Category Archives: Solar

Not enough rare metals to scale up solar power

Preface. Sunshine may be free, but the materials to make solar contraptions sure aren’t.  Since sunshine arrives in a diluted form, vast expanses of solar photovoltaic panels will be needed to produce the world’s 24,000 Terawatt hours of electrical power … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining, Photovoltaic Solar, Recycle | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Renewables: not enough minerals, energy, time or clean and green

Preface. Electricity generating contraptions like wind and solar can’t replace the 50% of oil used in global manufacturing, because they can’t generate the high heat needed, or run battery or catenary electric trucks as I explained in “When Trucks Top … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Rare Earth, Peak Resources, Recycle, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Minerals essential for wind, solar, and high-tech, are anything but clean and green

This is a book review of Pitron’s “The rare metals war”.  To produce the metals and minerals to make a transition to wind, solar, nuclear and so on would be incredibly destructive and filthy. A fifth of China’s arable land … Continue reading

Posted in Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining, Peak Resources, Photovoltaic Solar, Recycle, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Renewables must help pay for transmission and their energy storage backup of fossil power plants

Preface. Wind and solar advocates don’t include transmission and backup costs in their net energy calculations. But without fossil backup, the electric grid will come down due to lack of storage. There is almost nowhere left to put pumped hydro … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Energy Storage, Solar, Solar EROI, Wind, Wind EROI | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Concentrated Solar Power is dying out in the U.S.

Preface.  Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) contributes only 0.06 % of U.S. electricity, mainly in California (64 %) and Arizona (24 %) because extremely dry areas with no humidity, haze, or pollutants are required. Of the 1861 MW power they can … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, CSP with thermal energy storage, Grid instability, Seasonal Variation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Building a national super grid in America

Preface. Renewables are not evenly distributed.  Just 10 states have 80% of hydropower (Homeland Security 2011), 10 states produce 75% of wind power (EIA 2017), and 10 states produce 79% of solar power (CE 2020). With a national grid, instead … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Electricity, National Super Grid, Solar, Vaclav Smil, Wind | 3 Comments

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 , , , , , | 15 Comments

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

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

Preface. The bright future of solar thermal powered factories, makes some important points about using concentrated solar power to generate heat: “…A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Energy, Manufacturing & Industrial Heat | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 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