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This will change the world as we know it
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Oct 7, 2013, 05:52 PM
 
Before we begin, you must all be warned. Nothing here ... is vegetarian.
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Oct 7, 2013, 07:14 PM
 
This is exciting, but the slow pace at which this research progresses is still a big problem.

Peak cheap oil is real, and shale oil & gas is not saving the day.

We are well underway facing a major energy crisis in the years ahead (due to complete ignorance of the concept of EROI. See here). That is, if we intend to keep the same standard of living that we have today.

Fusion would need to become economic reality in the next 30 years to avoid the brick wall we're heading for.

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2013, 07:20 PM
 
Or we find a more cost-effective way to extract hydrogen.
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Oct 8, 2013, 12:46 AM
 
Why not solar? We could easily cover the world's entire energy need by placing arrays in the right spot!



"Solar areas defined by the dark disks could provide more than the world's total primary energy demand (assuming a conversion efficiency of 8%). That is, all energy currently consumed, including heat, electricity, fossil fuels, etc., would be produced in the form of electricity by solar cells."
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
This is exciting, but the slow pace at which this research progresses is still a big problem.

Peak cheap oil is real, and shale oil & gas is not saving the day.

We are well underway facing a major energy crisis in the years ahead (due to complete ignorance of the concept of EROI. See here). That is, if we intend to keep the same standard of living that we have today.

Fusion would need to become economic reality in the next 30 years to avoid the brick wall we're heading for.
Sorry turtle, but there's plenty of oil. Plenty. Look what Brazil just discovered (the Brazilians are btw, the experts on deep water drilling). This info comes from a 40 year veteran of the oil industry (who just can't seem to stop getting paid to travel in business or first class advising governments on petroleum law). I trust him more than an independent researcher.

My humble opinion is that we should be using fusion for energy and oil for plastics.
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Oct 8, 2013, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
Why not solar? We could easily cover the world's entire energy need by placing arrays in the right spot!
Wonder how much you lose in transporting that electricity from Utah(?) to Miami?
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Oct 8, 2013, 07:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Sorry turtle, but there's plenty of oil. Plenty. Look what Brazil just discovered (the Brazilians are btw, the experts on deep water drilling). This info comes from a 40 year veteran of the oil industry (who just can't seem to stop getting paid to travel in business or first class advising governments on petroleum law). I trust him more than an independent researcher.

My humble opinion is that we should be using fusion for energy and oil for plastics.
^ This. We've got newer means of identifying honey holes and many more techniques for extracting it. Hell, there's a relative oil-boom going on in Kansas right now or the Bakken Shale in North Dakota that has elevated them to the third highest oil-producing State in the country. We drill three thousand feet deeper than we had been and all of a sudden a whole new world of the resource opens up not to mention newer techniques like fracking that are revealing a wealth of possibilities into the future.
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Oct 8, 2013, 08:16 AM
 
Sorry, mattyb and ebuddy, but you are mistaken. You are right, there is plenty of oil and gas. You are wrong in that you fail to consider the cost (especially energy) it takes to deliver that oil and gas. Again, get familiar with the concept of EROI. And please, be assured I intentionally said Peak CHEAP Oil is real. We're not running out of oil (or gas). We're running out of cheap oil and gas.

In terms of oil production, work oil production (excluding the US) has been flat over the last 10 years, despite prices going up from $20 / barrel to $100 / barrel. There has been no increase in conventional oil production. The supply (world porudction) was only able to stay flat because of unconventional oil at high prices (only economical above $80 / barrel. This is a clear sign of demand outpacing supply, and it resolves on the price side.

Shale gas is, like I linked above, not saving the day. Depletion rates are ridiculously high, the economics are far worse than most companies anticipated just a few years back.

-t
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 08:48 AM
 
Way to be guys, spouting off placating and comforting lines like "plenty of oil" and "wealth of possibilities".

Way to completely factor the price of oil out of the production equation. Of course there's "plenty of oil" - and in fact, at $200 a barrel on the world markets, our potential "wealth of possibilities" would be even greater...hell at $500/barrel we might be able to get James Cameron to drill the Mariana Trench!

