Tag Archives: coal

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

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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

From wood to fossil fueled civilizations — the greatest tragedy mankind will ever know

[ These are my notes from this book about how we went from an organic sustainable economy to a temporary fossil-fueled one.  It’s one of the few books I’ve found that explains what life was like before fossil fuels in … Continue reading

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U.S. Senate 2014 Freight rail service: improving the performance of America’s rail system

Preface. This Senate hearing is mainly full of oil and grain industry leaders bashing the rail industry and asking Senators to do something about it. But the railroad industry is four times more energy efficient than trucks, and not guilty … Continue reading

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Permafrost will limit natural gas, oil, and coal extraction

Preface. For many people, it’s comforting to know that about 25% of remaining oil and gas reserves (we have the know-how and economics to get it) and resources (beyond our technical and monetary capability) are in the arctic. They assume … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, EROEI remaining oil too low, How Much Left, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Oil, Reserves Lower than stated, Roads, Transportation | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Permafrost will limit natural gas, oil, and coal extraction

Minerals and War from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Bardi, Ugo. 2014. Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet. Chelsea Green Publishing. “Clearly there wasn’t much of an incentive to move an army or a caravan across the mountains and deserts that separated Egypt from … Continue reading

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Minerals: Coal from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Bardi, Ugo. 2014. Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet. Chelsea Green Publishing. True large-scale coal mining started only during the 18th century in Europe, and in particular in England and France. Initially coal was considered … Continue reading

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Coal power plants depend on railroads to deliver coal

[ The extract of a Senate hearing below is mostly spent on testimony by utilities bashing the railroads for not delivering enough coal due to a disaster in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming area, where coal dust infiltrated the stone … Continue reading

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Germany’s “Energiewende” may need to be rescued with nonrenewable coal power

[ Below is my summary of The Energiewende is Running Up Against Its Limits (October 24, 2016) by Jeffrey Michel at the Energy Collective. Wealthy, well-educated Germany has tried harder and longer than most nations to make a transition to renewables. … Continue reading

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Hall and Lambert: EROI of different fuels and the implications for society

[ Excerpts from the Hall, Lambert, and Balogh EROI paper. You may want to read the original paper here since I’ve left out charts, figures, and text.  In my opinion, EROI is important because it is  due diligence – society ought to … Continue reading

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