Here's the first section of a new paper on electrification in developing countries that I wrote for the Alliance For Responsible Citizenship
Bob. The metrics in this summary are difficult to imagine. It is also a reason, politicians around the world, do not do math except for the size of campaign contribution.
“There is no question, however, that once a country gains wealth it cannot sustain it without electricity. When the electricity disappears, the wealth goes with it.”
“The electricity sector matters to climate change efforts because it is the single biggest source of global CO2 emissions.”
A nice hypothesis with no proof.
To date all co2 emissions have been a net benefit, especially if it has increased the earths temp a bit, the earth is still way too cold.
And the trolls can spare me the utterly ridiculous “hottest month in 125,000 years” nonsense.
As usual, Robert provides a clear and non-political look at the actual problems. Robert, keep an eye on Eavor dotcom.
Great work, Robert.
Excellent summary. Robert didn't have the space to point out that Michael Shellenberger, one of the ARC cofounders, wrote about the relationship between energy (not just electricity) and poverty in "Apocalypse Never: Why Environmentalism Hurts Us All."
Something that neither Robert nor Michael noted is that prosperity reduces fertility, so if you're worried about overpopulation, you should be gung-ho for energy. Last year, Japan had twice as many deaths as births. For the first time in its history, it's accepting legal permanent resident immigrants, mostly from China and Korea, on one condition: They must become farmers. European fertiliuty, including European Russia, is below replacement. But for immigration the United States would be below replacement.
Beyond land-use conflicts, there are inescapable physical reasons that the world's electrical system cannot run on renewables alone. In https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/42_2021.pdf, Simon Michaux shows that the ell-electric all-renewable program promoted by the IEA would require five times more copper, ten times more nickel, 26 times more cobalt, ... than are known to exist in forms that can be exploited (and my estimates are more pessimistic). In the United States alone, the cost for batteries to provide firm power, assuming 100% charge-discharge efficiency, and not counting installation, would be more than four times total GDP every year. Pumped-storage would require 8,200 of Australia's Snowy 2.0 projects; we currently have forty. Analysis of data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission shows that, statistically, Kansas is indeed as flat as a pancake. Towing rocks up mountains or abandoned mine shafts would require about 15 million devices. "Green Hydrogen" has end-to-end efficiency below 22%, and hydrogen poses intractable storage and safety problems (synthetic fuels make more sense).... If we must abandon coal and natural gas (and that's a big IF) then nuclear power is the only alternative.
Read a preprint of my new book "Where Will We Get Our Energy?" at http://vandyke.mynetgear.com/Whence-Energy.html
I couldn't be more pleased for you, Mr. Bryce, than to hear you've been thus honoured by the ARC group.
Loved it! More, please.
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excellent read, thank you
ThorConPower.com/Power has a chart showing how electricity consumption must double for the developing nations to approach the lifestyle of Europe. See https://thorconpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/20211110GeoffWorleEnergy4.png
Bryce's 4,000 kWh/year corresponds to average power of 456 watts per capita. China is already at 629 watts.
The “waist” heat from thermal power plants can have secondary uses and solar panels in parking lots can provide shade for cars. However I can’t think of any secondary uses for wind turbines. I don’t live near wind turbines however I believe that “wind turbine syndrome” is real given that it affects animals as well as humans. Wind and solar are both intermittent, but at least solar is more predictable.
looking forward to the next installment . Recently read " A Question of Power" . Great book .
Yesterday I received a request via mail to "Earn Income from Excess Land " by leasing or selling my property for the development of solar power. Laughable, considering where I live [ rural NH ] but frightening to think that the promise of "attractive lease payments for 20 years or more " or an outright purchase at "competitive market price might tempt folk into falling for this much as people once assumed selling mineral rights for fracking would insure untold wealth for generations to come.
A small percentage of my acreage is open to the southwest. I would not relish the idea of it being covered in solar panels . FYI the soliciting company is Ameresco AMRC on the NYSE