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Old 07-03-2013, 04:49 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by t vago View Post
Interesting article about 14000 abandoned wind turbines

MMM-mmm! Love that clean energy! Especially the part where it says that more energy goes into creation of wind turbines, than is ever recovered by their operation!
Except that it's not true. It depends on the duty cycle of the wind turbine, but the manufacturing energy is typically recovered in less than two years (of a 30+ year life), sometimes less than one.

Whatever we do, we have to do it with the understanding that 9 billion people will be doing it (against the ~1 billion who are doing it now). Another ~3 billion (so 4 billion) of those 9 billion are aiming to do it within the next few decades.

As just one example, car ownership in China is somewhere around 4 cars per hundred people, with 1.5 billion people. In the US, it's about 80 cars per 100 people, with 310 million people. If China were to get to the US rate of car ownership, the additional energy and resources required to do so would be ~4.6 times that currently consumed by the US cars.

If you think they can all be fuelled by oil, try this: I think the US consumes about 20% of global oil production so, just to fuel the extra Chinese cars, without Indian cars, Brazilian cars, Indonesian cars, African cars nor anyone else's in the developing world, global oil production either has to increase by an additional 92% or the fuel consumption of all those cars, in new and old markets, has to drop to compensate.

But can you really see all those people with cars? Of any description, electric or not? Just obtaining the raw materials to build them (and the factories to do so) would be difficult.

That is just the supply challenge and ignores the environmental impact. We will not use all the fossil fuels available because we cannot do so without trashing the civilisation that allows it. We will not permit that to occur and if you listen to what the science is saying re. climate change, the use of fossils fuels will (have to) stop somewhere around the middle of this century.

Yes, that will be disruptive, and alter the current way of life in the developed world. So will continuing to use them. The ability to use fossil fuels is not the only environmental or resource limit that, if reached, will be similarly disruptive.

Yes, there will be renewable energy, in all its forms, yes there will be nuclear energy. There will also be a very different civilisation that uses them because there has to be, and it will happen quite quickly (over less than a century). Most of us alive today will see the end of fossil fuel use.

Last edited by Occasionally6; 07-03-2013 at 11:52 AM..
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