Category Archives: Alternative Energy

Book review of Vaclav Smil’s “Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects”

Preface.  In my extract of the 178 pages in the book below, Smil explains why renewables can’t possibly replace fossil fuels, and appears to be exasperated that people believe this can be done when he writes “Common expectations of energy … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Far Out, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The electric grid: fragile, filthy, poorly managed, polluting, inefficient, corrupt

Preface. Most forms of alternative energy depend on the electric grid (nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower). But the Grid is falling apart.  Most people who care about climate change believe electrifying everything will solve our problems. This energy section of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Blackouts, Books, Electricity, Energy | 3 Comments

Challenges & opportunities for alternative transportation fuels and vehicles. U.S. House hearing, 2011

Congress is aware that an energy crisis looms, though they seldom acknowledge or deal with it.  Here are a few excerpts from this hearing: Michael F. Doyle, Pennsylvania.   It seems like we repeat this cycle in this country decade after … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy Dependence, Energy Policy, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Power density of biomass, wind, & solar take too much land to replace fossil fuels

Preface. Vaclav Smil writes “The fact that wind, solar, and biomass have incredibly low energy density per square meter means that a fully renewable system to replace the 320 GW of fossil fueled electricity generation and 1.8 TW of coal, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biomass, Coal, Hydropower, Natural Gas, Oil | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 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

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Peak soil: Industrial agriculture destroys ecosystems and civilizations. Biofuels make it worse.

Alice Friedemann. 2017. Peak Soil.  Last update Oct 23, 2017, first 2007 [ Formerly titled: Why Biofuels are Not Sustainable and a Threat to America’s National Security.  Shorter versions appear in the following books: Jacqueline Langwith, ed. 2008.  “Opposing Viewpoints: Renewable … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Peak Biofuels, Soil, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Fight: 21 top scientists show why Jacobson and Delucchi’s renewable scheme is a delusional fantasy

[ Seldom have I seen such a vitriolic fight among scientists.  As you’ll see below, I think all of them miss the main problems with trying to create a 100% renewable energy system, though I can only summarize and leave … Continue reading

Posted in ! PEAK EVERYTHING, Alternative Energy, Electric Grid, Electricity, Infrastructure | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Federal government subsidies, tax breaks, costs of renewable and fossil energy production GAO 2014

[ I’m far more interested in the energy returned on invested than money since that’s what really matters.  So I often stopped taking notes, and didn’t organize them. But the tables and figures give you an idea of subsidies and … Continue reading

Posted in GAO Government Accountability Office, Subsidies | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why Nuclear Power is not an alternative to fossil fuels

[ Economic reasons are the main hurdle to new nuclear plants now, with capital costs so high it’s almost impossible to get a loan, especially when natural gas is so much cheaper and less risky. But there are other reasons … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Nuclear Power, Renewable Integration | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Can Geothermal power make up for declining fossil fuels?

[ Geothermal power plants are cost justified only in places where volcanic or tectonic activity brings heat close to the surface, mainly in “ring of fire” nations and volcanic hot spots like Hawaii.   On top of that, the rocks below … Continue reading

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