LENR vs Solar/Wind, and emerging Green Technologies.

  • Autonomous 24/7/365 generators are scalable and modular. They are likely to displace intermittent solar and wind much faster than might be imagined as they are inherently cost-competitive. A handful will probably be in the market by the end of 2021. See aesopinstitute.org

  • Battery Maker gets a Customer.


    External Content youtu.be
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.

  • Here is a 9-minute video news report about a town in Wyoming where coal mining is the main industry. This is a heartbreaking look at the people whose lives have been upended by the decline of the industry.


    A significant fraction of all coal in the US comes from this town. Wyoming coal production peaked in 2008 at 468 million short tons, and it has fallen to 277 million in 2019. It is bound to continue falling because other sources are now cheaper than coal. Starting at minute 4:30 the video shows idle railroad locomotives parked on a side track. There must be hundreds of them. This gives you a sense of how large the energy industry is. You get a sense how big the change from coal to other sources is, and the impact it has on the industrial shape of the U.S. Billions of dollars worth of railroad equipment will soon be worth no more than scrap metal.


    You can see why other energy sources are cheaper. Imagine paying for all those locomotives, coal cars and track maintenance. Not to mention the mines themselves, and the power plant maintenance. Compare that to setting up 100 wind turbines that last for decades with minimal maintenance.


    The report is titled:

    This town powered America for decades. What do we owe them?


    https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/23…ng-coal-sutter/index.html


    Technological progress always produces winners and losers. Capitalism is inherently cruel. The people in this town are the losers. Nothing can be done about that. Nothing can rescue the town. I do not think any of us owe the town anything. We paid for the coal long ago. But we owe the people in the town our support. We should help them get on with their lives, by retraining and moving to new places -- whenever possible -- or in some sort of dignified retirement for those who are too old. We can have all the benefits of capitalism even when we mix in a little socialism. Just enough to keep the most cruel effects of progress from ruining too many lives. There is no need to have a pure economic system. Capitalism works fine with a social safety net.


    In the more distant future, as human labor becomes worthless, I think we will need a universal basic income.


    If cold fusion becomes a practical technology, then the entire energy industry will be wiped out in a decade or two. Approximately 6.8 million of jobs will be lost, or 4.6% of the U.S. workforce. See the intro. p. x in this document:


    https://static1.squarespace.co…56175/USEER+2020+0615.pdf


    Biden says that alternative energy will be the largest source of employment in the twenty-first century. If cold fusion becomes practical, that will not be true. Only a few thousand people at most will work in cold fusion, and almost all of them will be researchers. Cold fusion eliminates nearly all the labor and energy production and 99% of the energy supply infrastructure, such as power lines, gas stations and as many of those railroad locomotives that are still in use hauling coal or carrying wind turbines. Cold fusion will not be an unmixed blessing. It is bound to ruin many lives. We will have to do what we can to keep the human suffering to a minimum.


    Here is a screen shot of the parked locomotives.


  • If I give that one a :thumbup: I will look heartless for the lost jobs in the hydrocarbon industry. Give it a ;( and it might be construed as me being against alternative energy progress.


    Sooo... will just say it is a good article. Hurts me to admit it, but good of CNN to take notice.

  • seems a bit unrealistic that only researcher would work with cold fusion. Some would have to produce, sell, install, calibration when cooperate/combine/replace existing heating systems in houses/buildings/industry, maintenance(?) etc.

  • Some would have to produce, sell, install, calibration when cooperate/combine/replace existing heating systems in houses/buildings/industry, maintenance(?) etc.

    Yes but . . . Employment in those sectors is not counted as part of the energy sector. Those are building trades. Furthermore, the number of people doing that will be approximately the same as the number of people now working to replace heating system houses, and buildings. As the technology matures, I expect cold fusion devices will require less maintenance, and the equipment will last longer, so employment in those sectors will decline.


