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Sun Aug 14, 2016, 03:13 PM

Wind Energy Is "Renewable Energy?" Really?

All of humanity's efforts to address climate change have failed, and failed dramatically. I noted this much recently in this space in the latest of a depressing series of references to the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory of what is developing into the absolute worst year for new accumulations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere, 2016:

July 31, 2016: Mauna Loa carbon dioxide levels 5.04 ppm higher than one year ago.

Predictably, this thread resulted in little commentary, since we really, really, really, really, really want to tell ourselves that we're doing something about climate change because we're investing heavily in so called "renewable energy," spending about a trillion bucks or so every five years on the solar and wind industries. It has been a useless exercise in futility. It has not worked; it is not working and it will not work.

Every five years the OECD publishes the World Energy Outlook, the most recent version being that of 2015, with the 2016 edition due for publication in the coming November.

Regrettably the document is behind a fire wall, but if one goes to a good university library like the one I'm in right now, one may be able to open the document and refer to table 2.1 on page 57 to see that the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy was nuclear energy, which produced in 646 million tons oil equivalent (MTOE) in 2013, which translates into 27.05 exajoules, down slightly from 2000, when it produced 676 MTOE, translating to 28.03 exajoules.

World Energy Demand in 2013 was 567 exajoules according to the document. Despite all the prattling one hears about "energy conservation," the demand is certainly much higher in 2016 than it was in 2013.

In 2013, Japan's nuclear facilities were shut on the grounds that people needed to determine whether they were "safe" after Fukushima, and replaced them with dangerous fossil fuel generated electricity generating plants that kill people not only in accident situations, but do so whenever they are turned on.

Dangerous fossil fuel related air pollution kills about 1/2 of the 7 million people who die each year from air pollution, with the other half coming from the use of biofuels, generally in poor countries that still rely on so called "renewable energy," chiefly biomass, because unlike us, they have limited access to dangerous coal, dangerous petroleum, and dangerous natural gas, and of course, nuclear energy. These people live short, miserable lives of dire poverty, and we couldn't care less about them. We've got trillions of dollars to spend on so called "renewable energy" but are unwilling to spend a dime to provide even moderately safe latrines for the 1.3 billion people who lack any kind of access to improved sanitation facilities.

Only the latter form of energy can be called "safe" even though there a loud and cacophonous crowd of scientific illiterates who think nuclear energy is unsafe, despite the fact that it hasn't, in its entire commercial history, killed as many people as will die today from air pollution, about 19,000 people.

Speaking of biofuels, the 2015 OECD "World Energy Outlook" document indicates that biofuels supplied about 1376 MTOE, or 57.61 exajoules of energy. The table has a footnote stating

* Includes the traditional use of solid biomass and modern use of bioenergy.


The "traditional use of solid biomass" is chiefly by the billions of people on this planet who live in desperate poverty, unimaginable poverty to almost everyone who can afford, say, a computer. These people live short, miserable lives of dire poverty, and we couldn't care less about them. We've got trillions of dollars to spend on so called "renewable energy" but are unwilling to spend a dime to provide even moderately safe latrines for the 1.3 billion people who lack any kind of access to improved sanitation facilities.

On occasion one may hear a complete fool with a very poor education who will argue that biomass is a larger "climate change gas free" form of energy but this is just stupid. "Traditional biomass" is responsible for huge amounts of deforestation, and there is a huge debate as to whether "modern use of bioenergy" is carbon negative, carbon neutral, or even a source of carbon dioxide. If it is, in fact, carbon negative, it is only slightly so, since it depends of the collection of diffuse biomass using petroleum fueled devices like tractors and trucks, vast networks of pumps, access to huge amounts of fixed nitrogen manufactured using either dangerous natural gas (in the West) or dangerous coal (in China and other countries) and as in the case of South East Asia (chiefly Indonesia and Malaysia), the destruction of rain forests, to have palm oil plantations for biodiesel, and the destruction of Rain forests, and the world's largest wetland, the Pantanal, in South America to grow ethanol, and the destruction of the Mississippi delta to grow corn for ethanol in the United States.

