Category Archives: Alternative Energy

Can Geothermal power make up for declining fossil fuels?

Preface. 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.   Even then drilling can only be done … Continue reading

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Movie review of Michael Moore’s “Planet of the Humans”

Preface. This documentary was made by Jeff Gibbs, a writer and environmentalist, with Michael Moore as the executive producer. This movie is worth watching, and an entertaining and quick way to understand why rebuildable “renewables” are neither green or a … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biomass, Coal, Natural Gas, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Fossil-fueled industrial heat hard to impossible to replace with renewables

Preface. Cement, steel, glass, bricks, ceramics, chemicals, and much more depend on fossil-fueled high heat (up to 3200 F) to make. Except for the electric-arc furnace to recycle existing steel, there aren’t any renewable ways to make cement, other metals, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Industrial Heat | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Foreign Policy: The limits of clean energy

Preface. This article appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy. Some of the points made are: Renewables to power the world would require 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Energy Resources, Consumption | Tagged , , | 8 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

Germany’s renewable energy program, Energiewende, is a big, expensive failure

Preface. After reading this post, or better yet the original 44-page document, you’ll understand why the Green New Deal isn’t working out despite being crazy expensive. The goal of Energiewende was to make Germany independent of fossil fuels.  But it … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Wind | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Why solar power can’t save us from the coming energy crisis

Preface. Embedded within the posts below are many reasons why solar electricity can’t replace fossil fuels.  All solar and wind do is add to the giant fire of burning fossil fuels with just a tiny bit more power, about 4% … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, CSP with thermal energy storage, Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Hydropower can’t help with the energy crisis

Preface. When fossil fuels are gone, there aren’t many ways to balance the unreliable, intermittent, and often absent for weeks at a time power from wind and solar.  Biofuels and burning biomass is one solution, it’s dispatchable and can kick … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Hydropower | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

High-Tech can’t last: there are limited essential elements

There are 17 rare earth elements in the periodic table. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.  Source: … Continue reading

Posted in ! PEAK EVERYTHING, Alternative Energy, Cascading Failure, Important Minerals, Microchip Fabrication stops, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Utility scale energy storage has a long way to go to make renewables possible

What follows comes from my book “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation” , which is also where you’ll find the references backing up what I’ve written below. I often get letters from people about energy breakthroughs … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Critical Thinking, Electric Grid, Electricity, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , | 7 Comments