Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_g oogle_renewables_engineers/
"Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and tr ying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the lev els demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a r enewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible"
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2014 01:25:10 -0800 (PST), Phil

Er....wake up at the back! :-) Polygonum posted this a few days ago in the thread started by TNP on China and nuclear.
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Chris

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Its nothing like impossible, just a standard of living that few are actually stupid enough to tolerate.
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/
"Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible"
...
Presumably that would depend on how many billions are killed in any upcoming world wars, pandemics, earthquakes, and meteor strikes.
While just as long as there are some Americans safely holed up in bunkers in various locations, the human race can rest assured that civilisation will be saved, come what may.
michael adams
...
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On 24/11/14 09:59, michael adams wrote:

Well that depends entirely on how you define 'civilisation' I suppose...;-)
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:33:11 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

And with them will be a host of useless UK politicians, who helped to start all that sh1te in the first place.
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Well, I don't think anyone has said that it can be done totally on renewables for lots of reasons. However if we could perfect the lossless storage of energy, we could do a better job than we do now. Brian
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On 25/11/14 08:40, Brian Gaff wrote:

Only a green could come out with a phrase like that.
The whole point is in over 100 years of trying, we now know exactly why we will never perfect the lossless storage of energy,
Or come anywhere near it sat sensible prices and weights and sizes for large values of energy.
I personally am pinning my faith in my patented 'fairy trap' which traps fairies and ransoms them for a tank of magic diesel.
As soon as it is perfected it will solve the energy problems of the world.
Potential investors please contact me at ....

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On 25/11/2014 09:22, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Brian's phrasing could be better (laws of thermodynamics!) but I think that is a little unfair. Improved technology is giving incremental benefits, for example flywheels in buses, Li-ion in hybrid cars. I would not rule out the possibility that hydrogen or big flywheels might not, one day, provide cost-effective solutions even at the grid level.
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On 25/11/14 11:52, newshound wrote:

Then you haven't looked at the size of the problem and the costs of solutions.
the UK needs JUST FOR THE GRID half a megaton of energy, in nuclear bomb terms, every day. That's around 20 Hiroshima sized bombs.
Storing that in ANY form where it can be easily released is tantamount to string 20 bombs worth of energy in a form that COULD go bang and destroy 20 towns.
The whole point of coal and uranium, is that its bloody DIFFICULT to make them go bang, and in the case of nuclear power, impossible. Hot yes, bang no.
Gas is far more dangerous. LNG explosions are atomic in scale. Hydrogen is far more dangerous than LNG.
It is simply far cheaper and far safer to use natures own stores - coal, thorium or uranium - that are already far safer - and build power stations to use them.
If (as is the case) 'renewable' energy cost (without storage) > coal or nuclear cost, then adding storage won't make it cheaper, just MORE expensive.
And far far more dangerous than coal or nuclear.
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On 25/11/2014 12:44, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I agree with all that. I'm not saying we will ever store up the energy to cover a week-long anticyclone in midwinter. What I really have against renewables is that they are *so* expensive, never mind the intermittency. But Dinorwic does provide worthwhile storage for the daily cycle. I just think that other technological solutions are likely to be developed over the next few decades (and your point about safety is well taken). I suspect that they will be more local in scale (e.g. thermal store for new build urban developments).
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I don’t, particularly with the rather silly line about the danger with storing that much energy. Pumped water doesn’t have that danger and stores plenty of energy. The only real problem with it is that it isnt viable for some countrys because they are too flat etc.

Its far from clear that a week's storage is needed.

That's not necessarily true. It turns out that India may well be able to do solar cheaper locally than paying for the very high cost of a full national grid to all homes today, particularly if it isnt required to do all the cooking, heating and cooling etc and is just used for stuff that can't be done with other than electricity like communications and light etc.

Yes.

I don’t given how long we have been doing it for now.

No it is not with pumped water.

I can't see that ever being more viable than nukes.
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On 26/11/2014 04:38, Rod Speed wrote:

Its not exactly safe storing large quantities of water behind dams. They break and cause flooding.
People drown in the lakes too.
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On 26/11/14 12:25, Dennis@home wrote:

Biggest ever energy related death was from collapse of some (badly made) dams in china.
170,000- 250,000 dead estimated, though no official figures ever released.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam
By comparison Chernobyl killed officially about 70 people in total, Fukushima, none from radiation, and only to people died there from the tsunami.

Renewable energy is far more dangerous. a half dozen people a year killed in industrial accidents involving wind turbines or falling off rooves installing solar panels.. ;-)

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Very safe in fact when done in the first world.

Hardly ever in the modern first world.

Sure, but that isnt due to the amount of energy stored in them.
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On 26/11/2014 12:25, Dennis@home wrote:

And die in all sorts of other ways near dams. Then they return. (At least in Haute-Savoie.)
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The worst of the loons do claim that.

Not even possible. If it was perpetual motion machines would work.

We can do that without that, by using nukes.

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On Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:40:45 -0000, "Brian Gaff"

That could certainly help but even the most efficient grid scale energy storage facilities in the UK (Dinorwig and Ffestiniog and another Hydro PS facility in Scotland) only run at between 75 and 80 percent round trip efficiency.
This is about what you get with brand new lead acid batteries which would quickly wear out and lose efficiency without a continuous ongoing maintenance program, the cost of which would reduce the overall energy savings.
Pumped storage is currently the best option for grid use but, here in the UK, we've run out of suitably exploitable sites that could make a worthwhile addition. IOW, we're already maxed out on hydro pumped storage.
If an alternative energy storage system based on battery technology could be developed to compete on the current hydro pumped storage, it wouldn't only be the renewable energy sources that would benefit, the existing grid _without_ the encumberance of renewables would benefit too.
Even before renewable became a dirty word in the power generating industry, there was still ample incentive to look at energy storage technologies other than the tried and tested pumped storage technology we already have.
The most promising electrochemical energy storage technology on offer today are the redox fuel cell based stations currently being built on a small scale by way of proof of concept. Whilst it's possible to exapnd the storage capacity in terms of run time by simply adding more fuel tanks, the problem is the limited maximum energy delivery rates of the fuel cells themselves.
I can't recall actual cost figures but my impression is that co-siting such redox battery based storage at each windfarm would double or triple the capital investment over and above that for the wind turbines alone.
ICBA to research the actual figures so I'll leave that for others to discuss the pros and cons of a more viable renewable energy system that could be engendered by such novel energy storage techniques.
My own view on this "Renewable Energy" strategy is that it's simply going to be our downfall since it's diverting resources away from the one and only eco friendly energy solution we have, Nuclear Energy, the dangers of which have been well and truly overhyped.
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J B Good

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On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 2:20:00 PM UTC, Johny B Good wrote:

hence your optimism. TNP has.
NT
so I'll leave that for others to

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On Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:19:57 +0000, Johny B Good

+1
Why spend time and money of renewables, when there's already a perfectly viable solution to replacing fossil fuels. The likes of Harry keep banging on about the cost of nuclear being unquantifiable and that the long-term storage of waste hasn't been solved, when actually in the grand scheme of things these are not really problems at all. They exist only in the minds of people like Harry. Solutions exist, and in many places are being implemented. As soon as the general public come to realise that renewables aren't going to keep the lights on or the wheels of industry turning, irrespective of how much is spent on them, the imaginary problems of nuclear will disappear like snow in summer.
--

Chris

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