Eclecticist: Alternative Energy
Show Notes & Research
Broadcast: 30th August, 2013
Last update: 3rd September, 2013
- Intro music
- Introduction and description of the podcast, goals, modus operandi
- What An investigation of everything from a British perspective by two boys who consider themselves to be normal boys, one topic at a time.
- Who Benjamin de-Campos (designer, believer), Geoffrey Campos (engineer, devil’s advocate)
- How Choose a topic of interest, spend a little time researching it, have a discussion then publish the notes
- Why The chief benefit is the fostering of a greater understanding of the world before death and to hopefully prompt further thought and discussion
- Introduce the topic: Alternative Energy
Bodies of ancient biological organisms buried, compressed and cooked over billions of years have produced Petroleum, a complex, hydrocarbon rich, liquid fuel. As a species, we have been burning fossil fuels on an industrial scale for centuries and it has benefited us in terms of standards of living immeasurably. However, there is only so much petroleum underground. It’s getting increasingly harder to extract and will one day, completely run out. There are consequently, environmental, socio-economic and political implications to our dependence. There are many initiatives across the globe dedicated to raising public awareness of our potentially worsening energy situation and an increasingly fruitful effort to make renewable energy solutions realistic.
(What we’re not talking about.)
- ‘Big oil’
- Petroleum in manufacturing
- mobile canal diggers
- Animal feed production
- Subs, planes, ships, secure storage, rocket/missile fuel
- Tools for oil extraction
- materials production
- Problems with current energy solutions
- All power comes from the Sun
- Hydrocarbons, the basis of all fossil fuels, basically carbon and hydrogen chains.
- Oil - petroleum
- Dead organic matter to peat to the best type, anthracite - glassy rocks. Beyond that is pure carbon e.g. graphite or diamonds, mostly useless as fuel.
- New technology/initiative Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', a process that cracks rock deep underground to release oil and natural gas. More jobs The shale gas revolution swiftly changed the economics of natural gas. It prompted the industry to launch more than 100 projects in the past several years — specifically aimed at taking advantage of low prices — with investments totaling billions of dollars and 50,000 jobs created.
- Population growth, scalability
- Harder to find fossil fuels e.g. end of the easy oil, tar sands
- Pollution e.g. burning oil, nuclear waste
- Most power stations produce electricity by spinning magnets inside coiled wire - electricity turbines
- Substations step down the voltage using transformers
- Types of alternative energy
- Renewable, for all intents and purposes
- Consider the surface area of the orbit of the earth (average 150 million kilometres): 282.743 billion square Km. Diameter of earth: 12,742 Km 255 million sq Km (half the planet). That’s a lot of solar power beaming off into space. 174 petawatts (10 raised to the power of 15 watts). Good idea might be to spread collector arrays away from the earth and somehow return the power.
- Mirror arrays Spanish installations e.g. Gemasolar in southern Spain which has concentric rings of mirrors concentrating the suns rays on a central tower containing salt which stores the energy in it’s seriously molten state.
- Off planet - Orbiting solar arrays
- Film: Sunshine
- Dig deep enough and it’s hot. Really hot.
- Tides are predictable
- water is really heavy
- Turbines to create electricity
- Ugly windmills
- Cost of the hardware
- Unpredictable and intermittent
- 30-ish countries. 195-ish countries in total
- production of steam to turn turbines
- Risk: Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
- Actually non-renewable, uranium is finite
- Technology can be weaponised
- Nuclear fusion is just that, the fusion of two nuclei to form a larger one and liberating a vast amount of energy in the process
- Lots of promises, potentially massive energy gains
- How would it be stored
- Could it be anything other than explosive?
- Difficulty ‘cracking’ water
- Should be used to feed humans
- More efficient practices
- Higher costs, rationing
- Conflation of devices/appliances
- Car pooling, public transport infrastructure
- Chemical capacitors
- Kinetic capacitors e.g. flywheels
- Chemical battery technology
- Pushing pollution up the chain
- 200 years of pumping burnt oil into the atmosphere
- Controversy - is it really happening?
- Carbon neutral nonsense
- Conspiracy theories
- Oil industry lobbyists, influence
- Outro music choice - something open source so we don’t get sued, this time it’s a bit Miles Davis
‘Moores Law’ refers to a trend spotted by Gordon E. Moore in a 1965 paper entitled ‘Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits’ whereby the number of components on an ‘integrated chip’ roughly doubles every 2 years e.g. the number of transistors. The paper is available here (PDF).
American on track to export more oil than Saudi Arabia by 2020 (Bloomberg)
Tidal Power is energy from the motion of the tides not to be confused with Hydroelectric power which is energy from falling water.
“We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back." —BP CEO Tony Hayward, on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, May 31, 2010
The Severn Barrage tidal power initiative, up to 5% of the UK demand for electricity. http://www.hafrenpower.com/severn-barrage/
Collapse the film with Michael Ruppert.
Stanley Meyer, Innovator of hydrogen fuel cells, died mysteriously.
China syndrome a hypothetical nuclear-reactor accident in which the fuel would melt through the floor of the containment structure and burrow into the earth.