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Alt-E: The real picture

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  • Alt-E: The real picture

    This is just plain sad: the tens and hundreds of billions that have been spent (and are going to be spent) on alternative energy has yielded a net zero in terms of overall non-CO2 emitting energy production.

    Overall alternative energy production as a percentage of overall energy production is flat for 20 years - increases due to solar and what not have been offset by losses in nuclear.


  • #2
    Re: Alt-E: The real picture

    It would be nice to see oil, coal and natural gas included. A more comprehensive snapshot of energy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Alt-E: The real picture

      Originally posted by c1ue View Post
      This is just plain sad: the tens and hundreds of billions that have been spent (and are going to be spent) on alternative energy has yielded a net zero in terms of overall non-CO2 emitting energy production.

      Overall alternative energy production as a percentage of overall energy production is flat for 20 years - increases due to solar and what not have been offset by losses in nuclear.
      Well summarised, I think it is a key point that's generally ignored.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Alt-E: The real picture

        Originally posted by don
        It would be nice to see oil, coal and natural gas included. A more comprehensive snapshot of energy.
        You can see the source of data here:

        http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporat...1951-2011.html

        There isn't a convenient summary breakdown for each of the components, but I assembled the bits to this:

        world energy.jpg

        If you want something more specific, let me know and I'll pull that out.

        Some notes: notice how the total world coal consumption spike precisely corresponds to the Asia Pacific consumption spike both in timing and magnitude. That's what building a new coal fired electricity plant every other week will do for you.
        Last edited by c1ue; 07-22-13, 08:10 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Alt-E: The real picture

          thanks c1ue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Alt-E: The real picture

            Or you could spin it the other way.

            Losses in Nuke energy production are now being offset by the Renewables even as Global energy consumption increases.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Alt-E: The real picture

              Originally posted by Techdread
              Losses in Nuke energy production are now being offset by the Renewables even as Global energy consumption increases.
              Except for the small problem that non-CO2 emitting energy sources have failed to increase any market share whatsoever despite massive subsidies for decades.

              Not sure how you spin that successfully, since CAGW is one of the primary motivations for alternative energy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                CAGW will not matter in the long run fossil fuels will get more expensive so alternatives will be sought.

                The question is do we take the hit now and invest in Renewables & Transmission technology.

                I think the case for CAGW is more compelling then "your there is little evidence for it and the models are wrong stance."

                If the developed world especially North America invested in being more efficient with their fossil fuel energy use the Renewables share of the pie would rise a bit faster.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                  Originally posted by Techdread
                  CAGW will not matter in the long run fossil fuels will get more expensive so alternatives will be sought.


                  Agreed

                  Originally posted by Techdread
                  The question is do we take the hit now and invest in Renewables & Transmission technology.
                  So how much more needs to be invested? The US and Europe alone have spent tens, if not hundreds of billions.

                  Originally posted by Techdread
                  I think the case for CAGW is more compelling then "your there is little evidence for it and the models are wrong stance."
                  I think your understanding of my views on CAGW are thoroughly wrong.

                  I'd also point out that the ongoing failure in empirical performance of the various climate models, for nearly 2 decades now, continues to be a gigantic boulder of salt with respect to all the other CAGW 'projections'.

                  Originally posted by TechDread
                  If the developed world especially North America invested in being more efficient with their fossil fuel energy use the Renewables share of the pie would rise a bit faster.


                  Sorry, but that statement is flat out wrong. The US and Europe - particularly Europe - have become significantly more efficient in energy consumption.

                  The overall fossil fuel consumption increases are due to the 2nd and 3rd world as the above graph very clearly demonstrates.

                  I'd also note that nuclear share has fallen not so much due to decommissioning but due to failure to add new nuclear power plants. Or in other words, the overall energy pie has grown while the nuclear slice hasn't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                    So how much more needs to be invested? The US and Europe alone have spent tens, if not hundreds of billions.
                    Energy use is fundamental in maintaining our standard of living spending hundreds of billions a year on alternatives should be mandatory.
                    it should be like the Apollo Space program as much as it takes.

                    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                    I'd also point out that the ongoing failure in empirical performance of the various climate models, for nearly 2 decades now, continues to be a gigantic boulder of salt with respect to all the other CAGW 'projections'.
                    Do you really expect them to get good climate models with only two decades working on the problem, when it is a magnitude harder then predicting the Weather in a weeks time?

