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Jim Hunt

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2020, 02:33:36 PM »
I seem to have inadvertently started a completely new thread?!

It strikes me that we need to reduce our requirements from the energy grid (or rooftop solar...) to a bare minimum, be sure an ever-increasing and rapidly increasing portion of that energy is renewable, and as we start to get oversupplies of renewables, use them to do whatever is necessary and feasible to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it safely and stably somehow.

How about extracting methane from the atmosphere as well? I stumbled across a paper on that very topic recently, but I can't seem to find it now. Anybody know the one I mean?

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2020, 04:08:09 PM »
I had to snip it somewhere and your post seemed a nice one to start from.

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.

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2020, 04:41:44 PM »
Dear Oren, demand reduction also accelerates the transition.

In my view, that is a much better way to go. Especially for the rich affluent countries/people i.e. the ones doing the most GHG damage with their consumption. And I don't mean the just the very rich but the largest parts of those populations. Likely the majority on this forum belong to that group.

'Low hanging fruit' with the overdue taste of equality and justice.

-------

In my opinion, ralfy also writes a lot of good stuff.

The replies to him seem to me a bit hostile and I don't understand that.. well, perhaps because believing in the 'God' of progress and affluent energy-for-everyone (and beautiful appliances) is a soothing dream to be defended?

Please listen to criticism, this is about our future, an important transition. Do we really want to go on in the same system? Green BAU?
e.g. I cannot put solar panels on my rented appartment. I can't pay for an electric bicycle or an electric car. I can't install a heat pump etc. What's in it for me? Another widening of the canyon between 'the haves' and 'the have-nots'?
Did you think this through for all people everywhere?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2020, 05:12:07 PM »

Because the price does not correctly reflect energy return given the point that it is ultimately driven by increasing credit which is used to fund increasing production.

It's true that embedded energy in a product is only one component of cost of production.  But you seem to be suggesting that availability of credit can cause production to proceed at a price below cost of production.  That's nonsense.  Nobody continues to produce at a price below cost of production, at least not for very long.

If solar equipment is cheap, it's because the embedded costs of energy+material+labor+capital are cheap.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2020, 05:22:01 PM »
Quote
e.g. I cannot put solar panels on my rented appartment. I can't pay for an electric bicycle or an electric car. I can't install a heat pump etc. What's in it for me? Another widening of the canyon between 'the haves' and 'the have-nots'?
Thanks or your response nanning. I agree consumption reduction is a low hanging fruit, but it's not happening on a wide scale (except maybe vegan trend). The same applies to solar and wind, 20 years ago they were an expensive dream which few could afford to subsidize, now they are affordable to every government, but it's not hapenning on a wide enough scale.
Rooftop solar is much more expensive than solar PV farms. Your apartment should be getting renewable energy via the grid, it shouldn't be just those who can afford to put it on their roof. Roofs should come second or third in the transition, and then it should be on every roof not just rich or poor or whatever.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2020, 07:18:44 PM »
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.

Solar farms are ok if you have areas that are just good for extensive agriculture, where sheep can eat the grass. I am not so convinced of removing land of agricultural use to produce energy.

There are many places where roof solar would be possible, like highways, railroads... The original investment might be higher, but the structure will be there for more than one generation of solar panels. Maybe we will see soon solar panels integrated in nets that could just be hanged over public infrastructure, it could even increase safety by providing solar/wind/rain protection.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2020, 11:15:40 PM »
I did not mean to remove agricultural land for solar, rather that solar is cheaper and more efficient to maintain in large installations rather than in residential rooftops.
In Israel there are desert locations just begging for large solar "farms". The only thing slowing down the process is the slowness of beaurocracy. I think that in most countries there are open locations that are not very useful economically and can accommodate solar installations quite easily.

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2020, 06:58:53 AM »
On the ethics of the privileged affluent people, the so-called 'haves'.

The 'haves' can independently cook their food, warm themselves, keep food cooled, have lighting, charge and drive their electric car etc.

With the grid failing for longer periods, the 'have-nots' won't be able to cook food and will go hungry. They will get cold in perhaps freezing temperatures. They'll have neither lights nor a refrigerator. No lift. Not even hot or warm water.


Will the 'haves' with their privately owned house and private energy production system, open their arms to the energy-starved, hungry and cold 'have-nots'?


Can you please answer this oren (and others)?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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 #58 on: September 08, 2020, 07:20:24 AM »
Shite nanning
100 bucks will by you a small solar  panel,  controller, a second hand car battery and a 12 v led light.
That is a months power bill to guarantee some light for the next decade at lest.
Want hot water? go find a  black twenty liter plastic container if you look around you can get them for free.
Full with water and stick it in a sunny spot it will give you  20 liters of warm water a day as long as the sun shines for more than five hours a day.
Want a electric bike? You can get a bike for free in your society ex laptop batteries and an electric bike  kit will cost  at most a few hundred bucks.
You are not stupid you can  find out how to do this stuff for SFA  on the web .
Get of your fuckin arse and find solutions! mate, instead of asking for them to be handed to you .   
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 07:34:54 AM by KiwiGriff »
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.

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2020, 08:08:29 AM »
Shite nanning
<snip>
Get of your fuckin arse and find solutions! mate, instead of asking for them to be handed to you .   

Kiwigriff, please tone it down.
What kind of solutions do you think you give? Do you really think it's that easy. Have you read all of my above post?
And I did not ask for solutions. I asked an ethical question.

And yes, I am not stupid but I am a bit stupefied by the hostile and condescending language.
Did my post and question 'hurt' you?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2020, 08:31:02 AM »
I don't think that Nanning needs an e-bike, I think he needs space. If you  don't have space, you just can't start anything. I lived 15 years in a small townhouse with a garden of 7,5x8 meters. It was just enough to put a tree, some grass and a few chairs. My wife reads a lot about people trying to produce all the food they eat, and one of these moved from Germany to Sweden because in Germany, nature would just be the most expensive thing. If the ground is cheap, it is covered with windmills, and if it is expensive you just can't afford it.
My townhouse was very efficient regarding energy consumption (built in 1998, and I only used 1000 liters equivalent heating oil per year for heating and warm water, 2 adults, 2 kids), but there was not enough place  for gardening, for food processing, for renewable excepted PV on the roof (5x7.5 meters with 2 Velux window for the sunny side), no space to start a business if it would be required... It was just what we needed at that time, but now that the kids are teens, we are so happy that we have more space. The house had about 180 sq meters all inclusive (garage, heating room, bathrooms, entrance hall, sleeping rooms...). What I would call "technical rooms" (garage, heating, washing, storage...) took about 40 sq meters, bathrooms took about 20 sq meters, entrance + stairs was about 25 sq meters, sleeping rooms took about 45 sq meters, and the kitchen with the living room (one big room) was about 55 sq meters. It is a great house, many people have much worse living places here in Luxembourg, but it is just too small if you want to start producing things yourself and need some space for the others to live normally. We had only 2 tables, one for the kitchen and one for the computer.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2020, 09:15:16 AM »
On the ethics of the privileged affluent people, the so-called 'haves'.

The 'haves' can independently cook their food, warm themselves, keep food cooled, have lighting, charge and drive their electric car etc.

With the grid failing for longer periods, the 'have-nots' won't be able to cook food and will go hungry. They will get cold in perhaps freezing temperatures. They'll have neither lights nor a refrigerator. No lift. Not even hot or warm water.


Will the 'haves' with their privately owned house and private energy production system, open their arms to the energy-starved, hungry and cold 'have-nots'?


Can you please answer this oren (and others)?
I fail to see the background of this question. Why would the grid be failing for longer periods? With the rise of renewables and grid batteries, grids will become more reliable, not less. In any case, most richer people, even those living in private houses, use exactly the same grid connection as poorer people. The grid (and water supply) is actually one of the more equal public services. It is far more likely the poor will suffer from lack of food or homelessness than that they will suffer from lack of electricity when richer people have it.

In any case the ethics are clear, haves should strive to help have nots. Some will do so, some won't, as usual. But the best solution is to make sure everyone has, rather than leave it to random kindness.

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2020, 01:37:47 PM »
Thanks etienne but I don't need more space because I don't want to own land and I am very glad with my 1st floor appartment of 80m² in a village.

I am not affluent in this society. The things Kiwigriff mentioned are outside of my budget. And I don't even want an electrical car, I had just put myself in as an example poor person in the rich world.


Thanks oren.
This is the background but I'll make further clear:
Quote from: nanning
"Another widening of the canyon between 'the haves' and 'the have-nots'?
Did you think this through for all people everywhere?"

The background is the hypothetical situation further into the future where the grid is offline for weeks. This could be caused by e.g. cyberwar, 'normal' war, weather and lack of maintenance. Already in our province there are several failing transformators and other equipment per month. This is a trend I observe and with the non-oversight of integration of renewable energy in the grid, I expect more problems. Several solar parks have already got the message that not all their power can be connected. Even for solar parks in the building phase. Privatisation of basic services and further neoliberal minimalisation of the state has certainly played a big role in this.

I live in a village where almost everyone has their own house on owned land.
The whole energy transition will make most house owners, private electricity producers.
The same with food production. The ones with gardens can have their private food supply.
The house owners are in general richer than renters, and these richer people now also get money from the taxpayer to buy and install solar panels, and to insulate their houses. More wealth and independency. And more consumption. All those products need to be made and transported: Higher carbon footprint.
The rich getting richer. Here you see it happen. It is hidden in so many small things e.g. traffic fines. But those points are apparently nigh-on impossible to discuss in a serious respectful humane manner.

If equality and justice are important then there's a need to look at the situation from the other side. From the point of the 'have-nots'.
I am poor by decision and observe from this position the privileged thinking of the richer people. The way the poor are told what's best for them and not really taking them into account. Most governments do this because they are neoliberalist and focus on the richer consumers. Perhaps those consumers have been trapped in the bubble of privileged thinking if the governments and commerce all give that information? Poor=bad=loser rich=good=winner.

When (parts of) civilisation collapses or infrastructure fails, I see a situation with (many poor) food/energy refugees in their own country. A country that is scattered with private food/energy production systems, partly paid for by all of us.
I have observed what has happened to many of the climate/violence refugees from around Syria: Wall go up. Torture prisons. Camps. Drownings. Ships full of refugees, saved from drowning, denied entry.

This hypothetical situation is the background of my question.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2020, 05:22:11 PM »
I think it will further clarify what I mean if you listen a couple of minutes to this interview with Kevin Anderson from 29m16s onwards?
(only audio+photo 38m52s total)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 05:35:49 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2020, 07:36:29 PM »
The house owners are in general richer than renters, and these richer people now also get money from the taxpayer to buy and install solar panels, and to insulate their houses. More wealth and independency. And more consumption. All those products need to be made and transported: Higher carbon footprint.
Well, here it is the same, but I thought it was a money saving trick. To provide great subsidies that require so much administrative work that it only make sense if you do 3 or 4 things (windows, insulation, heating, ventilation...), so most people don't ask them. I never got any subsidies for my house because I was too early or too late with the products I used.
40 years ago, my grand-mother got subsidies on new windows, some guy came and check and since the old ones were very old, it was ok. Nowadays you need an engineering team to fill the required forms.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2020, 01:37:35 PM »
Good points, etienne

It strikes me that we need to reduce our requirements from the energy grid (or rooftop solar...) to a bare minimum, be sure an ever-increasing and rapidly increasing portion of that energy is renewable, and as we start to get oversupplies of renewables, use them to do whatever is necessary and feasible to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it safely and stably somehow.

As far as I know, the first and last of these are not stated goals in any mainstream climate strategy, but I'd be happy to be corrected.

Also note: JinkoSolar will run entirely on renewable energy by 2025

Quote
“As the world’s largest solar module manufacturer, it doesn’t make sense that we produce renewable equipment but not use renewable energy ourselves."

The problem is that the global economy on which these assumptions rest operate in the opposite: increasing amounts of energy and material resources used to increase revenues for businesses that provide goods and services using this energy and resources to increase income of the same people who buy goods and services and the ROIs of people who own these businesses, and the credit churned back into the same global economy to ensure economic growth.

Meanwhile, solar panels still involve multiple businesses in several countries linked by extensive supply chains involving mining with around 70 pct of heavy equipment using diesel, fossil fuels backing manufacturing, and combinations of natural gas and bunker oil needed to power everything from container ships to trucks which need to move raw materials, goods-in-progress, and finished goods 24/7 to maintain economic order quantities and savings passed on to businesses and consumers.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #66 on: September 09, 2020, 01:41:59 PM »
And yet you have created an echo chamber all on your own. You do not engage in structured discussion that enables dealing with the points one by one, and keep relying on outdated sources that are plain and clear propaganda against renewables.

Actually, I participated in an echo chamber which consisted essentially of press releases about renewable energy, after which the posts were moved to this thread.

As for propaganda, the only thing I've seen about that besides press releases are your preposterous claims that I shared outdated information, when the only thing you've shown to prove that are references to lower prices. That makes absolutely no sense at all, especially given the point that even oil prices now are low! Does that mean that energy returns for oil have now increased dramatically?

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #67 on: September 09, 2020, 02:02:41 PM »
On topic:
There is no valid physical reason (such as the oft-cited EROEI, or lack of sufficient land, or intermittency, all solvable and not real problems) why solar PV and wind turbines, with help from hydro and batteries and a few gas backup plants, cannot power the global electricity grid, as well as many other human activities (mining, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, even heating, aviation, shipping). In the process, a lot of energy now wasted on fossil fuel extraction, transportation and distribution will be saved. And of course, a lot of the damage from uncontrolled AGW will be mitigated.
However, there are many actual reasons why these solutions are not enough. Humanity has overshot the carrying capacity of the planet, with AGW just one of resulting issues. To save much of the damage and prevent a civilizational collapse within a few decades, a convergence into the carrying capacity must occur quickly. Due to inertia in the energy system, lack of political will, the power of fossil fuel interests and entities, and the successful propaganda of climate change denial (and renewables denial as exemplified upthread) that has brainwashed the minds of many common people, renewables are being deployed much too slowly to solve the carrying capacity issue all on their own. The inability of humans to grasp slow-moving enormous and remote problems makes everything worse and reduces the chances of this being turned around.
A quick solution would be identified by complete halt of fossil fuel investments, a massive buildup of renewable generation, closure of fossil fuel generation as soon as enough renewable production goes online, deployment of transmission and grid storage on a proactive and accelerated basis, switchover of transportation and agricultural machines and mining equipment to electricity, conversion of industrial processes to electricity, and many more activities. This is not happening - renewables only solve some of the growth in the electricity sector. Rate of deployment should have been at least 10 times higher, sustained and growing over the next 20 years, in order to offer an acceptably quick solution. In 10 years, the whole electricity production system should be renewable, with all fossil fuel plants closed down except for some quick backup. In 20 years, all transportation and machinery should be electric. This is physically doable, but is not being done and will not be done in time.

Because of the above, consumption must be cut drastically, in order to enable a convergence of production consumption and natural limits before collapse. This includes overconsumption of food (especially meat), long rang commuting, conventions, faraway tourism, over-large houses, non-useful toys and frivolities and gadgets, and numerous other consumption avenues. This is not happening as well, for many of the actual reasons listed above, and because of human nature and the desire by most to have a more convenient and varied life and to imitate the highest lifestyle seen on TV and social media. The problem is exacerbated by continued population growth, and by the (blessed and justified) rise in affluence of poor populations around the globe. In order to converge into the limits in time, the developed world should cut its own excess consumption even more drastically, striving towards an equitable and rather low affluence level that can be applied globally, and the developing world should reduce its above-replacement birth rates now. None of this is happening in a rate commensurate with the timeframes and the problem at hand.

To sum, the Renewable Transition is possible and should be vastly  accelerated and helped in parallel by reductions in consumption. Otherwise (which I expect) human civilization will pay the ultimate price for not acting in time.

The problem isn't the use of renewable energy for the global economy or the process of a transition but whether or not net energy from that is sufficient to meet the needs of a global capitalist economy. I've explained the characteristics of the latter in greater detail to you and to others across multiple messages, and you still don't get it. Here's a recap:

Current energy level use is 20 TW for the current population. In order to meet basic needs of the same population where around 70 pct earn less than $10 daily, we will need around 40 TW. But the same world population wants more than just basic needs, which means it will need around 50 TW. Meanwhile, that same population will continue to grow due to momentum, which means it will need around 90 TW for basic needs. But the energy and material resources needed not just for renewable energy but everything else face diminishing returns and increasing pollution, which means in order to minimize that plus meet basic needs plus meet wants of a much larger population, we will need up to 120 TW.

In response to that, what I've seen so far from you and others is that we "should" we be working hard in rapid development of renewable energy and ensure "political will," presumably do that plus plus allow businesses and even countries to coordinate and cooperate with each other.

But how do you stop overconsumption in a global economy that is essentially characterized by that, a world population that wants more than basic needs, and businesses (including those that will manufacture components for renewable energy) counting on the same, especially when they start competing with each other?