    See the "2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report" I linked to above. Employment in "energy efficiency" is included but there will be no need for efficiency with cold fusion. This Report lists "Motor Vehicles" on p. xv as part of the energy industry, especially alternative fuels vehicles, hybrids and fuel economy. All of those jobs will disappear with cold fusion. People will still be making automobile engines, but I do not think that should be counted as part of the energy industry. That is transportation.


    For example, this report says:


    "COMPONENT PARTS More than 1/5, 22%, of component parts firms derived all their revenue from products that increase fuel economy for motor vehicles."


    There will be no need to increase fuel economy with cold fusion. Other aspects of the vehicle will be improved, such as durability, safety, economy and so on, but no effort will be made to improve fuel economy or efficiency because cold fusion energy costs nothing. Any trade-off will be made in the other direction, decreasing efficiency in order to increase safety, for example. Or using cheap steel instead of expensive plastic or carbon fiber body parts, because it will not matter that steel makes the vehicle heavier.


    Cold fusion will even reduce overall employment in transportation. Cold fusion engines will ultimately be simpler than internal combustion engines. They will take less labor. In fact I doubt they will take any labor at all. I expect they will be made with robots, which is how Toyota previous hybrid engines are made. You can tell by looking at one that no human being could assemble most of the components in such a thing. The tolerances and scale of the parts make it look more like a modern computer circuit board than a 1960s Volkswagen engine.


    Electric vehicle engines are much simpler and cheaper to make than internal combustion engines, and they take less labor. Electric cars are reducing the number of people employed in the auto industry.


    I discussed many of these issues in my book, and the my paper describing how cold fusion is likely to lower the cost of energy to zero, and the equipment cost of many machines by a factor ranging from 200 to 600, depending on the type of equipment. Yes, I do mean that electric generators themselves will be 200 times cheaper. There is no future in making things that cost 200 times less than today's models.


    The cost of computer memory fell by eight orders of magnitude from 1955 the 2015. Fortunately for computer makers, the demand for computer memory increased by more than eight orders of magnitude, so earnings did not fall by 10E8. People now use much more computer memory and disk memory than they ever did in the past. I personally own several terabytes of hard disks, which is probably more than existed in the whole U.S. in 1960. However we will not need 200 to 600 times more electricity in the future than we now use. So the decline in the cost of generators will not be counterbalanced by increased demand. Major industries will decline into something smaller than today's bubblegum business. Take all of those hundreds of railroad locomotives sidelined by the decline in coal. Now imagine all of the electric power generators, electric poles, oil wells, oil tankers and gas stations being replaced by a few hundred machines that extract heavy water from ordinary water. A handful of modest machines installed in automobile plants will be used to fabricate the cold fusion engines with a built-in 10-year supply of fuel. Such machines will produce more energy that all of the oil wells in the world, at a trivial cost, with maybe 100 people operating and maintaining the machines in the entire world.


    See:


    Cold Fusion and the Future


    https://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf


    Cold Fusion Will Lower the Cost of Both Energy and Equipment

    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusionb.pdf

  • You stimulate thoughts! I really earnestly believe the vision will take form one way or another. Yes, it will reduce the cost of energy and everything that needs energy to produce including equipment. Technical employment still shouldn't be assumed to disappear. Safe and human servicable, with factories that still employ people, that sounds good. This is where engineering psychology, wholistic planning and economics come in.


    Possibly false are the employment assumptions. Balancing human involvement and participation will be important even if it technically could be avoided. "LENR" is so efficient robot manufacturing, to cut people out of the loop, may not be desirable for parts of the supply chain people will enjoy. Consciously giving people jobs for life purpose and fulfillment seems the wiser approach if you have an ultra cheap energy source. I would prefer a system were the devices are manufactured to be human sevicable, aesthetically pleasing and simple. Using AI and robotics to improve customer and worker experience while allowing them to enjoy gainful participation. Allowing electricians, technicians, and engineers to, with a little training, fix them shouldn't be a problem. We want our electronics infrastructure to be so dependant on specialised expensive tech that as soon as an EMP strikes or internet drops we can't use them or build more? Advanced yet hardy, well engineered tech that can be used anywhere it's needed.


    More like an upgraded hybrid of microwaves, catalytic heaters, dyson vacuum cleaners and fancy gasifier rocket stoves than super limited stuff.

  • Wonder how long the transition would take.

    The transition may never begin. That is entirely a matter of politics. Powerful people and institutions are opposed to cold fusion, and they are preventing funding. There is no chance it will be developed as long as this situation continues. These institutions can never be defeated by direct means. As things stand, there is no way cold fusion will be funded by the DoE or by a major industrial corporation. The situation might be changed if a successful experiment is reproduced in dozens and then hundreds of laboratories. I hope that happens. I do not see any other way the field will survive.


    If that does happen and if a transition begins, it will take roughly 20 years before cold fusion dominates most sectors, such as home heating or transportation. It will take longer for it to replace aerospace engines because it takes so long to develop them.


    I explain my estimate of 20 years here:


    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJthefuturem.pdf


    One of the key things to remember is that nearly all machines are replaced after ten or twenty years. They wear out. People have sometimes say we cannot afford to replace all cars with cold fusion powered ones, but we will replace all cars no matter what. Once cold fusion ones become available it will not cost any more to replace the fleet with them as it would to replace the fleet with internal combustion engine (ICE) cars or electric vehicles.


    Electric vehicles have some limitations, such as range and the time it takes to recharge them. This makes them less suitable in the United States and other low population density areas. This may slow down the replacement of ICE with electric vehicles. Cold fusion will not have these limitations. Once cold fusion technology matures, there is no reason to think a cold fusion automobile will cost more to manufacture than an ICE vehicle. On the contrary it will probably be cheaper. So, nothing will slow down the transition.

  • If I give that one a :thumbup: I will look heartless for the lost jobs in the hydrocarbon industry. Give it a ;( and it might be construed as me being against alternative energy progress.

    Seriously, there is no contradiction here. You can hold both views at the same time. It is like agreeing that war is terrible but it is a good thing the allies won WWII.


    I am strongly in favor of capitalism. It seems to me that anyone who supports capitalism should own up to the fact that it causes lost jobs and human misery on a gigantic scale. Not having capitalism produces even more misery, because freedom is restricted and goods and services are too expensive.


    I am in favor of alternative energy progress, but I own up to the fact that it causes job losses, and misery. It has other problems. When it is first introduced, it is usually more expensive than conventional technology. Hybrid cars electric cars were both more expensive than ICE when they were introduced. They are now on the verge of being cheaper, depending on how much you drive.

  • Well, maybe green tech can produce jobs: https://cleantechnica.com/2021…s-coal-in-crossover-year/


    "Wind power has been growing in Texas for years. Now, for the first time, wind power has beaten coal power in the Lone Star State. In 2020, Texas received 22% of its electricity from wind and only 18% from coal. In contrast, in 2010, coal made up 40% of the grid’s power."


    "Wind power is not only bringing cheaper electricity; it is bringing jobs too — as many as 26,000 jobs in 2019 in Texas alone. For comparison, in the entire United States, there are under 45,000 jobs in the coal mining industry."

  • Here is a screen shot of the parked locomotives.


    Lines of parked locos is something you see all over Europe too- rail freight in general is in decline. It's all very sad - and you might think that if government policy deprives you of a living, then government would find the miners an alternative. But they generally don't.


    437 locos parked up at Stotteville France.


  • "Wind power is not only bringing cheaper electricity; it is bringing jobs too — as many as 26,000 jobs in 2019 in Texas alone. For comparison, in the entire United States, there are under 45,000 jobs in the coal mining industry."

    Yes. Wind turbines are labor intensive at this stage in their development compared to coal mining. In the future I expect they will be more automated. Open pit coal mining takes very few miners these days. They use gigantic digging engines. I suppose if you include the labor needed to make the machines overall labor and employment in mining would be higher. The actual number of miners in the field is low.


    All else being equal, a labor-intensive technology is usual more expensive than a robotic one. But not always. Wind turbines are labor intensive, but still cheaper than coal, because coal requires a lot more fossil fuel and heavy equipment, and it requires moving millions of tons of coal long distances over the life of the generator. With wind, you move the towers and turbines once, from factory to the wind farm, and you are done. The towers will stay erected, probably for 50 to 100 years. The turbines and blades will last 20 or 30 years, I believe.


    Coal is also expensive because it takes up much more land area than wind, when you factor in the square miles of railroads which are used mainly to haul coal. You can't use a track for other freight when it is used for a million tons of coal. For that matter, many of those tracks don't go anywhere but coal country. They would be abandoned if coal is no longer shipped. So, they take up space, which means they take maintenance, such as new rails. You don't think of coal as mainly a problem of transportation, but that is what it amounts to.

  • Electric vehicles have some limitations, such as range and the time it takes to recharge them.”


    All vehicles have some limitations but limitations boil down to use cases. My sedan is virtually useless for transporting furniture but I don’t care because I hardly ever need to do it. An increasing number of electric cars have a range of 250, 300, or even 400 miles. Use cases. How often do you need to drive further than that at a stretch? Level 3 chargers and especially Tesla Superchargers can provide 200 miles of range in less than a half an hour. Use cases. How often do you need to go more than 500 miles in a day and refuse to stop for half an hour? If the answer is you do that often, you are an edge case. For most of us, road trips in a long-range BEV are no more difficult than in an ICE car and stopping for long enough to empty and refill your bladder is hardly a limitation.


    The simple fact is that no vehicle is useful to every single driver and every potential application. Recent electric cars would be completely practical for 95% of drivers providing they have access to charging infrastructure. For homeowners, it’s a done deal. For apartment dwellers, it is a work in progress. But the reality is that range and charging time are already a non-issue for most people in most places.

  • All vehicles have some limitations but limitations boil down to use cases.

    The range limitations of electric vehicles make them unsuitable for some people in parts of the U.S. In Europe or Japan that is less of a problem. Although some people in Europe drive long distances. Martin Fleischmann used to drive his BMW from the UK to Italy.


    As I mentioned, I had a used Nissan Leaf with a 90 mile range (which I gave to my daughter). That range was no problem for Atlanta driving. But it would have been a problem in Gettysburg, PA.

    My sedan is virtually useless for transporting furniture but I don’t care because I hardly ever need to do it. An increasing number of electric cars have a range of 250, 300, or even 400 miles.

    300 or 400 miles would reduce the range problems. I think 600 miles nearly eliminates it, because most people cannot drive farther than that in one day, so they can recharge overnight. That would be easier if many motels had charging stations.

  • 300 or 400 miles would reduce the range problems. I think 600 miles nearly eliminates it, because most people cannot drive farther than that in one day, so they can recharge overnight. That would be easier is many motels had charging stations.

    Use cases again. How many people ever drive more than 400 miles in a day? Relatively few. How many drive 600 miles in a day without stopping except to buy gas? Very few and, they are probably dealing with an emergency, participating in some kind of stunt, or are just ridiculous. You don’t need 600 miles of range to make electric cars completely practical for nearly everyone under almost all common circumstances. That being said, there will no doubt be 600-mile BEVs within a couple of years.

  • Use cases again. How many people ever drive more than 400 miles in a day? Relatively few.

    Yup. Not many. As I said above, 300 to 400 miles would reduce range problems. Except for long range delivery trucks, travelling salesmen, and people going on vacation. For a vacation, I guess you could rent an ICE car.


    A 200-mile range would probably work in Gettysburg. A friend of mine in Gettysburg bought a Tesla a couple of years ago. She did not get the maximum range version. I don't recall the range. Anyway, she has to go to Harrisburg and Baltimore periodically. It does not seem to be a problem.


    A cold fusion car would have a range of 48 million miles per gallon of heavy water.