Category Archives: Energy

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

Carbon capture could require 25% of all global energy

Preface.  This is clearly a pipedream. Surely the authors know this, since they say that the energy needed to run direct air capture machines in 2100 is up to 300 exajoules each year. That’s more than half of global energy … Continue reading

Posted in CO2 and Methane, Far Out | Tagged , | 3 Comments

How safe are utility-scale energy storage batteries?

Preface.  Airplanes can be forced to make an emergency landing if even a small external battery pack, like the kind used to charge cell phones, catches on fire (Mogg 2019). If a small battery pack can force an airplane to … Continue reading

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Global oil discoveries far from breaking even with consumption

Preface.  According to Bloomberg (2016), oil discoveries in 2015 were the lowest since 1947, with just 2.7 billion barrels of conventional oil found globally (though Rystad calculated this differently at 5.6, nearly twice as much). Since the world burns 36.5 … Continue reading

Posted in How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Gravity energy storage

Preface. This is interesting, but not commercial. And as my book “When trucks stop running” explains, trucks are the basis of civilization, and can’t run on electric batteries or overhead wires. Even if they could, I explained why a 100% … Continue reading

Posted in Energy Storage, Research | Tagged | 9 Comments

Cheddar Power

Preface. Oh how I love cheddar. When I hear that someone is a vegan I stare in disbelief. A life without cheese is a life not worth living, especially a life without cheddar. As a perpetually hungry child, if Mom … Continue reading

Posted in Far Out | Tagged | 4 Comments

Oil Choke Points vulnerable to war, chaos, terrorism, piracy

Preface. The U.S., thanks to fracking, which is likely to peak by 2025, produces half of the 20 million barrels of oil it uses per day. The other half of our oil is imported, with 45% of imports (4.5 million … Continue reading

Posted in Chokepoints, Infrastructure Attacks, Oil & Gas, Oil Shocks, Threats to oil supply | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

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

Preface: By far the largest so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is wood. In its various forms, from sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable-energy consumption. Although … Continue reading

Posted in Wood | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Hydrogen, the Homeopathic Energy Crisis Remedy

Preface.  Hydrogen is the dumbest, most ridiculous possible energy resource. Far more energy is required to make and store it than you get out of it, since it has absolutely no energy at all.  In a hydrogen fuel cell truck, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Electric trucks impossible, Energy, Hydrogen | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS)

Preface. This is the only commercial way to store energy now (CAES hardly counts with just one plant and salt domes to put more in existing in only 5 states). Though of course hydropower is only in a few states … Continue reading

Posted in Dams, Energy Production, Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

How much oil left in America? Not much

If you think no worries because we can get arctic oil, think again. We can’t because icebergs knock the drilling platforms down, and massive amounts of new infrastructure — roads, rail lines, platforms, buildings — are needed to set up … Continue reading

Posted in How Much Left, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 1 Comment