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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).

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can solar energy replace oil
Can Solar Energy Replace Oil?

Hubbert Peaks Forum

Ron Swenson

www.ecotopia.com/ISES

the pretenders
The Pretenders

IEA, EIA

Shell, BP

Saudi Aramco

Lynch, Adelman

Yergin

Lovins

www.HubbertPeak.com/Pretenders

the pretenders closer to home
The Pretenders (closer to home)

“The Commission does not embrace the view that world oil production has peaked —

The National Commission on Energy Policy

www.HubbertPeak.com/Pretenders

the hubbert peak
The Hubbert Peak

We know it’s coming … but what can we do about it?

a flurry of books on the subject
A flurry of books on the subject …

www.HubbertPeak.com/Library

hubbert s peak
Hubbert's Peak

“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

www.HubbertPeak.com/apollo2

beyond oil
Beyond Oil

“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

www.HubbertPeak.com/apollo2

the party s over
The Party's Over

“Photovoltaic electricity is still expensive.”

Richard Heinberg

www.HubbertPeak.com/apollo2

the end of oil
The End of Oil

“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...”

Paul Roberts

www.pvenergy.com

oil addiction the world in peril
Oil Addiction: The World in Peril

“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.”

Pierre Chomat

www.hubbertPeak.com/debate/oilcalcs.htm

global solar energy balance
Global Solar Energy Balance

www.hubbertPeak.com/debate/oilcalcs.htm

oil jihad destiny
Oil, Jihad & Destiny

“Solar power technology, however, is still in the stone age.”

Ronald R. Cooke

www.HubbertPeak.com/Youngquist

the long emergency
The Long Emergency

“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

www.HubbertPeak.com/nuclear

over a barrel
Over a Barrel

“... The amount of solar energy that falls on a car yields very marginal performance.

“Current technology for solar-generated electricity results in costly power.”

Tom Mast

www.SolaREvolution.com

i think they re trying to tell us something
I think they´re trying to tell us something …

But wait….

Economics is an instrument of Policy

the energy cost of energy

3% decline per year

Useful Lifetime 25 Years

The Energy Cost of Energy

75

Net Energy Analysis

100

Cumulative new energy from investment

Annual contribution from alternate energy source

www.HubbertPeak.com/Modeling

the energy cost of energy1

85

Available (net) Energy after Investment

The Energy Cost of Energy

75

60

Net Energy Analysis

100

Cumulative new energy from investment

www.HubbertPeak.com/Modeling

consequence of delayed investment

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

0 10 20 30 40

Time

Consequence of Delayed Investment

Net Energy Production

begin investment before decline

Begin investment during decline

www.HubbertPeak.com/BeyondOil

thermodynamics of coal
Thermodynamics of Coal

Plus…

  • Greenhouse gases
  • Ravaged land
  • Water contamination
  • People displaced
  • Extraction uses oil

?

thermodynamics of oil
Thermodynamics of Oil

It depends …

  • Pennsylvania?
  • Saudi Arabia?
  • Off-shore?

Plus

  • Ravaged land/oceans
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Water contamination

?

thermodynamics of tar sands
Thermodynamics of Tar Sands

Plus…

  • Greenhouse gases
  • Ravaged land
  • Water contamination
  • Extraction uses natural gas
thermodynamics of nuclear
Thermodynamics of Nuclear

Plus …

  • Depletion
  • Low grade ores → Greenhouse gases to process
  • Wastes guarded for 10,000+ years

?

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

thermodynamics of hydrogen
Thermodynamics of Hydrogen

A possible solution for special applications?

Motivations?

  • Promote nuclear?
  • Promote natural gas?
  • Deliberate distraction?
  • Earnest ignorance?
thermodynamics of pv
Thermodynamics of PV
  • EROI: 5 years
  • Life: 50 years
thermodynamics of thin film pv
Thermodynamics of Thin Film PV
  • EROI: 6 months
  • Life: 25 years
thermodynamics of wind
Thermodynamics of Wind
  • EROI: 3 months
  • Life: 25 years
thermodynamics vs economics
Thermodynamics vs. Economics

… in the long run …

Thermo-dynamics wins!

Policy can´t defeat Mother Nature.

solar economics a brief history
Solar Economics: A Brief History
  • Thomas Edison
  • Bucky Fuller
  • Hazel Henderson
  • Hermann Scheer
  • Richard Smalley

www.ecotopia.com/ISES

thomas edison
Thomas Edison

“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.”

(1847-1931)

www.ThomasEdison.com

bucky fuller
Bucky Fuller

“More with Less”

1966

www.bfi.org

hazel henderson
Hazel Henderson

“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.”

1989

www.environomics.org

colin campbell
Colin Campbell

“Photovoltaics … will be economic … when there is serious production.”

1996

www.HubbertPeak.com/Campbell

hermann scheer
Hermann Scheer

“Solar technologies are … potentially the most economic solution.”

2004

www.HubbertPeak.com/Scheer

richard smalley
Richard Smalley

“Think TeraWatts”

2004

Smalley.Rice.edu → Our Energy Challenge

solar industry response
Solar Industry Response?

Goal 50% US electricity by 2025

Target 200 gW by 2030 = 10%

How?

  • Federal government procurement $100 m/year
  • R&D investment $250 m/year by 2010
  • “Enact, modify, establish, boost, support, increase, strengthen, grow…”

www.HubbertPeak.com/Apollo2

swenson s law
Swenson´s Law

To avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.

www.HubbertPeak.com/Swenson

the conclusion is simple
The conclusion is simple:

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?

can solar energy substitute for oil
Can Solar Energy Substitute for Oil?

Yes!

Think TeraWatts

www.ecotopia.com/ISES