February 19, 2014
Speaking of Anti-Poverty Policy...
That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:
12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation
No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.
February 6, 2014
Drill Baby Drill, Drill
I really need to visit Minnesotans for Global Warming more often. This is from 2011 but still as relevant as ever.
January 3, 2014
Another "dirty little secret" of renewable energy
I wonder if readers will be as surprised as I to learn that the energy required to produce a 1,000 watt solar panel is on the order of 20,000,000 watt hours? That is the gist of this 1997 Australian whitepaper - Can Solar Cells Ever Recapture the Energy Invested in their Manufacture?
It depends on the particular type of panel of course, and efficiencies may have improved but still, I wonder how many solar PV evangelists know that the energy produced in the first 2-10 years of their system's operation all goes to pay back the energy consumed to create the things in the first place? "Woo hoo, halfway through my solar PV warranty period I'm finally net energy positive! Feel the clean power baby!"
I heard this topic discussed on a local liberty-oriented radio show last night, where the claim was that the energy of manufacture exceeds the energy produced over a lifetime. While that may be true at extreme latitudes it's a credibility-destroying exaggeration.
December 11, 2013
T-Shirt Meme of the Day
SAVE THE WHALES!
End the insanity - ban wind power!
August 6, 2013
EV Price War
Following Nissan's lead, manufacturers of electric or hybrid electric vehicles are slashing prices by the thousands as they all chase a wafer-thin 0.5% share of the new car and truck market. And one of them, Honda, has added a new sweetener - unlimited mileage leases! Which sounds good until you think about how far an EV can go on a charge, and how many hours it takes to recharge, and how many hours there are in a day.
July 11, 2013
Some Rational Optimism for Thursday
November 1, 2012
Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away...
I suppose that all the cars that were submerged in sea water will be treated as a "total loss" by their insurer anyway, right?
UPDATE: Fisker released the following statement:
Hmmm. I wonder why they made sure to mention that none of them were "being charged at the time?"
See below to form your own opinion: "Damaged by fire" or "caught fire and burned to the ground?"
I snark, but in my professional experience as a product development engineer I know that there are always glitches with new technology. Problems such as this are to be expected in complex systems. But then, that's why it is prudent to engage in lengthy laboratory and road tests of prototypes before lobbying politicians for venture capital and rushing products to a clueless customer base.