Monday, November 14, 2022

The Major Roadblock to a Fossil Fuel-Free Future

With the global ruling class keeps insisting that we must forgo our current carbon-based lifestyles and substitute alternative technologies for transportation and energy generation, a recent seminar and publication entitled "Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels" by Dr. Simon P. Michaux, Associate Professor of Mineral Processing and Geometallurgy  at the Geological Survey Finland (GTK) very neatly sums up the reality of the situation.


Let's open with this graphic showing a history of the global energy consumption by source:



As you can see, renewables currently make up a tiny fraction of total energy consumption as shown here:



Keep in mind that various governments have pledged to totally replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy by 2050 and, in some cases, to totally replace their nation's fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles.  These pledges mean that it will require a massive increase in renewable sources of energy to replace the energy currently being supplied by fossil fuels including coal, natural gas and oil.  This switch to so-called environmentally friendly sources of energy will also require the investment of untold trillions of dollars to build a new energy infrastructure, an issue that will prove to be problematic given high and ever-growing levels of government debt and, given that many of these projects will be sub economic without government subsidies, government participation will be both expected and required.


Let's look at one single aspect of the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy that gets very little attention from politicians and the mainstream media.  Solar- and wind-sourced energy (not to mention the manufacturing of electric vehicles and their associated batteries which will require additional electricity generation) requires significant inputs, particularly the minerals/metals as shown on this graphic which excludes rare earth elements:


Here is a graphic showing rare earth demand by sector including the renewable energy and EV sectors:

It is important to keep in mind that mining and processing these minerals/elements has a high environmental cost in two ways:


1.) mining requires energy for extraction and transportation of ores as well as the energy used to extract the desirable products from the waste.


2.) environmental degradation of mine sites during the life of the mine.


This is the key table from the presentation which shows the roadblocks to a clean energy future:


It is very clear that the global ruling class/kakistocracy is completely clueless when it comes to a deep understanding of the reality that will make a universal switch to renewable energy highly unlikely.  Just to produce the first generation (i.e. not replacing worn out turbines, batteries or solar cells) of technology to phase out fossil fuels will require between 5.9 years and 9,921 years for non-rare earth metals and between 31.4 years and 29,113 years for rare earth metals at 2019 rates of production.  Unless technology changes markedly over the next decade, the numbers don't lie; the goal of achieving a fossil fuel future is an unattainable dream.  


If you are interested, here is the seminar in its entirety:



Here is a link to the entire massive and extremely thorough publication by Dr. Michaux outlining the global energy reality now and in the future from the Geological Survey of Finland;

Energy is the key to the modern global economy.  It allows humankind to convert raw materials to the finished products that we consume everyday.  Here is a graphic showing the relationship between economic growth and energy consumption from 1965 to 2014:



Without the consumption of increasing amounts of energy, our lives could and will be far different, less comfortable and we could and will be far hungrier.  But, then again, perhaps that's what the global ruling class wants for the organ donor class.   It is becoming increasingly apparent that politicians have absolutely no clue when it comes to what will be required to achieve their lofty climate goals.


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