Category Archives: Energy

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

Energy Slaves: every American has somewhere between 200 and 8,000 energy slaves

Preface.  To give you an idea of what energy slaves are, consider what it would take to use human power to provide these: How much energy does it take to toast a single slice of Bread? Olympic Cyclist Vs. Toaster: … Continue reading

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Shale gas is only good for plastics, not transportation fuels

The oil industry is making more plastic because electric cars have cut gasoline use, but because shale “fracked” gas is so light plastic is about the only use. It is not a transportation fuel that can save us from the … Continue reading

Posted in Natural Gas | Tagged | 2 Comments

1688 Tons of material to build just 1 windmill

Preface.  The 2.3 MW wind turbine in this video weighs a lot more than the 900 tons I list later in this post, that’s just what I was able to hear in the video and it leaves at least half … Continue reading

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Hydrogen fuel cell cars are a waste of time and money, and explosive

Preface. Below are several articles about hydrogen.  Today in 2019 it is still far from commercial.  A massive amount of infrastructure needs to be in place before people will consider buying hydrogen fuel cell cars, and because of explosions in … Continue reading

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Wind, solar, and natural gas are driving nuclear power out of business

Preface. I’m no fan of nuclear power because we may already be at peak uranium, there’s nowhere to store nuclear waste, and a spent nuclear pool fire could harm millions of people. But renewable wind and solar and natural gas … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear Power, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Getting Arctic oil and natural gas will take decades or more

Preface. Only one exploratory well can be drilled in the short arctic summers, and many more need to be drilled to even find and then explore the size of a potential oil field to see if it is worth extracting.  … Continue reading

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MIT: Why the electric-car revolution may take a lot longer than expected

Preface. This study from MIT explains why price parity of electric and gasoline vehicles is likely to take a lot longer than 5 years, and perhaps never if cars continue to depend on lithium-ion batteries. Deeper cost declines beyond 2030 … Continue reading

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

Many signs of peak oil and decline

Preface.  Recently the IEA 2018 World Energy Outlook predicted an oil crunch could happen as soon as 2023.  Oil supermajors are expected to have 10 years of reserve life or more, Shell is down to just 8 years. Political shortages … Continue reading

Posted in Debt, How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 7 Comments

When wood once again becomes our main energy source, how long will it last?

Preface. Since we’re going back to wood as our main energy and infrastructure source after fossil fuels deplete, I thought it would be interesting to try to get an idea of how wood stacks up against other energy resources (below).   … Continue reading

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Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

Preface. It’s obviously much easier and more energy efficient to set logs on fire for heat and electricity than to turn them into ethanol.   Burning biomass can’t do much to solve our energy crisis.  To produce just 10% of … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Electric Grid | Tagged , , | 1 Comment