LENR vs Solar/Wind, and emerging Green Technologies.

  • I predict they will be bankrupt long before they reach the last 10%. I just used that number to illustrate what I have in mind. I do not know enough about the economics of a power company to judge where the breaking point would be.

    I do not know about power companies, but in the 1980s I read about gas stations. When gasoline consumption fell and gas station profits fell around 5%, many gas stations went out of business. They never came back. There are several former gas station spots near my house. I recall reading that a ~20% decline in consumption would lead to zero profit stations and widespread closings. It would be a crisis level.


    I read this decades ago and the details are fuzzy but . . .


    That does not mean all gas stations would close. Some percent would close, probably more than 20%. Business would be concentrated in the remaining stations, but they would still not make much of a profit. With a 20% to 30% decline, the remaining stations would be far apart. You would have to drive for blocks, or even miles, to fill up your car. It would become a nuisance. It would spur people to buy EVs. On low traffic highways, you might run out of gas.


    Here is a modern AI take on the problem.


    Me: What would happen to gas stations if gasoline consumption falls?

    AI: If gasoline consumption falls, gas stations may face a death spiral as more electric vehicles (EVs) and ride sharing means less demand for gas. For example, California has seen a shift away from gas-powered vehicles, and some speculate that as many as 80% of gas stations in the state could be unprofitable by 2035.


    . . . 80% of stations being unprofitable means 80% will be close, leaving large gaps between the remaining ones.

  • AI: If gasoline consumption falls, gas stations may face a death spiral as more electric vehicles (EVs) and ride sharing means less demand for gas. For example, California has seen a shift away from gas-powered vehicles, and some speculate that as many as 80% of gas stations in the state could be unprofitable by 2035.

    Many petrol stations in the UK have closed over the last 30 years, but it had nothing to do with EVs. Some have become car-washes, others used-car lots, houses, or mini-markets. This has been going on since the fuel wholesalers raised delivery charges for smaller buyers, instituting a minimum charge. Many of the old fuel outlets had relatively small storage tanks and got squeezed out because they had to charge more. And they probably lacked the capital required to shut down for a month or more to dig up the forecourt and install bigger tanks.

  • Texas hailstorm damages thousands of solar panels at 350-MW farm


    Texas hailstorm damages thousands of solar panels at 350-MW farm
    "Golfball-sized" hail fell in Fort Bend County, TX on March 15, and helicopter footage offers a glimpse at the extent of the damage.
    www.renewableenergyworld.com


    Yikes!


    The person writing the tweet showing the damage asks:


    "Who pays to fix this green energy? @StateFarm
    ? @FarmBureau
    ? @Allstate
    ?

    Or you the taxpayer?"


    Answer: The insurance company. The taxpayer would only pay if this were a nuclear reactor. Nukes are so expensive to fix no private insurer will cover them. Uncle Sam insures them.


    This article describes steps being taken to reduce this kind of damage. And it describes problems with insurance.

  • Many petrol stations in the UK have closed over the last 30 years, but it had nothing to do with EVs. Some have become car-washes, others used-car lots, houses, or mini-markets. This has been going on since the fuel wholesalers raised delivery charges for smaller buyers, instituting a minimum charge. Many of the old fuel outlets had relatively small storage tanks and got squeezed out because they had to charge more. And they probably lacked the capital required to shut down for a month or more to dig up the forecourt and install bigger tanks.

    This is probably a worldwide phenomena, I can attest in Chile there are also less and less petrol sellers for the same reasons, and the remainder have had to yield control of their bussinesses to the large petrol companies becoming mere managers of their bussiness, but all assets are frozen as collateral for the investment the big companies put on the petrol station upkeep and periodic gear renovation.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Many petrol stations in the UK have closed over the last 30 years, but it had nothing to do with EVs. Some have become car-washes, others used-car lots, houses, or mini-markets.

    In the U.S. there was a wave of closings after the 1970s energy crisis. I think many of those stations remained closed. That wave of closing prompted the article I read in the 1980s about small profit margins and gas stations being vulnerable to a small loss of business.


    I do not think there is a problem with small underground tanks in the U.S. Gas stations usually have plenty of room. On the other hand, in the 1990s gigantic gas stations with 10 or more bays become common. I suppose they must have some advantage.

    Abandoned gas stations are a environmental problem. They are supposed to dig up and dispose of the underground tanks.

  • That is, the actual cost. It does seem kind of high.

    Candid. wide ranging discussion of solar installation costs +.. the NEC. + the grid.+..

    from around the TM. 10.30

    Why are residential solar systems so expensive? (Solar Noon Tuesday)

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  • They are supposed to dig up and dispose of the underground tanks.

    Here the rules are different. Pump any gasoline out, fill it with heating oil, sell it to someone else, fill the once again empty now designated heating oil tank with rubble and that's it. All entirely legal- or legal enough that it is done, the landlord of a building I rented years ago did it.

  • I would still drive ten miles for gas .

    If your car had a small tank with 200 mile range, would you drive 200 miles for gas? No, because you would not have any gas left when you got back home. This is a variation of a statement about energy made decades ago, to wit:


    If you were starving, you might pay $100 for an apple. You might even pay $1000. But you would never pay two apples for one apple. The energy overhead of extracting and refining oil is about 10% to 20% of the oil, depending on where the oil comes from. If the overhead reached 50%, it would hardly be worth doing. If it reached 110%, no one would use oil. That is what we mean when we say "oil will run out." Not that there will be none left anywhere on earth, but rather there will none left that is worth the energy overhead or the money needed to extract it.


    Getting back to the actual scenario in which many gas stations close, you might be willing to drive 10 miles, but in Atlanta I would not, because going 10 miles in any direction means a half hour fighting traffic. I might continue driving 10 miles to buy gas until my car wears out, but the next car I buy would be an EV just to avoid the hassle. In other words, the inconvenience would drive many people to stop using gasoline cars, even if gas were still available.


    Someone suggested to me that if EV become popular and gasoline consumption drops, gasoline will become very cheap. It might even compete with EV electricity. I do not think so. There is a price floor below which you cannot produce gasoline. It costs ~$2.00 to make a gallon of gas. You cannot sell it for less. EV are cheaper than that. I estimated this years ago. The other day I ran the numbers again, as follows:



    It costs $20 to $50 to pump 1 barrel of oil from a U.S. onshore well. In Saudi Arabia it is about $10. Offshore wells cost as much as $90.


    It is unclear how much it costs to ship oil to a refinery in the U.S. from a U.S. well, or from Saudi Arabia. There is something called the "Crude Oil Composite Acquisition Cost by Refiners." It is presently $72. At the height of the pandemic it was $19. I read they were losing money at that rate. I suppose that means the actual cost, without profit, is around $60. Of course you cannot sustain a business without profit.

    U.S. Crude Oil Composite Acquisition Cost by Refiners (Dollars per Barrel)


    Anyway, 1 barrel produces 45 gallons of fuel of various types. At $60/barrel that comes to $1.33. Another estimate is $1.39:

    What Determines Retail Prices for Gasoline and Diesel? | Volta Oil, MA RI CT
    There are four cost components that make up the retail price of gasoline and diesel. Those components include: crude oil cost, refining cost, distribution and…
    voltaoil.com


    It costs $0.40 to $0.70 to refine the fuel, depending on the quality of the crude oil and whether you want summer or winter fuel. So, total production cost is ~$1.73 - $2.09. That is before shipping it to gas stations, and vending it to drivers.


    The average U.S. car gets 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway. An EV gets 3 - 4 miles/kWh. The U.S. average cost of electricity is 15.73 cents/kWh. Comparing lowest cost to lowest cost:


    $1.73 / 27 mpg highway = 6.4 cents per mile
    15.73 cents / 4 miles/kWh = 3.9 cents per mile


    Highest to highest:


    $2.09 / 21 mpg city = 10.0 cents per mile
    15.73 cents / 3 miles/kWh = 5.2 cents per mile


    As a practical matter, no one can sell gasoline for less than $2.50 and stay in business, whereas the actual retail cost of electricity is 15.73/kWh, and power companies make plenty of profit. So the actual cost of gasoline comes to at least 9.2 cents per mile. It is not possible to produce gasoline at a cost competitive with an EV. Not in the U.S., the EU or the third world. You could compete in Saudi Arabia or Russia.


    Also as a practical matter, most people with EV do not pay 15.73 cents per kilowatt hour. They have smart meters, and they recharge overnight at greatly reduced rates. In Atlanta you can pay 25 cents during the day and 6 cents at night:


    Nights & Weekends
    www.georgiapower.com


    Or there Super-EV rate of 1.8 cents, which I do not think they will offer for long:


    Plug-In Electric Vehicle
    www.georgiapower.com


    In parts of Texas with abundant wind power you pay zero cents at night. It is free. They make it up with a fixed cost per month. Anyway, even at 6 cents per kilowatt hour there is no way gasoline could ever compete, even if the Saudis started giving away the oil for free.

  • I do not think so. There is a price floor below which you cannot produce gasoline. It costs ~$2.00 to make a gallon of gas. You cannot sell it for less. EV are cheaper than that. I estimated this years ago.....

    You are quite correct, the central tenet of warlord capitalism is 'the less you sell, the more you charge for it.' You can tell for example from this advertisement that Harrods in London doesn't sell many ironing boards.


    https://www.harrods.com/en-gb/shopping/laurastar-x-germanier-ironing-system-21975163

  • You can tell for example from this advertisement that Harrods in London doesn't sell many ironing boards.

    That link did not work. Here is an image of the page, which is hilarious:



    This is what my mother would call "the carriage trade." For people who have more money than sense. Which is even in the dictionary:


    more money than sense
    1. used to talk about people spending a lot of money on something that you…
    dictionary.cambridge.org

  • There is also the problem of 'underhead'. When a barrel of oil is refined there is a component left called bunker oil that contains heavy elements and sulfur. In the past it was burned for generating electricity. The last use I heard about was powering those tanker ships that haul the crude oil. A little irony there. I suppose you could pump it into expired oil wells to get rid of it.

