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Can renewable energy supply all our needs.
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Author:  warmair [ Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Can renewable energy supply all our needs.


This report by the IPCC is an excellent resource for anyone interested in renewable technology.

The report suggests that by 2050 we can supply 80% of our energy needs from renewables. Personally I believe that it is well within our abilities to achieve a very low carbon economy, but due to the simple fact, that the know fossil fuel reserves are about five times greater than we can burn, without exceeding a global temperature increase of 2 Deg C., we have an enormous pressure from the fossil fuel companies to exploit those reserves. I don't see any fossil fuel company being willing to put their hand up, and say we will leave 80% of our reserves in the ground.

This also suggests that the favoured solution of economists of putting a price on carbon ultimately won't work, while a price on carbon will definitely make a difference at first over time the fossil fuel companies will sell the fuel for whatever they can get for it.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

Hansen, in "Storms of My Grandchildren" said that although "renewables" like solar and wind could theoretically provide up to 80% or more of wold power consumption, he suggested the best way was to replace most coal fired power plants with Gen IV nuclear developed in 1994 and mostly destroyed to appease anti-ANY-nuclear supporters of Clinton.
As for the IPCC;
It is a fact that many climate scientists have been "Erring on the Side of Least Drama":
http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate ... -esld.html
[-X :mrgreen:
From the article:
"Permafrost Melt and Carbon Feedback

The Copenhagen Diagnosis notes that the global warming amplification (feedback) from carbon released as a result of permafrost melting has not been accounted for in any of the IPCC projections. A recent UN Environment Programme report warned that failing to account for this feedback will result in an underestimate of future warming."
They do not want to acknowledge what three groups of tundra scientists said in 2009, that we were at the point of a positive feedback look of tundra methane self release, and what that portends, and what must be done to stop it.

Then this, too;
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/ ... php#page-1

Author:  Ann Vole [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

storage is the only issue preventing 100% renewable energies and there are now several technologies to provide low cost storage. Thermal solar can store that energy in the form of heat to provide continuous 24 hour power on a utility company scale. With "smart metering", thermal storage can be performed on an appliance level to shift power usage to time ranges when renewable energy is available. Battery-based inverters can be established in communities to deal with sudden changes in power use such as when a cloud passes over lots of roof-mounted solar.

The other angle is to eliminate utilities all together and have every house independent from "the grid". People and businesses have been doing this for years but only lately have utilities prices been high enough to make the switch to independence have a reasonable payback time over grid-tie and just better efficiency. People must also seek better efficiency first as it can make the required solar input and energy storage many times smaller and thus many times cheaper then what they typically use.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

Storage isn't the only issue with wind, and solar. Some places are just lousy sites for them, one or the other or both. Some are too far from dam hydro and others too far from tidal/wave hydro. Few places have really good geothermal for power.
We discussed it in this thread;
The fact that probably the world's greatest climatologist says we should go to mainly Gen IV nuclear from coal ASAP, says a lot on that technology. It would be good for places with lousy other sources and clean up the nuclear waste problem, too. :mrgreen:

Author:  Laura Daltry [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

Thoughtful posts.

Author:  ralfy [ Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

It will be difficult given bio-capacity limits and population.

Author:  cmal [ Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can renewable energy supply all our needs.

Any and all consideration of renewable energy resources must consider the dramatic economics effects caused by the use of these resources. The nature of current fossil fuel usage follows a model where price is directly proportional to demand. In the past several decades, the oil industry has seen competition from renewable fuels and energy.

Currently, however, these alternatives are too expensive for consumers to switch energy resources. In the future, it can be predicted that the opposite will be true; alternative, renewable energy supplies will be less expensive than fossil fuels. This still poses the problem that, as demand for oil and fossil fuels drops, these industries will be able to drop their prices to compensate. A transition to a state where renewable energy will meet all our needs will inevitably involve a painful withdrawal from the world's addiction to oil. Have no doubt that the oil industry will put up one heck of a fight against this transition.

I worry that renewable energy will not be able to meet our economic needs until the oil industry fails to do so itself. While oil is nonrenewable, the world will not be stop its oil addiction, and economically depend on renewable energy, any time soon.

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