heavily for manufacturing and mining, infrastructure development, to supplement energy needed by these, and at best public transport.

The implication is that most of the world is not industrialized, at least on a scale that allows for the development of late capitalist economies, and to achieve that significant inputs in energy and material resources will be needed.

For example, as I pointed out earlier, around 71 pct of people worldwide earn less than $10 daily, and in some places similar percentages are in the informal sector (which means they receive little to no benefits) and do not have things like bank accounts because they lack identification or savings or both. Many die without having been visited by a doctor, there is a major lack of doctors, nurses, and lab technicians, together with clinics and hospitals, for every 10,000 people. In several countries, up to 40 pct of children from the ages of 0-5 experience under- or malnutrition. Similar can be seen for schools, libraries, and so on, such that only 7 pct of the world's population are able to get the equivalent of a college degree, many are unable to finish basic education, and probably at least half receive it poorly due to large class sizes, lack of school books, desks, blackboards, etc. Large sections of the population do not receive stable electricity, and various areas lack necessities ranging from electric grids to paved roads.

The global economy in which the same population lives is essentially controlled by several hundred corporations, and most of the top ones are in the financial industry:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/

That means investments in various endeavors will be based on the following assumptions: maximization of profit and ROIs by lifting more people out of poverty and giving them access to middle class conveniences. Likely, businesses and the 29 pct of the world's population that earn more than $10 daily are counting on the same, as their own ROIs and income can only rise given such.

It's possible that governments essentially work for them as public funds ultimately come from the private sector via investments in government financial instruments and taxes, if not from public corporations that operate in the same way as their counterparts in the private sector. In which case, the idea of a globally coordinated "New Green Deal" or renewable energy (and more) program will be daunting.

It's also likely that these governments follow policies based on what their constituents want, and that their constituents want basic needs and middle class wants.

Given that, I think that in order to meet the needs of much of that world population, energy and resource use have to increase dramatically. If we follow points raised concerning ecological footprint and biocapacity, we will need the equivalent of one more earth for the current population. In order to meet middle class conveniences as well, more than that. And all that will have to take place given market capitalism, which is what businesses, workers, and consumers want, and which governments will support.

Finally, following the sense of urgency raised by climate, environmental, and energy experts, that transition will have to be done quickly and globally.

These are the conditions in which a global renewable energy transition will take place, and which will also affect consumption.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #134 on: September 15, 2020, 07:03:59 AM »
Hello Ralfy,

I think I found the problem in your logic :


Given all that, what type of planning will be needed? It has to be, as one study pointed out, socialist, and on a global scale, involving at least 143 countries. Some experts in energy add that it will have to start immediately, with large amounts of investments transferred to renewable energy. Some experts in fields connected to climate change argue that all of the oil underground has to stay underground, that 400 ppm is beyond tipping point, and that something like more than half of economic activity in general has to end, with what remains focusing only on basic needs.


Communism was killed by Stalin, and Social Democracy died when the cold war ended in 1989. Once the USSR disappeared, there was no reason anymore for large companies to be afraid of a "socialist" revolution.

Even the US left wings movements are not real socialists and respect private property and the general capitalistic organization. You also do because you talked for example about debt that has be repaid which would be problematic for the oil companies.

In the limit of growth, the concept is not to go up and stay there, but to go back down on a sustainable level, by choice or by fate. Unfortunately choice doesn't seem to work. In fact it is everyday more about consuming everything and having afterwards no more resources to continue a "normal" living.

Massive industrialization will not happen, it is just impossible because growth is limited by resources, and what the US use per capita is just not available, it even seems not to be available anymore for parts of the US population.

Renewable energy transition is for me the concept that we should go back as fast as possible to a sustainable level of energy (and other resources as well) consumption. You say it yourself, we need 131 years for the transition, but our oil consumption is only sustainable for something like 5 to 25 years, so we are in deep **** and I see a reduction of consumption as the only way out.

Reducing consumption means economical crisis, so we are in deep **** again.

Added : renewable energies makes it possible to have a higher sustainable living, so they are very important for me. Reducing consumption makes more money available, and using it to develop renewable energy is the best thing that we can do right now, but the lifespan of the equipment is an issue.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 07:55:07 AM by etienne »

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #135 on: September 15, 2020, 09:08:31 AM »
Etienne, I think you are right, but also wrong.  People are not going to want to accept reductions, they want to know How and When their governments are going to assure that they get to continue consuming as they do today.

The BIG risk is not that we will run out of Oil. The BIG risk is that pressure of resource constraints will drive our technological abilities to mine methane from Clatrates and undersea deposits.

There is a LOT more FF resources than Oil lying around our planet.  It is just Oil which is the low hanging fruit.  The UK has 300 years of coal reserves under the ground and coal to oil is old tech, expensive, but possible.

We need renewables and low/0 co2 energy rapidly.  Not just to offset the CO2 we have already pushed out there but to avoid the rest we haven't yet got to.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #136 on: September 15, 2020, 09:30:00 AM »
Ralfy,

“My sources include…” any with evidence of EROI less than 1? Over 1 is OK. There is no comparison with EROI for FFs, as they produce CO2

“I don't think we have the surplus energy to make choices.” We can produce many times our current energy demand from renewables, I don’t see any limitation there, nor any “diminishing returns” Scotland got to near net 100% mostly from new onshore wind, It was done fairly quickly (just over a decade)
https://www.scottishrenewables.com/our-industry/statistics

We are expanding offshore wind and tidal flow turbines are in testing, e.g. contra-rotating turbines need no supporting structure and are easy to install – low embodied and induced energy and emissions., better EROI return.

“with increasing population and ecological damage not yet considered” Agree, a completely different problem, we can’t make more land.