Biomass is not carbon neutral.

But what about wind and solar? They're wonderful aren't they? They are lumped under "other renewables" in Table 2.1 in the OECD WEO. They produced 161 MTOE, or about 6.74 exajoules. "Other renewables" includes solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, blah, blah, blah, ad infinitim.

We have bet the planetary atmosphere on these technologies and all of humanity, and in fact, all living things, have lost the bet, as the figures at Mauna Loa demonstrate emphatically.

Of the 6.74 exajoules produced by "other renewables," the total figure is dominated all most certainly by wind energy. The solar energy industry is clearly even more useless if one looks. According to the 2013 "Technology Roadmap" for wind energy(also published by the OECD), in 2012, after the investment of close to a trillion dollars in the industry, the wind industry produced 575 TWh of electricity, which translates into 1.89 exajoules of energy.

It may have doubled since then, and of course, as all the fools buying into this disastrous bet will tell you, it's growing rapidly, "exponentially" as they've been saying for the last 20 or 30 years while the atmosphere has been collapsing at ever accelerating rates.

And it's "sustainable." Right?

Um, um, um....

A recent paper on the subject of the treatment of acid mine runoff brings, into its opening paragraphs a, um, remark on how, exactly, "renewable" the wind industry is, referring to its own mining requirements. Here's a link to the paper, which is in my favorite scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology. Recovery of Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium from Passive-Remediation Systems of Acid Mine Drainage (Ayora et al, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (15), pp 8255–8262) The paper is in the current issue as of this writing (August 14, 2016.)

Here's the opening two paragraphs excerpted:

Rare earth elements (REE), together with yttrium (REY), are essential raw materials for modern technological developments. Their most important uses include the manufacturing of permanent magnets for wind turbines, alloys for rechargeable batteries and jet engines, and phosphor light-emitting compounds for plasma, liquid crystal, or light-emitting diodes. In 2011, global demand was 105 kt of REY oxides, and it is expected to grow to 160 kt by 2016.1 In general, global consumption of REY is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate in excess of 5% from 2014 through 2020.2This increasing demand is particularly evident for elements used in wind energy and electric vehicles, such as Dy and Nd .In the absence of drastic changes in the present-day technologies of reuse and recycling, increases of 700% and 2600% for Nd and Dy, respectively, are expected over the next25 years.3

Most mined REY deposits are located in carbonatites and other alkaline magmatic intrusive rocks. Additional resources of REY are adsorbed on clay deposits from the weathering and reworking of original primary igneous rocks. China dominates worldwide REY production. The Bayan Obo super large deposit currently accounts for approximately 90% of the REE production, with clays accounting for 6−7%.4 In response tothe increasing global demand and the mining dominance ofChina, alternative sources of REY have become a necessity for other countries. Recycling in-use stocks can be an alternative source, especially for the “big four,” i.e., La, Ce, Nd, and Pr. The availability of less-abundant REE, however, continues to be achallenge.5


The point of the paper is to argue that if we someday treat acid runoff from some historical and current mining operations, not a good bet, we may be able to get a little more "rare earth" (lanthanide) elements than we've identified in current reserves.

Growth in mining for dysprosium (Dy) will require a scale up of 2600%. That's, um, renewable, sustainable? (Dysprosium is a low level constituent of lanthanide (rare earth) ores.)

And it's even worse than that, really, for other materials, as noted in a recent paper in Nature Geoscience, to wit:

Metals for a low-carbon society (Olivier Vidal, Bruno Goffé and Nicholas Arndt, Nature Geoscience 6, 894–896 (2013). The source references for the calculations are found in the supplementary information for this paper.) An excerpt from the text:

However, this transition (to so called "renewable energy" will also cause much additional global demand for raw materials: for an equivalent installed capacity, solar and wind facilities require up to 15 times more concrete, 90 times more aluminium, and 50 times more iron, copper and glass than fossil fuels or nuclear energy (Supplementary Fig. 1). Yet, current production of wind and solar energy meets only about 1% of global demand, and hydroelectricity meets about 7% (ref. 2).