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2020, 02:08:39 PM »

I don't see that as a problem because it's below what many places can afford to produce it, and even when it isn't the low price means the income available in profit from producers selling it is hugely reduced.  Not forgetting that the price of oil is just the start of the process to it being used in a car or power station and much of the cost is tied up in initial capital expenditiure. 

As demand falls it is inevitable that price falls and the extraction of oil becomes a less attractive investment.

It's definitely a problem because one reason why investors were switching to renewable energy was because oil was too expensive. Second, in order to get that oil--and which was also used to manufacture renewable energy components--the oil industry had to take on, as the BIS estimates, a total of $2 trillion in debt. In order to cover just part of that debt oil prices will have to rise to around $100. But when that happens the global economy falls apart, and that imperils renewable energy manufacturing as well.

Do you see the problem? The global economy which produces and uses that renewable energy needs a lot of cheap oil for the transition, but by that they mean oil extracted at very low energy costs, not prices.

That's why back in 2006, several oil industry experts and heads interviewed for the Four Corners docu feature on peak oil pointed out that the world should have started transitioning to other energy sources (not just renewable energy but also nuclear) at least two decades earlier. That way, they'd have avoided the effects of peak oil.

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2020, 02:25:32 PM »

But how do you stop overconsumption in a global economy that is essentially characterized by that, a world population that wants more than basic needs, and businesses (including those that will manufacture components for renewable energy) counting on the same, especially when they start competing with each other?

The general consensus seems to be calculate the carbon cost, put a price on carbon and tax their asses off until they desist.

Works if you have a dictatorship.  Tends to fall foul of democracy.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #70 on: September 09, 2020, 02:40:06 PM »

I am sure what you are saying makes sense to you, but I find it hard to follow.


You need to see the dynamics involved in renewable energy and the economy as I kept explaining in two threads. Instead, I was seen as some sort of climate change denier, propagandist, and other ridiculous accusations.

Quote
I have accepted this but you don't seem to be dealing with the implications I pointed out.

It should be the other way round: if you understood my argument, then you'd realize the implications that I kept explaining to you and that you kept ignoring.

Quote

increasing credit? huh? increasing production of renewables is what we want. Diverting credit into this would be good. Are you just trying to explain jevons paradox?


You can lower prices by funding technology that makes manufacturing more efficient, and products can be made cheaper by increasing credit, which in turn raises income. But that does not change the energy return significantly.

The jevons paradox is another issue, but it makes matters worse: increasing efficiency is achieved given the assumption that it leads to greater production, which is paid for with greater consumption, from which greater revenues covers increasing returns on investment, which is the main reason for funding greater efficiency!

Do you get that? People invest in renewable energy because they expect more people to use more energy, from which greater profits are made and re-invested to produce even more energy, and so on. In contrast, we're supposed to transition to renewable energy because we want people to use less energy and fewer material resources. But that's the opposite of what investors want!

Quote

Seems like you are writing a lot to make it seem like there is problem upon problem without stopping to think that the same issues applies to investment in fossil fuel energy production and renewables are now cheaper so these further issues are actually smaller not larger.


On the contrary, the reason why I am writing this about renewable energy is because similar problems took place for oil! Decades ago, the energy return for oil was something like 1:100, and that led to a rise of global manufacturing coupled with the Green Revolution, in turn leading to a tripling of the world population in only six decades plus the rise of a global middle class. Now, energy returns are much lower, with oil production per capita flatlining since 1979, which together with ecological damage and climate change are the reasons why we have to transition to renewable energy. But even that requires fossil fuel inputs, and now for a much large world population with greater wants per capita.

That's why I remain surprised when some argued that I am some sort of climate change denialist or shilling for the oil industry. What I am doing is explaining that what affects oil also affects renewable energy, not only physically but economically.

Quote

Then if the extra uses of renewable energy like electric cars are much more efficient than fossil fuel cars the amount of extra energy needed is smaller so the consequential follow through are much smaller than down a ff route.


Currently, a country like the U.S. has 4 pct of the world's population but around 250 million passenger vehicles, or around a quarter of the global total. Probably most of the 750 million others are spread out across 26 pct of the same global population.

Given that, would you like to guess what most of the 70 pct want? Now, convert those ICE vehicles to EVs, and then work on the energy cost to construct smooth roads, electric grids, and more in a world that mostly lacks even basic infrastructure for ICE vehicles. Will renewable energy be able to cover that? Will total energy use be able to do so?

Finally, one can argue that we need to avoid overconsumption, the jevons paradox, and even non-necessities (are EVs necessities?) in order to meet the reason for using renewable energy in the first place, which is to keep CO2 emissions as low as possible and thus minimize the effects of climate change and ecological damage. But will EV manufacturers, among others, agree? How do for-profit corporations argue that they need to produce and sell less, and that they owners and even employees should also receive less?

Do you see what happens when people see the use of technology idealized, as if some global gov't will appear and regulate everything to keep energy and resource consumption low?

Quote

So it is boiling down to how long the transition is going to be?

Certainly transitioning is going to take time and it is harder to do it in a shorter time. I would like it to be shorter. But what are you trying to say? A 30 year transition is too long so we shouldn't even try to do that and instead wait for something better to come along?

Not just the transition lag but even the amount of energy that's needed!

If it is true that it is a global capitalist economy, then there is no point in wondering what we should do. Investors will put their money in renewable energy because they expect high returns for that, which means greater sales driven by greater production leading to greater profits which will be used to increase production even more. Increasing sales means it's expected that not only more people will use solar panels but that more people will buy more panels to consume more energy. More consumption of energy will take place as they buy more stuff and go to various places on vacation and buy more toys, and so on. And as businesses compete with each other, then overproduction is also inevitable.

What about employees? They will want higher salaries, promotions, etc., each time, and for that they have to sell more solar panels and everything else that will use energy from panels, from toys to EVs and more. And who's going to buy and consume more energy and use more material resources if not the same employees, made possible through higher salaries, promotions, etc.

And then there are the financial speculators: they'll invest in or even speculate on anything they can, from oil to solar panels to EVs to toys, expecting higher returns and making sure that people become more productive (what else should they do to cover the cost of greater efficiency?), and then using newly created credit to re-invest.

crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #71 on: September 09, 2020, 02:43:18 PM »
The general consensus seems to be calculate the carbon cost, put a price on carbon and tax their asses off until they desist.

Works if you have a dictatorship.  Tends to fall foul of democracy.

Whether it falls foul of democracy might depend on what you do with the taxes raised. If people don't trust the govt then you may have a problem before you begin.

If one or a few countries do it, it works in those countries but perhaps appears to put those countries at a disadvantage compared to other countries that don't do it. That can be a problem for a weak dictatorship or a democracy. Even a strong dictatorship might be weakened by doing it.

All countries agreeing to do it together has possibility of working better but the problem is the need for international agreements when every country wants to minimize its share of the responsibility and burden it should take. Tends to mean it doesn't happen.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #72 on: September 09, 2020, 02:50:42 PM »
The general consensus seems to be calculate the carbon cost, put a price on carbon and tax their asses off until they desist.

Works if you have a dictatorship.  Tends to fall foul of democracy.

That's why some ended up by turning even that into business, e.g., carbon trading. Meanwhile, the taxes, like credit in general, are reinvested in projects that lead to more economic activity, which generally translate to more energy and resource use. And when governments meet, they sometimes end up making only small cuts in emission increases and then make it seem that the other guy should sacrifice first.

The hard part is the idea of a dictatorship, which "political will" might end up being. In which case, the main reason for investing in renewable energy is to become less dependent on oil, and the reason for doing so would probably not be to lower carbon emissions but to expect peak oil.

But the economies on which such views rest remain capitalist and most democratic, which means they flourish by increasing consumption of energy and material resources each time. Most of the populations which exist in such economies want the same, as they have not achieved a middle class lifestyle that's constantly marketed to them and which they equate with prosperity and a bright future. Anything by way of efficiency means more opportunities to profit, and they will likely support only government that promote the same.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #73 on: September 09, 2020, 02:54:52 PM »

Whether it falls foul of democracy might depend on what you do with the taxes raised. If people don't trust the govt then you may have a problem before you begin.

If one or a few countries do it, it works in those countries but perhaps appears to put those countries at a disadvantage compared to other countries that don't do it. That can be a problem for a weak dictatorship or a democracy. Even a strong dictatorship might be weakened by doing it.

All countries agreeing to do it together has possibility of working better but the problem is the need for international agreements when every country wants to minimize its share of the responsibility and burden it should take. Tends to mean it doesn't happen.

Your last point is the implication of all of my arguments: how do you have this political will and cooperation between countries that have been competing with each other from the start? How do you encourage people to see climate change and even peak oil as major threats so that they can support a faster transition to renewable energy, and at the same time tell them that the issue isn't just using what should be cleaner energy but even using less energy overall per capita?

SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #74 on: September 09, 2020, 03:42:24 PM »


As for propaganda, the only thing I've seen about that besides press releases are your preposterous claims that I shared outdated information, when the only thing you've shown to prove that are references to lower prices. That makes absolutely no sense at all, especially given the point that even oil prices now are low! Does that mean that energy returns for oil have now increased dramatically?

Bad analogy.  Renewables are like power stations, not like petroleum.  If fossil fuel power plants were becoming dramatically cheaper to build, yes, that would fairly directly indicate a better EROI.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #75 on: September 09, 2020, 04:03:25 PM »

I don't see that as a problem because it's below what many places can afford to produce it, and even when it isn't the low price means the income available in profit from producers selling it is hugely reduced.  Not forgetting that the price of oil is just the start of the process to it being used in a car or power station and much of the cost is tied up in initial capital expenditiure. 

As demand falls it is inevitable that price falls and the extraction of oil becomes a less attractive investment.

It's definitely a problem because one reason why investors were switching to renewable energy was because oil was too expensive. Second, in order to get that oil--and which was also used to manufacture renewable energy components--the oil industry had to take on, as the BIS estimates, a total of $2 trillion in debt. In order to cover just part of that debt oil prices will have to rise to around $100. But when that happens the global economy falls apart, and that imperils renewable energy manufacturing as well.

Do you see the problem? The global economy which produces and uses that renewable energy needs a lot of cheap oil for the transition, but by that they mean oil extracted at very low energy costs, not prices.

Not at all  true.  Your arguments keep focusing on debt related to fossil fuel use.  The debt is largely irrelevant to the discussion.  It's not central at all.  We're currently in a setting where oil is around $40/barrell, down from near $100.  High oil cost producers (frackers, deep sea drillers, coal) are indeed going bankrupt.  This is a consequence of the economic downturn, not a cause.

In bankruptcy, debts are wiped out, and productive assets sold at pennies on the dollar, and those that can be operated profitably remain in production.  Investors lose money.  The consumer side of the picture hardly changes at all.

In the macroeconomic picture, even $2 trillion in bad debt is not a catastrophe if it's all liquidated in bankruptcy.  Note that the Federal Reserve recently created $2 trillion in a matter of weeks.  There will be no collapse from fossil fuel debt.

crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #76 on: September 09, 2020, 04:03:48 PM »
You need to see the dynamics involved in renewable energy and the economy as I kept explaining in two threads.

I conclude I am not going to persuade you of anything while you are convinced that it is me that needs educating.


Quote
Do you get that? People invest in renewable energy because they expect more people to use more energy, from which greater profits are made and re-invested to produce even more energy, and so on. In contrast, we're supposed to transition to renewable energy because we want people to use less energy and fewer material resources. But that's the opposite of what investors want!

People decide whether to invest in energy production or something else. If too much is invested the amount that can be charged falls reducing potential returns and people switch to investing in other things. Each thing to invest in finds its own level. What happens isn't just happening because investors want it or just because consumers want it but as a result of a supply and demand balance. Consumers and suppliers wanting opposites is entirely normal.

Investors also decide whether to invest in energy production via fossil fuel or via renewables. This battle has been all but won because renewables are cheaper. 90%+ is going into renewables rather than ff because renewables are now cheaper so better return from them. Prices continue to change towards renewables being cheaper. With many asset lives of 30+ years, it takes some time for the production percentage to change but it surely will over the next 20+ years.

This battle is already won.

Quote
Given that, would you like to guess what most of the 70 pct want? Now, convert those ICE vehicles to EVs, and then work on the energy cost to construct smooth roads, electric grids, and more in a world that mostly lacks even basic infrastructure for ICE vehicles. Will renewable energy be able to cover that? Will total energy use be able to do so?

In the next 5 years, of course transition to renewable energy won't cover it, it will take a lot longer.

In the longer term, why not? Do you expect the market to fail? If it isn't possible then the market should price it as impossibly expensive. If it is possible it will be priced affordably.

It is possible that it will take too long and climate change will get a lot worse as a result so I am sure we would all like to see the transition happen faster. How much faster is needed and how to achieve that is debatable.

But I seem to be answering basic economics questions which don't seem to have much relation to EROEI. Then suddenly

Quote
Not just the transition lag but even the amount of energy that's needed!

If you want to reduce the transition period from 30 years to 1 year then probably the energy to do it isn't available but there is no way that is happening. The energy might be available in 5 years but that really isn't happening either. Where the debate should be at is how do we reduce the transition period from 30 years to 25 or maybe 20 years, perhaps even 15 years.

There is more to do to solve climate change than just transitioning to renewables but that makes the other issues more tractable.

I am just not seeing any huge relevance of EROEI, perhaps I just don't want to see it despite trying to engage with you, or maybe you are not doing a good job of explaining it, or maybe you just believe in its importance and can't see what I am trying to get across.

crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #77 on: September 09, 2020, 04:06:38 PM »

Whether it falls foul of democracy might depend on what you do with the taxes raised. If people don't trust the govt then you may have a problem before you begin.

If one or a few countries do it, it works in those countries but perhaps appears to put those countries at a disadvantage compared to other countries that don't do it. That can be a problem for a weak dictatorship or a democracy. Even a strong dictatorship might be weakened by doing it.

All countries agreeing to do it together has possibility of working better but the problem is the need for international agreements when every country wants to minimize its share of the responsibility and burden it should take. Tends to mean it doesn't happen.

Your last point is the implication of all of my arguments: how do you have this political will and cooperation between countries that have been competing with each other from the start? How do you encourage people to see climate change and even peak oil as major threats so that they can support a faster transition to renewable energy, and at the same time tell them that the issue isn't just using what should be cleaner energy but even using less energy overall per capita?

The relevance of EROEI to this seems vanishingly small if there is any relevance at all.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #78 on: September 09, 2020, 04:28:53 PM »
Quote
Current energy level use is 20 TW for the current population. In order to meet basic needs of the same population where around 70 pct earn less than $10 daily, we will need around 40 TW. But the same world population wants more than just basic needs, which means it will need around 50 TW. Meanwhile, that same population will continue to grow due to momentum, which means it will need around 90 TW for basic needs. But the energy and material resources needed not just for renewable energy but everything else face diminishing returns and increasing pollution, which means in order to minimize that plus meet basic needs plus meet wants of a much larger population, we will need up to 120 TW.
I thought we already covered this ralfy. Waste heat is part of the current energy use and also part of your projection for future use. Eliminate waste heat by avoiding the burning of fossil fuels and switching to renewable electricity and electric motors, and you can cut the energy needed by 60%-70%. At some point you agreed with this, so why revert back to the previous argument?

Obviously one cannot power the global demand of the future population by fossil fuels, not because of peak oil but because of pollution and AGW.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #79 on: September 09, 2020, 04:45:29 PM »
Quote
Investors will put their money in renewable energy because they expect high returns for that, which means greater sales driven by greater production leading to greater profits which will be used to increase production even more. Increasing sales means it's expected that not only more people will use solar panels but that more people will buy more panels to consume more energy.
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.

morganism

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #80 on: September 09, 2020, 08:46:22 PM »
Now, if New Zealand startup Emrod has its way, Tesla and Marconi’s dreams may merge. The company is building a system to wirelessly beam power over long distances. Earlier this month, Emrod received funding from Powerco, New Zealand’s second biggest utility, to conduct a test of its system at a grid-connected commercial power station.

The company uses metamaterials to more efficiently convert the microwave beam back into electricity. The relays, which are like “lenses” extending the beam beyond line-of-sight by refocusing it, are nearly lossless. According to Kushnir, most of losses happen at the other end, where electricity is converted into microwave energy. Overall, he said the system’s efficiency is around 70%, which is short of copper wires but economically viable in some areas.


https://singularityhub.com/2020/08/30/new-zealand-is-about-to-test-long-range-wireless-power-transmission/

PS: jP Morgan stopped funding Tesla because wireless transmission ddnt "make" electricity.


nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #81 on: September 10, 2020, 07:00:06 AM »
^^
That's a nice weapon?

---
ralfy, I agree that the system is set up for ever more consumption and ever more energy use.
Using less energy is difficult to discuss here because most are inside that consumer-bubble imo.
Money is not real. Everything financial floats without anchors in reality.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

Wildcatter

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #82 on: September 11, 2020, 04:29:27 AM »
In electricity, wind is already multiples of natural gas in EROI. Nowadays, I would be shocked if solar wasn't ahead of every FF. The fun part is, we're not even close to their potential.