The fact is, breakeven prices for new discoveries are climbing rapidly; it's getting increasingly expensive to drill to ever-greater depths in more-difficult climates using more-complex technology. When people wonder why the price of oil isn't magically going down because of these new field discoveries - it is because those discoveries would economically cease to exist if barrel prices dropped, say, 10 or 15 dollars; p.s. income margins in the oil sector are reportedly at their lowest since oil prices started to surge a decade or so ago. (US and China's economic malaise combined with US's recent surges in output is an interesting example: unless we start using more oil or OPEC slows production over the next couple of years, there are many predictions that the US could glut the market and price its own production right out of business. Conclusion: If oil goes down, production will plummet...and oil will then go way back up.)

Not to mention even in OPEC countries, government budgets are increasingly rising as those nations modernize and increase their state-funded social programs, often very close to solely funded by oil production; I've seen estimates that OPEC countries require almost $100/barrel to fund government spending - I would be surprise if that number was not rising, of course.

So, yeah. There's plenty of oil - plenty - as long as prices continue to rise considerably from where they are now, to fund the increasingly high costs of getting it. That may be all good for the oil sector - but what does it do for the price of energy and dependent industries?

(But guys, not a problem, right? Plenty of oil, this guy who works in the industry told me last week. )


Edit: Turtle beat me to it....
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Oct 8, 2013, 10:05 AM
 
You know, this thread just brought back fond memories of Doofy. One of his many "interesting" arguments over the years was that oil was a renewable resource that was continually being created within or below the earth's crust - and therefore "peak oil" was an elaborate Liberal Plot or some such.

Always a trailblazer, that Doofy. Good times.
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Oct 8, 2013, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Or we find a more cost-effective way to extract hydrogen.
Hydrogen doesn't solve any energy production problem, only an energy distribution problem. You need at least as much energy put in to get hydrogen out of something that you will get back when you burn it, and often more. The only way that hydrogen becomes an energy production solution is if you send a scoop to grab some from Jupiter or something. Hydrogen and its fuel cells are the equivalent of electricity and batteries. It might very well turn out to be a better solution to the energy distribution problem than electricity, and that's an important problem to solve, but it's a different problem than the one they're trying to solve here. Arguably, if we get fusion going, we can spend the energy to just split water using electricity and get as much hydrogen as we like.
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Oct 8, 2013, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
We're not running out of oil (or gas). We're running out of cheap oil and gas.
This bears repeating. We are never going to run out of any natural resource on a longer scale (there might be shortages in the short term if supply is inelastic) but the price will rise.
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Oct 8, 2013, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Wonder how much you lose in transporting that electricity from Utah(?) to Miami?
That's the lovely thing about solar cells. They scale linearly. Though it means that there isn't any advantage to large instillation there isn't a disadvantage to small installations. Those dots are just examples of required surface area. You can easily break them up and scatter them around. The real problem with solar is how to store a surplus for overnight use.
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
We are never going to run out of any natural resource on a longer scale (there might be shortages in the short term if supply is inelastic) but the price will rise.
Well, there is a limit to how much price can "fix" this.

EROI is the key. Once it takes close to the same amount of energy input to get one unit of new energy out of the grounhd, it just doesn't make sense. Given, the price of the marginal unit would be sky high because of that.

Theoretically, you can keep production up even if the EROI goes down below 1:5. However, it's going to be very hard to find big enough new fields to "fund" the energy input required for the new outputs. It's a Catch-22. Well before we reach that, demand destruction due to high prices will throw a mighty monkey wrench into the equation.

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Oct 8, 2013, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
This is exciting, but the slow pace at which this research progresses is still a big problem.

Peak cheap oil is real, and shale oil & gas is not saving the day.

We are well underway facing a major energy crisis in the years ahead (due to complete ignorance of the concept of EROI. See here). That is, if we intend to keep the same standard of living that we have today.

Fusion would need to become economic reality in the next 30 years to avoid the brick wall we're heading for.

-t
Why is there this big push towards electric if nobody is seeing this energy crisis?
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Why is there this big push towards electric if nobody is seeing this energy crisis?
Optics?
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 01:03 PM
 
When I was a boy our crises had astigmatism!
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
When I was a boy our crises cost a nickel! A nickel!
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 01:07 PM
 
How many calories of energy do you think it cost to smelt that nickel?

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Oct 8, 2013, 01:09 PM
 
Dollar bills are cheaper to produce than nickels. Lets make a nickel bill. Billions saved!





right?
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 01:41 PM
 
Sounds about right. We all know how much the dollar is worth these days.
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Hydrogen doesn't solve any energy production problem, only an energy distribution problem. You need at least as much energy put in to get hydrogen out of something that you will get back when you burn it, and often more. The only way that hydrogen becomes an energy production solution is if you send a scoop to grab some from Jupiter or something. Hydrogen and its fuel cells are the equivalent of electricity and batteries. It might very well turn out to be a better solution to the energy distribution problem than electricity, and that's an important problem to solve, but it's a different problem than the one they're trying to solve here. Arguably, if we get fusion going, we can spend the energy to just split water using electricity and get as much hydrogen as we like.
Having run fuel cells myself for many months, I'd say that's incorrect. They are working on solutions for extracting hydrogen inexpensively, but the roadblocks are huge, "big energy" keeps buying up all the start-up companies working on it and dismantling them.

I'm now running 95% of my home and garage off NG FCs, soon it will be entirely operational from gas extracted from my own property (it's estimated I have enough underground to do this for 100-150 years, maybe longer) and we'll be completely off the grid.
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Oct 8, 2013, 03:13 PM
 
Way to screw over your grandchildren. What are they supposed to use?
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Having run fuel cells myself for many months, I'd say that's incorrect. They are working on solutions for extracting hydrogen inexpensively, but the roadblocks are huge, "big energy" keeps buying up all the start-up companies working on it and dismantling them.

I'm now running 95% of my home and garage off NG FCs, soon it will be entirely operational from gas extracted from my own property (it's estimated I have enough underground to do this for 100-150 years, maybe longer) and we'll be completely off the grid.
So you're running off natural gas not hydrogen.
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
So you're running off natural gas not hydrogen.
CH4 vs. H2. In both cases hydrogen is used.
     
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Oct 8, 2013, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
So you're running off natural gas not hydrogen.
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Oct 8, 2013, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Way to screw over your grandchildren. What are they supposed to use?
That's on the conservative side, one estimate says 250+ (based on improved appliance and device efficiency predictions).
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Oct 8, 2013, 06:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's on the conservative side, one estimate says 250+ (based on improved appliance and device efficiency predictions).
But how about your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand children.

How the hell will they cope ?

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Oct 8, 2013, 06:48 PM
 
Natural Gas is still an non-renewable carbon based fossil fuel. Thats the issue. Not how you process it into energy.
     
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Oct 9, 2013, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
Natural Gas is still an non-renewable carbon based fossil fuel. Thats the issue. Not how you process it into energy.
but it's only one source of hydrogen and fuel cells can be readily converted to take advantage of others.
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Oct 9, 2013, 04:20 AM
 
A few different things here:

The first law of thermodynamics states that at constant mass, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted between different forms. If you split water 2 H20 -> 2H2 + O2, you have to put in at least 285 kJ/mol of water - the enthalpy of formation. If you burn it, you get the same 285 kJ/mol out (once the water vapor has condensed to a liquid again). The only way that you can use hydrogen to "create" energy in the sense that you do when burning fossil fuels is if you could find pure hydrogen gas anywhere, and that won't happen on Earth. This is not opinion, this is basic scientific fact.

