Monday, March 23, 2009

Are Green technologies a logical fallacy?

The no-mind not-thinks no-thoughts about no-things

The Buddha

The political solution for climate change mitigation and its policies are driven by the priori reasoning that an increased taxation regime (with cap and trade) carbon taxation etc . will make the "green technologies" financially viable,and economically available.

This is driven by the idealistic "target of 450 ppm co2 ceiling.This would require the OECD countries to have 0 emissions by 2030 AND developing countries to have 0 growth or to spend their next 20 years gdp growth on solely on Green energy technology.

DOE secretary Steven Chu has said we need Nobel caliber breakthroughs.I disagree common sense is a better attribute, solutions that are available although challenging require innovative thinking,and this will require a quantum step,that we uses to see in the 19th and early 20 th century,and is now sadly lacking.

First lets look at some numbers using some quoted in Newsweek.

That is also the view of energy chemist Nate Lewis of the California Institute of Technology. "It's not true that all the technologies are available and we just need the political will to deploy them," he says. "My concern, and that of most scientists working on energy, is that we are not anywhere close to where we need to be. We are too focused on cutting emissions 20 percent by 2020—but you can always shave 20 percent off" through, say, efficiency and conservation. By focusing on easy, near-term cuts, we may miss the boat on what's needed by 2050, when CO2 emissions will have to be 80 percent below today's to keep atmospheric levels no higher than 450 parts per million. (We're now at 386 ppm, compared with 280 before the Industrial Revolution.) That's 80 percent less emissions from much greater use of energy.

Lewis's numbers show the enormous challenge we face. The world used 14 trillion watts (14 terawatts) of power in 2006. Assuming minimal population growth (to 9 billion people), slow economic growth (1.6 percent a year, practically recession level) and—this is key—unprecedented energy efficiency (improvements of 500 percent relative to current U.S. levels, worldwide), it will use 28 terawatts in 2050. (In a business-as-usual scenario, we would need 45 terawatts.) Simple physics shows that in order to keep CO2 to 450 ppm, 26.5 of those terawatts must be zero-carbon. That's a lot of solar, wind, hydro, biofuels and nuclear, especially since renewables kicked in a measly 0.2 terawatts in 2006 and nuclear provided 0.9 terawatts. Are you a fan of nuclear? To get 10 terawatts, less than half of what we'll need in 2050, Lewis calculates, we'd have to build 10,000 reactors, or one every other day starting now. Do you like wind? If you use every single breeze that blows on land, you'll get 10 or 15 terawatts. Since it's impossible to capture all the wind, a more realistic number is 3 terawatts, or 1 million state-of-the art turbines, and even that requires storing the energy—something we don't know how to do—for when the wind doesn't blow. Solar? To get 10 terawatts by 2050, Lewis calculates, we'd need to cover 1 million roofs with panels every day from now until then. "It would take an army," he says. Obama promised green jobs, but still



Some large numbers here several global GDP'S infact if we back of the envelope calculate at around 500-1000 US$ PER KW.

Clearly incremental taxation regimes upon intensive capital expenditure are NOT sustainable.(Unless the raison d'etre is to reduce the OECD countries GDP to the economic values of the third world )

We will examine some "innovative" solutions and use some thinking that is of course outside of the cube.

As we previously discussed some time ago on prescient thinking.

This piece from the Scientific American september 8 1860 in response to the prize offer from Thadeous Hyatt for a flying machine ...

Of all the inventions of which it is possible to conceive in the future,there is none which so captivated the imagination as that of a flying machine.The power of rising up into the air,and rushing in any direction at the rate of a mile or more a minute,is a power fo which mankind would be willing to pay for liberally.What a luxurious mode of locomtion!To sweep along smoothly how perfectly it would eclipse other means of travel by sea and distance of land.

But the thing that is really wanted is machine driven by some natural power.so the flyer may ride at his ease.For this purpose,we must have a new gas,electric ,or chemical engine.What we require are two or more substances ,solid or liquid,which by bringing into contact ,would be converted into gas.Place these in the reaction or Avery engine,which by running at high velocity,would yield a large power in proportion to its weight,and it is possible-yes probable-that the machine would drive spiral fans with sufficient force to lift itself from the gorund.Would not the binoxoyd of hydrogen and charcoal fill these conditions.This engine would run with such velocity that the fans would have to be very small by proportion;and it is probable that a widening of the arms themselves giving spiral inclination -would be the true plan.There might be two generating vessels that supply the engine that when was was exhausted the other would fulfill its requirements.

We might add several other hints to inventors who desire to enter on this enticing field;but we will conclude with only one more.The newly -discovered metal aluminium,from its extraordinary combination of lightness and strength,is the proper material for flying machines.

UPDATE

Preliminary numbers are around 45 trillion dollars between now and 2030

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