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posted by janrinok on Monday September 19, @08:55PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the turning-green-into-greenbacks dept.

New study shows a fast transition to clean energy is cheaper than slow or no transition:

Transitioning to a decarbonised energy system by around 2050 is expected to save the world at least $12 trillion, compared to continuing our current levels of fossil fuel use, according to a peer-reviewed study today by Oxford University researchers, published in the journal Joule.

The research shows a win-win-win scenario, in which rapidly transitioning to clean energy results in lower energy system costs than a fossil fuel system, while providing more energy to the global economy, and expanding energy access to more people internationally.

The study's 'Fast Transition' scenario, shows a realistic possible future for a fossil-free energy system by around 2050, providing 55% more energy services globally than today, by ramping up solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, and clean fuels such as green hydrogen (made from renewable electricity).

[...] 'There is a pervasive misconception that switching to clean, green energy will be painful, costly and mean sacrifices for us all – but that's just wrong,' says Doyne Farmer, the Professor of Mathematics who leads the team that conducted the study at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. 'Renewable costs have been trending down for decades. They are already cheaper than fossil fuels, in many situations, and our research shows they will become cheaper than fossil fuels across almost all applications in the years to come. And, if we accelerate the transition, they will become cheaper faster. Completely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 will save us trillions.'

[...] Professor Farmer continues, 'The world is facing a simultaneous inflation crisis, national security crisis, and climate crisis, all caused by our dependence on high cost, insecure, polluting, fossil fuels with volatile prices. This study shows ambitious policies to accelerate dramatically the transition to a clean energy future, as quickly as possible, are not only urgently needed for climate reasons, but can save the world trillions in future energy costs, giving us a cleaner, cheaper, more energy secure future.'

Journal Reference:
Rupert Way, Matthew C. Ives, Penny Mealy, J. Doyne Farmer, Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition [open], Joule, 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2022.08.009


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by legont on Monday September 19, @09:15PM (2 children)

    by legont (4179) on Monday September 19, @09:15PM (#1272449)

    However, so far, the trend was to save energy as opposed to create more of it using alternative methods. This makes me think the article is bullshit.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 20, @05:49PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 20, @05:49PM (#1272597) Journal

      The scale of the problem is obviously massive compared to current output but claiming there has been no progress is false.

      Clean energy comprised 67% of new electricity generating capacity in the US in the first half of 2022, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

      Around a third of global electricity production capacity currently comes from low carbon sources, with 26% from renewables and around 10% from nuclear power. The remaining two-thirds come from greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil.

      The graph in this article has a good breakdown over time [weforum.org]

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Tuesday September 20, @09:58PM

        by legont (4179) on Tuesday September 20, @09:58PM (#1272641)

        My claim was that energy available is flat or worse for developed countries; not progress of alternatives.
        Here is the US chart which is flat since 2000. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43515 [eia.gov]
        which in my book means depression for all those years because per capita it is down.
        They should have added new means to the existing ones. They chose to destroy existing capacities to force the people to use new ones.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Nuke on Monday September 19, @09:33PM (24 children)

    by Nuke (3162) on Monday September 19, @09:33PM (#1272452)

    These advocacies for solar and wind always omit the costs (capital and running) of conventional back-up, which is needed because the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. There will never be enough batteries ("batteries" is the usual response) to cover it, and the cost of batteries also tends to be omitted anyway. At present, renewables are riding on the coat tail of existing conventional power generation, but they will not always be able to do that if the greenies have their way.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 19, @09:43PM (18 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 19, @09:43PM (#1272457)

      I believe the trillions they are referring to saving are in-part the costs of moving our coastal metropolises to higher ground...

      There's solar, there's wind, there's wave power extraction (which would tie in quite nicely with offshore wind), there's pumped hydro batteries, there's bio-fuels, and there's nuclear: fission and probably soon (just 10 years away now, instead of 20) fusion.

