Category Archives: Energy

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

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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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 , , | 7 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

Posted in Wind | 2 Comments

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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Why methanol is not an option for an alternative car fuel

[Light-duty cars and trucks guzzle 60 percent of petroleum in the U.S. But it is heavy-duty vehicles keep everyone alive (i.e. plant and harvest food, deliver food, build and maintain infrastructure, and so on).  The plan is not to increase … Continue reading

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

[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 vehicles are made, and service stations don’t add the … Continue reading

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Material and other limits to scaling wind up to 24 GW by 2050

[Before you read this, check out the enormous amount of material and fossil energy required to build just one windmill.  ] Davidsson, S., Grandell, L., Wachtmeister, H., Höök, M. October 2014. Growth curves and sustained commissioning modelling of renewable energy: … Continue reading

Posted in Wind | 3 Comments

A review of life cycle assessments on wind energy systems by Simon Davidsson 2012

[below is a very short excerpt of this 22 page paper, I was interested in how much recycling can contribute to a high EROI but there are many other important points made in this paper] Davidsson, S., Höök, M., Wall, … Continue reading

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Wood, the fuel of preindustrial societies, is half of EU renewable energy

There are 2 articles below: The Economist. April 6, 2013. Wood: the fuel of the future. Environmental lunacy in Europe. ZME Science. August 2015. The UK plans to build the world’s largest wood-burning power plant 1. The Economist. April 6, … Continue reading

Posted in Wood | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Ohio run-of-the-river hydroelectric power 4 projects totaling 300 MW for $1.7 billion

[There are limited places on rivers to put these so this a really tiny silver bullet, and there is often opposition from environmentalists, but if you’re lucky enough to have a river nearby that flows constantly it’s more reliable than … Continue reading

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