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ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #250 on: September 27, 2020, 04:42:58 AM »
The linked reference published in 2020 indicates that the Energy Return on Investment for wind and solar is higher than often claimed by skeptics, currently greater than 10 and increasing as the technology improves.

https://greenreview.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/M_Diesendorf-T_Wiedmann-UNSW-Ecolec_PublishedOnline.pdf

Quote
Implications of Trends in Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) forTransitioning to Renewable Electricity
M. Diesendorf, T. Wiedmann

ABSTRACT
Recent papers argue that the energy return on energy invested (EROI) for renewable electricity technologies and systems may be so low that the transition from fossil fuelled to renewable electricity may displace investment in other important economic sectors. For the case of large-scale electricity supply, we draw upon insights from Net Energy Analysis and renewable energy engineering to examine critically some assumptions, data and arguments in these papers, focussing on regions in which wind and solar can provide the majority of electricity. We show that the above claim is based on outdated data on EROIs, on failing to consider the energy efficiency advantages of transitioning away from fuel combustion and on overestimates of storage requirements. EROIs of wind and solar photovoltaics, which can provide the vast majority of electricity and indeed of all energy in the future, are generally high (≥10) and increasing. The impact of storage on EROI depends on the quantities and types of storage adopted and their operational strategies. In the regions considered in this paper, the quantity of storage required to maintain generation reliability is relatively small

My understanding is that the report uses information from Raugei, who acknowledges Hall but gives a higher energy return given average grid efficiency:

https://www.bnl.gov/pv/files/pdf/241_Raugei_EROI_EP_revised_II_2012-03_VMF.pdf

Thus, for photovoltaics, an energy return of

30 given nameplate power and ideal conditions

11-12 given LCA based on constant solar irradiation

6-7 given extended EROI

5.9 given measured conditions

18-20 given ave. grid efficiency and development of infrastructure to resolve intermittency.

Meanwhile, the same model might give a max. return of 30 for oil and 80 for coal.

Thus, the expected energy return goes up or down given what assumptions are made, but observed energy return still remains low. But it can only achieve a minor increase given improvements in production, etc. The catch lies in the speed by which the transition can be made, which requires the ff:

All fossil fuels will have to be preserved, i.e., not used for non-necessities (i.e., anything that will not be needed for optimal health), and used as a buffer stock for high levels of investment not only in renewable energy components but even for the infrastructure needed to use electricity from them, and this has to take place on a global scale.

It has to be done very quickly, that is, in a decade or so. Climate scientists and energy experts will also agree to this because some claim that if we not way past tipping point concerning emissions, we are very close to it, and energy experts argue that there is a two-decade lag time to prepare for peak oil, and that's assuming (as one report points it) over 140 countries will work in tandem.

Priority will have to be given to around 70 pct of the world population because they have major lack in terms of basic needs and infrastructure. The 30 pct will have to sacrifice significantly, e.g., at least a 50-pct reduction in their income, spending, and resource and energy use per capita.

Finally, all of the points above will have to be adjusted given the ff:

- if the world population continues to rise;

- diminishing returns (i.e., increasing energy to get fossil fuels and minerals needed as buffer stock and as materials for renewable energy components, infrastructure, and consumer goods);

- adjusting between full cooperation and coordination between countries (possible?) and something like it (which lengthens lag time); and

- energy quantity across the board.

I discussed each point in previous posts.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #251 on: September 27, 2020, 04:50:25 AM »
The linked study shows that California could achieve a 10% increase in EORI by phasing out nuclear and gas turbine generation by 2030.  This would allow the state to achieve 80% renewable electricity with battery storage, 52% of which would be solar pv.

https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/15/3934

Quote
Life-Cycle Carbon Emissions and Energy Return on Investment for 80% Domestic Renewable Electricity with Battery Storage in California (U.S.A.)
by Marco Raugei, Alessio Peluso, Enrica Leccisi and Vasilis Fthenakis

Energies 2020, 13(15), 3934; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153934
Received: 29 June 2020 / Revised: 17 July 2020 / Accepted: 19 July 2020 / Published: 1 August 2020

Abstract
This paper presents a detailed life-cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative demand for total and non-renewable primary energy, and energy return on investment (EROI) for the domestic electricity grid mix in the U.S. state of California, using hourly historical data for 2018, and future projections of increased solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity with lithium-ion battery energy storage, so as to achieve 80% net renewable electricity generation in 2030, while ensuring the hourly matching of the supply and demand profiles at all times. Specifically—in line with California’s plans that aim to increase the renewable energy share into the electric grid—in this study, PV installed capacity is assumed to reach 43.7 GW in 2030, resulting of 52% of the 2030 domestic electricity generation. In the modelled 2030 scenario, single-cycle gas turbines and nuclear plants are completely phased out, while combined-cycle gas turbine output is reduced by 30% compared to 2018. Results indicate that 25% of renewable electricity ends up being routed into storage, while 2.8% is curtailed. Results also show that such energy transition strategy would be effective at curbing California’s domestic electricity grid mix carbon emissions by 50%, and reducing demand for non-renewable primary energy by 66%, while also achieving a 10% increase in overall EROI (in terms of electricity output per unit of investment).

It's probably more realistic to consider extended EROI tested against measured observation (Hall and Prieto) and then figure out how to work on that given levels of investment (Raugei) and coordination (the 2018 paper shared earlier). What's missing are expected demand (the paper on transport looks like a low-end estimate) given conditions in most parts of the world that aren't like California.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #252 on: September 27, 2020, 04:53:29 AM »
Bruce

Sources quoted upthread in #176
https://www.carboncommentary.com/blog/2016/12/8/musqo7036dslptm1b8efduj6i3e7ms
https://www.newscientist.com/lastword/mg24332461-400-what-is-the-carbon-payback-period-for-a-wind-turbine/

Wind 6 to 9 months, Solar 17 months including modules and inverters, installation and mounting structures. Both are improving as we go.

If not used to make another panel the energy displaces that produced from FFs, known as a reduction of the intensity in kg CO2 / kWh

Can't speak for RoW but Scotland was at net 90% for electricity at the end of 2019, and we're not stopping there. Source again:
https://www.scottishrenewables.com/our-industry/statistics

Life-cycle assessments are always helpful for projections, but when one also looks at measured real-world conditions that show return lower than nameplate power, then better models should be employed.

Given that, what Baldi and others refer to as "extended EROI" looks more helpful, but it doesn't consider other factors that are needed for a transition. Rather, what returns would look like given ideal economic conditions.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #253 on: September 27, 2020, 09:04:08 AM »
the solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, and many other components needed for them use minerals and even petrochemicals from oil. The minerals come from mines where around 70 pct of heavy machinery used require diesel. A substantial chunk of manufacturing (where these minerals are used to make those components) and shipping (esp. container ships to move minerals, work-in-progress, finished components, and finished goods across multiple ports and stored in multiple warehouses involving multiple companies in multiple countries) involve fossil fuels.
This is one part of a circular argument we have been reading here endlessly ralfy. Of course everything involves fossil fuels. Duh! It's because the renewable transition hasn't occurred. Will it ever occur? Not if it's up to biased propagndists like Prieto that you not only insist on quoting but insist on dismissing any other competing source.