                    CAGW came from looking at Venus's greenhouse effect, its a theory that unless quantum computers are built soon will only be validated in hindsight.

                    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                    Sorry, but that statement is flat out wrong. The US and Europe - particularly Europe - have become significantly more efficient in energy consumption.

                    The overall fossil fuel consumption increases are due to the 2nd and 3rd world as the above graph very clearly demonstrates.
                    You seem to be the one whom is reading the data wrong, shipping your manufacturing abroad does not reduce your energy consumption.
                    There are still huge gains to get in the developed world by becoming more fossil fuel efficient, simple things like better cars, insulation in buildings cutting wastage in transmission of electricity etc.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita


                    North America has a lot more to gain than Europe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                      Originally posted by TechDread
                      Energy use is fundamental in maintaining our standard of living spending hundreds of billions a year on alternatives should be mandatory.
                      it should be like the Apollo Space program as much as it takes.
                      The problem with your above statement is that you don't seem to actually care about how it is spent or what it is spent for.

                      You don't need to spend hundreds of billions in order to improve the technology to the point where it can compete or outcompete existing fossil fuel means. As the 'X' prize demonstrates, you only needs a few tens of millions.

                      The hundreds of billions spent thus far has primarily, indeed almost exclusively been spent towards building obsolete, uncompetitive, symbolic alternative energy products and installing them into the marketplace.

                      Originally posted by TechDread
                      Do you really expect them to get good climate models with only two decades working on the problem, when it is a magnitude harder then predicting the Weather in a weeks time?

                      CAGW came from looking at Venus's greenhouse effect, its a theory that unless quantum computers are built soon will only be validated in hindsight.
                      That's funny, if the models are so poor - why then are we basing policy decisions on them?

                      As for Venus - Venus' atmosphere is 100 times as dense as the Earth, and it also moves a lot faster (rotates around once very 4 Earth days vs. the Venus surface rotation of 1 per 243 Earth days). Furthermore, CO2 concentration in the Venus atmosphere is nearly 100%; the Earth atmosphere's 0.04% concentration of CO2 is a very, very different story.

                      To summarize, comparing Venus' atmosphere, which is 100 times denser, is nearly 100% CO2 (vs. 0.04% on Earth), and which rotates around Venus at roughly 30 times the speed that the Earth's atmosphere moves, to Earth's is like comparing waves in a swimming pool vs. waves in the Pacific Ocean. Sure, the mechanism for waves may be the same in some simplistic sense, but you cannot get any idea of the actual behavior of waves in the Pacific from the swimming pool model.

                      Originally posted by TechDread
                      You seem to be the one whom is reading the data wrong, shipping your manufacturing abroad does not reduce your energy consumption.
                      There are still huge gains to get in the developed world by becoming more fossil fuel efficient, simple things like better cars, insulation in buildings cutting wastage in transmission of electricity etc.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita


                      North America has a lot more to gain than Europe.
                      Sadly, you have no idea where energy consumption actually occurs and why. The majority of energy consumption growth in Asia Pacific and elsewhere isn't due to manufacturing for the US and Europe, it is increased consumption due to increasing living standards.

                      As for North America's gain - that might be more realistic if North America wasn't so much less dense and bigger than Europe. Equally the idea that the Canadians will stop heating their homes in the depths of near Arctic Circle winters, no gonna happen.

                      You might also refer to DSpencer's fuel economy calculation savings. The numbers there also represent the relative gains to (not) be had as you scale the mpg ladder. And transportation is still, by far, the greatest sink for oil consumption in the US, and will be for the foreseeable future.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                        Originally posted by don View Post
                        thanks c1ue.
                        +1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          The problem with your above statement is that you don't seem to actually care about how it is spent or what it is spent for.

                          You don't need to spend hundreds of billions in order to improve the technology to the point where it can compete or outcompete existing fossil fuel means. As the 'X' prize demonstrates, you only needs a few tens of millions.

                          The hundreds of billions spent thus far has primarily, indeed almost exclusively been spent towards building obsolete, uncompetitive, symbolic alternative energy products and installing them into the marketplace.
                          This problem can not be solved by even offering billion dollar x prizes, be good if it could.

                          With multiple clean Alt E energy sources we can banish the threat of global warming and stop stupid wars and raise the living standards of the other majority of humanity who struggle daily for a decent existence.
                          Now the structures best to allocate resources are up for debate, but while the Politicians, Academics , ACE's (Arm Chair Experts) decide how to bring things forward lets continue to waste money in building solutions even though most will be stripped down.

