Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Blogger Yorkshireminer said...

The trouble is with alternative tech is that there is such a long lead in time. And we don't have the time we have left it too late. What gets up my nose is that the people who say we can change to renewables don't understand this. Let me give you just one example PV. The PV industry in America is growing at the rate of approximately 50% per year, sounds great bring out the marching bands hip hip horay good old Yankee technology and get up and go, we are saved. What the numb nuts don't realise is that PV produces only 0.1% of Americas total energy and if you were to double it every year for the next four years you would still not produce more than 1% of you energy, the same is for most of the other renewables and most of them have limits to growth, geothermal and hydro, only wind has any chance of success and that is hampered by the fact that it is intermittent and we have no cheap way of storing electricity, millions of Lithium Ion Batteries is just not on. The other thing that everybody seemed to have missed that when Oil declines whether it is linear or expotentional it will be at a rate far greater than our ability to replace it with renewables. The North Sea Oil is diminishing at 7% Chantrell at 14% 6 years at 7% means that you have lost over one third of you energy source for your industry which will have contracted most likely at a higher rate and with it a corresponding contraction in the money supply which will mean you will have even less capital and energy to fund the renewable program which will cost even more as you try and ramp it up quickly. The Government of a country like Britain will be faced with an even more insidious choice as the economy sinks into depression, millions will have been made redundant and living on Welfare, which will be competing for the limited resources of a diminished economy. It will be a choice between windmill or butter. That is without Murphy's law or chaos. Chaos it is easy to predict that it will happen, but certainly not when. I don't know if you have any memories of the miners strike in the 70s, I certainly do, smiling Joe Gormley didn't win because he had a better argument, he won because Teddy Teeth Heath had been told that if the country went from a three day week to a two day week it would collapse, into chaos. This time we wont be able to call off the strike to get industry moving. I think the technical term is positive feed back loop. I haven't even mentioned Murphy's law. I am thinking something on the line of Archduke, Sarajevo, idiot with a gun. If you have difficulty thinking about a scenario think middle east, Jews, idiot with an Atomic bomb. When that happens we will soon know how the feral brats of the Religion of the permanently offended will react. They wont likely be too pleased as the Government will have most likely cut down the size of their welfare tit beforehand to pay for the windmills, the Government will be jousting at in there PC addled minds . Have a nice day Chris , by the way have you decided where you are going you haven't got much time. By the way and now for something not completely different but I think you will find interesting and I think you will understand why I found it interesting. I downloaded an E-Book several weeks ago which I have just finished reading and I am going to include a quote, it is by a chap called Jeavons I don't know if you have heard about him he was writing in the middle of the Victorian era about the British Coal industry. It seems so relevant today.

Quote :- To say the simple truth, will it not appear evident, soon after the final adoption of Free Trade principles, that our own resources are just those to which such principles ought to be applied last and most cautiously ? To part in trade with the surplus yearly interest of the soil may be unalloyed gain, but to disperse so lavishly the cream of our mineral wealth is to be spendthrifts of our capital—to part with that which will never come back.

7:27 PM
Blogger energybalance said...

Hi David!

"Jeavons' Paradox" right? Still and even more relevant today!

Trying to sort-out business arrangements etc. before that decision of where to go is made.

I can see the government struggling to pay the benefits bill, as they have been sanctioned by the EU for overspending and overborrowing (5.3% of our GDP as opposed to the limit of 3%), 53 billion quid in real money.

Half the country is on benefits of some kind if you include pensions and when the government can't afford to keep them all any more, all hell will break loose.

As always you make profound common sense, especially about the lead-in time for new technologies! I've commented before that if the world had begun a serious search for alternatives 30-odd years ago when OPEC caused the first oil crises we might be realistically closer to some solutions now. But, as you say, we've left it too late.

In a nutshell, the service economy will begin to collapse (it's happening already), people will lose their jobs, there will be less tax going into the pot and more being taken out of it to provide for the unemployed...

...crash, disaster! At worst, anarchy!

And the liberal-thinkers let the PC tidal-wave happen. People often blame socialism or conservatism but the pernicious force is liberalism, because it doesn't stand up for one thing or another, and simply lets the lowest common denominator yield the final sum. That said, British manufacturing wasn't in exactly good shape after labour in the 70's and Thatcher culled what was left! Summarily and carelessly. Now, after these Monopoly years of token-money we really need solid production - at least of food and coal. Perhaps this is where many new jobs will be created - coal mining and farm labouring?

I don't see too many windmills on the horizon?

...I think we can see what that is going to be in a social context.




Anonymous said...

It is fashionable to talk about an elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there, but no one talks about it. The current elephant is this, the US presidential elections.
At time of writing the polls are generally indicating 50/50 support for the two candidates, which as any betting person can tell us, means that either candidate can win.
McCain has said he will remove restrictions on offshore drilling.
Suppose he wins and keeps his promise?
Presumably that means American companies will be able to drill up to 200 miles offshore. Of course that is wildly impossible in the wild Atlantic, or the other, not-so-Pacific ocean, at least at the present stage of technology, but they do not have to even consider going that far out, that is for the future.
There is surely an enormous potential of unmapped oil lying quite close in to the shores of the USA. Consider also the sheer length of the US shoreline. Consider the offshore islands.
It seems to me that there must be enough oil there to satisfy American needs for the foreseeable future.
All that has been said about energy deletion is quite true, it is just that, if the Americans start exploring and then drilling offshore, the whole world has a new lease of energy life.
Let us hope that the Americans make the sensible decision.


Peter Melia

Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Yes, it is a favourite of Caroline Lucas, in the context of the energy crunch. Do you really think it makes any difference which of them is elected?

This is a probably cynical response but it is the Establishment that runs America as it is here in Blighty.

Once the paper show is put to rest, the same problems of economics, resources etc. will prevail. A good US style election is almost a distraction from the real problems.... we don't even have that glory in Britain!

Regarding the potential oil/gas reserve around the US coastline, I agree and I have little doubt there is much more around the world, and so the UK is claiming sea-bed rights around Rockall etc.

Russia has even placed a waterproof flag on some land to mark a claim north of Siberia... it will go on and on as we become more and more desperate for oil.

However it is all going to cost and Hubbert forewarned about the peak in cheap accessible oil. The rest is our business but it will impoverish the world.