Category Archives: Energy

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

Climate change risks could cause an American “Fukushima”

Preface. Nuclear power plants need a constant supply of electric power to pump cool water into a reactor’s core. Ninety percent of them, 54 plants, have at least one flood risk exceeding their design. If flooding stops the power supply … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Nuclear Waste | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

EV cars only go half as far in freezing weather

Preface.    Below freezing, li-ion batteries don’t perform as well.  Consumer reports found that about half the driving range was lost.  Perhaps this is why nearly half of PHEV/BEV vehicles are sold in balmy California, while the half of the states … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Lithium-ion | Tagged | 5 Comments

Germany’s renewable energy program, Energiewende, is a big, expensive failure

After reading this post, or better yet the original 44-page document, you’ll understand why the Green New Deal is a bad idea.  This is a cautionary tale worth paying attention to. The goal of Energiewende was to make Germany independent … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Wind | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

European Power plants are burning American forests

Preface.   Incredibly, this article doesn’t address the fact that after you cut down a forest and convert the wood into pellets destined to be burned in European furnaces for “clean energy”, the next forest won’t grow back with nearly as … Continue reading

Posted in CO2 and Methane, Deforestation, Wood | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Let’s harness the muscle power of 54 million fitness center members to generate electricity

This is a short summary of this 10-page research paper: Carbajales-Dale, M., et al. 2018. Human powered electricity generation as a renewable resource.  BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality. Before fossil fuels arrived, we depended on the energy from burning wood … Continue reading

Posted in Far Out, Muscle Power | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Why solar power can’t save us from the coming energy crisis

Preface. Embedded within the posts below are many reasons why solar electricity can’t replace fossil fuels.  All solar and wind do is add to the giant fire of burning fossil fuels with just a tiny bit more power, about 4% … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, CSP with thermal energy storage, Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Decommissioning a nuclear reactor

Preface. Below are excerpts of articles about the costs and challenges of dismantling nuclear power plants in Europe. Other decommissioning news: 2018: Clearing the Radioactive Rubble Heap That Was Fukushima Daiichi, 7 Years On. The water is tainted, the wreckage … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear, Nuclear Waste | Tagged , | 1 Comment

We evolved to exercise and need high levels of physical activity to be healthy

Preface. This is a summary of Herman Pontzer’s 2019 “Humans evolved to exercise. Unlike our ape cousins, humans require high levels of physical activity to be healthy” in Scientific American. As fossils decline, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll use more muscle … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Muscle Power | Tagged | 2 Comments

Nafeez Ahmed: Venezuela’s collapse is a window into how the Oil Age will unravel

Preface. Ahmed is one of the best writers on the energy crisis and other biophysical calamities. He’s written about why many states are failing now in part due to peak oil, but also drought and other biophysical factors in his … Continue reading

Posted in Central & South America, Oil (Tar) Sands, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Climate change effects on hydropower in California

Preface. The main impact of climate change will be on hydropower in California, which is the largest source of renewable electric power. Besides natural gas, it is the only dispatchable form of power to balance unreliable, intermittent wind and solar … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Hydropower | Tagged , , | 2 Comments