I had some remarks on this requirement elsewhere: Sustaining the Wind Part 1 – Is So Called “Renewable Energy” the Same as “Sustainable Energy?”

(I never did get around to publishing the last two parts of that series...perhaps I should...never mind...it would do no good, as the figures for carbon dioxide accumulations demonstrate, unambiguously, that it is too late to defeat the fear and ignorance that have won the day.)

So is the tiny and thus far useless wind industry really, "renewable" and "sustainable?"

That depends on whether one can make the case that access to dysprosium is any different than access to dangerous natural gas, or coal, or oil. And let's not forget that the energy/mass ratio of wind energy is much lower than any of the three dangerous fossil fuels.

We are lying to ourselves, and the result is written clearly, and in unmistakable terms where no one can miss it, in the planetary atmosphere.

It's hot as hell today here in New Jersey, and I have to go.

Have a nice Sunday evening.


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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wind Energy Is "Renewable Energy?" Really? (Original post)
NNadir Aug 2016 OP
MattP Aug 2016 #1
NNadir Aug 2016 #2
kristopher Aug 2016 #3
Ready4Change Aug 2016 #4
NNadir Aug 2016 #5
kristopher Aug 2016 #6
hedda_foil Aug 2016 #7
NNadir Aug 2016 #8
kristopher Aug 2016 #9

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 03:22 PM

1. In Palm Springs Wind Energy is not useless

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Response to MattP (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 03:26 PM

2. As far as climate change is concerned, it is useless everywhere. n/t

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 06:14 PM

3. GIGO

Falsehoods and contrived logic for another classic case of Nadir's garbage in, garbage out.





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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 06:56 PM

4. Your solution would be...?

We have three paths going into the future.

1. We try to develop renewables. If we can manage it, we buy ourselves time to correct the harm we have done to our one world. Buy ourselves a chance to exist, as a major species, for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands or more, years. Continue long enough, perhaps, to extend our reach to other worlds.

2. We continue as we are, driving ourselves deeper and deeper into a self constructed Carbon Oven, ensuring that in the future, when the fossil/carbon fuels are depleted, that we, as a species, suffer a major die-off the likes of which few human beings are able to comprehend, with a real possibility that we go extinct.

3. We voluntarily reduce, very soon, our population to the 1-2 billion it has been estimated that the Earth can sustain without the use of fossil fuels. Note, reduce TO 1-2 billion, not BY 1-2 billion. To reach non-fossil fuel use sustainability 5-6 billion people MUST cease to exist.

Given the options, I'm kinda a fan of #1.

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Response to Ready4Change (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 07:46 PM

5. There is, at this point, no solution actually, but what the solution would...

...have been, were it not for fear and ignorance, would have been the only new form of primary energy discovered in the last several centuries, nuclear energy.

It was invented by some of the finest minds of the 20th century, and trashed by some of the most distracted and poorly educated mobs in history.

Nuclear energy already reduced the carbon output by roughly 60 billion tons - equivalent to roughly two years of output at current levels - and it saved 1.8 million lives that other wise would have been lost to air pollution, which kills seven million people a year, every year while assholes burn coal and gas to generates electricity that runs computers to speculate whether someone somewhere might die some day from radiation connected to Chernobyl.

This is not my opinion, but is the fact published in one of the world's most prestigious Environmental scientific journals in a paper co-authored by one of the world's most prominent climate scientists.

Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power (Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (9), pp 4889–4895) It has continuously remained on the 12 month "most read" lists of that journal since publication.

We squandered two trillion bucks on so called "renewable energy" in the last ten years for no result except that gas, oil and coal use is increasing everywhere, and the accumulation of dangerous fossil fuel waste in the atmosphere is growing a newly incomprehensible rate.

The infrastructure created with this squandering will be landfill in the next twenty to thirty years, pretty toxic landfill at that.