      We really don't need to continue to extract and burn coal starting more or less immediately. There will be the occasional price spikes when things like Russia's shutdown of natural gas exports hits the market unexpectedly (our mostly gas fired local power currently has "fuel charges" exceeding the normal usage charges, because: CNG exports are at an all-time high and it seems like the perfect excuse to run up profits on locally sold natural gas... But, gas itself could spin down significantly as a source of energy for electrical generation if we ramped up the alternative sources as replacements for carbon burning rather than just playing with them in "studies" and the occasional extra capacity projects.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @02:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @02:09AM (#1272493)

        > We really don't need to continue to extract and burn coal starting more or less immediately.

        While I wish you were correct, please see China -- new coal fired power plants:
            https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/chinese-coal-based-power-plants [wilsoncenter.org]

        In 2021, China began building 33 gigawatts of coal-based power generation, according to the Helsinki-based Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). That is the most new coal-fired power capacity China has undertaken since 2016 and, says CREA, three times more than the rest of the world combined.

        In fairness, China also leads the world in terms of installed wind and solar power, and investments in energy storage batteries, electric vehicles, and ultra-high transmission lines—all key elements for a clean energy transition. China has also pledged to peak related air emissions by 2030, and the Xi government has said it will drastically cut coal use in 2026 to meet that goal.

        However, in the meantime, China still consumes nearly five times as much coal as India, and nearly six times as much as the United States (the second and third largest coal consumers, respectively), and is building a huge number of new plants. According to Enerdata’s 2021 Yearbook, while global coal consumption dropped more than 4% globally, and 19% in the EU, coal consumption went up in China. In other words, China may be planning to cut coal use in several years’ time, but how high will the base level be before the reductions begin?

        That 2026, "We'll cut back" sounds like fiction to me.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @09:06AM (14 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @09:06AM (#1272527) Journal

        I believe the trillions they are referring to saving are in-part the costs of moving our coastal metropolises to higher ground...

        Sure it is. Keep in mind that even in the complete absence of any sort of sea level change, coastal metropolises will spend trillions just to stay in place. The marginal cost of moving them is greatly exaggerated.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @10:09AM (7 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @10:09AM (#1272535)

          While it is true that infrastructure is continually rebuilt, a sudden sea level rise of 1/2 meter or more in 20 years or less would be an unprecedented expense at a global scale.

          In Miami alone, hurricane Andrew was rated at $30B in insured losses in 1992 dollars, over triple that in real costs plus a virtual shutdown of the city's non essential economic activity for 2 to 6 months. Andrew didn't destroy any roads, rails, ports, or permanently flood any land.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @11:51AM (6 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @11:51AM (#1272549) Journal

            While it is true that infrastructure is continually rebuilt, a sudden sea level rise of 1/2 meter or more in 20 years or less would be an unprecedented expense at a global scale.

            And of course, no evidence that would happen. For those paying attention, we're presently at around 6-7 cm per 20 years.

            In Miami alone, hurricane Andrew was rated at $30B in insured losses in 1992 dollars, over triple that in real costs plus a virtual shutdown of the city's non essential economic activity for 2 to 6 months. Andrew didn't destroy any roads, rails, ports, or permanently flood any land.

            Sounds like Andrew destroyed plenty of stuff.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @02:34PM (5 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @02:34PM (#1272570)

              >For those paying attention, we're presently at around 6-7 cm per 20 years.

              Which is about 10x what we were at 20 years ago.

              >Sounds like Andrew destroyed plenty of stuff.

              The stuff Andrew destroyed was relatively easily replaced - in-place. All the infrastructure (except aerial lines like electric and power) was restored within days, and even the electric and landline phone was 99% back up within 10 weeks.

              Not just rebuilding damaged roads and rails, but building new in a new location? Orders of magnitude more expensive, un-insurable, even more devastating than the flood of the 9th ward in New Orleans, because the flood will continue for millennia.

              --
              Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @10:16PM (4 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @10:16PM (#1272646) Journal

                Which is about 10x what we were at 20 years ago.

                Looks like from the first graph here [climate.gov] that sea level rose about 4 cm between 1982 and 2002 and 6.5 cm afterward. It's an increase, but not an order of magnitude increase.