Focus on the problems with the transition itself, rather than the blather of peak oil and EROI. There is too much oil available for humanity to kill itself with, via AGW. There is enough EROI in renewables. Both these arguments are things from the past, laid to rest. Your insistent focus on them is what makes your posts almost unreadable.
Problems with the transition abound - lack of political will, too-slow rate of transition, the need to support a growing population, the need to uplift the world's poor from energy poverty and general poverty, the need to reduce consumption by the rich and greedy richer part of humanity, the need to replace fossil fuel plants and not just meet the growth in energy demand, the need to replace the energy sources in sectors where electricity is harder to use due to various physical limitations, and so forth. A logical and well-structured discussion focused on these issues would be welcome. Unfortunately, you are unable or unwilling to engage in such discussion, so this is the last from me.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #254 on: September 27, 2020, 02:21:10 PM »
EROI was used to compare the energy return on extracting crude from different environments.
Then it was used to compare returns from different fossil fuels. If you want to include it in comparisons with renewable energy I believe you have to widen the discussion to look at what the energy is used for.

Generation of electricity -
Generation from fossil fuels is inefficient. This reduces the effective EROI of fossil fuels.
Wind, and especially solar, is extremely efficient.

Transportation - vehicles
The energy is there to turn the wheels (+ a bit for AC & lights).
A fossil fuel engine is very inefficient. The effective EROI of the fuel is reduced accordingly.
Energy loss from the electricity grid (or rooftop solar) to battery to wheels is low.

Heating.
How efficient is the oil furnace or gas boiler in an average dwelling?
Industrial use - e.g. gas ovens for ceramics, can be very efficient.
This may be the hardest final nut to crack in full transition to renewable energy.

EROI is only one component of the Asset Life Cycle analysis methodology when applied to energy measurement instead of simply cost. This requires widening the scope. An obvious example is to include the energy wasted from gas flaring during crude extraction. Then you have to add energy from methane leakage from the tens of thousands of abandoned wells, coal mines and coal tips.You can start looking at the energy costs of CO2 emissions - increasing use of AC as AGW takes hold.

Vehicles and power plants are machines. They wear out and will need replacing. It is surely better to replace them with renewable energy based machines than fossil fuel based machines. It is probably only an interim solution as humanity has to come to terms with the other human activities (e.g. the 6th mass extinction) that are also current and / or future existential threats to humanity.
______________________________________________________________
ps: It is far cheaper, quicker and far more efficient to get electricity to the many millions without it by wind and especially solar.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #255 on: September 27, 2020, 05:24:35 PM »
   
That's diminishing returns: increasing amounts of energy needed to extract decreasing amounts of material each time. And what applies to oil also applies to minerals. And when that extraction, processing, manufacture, and use take place, there's also more pollution and environmental damage in general, which in turn worsens the effects of diminishing returns.

It's a nice theory, but for renewables, reality has been showing the opposite.  Prices for solar energy have been dropping dramatically.  If you want a megawatt-hour of electricity, utility-scale solar is the quickest, cheapest, and cleanest way to generate it.  That's not showing diminishing returns, its showing economies of scale.  We've barely scratched the surface of what's feasible.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #256 on: September 27, 2020, 05:34:58 PM »
Iain, Thanks for posting those links I missed. 15 to 20 EROEI for solar is pretty impressive. Wind and solar can improve efficiencies and oil and gas are headed to less efficiency due to increased extraction costs.
 Scotland has offshore wind. California is still in planning stages still but as our last Nuclear plants are slated for decommissioning 2025 things are getting pretty desperate for nighttime electric generation.
We have lots of solar and to balance out nighttime uses we need replacement for existing nuclear and gas plants scheduled for the dust bin. We have good offshore wind resources but the politics is , as usual, a mess.
 BOEM has been working for several years on siting options but the NAVY abruptly said all areas South of San Francisco were incompatible. Our local congressman held up their appropriations bill until they agreed to compromise. The new areas the Navy agreed to move to ~ 15 miles from shore and run into another federal agency called the Monterey National Marine sanctuary that doesn’t currently allow wind or wind leasing options afforded BOEM.
 The new siting options put the floating turbine windfarm into existing fishing grounds so fishermen get to comment, although we will be thrown under the bus. Onshore wind in Calif. always has to fight agains’t environmental opposition so crushing a few fishermen is relatively easy in comparison.
 The NRDC is leading the charge to install GW of offshore wind but just the first few MW projects are having plenty of problems with competing mandates of preservation politics of the Sanctuaries, Calif. renewable goals and the intransigence of the US military. Fisheries opposition is a minor inconvenience
  Maybe batteries are a better option but offshore wind is how we are going to meet immediate energy demands. I happen to be a fisherman who has been involved with fisheries politics for long enough to know when we are about to be steamrolled. Negotiating a weak hand is an art in itself so I plan on making myself an irritation and maybe our local fishermen will still be able to fish around the wind farms when the talking is over.
 The huge migrations of seabirds will have to dodge hundreds of miles of 900ft. wind towers . Our coast is still very pristine , it will be sad to watch . We have a way to rationalize almost anything to keep the growth paradigm rolling along.  We are talking about a wind farm in water thousands of feet deep with the nearest harbor with large tugs and infrastructure over two hundred miles away. Any employment will not flow down to the areas negatively impacted.   
 
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063571481


oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #257 on: September 27, 2020, 07:19:42 PM »
Thanks for sharing Bruce, sad. Aren't there any deserts in the vicinity where wind turbines can be sited without much interference?

blu_ice

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #258 on: September 28, 2020, 12:50:26 PM »

Focus on the problems with the transition itself, rather than the blather of peak oil and EROI. There is too much oil available for humanity to kill itself with, via AGW.

Not only that, but there's too much oil available for the oil producers to be happy about it.

Quote
EIA forecasts that consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels globally will average 93.1 million b/d for all of 2020, down 8.3 million b/d from 2019, before increasing by 6.5 million b/d in 2021. EIA’s forecast for growth in 2021 is 0.5 million b/d less than in the August STEO. The downward revision is largely a result of lower expected consumption growth in China, which EIA now forecasts to grow by 1.0 million b/d in 2021.
https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.php

Now even Big Oil expects oil consumption to have peaked. Not because of EROI, not because we cannot pump more, but because more competitive forms of energy are coming online.

Quote
Global oil demand may have passed peak, says BP energy report
Oil will be replaced by clean electricity, BP predicts, as demand may never recover from Covid-19 pandemic

BP has called time on the world’s rising demand for fossil fuels after finding that demand for oil may have already reached its peak and faces an unprecedented decades-long decline.

Demand for oil may never fully recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the oil firm, and may begin falling in absolute terms for the first time in modern history.

BP’s influential annual report on the future of energy, published on Monday, says oil will be replaced by clean electricity from windfarms, solar panels and hydropower plants as renewable energy emerges as the fastest-growing energy source on record.

Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said the company’s vision of the world’s energy future had become greener due to a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the quickening pace of climate action, which has hastened “peak oil”.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/14/global-oil-demand-may-have-passed-peak-says-bp-energy-report

There are posts about Tesla's Battery Day in the battery and Tesla threads. The petrol car will become obsolete during this decade. Before 2030 oil will go where coal has already gone.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #259 on: September 29, 2020, 06:49:27 AM »
This is one part of a circular argument we have been reading here endlessly ralfy. Of course everything involves fossil fuels. Duh! It's because the renewable transition hasn't occurred. Will it ever occur? Not if it's up to biased propagndists like Prieto that you not only insist on quoting but insist on dismissing any other competing source.

Focus on the problems with the transition itself, rather than the blather of peak oil and EROI. There is too much oil available for humanity to kill itself with, via AGW. There is enough EROI in renewables. Both these arguments are things from the past, laid to rest. Your insistent focus on them is what makes your posts almost unreadable.
Problems with the transition abound - lack of political will, too-slow rate of transition, the need to support a growing population, the need to uplift the world's poor from energy poverty and general poverty, the need to reduce consumption by the rich and greedy richer part of humanity, the need to replace fossil fuel plants and not just meet the growth in energy demand, the need to replace the energy sources in sectors where electricity is harder to use due to various physical limitations, and so forth. A logical and well-structured discussion focused on these issues would be welcome. Unfortunately, you are unable or unwilling to engage in such discussion, so this is the last from me.

You must be kidding! Prieto is a propagandist? FYI, Prieto and Hall did observed measurements of actual operations of solar farms. The corresponding energy returns reported come from those measurements.

Every problem you just acknowledged about a transition came from my posts. Apparently, you are unable to see the connections between these problems and energy returns. I explained those connections very carefully in previous posts.

That said, the problem isn't some non-existent circular argument (which you effectively derailed by acknowledging problems that I raised) or the absence of a logical, well-structured one (which you also derailed because it's clear that you understood most of my points) but failure on your part to connect the dots, which is why it all looks confusing to you.

You need to work on that.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #260 on: September 29, 2020, 06:57:40 AM »

It's a nice theory, but for renewables, reality has been showing the opposite.  Prices for solar energy have been dropping dramatically.  If you want a megawatt-hour of electricity, utility-scale solar is the quickest, cheapest, and cleanest way to generate it.  That's not showing diminishing returns, its showing economies of scale.  We've barely scratched the surface of what's feasible.

Again, don't focus too much on prices. I explained that several times in previous posts. What you want to look at are amounts of energy needed to extract minerals, process them, manufacture and assemble components for renewable energy, and then do the same thing for the infrastructure that will delivery energy and consumer goods that will use them. Then assume that those who will be investing in such are in competition with each other and want ever-increasing returns on their investment, which means production and consumption of not just those minerals, the fossil fuels needed to extract, manufacture, and deliver components, the materials needed for infrastructure across the board, but even the consumer goods that will use electricity from that renewable energy have to keep rising continuously.

Finally, as an aside, realizing that should give new meaning to your last point. "Barely scratching the surface of what's feasible" for an environmentalist or climate scientist is good because that means with renewable energy we should be able to conserve and even end up consuming less energy and material resources. But for capitalists who will be investing in renewable energy based on the same premise, it means more opportunities to consume more energy and material resources in exchange for greater profits, which in turn are churned back into the process to increase production and consumption further. In fact, that's what's meant by "feasible."



ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #261 on: September 29, 2020, 06:59:18 AM »
Iain, Thanks for posting those links I missed. 15 to 20 EROEI for solar is pretty impressive. Wind and solar can improve efficiencies and oil and gas are headed to less efficiency due to increased extraction costs.
 Scotland has offshore wind. California is still in planning stages still but as our last Nuclear plants are slated for decommissioning 2025 things are getting pretty desperate for nighttime electric generation.
We have lots of solar and to balance out nighttime uses we need replacement for existing nuclear and gas plants scheduled for the dust bin. We have good offshore wind resources but the politics is , as usual, a mess.
 BOEM has been working for several years on siting options but the NAVY abruptly said all areas South of San Francisco were incompatible. Our local congressman held up their appropriations bill until they agreed to compromise. The new areas the Navy agreed to move to ~ 15 miles from shore and run into another federal agency called the Monterey National Marine sanctuary that doesn’t currently allow wind or wind leasing options afforded BOEM.
 The new siting options put the floating turbine windfarm into existing fishing grounds so fishermen get to comment, although we will be thrown under the bus. Onshore wind in Calif. always has to fight agains’t environmental opposition so crushing a few fishermen is relatively easy in comparison.
 The NRDC is leading the charge to install GW of offshore wind but just the first few MW projects are having plenty of problems with competing mandates of preservation politics of the Sanctuaries, Calif. renewable goals and the intransigence of the US military. Fisheries opposition is a minor inconvenience
  Maybe batteries are a better option but offshore wind is how we are going to meet immediate energy demands. I happen to be a fisherman who has been involved with fisheries politics for long enough to know when we are about to be steamrolled. Negotiating a weak hand is an art in itself so I plan on making myself an irritation and maybe our local fishermen will still be able to fish around the wind farms when the talking is over.
 The huge migrations of seabirds will have to dodge hundreds of miles of 900ft. wind towers . Our coast is still very pristine , it will be sad to watch . We have a way to rationalize almost anything to keep the growth paradigm rolling along.  We are talking about a wind farm in water thousands of feet deep with the nearest harbor with large tugs and infrastructure over two hundred miles away. Any employment will not flow down to the areas negatively impacted.   
 
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063571481

To recap, it's 15-20 given the assumption of ave. grid efficiency. Without that assurance, it goes down to 11-12 given LCA and ave. solar irradiation. With extended EROI, 6-7, which not surprisingly matches observed measurements of less than 6.

Meanwhile, to meet just basic needs of the current population, at least 15. To meet that plus wants, which is what investors expect, higher. To meet that plus deal with ecological damage (incl. being carbon neutral) plus diminishing returns for fossil fuels and minerals needed for the same renewable energy components, even higher.

Finally, the reason why additional energy and material resources are needed is because most of the world's isn't like California.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #262 on: September 29, 2020, 07:08:52 AM »
Quote

Focus on the problems with the transition itself, rather than the blather of peak oil and EROI. There is too much oil available for humanity to kill itself with, via AGW.

Not only that, but there's too much oil available for the oil producers to be happy about it.

Quote
EIA forecasts that consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels globally will average 93.1 million b/d for all of 2020, down 8.3 million b/d from 2019, before increasing by 6.5 million b/d in 2021. EIA’s forecast for growth in 2021 is 0.5 million b/d less than in the August STEO. The downward revision is largely a result of lower expected consumption growth in China, which EIA now forecasts to grow by 1.0 million b/d in 2021.
https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.php

Now even Big Oil expects oil consumption to have peaked. Not because of EROI, not because we cannot pump more, but because more competitive forms of energy are coming online.

Quote
Global oil demand may have passed peak, says BP energy report
Oil will be replaced by clean electricity, BP predicts, as demand may never recover from Covid-19 pandemic

BP has called time on the world’s rising demand for fossil fuels after finding that demand for oil may have already reached its peak and faces an unprecedented decades-long decline.

