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#376 2024-04-19 18:26:59

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,590

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

Every power generating system is an engineered solution.  You can buy a photovoltaic panel or wind turbine, but you can't buy an "off the shelf" photovoltaic or wind turbine farm, because no such animal exists.  Every site is unique.  The requirement for steel and concrete will be unique to the firmness of the ground that equipment is mounted on.  You decide whether or not you want power, you pay money to an engineering firm, and then they figure out what parts they can buy or design and fabricate themselves.

You know what part of an electric power grid is a bespoke solution?

All the step-up and step-down power transformers fit that description.  I'm not talking about the ones you see on power lines, I'm talking about the ones you see at step-up or step-down stations, as well as the power inverters if on-panel inverters are not used.  When you pay for a photovoltaic farm, the people purchasing the power pay for all the non-standard equipment unique to the massive power fluctuations produced by photovoltaics and wind turbines, so that power surges and drops don't crash the entire grid.  All that equipment costs real money, none of it is an off the shelf solution, and all of it must be paid by the consumer for the privilege of having unreliable intermittent energy on the grid, because a reliable grid doesn't require such equipment.  This is engineering reality vs glossy sales brochure fantasy.

These thermal engineering solutions are going to start providing more than just power.  They're going to collect and supply CO2, Argon, Xenon, Neon, Krypton, Sulfur, and other saleable industrial products so that those products don't have to be produced from scratch by burning something like natural gas or coal, solely to obtain that industrial product.  Neon is required to make microchips.  Argon is required for welding.  Sulfur is required to make Sulfuric acid.  The multiple revenue streams mean that the electric power consumer doesn't have to pay for the full cost of the plant, and consumers of the industrial products don't have to pay for specialty plants that burn fuel just to produce something that would otherwise be a natural byproduct of burning fuel.

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#377 2024-04-19 19:11:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,300

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

The bespoke is the power plant custom designed to specifications that make it unique.

A solar panel and a battery are commercial off the shelf as it has known specification for use at a given voltage and current.

A battery is the same for its capabilities for use.

The home grid connection is commercial as its going to provide from the gauge wire to the home electrical panel just 2 single phases from the transformer on the pole rated to deliver the necessary power to the home.

The making of offshoots is done not by the company creating the power but by those using it and they create commercial off the shelf items.

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#378 2024-04-19 20:06:51

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,590

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

I'm not sure what you're trying to point out here.

You can purchase a PT-6A engine right now from Pratt & Whitney if you have the money.  It's an off the shelf item by that definition.  If you think you can bolt it onto any existing plane and go flying, then you're mistaken.  The mere fact that you can lay down cash and walk out with a product means very little.  There's clearly a lot of engineering work that goes into making sure that the plane in question can use said engine, as-installed.  Merely being able to purchase a PT-6A tells me very little about the suitability of the engine for the plane it's bolted to, nor what a plane with that engine installed might be able to do.

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#379 2024-04-22 09:02:55

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,551

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

World copper demand is now outstripping supply, leading to rising prices.
https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/c … rtage-here

Mines in Chile are struggling to maintain output due to declining ore grades.  China is the world's largest consumer, but can longer maintain supply from its own reserves, leading to growing imports.  This suggests to me that whatever ambitions we have for the future, they must make do with a copper supply that is lower, or at least no greater than, what we are mining today.  There are solutions that would allow us to live that way.  But they generally aren't the ones that those in power are pursuing or want to hear about.

Last edited by Calliban (2024-04-22 09:04:42)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#380 2024-04-22 10:09:02

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,551

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

EVs may never achieve widespread adoption, due to inherently poor energy efficiency which damages their economics.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene … ption.html


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#381 2024-04-22 13:47:59

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,066

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

For Calliban re #380

To save your (many) busy readers a dive into the article you linked, please summarize the argument in support of the rather surprising statement you've included ahead of the link.  It seems to me the statement is ridiculous, but that's just a first impression.  You wouldn't have written that text if you didn't believe it, so I assume there must be strong arguments in support.

(th)

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#382 2024-04-22 15:43:41

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,551

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

TH, the article isn't long and explains better than I could.  But in summary:

1) The amount of embodied energy needed to build an EV and its battery are substantially greater than ICEV with comparable performance.

2) All else being equal, the amount of work energy needed to drive a car along a stretch of road will be the same regardless of how it is powered, because friction, air resistance and gravity losses are the same regardless of the vehicle energy source.  So a ICE must raise comparable power to EV tackling the same stretch of road.  But all else isn't equal, because most EVs are heavier than ICEs.  So work energy requirements are greater.

3) At the point of use, one could argue that an EV is more energy efficient because its motors are 90% efficient, whereas an ICE is only 20-30% efficient.  But this ignores the fact that most electricity is generated by burning fuels, which are transmitted to customers through extensive transmission systems.  When powerplant efficiency, transmission losses and charging losses are factored into the calculation, real energy efficiency per unit work ends up being similar.

But the EV is heavier and requires more work to drive along the road.  It also has huge embodied energy.  So its aggregate energy costs will always be greater than an ICE per mile travelled.  This is what G&R are talking about when they say it is less energy efficient.