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          That's funny, if the models are so poor - why then are we basing policy decisions on them?
                          Come on stop flogging that line of argument, CAGW is a theory that if holds true could mean that the world will be in big trouble.
                          The conjecture seems to be plausible that adding industrial scales CO2 and Methane to the atmosphere leads to warming or at least turns the oceans acidic and fosters faster crop growth!

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          As for Venus - Venus' atmosphere is 100 times as dense as the Earth, and it also moves a lot faster (rotates around once very 4 Earth days vs. the Venus surface rotation of 1 per 243 Earth days). Furthermore, CO2 concentration in the Venus atmosphere is nearly 100%; the Earth atmosphere's 0.04% concentration of CO2 is a very, very different story.
                          No its not a different story only in magnitude, I want to hear your theory of what effect releasing these gases does has on the earth?

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          To summarize, comparing Venus' atmosphere, which is 100 times denser, is nearly 100% CO2 (vs. 0.04% on Earth), and which rotates around Venus at roughly 30 times the speed that the Earth's atmosphere moves, to Earth's is like comparing waves in a swimming pool vs. waves in the Pacific Ocean. Sure, the mechanism for waves may be the same in some simplistic sense, but you cannot get any idea of the actual behavior of waves in the Pacific from the swimming pool model.
                          Are you sure of that? I have seen some swimming pools with very good wave machines....

                          Anyway the point is lost on you, when accounting for the difference in temperature on Mercury, Venus and Earth the theory of GreenHouse gases was born.
                          Its not as easy as saying your models are wrong so we should not do anything about it.

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          Sadly, you have no idea where energy consumption actually occurs and why. The majority of energy consumption growth in Asia Pacific and elsewhere isn't due to manufacturing for the US and Europe, it is increased consumption due to increasing living standards.
                          Where did I say the majority? Do you think that Computers, Smartphones, Tablets and all the other goods displaced to being manufactured in the developing world have no affect on the per Capita Energy expenditure of Europeans or North Americans?

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          As for North America's gain - that might be more realistic if North America wasn't so much less dense and bigger than Europe. Equally the idea that the Canadians will stop heating their homes in the depths of near Arctic Circle winters, no gonna happen.
                          That is a poor excuse the Russian Federation has a more sparse population density then North America and they have cold winters, yet they manage to use less energy.

                          USA has lots of room to improve its energy expenditure copying Europe, with better public transport infrastructure in metropolitan areas, improving town planning, driving our cars etc.


                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          You might also refer to DSpencer's fuel economy calculation savings. The numbers there also represent the relative gains to (not) be had as you scale the mpg ladder. And transportation is still, by far, the greatest sink for oil consumption in the US, and will be for the foreseeable future.
                          Only because Americans have a mad fetish for big fuel guzzling car's which is now not sustainable in the foreseeable future.

                          Alt Energy is our long term future, I disagree that we have to use up our fossil fuels endowment, We have more scientist and engineers alive now than has ever lived divert lots of them to Alt E projects and we will drastically cut our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the likely hood of CAGW.

                          Or some countries could copy the UK with a fuel price escalator(however politically untenable it maybe).

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_Price_Escalator

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            This problem can not be solved by even offering billion dollar x prizes, be good if it could.
                            Really?

                            I'd like to understand the basis for your view expressed above.

                            From my view - which is people working in the solar PV industry - there absolutely are all sorts of improvements in efficiency which would, at a minimum, bring solar PV close to parity with existing fossil fuel electricity generation. We're not talking pie-in-the-sky, we're talking about devices and designs which are demonstrably functional, but have not bridged the gap from custom lab work to assembly line production.

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            Come on stop flogging that line of argument, CAGW is a theory that if holds true could mean that the world will be in big trouble.
                            The conjecture seems to be plausible that adding industrial scales CO2 and Methane to the atmosphere leads to warming or at least turns the oceans acidic and fosters faster crop growth!
                            The problem is that 'could' is not the same as will, or even the same as probably.

                            On the other hand, I can point to all sorts of things which will absolutely cause problems irrespective of CO2 - that is human development.

                            The fundamental problem with Catastrophic Anthropogenic CO2 caused global warming is that none of the predictions are coming true in any way. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, desertification, etc etc - every single one of the effects which CAGW is supposed to engender have failed to materialize in reality.

