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Solar Meets the Peak Oil Challenge . ASES Forum Peak Oil, Climate Recovery, and Renewable Energy Thursday 10:30am to 12:00pm Ron Swenson. Swenson’s Law. Roscoe Bartlett.

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solar meets the peak oil challenge
Solar Meets the Peak Oil Challenge

ASES Forum

Peak Oil, Climate Recovery, and Renewable Energy

Thursday 10:30am to 12:00pm

Ron Swenson

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

swenson s law
Swenson’s Law

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

roscoe bartlett
Roscoe Bartlett

“It might seem possible to “fill the gap” in the short term. However, in the long term, this will be impossible. For one thing, it will hasten the exhaustion of other finite resources. That will make the inevitable transition to renewable sources more difficult and more painful.”

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

energy scoreboard
Energy Scoreboard

Primary challenges are:

  • EROEI
  • Global Warming
  • Scalability
  • Timing

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

why leave out economics
Why leave out Economics?
  • Economics is an instrument of policy.
  • It’s the last step in the process:
    • First figure out what works…
    • Then create incentives.

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei
EROEI
  • Energy Returned On Energy Invested
  • ERoEI(field) >> ERoEI(solid, liquid, gas)

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for pv
EROEI for PV
  • EPBT: 5 years
  • Life: 50 years
  • Plus it can be bootstrapped

EROEI = 1030 ~ electric

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for thin film pv
EROEI for Thin Film PV
  • EPBT: 6 months
  • Life: 20 years

EROEI = 40120 ~electric

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for wind
EROEI for Wind
  • EPBT: 3 months
  • Life: 20 years

EROEI = 80240 ~ electric

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

global warming
Global Warming
  • Thanks to Al Gore, I can keep this short!

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

atmospheric co 2
Atmospheric CO2

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

larsen b ice shelf collapse
Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapse
  • Feb-Mar 2002
  • In about 35 days
  • Larger than Rhode Island
  • Totally baffled scientists
  • 1 down, 4 to go

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for tar sands
EROEI for Tar Sands

Plus…

  • Ravaged land
  • Water contamination
  • Extraction uses natural gas
  • Low EROEI → Greenhouse gases

EROEI = 3?

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for nuclear
EROEI for Nuclear

Plus …

  • Terrorism
  • Waste guarded for 10,000+ years
  • Depletion → low grade ores → Greenhouse gases

… How do we value a 1,000+ year wasteland?

EROEI = 4 12 ~ electric

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

eroei for hydrogen
EROEI for Hydrogen

Am I missing something?!

EROEI = -½

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

scalability
Scalability

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

renewable energy
Renewable Energy

Solar

1.2 x 105 TW at Earth surface

600 TW practical

Wind

2-4 TW extractable

Biomass

5-7 TW gross

all cultivatable

land not used

for food

Tide/Ocean

Currents

2 TW gross

Hydroelectric

Geothermal

4.6 TW gross

1.6 TW technically feasible

0.9 TW economically feasible

0.6 TW installed capacity

12 TW gross over land

small fraction recoverable

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

there is no silver bullet
There is no Silver Bullet.

Why Silver in the first place?

  • The Lone Range chose silver to emphasize that silver, like life, was precious and should not be wasted.
  • Specific gravity of Pb = 11.35
  • Specific gravity of Ag = 10.50

Ag

Ag

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

there is no ag bullet
There is no Ag Bullet.
  • Now I think I follow what you mean.

Let’s find out why….

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

corn ethanol
Corn Ethanol

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

corn ethanol1
Corn Ethanol
  • Energy content 75% from fossil fuels:
    • Coal (electricity) > 40%
    • Natural gas (to heat mash) > 30%
    • Not to mention fertilizer, tractor & truck fuel
  • Photosynthesis 5- 26%
  • Depletes soil and water supplies
  • Competes with food resources
  • Not carbon-neutral

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

sugar cane ethanol brazil
Sugar Cane Ethanol (Brazil)
  • Meets 40% of demand
  • Brazil per capita use is 10% of US 
  • 40% x 10% = 4%
  • Many sugar cane workers are slaves
  • Produces aldehydes in exhaust
  • Soil and water conditions very different

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

cellulosic ethanol
Cellulosic Ethanol …

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

cellulosic ethanol1
Cellulosic Ethanol

“All we need to do is change the make-up of ~25% of present wooded land space.”

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

forest facts
Forest Facts
  • Forests cover just under 4 billion hectares, 40 million km2 or 30% of the total land area
  • Global deforestation – 13 million hectares
  • Net loss of forests – 7.3 million hectares
  • 36% of the forest area has had little or no human impact
  • Area of forest plantations 140 million hectares and increasing by 2.8 million hectares/year

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

without cellulosic ethanol
Without Cellulosic Ethanol

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

if canal boats are supplanted by railroads serious unemployment will result
If canal boats are supplanted by railroads, serious unemployment will result …

...not to mention the numerous farmers now employed in growing hay for horses.

Van Buren 1832

8th President 1837-1841

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

ethanol scorecard
Ethanol Scorecard

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

but renewables make electricity not liquid fuels
But renewables make electricity, not liquid fuels!?
  • How do we handle transportation after peak oil?

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

timing
Timing
  • Application Technology: PRT
  • Note distinction between application technology and generation technology.
  • In relationship to peak oil and climate change, uses of energy are as critical as sources of energy.

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

freeway at capacity
Freeway at Capacity

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

vehicles removed
Vehicles Removed

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

prt passengers
PRT Passengers

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

prt system
PRT System

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

solar prt
Solar PRT

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

solar prt1
Solar PRT
  • 10 kw @ 100 mph
  • 36 vehicles/mi at 1 second interval 
  • 360 kw needed in a mile stretch 
  • 68 watts / lineal ft per lane at peak sun
  • 10 hrs peak operation, 5 hrs sun 
  • 720 kw / mile 
  • 8.3 ft wide solar panel at full capacity

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

solar prt capacity
Solar PRT Capacity
  • Skytran: Two people every second
    • 7,200 passengers per hour
    • 72,000 passengers per day
  • Rail:
    • About 8,000 passengers per hour
    • 60,000 passengers per day
    • Washington, DC ~ 41,000 pass-mile / route-mile
  • Highway: 1.2 average occupancy
    • 2400 persons per lane / hour

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

solar prt scorecard
Solar PRT Scorecard

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

pv the growth industry

PV

Oil

PV: The Growth Industry

Oil declines at 4%/yr(?)

PV increases at 50%/yr

?

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006

wake up
Wake Up!!!

www.Ecotopia.com/ASES/Solar2006