Demand for oil may never fully recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the oil firm, and may begin falling in absolute terms for the first time in modern history.

BP’s influential annual report on the future of energy, published on Monday, says oil will be replaced by clean electricity from windfarms, solar panels and hydropower plants as renewable energy emerges as the fastest-growing energy source on record.

Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said the company’s vision of the world’s energy future had become greener due to a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the quickening pace of climate action, which has hastened “peak oil”.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/14/global-oil-demand-may-have-passed-peak-says-bp-energy-report

There are posts about Tesla's Battery Day in the battery and Tesla threads. The petrol car will become obsolete during this decade. Before 2030 oil will go where coal has already gone.

In short, we don't need higher oil production because oil consumption has weakened, and oil consumption has weakened because of poor economic prospects driven by rising debt from 2008 to the present plus additional problems like pandemics. But that's the same economy that's expected to invest in renewable energy and profit from it in the same manner!

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #263 on: September 29, 2020, 07:29:54 AM »
Just opened ralfys comments
Should not have bothered
Still single study syndrom still has not understood renewable energy is both cheaper and more efficient than way back in 2015
And can not get it is getting cheaper every year as we climb the learning curve and reach economy of scale.
Wasted space...
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blu_ice

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #264 on: September 29, 2020, 09:55:35 AM »
In short, we don't need higher oil production because oil consumption has weakened, and oil consumption has weakened because of poor economic prospects driven by rising debt from 2008 to the present plus additional problems like pandemics. But that's the same economy that's expected to invest in renewable energy and profit from it in the same manner!
Well, no. Oil demand went down in early 2020 because people stopped flying and driving due to the pandemic.

Although the pandemic will eventually end, oil demand is not expected to reach 2019 levels because the underlying trend is moving the world away from oil.

Forget peak oil (production). It was a failed theory from 20 years ago that never materialized. Moving goalposts as not to include "unconventional" oil or to disregard prices doesn't make peak oil true.

kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #265 on: September 29, 2020, 02:06:17 PM »
There are some interesting points in there but rehashing the same argument does not really help.

So ralfy would it be fair to classify your position as ´it is not possible?´
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #266 on: September 29, 2020, 10:35:43 PM »
I think what Ralfy fails to understand is that as long as the Energy Return on Investment is greater than 1 (which it is even if you try to put your thumb on the scales with arguments about mining, transmission, grid efficiency, etc...), then what really drives investment decisions is financial return on investment. 

And now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, the final investment decisions on energy projects are increasingly dominated by new renewable projects.  That's why there are so many press releases available about new renewable power plants.

https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/economic/2020/09/report-predicts-major-spike-in-renewable-energy-projects-by-2030

Quote
Report predicts major spike in renewable energy projects by 2030
DCN-JOC News Services September 3, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that US$3.4 trillion will be invested globally on renewable energy by 2030.

The study, Opportunities from Decarbonization in the Global Power Market, 2019-2030, forecasts that coal will take a downturn in most developed markets.

By 2030, 54.1 per cent of installed capacity will be renewable (including hydropower) and 37.9 per cent will be a combination of solar and wind, the report predicts.

Falling costs and renewable-friendly energy policies adopted by several countries in the six major geographies — North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, China and India — are prominent reasons why solar photovoltaic and wind capacity projects are expected to climb this decade.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #267 on: October 02, 2020, 03:29:59 AM »
Just opened ralfys comments
Should not have bothered
Still single study syndrom still has not understood renewable energy is both cheaper and more efficient than way back in 2015
And can not get it is getting cheaper every year as we climb the learning curve and reach economy of scale.
Wasted space...

It's cheaper because of the price, but the price doesn't change the energy return. Look at what happened to oil: low prices but energy returns are still low.

The energy return is highest when ideal conditions are considered. That's nameplate power, and for photovoltaics that's 30.

It goes down when you look at payback time. That's lifecycle analysis, and for photovoltaics that's 11-12.

It goes down even more when you at the cost of making components available to you and how you use them. That's extended EROI, and for photovoltaics that's 6-7, or so-called "outdated" data.

Finally, there's real-world conditions, where observed measurements are made to see what might be actual EROI. One study shows a return of less than 6.

Now, given that, there are many ways to increase EROI, and by that I don't mean lower prices. That involves technology to make extraction of resources and manufacture of components more efficient. But that doesn't stop the trend of diminishing returns: at some point minerals and oil used for manufacture and delivery of RE components and finished goods, not to mention the infrastructure needed for that plus delivering the energy that they produced, go up because of two simple facts that for some reason some forum members in, of all places, a science forum, cannot fathom: physical limitations and gravity. Put simply, the trend for oil, copper, and many material resources needed is always downward: resources that are deeper or that are now accessed because the materials that are of better quality (lower levels of sulfur, higher grade or with fewer impurities) have already been extracted and used require more energy for extraction and/or processing (e.g., lower quantities of lower-grade copper, from light oil to heavy oil). That has an obvious impact on energy returns.

Finally, there are more points to consider in light of these and any transition in a global capitalist system. First, what investors want are higher prices, not low. Prices may be low thanks to better efficiency, for example, but they want them higher eventually because that allows for greater returns on investment. Meanwhile, consumers want lower prices for obvious reasons, but as more of them want and buy more RE components (i.e., demand) then prices should go up.

That's why the main reason why investors, including oil companies, went into renewable energy because oil prices were high. The problem is that they went down because of weak demand, and that's mistakenly seen as a good sign because it means people want less oil and more RE. What's more likely is that the global economy has been weak since the 2008 crash because of high levels of spending and debt, and that might explain why prices for oil are low. It's not because more began to care for climate change issues.

Next, demand in the form of what people want given the opportunity to consume more, is high. That's because most people are poor and want to become rich: they want basic needs plus wants. At the same time, what they need and want involve material resources that face diminishing returns (which is the main factor behind limits to growth). Based on what I've explained in multiple messages, that will require much higher energy returns (from which we get higher energy quantity), which is why instead of a transition I think the world will use every available energy source to meet what they need and want.

Unless the global economy crashes again due to another crisis. That is, in 2008, it was due to rising debt and increasing financial risks leading to fallout, and part of the debt was needed to finance unconventional production, which in turn was needed to make up for a peak in conventional production which the IEA acknowledged in 2010. In 2020, it's a pandemic leading to disruption of supply chains, low demand overall due to high unemployment and business closure, and may lead to, among other things, at least 30 million people worldwide facing lack of food, among others.

In a sense, one might say that we are looking at this argument based on the difference between what we hope will happen (nameplate power) and what's actually happening (extended EROI). What I've been trying explain is the latter, but it appears that it is now considered a waste of space to do so. In which case, I don't see the point in discussing this issue further, as every point I've raised above comes from my previous posts.

With that, I cannot help you anymore. At some point, you will have to connect the dots.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #268 on: October 02, 2020, 03:58:03 AM »
Just opened ralfys comments
Should not have bothered
Still single study syndrom still has not understood renewable energy is both cheaper and more efficient than way back in 2015
And can not get it is getting cheaper every year as we climb the learning curve and reach economy of scale.
Wasted space...

