On Energy Transition

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 7, 2024 1 Comment

“… the ‘energy transition’ has been just the other way around: from dilute, intermittent, and quantity-limited supplies to dense, reliable, storable mass quantities representing the sun’s work over the ages.”

LinkedIn is a forum of vigorous open debate on climate science, energy, and public policy. I have been an active participant, probably responding to comments an hour or more on most days. I learn, and, in turn, people learn from me. It is a good avenue for many of my links on the issues under discussion.

Here is an exchange on “Energy Transition,” as introduced by “professor, author and leader in energy transition engineering” Susan Krumdleck.

Susan Krumdleck: How would you define “Energy Transition”? What outcomes would an investment in an “Energy Transition” project require in order to meet your requirements, or to fit with the science?…

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Appreciating the Master Resource

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 2, 2024 1 Comment

Energy is ubiquitous to modern industrial life. It is the fourth factor of production in addition to the textbook triad of land, labor, and capital. Julian Simon coined the term master resource to describe the resource of resources, energy.

Energy as been recognized as a unique driver of economic activity and human betterment for almost two centuries–about as long as carbon-based energies came to be recognized as a sea change from the inherently dilute, unreliable renewable energies of before. The Industrial Revolution was enabled by coal, the energy required by the new machinery, as W. S. Jevons so brilliantly saw in his day.

The quotations below, some classic, resonate as well or better today than ever before. They are as ‘right” as the peak-oil quotations (compiled here and here) have been wrong.…

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Energy Density is the Answer (Amy Westervelt, DRILLED vs. the public)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 23, 2023 1 Comment

“If you want to continue to be frustrated with a failing worldview, stay in your present state of denial. If you want to better understand reality and be happier, a different worldview based on sound intellectual premises and comporting to the real world awaits. The choice is yours.”

In a recent piece in DRILLED, climate activist Amy Westervelt asked: “Why is Fairness Being Ceded to the Fossil Fuel Industry?” The simple answer is the physical fact of energy density and the verdict of billions of us all day, every day, resulting in a global market share of fossil fuels of 82 percent. (And that percentage should be 90 percent or so if government was energy-neutral.)

Ms. Westervelt should read Vaclav Smil to understand what energy density is (the sun’s work over the ages); why it drives energy markets (superior economics); and why renewables are worse for the environment (land and other infrastructure bloat).…

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New Nuclear: Three Projects, Three Problems

By Kennedy Maize -- March 9, 2023 No Comments

“NuScale’s estimated ‘levelized cost of energy’ (LCOE) … jumped by one-half last December (to $89/MWh from $58/WMh). The total cost for the project is estimated at a bit over $9 billion, but $1.4 billion is offset by DOE funding, which could increase in the future.”

More news, more problems regarding the live projects being counted on as the beginning of a new era of nuclear power. Back in the 1950s/1960s, the expectation was that learning-by-doing and scale economies would bring parity with fossil-fuel plants. Today, that same goal seems distant.

NuScale

NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project, designed to provide electricity to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, a joint action agency serving 50 municipal utilities in Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming, has survived another near-death experience. Facing a vote by the participants in its project for six light-water pressurized reactors, totaling 462-MW on the grounds of the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.…

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DeSmog’s 1,000: A Badge of Honor

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 10, 2023 2 Comments Continue Reading

Steven Koonin: Guilty as Charged (DeSmog’s Hall of Fame)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 7, 2022 2 Comments Continue Reading

Doug Sheridan on the Growing Recognition of Fossil Fuel Morality

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 28, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

What Environmentalists Don’t Know About Petroleum (that last 30 percent)

By -- October 26, 2022 2 Comments Continue Reading

Wind Power: What’s New? (summary from 1932/33)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 19, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading

‘Greenwashing’ Corporate Profits amid Political, Media Pressure (it’s what you get …)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 6, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading