Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Excellent Article:

The Treasury and the cost of solar in the UK

"If you put solar farms just on the land currently planted with biofuels (around 1.1m acres) then you could generate 190 TWh pa and displace no food production."

Note that annual demand for electricity in the UK is ~350 TWh. This means you could produce half of the UK's annual electricity demand from the land currently dedicated to biofuels. Oh the humanity.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like:

Biofuel crops: food security must come first
EP Vote on ILUC Proposal, the (Long) road to Sustainable Biofuels



Friday, December 20, 2013

Mac Bandy

Got this new cat two days ago. She was born in August 2012. Led to naming her Augustine which
we've shortened to Auggie. Leelu and Auggie aren't getting along quite yet. Leelu has been a gracious hostess so far. Auggies basically like...  just like: I got no tricks bitch. I Purr... That's my shtick. Ain't got no pretty princess fur like you. Look at this shit. If my color was a crayon kids wouldn't use it. Whateva... I'm not cute. But I use my legs... and I use my style... and I use my sexy.... and I use my fingers and I use my... my... my ... imagination. Bitches... I'm happy to be here. Merry Christmas. I'm totally down for fucking that tree up. Leelu... Yeah.. I know... That tree needs to be fucked big time. I'm pretty sure we'll have a window tomorrow. Auggie... Cool... we'll do that then.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Highway to the Danger Zone

I don't understand why people are so goddamned thick headed when it comes to using biomass as an industrial fuel. We should all be able to agree that biomass should play a limited role in fueling us. Some wood pellets here. Some recycled oil there.

Our fuel should come from the sun more directly. We should do what works. Electrify trains and power them with wind/solar/hydro. Hybridize vehicles and work on increasing the percentage of miles traveled with electricity. Remove heating fuels by replacing them with heat pumps, electric stoves and better insulation. These paths work... Jatropra oil? Not so much. Algae? Give me a fucking break.

The average solar panel sold today converts about 15% of the sunshine it sees into electricity. Biomass on the other hand is less than 1% efficient at converting sunshine into chemical energy. This alone does not disqualify the resource as an industrial fuel.

Here's what does:
Why the fuck would you want to support a technology that does all these despicable things? So you can brag about the Carbon Footprint of your Prius? Seriously? Go look up some pictures of deforestation in the tropics. You can see the disaster from space. That's how big the footprint is.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things that don't make you go hmmm.

Can a low-emission coal-fired power plant, such as Boundary Dam with CCS, be considered sustainable similar to renewable energy sources?

Winning Public Support for the Future of Coal

Speaking of fictional questions... What is the load bearing capacity of a Pegasus? That depends.... Is it a European Pegasus or an African Pegasus?

Monday, December 2, 2013

One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic

Edward Teller: Father of Hydrogen Bomb
and inspiration for Gru in Despicable Me
Particle pollution from power plants is estimated to kill approximately 13,000 people a year.
Toxic Air: Time to Clean Up Coal-fired Power Plants
This quote is from a report by the American Lung Association. Note that it only counts US deaths - worldwide estimates are closer to a half-million. The statistic proves out Stalin's macabre assertion. There must be some sort of statistical fulcrum in our brains that turns our concerns on and off. Maybe this is why Testicular Cancer gets a 10 k while coal the world destroyer hardly gets noticed.


Though controversy still exists regarding the comparison between thin-film and polysilicon technologies, we trade insiders have no disagreement in regarding thin-film as the future of PV, in addition to being a trend already," claimed Li Hejun, Hanergy’s chairman, speaking last month at the launch of his book New Energy Revolution – the Power to change China and the World.
Mr. Hejun is apparently serious about this assertion as his company plans to scale up CIGS production by 5.25GW.  Strangely the company also plans to expand a-Si production??? While I don't disagree that thin-film is the future of photoelectrics I'd argue that the timing of when that future is going to come around is completely up in the air. It's sorta like LEDs or solid state hard drives - they're the future but things take a mysterious amount of time to develop.