                            Even the 'projection' of temperature trends has failed. Why then should any credence whatsoever be given to this view?

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            No its not a different story only in magnitude, I want to hear your theory of what effect releasing these gases does has on the earth?
                            The straight physics based calculation on CO2 release is 1.2 degrees C by 2100.

                            Or in other words, little to no difference vs. today.

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            Are you sure of that? I have seen some swimming pools with very good wave machines....

                            Anyway the point is lost on you, when accounting for the difference in temperature on Mercury, Venus and Earth the theory of GreenHouse gases was born.
                            Its not as easy as saying your models are wrong so we should not do anything about it.
                            Actually it is. Because Greenhouse gas theory does not account for Venus' actual measured surface temperature. From straight greenhouse gas theory, Venus' surface temperature should be half what is actually is - thus the theory is wrong even there.

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            Where did I say the majority? Do you think that Computers, Smartphones, Tablets and all the other goods displaced to being manufactured in the developing world have no affect on the per Capita Energy expenditure of Europeans or North Americans?
                            The effect is so small as to be nonexistent. For one thing, the manufacturing portion of lifetime CO2 emissions associated with a laptop is 50%:

                            http://fatknowledge.blogspot.com/200...f-macbook.html

                            For another thing, the 230 kg CO2 associated with manufacture above is puny compared to the 3661 kg CO2 emitted by per person gasoline consumption in the US (416 gallons per person, 8.8 kg CO2 per gallon gasoline):

                            http://www.ehow.com/facts_7311765_mu...llon-gas_.html

                            Throw in the costs of building/maintaining infrastructure, growing/transporting/cooking/disposing food, other utilities, lighting, heating/cooling, etc etc - manufacturing of electronics is insignificant.

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            That is a poor excuse the Russian Federation has a more sparse population density then North America and they have cold winters, yet they manage to use less energy.

                            USA has lots of room to improve its energy expenditure copying Europe, with better public transport infrastructure in metropolitan areas, improving town planning, driving our cars etc.
                            Pity you are so ignorant. The population of Russia is far more concentrated than 'density' makes it appear. For one thing, the population East of the Urals is nearly zero.

                            For another thing, Russia is far poorer than the US. In the US, everyone has a car and far more people lived in detached housing - while most people in Russia still live in Soviet era housing.

                            Are you advocating that solution for the US?

                            I'd also note that Canada has only a slightly higher population density than Russia,
                            and consumes something like 70% more power per capita. Of course, GDP per capita in Canada is also 80% higher than Russia's...

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            Only because Americans have a mad fetish for big fuel guzzling car's which is now not sustainable in the foreseeable future.
                            Whatever the US fetish might be - it is quite clear that PCO will drive prices higher.

                            Seems like a self correcting problem to me.

                            Originally posted by TechDread
                            Alt Energy is our long term future, I disagree that we have to use up our fossil fuels endowment, We have more scientist and engineers alive now than has ever lived divert lots of them to Alt E projects and we will drastically cut our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the likely hood of CAGW.

                            Or some countries could copy the UK with a fuel price escalator(however politically untenable it maybe).

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_Price_Escalator
                            I completely agree with the idea that alternative energy is key to the long term future.

                            Once again, why does this require massive short term subsidies for production of immature technology?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Alt-E: The real picture

                              Why “Soft” Technology Will Not Be America’s Energy Salvation

                              http://www.stephankinsella.com/wp-co...technology.pdf

                              This paper was written in 1978 (maybe 1977) by Petr Beckmann. The author was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado. It sounds like he had some strong political views as well as a penchant for publishing his thoughts. Some here may know of him and from the newsletter he published called http://www.accesstoenergy.com/about/.

                              In any event, I sometimes like to find older publications on topics that are currently in debate. When it comes to technology and energy there is a fair amount of ground that has already been covered and seeing how things have turned out in the ensuing time periods can be instructive.

                              Obviously the laws of physics have not changed since 1977 (high oil cost period) but perhaps some of the technology has sufficiently progressed to materially expand the potential role of solar from what Beckmann believed it to be in the 70s (not trivial but not a salvation). Or perhaps the improved technology will allow for a similar footprint just at a somewhat lower cost. I’m not even close to certain but since the 1970s there hasn’t been a real major change in the mix of global primary energy sources. I suspect that is revealing with respect to the interplay of energy physics and technology within the economic context of the last 30-35 years.

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