I understand it's difficult to really grasp what's going on in energy, but you have to realize public resources are terrible. You can spend much less time, and get a much better understanding, by just figuring out *what's actually going on* yourself. What's involved in a wind project, how it generally works, how we're iterating, industry expectations, etc. In solar, how are we manufacturing, how that's changed, general understanding of equipment, industry expectations, industry trends, iterative improvements, etc. Understand the processes, and how we're actually doing it. You'll be ahead of every resource you'll find on the internet if you just do that. Even studies are extremely myopic because they use precedent data by definition in a quickly changing industry. I first realized this a few years ago at an energy conference, with MIT talking about future of US grid and renewables, not once mentioning offshore wind when UK and Europe auctions were public knowledge, precisely because the only precedent in the US was some astronomical cost project. You can't really take anything from any study, unless it's general overviews of industry R&D, or just aggregated historical price trends as a reference. I don't even read them anymore. Definitely do not take financebros / bloggers' word, unless it's just a spreadsheet of data of precedent price trends or something, vast majority of them couldn't find their asses with both hands and a map.

An "EROI" estimate from 2012-2013 is definitely outdated, a lot has changed in regards to energy inputs relative to energy outputs. In energy projects, where most of the concentration is on the first 15-years of production, LCOE is really a direct piece of the reflection of the energy input:output ratio. Especially when it's a fixed asset with no variable fuel costs. I mean, that's it, the structures themselves and their output relative to cost is the LCOE, direct energy input definitely figures into that. A lot can change in manufacturing and production. Economies of scale, optimizing production processes, industry shifts, iteration, better output. With almost all PERC modules nowadays, the dominant form of solar PV today, they'll still be 85-88% efficient in 30 years, with energy investment payback in 1-4 years (depending on location). The industry shift in solar over the next 3-5 years, those modules will still be 90% efficient after 35 years, and energy investment payback will reduce even further. New wind projects can last 25-30 years, and their energy investment payback is 3-6 months, and their capabilities have improved a lot, with much, much more to come.

Let's take a look at industry roadmaps and general industry expectations which further boost EROI. I have never seen another human being on the internet mention these in aggregate.
1) Wind - do you know we actually don't really know anything about wind interactions in a wind farm or amidst the environment across a windfarm? Wind analytics on turbines is still in the Stone Age, and there's no farm-level optimization?
- DoE Exawind project - Atmosphere to Electron Initiative = porting physics and fluid dynamics of wind to run on exascale class machines. Will be influential in maximizing siting, wind interactions, optimization, controls, things like wake steering and windfarm/turbine designs. Europe will be doing similar things when they can and/or the modeling is simplified a bit. This is going to be a gift that keeps on giving for a long time, and probably at least a couple fascinating insights. All these capabilities + data from LiDAR, etc, are great resources for our general environmental understanding, as well.
- Imaging/Sensing like LiDAR - big auto is driving this, it'll be pretty standard with nacelles in 4-5 years, probably see some sooner. Dynamic wind analytics, adjustments/corrections, also can significantly lower load/fatigue on structure and components, ie less degradation, and more generation
- Better sensors and integration for components - "preventative maintenance", use less energy in O&M (operations and maintenance), less "big" breaking changes that usually arise from a smaller problem unnoticed that exacerbated, less degradation, more energy return over life with less energy invested, also cost reduction
- Further out - 3-D printed concrete foundations = GE + LaFargeHolcim + Cobold project, but everyone interested in this for obvious reasons. Wind resource at taller heights is better, more generation, biggest obstacle to taller towers is logistics (transportation). Also saves energy on both the concrete foundation construction, but also the energy used to transport foundations, foundations are huge. Cheaper 140m-160m towers (really the game changing height with rotor iteration across the world, especially with data + optimization adoption above), but also future 180m-200m towers. We'll see this get going before 2030, likely industry standard by then, and many forward thinkers believe in 15 years, we're going to be 3-D printing both the foundation and the blades (rotors) on-site. Likely the future of floating wind structures, as well. Maybe even fixed-bottom monopiles for offshore in shallower depths, could potentially do it on-ship, saving trips to shore. "Additive manufacturing" (3D printing) also opens up the doors to use... additives in the future for less material/energy input and/or access to more output.

This is without mentioning rotor re-designs, companies keep those pretty close to the vest, but are inevitable even by 2030. There's even more efficient methods in producing things like generator components, and implementation/construction like "self lift" reducing use of heavy cranes. It's a complete transformation in capabilities, sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, big reason you can't extrapolate wind capacity to the future, or even "storage" needs for that matter. EROI over 25 years is going to be enormous, but I have little doubt that better controls, data, sensors, less degradation, projects in the near future could hit 35 years. Probably replace them before then, just out of sheer marginal utility, just enforcing the point.

2) Solar - solar has changed quite a bit over the last 10 years, energy output, longevity, economies of scale lowering energy inputs per capita, in furnaces, processing and handling equipment throughput, transportation energy + costs per capita from higher power. It'll get another leg up on EROI over the next 5 years, and industry expectations + what we know and things on the roadmap could see another big leg up over the next 7-8 years. with the widely regarded future of solar low-temp, solution processed, massive efficiency increases, which would send EROI into the stratosphere.
- Current = most manufacturing is PERC, "p-type" silicon, type just refers to doping and some electron mechanics, whole industry shifted about 2 years ago to this because of high efficiencies and input efficient scaling + equipment
- 2023 industry roadmap - n-type HJT = more focus and transition on "n-type" as "p-type" PERC is running out of headroom, n-type is just generally considered "better quality for solar" than p-type, and is the base cell for HJT (heterojunction). Higher efficiencies, less degradation, generates more over 15 years given same power ratings. Also naturally bifacial properties, and this is around the time we expect bifacial modules to become more standard (more output). This actually uses less steps than PERC, and some processes can even be lower temperature. Less input, more output. Additionally, we know we can use about 30% less silicon, and even up to about 60% less, it's all in the handling equipment, which will start iterating more quickly as production starts to ramp up.
- Midterm potential = Tandems, silicon/perovskite. Theoretical efficiency 35-44%, i've seen a couple numbers here, I just generally say about 40%, point is a lot higher. The perovskite layer is also processed in solution at low temperatures, very little additional energy input. Oxford PV is aiming for a 100MW line up at end of this year or by mid next year or so with ~27% efficiency, most expectations are that we'll have about a GW of tandem manufacturing in 3-4 years, no one knows how quickly this will develop, but we do know one thing, the solar industry can transition very quickly. Especially when you realize the base silicon for tandems? HJT, the roadmap anyway.
- Future = i doubt there's anyone who doesn't think the future is low-temperature, solution processed perovskite. Perovskites are an extraordinary class of materials, they're actually considered one of the most promising classes of materials across a large swathe of industries, lasers, lighting, optoelectronics/optocommnication/optics in general, photonics, x-ray detectors (like low power, low radiation, high resolution), spectrometers, promising in photocatalysts for feedstocks, solar, etc. Potential lies in not only cheap production, but very lightweight and even flexible modules, very thin wraps, and layering (multi-junction) for very high efficiencies. Also, indoor ambient lighting generation for low-energy things. Energy input can be very low, like an order of magnitude lower, and sky is the limit really on future efficiency. Lighterweight and higher power also saves on transport, and material input+transport in things like trackers + rooftop racking. Much lower weight and high efficiencies, at lower production costs, will drop rooftop costs by multiples. It also allows you to make dual-axis trackers with cheaper/more efficient inputs, no one really uses dual-axis now it's all single-axis mostly, but dual-axis (as we get better data and more people actually using it) is thought to be a 10-15% boost in generation over trackers now. Perovskite modules can also be much easier to recycle, as well.

Organic solar is also a darkhorse, I wouldn't be surprised if that ended up being a viable candidate in some things. Anywho, perovskites, and/or quantum dots (another booming material class), are also going to be the basis for commercial solar glass, which we'll see pick up traction in 8-10 years (ROI $$). And if you kinda have a grasp on how economies handle energy industries, you see how relatively easy and cheap perovskite production can be, everyone is going to start building and sourcing domestically. Marginal utility of domestic economic benefits will far outweigh a fractional cost reduction. So, good chance total transportation energy usage in shipping declines in the long-term.

3) EVs = I'm on a roll so I might as well continue. We all know by now EVs are much more efficient than combustion engine vehicles. But, EVs still have a ton of headroom on efficiency. Not only in motor, drivetrain, inverter/converter, but also software. And here's one I don't see mentioned enough... weight. If you double the energy density of a Tesla Model 3 battery, you cut about 500-600lbs (225-270kg) off the weight of the vehicle. Also, point applicable to buses. That's more range per kWh. Not only that, but "lighterweight" materials is pretty well understood to see a sonic boom in the next 10 years, and in perpetuity. Aluminum, steel alloys, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, even magnesium is getting attention (cool research which would be transformational = carbon fiber from lignin). Who knows how this develops, point is it's expected to get a significant amount of attention and a lot of expenditures/research. In 15 years, an average of 300kg weight reduction, in a more efficient system overall (for instance I highly doubt we're still using silicon carbide inverters/converters), wouldn't be surprising at all.

You can also see this inflection point down the road, especially with better charging and energy densities, losing weight, better efficiency, especially all the charging at homes and various places, how much capacity will they actually need? Batteries will keep getting denser while capacity needs lower, leading to additional weight savings, but also battery material costs/inputs. And what exactly is going to stop us from putting 1-2kW of solar on an EV, 10kW+ on buses, in say 15 years with all the other very likely developments enhancing efficiency? It's only going to take one manufacturer getting great feedback on a model, before others start doing it. That's inevitable, imo. I think we could see that on some models even in 10 years. Would be a great way to couple domestic upstart next-generation solar to domestic EV and ride the benefits across the entire economy, the headroom for coupled iterating solar efficiency and iterating EV efficiency is astronomical. Can you imagine what that is going to do in some place like India? I would take a bet for any sum of money they are doing precisely that in 15 years. Name an amount, and loser donates that money to hooking up Nanning.

4) Anywho, there's also other things like just better energy management + controls for commercial buildings using more capable sensors we expect to iterate over the next 10 years, actuators, data analytics, rough figure is we can likely cut 10-15% off total commercial building energy consumption, some even up to 40-50% with expected replacement practices, just with those levers. Rooftop and commercial solar glass also will cut down transmission & distribution losses, which are not insignificant. Ditto for more efficient EVs, especially when (not if) solar is placed on a lot of them. More proximal siting for generation, in general, and grid batteries, should also help overall electricity system efficiency, that's really one of the most promising things energy people are excited about, batteries are incredible grid assets and will be used as transmission assets too.

5) Recycling and bio-feedstocks are absolutely 100% essential pillars of any sustainable world. Here's my pillars: renewable generation, EVs, green hydrogen, bio-feedstocks, recycling. And real planning like non-idiots, like real large-scale insulation and energy efficiency measures with teeth. I might be forgetting one off the top of my head, but everything kinda branches off those. Hydrogen or derivative for maritime + aviation, bio-feedstocks including chemistry, materials, and also things like meat replacement, etc. My personal opinion, we're going to find out electricity is actually the relatively easy part, can bridge with green hydrogen fired turbines if necessary, it'll be cheap enough. I like to summarize the hard part like this:

Imagine a world of carbon based lifeforms, in an oxygen and nitrogen rich atmosphere, that is about 3/4 water. Now imagine they have seemingly plentiful materials called "hydrocarbons", and think how that could be influential in their growing civilization and development.

This is basically where catalyst innovation, processes, material science, recycling, and even genetic engineering agriculture bio-feedstocks comes into play. Catalysts might be the most important, yet unmentioned and probably least understood, part of the transition equation. Much like batteries, our actual capabilities in observing/engineering weren't good/fast enough, that's starting to change though. If you're interested in science & research, material science (and chemistry) is critical and advancing, will undoubtedly see numerous breakthroughs over the next 10-15 years, batteries, industry catalysts, electrolyzers, photocatalysts, 2-D materials, power electronics, and things like recycling catalysts/processes, hopefully lignin, cellulose etc. The revolution starting to take shape in research computation, not just AI/ML, but expected deviation from decades of established computing architecture, new memories/hierarchies, interconnects, stacking, integrated silicon photonics, and synergy with AI/ML, will be a big boon if we focus.

6) Last one. The advantage we do have, is that developing economies, if given a choice, would much rather keep their industry value chains domestic, piggybacking off cheap domestic renewable generation, even if it's more expensive at the beginning. FFs require enormous value chains, most developing countries enter JVs (joint ventures), and they have to deal with multinational vulture energy companies who leverage not only $$, but political influence and capture. For example, think of a developing country who wanted to domestically produce fertilizer, those jobs in the value chain, also boosting agriculture industry, as we get on with it the domestic benefits from renewable electricity -> green ammonia -> fertilizer are enormous and much less a pain in the ass than having to go through all the trouble of either producing natural gas or spending a load of $$ on terminals, processing, and seeing all the supply money leave the country.

In future bio-feedstocks for chemicals and materials, they can grow and process it themselves or easily trade with neighboring countries who could be doing similar things. Recycling as well, theoretically they could import things, recycle or upcycle them, and just reproduce goods domestically.

Oh, one more thing. People really overrate where we were, which is about 5 hops out of the Stone Age. Our entire civilization has been built on laughably inefficient processes. We're seeing this shift finally. It wouldn't be hyperbole to say the human race is on the verge of a new era of human civilization, with 2020-2029 serving as the precipitous decline and trough, and ~2030 as the ramp to a new cycle. We see this all over the place in every major industry, and society through networking, communication, technological accessibility. As we're on ASIF, I'm sure the irony is not lost on ya'll. Do we actually reach a sustainable world without burning everything down? Don't ask me, that's above my pay grade.

Keep banging the table for hemp research, processing, catalysts, materials, computation/genetics work. It's a damn wunder material for things we can use between the crop and seeds, agriculture genetic engineering has done some pretty amazing things in the last year and that's just getting started. It's also relatively rugged, and sequesters something like 15 tons of CO2 per hectare (we can probably increase that), future butt-wipe, plastics, textiles, bunch of things, even has a high insulation rating while being easy to handle. Supposedly a good crop for regenerative agriculture. And given all the offshore wind farms/structures, algae-seaweed-kelp-etc farms and artificial reefs, I think a European group is doing a study/trial with this, I thought about that a few years ago, seems like a no-brainer to me and there's still likely a whole lot we can learn on actually using it.

(Yes, the US will cut significantly more than 50% off total energy consumption, if that timeline is 30 years anyway. That number will have a different meaning with so much proximal located generation like rooftop, as well. US energy consumption also likely peaked in 2018. PS. - Texas in 2020 is 36% 0-carbon electricity thus far with electricity demand higher than the UK, no real rooftop market, and solar just ramping up this year. - California's old turbines were running at about 40% capacity factors during one of those blackout times, they just don't build any, barely any since 2012, their grid management is mind boggling. - Yes, vehicle2grid will be huge, second life batteries have potential too.)

- Hope ya'll learned something
- Fin
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 05:41:37 AM by Wildcatter »

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #83 on: September 11, 2020, 05:50:02 AM »
Great post Wildcatter.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2020, 08:01:56 AM »
Awesome post Wildcatter.
Good to see some positive input about the future.
Please post more I for one will take note of any detail or research you can add.
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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2020, 11:44:06 AM »
"Good to see some positive input about the future future technology."  :)
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"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?

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2020, 07:19:36 PM »
Moving to all renewable energy sources reduces energy needs by 57%.  The linked study, from 2019, demonstrates that 80% renewables by 2030 is doable, with 100% by 2050.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590332219302258?via%3Dihub

Quote
Impacts of Green New Deal Energy Plans on Grid Stability, Costs, Jobs, Health, and Climate in 143 Countries
Mark Z.Jacobson, Mark A.Delucchi, Mary A.Cameron, Stephen J.Coughlin, Catherine A.Hay, Indu Priya Manogaran, Yanbo Shu, Anna-Katharinavon Krauland

Summary

Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. To address these problems, we develop Green New Deal energy roadmaps for 143 countries. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage by 2050 with at least 80% by 2030. Our studies on grid stability find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can match demand exactly from 2050 to 2052 with 100% WWS supply and storage. We also derive new cost metrics. Worldwide, WWS energy reduces end-use energy by 57.1%, aggregate private energy costs from $17.7 to $6.8 trillion/year (61%), and aggregate social (private plus health plus climate) costs from $76.1 to $6.8 trillion/year (91%) at a present value capital cost of ∼$73 trillion. WWS energy creates 28.6 million more long-term, full-time jobs than BAU energy and needs only ∼0.17% and ∼0.48% of land for new footprint and spacing, respectively. Thus, WWS requires less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than does BAU.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2020, 07:37:57 PM »
This article on the energy transition still misses the point about natural gas, but the statistics on the growth of renewables are quite revealing.  Keep in mind that renewables only became less expensive than fossil fuels in some areas in 2018 and around 75% of the world in 2019.  It also doesn't address the efficiency edge that renewables have over fossil fuels.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-energy-kemp/global-energy-transition-already-well-underway-kemp-idUSKBN2621XD

Quote
September 11, 2020
Global energy transition already well underway: Kemp

By John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) - Policymakers still tend to talk about the global energy transition in the future tense, as something that might or will happen in the next few decades, but the transition is already well underway and shows signs of accelerating.