“payback time involving ideal conditions.”
The commercial decision will prevent installation in inappropriate locations e.g. low windspeed. If it won’t pay back it’s energy, it won’t make a profit either (at 5p/kWH)

“we might even see the world in one heavily dependent on renewable energy, but using technology from earlier centuries.” Yes, a transition, plus there is CO2 from smelting Ore to Iron and making cement which can’t be avoided, but stored.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #137 on: September 15, 2020, 09:36:09 AM »
We did not leave the Stone age  because we run out of stones.

Coal is a zombie technology.
Coal is already dead as an energy source.
Coal based electricity generation can not compete  with the cost of renewable energy.
It simply costs more to run an existing  coal plant than to build new renewable energy sources.
The same is true with all fossil fuel generation if you add in the indirect costs.
This represents Trillions of dollars of lost value to the Fossil fuel industry's.
Crisis equals opportunity .
There is an  up side if you are aware where this is going to lead us.

https://www.skepticalscience.com/3-clean-energy-myths.html

« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 09:47:35 AM by KiwiGriff »
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Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #138 on: September 15, 2020, 01:10:19 PM »
Good graphic. Yes - the technologies which get cheaper quicker win, then get cheaper again on economies of scale.
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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #139 on: September 15, 2020, 01:30:44 PM »
Yes, but yesterday, when I was looking at gridwatch.co.uk, Renewables were supplying >50% of demand with Wind being by far the largest.

Today, wind is supplying 2%.
 
It doesn't matter how cheap it is, if it is becalmed, then other power will have to fill the gap.  Unless we get some form of ultra large storage array.

Overall, Wind is filling a large % of generated electricity, but it is certainly not baseload power.  Personally I want to see deployment of wind but also strong efforts to have a fully integrated grid with renewables and storage and low/zero CO2 other options.

So far I see a lot of focus on Wind and Solar and not so much focus on a holistic approach which will solve the other problems.

Granted you have to have the infrastructure in order to balance it, but spanning that divide away from FF is going to take more than vertical solutions as a viewpoint.
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kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #140 on: September 15, 2020, 01:34:25 PM »
And there is a lot in the pipeline technology wise (see Wildcatters post above).

Timing wise it is a bit late because there is already so much damage done.

We could really use an international carbon tax everyone uses (so we won´t get that soon).
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #141 on: September 15, 2020, 01:52:27 PM »
"People are not going to want to accept reductions"

Nail on head.

I think it starts and ends with people, not Governments as such, as they are elected by people happy with their manifesto (their programme for the term)

No point in blaming capitalism either, they make stuff people want to buy and the people can be persuaded by advertising but they have the choice. That's hugely powerful

As above energy use is well on the way to being solved, the next issue is overuse of resources and it's enviromental impact

I think the solution path involves:

Education / awareness - OK in UK (e.g. BBC, ITN regulated balanced reporting) also most of the world, but more difficult in the USA with partisan news services.
If you want Palm Oil in your shampoo, you will have to ask the Orangutans to move out. Up to you.

Labelling on most things for sale – energy and environmental impact score.

Tax more to curb consumption? Not really, the money just gets spent by government so consumption is much the same.

Save more and retire early – the less you spend in your lifetime, the lower your impact.

4 day week – 20% less produced, 20% less bought with 20% less wages, 20% less impact

Any more suggestions – it has to be palatable to the electorate, this is a persuasion game.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #142 on: September 15, 2020, 02:16:28 PM »
"It doesn't matter how cheap it is, if it is becalmed, then other power will have to fill the gap. "

Try

Interconnectors / Supergrid – it’s windy / sunny next door or next door plus one, who are now off peak. A DC link to the Russian grid – 12 time zones wide
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_grid

Charge your car with 3kW in the sun or wind every few days

Connect to Norway (99% renewable hydro, no pumped storage – yet) OC GTs for rare peaks

Marine turbines, very predictable and peaks in Wick, then Boddam, Grangemouth ... Humberside hours later

Smart grid – price varies on demand / availability so your smart <whatever> switches on/off

Storage and/or overcapacity in production, whichever is cheaper. OC GTs.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #143 on: September 15, 2020, 06:06:56 PM »
This interview with Prof. Kevin Anderson provides a great view. It encompasses several subjects but renewable energy transition and consumption are major items.
Please watch.

(27m11)
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"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #144 on: September 15, 2020, 07:46:33 PM »
OK boomer.  ;)
We  collectively are old.
Most of us on this blog are nearing or reached retirement .
The youth are much more aware about the threats of over consumption and AGW than our generation.
They will shift the Overton window towards solutions.
Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
Robert Heinlein.

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #145 on: September 15, 2020, 08:40:56 PM »
Only if they can get their heads out of the internet.
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #146 on: September 15, 2020, 08:46:12 PM »
They are aware because of the Internet.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #147 on: September 15, 2020, 11:00:17 PM »
Re:  it starts and ends with people, not Governments as such, as they are elected by people

A cynic might say that governments may be elected by the people but they are bought and sold by the plutocrats. But thast is probably best discussed on another thread.

sidd

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #148 on: September 16, 2020, 11:16:57 AM »
They are aware because of the Internet.

I'm not arguing that.  I'm just saying that most of the internet generation I interact with get their awareness from the internet but also their apathy.  They know but don't want to act.

We may see tens or hundreds of thousands demonstrating. They are aware and they are want to act, as the few always have.

That masks the hundreds of millions, or billions, who are aware but don't want to act.

When I see the internet provide both information and action, I'll agree that it has done it's job.
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #149 on: September 16, 2020, 11:22:09 AM »
I disagree but will not clutter the thread further.