It's cheaper because of the price, but the price doesn't change the energy return. Look at what happened to oil: low prices but energy returns are still low.
Utter nonsense.  Oil fluctuates in price because there are cycles of oil glut and oil shortage.  This is utterly unlike what happens with renewables.  There are diurnal variations in the supply of renewable energy (abundant when sun and wind are available, in shortage at night and in calm).  The devices that permit harnessing sun and wind do not go through cycles of shortage and glut.  Items are manufactured to meet orders.

The price of these items reflects resources needed to manufacture them, including energy.  There's no such thing as manufacturing to a loss for any extended period of time.  Price of these manufactured items essentially always reflects costs of inputs, including energy.  When prices fall year after year, this means input costs are decreasing.

Thus there is no issue of diminishing returns with renewable energy.  Exactly the opposite is true, we're seeing falling prices for these manufactured items due to economies of scale and advances in technology.

Trying to assign EROEI to renewables is absurd.  Verifying some author's calculation is a hurculean task, and the true number changes as prices go down.  All such published calculations for renewables are obsolete by the time they're published.

Trying to evaluate the situation for renewables by looking at EROEI is just stupid.  Price is a reliable, verifiable, and straightforward measure.

Using this appropriate metric, renewable sourcing of energy will plainly become the norm, in countries both rich and poor. 

What you keep posting repeatedly is some weird version of concern trolling.  Please stop with the relentless repetition.
 

Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #269 on: October 02, 2020, 04:55:19 AM »
SteveMD, Even though Ralfy does seem to be concern trolling I can not agree EROEI is irrelevant to the discussion of renewables.
 For Ralfy I would like to hear what options he feels will extradite us from our conundrum.

 We have spent enormous amounts of money since 2008 trying to float oil prices and production. We have succeeded in maintaining BAU with fracked oil but the investment made hasn’t resulted in making fracking economically viable. The Saudi oil fields seem to need more and more rigs to maintain production. Without cheap money ( borrowed from future generations ) oil would be in decline.EROEI
is catching up with us but if oil prices rise so too will the costs of mining, transport, and manufacture of materials needed for any energy transition. I can’t figure out how so many of my friends here don’t see the problem with borrowing more and more money to power our society. I know the stock market is doing well and those of you with stocks, bonds, and paper investments are doing better than ever but for those of us still stuck with manual labor as our means of support have to deal with returns on our labors. How much I can earn is  often dependent upon  EROEI decisions. That is why I try to think about energy costs of tools and what returns I can expect.  If your income is dependent upon anything as irrational as the stock market then by all means ignore my problems , they don’t affect you. Yet

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #270 on: October 02, 2020, 08:01:51 AM »
EROEI is relevant to fossil fuels and food production but not very much to renewables.
There is enough EROEI for solar and wind to not care about it. The challenges are with other issues. What humanity should be doing is to use its current FF-powered industrial base to make a massive buildup of renewables as fast as possible, which will then be able to produce (most of) the energy needs of said industrial base, and retire the FF part before it kills us all.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #271 on: October 02, 2020, 02:34:17 PM »
Regarding food production, EROEI is half relevant. It is relevant if you want to compare different production methods, for example organic and traditional, but it is not relevant regarding tools. Who cares of the scythe produced enough energy to compensate the embedded energy, the ax is there to produce the needed wood.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #272 on: October 02, 2020, 02:38:07 PM »
Same thing for renewable, when investments are required, it's always good to know what the EROEIs are. Mainly if you have a few processes one after the other (PV=>hydrogen=>car or PV=>battery=>car).

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #273 on: October 02, 2020, 03:20:48 PM »
Northvolt Etta is planning a lithium ion battery plant that uses 100% renewable energy as well as siting close to cobalt mines. Competition mister Musk.

  https://northvolt.com/production

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #274 on: October 03, 2020, 10:46:02 AM »
Dear ettienne, I think that cars are a very small portion of the global energy transition. If you forget about cars and personal transport for a moment, could you make a list of the specific areas of society, production and consumption that are key to the transition? Take e.g. Mozambique, Madagascar or Bangladesh.

--

2 points about the transition for production and consumption.

Almost all plastics are made from FF.
The transition is thus also about phasing out plastic.

Q- Have you thought about that? Is that doable? How?

We've become extremely dependent on plastics.


I am a layman in chemistry science but I think that many chemicals in use today are ultimately derived from FF. They'll have to go as well.

Q- How can they be replaced?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 10:51:16 AM 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?

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #275 on: October 03, 2020, 10:52:40 AM »
Plastics can be made from plants or basically from any carbon and hydrogen. The main ingredient would be energy, so the transitions is doable but makes another demand on future renewable energy supply.
Of course, reducing the total consumption of plastics (as of most other things) would make solving the problem much easier.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #276 on: October 03, 2020, 10:56:40 AM »
Almost anything we make should be circular. So design al products in a way that optimizes recycling.
Non bio degradable plastics should not be used for bags, straws etc.
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.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #277 on: October 03, 2020, 12:12:18 PM »
Thanks.
So you say it is doable and it means that the whole plastics industry has to transition to plant-based basic materials and make non-FF-based polymers? Like the organic polymer lignin? Is that correct?
Will they be able to make plastics with the same properties as FF-plastics?

I am also thinking about the dashboard of your car and the plastic in tools and machines.
"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 #278 on: October 03, 2020, 12:32:24 PM »
Responsibly using earths fossil  resources is not the problem .
The big issue is burning it as fuel and the resulting dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere.
It would help the environment if more plastic used was recycled and less one use tat was made and sold.
You can help.
Don't buy cheap poorly made plastic consumer crap ...
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.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #279 on: October 04, 2020, 07:00:50 PM »

Utter nonsense.  Oil fluctuates in price because there are cycles of oil glut and oil shortage.  This is utterly unlike what happens with renewables.  There are diurnal variations in the supply of renewable energy (abundant when sun and wind are available, in shortage at night and in calm).  The devices that permit harnessing sun and wind do not go through cycles of shortage and glut.  Items are manufactured to meet orders.

The price of these items reflects resources needed to manufacture them, including energy.  There's no such thing as manufacturing to a loss for any extended period of time.  Price of these manufactured items essentially always reflects costs of inputs, including energy.  When prices fall year after year, this means input costs are decreasing.

Thus there is no issue of diminishing returns with renewable energy.  Exactly the opposite is true, we're seeing falling prices for these manufactured items due to economies of scale and advances in technology.

Trying to assign EROEI to renewables is absurd.  Verifying some author's calculation is a hurculean task, and the true number changes as prices go down.  All such published calculations for renewables are obsolete by the time they're published.

Trying to evaluate the situation for renewables by looking at EROEI is just stupid.  Price is a reliable, verifiable, and straightforward measure.

Using this appropriate metric, renewable sourcing of energy will plainly become the norm, in countries both rich and poor. 

What you keep posting repeatedly is some weird version of concern trolling.  Please stop with the relentless repetition.

You did not understand my point: the price goes up and down but the energy return does not!

The claim that EROI cannot be assigned to renewables is utter nonsense. You need energy to extract minerals, process them, manufacture components, and ship them.

