Contrary to what people might assume from reading this blog, I like fossil fuel. I don’t think that oil, gas, and coal companies should go out of business. And I am grateful for the fact that the generous use of fossil fuel in my lifetime has given me the chance to live in peace and prosperity in the developed nations of Germany and Japan for the last couple of decades.
I’m a friend of fossil fuel.
Actually, I like fossil fuel so much that I am opposed to burning it. That show
I have made this point before: Energy is extremely cheap in our age, if you compare it to using human work.
The last time my headline was “Energy Slaves”, because of an Wikipedia article with that title.
Now a team has put Olympic track cyclist Robert Förstemann to work for toasting one piece of bread. The Youtube video below has over 1.6 million views at this time.
He makes it. With his pure power, he is able to generate enough electricity to power a 700 Wat
Volker Quaschning talks in this Youtube video about the German transition to renewable energy (in German).
He calculated how long it will take to get to 100 percent renewable energy assuming the present policy under the 2014 Renewable Energy Law is kept in place. His result: Until 2155.
In contrast, to stay under a 2 degree Celsius warming path, Germany would need to get there until 2040.
It follows that the present speed is too slow.
That is unfortunate. It d
That’s the most important climate change story today, according to Brad Plumer writing at Vox.
As proof he shows this graph about how the energy mix developed over the last 50 years. Coal is the grey part at the bottom.
It is true. Sadly, coal use is growing over that period. So are oil and natural gas.
The growth for coal is particularly strong over the last decade.
Obviously, that needs to change. The way to change it is to set some hard limits on production
Solar Impulse is an airplane that runs only on solar power. They are on their way to fly round the world. And they just made it from Japan to Hawaii, after an effort of flying close to five days.
That’s good news, as far as it goes.
On the other hand, this has only symbolic value. If you want to use solar power for aviation, there are two better ways to do it.
One is to go for a vehicle lighter than air. Build some big airship. Like the Aeroscraft shown in the video be
No, I am not talking about the default. Greece has failed to meet a payment to the IMF today.
This post is about the complete shutdown of new solar energy in Greece.
A couple of numbers show the extent of that collapse (from PV Magazine):
In 2012, Greece added 890 MW. In 2013, 1047 MW. And then the numbers completely collapsed to only 13 MW in 2014. This year has seen 7 MW from January to April, with zero in March and April.
So the 2014 record is only about one
I am late with this. I just learned from this tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson that yesterday was asteroid day.
There is a campaign that wants to increase awareness about the threat from asteroids. The date is set after the 1908 Tunguska event, which happened on June 30th.
The campaign wants to increase funding for finding near earth objects by a factor of 100. An impact of the Tunguska event scale near some city would be major bad news.
I write about this since it gi
I recall that I discussed the strange theory of limiting the market share of some variable renewable energy technology by its capacity factor a couple of days ago.
Now Christian Roselund goes into more detail. He agrees with me. There is no reason why the share of solar in some grid or other should be limited by its capacity factor.
And as Roselund explains in that article (citing Craig Morris), capacity factors for solar are low in Germany at only about 10 percent.
You may have seen this picture. It is a popular choice for people commenting on Twitter about solar.
The last time I saw it was on this Tweet by Conergy, at the occasion of a recent decision of the American Supreme Court on same-sex marriages.
This is the second real life example of someone building a geoglyph solar project I am aware of. The other one is a 48,000 solar panel project by Disney.
This project by Conergy is located in New Caledonia, a Pacific island
Here is a short elevator pitch video from NASA about global warming:
The interesting thing is that it talks about “old carbon”. It explains that the carbon stored in coal was stored there hundreds of millions of years before. And we are releasing it now.
It does not discuss the issue from the point of view of the fossil fuel involved. Humans are burning ancient trees. How would we feel if some alien species dug up all our graveyards and burned the bones for their energy needs?