For two trillion dollars, we could have built at least 200 new nuclear plants designed to last 80 years, more if we didn't insist that nuclear plants be nearly without risk even as fossil fuel waste has killed tens of millions of people in the last decade. Nuclear plants, built and operated by highly trained engineers, would be producing, every year, for the majority of this century, about 15 exajoules of energy.

Unfortunately people have chosen, instead, to repeat mindless pablum insisting that the only option is to engage in a reactionary program to rely on so called "renewable energy" which, afterall, was abandoned around the 19th century on the grounds that it, um, left most of humanity impoverished even beyond the scale we see today.

Our ignorance, and our willingness to repeat this reactionary pablum is a crime against all future generations.

We are destroying the future because we are so lazy, so badly informed, so willing to hear only what we want to hear, and insist, even though it's a dumb idea which hasn't worked, isn't working and won't wake that we must "try to develop renewables."

I note that when faced with a comparable crisis in the equally superstitious middle ages, the bubonic plague, people crowded into rat infested churches to try to develop prayer strategies to stop the epidemics.

That didn't work either, even though practically everyone was convinced that this was the answer.

Enjoy the waning weeks of this unbelievable hot summer.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 14, 2016, 11:55 PM

6. What the rest of the world knows.

RENEWABLES 2016 · GLOBAL STATUS REPORT · KEY FINDINGS

MAINSTREAMING RENEWABLES:
GUIDANCE FOR POLICY MAKERS


The universal nature of energy was emphasised in the international political sphere in 2015. In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goal on ensuring access to sustainable energy for all (SDG 7). Furthermore, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement to address climate change in December 2015, committing to increasing renewables and energy e iciency as part of the goal to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre- industrial levels.

There is a clear link between environmental protection, poverty reduction, economic growth and technology development, and this work on cross-cutting issues cannot be done in silos. In order to meet the agreed targets, it will be necessary to work across the various domains, including increasing dialogue, using multi-stakeholder approaches and cross-cutting educational programmes, and supporting interministerial collaboration. National budgeting structures also must contain cross-cutting aspects, and finance (and potentially other) ministries must be included in climate and energy decision-making processes alongside energy ministries.

Outside of the political sphere, civil society demonstrated its overwhelming support for a transition to renewable energy, including through the Pope’s environmental encyclical and the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist declarations on climate change, all of which called on communities of faith to commit to a zero- or low-carbon future. Pressure also is being placed on the more- reluctant energy sector players. Even shareholders in fossil fuel companies increasingly are pushing for the companies to become ‘greener’. The private sector is taking advantage of the falling costs of renewable energy technologies, and new initiatives have emerged that include both public and private sector actors, acknowledging that all have a role to play in the energy transition.

In parallel, increasing energy access for the 1.2 billion people without access to electricity is an international priority. In order to meet the target of limiting global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius, while at the same time increasing energy access, remaining fossil fuel reserves will have to be kept in the ground, and both renewable energy and energy e iciency will have to be scaled up dramatically.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD
Fossil fuel subsidies have to be phased out, as they distort the true costs of energy and encourage wasteful spending and increased emissions. Fossil fuel subsidies also present a barrier to scaling up clean energy by: decreasing the costs of fossil fuel-powered electricity generation, thereby blunting the cost- competitiveness of renewables; creating an incumbent advantage that strengthens the position of fossil fuels in the electricity system; and creating conditions that favour investments in fossil fuel-based technologies over renewables.i Fossil fuel subsidies were estimated to be over USD 490 billionii in 2014, compared with subsidies of only USD 135 billion for renewables.iii

Policy design should financially discourage investments in fossil fuels and nuclear, while also removing risk from investments in renewable energy. This is crucial for scaling up renewables, which can help close the energy access gap. Although there has been some divestment from fossil fuels and advances in renewable energy investment, fossil fuel and nuclear investments continue to be favoured over clean energy in many instances, particularly when short-term gains are the primary consideration and long-term thinking is discounted. This can occur when politicians think only in terms of the next election cycle, or when companies attempt to provide shareholders with quick returns. Furthermore, fossil fuels are more institutionalised and have long-standing, well-financed lobbies.

