Category Archives: Energy

the posts in this category used to be in “Energy in A Nutshell” at my former web site.

Nuclear powered airplanes, cars, and tanks

Preface. After all the research I’ve done on rebuildable, not renewable wind and solar, hydrogen, batteries, and other Green dreams of an endless future of growth based on them, I’ve come to see them as just as likely as nuclear … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Automobiles, Far Out, Nuclear Power | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Distribution – why it is so hard to add E15 or E85 at a gas station

Preface. One of the huge hurdles to shifting from oil to “something else” is the chicken-or-egg problem of no one buying a new-fuel vehicle with few places to get it, so few are made, so service stations don’t add the … Continue reading

Posted in Biofuels | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Can Geothermal power make up for declining fossil fuels?

Preface. Geothermal power plants are cost justified only in places where volcanic or tectonic activity brings heat close to the surface, mainly in “ring of fire” nations and volcanic hot spots like Hawaii.   Even then drilling can only be done … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Geothermal | Tagged | Leave a comment

Global oil discovered 7.7 times less than consumption in 2019

Source: Rystad Energy (2020) in “Global oil and gas discoveries reach four-year high in 2019, boosted by ExxonMobil’s Guyana success“. Preface.  The global conventional discovery chart above lists natural gas and oil discoveries since 2013.  The fossil fuel that really … Continue reading

Posted in How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants

Preface. This is nuts. Sea level rise threatens many nuclear power plants and drought has shut plants down since they need cooling to operate. As nuclear reactor age, they require more intensive monitoring and preventive maintenance to operate safely. But … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear Power | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

High-level nuclear waste storage degrades faster than thought

Preface. Burying nuclear waste ought to be a top priority, now that it appears peak oil may have happened in November of 2018 (Patterson 2019) and perhaps even sooner if covid-19 crashes the world economy (Tverberg 2020). It won’t happen … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear Waste | Tagged | 10 Comments

Concentrated Solar Power is dying out in the U.S.

Preface.  Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) contributes only 0.06 % of U.S. electricity, mainly in California (64 %) and Arizona (24 %) because extremely dry areas with no humidity, haze, or pollutants are required. Of the 1861 MW power they can … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, CSP with thermal energy storage, Grid instability, Seasonal Variation | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Building a national super grid in America

Preface. Renewables are not evenly distributed.  Just 10 states have 80% of hydropower (Homeland Security 2011), 10 states produce 75% of wind power (EIA 2017), and 10 states produce 79% of solar power (CE 2020). With a national grid, instead … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Electricity, National Super Grid, Solar, Vaclav Smil, Wind | 3 Comments

Nuclear waste will last a lot longer than climate change

Preface.   One of the most tragic aspects of peak oil is that it is very unlikely once energy descent begins that oil will be expended to clean up our nuclear mess.  Or before descent either.  Anyone who survives peak fossil … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Nuclear Waste | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Giant oil field decline rates and peak oil

Preface. Of the roughly 47,500 oil fields in the world, 507 of them, about 1%, are giant oil fields holding nearly two-thirds of all the oil that has ever been, or ever will be produced, with the largest 100 giants, … Continue reading

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