Archive for July, 2019

Energy, as always!

July 24, 2019

Ignoring the importance of reliable, sufficient, base-load capable and affordable energy is ignoring everything past human history has told us. There simply is not a single example where a nation flourished and developed by cutting back its energy usage. The form of the energy used may change (e.g. more gas, less coal…) but the unavoidable truth is that progress correlates with energy use. We now have a new generation of “child-climatologists” or “child-environmentalist” which are absolutely ignoring this, and in their quasi religious war against energy usage remember me of the wrong doings of Chinese juveniles during the Cultural Revolution in the late 60’s (see here).

Making all us believe that the planet is on the brink of climate destruction and that deep decarbonisation must be achieved at all costs during the next months (yes months!) should be regarded by all sensible people not only as Utopian (an Utopia often touches us as sympathetic if outlandish) but as completely foolish.

So I will in this very short blog only show 3 pictures which might put us back into reality (more on Paul Homewood excellent website “notalotofpepoleknowthat“.

First here a pie-chart of global energy usage in 2018:

Note how small the percentage of renewables is, despite billions of subsidies poured into what should now be considered as mature technologies (solar PV, wind and hydro). The biggest problem of PV and wind remains their intermittency, and an affordable and sustainable storage technology of the needed magnitude is nowhere to be seen.

The next picture shows that from 2000 to 2018 energy usage was continually rising; nothing surprising here as many under- or low-developed nations try to better the standard of living of their people.

So the mantra that increasing energy efficiency will rapidly lead to a steady state must be seen as wishful but unrealistic desire. The developed world has made big progresses in energy efficiency, and the low hanging fruits have all been harvested. As so often there will be an asymptotic progression where increasing efficiency will become more and more difficult and costly.

Finally let us look at the CO2 emissions from primary energy usage according to the various world regions:

Old Europe becomes more and more a blip in the total: what matters is what happens in Asia, and all the self-hurting policies dreamed up in the EU will finally be seen by history as “much pain without gain”.

Please reflect on this, and make your own conclusions.