Tag Archives: wood

When wood once again becomes our main energy source, how long will it last?

Preface. Since we’re going back to wood as our main energy and infrastructure source after fossil fuels deplete, I thought it would be interesting to try to get an idea of how wood stacks up against other energy resources (below).   … Continue reading

Posted in Nate Hagens, Where to Be or Not to Be, Wood | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

Preface. It’s obviously much easier and more energy efficient to set logs on fire for heat and electricity than to turn them into ethanol.   Burning biomass can’t do much to solve our energy crisis.  To produce just 10% of … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Electric Grid | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Steam powered farm tractors

Preface. Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Charcoal for the high heat needed in manufacturing after peak oil

Preface. De Decker (2011) writes: “A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy consumption. In the UK, these activities account for 85% of domestic energy use, in Europe for … Continue reading

Posted in Industrial Heat, Peak Biofuels, Wood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wood, the fuel of preindustrial societies, is half of EU renewable energy

Preface: By far the largest so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is wood. In its various forms, from sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable-energy consumption. Although … Continue reading

Posted in Wood | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

European Power plants are burning American forests

Preface.   Incredibly, this article doesn’t address the fact that after you cut down a forest and convert the wood into pellets destined to be burned in European furnaces for “clean energy”, the next forest won’t grow back with nearly as … Continue reading

Posted in CO2 and Methane, Deforestation, Wood | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Book review of Wrigley’s “Energy and the English Industrial revolution”

Preface. I’ve made a strong case in my book “When trucks stop running” and this energyskeptic website that we will eventually return to wood and a 14th century lifestyle after fossil fuels are depleted. So if you’re curious about what … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Energy, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth | Tagged , , , | 7 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

Book: John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”

Preface.  This contains excerpts from John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”. It’s one of my favorite books about natural resources, exploring the role wood has played in the rise and fall of civilizations since they … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Collapsed, Deforestation, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Soil, Wood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Agriculture, Experts, Life Before Oil, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments