Category Archives: Energy

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

Offshore wind turbines: Expensive, risky, and last just 15 years

Preface: The Department of Energy high wind penetration plans require a lot of offshore wind. But is it possible, affordable, or wise to do this? Corrosion leads to a short lifespan of just 15 years. To reduce maintenance, offshore windmills … Continue reading

Posted in Offshore | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Renewables must help pay for transmission and their energy storage backup of fossil power plants

Preface. Wind and solar advocates don’t include transmission and backup costs in their net energy calculations. But without fossil backup, the electric grid will come down due to lack of storage. There is almost nowhere left to put pumped hydro … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Energy Storage, Solar, Solar EROI, Wind, Wind EROI | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Invisible oiliness of everything

Preface.  Even a simple object like a pencil requires dozens of actions to make and dozens of objects that took energy to make.  This is why it is unlikely wind, solar, or any other contraption that make electricity, have a … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Alternative Energy, An Overview, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Manufacturing & Industrial Heat, Wind | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Nuclear waste disposal drilled deep into earth’s crust

Preface. One the greatest tragedies of the decline of oil will be all the nuclear waste left to harm future generations for up to a million years. We owe it to them to clean up our mess while we still … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear Waste | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Far Out #4: Power out of thin air, power out of freezing air, & Fruit power

Preface. To get power out of thin air after oil, the 90% of people who have had to go back to farming are going to be making protein nanowires from microbes in the chicken coop in their spare time. Scaling … Continue reading

Posted in Far Out | Tagged | 5 Comments

EV cars and utility scale energy storage batteries are not likely to materialize

Preface.  Clearly there’s not enough minerals and metals to shift from fossil fuels to electric vehicles and utility scale battery storage, due to peak critical elements, peak platinum group elements, peak precious elements, peak rare earth elements, and peak everything … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Peak Lithium | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

How much oil left in America? Not much

Preface. If you think we have no worries because we can get arctic oil, think again. We can’t because icebergs mow drilling platforms down in the ocean. On land, massive amounts of expensive new drilling rigs, roads, rail lines, platforms, … Continue reading

Posted in How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Reforestation can cause rivers to disappear

Preface. We’ll need a lot of forests in the future when wood once again becomes our may source of energy and infrastructure as it was before fossil fuels. But care needs to be taken on where trees are planted. Alice … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Deforestation, Wood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Will life after peak oil be like the middle ages?

Preface.  Winston recreates what life was like from the 5th to the 15th centuries — from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance. Energyskeptic.com shows why hydrogen, wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, fusion, and other alternatives … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Biomass, Life Before Oil | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Wave, tidal, ocean current, in-stream, & ocean thermal power

Preface. This is mostly a review of the 2013 National Research Council’s report on harvesting marine energy from waves, tides, temperature differences, currents, and run-of-river.  But as new projects come and go, I add them into this long post.  None … Continue reading

Posted in Waves & Tidal | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments