Debt Rattle December 9 2016


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    Arthur Rothstein Migratory fruit pickers’ camp in Yakima, Washington Jul 1936 • Trumponomics Will Collapse Under a Mountain of Debt (Stockman) • Shill
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle December 9 2016]


    Well I don’t know about the article on electric cars. I have an electric car. It can travel around 168km – although I have never tested it – on one charge which costs me around NZ$3.00 for 15kwh. As it is summer here my house uses around 941kwh a month. – around 30kwh per day. Double that in winter. Electricity is my sole source of energy. Our electricity is hydro so it is green but irrespective of that the article is a load of codswallop.

    tony smyth

    Yep, I have to agree with Patricia re the EV car story. Sure, they are not “zero emissions”, thats a foolish claim. But as efficiency increases (and it is) and as storage of solar (and other renewable) energy gets more efficient and cheaper (and it is) EV cars will prove far more energy efficient than gasoline. Already they are less complicated to manufacture, far more energy actually gets to the wheels. This will only improve.


    “as storage of solar (and other renewable) energy gets more efficient and cheaper ”

    tony smyth and patricia,

    Batteries have scarcely changed in decades. The last big thing was the lithium-ion battery. The first commercial version came out 25 years ago. Since then – nada.

    Sadly, petrol stores around 50 times as much usable energy per unit of weight as the latest lithium batteries. Also, the lithium battery is only practical for some 1000 discharge-recharge cycle. Totally discharging a battery damages it – as does excessive charging. Furthermore, the battery must be kept within a narrow range of temperatures – it might need to kept warm or cool.

    Of course, there are a vast number of alternatives under investigation – and many other alternatives were tried out over the past 100 years.

    There is a good recent article and discussion at:

    The Holy Grail of Battery Storage

    Of course, most of the contributors are engineers so it will not be to your liking. However, you are free to imbibe the KoolAid of Elon Musk and his publicists – i.e. the mainstream media.

    tony smyth

    Sure, petrol is definitely more efficient than batteries AT THE MOMENT. But as we know oil stocks are depleting alarmingly. I think Oil Tracker estimated that the position of batteries in relation to solar was some five years behind (its in Jeremy Leggett’s latest ebook). At any rate there is a lot of investment in battery storage as entrepreneurs see the need, and smell big profits. Examples?

    Promising new storage formats are in development, though none yet ready for
    commercial production.
    •Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created
    azobenzene carbon nanotubes, a new molecule that can store thermal energy
    indefinitely. The molecules convert solar energy and store it at an energy
    density comparable to lithium ion batteries. The stored energy does not
    degrade. In addition, they will be inexpensive to manufacture.
    •The University of Arkansas has developed a system of energy storage in
    which steel pipes run through parallel plates of concrete. The concrete stores
    the heat, until it is needed to boil water and produce steam. This thermocline
    system can absorb heat at an efficiency of 93.9%, and can produce electricity
    at the remarkably low cost of $0.78 per kWh.9
    •A team led by MIT Professor Donald Sadoway has developed a new battery
    whose components are all liquid. Unlike current batteries, it can last for years,
    be made with cheap easily-available materials, and can store many hours of
    energy at low cost. Sadoway’s company Ambri plans to connect a series of
    these batteries in sizes equivalent to 40 foot shipping containers, in order to
    store and deliver power to the grid, either in quick bursts or over an extended
    period. The company intends to produce batteries for paying customers by
    •Stanford University scientists have invented a high-performance aluminium
    battery that is safe, fast charging, long-lasting and inexpensive.

    Yes none of them are in commercial production yet but its getting closer. There’s much to be despondent about: Trump and cohorts, ice melt at the poles the size of India in just this year etc, but renewables including battery power is one of the brighter spots. We are still going to have to make do with far less energy than is the case now, and get much better at energy efficiency. Our world will ultimately shrink to much more local economies. Still solar is already becoming cheaper than fossil fuels alreday, and battery innovation will follow that. Its just a question of time.

    Still, I havent read your linked article yet, but I will.

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