Conversely, renewables are still less known and often su er from negative images and messages that are widely communicated, such as the idea that incorporating large shares of renewables is unrealistic due to variability, or that renewables are too expensive. Simultaneously, renewable energy policy changes and uncertainties undermine investor confidence, inhibiting investment and deployment in some markets. Investors consider all of these factors in their decision making, as do insurers (demonstrated by the increasing presence of insurance addressing climate change risks). Likewise, policy makers should think on a long-term basis in order to increase investment in clean energy and advance the energy transition in their countries.

THINK BEYOND THE POWER SECTOR
More emphasis needs to be placed on strengthening the role of renewable energy in the heating and cooling and transport sectors, as well as on sector coupling. Policy support for the use of renewables in these sectors has advanced at a much slower pace over the past 10 years than it has in the power sector; currently renewable heat obligations exist in only 21 countries and biofuel mandates exist in only 66 countries, compared to 114 countries with renewable energy regulatory policies in the power sector. Not only should policy support for renewables increase in general, but interaction among the three sectors also needs to increase, and national policies should strengthen local capacity, particularly in the heating and cooling sector due to its distributed nature and to its large reliance on local resources.
Policy makers need to remove barriers that are preventing the increased share of renewables in heating and cooling and transport. Current policy initiatives in both sectors are not su icient to drive the transition from fossil fuels. Policies in the heating and cooling sector, in particular, have not progressed, although heat represents nearly half of annual final energy consumption. To resolve a structural problem of this magnitude, both supply- and demand-side barriers to increasing the use of renewables in both sectors must be addressed, such as lack of trained personnel, costs to retrofit or upgrade, lack of awareness or knowledge of renewable alternatives, reluctance to change and low consumer confidence. These barriers and others can and should be tackled through a suite of programmes and policy support options, including public awareness campaigns, training programmes and renewable energy incentive policies.

PLAN FOR A DISTRIBUTED FUTURE
It is imperative to plan proactively for a future with a higher amount of distributed energy generation. There is a growing trend towards generation closer to the consumption point, and the use of distributed renewable energy is rising in both developing and developed countries. In developing countries, the use of distributed renewables is primarily a tool for increasing energy access, particularly in rural areas; in developed countries, it is in response to a demand for self-su iciency and a desire for more-reliable electricity for those connected to the grid, with an increasing number of ‘prosumers’ emerging.

This change necessitates advanced planning that incorporates a transition to new business models and several policy incentives, while also taking into account the expansion of rooftop solar, decreasing storage costs, increasing energy e iciency measures, the development of community energy projects and the involvement of a new ‘smart’ technology industry. It also will require a scaling up of infrastructure investments to maintain and build out stable grid networks ready to integrate high shares of variable renewables.

Comprehensive energy planning is needed to intensify research, development and deployment of enabling infrastructure for distributed resources, including strengthened electricity networks, energy storage, demand response and flexible power plants. In industrialised countries, a change in existing infrastructure needs to take place; in developing countries, the concept of distributed resources should be taken into account in planning and investment, rather than defaulting to the traditional model of connecting everyone to a centralised grid. To provide proper guidance to decision makers, tools need to be developed that reflect these new renewable energy realities and changing business models, and that help to plan for the integration of distributed renewables in developing and developed countries alike. Rather than resorting to an ‘either-or’ mentality, o -grid and on-grid solutions can be pursued simultaneously.

The private sector also should plan for a decentralised energy landscape, as the rapid and exponential growth of renewable power generation and distributed resources comes with both opportunities and challenges, resulting in both winners and losers. In response to new competition and the disruption of traditional business models, some utilities and electricity suppliers are resisting change. Others, however, are repositioning themselves and taking advantage of the renewables opportunity by shifting more towards renewable assets and new markets and embracing the idea of a much more decentralised future power system, with less emphasis on fossil fuels.