Quote
Global energy consumption from natural gas and renewables (mostly wind, solar and biofuels) grew much faster than energy consumption as a whole over the five years between 2014 and 2019.

Renewables increased at a compound annual rate of more than 12.5% while gas increased at a rate of 2.9%, both much faster than total energy consumption growth of 1.6%.

Quote
Gas accounted for 43% of all the extra energy consumed in 2019 compared with 2014, while renewables and oil each accounted for an extra 29%.

In recent years, the shift has accelerated, with renewables accounting for 41% of extra energy consumed in 2019, gas accounting for 36%, while oil accounted for just 21%.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2020, 03:24:26 AM »
Bad analogy.  Renewables are like power stations, not like petroleum.  If fossil fuel power plants were becoming dramatically cheaper to build, yes, that would fairly directly indicate a better EROI.

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

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2020, 03:32:15 AM »

Not at all  true.  Your arguments keep focusing on debt related to fossil fuel use.  The debt is largely irrelevant to the discussion.  It's not central at all.  We're currently in a setting where oil is around $40/barrell, down from near $100.  High oil cost producers (frackers, deep sea drillers, coal) are indeed going bankrupt.  This is a consequence of the economic downturn, not a cause.

In bankruptcy, debts are wiped out, and productive assets sold at pennies on the dollar, and those that can be operated profitably remain in production.  Investors lose money.  The consumer side of the picture hardly changes at all.

In the macroeconomic picture, even $2 trillion in bad debt is not a catastrophe if it's all liquidated in bankruptcy.  Note that the Federal Reserve recently created $2 trillion in a matter of weeks.  There will be no collapse from fossil fuel debt.

The price of oil is driven by speculation, but the cost of oil is driven by physical limitations and gravity. That's why some argue that the energy return of oil has dropped from 100:1 in the 1930s to around 3:1 today.

Meanwhile, the cost of oil is measured in dollars and not in energy returns, which means we have oil producers that need oil at around $100 to cover over $2 trillion in debt, and a price that's much lower.

Finally, the same oil and fossil fuels in general are used for around 70 pct of mining operations, a substantial chuck of manufacturing, and a lot more for shipping, especially for container ships. These are the operations needed to manufacture and distribute not only renewable energy components but most manufactured goods, from the materials needed to develop infrastructure to distribute energy from renewables to consumer goods that will use them.

One more thing: all that will be paid for by a global population that mostly earns less than $10 a day but used to earn much less decades earlier. And they want more than basic needs. So do the businesses that sell to them and even the investors in renewable energy, which include not only oil companies but even climate deniers. (One personality interviewed in a recent documentary pointed out that one of the main investors in glass works needed for things like solar panels are the Kochs.)


ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2020, 03:50:19 AM »

I conclude I am not going to persuade you of anything while you are convinced that it is me that needs educating.


I was thinking the same thing. But based on our conservation, it appears to me that you either know little about the context in which renewable energy is used or that you know but don't want to talk about it.

Quote
People decide whether to invest in energy production or something else. If too much is invested the amount that can be charged falls reducing potential returns and people switch to investing in other things. Each thing to invest in finds its own level. What happens isn't just happening because investors want it or just because consumers want it but as a result of a supply and demand balance. Consumers and suppliers wanting opposites is entirely normal.

They invest less in energy production not because they are investing too much in it but because costs have gone down for one reason for another. For example, the reason why oil prices went down across several years was because of a weak global economy, in turn the result of the 2008 crash. That's why similar happened across several commodity indices. And recently, because of the pandemic.

Where did they turn to except overvalued stock markets and precious metals?

What's the problem, then? Oil producers borrowed around $2 trillion to continue increasing oil production, and anticipated that higher prices due to increasing demand would allow them to cover debts. That's the same oil (fuel plus petrochemicals) needed for mining, manufacturing, and shipping of not only renewable energy but even most of manufactured goods, not to mention materials for infrastructure needed to distribute these plus energy.

And that debt was part of more that led to the 2008 crash!

Quote

Investors also decide whether to invest in energy production via fossil fuel or via renewables. This battle has been all but won because renewables are cheaper. 90%+ is going into renewables rather than ff because renewables are now cheaper so better return from them. Prices continue to change towards renewables being cheaper. With many asset lives of 30+ years, it takes some time for the production percentage to change but it surely will over the next 20+ years.


Yes, but following that argument, people will invest less because prices have gone down for renewables and even oil.

And yet the energy returns remain low. I keep being told that what I presented is outdated and yet no one has been able to give the updated data, just prices! As I said earlier, it's like peak oil deniers claiming that there's no peak oil because prices have gone down.

Quote
This battle is already won.

Far from it. 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. That's the same "outdated" info given by Inman years earlier.

And energy returns for oil, which is needed to manufacture renewable energy components, have been going down as well. The same phenomenon of diminishing returns has been taking place even for the minerals needed for the same components.

Meanwhile, barring financial crashes, pandemics, and even more effects from climate change and peak oil, demand for energy and consumer goods remains high worldwide, and that's because most people are poor and want to avoid that and more. And the amount of energy and material resources needed to meet their needs and wants is certainly much higher than the biosphere can afford to give.

And that's just for the current world population, which is expected to continue rising due to momentum.

Quote

In the next 5 years, of course transition to renewable energy won't cover it, it will take a lot longer.

In the longer term, why not? Do you expect the market to fail? If it isn't possible then the market should price it as impossibly expensive. If it is possible it will be priced affordably.

It is possible that it will take too long and climate change will get a lot worse as a result so I am sure we would all like to see the transition happen faster. How much faster is needed and how to achieve that is debatable.

That's part of my point.

Quote

But I seem to be answering basic economics questions which don't seem to have much relation to EROEI. Then suddenly

Quote
Not just the transition lag but even the amount of energy that's needed!

If you want to reduce the transition period from 30 years to 1 year then probably the energy to do it isn't available but there is no way that is happening. The energy might be available in 5 years but that really isn't happening either. Where the debate should be at is how do we reduce the transition period from 30 years to 25 or maybe 20 years, perhaps even 15 years.

There is more to do to solve climate change than just transitioning to renewables but that makes the other issues more tractable.

I am just not seeing any huge relevance of EROEI, perhaps I just don't want to see it despite trying to engage with you, or maybe you are not doing a good job of explaining it, or maybe you just believe in its importance and can't see what I am trying to get across.

Not 30 to 1 years but up to 131 years to 20. And given climate change and peak oil, at least 20 years ago.

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

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #91 on: September 12, 2020, 03:55:31 AM »

Not at all  true.  Your arguments keep focusing on debt related to fossil fuel use.  The debt is largely irrelevant to the discussion.  It's not central at all.  We're currently in a setting where oil is around $40/barrell, down from near $100.  High oil cost producers (frackers, deep sea drillers, coal) are indeed going bankrupt.  This is a consequence of the economic downturn, not a cause.

In bankruptcy, debts are wiped out, and productive assets sold at pennies on the dollar, and those that can be operated profitably remain in production.  Investors lose money.  The consumer side of the picture hardly changes at all.

In the macroeconomic picture, even $2 trillion in bad debt is not a catastrophe if it's all liquidated in bankruptcy.  Note that the Federal Reserve recently created $2 trillion in a matter of weeks.  There will be no collapse from fossil fuel debt.

That makes absolutely no sense at all! According to the IEA and BP, conventional production peaked after 2005, which means we've been relying more on unconventional production to meet increasing demand.

The claim about bankruptcy is ridiculous. Oil production that goes offline doesn't return easily, and try to find new investors for that!

The last point is absurd, as it was increasing debt covered by increasing debt that caused the 2008 crash, and is now part of global credit that has an estimated notional value of around $1 quadrillion!


ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2020, 03:57:39 AM »

The relevance of EROEI to this seems vanishingly small if there is any relevance at all.

It's the other way round! More are realizing that the underlying base of the global economy is energy, and it's that same energy that's supposed to not only maintain that base but counter ecological damage and climate change.

To do that, we need very high energy returns.

And to meet the needs and wants of a global population? Even higher.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #93 on: September 12, 2020, 04:03:26 AM »
I thought we already covered this ralfy. Waste heat is part of the current energy use and also part of your projection for future use. Eliminate waste heat by avoiding the burning of fossil fuels and switching to renewable electricity and electric motors, and you can cut the energy needed by 60%-70%. At some point you agreed with this, so why revert back to the previous argument?

Obviously one cannot power the global demand of the future population by fossil fuels, not because of peak oil but because of pollution and AGW.