                The stuff Andrew destroyed was relatively easily replaced - in-place. All the infrastructure (except aerial lines like electric and power) was restored within days, and even the electric and landline phone was 99% back up within 10 weeks.

                Not just rebuilding damaged roads and rails, but building new in a new location? Orders of magnitude more expensive, un-insurable, even more devastating than the flood of the 9th ward in New Orleans, because the flood will continue for millennia.

                Let me guess, they'll continue to build expensive property in ten feet of water? How about we don't assume that humans will do incredibly stupid things for millennia? My take is that once something floods, they won't rebuild, making the flooding irrelevant past the initial harm. Instead, they'll build on higher land and just not get that thousands of years of floods.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday September 21, @12:53AM (3 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @12:53AM (#1272672)

                  >Looks like from the first graph here

                  Again, the rates vary depending on where you are measuring. East Coast U.S. has been on a tear lately, relative to the not to distant past.

                  >My take is that once something floods, they won't rebuild, making the flooding irrelevant past the initial harm. Instead, they'll build on higher land and just not get that thousands of years of floods.

                  My observation is that the government draws a literal line in the sand, they call it the coastal construction control line, and when a part of an island gets wiped out by a hurricane or what have you, that line does indeed move and they do not (usually) build the land back up to restore the property for the past owners.

                  However, that coastal construction line tends to have a beach view, not only because people want to build near the beach, but also because governments want the tax income from the insanely high property values that constructions on the beach get assessed for.

                  --
                  Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday September 21, @02:59AM (2 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @02:59AM (#1272682) Journal

                    Again, the rates vary depending on where you are measuring. East Coast U.S. has been on a tear lately, relative to the not to distant past.

                    Global average of course. Why would I cherrypick particular locations? I recall you brought this out before. But let's remember that while these are large at present compared to global sea level rise, they are limited. Even if all ice were to melt and raise global sea level by oh, 50-100 meters, these perturbations would add or subtract no more than they do now.

                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday September 21, @10:06AM (1 child)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @10:06AM (#1272711)

                      >Why would I cherrypick particular locations?

                      Oh, perhaps because the eastern seaboard of the United States has a little more infrastructure constructed on it's coastline than, say, Southern South America or Southern Africa.

                      The perturbations are (in many cases) persistent for decades. Ask the people in the Florida Keys who have had standing salt water in their driveways for the past 5 years how insignificant the "king tide" is to them.

                      --
                      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
                      • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Wednesday September 21, @10:21AM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @10:21AM (#1272712) Journal

                        Oh, perhaps because the eastern seaboard of the United States has a little more infrastructure constructed on it's coastline than, say, Southern South America or Southern Africa.

                        That doesn't have to be the case when your flooding scenarios happen. And it certainly won't be the case after the flooding scenarios happen.

                        The perturbations are (in many cases) persistent for decades. Ask the people in the Florida Keys who have had standing salt water in their driveways for the past 5 years how insignificant the "king tide" is to them.

                        How about I don't waste my time and just don't do that? What should be more important to me? Southern South America or Southern Africa, poor places that desperately need the modern world and its somewhat higher greenhouse gases emissions, or the Florida Keys people who can just move elsewhere, if higher sea level becomes a problem for them?

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 20, @05:58PM (5 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 20, @05:58PM (#1272602) Journal

          It's "moving" more like constantly destroying one side of the city while expanding on the other. It's going to be really expensive but it'll be fairly constant so we'll all just get used to it....

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @06:26PM (3 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @06:26PM (#1272607)

            >It's going to be really expensive but it'll be fairly constant so we'll all just get used to it....

            London got used to the plagues, filth in the streets and all manner of things, and it's still there (but may well be moving soon...) I have no doubt the survivors will "get used to" whatever happens. What I do doubt is the continued quality of life when infrastructure that used to last 50 to hundreds of years starts being "returned to nature" after 10-20.

            If we're good about it, we'll demolish the buildings and roads and clean up the coasts as the sea moves in. Somehow I doubt the political will is going to be there for that additional cost of moving.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 20, @06:45PM (1 child)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 20, @06:45PM (#1272615) Journal

              Well back up right until we hit the rich people property then seawalls it is!

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @09:54PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @09:54PM (#1272640)

                IDK about the rest of the world, but in Florida and the US in general, property values increase by a factor of 3 to 20 as you move nearer the coast... the people we've got smack up against the seawalls and beaches today are the richest we've got. And that's not altogether a bad thing, they can afford to fix the damages that come with open ocean exposure and the occasional storm driven flood. (Unfortunately, they're also powerful enough to game the insurance companies such that some of their losses are covered by insurance that poor people pay into as well - not 100% or anything egregious like that, but anything more than 0 is criminal considering their relative risks.)

                Anyway... no doubt some will try seawalls, again, but there are plenty of examples where that has been tried and failed. Actually, there was one rich old bastard that lived on the north end of Casey Key who made a hobby of extending his beach into the channel between Casey and Siesta Keys, it used to be called Midnight Pass, near Sarasota Florida and was the only path from the bay to the Gulf for something like 10-15 miles in either direction, until this guy managed with his sandbag work to get the pass to fill in and build up as a beach-connection between the islands, technically the two islands have been merged (and the pass no longer passable) for over 20 years now. But, for every "land building" story like that which actually builds or holds some beach, there are 100 other stories of projects big and small which fail to hold back the sea for more than a few years per dollar per square inch of beach. Dredging projects run quickly into the millions, and frequently have to be repeated every 5-10 years. Seawalls that are battered by ocean waves are VERY expensive to maintain.

                --
                Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
            • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Wednesday September 21, @10:22AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @10:22AM (#1272713) Journal

              What I do doubt is the continued quality of life when infrastructure that used to last 50 to hundreds of years starts being "returned to nature" after 10-20.

              Why would that happen? Sounds like that level of stupid will cause a lot bigger problems than 20 year infrastructure.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @10:36PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @10:36PM (#1272652) Journal
            Just remember that the side getting destroyed will tend to be the cheap side unless someone pays them to build expensive buildings (such as the US's present public flood insurance).
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 20, @05:55PM (1 child)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 20, @05:55PM (#1272600) Journal

        I found the idea for this industrial heat battery pretty interesting:

        Basically they heat the crap out of a bunch of bricks when power is cheap and run the factory off the battery. Creating plain old heat is a HUGE power consumer in industry.

        The Rondo Heat Battery Is a Big, Brave Toaster [treehugger.com]

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @06:28PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @06:28PM (#1272608)

          All kinds of ways to store energy, if we start having a more "pulse" supply of energy where there's basically a surplus available for free at times, but for a cost at others, I'm sure all sorts of storage schemes will be implemented to suck up the excess until it is merely cheap but no longer free...

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by bzipitidoo on Monday September 19, @10:01PM (4 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday September 19, @10:01PM (#1272459) Journal

      The sun very much does always shine.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 19, @11:57PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 19, @11:57PM (#1272474)

        In space this is true, and the system that can beam down power for a city of 2 million people probably can be used for some interesting negotiations outside the realm of municipal power generation...

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @12:13AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @12:13AM (#1272480)

          Not really. Geostationary orbit is a long way away. It is a challenge to make the beam concentrated enough to make collection economical. Focusing it enough to be a weapon is way too hard.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @10:14AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @10:14AM (#1272536)

            Who says the weapon has to target a small area? Turning up the heat in a city center by +40C is a lot of negotiating power.

            And, if the system is in lower orbit crossing lots of territory, that's more negotiation potential than geostationary.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Tuesday September 20, @04:24PM

        by Nuke (3162) on Tuesday September 20, @04:24PM (#1272582)

        The sun very much does always shine.

        Not where I live.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by cmdrklarg on Monday September 19, @10:00PM (3 children)

    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 19, @10:00PM (#1272458)

    Far too many vested interests with a LOT of money that want to keep their gravy train running. Decarbonizing will cost THEM trillions.

    --
    Answer now is don't give in; aim for a new tomorrow.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by https on Tuesday September 20, @04:29AM (1 child)

      by https (5248) on Tuesday September 20, @04:29AM (#1272507) Journal

      Smoking in restaurants used to be de rigueur, and people with money tried to stop it. But society includes everyone else, too.

      Social rules are not a fixed quantity.

      --
      Offended and laughing about it.
      • (Score: 2) by https on Wednesday September 21, @06:38PM

        by https (5248) on Wednesday September 21, @06:38PM (#1272836) Journal

        fuhhh...can't believe I left out the "...from happening" I blame the blamee.

        --
        Offended and laughing about it.
    • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Username on Tuesday September 20, @10:02AM

      by Username (4557) on Tuesday September 20, @10:02AM (#1272534)

      I was just thinking the same, but in reverse. Dudes invested into "green" energy, and needs to keep pumping articles out to keep money coming in.

      It's just two competing ideologies, and there will always be a loser and a winner. The rich will win either way.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Monday September 19, @10:06PM (7 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Monday September 19, @10:06PM (#1272460)

    I'm not sure who will be saving Trillions. One thing I am sure of is that my energy company will never charge me less for what I use, no matter how much we all save.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 20, @12:02AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @12:02AM (#1272477)

      When I bought my first house I worked 40 hours a week, spent several nights a week and most weekends "away", and so basically all that was running in my house was the water heater on a timer for an hour each morning, the refrigerator, and the occasional light in the evening. My bill during those first few months was riding around the level of the minimum customer charge, something under $25 per month in 1992/3...

      Then my wife-to-be moved in, started doing hot water clothes washing and electric drying simultaneously, of course with the 25000 BTU A/C cranked up full blast and 900W of halogen lighting up at full, and she set the 60A meter can on fire... $25 per month became $200 all too quickly.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by gnuman on Tuesday September 20, @10:57AM (5 children)

      by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday September 20, @10:57AM (#1272540)

      Since adding a $15k in solar panels to the house few years ago, my energy bills went from $100-$200/mo to something negative most of the year. And now with energy price increase, the negative actually got larger.

      So not sure who's saving what where, but for me at least, I'm saving my entire bill so far. Next step is to move to electric car but then probably will have to increase the solar installation to be able to charge that car for free. So the question is mostly, who pays for the capital costs? With inflation, it's kind of a no-brainer to pay these costs yourself. It's like leasing a car vs. buying a car.

      BTW, had to pay $15k to connect that house to the grid in the first place because needed to install 1 additional pole. Today, it probably would make no sense to actually connect it to the grid anymore but 10 years ago, battery prices were simply too expensive.

      But again, the people unwilling or unable to plan ahead (aka, renters or people with no assets) will be stuck paying the largest bills.

      • (Score: 1) by zion-fueled on Tuesday September 20, @02:15PM

        by zion-fueled (8646) on Tuesday September 20, @02:15PM (#1272564)

        And by me there are trees for shade and a mostly overcast winter. The power company doesn't give you a great deal on generated power either. Your system will still break even in 13 years. Now add another 10k of batteries.

        You don't get solar to save money unless you live in an oven. You get it to be energy independent. To stick a finger in the eye of the government and the power company.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Barenflimski on Tuesday September 20, @02:31PM (3 children)

        by Barenflimski (6836) on Tuesday September 20, @02:31PM (#1272568)

        I've known a few folks where that worked for them. I'd never be able to break even with a solar installation at my home for many reasons.

        Not enough roof. Too much power as I work from home. Trees over the roof that we aren't willing to cut down as they provide shade and privacy. Not willing to cut down on my garden and back yard to fill it with solar panels. Not willing to drive to the office an hour away every day.

        It does bring up a question. Seems that if I were able to go into some collective that bought some land to place panels on in an empty field, I could buy 8-10 panels there. Have you ever heard of a collective community solar panel farm that is attached to the local grid where one would then get credits from your panels in that field?