ADAPT TO THE NEW, COMPLEX ENERGY SYSTEM
Systemic, cross-cutting approaches are needed for scaling up renewables. Policies often have focused on a single sector, source or technology and were envisioned in the context of centralised power (infra)structures, which no longer reflects the reality of an increasingly complex energy system with increasing crossover and decentralisation. Planning should occur across sectors and across government departments and ministries; policy design should be performed in close dialogue between the public and private sectors; and policies at di erent levels of government should be complementary and reinforcing.

Scaling up renewables is often less a problem of finance, and more one of political will and of capacity; however, in many developing countries, policies and government support still are necessary to establish stable conditions, to ensure that finance can reach projects and to enable private investors to engage. In addition to robust policies that are adapted to the complexity of the new energy system, strong leadership is necessary to advance the energy transition, as ambitious policies require political support, skilled direction and a vision for the future.

To support systemic, cross-cutting approaches to energy, capacity needs to be built at both the political and the technical levels. Training has to be made available for both current and future decision makers, but also to build up the technical workforce to expand technological and economic solutions and to remove barriers that are standing in the way of the energy transition. Such training could include streamlining energy e iciency and renewable energy courses into university curricula, and interdisciplinary/intersectoral internships that link research, markets, business and the public sector.

Additionally, renewables should be considered alongside energy efficiency and energy access. Just as the energy transition cannot occur if all focus is on a single sector, it likewise cannot be achieved without increases in both renewables and energy e iciency. Greater synergies between the two are possible in all sectors, and strengthening measures for one often will, in turn, strengthen the other. To expand energy access, decision makers also must make use of both renewable energy and energy e iciency across all sectors. By building both renewables and e iciency into energy access policies and programmes from the beginning, available energy supply e ectively can be increased, and more-reliable supply can be provided at a lower cost.

i Richard Bridle and Lucy Kitson, The Impact of Fossil-Fuel Subsidies on Renewable Electricity Generation (Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development, December 2014), https://www.iisd.org/gsi/sites/default/files/ s_rens_impacts.pdf.
ii International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates include subsidies to fossil fuels consumed by end-users and subsidies to consumption of electricity generated by fossil fuels. IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: 2015), p. 96.
iii The value of fossil fuel subsidies fluctuates from year to year depending on reform e orts, the consumption level of subsidised fuels, international fossil fuel prices, exchange rates and general price inflation, from ibid. See also “OECD-IEA analysis of fossil fuels and other support,” http://www.oecd.org/site/tad ss/, viewed 3 March 2016. Subsidies for renewables in 2014 included USD 112 billion in the power sector and USD 23 billion for biofuels, from IEA, op. cit. this note, p. 27.


REN21
http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/GSR_2016_PolicyBrief.pdf

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Aug 15, 2016, 01:34 AM

7. And Mr. Nuclear Nadir swings and its gone, gone right over the foul line and over he fence!

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #7)

Mon Aug 15, 2016, 05:19 PM

8. And another the faith based "renewables will save us" automaton ignores the data...

...on carbon dioxide.

Somehow, I don't think future generations will notice "Mr. Nuclear" NNadir. What they will notice is the people who ignored the data.

As noted, and ignored, on July 31, 2016, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was [5.04 ppm.

Or maybe you'd like to produce some data showing that fossil fuel use is decreasing.

In order to not notice that something is "foul" there, one needs to be oblivious, which is not surprising.

The useless wind industry soaked up a trillion bucks in ten years, most of the world's output of dysprosium, produced less energy in its entirety than the growth in dangerous natural gas primary energy. But of course, nothing to worry about. We'll surely find supplies of dysprosium 25 times larger than those we produce today, because, because, because...um...um...wind energy is saving the day, no matter how much carbon dioxide shows up in the atmosphere.

"No foul there. Nothing to see here. Move right along folks. Maybe if it's ten ppm a year, well, I might rethink my position, or maybe not, since I'm sure the babies born tomorrow will do all the things I didn't do fifty years from now."

