Saturday, September 24, 2016

Almost everything you know about climate change solutions is outdated

The clean energy revolution is now unstoppable.





Some more good news: Ultra cheap energy is around the corner - and it's green. This is an energy miracle - where even cars will cost next to nothing to run. And this is just the beginning. Within ten years diesel buses will be gone too. Go to Walmart, and just plug your car into an electric socket for free. That's how cheap.


                    Europe’s biggest floating solar panel array at a UK reservoir.

55 comments:

MRW said...

Oh jesus.

This produces exactly 6.3MW of power.

===============================
Europe's biggest-ever floating solar panel array is to be installed on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in London. The array will have a peak capacity of 6.3 MW and is expected to generate 5.8 million kWh in its first year, which is enough to power around 1,800 homes.
http://newatlas.com/thames-water-floating-solar-array-queen-elizabeth-ii-reservoir/42134/
===============================

Did you know this, Kaivey?
===============================
Despite this, the array is not actually being built to contribute towards the UK's energy demand, but instead towards that of water company Thames Water.
http://newatlas.com/thames-water-floating-solar-array-queen-elizabeth-ii-reservoir/42134/
===============================

Know who owns Thames Water?

Watch
Blue Gold : World Water Wars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTUK0WSfpD4

MRW said...

Go to Walmart, and just plug your car into an electric socket for free. That's how cheap.

In whose dreams?

Naive and irresponsible thinking and statement.

Ryan Harris said...

Nothing is free, Dear Kaivey.

Blocking light from ocean will decimate the eco-systems below.

Promoting waste of energy by lowering prices and subsidizing floating deserts in the sea doesn't make your life style sustainable.

Carbon dioxide hysteria allows climate catastrophists to excuse themselves from taking responsibility for their own behavior, consumption and pollution by blaming one single problem while ignoring others.

Tom Hickey said...

Actually, a regional employees owned supermarket chain called Hy-Vee built a new store that has a couple of free electric charging stations.. There are a couple of free charging stations provided by the City of Iowa City, too.

Free broadband access in the center of town also.

Iowa already generates significant wind power.

It may be cosmetic wrt to total energy at this point, but it is happening.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Harris said...

Out of China’s Dusty Northwest Corner, a Solar Behemoth Arises

Tom Hickey said...

China is taking environmental clean up seriously. Other developing countries not so much.

It's costly, but the cost to health and of environmental degradatio are much greater.

MRW said...

has a couple of free electric charging stations. There are a couple of free charging stations provided by the City of Iowa City, too.

That's great, Tom. It's two stations? Doesn't matter.

It's still electricity. ELECTRICITY, Tom. Still need fossil fuel to create it. There isn't one electricity-producing power plant in the country capable of supplying adequate power to a medium-sized city that can be powered by renewables, except hydro like the Boulder Dam.
Ivanpah’s Problems Could Signal the End of Concentrated Solar in the U.S. -- MIT Technological Review
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601083/ivanpahs-problems-could-signal-the-end-of-concentrated-solar-in-the-us/
Ivanpah is the largest solar plant in the country.

Btw, one cross-country flight emissions equals the emissions of one SUV for a year. On any given day, there are approx. 11,000 flights in the air.

Kaivey said...

I thought some people here would sooner fill their cars with expensive gas rather than use led power. But despite the naysayers the Green energy revolution can't be stopped. It's just too damn cheap. The Germans and Chinese are going to make a packet, with the US being left behind with dirty fuel. And I thought the US was supposed to be full of ' go getting' entrepreneurs? That they lead the world.

Even if climate change is not man made, although it is- the science is rock solid- Green energy was still worth investing in to get much cheaper fuel, and to get away from Middle Eastern oil, which is running out and will get more expensive. This is what the climate change deniers could not get their heads around, that the Green energy investment was worth it for many different reasons, so now the Chinese are the world leaders in this technology.

You been conned by the Koch Brothers, MRW.

MRW said...

Ryan,

The Chinese absolutely have to accommodate and help their farmers and more nomadic citizens in the far west and northwest where power production capability is antediluvian. The eastern cities benefit from their state-of-the-art Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Plants, but building them in the west and northwest is not economical at the moment because of the infrastructure delivery costs, and the emphasis on industrial production. They have four times our energy requirements just to light, heat, and feed their population, and their poorer population wants in on the middle class. The pollution is Beijing is lunacy. There are towns in rural areas where shit flows like a creek down the sides of dirt roads; that's how primitive some of those areas are.

MRW said...

Kaivey,

"Germany's wind and solar"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClHUtlZgtVg

MRW said...

Kaivery

You been conned by the Koch Brothers, MRW.

You keep mentioning this. I've never read anything by the Koch brothers. What scientific paper have the Koch brothers written?

MRW said...

Kaivey,

According to the Fraunhofer Institute For Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany's #1 actual electricity production is from brown coal, #2 hard coal, #3 Uranium, and #4 Biomass.

The remaining four in order are:
wind
solar
gas
hydro.

SDB said...

It's funny, many heterodox econ people are so quick to appeal to authorities w.r.t. to climate change (97% of scientsits blah blah blah), and yet at the same time lambast appeals to authorities w.r.t. economics.

Cue the cognitive dissonance!

Kaivey, beware, there are "deniers" lurking at MNE! Muhaha!

Ben Johannson said...

No one cares about deniers any more. They're completely irrelevant now; relics of the religious-right and corporate aristocracy. Reading their panicked comments is now a form of global entertainment.

Ben Johannson said...

"Blocking light from ocean will decimate the eco-systems below."

This wins for Most Hysterical Comment.

When someone posts on a floating solar installation because they think it's cool, and in response someone jumps to "all the light will be blocked from oceans", that's not thinking; its alarmist sentiment.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Harris said...

Ben -
"When someone posts on a floating solar installation because they think it's cool, and in response someone jumps to "all the light will be blocked from oceans", that's not thinking; its alarmist sentiment."

I didn't say all light would be blocked from all the Ocean.

I'm a paid catastrophist, Ben, you're trying to pick a fight your own counsel.

Matt Franko said...

SDB,

LOL! Bite your tongue!!!

Tom Hickey said...

@ MRW

Iowa and Iowa utilities are pushing wind energy big time. Iowa has lotsa wind. I mean, lotsa. Wind producers rent a small piece of land from farmers and the farmers are excited about it because it pays a more than anything they could grow on that piece and i.e. doesn't distrust anything else.

Contract the to-do over the pipeline that is running through here.

People are for clean and against dirty.

Bob said...

But wind power is unsightly :(

Tom Hickey said...

"Contract the to-do over the pipeline that is running through here." Should be "contrast."

Tom Hickey said...

But wind power is unsightly :(

Beautiful in contrast with pig farms. Smell a lot better, too.

SDB said...

@Ben, "Reading their panicked comments is now a form of global entertainment"

You're talking about the alarmists, right?! :P

@Matt, I knooooow i knoooooow Lol

MRW said...

@Tom,

Yeah, there's a tremendous wind corridor in the Great Plains that extends from the Canadian border to the gulf that can be harnessed, and if someone can make it work for local benefit, why the hell not?

That's exactly what Boone Pickens planned with a massive Texas wind farm, which he then moved to Minnesota, and ultimately abandoned for financial reasons. He dumped wind for gas after the recession hit.

But wind power isn't scalable across the country because (1) wind is not plentiful in every region, and (2) grid owners either do or not need more power or don't want their markets scalped by competing grids.

Tom Hickey said...

The difference in Iowa is that Alliant Energy is strongly committed to alternative clean and sustainable sources, even though they required investment to develop. A lot of that is owing to public pressure to protect the environment.

Iowa has a nuclear plant that is located close enough to a fault to be worrisome, and the resistance to more pipelines is also strong, base some what in NIMBY but also on principle. Pollution has become a big deal.

The chief problem in Iowa environmentally is water pollution from farm runoff. Lots of $ being spent to correct it now.

Ignacio said...

Just as people doesn't understand addition and subtraction when it comes to monetary operations they don't understand when it comes to energy production ;)

You have to ask how things scale when the outputs are used as inputs to maintain (and even increase) production. To maintain and produce the goods that are necessary for 'clean' energy there is a need takes also inputs which are NOT produced using other energy sources.

What you need to understand is that when the price of carbon based energy sources is cheap it reduces the price of "green" energy too, as is the majority of the factor of the price (indirectly and directly) of "green" energy, as we operate in a society based on carbon consumption and that is an undeniable fact ;)

And hey, I'm in favour of "green" (which is not "green" anyway), but that's not how physics and maths work. The EROI has improved a lot over the past decades, but when you add up all the total costs the real EROI of most "green" energy is higher than from carbon sources. The costs would increase substantially (measured in energy) if we were to scale operations to substitute our whole economy with 'green', and would be impractical for many things (would require a completely different logistical and manufacturing model incompatible with global capitalism as it is now).

There is a reliance on many materials (ie. rare earths) which are nearly exhausted or will be, the battery technology and production to substitute the current transport fleet at a practical level, the agricultural output vastly increased from the use of oil derivatives, etc. So it's not a direct translation from the current model to one which everything is simply produced with "green" energy and there is no else requirement.

