Category Archives: Energy

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

Can the lights be kept on with distributed generation? 2015 U.S. House hearing on a reliable electric system

[ Corporate speakers testify – could they have any self-interest, hope for government grants?  Since Congress often asks the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to write unbiased papers on topics,  why didn’t NAS and National Laboratory scientists speak? Corporations are … Continue reading

Posted in Congressional Record U.S., Distributed Generation, Grid instability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Lights are going out in the Middle East (New Yorker)

Robin Wright. May 20, 2017. The lights are going out in the Middle East.  New Yorker. Six months ago, I was in the National Museum in Beirut, marvelling at two Phoenician sarcophagi among the treasures from ancient Middle Eastern civilizations, … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Blackouts | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Why it is futile to think that Wind could ever make a significant contribution to energy supplies

Matt Ridley. May 15, 2017. Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy. Even after 30 years of huge subsidies, it provides about zero energy. The Spectator. The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Wind | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Richard Heinberg on why low oil prices do not mean there is plenty of oil, EROI, collapse

[ Yet another wise, thoughtful, and wide-ranging essay from my favorite writer of the many facets of a civilization about to decline as it is starved of the fossil fuels that feed it.  Although the topics are quite varied, Heinberg … Continue reading

Posted in Oil, Peter Turchin, Richard Heinberg, Social Disorder | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Oil theft around the world: Cartels and exploding donkeys

Preface. Oil thefts cost Nigerian oil producers at least $18 billion a year. In Mexico, cartels spend only $5-8,000 to tap into pipelines and withdraw “unlimited” amounts of gasoline, and did so 7,000 times in 2016, resulting in $1 billion … Continue reading

Posted in Peak Oil, Threats to oil supply | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How horses changed native cultures after 1492

[ This is a very brief overview of Peter Mitchel’s “Horse Nations”.  As oil and other fossils decline, will we will almost certainly return to using more horse “muscle power” as we did in the past. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Muscle Power | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Richard Heinberg: Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions

[ This article by Richard Heinberg at Postcarbon refutes a column by Paul Krugmen called “Errors and Emissions Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free?” here.  Most of my friends and family think I’m nuts because articles like this … Continue reading

Posted in EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Richard Heinberg, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

By 2020 it may be clear to everyone that oil decline has begun

Preface. There are two parts to Dittmar’s study. The first one concerns production, based on the most recent years of oil production.  Dittmar found a strong pattern of oil decline after the plateau of 3% a year for five years, … Continue reading

Posted in Exports decline to ZERO, How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Want to go off-grid? You might need hundreds of Tesla batteries

Preface. Although you may not be as far north as Victoria, British Columbia (48.4 latitude), you’d ideally want to be at 30 degrees or less latitude from the equator to even consider the expense of off-grid solar power.  And even … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Horse Power

What follows was written by https://civilwartriviajunkie.wordpress.com/about/ “In the June 2015 issue of Civil War Times Magazine is an article by the noted historian James I. Robertson entitled A Dead Horse at Antietam wherein he discusses the roll and fate of … Continue reading

Posted in Muscle Power | Tagged , | 7 Comments