There is no way you are right in this. And the fact that you actually think you're right and that you think that I'm trolling only makes matters worse for you.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #280 on: October 04, 2020, 07:09:13 PM »

Well, no. Oil demand went down in early 2020 because people stopped flying and driving due to the pandemic.

Although the pandemic will eventually end, oil demand is not expected to reach 2019 levels because the underlying trend is moving the world away from oil.

Forget peak oil (production). It was a failed theory from 20 years ago that never materialized. Moving goalposts as not to include "unconventional" oil or to disregard prices doesn't make peak oil true.

You mean "yes."

And oil demand continues to rise because, as this article points out, around 85 pct of the world population live in developing countries, with, as I pointed out earlier, 71 pct earning below $10 daily:

https://www.rigzone.com/news/shell_is_wrong_global_oil_demand_can_only_increase-21-nov-2018-157509-article/

That means there is a significant lack of infrastructure worldwide needed just for basic needs, which is why, as I explained in my first post, we will need up to double the amount of current energy use just to meet basic needs of three-quarters of the world population.

That's why for the past decade, oil consumption drop in the EU, Japan, and the U.S. has been offset by the rest of the world. And the only thing that stopped us from reaching a demand rate of 115 Mbd, as predicted by the IEA and others in 2006, is soaring debt which led to low global GDP growth throughout.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #281 on: October 04, 2020, 07:16:33 PM »
There are some interesting points in there but rehashing the same argument does not really help.

So ralfy would it be fair to classify your position as ´it is not possible?´

If helps if those who counter what I said rehash the same wrong points. That is,

Energy returns are going up because prices are going down. But it turns out what's presented as high returns is payback time. Extended EROI shows much lower returns and similar to observed measurements.

Claims that energy return has nothing to do with renewables is utter nonsense, and for obvious reasons.

As for your question, I answered that in great detail in previous posts.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #282 on: October 04, 2020, 07:32:02 PM »
I think what Ralfy fails to understand is that as long as the Energy Return on Investment is greater than 1 (which it is even if you try to put your thumb on the scales with arguments about mining, transmission, grid efficiency, etc...), then what really drives investment decisions is financial return on investment. 

And now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, the final investment decisions on energy projects are increasingly dominated by new renewable projects.  That's why there are so many press releases available about new renewable power plants.

https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/economic/2020/09/report-predicts-major-spike-in-renewable-energy-projects-by-2030

Quote
Report predicts major spike in renewable energy projects by 2030
DCN-JOC News Services September 3, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that US$3.4 trillion will be invested globally on renewable energy by 2030.

The study, Opportunities from Decarbonization in the Global Power Market, 2019-2030, forecasts that coal will take a downturn in most developed markets.

By 2030, 54.1 per cent of installed capacity will be renewable (including hydropower) and 37.9 per cent will be a combination of solar and wind, the report predicts.

Falling costs and renewable-friendly energy policies adopted by several countries in the six major geographies — North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, China and India — are prominent reasons why solar photovoltaic and wind capacity projects are expected to climb this decade.

You must be kidding. An energy return that's at least better than 1 will do very little:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/eroi-charles-hall-will-fossil-fuels-maintain-economic-growth/

Quote
If you've got an EROI of 1.1:1, you can pump the oil out of the ground and look at it. If you've got 1.2:1, you can refine it and look at it. At 1.3:1, you can move it to where you want it and look at it. We looked at the minimum EROI you need to drive a truck, and you need at least 3:1 at the wellhead. Now, if you want to put anything in the truck, like grain, you need to have an EROI of 5:1. And that includes the depreciation for the truck. But if you want to include the depreciation for the truck driver and the oil worker and the farmer, then you've got to support the families. And then you need an EROI of 7:1. And if you want education, you need 8:1 or 9:1. And if you want health care, you need 10:1 or 11:1.

The gist is that the more one wants, the more energy is needed. If one lives in a hovel in a forest and lives based on subsistence, then the net energy needed for that is small. Change that to a high-rise condo with processed food, and the net energy needed increases dramatically.

The same applies to oil and minerals themselves as they become more difficult to extract because they are deeper or require more processing. And that's the same oil that's used for 70 pct of heavy machinery in mining, part of manufacturing, and a large portion of shipping of minerals and components needed for renewable energy.

Meanwhile, what do you think those investors are expecting given their $3.4 trillion investment? How about those who will be consuming energy produced? Go back to my previous messages and find out.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #283 on: October 04, 2020, 07:34:37 PM »

Utter nonsense.  Oil fluctuates in price because there are cycles of oil glut and oil shortage.  This is utterly unlike what happens with renewables.  There are diurnal variations in the supply of renewable energy (abundant when sun and wind are available, in shortage at night and in calm).  The devices that permit harnessing sun and wind do not go through cycles of shortage and glut.  Items are manufactured to meet orders.

The price of these items reflects resources needed to manufacture them, including energy.  There's no such thing as manufacturing to a loss for any extended period of time.  Price of these manufactured items essentially always reflects costs of inputs, including energy.  When prices fall year after year, this means input costs are decreasing.

Thus there is no issue of diminishing returns with renewable energy.  Exactly the opposite is true, we're seeing falling prices for these manufactured items due to economies of scale and advances in technology.

Trying to assign EROEI to renewables is absurd.  Verifying some author's calculation is a hurculean task, and the true number changes as prices go down.  All such published calculations for renewables are obsolete by the time they're published.

Trying to evaluate the situation for renewables by looking at EROEI is just stupid.  Price is a reliable, verifiable, and straightforward measure.

Using this appropriate metric, renewable sourcing of energy will plainly become the norm, in countries both rich and poor. 

What you keep posting repeatedly is some weird version of concern trolling.  Please stop with the relentless repetition.

You did not understand my point: the price goes up and down but the energy return does not!

The claim that EROI cannot be assigned to renewables is utter nonsense. You need energy to extract minerals, process them, manufacture components, and ship them.

There is no way you are right in this. And the fact that you actually think you're right and that you think that I'm trolling only makes matters worse for you.

Yes, I did understand your point, but you've ignored mine, and just repeated nonsense.  When it comes to economics, harnessing renewable energy is a matter of producing manufactured goods.

When in human history has any major manufactured good ever shown a pattern of diminishing returns for any extended period of time?    We essentially always see the opposite, economies of scale and efficiencies of production.

You're casting vague dire predictions about a phenomenon that hasn't been observed and is not being observed now.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.  You've provided none.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #284 on: October 04, 2020, 08:04:45 PM »
SteveMD, Even though Ralfy does seem to be concern trolling I can not agree EROEI is irrelevant to the discussion of renewables.
 For Ralfy I would like to hear what options he feels will extradite us from our conundrum.

