A bit of a slog, but well worth the effort if you want to know. Fairly simplified and understandable. Complexities of the real world will make it harder. The batteries really are impossible in the engineering sense. We cannot get there from here. Thomas Edison took on the problem of batteries in the 1890s. He made little progress. Progress since can only be described as discouraging. The best possible batteries we have devised so far are simply inadequate.

I’m not being pessimistic when I assert solar energy will never amount to a significant portion of what we use for our societies.

We aren’t even to a half-percent in the USA.
http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/encyclopedia/solar/

Understanding this:
https://www.llnl.gov/sites/default/files/2014_us_energy.png
is very important to understanding why being against fossil fuels is the same as being against people, and for suffering, enslavement, and death of our fellow man.

Pay special attention to the light-gray fractions in the graphic.

We simply must have large scale power plants generating electricity from coal and nuclear fission, and we must have liquid hydrocarbon fuel. The only practical source of hydrocarbon fuel so far is petroleum.

We cannot change the overall system until we change these underlying facts.

Solar will be with us forever (practically). We will use it. It still will never be a significant part of our overall energy use. There will always be better options. (Better means several things, but mostly cheaper and easier.)

Wind, however, is a farce. We are hurting ourselves and future generations with our daft efforts toward windmills, and we are killing birds and bats while we harm ourselves. It is hard for me to take wind seriously. There are so many problems it just isn’t worth considering. Engineers have made so many improvements, but taken together, the whole lot still amounts to net-negative. Overall energy gained from an average windmill is unlikely to exceed the energy expended making and maintaining it. Thus the enormous tax-funded incentives and subsidies. I’ll cite T. Boone Pickens as a positive example of it, putting his money where his mouth was until it hurt too bad and he lost too much money in it, and Warren Buffett as a negative example where he invests in wind energy while the tax-incentives make it profitable for him, and he sells before things turn south, leaving the hardships of wind power to less-financially savvy persons with higher ideals regarding “renewables.” Warren Buffett is a hypocrite, and a cruel one at that.

Wind blows, but windmills suck, and the wind-power political-industrial complex is playing us all for suckers.

Watts Up With That?

By: Tom D. Tamarkin & Barrie Lawson

Over the next 50 years, utility companies in the United States must replace approximately 440 Gigawatts (GW) of baseload generation capacity to provide electricity nationwide. Significant electrification of the transportation segment through electric cars and trucks can potentially quadruple the amount of needed power.

image

This paper explores the system requirements to replace this generation capacity with a photovoltaic only generation scheme. Topics include the definition of peak power demand, time of use issues, reserve power requirements, storage to provide power when there is no sunlight, and the various engineering challenges associated with managing a large area synchronous AC power grid.

This analysis considers the factors involved in dimensioning solar power generating plants. To illustrate the issues involved the example considers the case for supplying the entire electric power needs of the USA from solar energy without the use of fossil fuel, nuclear or…

View original post 3,437 more words

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