Monthly Archives: August 2015

Vaclav Smil on natural gas (ethane) and plastics

Vaclav Smil. 2013. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization.  Wiley. Polyethylene (PE) is by far the most important thermoplastic (it accounted for 29% of the world’s aggregate plastic output, or roughly 77 Mt, in 2010), polypropylene (PP) comes next … Continue reading

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Will we go out with a whimper instead of a bang? Cyberwar more likely than nuclear war

[ A book review by Alice Friedemann of “CYBER WAR. The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It” by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy … Continue reading

Posted in Cyber, CyberAttack Book Reviews, CyberAttacks, Cyberattacks, War | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wind EROI range and payback time (also solar, NG, geothermal, hydro, coal)

[Clearly Energy Returned on Invested (EROI) research needs to have common standards because results vary by orders of magnitude. Taking the “average” is not going to produce the best guess because outliers skew the average up  substantially.  The EROI of … Continue reading

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Pedro Prieto – what life used to be like decades ago in small Spanish villages

 [I’m reading James Howard Kunstler’s excellent trilogy “A World Made By Hand” now to get an idea of what life might be like post-peak when the worst of the crisis is over. Prieto’s vivid descriptions are wonderful, I wish he’d … Continue reading

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Dmitry Orlov: How Russians survived the collapse of the Soviet Union

This is one of the best articles I’ve read about what collapse may be like, the best strategies to survive, and why the Russian way of life and culture prepared them far better for hard times than America.  Related posts … Continue reading

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When will the Alaska pipeline turn into an 800-mile-long Popsicle?

[Below are excerpts on the Alaskan pipeline from Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman.  This is a great book, yet leaves so many possible rust stories uncovered, that I hope Waldman writes Rust II (or any other topic — … Continue reading

Posted in Flow Rate, Threats to oil supply | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

900 Tons of material to build just 1 windmill

You ought to watch “MidAmerican Energy Company – From the Ground Up: Building our energy future, one turbine at a time“. The pictures from the video below are also powerful since they capture how low the EROI of wind power … Continue reading

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Utility, large-scale battery energy storage

Hodson, H. July 25, 2015. Power to the people. NewScientist. Demand for electricity varies every second, minute, hour, day, and season.  Production is easy to provide from always-ready natural gas and coal. But as we move towards a 100% renewable … Continue reading

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Dozens of Reasons Why Wind power Will Not Outlast Fossil Fuels

SCALE.  Too many windmills need to be built to replace oil. Worldwide, 32,850 wind turbines with 70 to 100 meter blades generating 1.65 MW built every year for the next 50 years, or 1,642,000 total would be needed to replace … Continue reading

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Robert McNally on energy at U.S. Congressional Hearings

[I think it is interesting to know what Congress hears about energy from experts, and what the official U.S. energy policies are.  It is frustrating that Energy Return on Invested (EROI) is never discussed, even by intelligent analysts like McNally.  … Continue reading

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