 We have spent enormous amounts of money since 2008 trying to float oil prices and production. We have succeeded in maintaining BAU with fracked oil but the investment made hasn’t resulted in making fracking economically viable. The Saudi oil fields seem to need more and more rigs to maintain production. Without cheap money ( borrowed from future generations ) oil would be in decline.EROEI
is catching up with us but if oil prices rise so too will the costs of mining, transport, and manufacture of materials needed for any energy transition. I can’t figure out how so many of my friends here don’t see the problem with borrowing more and more money to power our society. I know the stock market is doing well and those of you with stocks, bonds, and paper investments are doing better than ever but for those of us still stuck with manual labor as our means of support have to deal with returns on our labors. How much I can earn is  often dependent upon  EROEI decisions. That is why I try to think about energy costs of tools and what returns I can expect.  If your income is dependent upon anything as irrational as the stock market then by all means ignore my problems , they don’t affect you. Yet

Believe it or not, Saudi Arabia has been engaged in deals to set up nuclear plants for the past decade, and had been planning that the decade prior to that, when concerns over peak oil were raised starting in 2005, and when speculation rose on what was happening to the water cut in Ghawar.

In short, the Saudis themselves have been banking on nuclear plants and solar energy not because of climate change concerns but because their oil supplies, which have barely been audited by outsiders, may be facing problems. In short, peak oil, which the IEA acknowledged a decade ago started five years earlier, and for which large amounts of debt were created to maintain production via unconventional production, which requires high prices and which the EIA argues won't last.

And that's the same oil needed to develop infrastructure for most of the world which still lacks basic needs.

Given that, the only way out for a world that faces both climate change and a resource crunch is to cut down on resource and energy use per capita. To find out what type of lifestyle will be involved, try footprint calculators. For example,

https://www.footprintcalculator.org/

The gist, as explained in one of my previous posts, is that we have ave. ecological footprint vs. biocapacity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_ecological_footprint

In this case, an ave. footprint per capita that's rising (around 2.75 global hectares) vs. biocapacity that's not only much lower (only 1.63 global hectares per capita) but is also shrinking per capita as population goes up, and may be shrinking more as ecological damage plus climate change threaten resource availability.

That means we'll need a footprint per capita of less than 2. I'll let forum members figure out what that entails.

Meanwhile, the catch is that our global economy is capitalist, and it's the same economic process that's investing in renewable energy. In short, that economy needs ever-increasing footprint per capita, as it needs to get more minerals and use more fossil fuels to make more solar panels and consumer goods and more people to buy more goods, consume more energy and resources, and earn, borrow, and spend more. How else will those investors get high returns from trillions of dollars used to develop renewable energy and more, especially when the process involves stock markets and other aspects of the finance industry?

In short, we have humanity that needs more to meet basic needs but needs less to avert the effects of ecological damage and climate change, and will be using less because the biosphere, environmental damage, and the effects of climate change won't allow more.

Money vs. physics: who will win?

Finally, in an earlier message, it was implied that I was an oil industry shill. In another, a climate denier. Now, a concern troll. Given such, I have chosen not to participate further in the forum, as I do not want to derail any genuine discussion in it.








etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #285 on: October 04, 2020, 08:28:22 PM »

Well, no. Oil demand went down in early 2020 because people stopped flying and driving due to the pandemic.

Although the pandemic will eventually end, oil demand is not expected to reach 2019 levels because the underlying trend is moving the world away from oil.

Forget peak oil (production). It was a failed theory from 20 years ago that never materialized. Moving goalposts as not to include "unconventional" oil or to disregard prices doesn't make peak oil true.

You mean "yes."

And oil demand continues to rise because, as this article points out, around 85 pct of the world population live in developing countries, with, as I pointed out earlier, 71 pct earning below $10 daily:

https://www.rigzone.com/news/shell_is_wrong_global_oil_demand_can_only_increase-21-nov-2018-157509-article/

[...]
Lets wait until Covid19 is under control to see who is right. I really wonder what will happen, if people will fly again as much as in 2019, or if the economy will be so much down that it can't restart as fast as many people hope.

EV could be much cheaper if people would be reasonable and wouldn't want more autonomy that required. I'm pretty sure that we will see sometimes in the future cars with minimal autonomy with the possibility to extend the range for a limited period (holidays?).

Petrol is and might be forever the easiest product with a high energy density available, but combustion implies a lost of 2/3 of the energy, which makes it possible for other energies to be competitive.

I see as only way to have a peak demand that people really reduce their flying, and climate change that will reduce the need for heating. Cooling should be possible with renewable. If politicians had the courage to limit the size of motors, this would also help.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #286 on: October 04, 2020, 08:46:39 PM »
Ralfy, I only said concern troll because you seemed to paint a picture that is dire without suggesting alternatives. You of course may be correct and I often feel we are facing something close to impossible myself. I look to primitivism as an answer but I have to acknowledge it is only a solution for a greatly reduced population. Sorry if I helped chase you away because I tend to agree with you on many points you make. The internet is rather callous sometimes.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #287 on: October 04, 2020, 08:50:08 PM »

Yes, I did understand your point, but you've ignored mine, and just repeated nonsense.  When it comes to economics, harnessing renewable energy is a matter of producing manufactured goods.

When in human history has any major manufactured good ever shown a pattern of diminishing returns for any extended period of time?    We essentially always see the opposite, economies of scale and efficiencies of production.

You're casting vague dire predictions about a phenomenon that hasn't been observed and is not being observed now.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.  You've provided none.

To answer your question, many times! Why do you think we were able to increase manufacturing and even mechanized agriculture dramatically after WW2? It wasn't just achieving economies of scale but being able to do so thanks to technology made possible through significant oil inputs which have high energy returns.

The catch is that oil itself faces diminishing returns, together with the minerals extracted using it and used in turn to manufacture goods, among others. And the same oil is also used for manufacturing (not just for energy but even for petrochemicals) and a large chunk of shipping.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #288 on: October 04, 2020, 08:52:37 PM »

Yes, I did understand your point, but you've ignored mine, and just repeated nonsense.  When it comes to economics, harnessing renewable energy is a matter of producing manufactured goods.

When in human history has any major manufactured good ever shown a pattern of diminishing returns for any extended period of time?    We essentially always see the opposite, economies of scale and efficiencies of production.

You're casting vague dire predictions about a phenomenon that hasn't been observed and is not being observed now.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.  You've provided none.
Do you remember Kodak, diminishing returns usually can't last too long because many costs are not related to the produced volume.
AT&T is also a similar story.
Each time that a technology fades away, you have such a story.

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #289 on: October 04, 2020, 08:54:37 PM »
Lets wait until Covid19 is under control to see who is right. I really wonder what will happen, if people will fly again as much as in 2019, or if the economy will be so much down that it can't restart as fast as many people hope.

EV could be much cheaper if people would be reasonable and wouldn't want more autonomy that required. I'm pretty sure that we will see sometimes in the future cars with minimal autonomy with the possibility to extend the range for a limited period (holidays?).

Petrol is and might be forever the easiest product with a high energy density available, but combustion implies a lost of 2/3 of the energy, which makes it possible for other energies to be competitive.

I see as only way to have a peak demand that people really reduce their flying, and climate change that will reduce the need for heating. Cooling should be possible with renewable. If politicians had the courage to limit the size of motors, this would also help.

Let's put it this way: Many people who will lose their jobs because fewer want to avail of various goods and services are the same ones who will be expected to buy other goods and services, like EVs.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #290 on: October 04, 2020, 09:04:37 PM »

Money vs. physics: who will win?


Physics wins at the end. But it could take a long time.