Currently hydrogen is not produced from splitting water, it is produced from natural gas (methane). The process used there is significantly less efficient, and the energy from burning the carbon atom to CO2 is essentially wasted. When Shaddim's friends are working on extracting hydrogen more efficiently, they're trying to get down to that theoretical enthalpy of formation. If they manage to get down to that, they will have created a good energy distribution system. If they keep making it from methane, they're essentially doing a three card monte: You'd get the same energy out by just burning the methane directly, but you're moving the CO2 to the hydrogen production facility. If you do CCS, that might be a worthwhile distinction, but we're far from that.

Now, that methane. If it is "natural gas", it is a fossil fuel and equivalent to oil from a sustainability standpoint. If it is created from degrading waste, it's biogas and CO2 neutral.
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Oct 9, 2013, 04:46 AM
 
Most hydrogen is produced from natural gas/methane, however we're reaching a point of being able to efficiently produce it via photobiological and sulfur-iodine systems, both being renewable and/or reusable. Also, there are some impressive results in fermentative extraction, using waste products and algaes, that are 100% renewable, as long as people keep pooping and tossing out degradable matter.
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Oct 9, 2013, 07:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
Why not solar? We could easily cover the world's entire energy need by placing arrays in the right spot!



"Solar areas defined by the dark disks could provide more than the world's total primary energy demand (assuming a conversion efficiency of 8%). That is, all energy currently consumed, including heat, electricity, fossil fuels, etc., would be produced in the form of electricity by solar cells."
How does the power get from there to where it's needed?

You need extremely expensive and very vulnerable long-distance power lines. The more centralized the power generation becomes, the more it becomes a network of local and international power play. And if you have an entire continent dependent upon two small areas for much of their power, the old terrorist attack vector of bombing a pipeline seems like a complete joke in comparison. (See the massive power outages in the US a couple of years ago...though those were homemade.)

We've just had the amusing situation here in Germany that a huge offshore wind energy park was opened in the North Sea, but only 20% of its capacity could be used because political and environmental hurdles had delayed completion of the necessary power cables.
And despite the fixed will and decision to drop nuclear power, no provisions have been made to enable power companies to even transfer the power generated in the wind-rich north cross-country to the south. Nobody is willing to pay the cost.
     
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Oct 9, 2013, 07:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Most hydrogen is produced from natural gas/methane, however we're reaching a point of being able to efficiently produce it via photobiological and sulfur-iodine systems, both being renewable and/or reusable. Also, there are some impressive results in fermentative extraction, using waste products and algaes, that are 100% renewable, as long as people keep pooping and tossing out degradable matter.
I'm aware of that, but

a) doesn't change the fact that you have to put in more energy (in the form of waste material for degradation, or sunlight if it's photobiological) than you get out as hydrogen - ie, it's energy distribution, not production. It is completely carbon neutral, though.
b) you can have the bacteria make methane instead, which is much more energy per volume or mass unit, and a process which is already in use. It's also not too far off from having them make ethanol. (If you're shooting for the stars, you might as well have them make gasoline - it is quite possibly how the oil was made a few millions of years or so ago.) The only advantage that hydrogen has is that you can point to the (metaphorical) tail pipe and say that your only exhaust is literally water. CO2 is only a problem if the C is of fossil origin, so you can achieve a carbon neutral energy distribution using many other methods.

Hydrogen fuel cells have one more problem. The process relies on rare metals (platinum, palladium etc) to make the fuel cells work, and to make just the cars of this planet work on it, we'd have to increase the world production of such metals by a few orders of magnitude. Again work is being done to try to solve this, but we're not particularly close to solving it today.
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Oct 9, 2013, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Hydrogen fuel cells have one more problem. The process relies on rare metals (platinum, palladium etc) to make the fuel cells work, and to make just the cars of this planet work on it, we'd have to increase the world production of such metals by a few orders of magnitude. Again work is being done to try to solve this, but we're not particularly close to solving it today.
Ding. Ding. Ding.

Very important fact. Applies to solar energy as well.

Very few factor in the cost of mining all the extra precious metals and REEs.
Let alone, the ENERGY that goes into mining those.

Again, the total EROI of getting the the energy out of the ground needs to be significantly positive.

