I recently encountered this very disturbing blog post arguing that there's an "energy trap" in using energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear because even as they may have high enough energy return on energy investment, since the energy return is spread out over many years, switching to them results in an energy investment that doesn't pay back quickly enough if one is trying to switch to a non-fossil fuel based economy. I'm not completely sure I buy into it: it seems like it assumes a very narrow range of EROEIs and even small improvements in... (read more)

We won't run out of coal anytime soon. It has other issues, but I think that invalidates his conclusion—coal power plants are pretty cheap, and are already being built.

I'm also more optimistic about politicians. Ten years may be beyond their reelection horizon, but it's not beyond their "This place is going to hell"-horizon.

-1Lumifer5yThe observation that the manufacture, delivery, installation, and maintenance of "clean" energy devices can, and on a regular basis does, cost more energy than the device is expected to return over its lifetime is not new and regularly features in sources which you probably do not read. It's a well-known problem that people of a particular ideological persuasion tend to studiously ignore.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read31st Mar 2015180 comments


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