The focus right now should be on how to better recycle resources which are already scarce and save energy in extraction industries. Green energy cannot "finance" the current industrial model, if you think so you live in fantasy land. The reality RIGHT NOW, is that the average 'walk distance' to fresh water sources, for example, has increased by orders of magnitude in many places of in planet Earth, this directly affects hundreds of millions of people, is not something likely, is something factual, already, right now.

Ryan Harris said...
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Kaivey said...

The deniers want to pay through the nose for energy. It seems they like being taken for a ride.

Your right, Ben, the deniers are finished, and their arguments are washed up. They feared extra tax, but it wasn't about taxing more, it was about taxing differently to produce a better outcome. The dirty oil industry put out a lot of lies.

Bob said...

Beautiful in contrast with pig farms. Smell a lot better, too.

Ban them both. It is up to pig farmers to come up with operations that are acceptable to the wider community. The development of wind energy should be seen as a waste of resources that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Tom Hickey said...

A lot of people have been trying to at least get a leach on CAFOs with little to no success in agricultural states like Iowa. The lobby is too strong the legislature and state law trumps local ordinance. Courts are reluctant to recognize a nuisance factor in an agricultural environment. If you choose to live in such a state, you have to take what comes with it.

Of course, larger population areas like where I live are not affected because higher land values preclude agriculture use too close to them. But towns are affected.

Bob said...

Perhaps Iowans should question whether a CAFO is an agricultural or industrial operation. Probably futile to fight against it, but like any industry they should be forced to adhere to strict environmental standards.

Bob said...

A CAFO would not be approved where I live, even though it is primarily an agricultural area. Mink farms have also been restricted.

MRW said...

@Tom,

I suggest that you elevate this article to the level of a post here:
China’s plan to secure critical rare earths and technology globally
http://investorintel.com/market-analysis-intel/resource-investment-globalization/

It's written by Jack Lifton, who is recognized as one of--if not thee--top experts in the fundamental rare earth market globally. He's a plain-speaking no-nonsense man. He originally posted at Technology Metals Research, which he co-founded years ago.

He has been absolutely prescient since I first encountered him in 2007 in his assessment of what China was doing capturing the rare earth market that drives renewables. He foresaw China's changes in stance. He sees into the future clearly, and I always take him seriously because he does gumshoe research: he visits every place he talks about, and analyzes hard data without preconceived ideas.

When I worked for Bell Labs, I attended a conference with the top techy people at Apple, the hardware guys. I asked one of them about their upcoming innovations taking advantage of new chipsets, like the ones we were producing. The guy said Of course, I can't tell you that. (He did tell me about how US military Black Ops were using Apple laptops in a really innovative way that made them absolutely crackproof...stealth, you couldn't crack them, even if found by the enemy.) Then he said to me cryptically: Don't read software sites for info. Scour what's new in hardware tech. Even when they don't explicitly say it, you can find out what's coming down the pike years in advance. That's how you'll know, because you will understand the resources available to us and our constraints. He was right.

I've applied this to renewables, and why I sought out Jack Lifton nine years ago.

This article is interesting. Appears to me he might have been reading some Bill Black and Michael Hudson. Dunno'.

MRW said...

Suggest you watch Lifton about the constraints on electric cars right now.
http://investorintel.com/technology-metals-intel/jack-lifton-recycling-nothing-not-option/

Bob said...

So your arguments are:

a) Renewable energy sources cannot be scaled.
b) There are resource constraints for the manufacture of batteries and electric motors.

Six said...

What I've learned here so far:

1. Renewable energy is a fool's errand; useless for meeting energy demands on this planet.

2. China has taken complete control of the world's rare-earth metal supply, a necessity for producing renewable energy.

Tom Hickey said...

Perhaps Iowans should question whether a CAFO is an agricultural or industrial operation. Probably futile to fight against it, but like any industry they should be forced to adhere to strict environmental standards.

In the i980s agribusiness took over Iowa, driving out the small farm..

There is huge grassroots opposition to agribusiness especially wrt environmental issues and it is fairly organized. So far, it not making much of a dent.

The big concern now is money. The argument is that if we don't do it here then someone else will there, and Iowa's economic growth will suffer.

Tom Hickey said...

Good article,MRW. I promoted it to a post.Thanks.

Bob said...

That is a race to the bottom, Tom :(

Tom Hickey said...

That is a race to the bottom, Tom :(

Some call it "progress."

MRW said...