As I explained to you, energy return for renewables involves the whole process, from mining to manufacturing to shipping. What you want to dismiss concerning renewables can't be done, as fossil fuels are used to mine materials needed for renewable energy components, manufacturing, and shipping them.

In addition, those components will be paid for by growing numbers of people who will have the same distributed to them, if not the energy as well, using infrastructure constructed given the same circumstances. Even the consumer goods that will use electricity involve the same.


ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #94 on: September 12, 2020, 04:06:57 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.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #95 on: September 12, 2020, 04:18:27 AM »
Now, if New Zealand startup Emrod has its way, Tesla and Marconi’s dreams may merge. The company is building a system to wirelessly beam power over long distances. Earlier this month, Emrod received funding from Powerco, New Zealand’s second biggest utility, to conduct a test of its system at a grid-connected commercial power station.

The company uses metamaterials to more efficiently convert the microwave beam back into electricity. The relays, which are like “lenses” extending the beam beyond line-of-sight by refocusing it, are nearly lossless. According to Kushnir, most of losses happen at the other end, where electricity is converted into microwave energy. Overall, he said the system’s efficiency is around 70%, which is short of copper wires but economically viable in some areas.


https://singularityhub.com/2020/08/30/new-zealand-is-about-to-test-long-range-wireless-power-transmission/

PS: jP Morgan stopped funding Tesla because wireless transmission ddnt "make" electricity.

Indeed. It's all in a testing phase, together with innovations in nuclear reactors and more. Even oil producers pointed to "game changers" which allowed for more unconventional production. There were even articles about superconductors and others years earlier, and recently preferences for wave energy as the best option.

But what are the needs of the global population and even a capitalist economy in light of such? One source points out that our ecological footprint per capita is much higher than biocapacity, and even countries like NZ which have a high biocapacity per capita due to a small population have a per capita ecological footprint that's double that the world average.

In order to meet the current ave. footprint of the world population, we will need the equivalent of one more biosphere to deter ecological damage and avoid diminishing returns. That implies energy sources (including renewables) and technologies for distributing energy will have to be so efficient in order to ensure that need, plus more because the same population will continue to grow. Plus more because all those consumers want to consume more per capita, just like NZ. And investors in new technologies are counting on the same.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2020, 04:31:02 AM »
^^
That's a nice weapon?

---
ralfy, I agree that the system is set up for ever more consumption and ever more energy use.
Using less energy is difficult to discuss here because most are inside that consumer-bubble imo.
Money is not real. Everything financial floats without anchors in reality.

Yes, it is ingrained in competitive capitalism: overproduction, maximization of profit, overconsumption, etc. As Marx correctly pointed out, governments will work with the same systems because they are essentially executive committees of the rich, and consumers want the same because they were raised in a world where those who talk about peak oil and even climate change in a disconcerting way are scaremongers and alarmists. For them, the magic of science and technology will make things well. After all, isn't that what oil did after '45, leading to global mass manufacturing and the Green Revolution, which in turn led to higher food production output, the widespread use of vaccines and vitamins, the construction of sanitation systems and safe housing, and many other (now) necessities? So why not think about nuclear energy (which Hubbert, the proponent of peak oil, argued would save humanity) and renewable energy (skewered recently in one documentary) in the same way?

But all that, as you correctly pointed out, is talking place in a global economy which essentially involves money, which in turn amounts to mostly numbers in hard drives, and yet is what makes or breaks not just oil production but even the manufacture of renewable energy components. It's also the same money that led to a 2008 crash and slow global growth across a decade.

In an ideal world, one can imagine that none of those matter, that we should have run out of oil a long time ago so that we can use renewable energy that magically appears and that in no way involves oil, and that by some miracle the people of the world will rise up and, thanks to political will, create some sort of static global economy where no one uses too much energy and material resources but no one is in need.

In a real world, though, where real-world conditions show a solar power energy return dropping to less than 6, where businesses involved in such and more consist of very rich capitalists, not to mention personalities like the Kochs, and where investments are made based on maximization of profits and not on beliefs that investments should be distributed evenly across different sectors (as if it were all part of some computer game where resource levels are conveniently tweaked), then issues of not only transitioning to renewable energy but even its use and characteristics (e.g., that it's "clean") come to light.




ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2020, 04:39:14 AM »
In electricity, wind is already multiples of natural gas in EROI. Nowadays, I would be shocked if solar wasn't ahead of every FF. The fun part is, we're not even close to their potential.
...

But what are the energy returns? Some sources I've consulted include Charles Hall, but I'm told that what I shared is outdated. What are the updated figures?

About inefficient processes, most don't know that even renewable energy components involve them, especially for mining, manufacturing, and shipping. In fact, even the capitalist systems on which such technological development are dependent are themselves inefficient: driven by overproduction as a result of competition and maximization of profit.

And what about demand? Most parts of the world aren't like the U.S. That means they have not reached the stage of having to cut down energy consumption by 50 pct. If any, they want to increase energy production, and by much more than that.


ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2020, 05:06:38 AM »
Moving to all renewable energy sources reduces energy needs by 57%.  The linked study, from 2019, demonstrates that 80% renewables by 2030 is doable, with 100% by 2050.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590332219302258?via%3Dihub

Quote
Impacts of Green New Deal Energy Plans on Grid Stability, Costs, Jobs, Health, and Climate in 143 Countries
Mark Z.Jacobson, Mark A.Delucchi, Mary A.Cameron, Stephen J.Coughlin, Catherine A.Hay, Indu Priya Manogaran, Yanbo Shu, Anna-Katharinavon Krauland

Summary

Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. To address these problems, we develop Green New Deal energy roadmaps for 143 countries. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage by 2050 with at least 80% by 2030. Our studies on grid stability find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can match demand exactly from 2050 to 2052 with 100% WWS supply and storage. We also derive new cost metrics. Worldwide, WWS energy reduces end-use energy by 57.1%, aggregate private energy costs from $17.7 to $6.8 trillion/year (61%), and aggregate social (private plus health plus climate) costs from $76.1 to $6.8 trillion/year (91%) at a present value capital cost of ∼$73 trillion. WWS energy creates 28.6 million more long-term, full-time jobs than BAU energy and needs only ∼0.17% and ∼0.48% of land for new footprint and spacing, respectively. Thus, WWS requires less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than does BAU.



I recall another report discussing the same, and assuring at least 50 TW from 100-pct renewable energy.

I completely agree with the points raised in the paper. Unfortunately, there are these major catches:

It involves a Green New Deal spanning more than 100 countries, with everyone coordinating with each other. If any, that's the meaning of replacing "business-as-usual" energy with WWS (wind, water, solar) energy. (What happened to wave energy?)

Countries ranging from NZ to the US will have to cut down not only on energy use but ecological footprint per capita by at least 50 pct. That definitely means no more toys, etc., or even the ability to surf online.

In addition, to avoid global warming, no more fossil fuels may be used ten years from now. That means what would take many decades and involving countries with large armed forces, contending trade or bi- or multi-lateral trade agreements, and climate change agreements that involve slight cuts in carbon emission increases, now has to be done by force (who will enforce such?) and in less than a decade. (However, the study did show that this is not possible, which is why it adjusted the transition period to 2050.)

Then there's diminishing returns. We've been seeing that for oil and mining, and those are linked to renewable energy for reasons given earlier. That means the amount of energy needed will involve more than just grid stability. It has to minimize the effects of diminishing returns, were increasing amounts of energy are needed to extract decreasing amounts of new resources.

Then there's the global capitalist economy on which such assumptions rest, from which we have overconsumption and overproduction as a result of competition. It can no longer be "business as usual" for energy production, but what about consumption? Will the 29 pct of the world population assume that, as pointed out by one forum member, that things like toys and trips abroad can no longer take place? Will the remaining 71 pct assume that they can't have these conveniences? Or is it safe to assume that grid stability will be accompanied by a multifold increase in grid capacity which can provide the equivalent of at least a doubling in ave. global ecological footprint per capita while decreasing carbon emissions by at least 80 pct?

In short, in order to avoid "business as usual" energy while maintaining "business as usual," grid capacity globally has to increase significantly twice: to counter diminishing returns and to minimize the effects of climate change.

By how much, and how to make sure that 143 countries worldwide will engage in major coordination and cooperation with each other across the board in only a few years, we will have to figure out.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #99 on: September 12, 2020, 05:49:05 AM »
ralfy
I can not see your posts because I have you on ignore but do see you make them .
Here is a hint.
You can add more to a post after publishing one if you simply edit it by clicking on modify at the top right .
This means there is no need to post ten times in succession  making my poor scroll finger work unpaid overtime and wearing out my mouse.
 
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.