Category Archives: Energy

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

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 , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Can concentrated solar power be used to generate industrial process heat?

Preface. In the comments section, Ray Universe pointed out an excellent article, The bright future of solar thermal powered factories, about solar collectors and what they can do. Some important points: A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Concentrated Solar Power can only exist in deserts and use too much water

What follows is my summary of: Bracken, N., et al. 2015. Concentrating solar power and water issues in the U.S. Southwest. U.S. department of energy, National renewable energy lab. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Electricity | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why “fracked” shale oil and gas will not save us

Preface. As early as 2011 experts were questioning how large fracked natural gas reserves were. The latest IEA 2018 report predicts shale oil/gas could start to decline by 2025, and all global oil as soon as 2023.  Shale oil and … Continue reading

Posted in Natural Gas, Oil & Gas Fracked, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Oil | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenges to making California’s grid renewable

What follows is a report from the California Energy Commission. But in less bureaucratic language, this may summarize it better (Petersen 2019): “I’ve always been amazed at a strange mental disconnect that’s common among renewable power advocates. On one hand, … Continue reading

Posted in Grid instability | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 , , , | 3 Comments

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