@Tom,

Don't miss Lifton's interview on Septemeber 16, 2016. Hope you added that to the post. He cites Dr. (Prof) Don Sadoway and his team of student/post-doc researchers from MIT and their recent accidental discovery (I mean recent!) when they "intended to create a new type of battery, but what they did instead was discover a new method of smelting certain metals without releasing any greenhouse gas emissions." This is absolutely revolutionary, but you can look it up if interested. Lifton's vid gives the significance.

Tom Hickey said...

Link?

MRW said...

@Bob, September 25, 2016 at 5:04 PM,

Far too narrow and simplistic a read about what I think, Bob. I write these comments of mine off the top of my head, so I apologize for the mental shorthand. Read the Lifton article and watch his video (above). That's what I think. I agree with him. I agree with his concentration on assessing available resources, what we're missing, the utter stupidity of the financial industry and 'markets' to understand the stakes and consequences of what they seemingly want to accomplish, and his disdain for the Kaivey-like Alice in Wonderland approach to the actual science of achieving what they say they want to accomplish. Lifton wrote a series of posts back in 2009 that rearranged my head about what it takes to produce the rare earth magnets for one wind turbine alone. ONE. He went through the applied science, step by step, in a vertical market.You don't just dig up some ore, smelt it, and produce rare earths. I was in a stupor for a week, dumbfounded by what I hadn't known about it and the extent of my naiveté and ignorance.

The video came out after the announcement of Sadoway's August 25, 2016 discovery of his "smelting certain metals without releasing any greenhouse gas emissions." But Lifton explains the significance better. Sadoway is an environmental giant, btw. Check him out.
http://dmse.mit.edu/news/new-smelting-method-developed-prof-don-sadoway

The article was written August 6, 2016. You need to read and watch both.

MRW said...

Tom Hickey said...
Link?


The link to the Lifton vid is what I gave above:
http://investorintel.com/technology-metals-intel/jack-lifton-recycling-nothing-not-option/

The link to the Sadoway discovery announced four weeks ago is:
MIT announcement: http://dmse.mit.edu/news/new-smelting-method-developed-prof-don-sadoway

Wanna' read more? The MIT press release:
http://news.mit.edu/2016/new-method-producing-some-metals-0824

The Sadoway paper (for the scientifically inclined) is in Nature Communications, published August 24, 2016.
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160824/ncomms12584/full/ncomms12584.html

But the Lifton video 10 days ago gives the significance of what Sadoway did.

MRW said...

Don Sadoway at TED2012:
Reinventing the battery: Donald Sadoway at TED2012
http://video.mit.edu/watch/ted-talks-donald-sadoway-the-missing-link-to-renewable-energy-10635/

MRW said...

@Kaivey, September 25, 2016 at 1:55 PM. Ditto Ben.

You sound like George W Bush. "You either for us or against us."

Denier. Alarmist.

Get some goddam science under your belt. Stop breathing the helium, and bring the balloon back to the ground. Get off it.

MRW said...

Kaivey, when I say "Get off it," I mean disembark.

Bob said...

Lifton wrote a series of posts back in 2009 that rearranged my head about what it takes to produce the rare earth magnets for one wind turbine alone. ONE.

And of the stupidity of wasting it on a wind turbine instead of placing these magnets in a hydroelectric plant or gas fired plant or any base-load generating station.

Yes, battery technology continues to improve... are you willing to make predictions about it?

The two arguments I listed are the only ones I see with respect to the OP. If renewables are not scalable according to engineers, then planning must be changed and resources redirected elsewhere. Or just leave the whole fucking outcome to be decided by 'the market'.

Bob said...

Electrolysis is much more efficient than traditional heat-based smelting methods, because it is a single-step continuous process, Sadoway explains. The discovery of that process is what transformed aluminum, more than a century ago, from a precious metal more valuable than silver into a widely used inexpensive commodity. If the process could be applied to other common industrial metals such as copper, it would have the potential to significantly lower prices as well as reduce the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional production.

This baffles me. Why weren't these experiments carried out decades ago? Is there a theory in physics that precluded the use of electrolysis for other metals?

Ignacio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaivey said...

I have a Panasonic camera which has an image stabiliser in it. The directors of Panasonic told their scientists to produce a better sensor, and then went ahead with production of the camera without the sensor ready. The scientists eventually came up with the sensor.

What I found interesting is that the directors had complete faith their scientists would develop the sensor if they threw sufficient money at the research.

Bob put out interesting article put above about electrolysis.

If private companies can't afford to do research into alternatives for rare earth magnets then our government should pay for the research to be done on our behalf. There are always solutions.

Ryan Harris said...

Deep State on board with Climate Politics. Strategy all laid out.

Bob said...

What strategy? A bigger budget for the military and police to deal with these threats?

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.