Example: hybrid cars. You can't just look at the energy it uses once produced and used.
How much energy went into it to create all the batteries, motors, systems ? That needs to be part of the equation.

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Oct 9, 2013, 04:08 PM
 
The only advantage that hydrogen has is that you can point to the (metaphorical) tail pipe and say that your only exhaust is literally water. CO2 is only a problem if the C is of fossil origin, so you can achieve a carbon neutral energy distribution using many other methods.
That's generally the point, no? Cleaner by-products and lowering greenhouse emissions?

As far as rare metals are concerned, a new process relying on a silver and copper alloy, largely copper, is being finalized as we speak. I'd really love to discuss it, but I've signed papers saying that I can't. However, in the not-to-distant future the information will be made public.
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Oct 9, 2013, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's generally the point, no? Cleaner by-products and lowering greenhouse emissions?
Burning hydrogen created from renewable materials has the exact same greenhouse effect as burning methane from renewable materials - zero. The only situation where the methane is less desirable is if the burn is less than perfect, so you get CO and remaining CH4 in the atmosphere, but a fuel cell doesn't have that problem.

Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
As far as rare metals are concerned, a new process relying on a silver and copper alloy, largely copper, is being finalized as we speak. I'd really love to discuss it, but I've signed papers saying that I can't. However, in the not-to-distant future the information will be made public.
Link me to it when it is. As I said, I know that there is work being done in this direction, but I was not aware of anything going to market in that classic "three to five years" timeframe.
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Oct 10, 2013, 09:14 AM
 
To be clear, "burning" pure hydrogen should ONLY produce water vapor. It's extracting hydrogen from other materials that has the potential to emit all sorts of nastiness.

"Burning" hydrogen is sort of like taking money out of a savings account: you can't get any more energy out of that process than the amount you put into breaking the hydrogen out of whatever you got it from, whether it's electrolyzing water or catalyzing a hydrocarbon compound. On the other hand, separating hydrogen from water to fuel a fusion reactor would be a positively trivial energy expenditure.

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Oct 10, 2013, 11:16 AM
 
It takes about 100 times the capacity of a AA battery to produce that AA battery. I don't know how far off that number is, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the energy balance was off in that direction. But I do believe that packaging can matter more than a neutral or positive energy balance, and that it is often overlooked.
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Oct 11, 2013, 09:07 AM
 
Plenty of good points in here. Just wanted to say that after a quick skim, no one is addressing or at least taking into account the incredible progress of ICE designs, future potential and whatnot. Like weather modeling, there are far too many variables and co-variables in this system to "win" these sort of arguments with a paragraph or two. Cheap anything == Laziness and a lack of advancement in tech. Sure, it sucks that sucking this shit out of the ground is getting more expensive, but holy hell are some awesome developments being pulled out of engineer's asses right now.

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Oct 11, 2013, 09:39 AM
 
Ice Designs? Ice Designs? Ice Designs?

I'm really not sure what you're trying to say. Is it that the cost of expensive technology advancements while trying to extract more-difficult oil is or eventually will be offset because of filtering down to other industries/areas? Thanks.
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Oct 11, 2013, 10:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
taking into account the incredible progress of ICE designs, future potential and whatnot.
Any links ?

I'm not familiar with this. Google isn't much help w/o additional relevant keywrods.

-t
     
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Oct 11, 2013, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Very important fact. Applies to solar energy as well.

Very few factor in the cost of mining all the extra precious metals and REEs.
Let alone, the ENERGY that goes into mining those.

Again, the total EROI of getting the the energy out of the ground needs to be significantly positive.

