While Washington bureaucrats fiddle with hydrogen, developing countries are burning coal, lots of coal.
Great Work Robert - thanks for the shout out to Nuclear
Why burn 3 million tons of coal when you can get the same power from 1 ton of depleted uranium in a fast breeder, of which we have millions of tons in storage? The iron law of fear and social control!
Excellent write up Robert. 🙏 There are many eye brow raising to holy shite facts throughout the article among them is
“The IEA recently estimated that about 800 million people around the world still have no access to electricity. The average resident of India (which has 1.4 billion inhabitants) consumes just 1,200 kilowatt-hours of juice per year. That’s about a third of the global average and a tenth of the U.S. average.”
Great article. Thoughtful, balanced, fact-based and informed discussion of the issues. Thank you Robert.
There is no way on Earth to keep the current "civilization" running if we change to 100% renewable energy (excluding nuclear). We don't even have the materials in enough quantity to do it if we truly wanted!
So the choices for why the Secular Ruling Families & Billionaires are working so hard for this to happen are very simple:
1. They are counting on a huge global herd reduction
2. They are working to achieve a huge global herd reduction.
Since they don't play chances...
Robert, do you have a reading list? I invariably hear suggestions on your podcast but have no way of writing these things down while driving…..
Robert, I’m so glad your substack is doing so well and attracting so many smart, technically savvy readers. It is a tribute to your research, scientific understanding and writing skill. The discussion of hydrogen in the comments is brilliant.
Just a thought…what if you did a podcast featuring engineers and scientists from your commenters? Might be like herding cats, but could be really interesting.
Tutti Frutti Hydrogen is my new favorite flavor!
I’m all for doing research into new tech, but let’s start with the laws of physics and thermodynamics first before we dump billions into projects...
"It will have to be accomplished with nuclear energy, and lots of it. That will take time, sustained international commitment and cooperation, and hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment."
Unfortunately, in the West we have already squandered vastly more than such a conversion would have cost on useless wind and solar.
What a different world if Gore had proposed realistic solutions, like a nuclear build out, changes in tax/subsidy structure to move freight from trucks to rail, a program of electrifying rail, and a sharing/move of naval nuclear technology to commercial shipping.
Another excellent scientific article. Thanks for your insight. While there is a role for renewables, it’s a small role. Energy density, surface impact and consumer cost will always win the day.
Granholm selling “hopium” (<-- fantastic word) and unfulfilled energy promises... a continuing series...
I installed a home standby with auto-transfer, I will have power until they kill natural gas in Ohio.
Very informative, Robert. Thank you. James Conca recently published a paper I would recommend to all of your readers, entitled: "How to compare energy sources—Apples to apples." It appeared in the Thursday, June 15 version of Nuclear Newswire. Here is a link, but it may be paywalled.
For what it's worth, I would recommend Dr. Conca as a guest on one of your up-coming podcasts.
Hydrogen has a high energy density, much more so than fossil.
Hydrogen : 142 MJ/kg
Diesel/gas : 45-46 MJ/kg
Unfortunately, the energy to produce, compress, and liquify 1 kg of hydrogen is far greater than it's energy content, so huge subsidies would be needed to support that, just like the solar and wind fiascos, which are dependent on fossil anyway.
On the other hand:
Nuclear, E=mc^2, U-235, : 79,390,000 MJ/kg
Using nuclear to electrolyze water to produce liquid hydrogen is a far more sensible process.
I'm a petroleum engineer and have worked in Midland (Permian Basin) for 26 years. We have been using CO2 injection into oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) since the 1970's. In the early 2000's, I can remember meetings and discussions around using methane to generate hydrogen to power the (then) new fuel cell technology for transportation. This is before the shale boom, and at the time the US was importing more and more crude as well as natural gas. It only made sense if nuclear power was used as the energy source to create the hydrogen, and the resulting CO2 byproduct was injected into oil reservoirs to increase oil production. The idea didn't gain much traction since the net energy loss in the process would guarantee bankrupting any company that tried it. Plus, the hydrogen molecule is so small that it will permeate most materials including steel, so an entire new delivery system would be required to get it to market. Leaking hydrogen might be an issue (Hindenburg?).
Now, thanks to green subsidies, the idea has returned. Billions will be spent studying the idea, and I bet it will never gain traction for the same reasons.
Hydrogen has a number issues well beyond the production aspect. There is zero infrastructure logistics distribution system, then consumers aren't there at all. Modular nuclear in theory solves this issue however, thanks to the Hillary, Russia is the main source of enriched fuel for nuclear plants. Need to move DC meetings into the heartland, and them make each one of them work a farm job for 2 yrs, forget law school and trying something useful like engineering where physics and thermo have to be honored.