Um...by the way...the avatar of Franklin Roosevelt is a little inappropriate. You should learn from history. He wasn't known for repeating rigid ideas over and over and over whether they worked or not. He actually hired some of the world's greatest nuclear scientists, many of whom went on to win Nobel Prizes, and to found the industry that dumb folks call "foul."

Ignorance kills people.

Have a nice evening.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 15, 2016, 05:55 PM

9. You are correct about two things

1) CO2 emissions are a planetary emergency.
2) Ignorance kills.

Unfortunately, that's as far as your relationship with reality goes...

Abstract here: http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/EE/article.asp?doi=b809990c

Full article for download here: http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/revsolglobwarmairpol.htm


Energy Environ. Sci., 2009, 2, 148 - 173, DOI: 10.1039/b809990c

Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security

Mark Z. Jacobson

Abstract
This paper reviews and ranks major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security while considering other impacts of the proposed solutions, such as on water supply, land use, wildlife, resource availability, thermal pollution, water chemical pollution, nuclear proliferation, and undernutrition.

Nine electric power sources and two liquid fuel options are considered. The electricity sources include solar-photovoltaics (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, tidal, nuclear, and coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The liquid fuel options include corn-ethanol (E85) and cellulosic-E85. To place the electric and liquid fuel sources on an equal footing, we examine their comparative abilities to address the problems mentioned by powering new-technology vehicles, including battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs), and flex-fuel vehicles run on E85.

Twelve combinations of energy source-vehicle type are considered. Upon ranking and weighting each combination with respect to each of 11 impact categories, four clear divisions of ranking, or tiers, emerge.

Tier 1 (highest-ranked) includes wind-BEVs and wind-HFCVs.
Tier 2 includes CSP-BEVs, geothermal-BEVs, PV-BEVs, tidal-BEVs, and wave-BEVs.
Tier 3 includes hydro-BEVs, nuclear-BEVs, and CCS-BEVs.
Tier 4 includes corn- and cellulosic-E85.

Wind-BEVs ranked first in seven out of 11 categories, including the two most important, mortality and climate damage reduction. Although HFCVs are much less efficient than BEVs, wind-HFCVs are still very clean and were ranked second among all combinations.

Tier 2 options provide significant benefits and are recommended.

Tier 3 options are less desirable. However, hydroelectricity, which was ranked ahead of coal-CCS and nuclear with respect to climate and health, is an excellent load balancer, thus recommended.

The Tier 4 combinations (cellulosic- and corn-E85) were ranked lowest overall and with respect to climate, air pollution, land use, wildlife damage, and chemical waste. Cellulosic-E85 ranked lower than corn-E85 overall, primarily due to its potentially larger land footprint based on new data and its higher upstream air pollution emissions than corn-E85.

Whereas cellulosic-E85 may cause the greatest average human mortality, nuclear-BEVs cause the greatest upper-limit mortality risk due to the expansion of plutonium separation and uranium enrichment in nuclear energy facilities worldwide. Wind-BEVs and CSP-BEVs cause the least mortality.

The footprint area of wind-BEVs is 2–6 orders of magnitude less than that of any other option. Because of their low footprint and pollution, wind-BEVs cause the least wildlife loss.

The largest consumer of water is corn-E85. The smallest are wind-, tidal-, and wave-BEVs.

The US could theoretically replace all 2007 onroad vehicles with BEVs powered by 73000–144000 5 MW wind turbines, less than the 300000 airplanes the US produced during World War II, reducing US CO2 by 32.5–32.7% and nearly eliminating 15000/yr vehicle-related air pollution deaths in 2020.

In sum, use of wind, CSP, geothermal, tidal, PV, wave, and hydro to provide electricity for BEVs and HFCVs and, by extension, electricity for the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors, will result in the most benefit among the options considered. The combination of these technologies should be advanced as a solution to global warming, air pollution, and energy security. Coal-CCS and nuclear offer less benefit thus represent an opportunity cost loss, and the biofuel options provide no certain benefit and the greatest negative impacts.

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