Category Archives: Infrastructure

90% of why we live past 50 due is clean water (and food) from water treatment facilities and sewage treatment plants that are all falling apart. Oil & gas pipes essential to heating and cooking are rusting apart. Dams, bridges, roads — all built when the EROEI of oil was 100:1 need replacing at a time when the EROEI has fallen below 15:1

Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS)

Preface. This is the only commercial way to store energy now (CAES hardly counts with just one plant and salt domes to put more in existing in only 5 states). Though of course hydropower is only in a few states … Continue reading

Posted in Dams, Energy Production, Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Can concentrated solar power be used to generate industrial process heat?

Preface. In the comments section, Ray Universe pointed out an excellent article, The bright future of solar thermal powered factories, about solar collectors and what they can do. Some important points: A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Concentrated Solar Power can only exist in deserts and use too much water

What follows is my summary of: Bracken, N., et al. 2015. Concentrating solar power and water issues in the U.S. Southwest. U.S. department of energy, National renewable energy lab. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Electricity | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi oil infrastructure at risk from drone attacks

Preface. This NYT article was published 4 months ago, and its warning just came true. Quite prescient! Drones make it pretty easy to anonymously attack the thousands of miles of pipelines across the Arabian peninsula, oil tankers, pumping stations, and … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, Oil & Gas, Peak Oil | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

So you want to start a vertical farm?

Preface. Vertical farms sound even more impossible than rooftop farms, which at least can use free sunshine. And they use massive amounts of energy to heat, cool, ventilate, light, and so on, not a good direction to go given energy … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Groundwater rise. Yet another climate change threat.

Preface. In coastal areas flooding is likely to be caused from groundwater rise because as sea levels rise, they won’t only move inland, flooding low-lying land near the shore; but also push water up from the saltwater water table, on … Continue reading

Posted in Floods, Groundwater, Hazardous Waste, Sea Level Rise, Water | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Threats to America’s oil pipeline grid

Preface. At some point of energy decline there will be Americans who tap into pipelines to get scarce oil for themselves and to sell it on black markets. Just look at the massive amount of oil being stolen in Nigeria … Continue reading

Posted in Fuel Distribution, Oil & Gas, Terrorism | Tagged | 1 Comment

Vanishing open spaces: population growth and sprawl in America

Before the fossil fuel age began, about 80 to 90% of people farmed to make a living. Since the end of the oil age will send us back to the past, farmland and farmers will once again comprise the greatest … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Overpopulation, Soil | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Utility scale energy storage has a long way to go to make renewables possible

What follows comes from my book “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation” , which is also where you’ll find the references backing up what I’ve written below. I often get letters from people about energy breakthroughs … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Critical Thinking, Electric Grid, Electricity, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

Preface. Some of the points I found most alarming or interesting: After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth. Concrete is a thirsty behemoth, sucking up almost a 10th of the world’s industrial water use. This often … Continue reading

Posted in Concrete, Infrastructure | Tagged | 8 Comments