I really think that peak oil is real, that conventional oil peaked before 2010, and that non conventional oil needs high prices to be an alternative. So I wonder what will happen after Covid ? Will we have bankrupted oil companies and a restarting economy that would make a huge increase in oil prices ? Unfortunately, increasing production takes time so economy could only crash again.

Energy transition is also a way to get out of that game.

I guess we all know a little bit more about  exponential growth now that Covid has come to explain it to  us. Economical growth is also an exponential growth, around 2% per year, and here also physics will win.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 10:36:55 PM by etienne »

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #291 on: October 04, 2020, 09:17:19 PM »
Ralfy, I only said concern troll because you seemed to paint a picture that is dire without suggesting alternatives. You of course may be correct and I often feel we are facing something close to impossible myself. I look to primitivism as an answer but I have to acknowledge it is only a solution for a greatly reduced population. Sorry if I helped chase you away because I tend to agree with you on many points you make. The internet is rather callous sometimes.

No worries. I was referring to others. Thank you for the kind words.

I admit my views are dire, but I get this feeling I am no different from some climate scientists who argue that we are past the tipping point, if not close to it, or energy experts who argue that we should have started the transition decades ago.

I believe that we face not one but two problems: a resource crunch (as seen not only in energy returns but in ecological footprint vs. biocapacity, i.e., a lack of energy and material resources, and one problem reinforcing the other) and the effects of climate change coupled with ecological damage. The basis of my views is limits to growth:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

with four decades' worth of real data tracking projections made in 1972. That time, climate change was barely understood, but knowledge about it since makes the LtG points even more distressing.

In short, we are facing resource shortages due to a combination of diminishing returns, ecological damage (water pollution, soil erosion, etc.), and climate change (leading to multiple positive feedbacks which damage ecosystems and species which we depend on for various things), coupled with more natural disasters and "black swans" like the current pandemic (which I recall the WHO warned about in the 1990s, given increased vectors for the spread of disease due to increasing economic activity), increasing risks of conflict (e.g., a multifold increase in armaments production and deployment across more than two decades, according to the FAS), and each of these predicaments amplifying each other.

Given that, I think the only way out is not just a global Green Deal, i.e., a transition to renewable energy, but also a major decrease in resource use per capita (i.e., a footprint of less than 2 per capita for everyone, which is equivalent to living conditions in several Third World countries). But I don't think most will agree to the latter.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #292 on: October 04, 2020, 11:51:41 PM »
I think what Ralfy fails to understand is that as long as the Energy Return on Investment is greater than 1 (which it is even if you try to put your thumb on the scales with arguments about mining, transmission, grid efficiency, etc...), then what really drives investment decisions is financial return on investment. 

And now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, the final investment decisions on energy projects are increasingly dominated by new renewable projects.  That's why there are so many press releases available about new renewable power plants.

You must be kidding. An energy return that's at least better than 1 will do very little:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/eroi-charles-hall-will-fossil-fuels-maintain-economic-growth/

Quote
If you've got an EROI of 1.1:1, you can pump the oil out of the ground and look at it. If you've got 1.2:1, you can refine it and look at it. At 1.3:1, you can move it to where you want it and look at it. We looked at the minimum EROI you need to drive a truck, and you need at least 3:1 at the wellhead. Now, if you want to put anything in the truck, like grain, you need to have an EROI of 5:1. And that includes the depreciation for the truck. But if you want to include the depreciation for the truck driver and the oil worker and the farmer, then you've got to support the families. And then you need an EROI of 7:1. And if you want education, you need 8:1 or 9:1. And if you want health care, you need 10:1 or 11:1.
Ken comments about renewables EROI that even a figure somewhat higher than 1 (after mining, transmission, grid efficiency) should be sufficient, and you respond yet again with an argument built around oil, where over two thirds of primary energy goes into useless waste heat, and which also needs pumping, moving and refining. This exact same argument was already pointed out upthread as irrelevant to renewables where this waste heat is not an issue, refining is not an issue, and where moving the energy is much easier.
With your insistence on ignoring any argument whatsoever and repeating your own arguments over and over regardless of their relevance, no wonder you are considered a troll by many.
If one wishes a monologue rather than a dialogue, I guess a forum is not the most appropriate vehicle.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #293 on: October 05, 2020, 01:44:51 AM »
The claim that EROI cannot be assigned to renewables is utter nonsense. You need energy to extract minerals, process them, manufacture components, and ship them.

I think it is wrong to think in these economic terms because they are actually wrong.
They look at costs in a way we like to look at them but they also emit some relevant details.

It was the oil boom that did fuel the historical growth and associated problems.

Now the economical term mainly looks at costs now.
It does not include the cost of cleaning up abandoned oil wells and other sources of pollution which get payed by the public in real dollars and also in invisible dollars in health damages.
It does not include damage from spills.
It does not include the damages incurred when whole swaths of coastal property becomes unsellable etc.
And all the damage in general by carbon-dioxide and methane is not included

On the other part of the equation we do need a combination of minerals to put together some solar power but then the energy in is delivered by the sun.

Since building cost is fixed the energy invested for materials is too so there is some point at which they earn back the energy invested which the continual cycle of extraction does not.

There is no reason why we can´t extract minerals with all renewable energy. When that is and how that timing works vs the responses of the earth systems is a different question.

Another advantage of solar is that you can build it in places which do not have access to oil because they are to poor. These can immediately serve important aspects like lighting and other (small) uses.
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.

kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #294 on: October 05, 2020, 01:51:30 AM »
There are some interesting points in there but rehashing the same argument does not really help.

So ralfy would it be fair to classify your position as ´it is not possible?´

If helps if those who counter what I said rehash the same wrong points. That is,

...

As for your question, I answered that in great detail in previous posts.

Well looking at the great detail in said posts it seems you say it is not possible because you look at it from a peak oil way (because people hate to lose time invested they love to cling to old stuff, works much better with music btw).

We know were you stand so you do not have to repeat the same stuff.



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.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #295 on: October 05, 2020, 02:01:06 AM »
In about twenty years solar will start getting recycled in quantity
Hence the Eroi. goes down considerably with time.
Old panels in one end new out the other no extraction involved.
Other than the small amount of plastic it is all recyclabel cheaply and efficiently.
Peak oil thinking misses the circular economy's of solar power
Batterys used for energy storage and transport will be the same.
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.

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Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« Reply #296 on: October 05, 2020, 10:03:40 AM »

Yes, I did understand your point, but you've ignored mine, and just repeated nonsense.  When it comes to economics, harnessing renewable energy is a matter of producing manufactured goods.

When in human history has any major manufactured good ever shown a pattern of diminishing returns for any extended period of time?    We essentially always see the opposite, economies of scale and efficiencies of production.

You're casting vague dire predictions about a phenomenon that hasn't been observed and is not being observed now.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.  You've provided none.
Do you remember Kodak, diminishing returns usually can't last too long because many costs are not related to the produced volume.
AT&T is also a similar story.
Each time that a technology fades away, you have such a story.
You are talking about technology replacement which is a different issue altogether.

Kodak didn't fail because it's production process started to produce diminishing returns. It failed because there was no longer demand for it's obsolete products. Same has happened to coal, and may very well started to happen to oil as well.