Last edited by Calliban (2024-04-22 15:47:12)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#383 2024-04-22 21:01:13

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,590

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Calliban,

I read the article.  It's not telling you or I anything we don't already know.  Electricity is not some magical way to cheat basic physics.

I noticed that they referenced low and high entropy energy machines.  There's a reason I keeping calling photovoltaics, wind turbines, and electrochemical batteries "entropy machines".  They require an inordinate entropy change to take highly disordered matter, by using enormous amounts of energy input to transform them into highly ordered matter.  However superficially efficient they appear to the indoctrinated vs educated, they're factually the most highly ordered of all our machines, thus the most energy-intensive.  Anything that requires inordinate quantities of polysilicon, composites, Lithium, and Copper to function at all, is definitionally energy-intensive.  As of right now, almost none of that energy comes from other entropy machines, because entropy machines don't generate enough surplus energy to do that in an economical way.  Unless almost all of the energy to make them and power them comes from CO2-free sources, and no matter how else indoctrinated or malevolent people try to obscure basic physics, they are in fact using more input energy to create and operate them.  That is why they cost so much.  Almost all of the money sunk into them represents money paid for energy to make and operate them, not repairing or recycling them, since that is almost impossible.  Worse still, recycling them requires more energy than making a new entropy machine from scratch.

These entropy machines represent an energy treadmill.  They're a losing proposition if we zoom out far enough to stop fixating on the end result and start focusing on all the inputs required.  If you're going to predominantly use low energy density intermittent energy sources, then you need low embodied energy materials to construct machines that last a very long time, or eventually you run out of energy to sustain your way of life.  The implications are that stark and the results won't be pretty.

There's no magic or "wonderment" in this for people who don't have emotional or ideological investment into what the end result looks like.  It looks really bad from my perspective, because from an input energy and ecology standpoint, it is bad.  While I wish that wasn't the case, I can't flippantly ignore reality and hope that it changes to suit my beliefs about how it should work.  Maybe new inventions will come along to fix not-so-green energy's numerous and varied problems, but that's hoping for something that doesn't presently exist.  Hoping for change is not a valid engineering strategy for winning this energy and ecology battle.

That's why I spent so much time and effort explaining this so many different ways, whilst repeating things I thought shouldn't require so much repetition, but it looks like it's mostly fallen on deaf ears.  I want people to know why this strategy will fail before it finally does fail.  It's my hope, though perhaps a vain one at this point, if people who have more than a passing interest in science and technology truly cannot understand it, so that the same mistakes aren't repeated during the next incarnation of whatever follows.

You and I have both spent lots of time pointing out various more practical ways forward for these green energy concepts, that at least have some chance of working to the degree and at the scale required.  Perhaps some bright young person, much smarter than I'll ever be, will pick up what we're laying down, use what they know that we don't, and solve these problems in ways we never thought of.  That is my only desire.  I recognize that we have some significant and serious long-term issue with anthropogenic global warming, maybe more of one than we know, and that the problem requires real solutions that can be implemented in the hear and now, rather than some far off point in the future.  We'll only start to appreciate the unique nature and depth of the problem after we recognize the scope and scale of trying to replace hydrocarbon energy with anything else.  Our present dependence on it is starting to become a little scary.  We need realistic alternatives, but thus far there's no serious effort to pursue them.

Enough people will independently figure this out in their own way, sooner or later.  I just hope there's enough time left to pursue actual solutions after we're done mucking around with these non-solutions.

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#384 2024-04-25 19:51:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,300

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $7 Billion Solar for All Grants to Deliver Residential Solar, Saving Low-Income Americans $350 Million Annually and Advancing Environmental Justice Across America

NH did get some but the grant that they will receive is for community solar which are the same basic arrays that Eversource has been defeating.

selected grants

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2023/11/30/ … %20program.

It's a failure as Eversource deregulation controls the lines so all you get is to choose a portion of the usage of the supplier as the delivery you are unable to control it..

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#385 2024-06-01 10:50:29

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,300

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

One of nation's largest solar projects nears completion in old coal mining town — here's how it will usher in a new energy era

Xcel Energy's huge solar and energy-storage facility in Becker, Minnesota, is getting closer to completion — and it's set to start pumping out power this fall, Canary Media reported.

Like many exciting energy projects that have recently been finished or are in development, the Sherco facility is being built on the former site of a coal-powered power plant. Coal produces toxic, heat-trapping air pollution when burned, so many states are shutting down their coal plants.

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#386 2024-06-05 04:39:04

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,551

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

No more oil by 2040?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r79rxfOFJJY

According to this researcher, north sea oil is already net energy negative, i.e it takes more energy to extract it than it contains.  The same problem is playing out at different stages across the globe.  If correct, oil and gas product could be heading for a cliff-edge decline, rather than a gradual depletion.  This could happen if the economic dislocation resulting from oil depletion prevents investment in areas that are still net energy positive, i.e a cascade effect.  A very serious problem, if this man's interpretation is accurate.  But he makes the point that available data is too poor in most places to draw firm conclusions.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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