Energy Fun Facts 9-10-2021


Fun Fact #2 And #3 came from ASME news notices.  Are the ideas expressed economically and technically feasible or not, who knows at this time? Despite all of the predictions in the articles, they are still just ideas that require extensive technical improvement and operation to verify they are cost effective.

This is the danger of similar articles today.  The predictions and experimental results are often accepted as fact and used as basis for energy policy. We want it to be so thus it is so, is today’s narrative.  In today’s non discussion of energy policy this narrative is highly dangerous. Policy is being set on based upon wishes and model predictions, not upon experimental and observed results.


Energy Fun fact #1

A Game-Changing Vision for Geothermal Energy

Deep drilling, 30,000 feet, is very expensive and was developed by the oil and gas industry.  Depending upon the size of the oil field it becomes economical.  The geothermal industry is now trying to apply the oil industry deep drilling techniques to generate geothermal produced electricity but a problem is developing and that is the cost issue.

In Energy Fun Facts, (6-28-2021) I posted an article (EFF#2) on Geothermal power using deep drilling.  In that article the geothermal industry could find sufficient heat at deep depths but the drilling costs were too great to develop economical electricity. The geothermal industry claimed the oil industry had unfair advantages and the geothermal industry deserved subsidies.  The reality is the geothermal industry found heat which is not nearly as valuable as oil.

In this article, the geothermal industry is proposing to use some of the oil industry drilling techniques but to replace the rock grinding drilling head with some sort of microwave generating and gas to vaporize the rock and suck it from the drilling tube.  Will it work? Who know? Is it cost effective Who knows, it is purely experimental at this point? All of the projections of terawatts of electrical power are only wishes and hopes. They are not the basis for any energy policy.

What is interesting is the adaption of drilling techniques from the hated oil and gas industry. no credit is given to the industry for the drilling technique development. However if  the geothermal process become economically viable in some distant future, it will exist because of the oil and gas industry.


Energy Fun Fact #2

What does this article really say?  The narrative is wind turbine platforms and solar floating platforms will be expanded and be used to develop other green energy applications.  The reality is small factories for producing `green’ hydrogen, or seaweed processing for a litany of wonderful products will be built off shore. So what?

Manufacturing hydrogen at sea or seaweed processing requires energy.  This means less electricity will be transmitted to the land grid.  It also means every wind turbine and floating solar platform requires its own processing plant thus hundreds must be built.

The narrative is the energy island is green and thus is a wonderful idea.  However, the energy island idea is merely a cost issue.  Is it cheaper to build multiple small processing plants on the platforms rather than a large one on land? Is it cheaper to transmit electricity to land and use it for processing there or are transmission costs higher than transporting seaweed products and hydrogen from sea to land?

There are no answers now and there may not be answers for many years.  The article presents a manufacturing cost decision as a green `save the world’ energy decision.


Energy Fun Fact #3

Strip away the `clean energy mandates and increased government support (payoffs and forced subsidies) boosting the call for grid storage.’ the question becomes is it technically possible and economically feasible to reuse EV batteries. No, it is not because if it was mandates and subsidies would not be required. Is it possible for this to occur in the future?  Perhaps but the technology improvements will have to be significant.

This article reveals a major ignored cost of EV and green energy, waste disposal.


Energy Fun Fact #4

Climate Change in 15 Minutes

If you want a concise and accurate description of `climate change’, read this.


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Seth Grossman, Executive Director

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