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Tuesday September 20, @03:08PM (2 children)

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday September 20, @03:08PM (#1272578) Journal

          I've never heard of a Solar collective. It could work, but good luck managing it. My guess is that you'd just about have to create your own power company to get through all the red tape.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 2) by Barenflimski on Tuesday September 20, @06:39PM

            by Barenflimski (6836) on Tuesday September 20, @06:39PM (#1272613)

            Right? I guess we start by hiring a lobbying firm.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday September 21, @10:23AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 21, @10:23AM (#1272714) Journal
            A collective is just another sort of company. It wouldn't be that big a deal.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Sjolfr on Monday September 19, @10:50PM

    by Sjolfr (17977) on Monday September 19, @10:50PM (#1272464)

    One of the key phrases in the article is "The world is facing ..". So the savings in the trillions is distributed around the world.

    To me that smacks of industrial/post-industrial economies bearing the brunt of the costs and losing trillions while other countries get free stuff, thus making trillions. Seems like a trick of statistical analysis where the analysis seems good "on-paper" rather than with real world consequences. Plus, the lynch pin here is energy storage for a smooth energy fluctuation plan. Geothermal in Iceland will do nothing to help out-of-ordinary freezing temps in Texas. Turning 50% of American corn fields in to solar fields is not going to save large California cities from rolling blackouts.

    Let people/counties/states/countries figure their energy out and we'll all learn from it going forward. The need to ram it all in at once is nonexistent, which is why the efforts to do so are highly suspect IMHO.

    And ... by the time any global plan is approved or in place the technology will have advanced enough to force us to revisit the plan and change it. Let it happen organically and with the advancements in battery and energy storage tech. Incentives yes, force no.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 20, @01:11AM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @01:11AM (#1272483) Homepage Journal

    Are we going to strip mine the globe, to get all those minerals for batteries, solar panels, wind generators, etc? Gonna destroy the earth, to save the earth? Sounds a lot like fucking for chastity, or killing for democracy.

    An acquaintance is considering going solar. I told him that right up front, he needs a HUGE battery - something comparable to an electric forklift battery. "Oh, those are expensive!" Well, you buy that big battery now, or you continue to expand your little battery system for years, because it lacks capacity.

    Forget the lead/acid vs lithium vs whatever. Everyone is going to need that storage capacity somewhere, whether in your home, or on the grid. The more we rely on renewables, the more we'll need that capacity.

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by weirsbaski on Tuesday September 20, @08:58AM

      by weirsbaski (4539) on Tuesday September 20, @08:58AM (#1272525)

      Are we going to strip mine the globe, to get all those minerals for batteries, solar panels, wind generators, etc?

      Hmm, shouldn't we have that same level of concern for strip-mining the globe for minerals to build coal and natural-gas generators (they need wires and magnets too!), ingredients to make concrete for hydro dams, batteries for ICE cars, etc?

      Of course, solar panels and wind generators still have an advantage: once built, we don't need additional strip-mining to source sunlight and wind for their ongoing operation, which puts them a little above natural-gas and a big step above coal.

      And also, "used" sunlight and wind doesn't have to be re-buried, so solar/wind won't be the source of huge coal-slurry-style spills like this one:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston_Fossil_Plant_coal_fly_ash_slurry_spill [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by gnuman on Tuesday September 20, @11:19AM (2 children)

      by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday September 20, @11:19AM (#1272543)

      Are we going to strip mine the globe, to get all those minerals for batteries, solar panels, wind generators, etc?

      No, we strip mine it to burn it all instead, right? That's better for you?

      Also, solar panels are mostly ... sand. Wind generators are just regular generators -- nothing special and recyclable. Even batteries can be made of non-rare materials, like iron instead of cobalt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery [wikipedia.org]

      It's kind of sad that 1000kg of batteries per house will "destroy the planet" but 200x-1000x as much in building materials is "oh, that's just normal, carry on!". It's almost like an argument that eating plants will destroy the planet but eating beef is green .... because Beef Lobby convinced me that cows eat grass?