  • There is also the problem of 'underhead'. When a barrel of oil is refined there is a component left called bunker oil that contains heavy elements and sulfur. In the past it was burned for generating electricity. The last use I heard about was powering those tanker ships that haul the crude oil. A little irony there. I suppose you could pump it into expired oil wells to get rid of it.

    Thank you for everything, we just need to find the fireball in the reactor and we'll be fine, I'm telling you for sure!!!

  • Expanding the bull’s eye of solar development on public lands
    The Bureau of Land Management wants to open a vast frontier of public land the size of Indiana to solar development
    thebulletin.org

    Expanding the bull’s eye of solar development on public lands to 34,000 square miles.

    Proposed changes to the US Bureau of Land Management’s Western Solar Plan would clear the way for large solar energy projects to be built across vast tracts of public lands in 11 western states. The proposed amount of land available to the solar industry ranges between 8 acres and 55 million acres, depending on the proposed scenario (the Bureau of Land Management provides five alternatives). The agency’s preferred plan would open up 22 million acres, or 34,375 square miles, to solar development—an area roughly the size of the state of Indiana.

    The federal agency estimates over the next decade solar projects could be developed on one million acres across all western public lands, an area one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island.

    The changes are part of the Biden administration’s efforts to advance clean energy and transmission infrastructure, construct carbon pollution-free power, and increase grid resiliency to prevent power outages. The administration’s goal is to achieve a 100 percent clean electricity grid by 2035, an ambitious timeline that experts say will also increasingly create land-use conflict in the western United States as renewable energy deployment accelerates.

    Solar development on public lands is controversial because these landscapes can be important to wildlife conservation and cultural resources. The Bureau of Land Management oversees expansive areas of relatively undisturbed habitat for many threatened and endangered species. The lands are important corridors for large mammal migrations, and sites can contain cultural resources or be important places of Native American tribal heritage. Solar projects can be extensive—measured in square miles—and they can cause significant land disturbance, habitat loss and fragmentation, and, for some projects, damage to cultural resources. Although the proposed update to the Western Solar Plan would keep some areas off limits due to environmental or wildlife impacts, there are very weak protections and poorly defined land classifications elsewhere that undermine conservation.

    The Biden administration’s climate action goals are laudable overall, but there are reasons to be skeptical of a plan that prioritizes solar and transmission deployment in patterns that undermine conservation goals, especially when there are so many alternative places to put solar. The Bureau of Land Management’s Western Solar Plan update inverts the original intent of the planning process from one that sought to avoid wildlife and cultural resource conflict to one that prioritizes transmission developer and utility interests on these publicly owned landscapes. This abrupt shift warrants a significant revision before finalizing any new rules, if not outright rejection.

  • Here is a shared link to a long article about conventional nuclear energy:


    Opinion | Tripling the World’s Nuclear Energy Capacity Is a Fantasy (Gift Article)
    The nuclear industry has a long history of failing to deliver on its promises.
    www.nytimes.com


    QUOTE:


    . . . [P]ledging to triple nuclear capacity by 2050 is a little like promising to win the lottery. For the United States, it would mean adding an additional 200 gigawatts of nuclear operating capacity (almost double what the country has ever built) to the 100 gigawatts or so that now exists, generated by more than 90 commercial reactors that have been running an average of 42 years. Globally it would mean tripling the existing capacity built over the past 70 years in less than half that time in addition to replacing reactors that will shut down before 2050.

    The Energy Department estimates the total cost of such an effort in the United States at roughly $700 billion. But David Schlissel, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, has calculated that the two new reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia — the only new reactors built in the United States in a generation — on average, cost $21.2 million per megawatt in today’s dollars — which translates to $21.2 billion per gigawatt. Using that figure as a yardstick, the cost of building 200 gigawatts of new capacity would be far higher: at least $4 trillion, or $6 trillion if you count the additional cost of replacing existing reactors as they age out.

    For much less money and in less time, the world can reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewables like solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal power, and by transmitting, storing and using electricity more efficiently. . . .


  • Using that figure as a yardstick, the cost of building 200 gigawatts of new capacity would be far higher: at least $4 trillion, or $6 trillion if you count the additional cost of replacing existing reactors as they age out.

    Just to remind you that the oldest (the builders gild) non religious mafia on the planet, still active today, are the free Mason's. These Guys historically are famous to burn churches (like Notre Dame) to get new labor. They are also virtuous in project sabotage to get more money for additional work (airport Berlin etc.. or all recent nukes including ITER). These man (woman are excluded) are interwoven with most UK descendent states like USA/Canada/ASU/NZL etc...

    So this is just a new attempt to rip-off a large piece of meat from taxpayers.



    These people are not at all interested in pollution reduction or independence from cannibal states like RU/CHN etc.. They just want your money!!

  • Surprised to read a good deal of push-back in the comments section to author Stephanie Cook's "facts". Much more than I would expect from NYTs subscribers. Maybe nuclear is not the lost cause she thinks?

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