Example: hybrid cars. You can't just look at the energy it uses once produced and used.
How much energy went into it to create all the batteries, motors, systems ? That needs to be part of the equation.
OK, I see your point. But where do you stop counting? The cereal that the driver of the digger ate in the morning? I know that its being pedantic, but it seems that there could potentially be no limit to what you count as energy used to ..make batteries/extract ore etc etc.
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Oct 11, 2013, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
That's the lovely thing about solar cells. They scale linearly. Though it means that there isn't any advantage to large instillation there isn't a disadvantage to small installations. Those dots are just examples of required surface area. You can easily break them up and scatter them around. The real problem with solar is how to store a surplus for overnight use.
OK I understand the visual now. I do wonder why governments (especially the Frogs who have a love hate relationship with nuclear) don't insist on all new houses having solar panels on the roof. I have a feeling that lobbying (European panel makers plus the energy generators) has something to do with it.

Before the tax breaks were removed, a colleague was paid 2000€ per year for the electricity that he generated. His house was full electric and IIRC he was spending 1500€ on electric bills. Think that the price EDF (Frog Electric Company) pay people per kWh has dropped as well.
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Oct 11, 2013, 12:40 PM
 
Those subsidies (many European countries have them) are there for two reasons: they want to get power generating capacity installed without NIMBY groups complaining and stopping building permits, and it looks good to get votes.

What would truly help would be if Europe could build a massive plant in the Sahara, which has also been proposed. The security thing is making that hard for now, but if everyone keeps burning carbon the way they are, we can soon build them in southern Italy or Spain.
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Oct 11, 2013, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
What would truly help would be if Europe could build a massive plant in the Sahara, which has also been proposed. The security thing is making that hard for now, but if everyone keeps burning carbon the way they are, we can soon build them in southern Italy or Spain.
The security aspect is just one point that makes this, IMO, totally infeasible.

Another is the fact that there is no way to transfer that power across the necessary distances without losing most of it.

A third: The cost of such power lines, both in monetary terms (construction, transit fees, etc. etc.) and in political terms (every state must agree).

Which leads to the political aspect: We build a massive solar plant in Africa, to supply us with power. This is colonialism in its purest, most distilled form.
Alternative: We invest and help build a massive solar plant, which then SELLS US power, resulting in great local wealth and political power. The local government itself, as well as all transit states, will profit immensely, with the consequence that they themselves will become richer and more power-hungry.
It's the Middle East all over again.


We can't even work out sensible technology and financing to transfer electricity from the North to the South within Germany. And that's just a (relatively) tiny single country (okay, we have a fairly effete government whose commitment to renewable energy happened after a flip-flop initially reversing the public will to renewables. But still.).
Sahara-to-Rotterdam? Holy hell.
     
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Oct 11, 2013, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Any links ?

I'm not familiar with this. Google isn't much help w/o additional relevant keywrods.

-t
Roughly 70-90% of "energy" is "lost" in the form of heat with most internal combustion engines. The *potential* is quite frankly enormous. This has little to do with peak oil or EROI (actually, it has a lot to do with it), but the fire is burning hot under a lot of very smart asses and some incredible advancements are being made. Not to mention the recently announced Material Genome Project, there's some ever evolving cool shit being born. Keep in mind that less than a century ago, there was an actual crisis with feeding the world's population and a few cool dudes used their noggins to literally change the motherfukin world. Don't count on it, but who's to say another miracle is close to being extracted from a brilliant ass.

I guess the only point I'm trying to say is that breakthroughs in efficiency can easily disrupt and alter an "inevitable" course. Food for thought. Or be dicks and do the knee-jerk dismissal thing.

Back to the topic at hand. I'm not arguing with any of the points that have already been discussed.
( Last edited by pooka; Oct 11, 2013 at 01:12 PM. Reason: addendum)

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Oct 11, 2013, 01:57 PM
 
I think you're refering to the OP.
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Oct 11, 2013, 02:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post

What would truly help would be if Europe could build a massive plant in the Sahara, which has also been proposed. The security thing is making that hard for now, but if everyone keeps burning carbon the way they are, we can soon build them in southern Italy or Spain.
The Sahara is a terrible place for a solar plant. Solar cell efficiency drops with temperature.
     
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Oct 11, 2013, 02:53 PM
 
This isn't directed at any post in particular, but I think every "big box" store built in the US (with few exceptions) should have their useless empty roofs packed with solar panels.
     
 
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