      Forget the lead/acid vs lithium vs whatever. Everyone is going to need that storage capacity somewhere, whether in your home, or on the grid. The more we rely on renewables, the more we'll need that capacity.

      Hydroelectric dams are already de-factro pumped storage solutions. They are automatic multipliers of interruptible generators. Any area with 30+% hydroelectric power can go full renewable without additional storage on the grid. They may need to install additional generators on those dams, but that's all.

      • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 20, @02:12PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @02:12PM (#1272563) Homepage Journal

        No, we strip mine it to burn it all instead, right? That's better for you?

        Point taken. However, coal and oil are relatively clean mining operations, compared to a lot of other resources.

        It's kind of sad that 1000kg of batteries per house will "destroy the planet" but 200x-1000x as much in building materials is "oh, that's just normal

        Uhhhhmmm, I'm not sure that building materials is relevant to discussions about energy sources? But, since you brought it up, we need to start building homes, offices, and other structures to be more energy efficient. I think the least energy efficient structure on the planet are mobile homes. Damned things should be outlawed, IMO. There are a lot of other modifications we can make to permanent structures, starting with better insulation, better choices of building materials, going on to digging into the ground to build, as opposed to building right on top of the soil.

        Hydroelectric dams are already de-factro pumped storage solutions.

        That's fine, when there is water to power them. Have you seen the lakes around the nation? Check out Hoover dam - https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2022/05/photos-water-levels-in-lake-mead-record-lows/629900/ [theatlantic.com] I realize that photo is a few months old now, but none of those lakes are going to fill again, any time soon. Hydro isn't going away any time soon, but I think we're going to find it far less reliable in the future.

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @02:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, @02:30PM (#1272567)

        Solar panels are mostly "sand".

        Sand that is heated to 1450C in order to grow the crystals required to make CPUs and... solar cells. That shit isn't free.

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @09:16AM (4 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @09:16AM (#1272528) Journal
    If that were so easy to do, then where's the evidence that it works and saves serious money? Instead we get clusters like Germany's Energiewende which has been a serious failure - doubling the cost of electricity while simultaneously increasing Germany's dependence on fossil fuels. This isn't the first time that we've received these glitzy promises of vast savings that haven't been reflected in reality.
    • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Tuesday September 20, @11:30AM (3 children)

      by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday September 20, @11:30AM (#1272545)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energiewende [wikipedia.org]

      You should read the wikipedia page on it at least. It seems to state the opposite.

      Furthermore, if you shut down nuclear power first what do you expect will happen first? Yes, you replace nuclear with renewable but then end up with plenty of emissions anyway since you are not closing down the fossil fuels first. But anyway, reality is that Russia's special war has screwed up current *prices* for us but that doesn't change the long term plan anyway. So please don't confuse the two problems into one.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @11:56AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @11:56AM (#1272550) Journal

        You should read the wikipedia page on it at least. It seems to state the opposite.

        I have. Two factors justify my statement - the transition from nuclear power to soft coal in Germany and the continued reliance on imported fossil fuel power, such as coal power from Poland and natural gas from Russia.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @12:21PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @12:21PM (#1272553) Journal

        But anyway, reality is that Russia's special war has screwed up current *prices* for us but that doesn't change the long term plan anyway. So please don't confuse the two problems into one.

        Past prices were considerably higher than either France or Poland. That's where I got the doubling of electricity prices from.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 20, @01:06PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 20, @01:06PM (#1272556) Journal
          Here's an example [statista.com]. Last year, the US and Poland both had mean residential electricity rates last year of $0.16 per kWh. France had $0.19 per kWh. Germany had $0.34 per kWh. I'd look at that energy policy for why Germany is so expensive. This has been going on for at least eight years - I found a Slashdot post [slashdot.org] from 2014 where I made the same observation.

          That's in addition to no significant improvement made to decarbonize Germany's economy. So we have the better part of a decade squandered with bad energy policy - that's the savings that decarbonization yields.
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