Can Solar Energy Replace Oil?. Hubbert Peaks Forum Ron Swenson. www.ecotopia.com/ISES. The Pretenders. IEA, EIA Shell, BP Saudi Aramco Lynch, Adelman Yergin Lovins. www.HubbertPeak.com/Pretenders. The Pretenders (closer to home).
Hubbert Peaks Forum
“The Commission does not embrace the view that world oil production has peaked —
The National Commission on Energy Policy
We know it’s coming … but what can we do about it?
“At the moment, solar and wind power are developing in specialized areas. Neither is an immediate, large-scale solution to the energy problem.”
Kenneth S. Deffeyes
“Solar electrical generation is not yet competitive for large-scale facilities... To my surprise, solar cells to produce 60 watts cost $1,000.”
Kenneth S. Deffeyes
“Photovoltaic electricity is still expensive.”
“Solar energy technology 'is still too expensive by a factor of four to compete with nuclear and by a factor of three to compete with natural gas,' says Paul Maycock...
“Solar faces two related obstacles -- prohibitive costs and a [bad] reputation...”
“But all of them combined -- sun, wind, and water -- could never produce enough energy to replace the astronomical amounts of fossil fuel the West is accustomed to consuming now.”
“Solar power technology, however, is still in the stone age.”
Ronald R. Cooke
“Active solar power ... works, though not nearly as well as fossil fuel…
“Alternative energy sources ... are … implausible … without the subsidy of oil. The only remaining alternative is nuclear energy.”
James Howard Kunstler
“... The amount of solar energy that falls on a car yields very marginal performance.
“Current technology for solar-generated electricity results in costly power.”
Economics is an instrument of Policy
It depends …
… How do we value a 1,000(?) year wasteland?
A possible solution for special applications?
… in the long run …
Policy can´t defeat Mother Nature.
“I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
“More with Less”
“The US oil, coal and automobile lobbies are still trying to hold back the future information-based, Solar Age. They should start investing more in this cleaner, greener future.”
“Photovoltaics … will be economic … when there is serious production.”
“Solar technologies are … potentially the most economic solution.”
Smalley.Rice.edu → Our Energy Challenge
Goal 50% US electricity by 2025
Target 200 gW by 2030 = 10%
To avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.
We are not doing enough.
To spend our depleting energy capital resources effectively, we must first understand the Thermodynamics (EROI) of the alternatives.
Economics or Thermodynamics: Which will we choose?