Tag Archives: solar

Pedro Prieto: many solar panels won’t last 25-30 years, EROI may be negative

Preface. Pedro Prieto and Charles Hall wrote the definitive book on the EROI of solar power, “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment” and has built many commercial facilities himself and witnessed the failure of solar panels long before … Continue reading

Posted in Pedro Prieto, Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Challenges to the Integration of Renewable Resources at High System Penetration

Preface.  This overview of challenges for wind and solar written in 2010 is still true today. We are far from being able to reach even a 50% renewable grid (excluding hydropower from the total) given the lack of storage, the … Continue reading

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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 , , , | 4 Comments

Vaclav Smil: from wood to coal to oil, energy transitions take a long time

Preface.  This post has a shortened, reworded, and heavily commented on article from Scientific American in 2014.  You can also see two much longer articles about energy transitions by Smil from n 2008 and 2010 here: Vaclav Smil: Our transition … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Coal, Dependence on Oil, Energy, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Solar PV requires too much land to replace fossils

Preface. This is a brief summary of the Capellan-Perez paper that calculates the land needed to use solar to replace electricity as well as the land needed if solar were to replace all of societies use of energy (i.e. transportation, … Continue reading

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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, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Renewable EROI must include storage, low capacity factor, wide boundaries

[ Trainer argues that when you consider how the capacity factor of wind and solar are to fossil plants, seasonality of wind and solar the number of facilities is quite large to deal with the intermittency problem.  Therefore the storage … Continue reading

Posted in Solar, Solar EROI, Wind, Wind EROI | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Richard Heinberg: Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions

Preface. This article by Richard Heinberg at Postcarbon refutes a column by Paul Krugmen called “Errors and Emissions Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free?” here.  Most of my friends and family think I’m nuts because articles like this … Continue reading

Posted in EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Richard Heinberg, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

If we really cared about CO2, we’d reduce car size and weight, not make electric cars

Preface. Since my book “When trucks stop running: Energy and the future of transportation makes the case that it’s trucks that need to be electrified to keep civilization going, since biofuels don’t scale up, natural gas and liquefied coal are … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Electrification | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Why is nearly all solar power built where subsidies are the highest?

If solar net energy return is as high as some solar advocates claim, why does solar need any subsidies? And not just U.S. subsidies, it’s subsidies on top of subsidies when you add in that we’re buying Chinese government subsidized … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Energy Policy, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments