8-Ball

“Scant aid, too much hype and unrealistic targets threaten climate-change pledges”

“Over the past week alone, the previously fast-growing renewable energy sector has seen Shell decide to stop building wind and solar schemes worldwide, the wave company Pelamis hit by technical and financial troubles, and EDF Energy warn that UK renewables targets would not be realised and should be scaled back to achievable levels.”

The problem is that “achievable levels” doesn’t do shit.

“David MacKay, a Cambridge University professor and author of a new book, Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, also agrees. “It may well be that renewables has been overhyped and there is a backlash against it … There is a big, big problem compared with a year ago. I know a number of people who are unable to get investment for the kind of new technology we need for a low-carbon future.””

The article speaks primarily to the U.K. market, however its not a lot different elsewhere in the world. Through stimulus moneys the U.S. is attempting to incentivize wind and other renewable energy development. With scant private investment capital around, the US government is creating billions of stimulus dollars or offering production tax credits and rebates to renewable energy project developers. This could temporarily take some of the edge off, but will hardly generate a gold rush.

As was often speculated by the old CFN gang these measures for balancing out fossil fuel dependance with renewables (sans the necessary lifestyle changes, etc. etc.) would fall short in a broken world, massively strapped in debt and a thousand other obligations. Too little to late. Decades of denial and squandered opportunity. Playing catch-up is hell. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. All the messengers were shot long ago. How many ways can you say ‘told you so’. So this is what it looks like from behind the 8-ball. Blah.

31 Replies to “8-Ball”

  1. BTW, scott is posting again on CFN today and has said essentially the same thing as above. It’s the ERoEI, dudes.

    Asoka responds weakly: BUT, Blah blah blah… blah blah.

    dale: too many words, that’s the problem, too much to know.

  2. You just have to move out on your left hand flank.

    You need to flank left. In other words. Leave your main body forward to smoke or faint as a target. Use your right as a decoy.

    Your left consists of special forces and sickos. they pounce on your enemy from behind and destroy them.

    Don’t worry, Bunn and I will get you up to speed.

    Don’t worry about the blah. That’s actually something I use. Blah, Blah ,Blah, Blah fucking blah, why can’t e spell it bla?

    bunn and I play. It’s gonna get where it is no fun and we will need you as triuvirate.

  3. Doom, who is Scott?

    I was just gonna post something that joined you and Yarra into Samurai 5 (I still need two more).

    Am I broadcasting? How bad?

  4. Otherwise known as the Magnificent 7

    Samuarai 7

    Johnny (1)
    Holmes (2)
    Bif (3)
    Doom (4)
    Yarra (5)
    Remus(not sure if he will return) (6)

    We got one more spot to fill.

    We are pretty cool aren’t we?

    He’s gotta work well with us. I really wish Remus would come back. I’d take Remus for both 6 and 7. Think about it. If Remus decides to hang it up, we gotta fill both those spots. My worst nightmare is Remus quitting. I’ll do any negotiations.

  5. I’m crazy whack funck. I’m actually tracing my sister through my… Baby… tell Mike… I’ve got the contacts. I’ve had them for years . I just didn’t know I could slap you in the head.

    Mike needs to call me soon. About lyndsey. It’s not about what you wanna talk about, it’s about what you don’t know. Mike still can’t duck. I woulda hit him in the head but I knew he was my ………. bnnoooooowwww……bnooooowwww….. Mike. Don’t ever fuck with me. Not on my ground. Move out. Flank him. arrest him. I’ll deal with him

  6. JR, I have no degrees. I am but a simple man and the e stands for earl… my name from birth til’ 40 years of age. 49 is my racing age.

  7. Is that Nudge behind the 8-ball? Looks like a caricature of her.
    BTW, blah was just a comment on preaching to the converted.

  8. JR, Remus has never left the team, as far as I can tell. Not to worry.

    Are you drinking again? What is it now? I bet is has alcohol in it.

    Good Gawd, you’ve forgotten our dear scott, the genius truck driver who posts his economic wisdom on CFN? Hint: precious metals.

    Please do us both a favor, and take Nudge to lunch/brunch/whatever. Get it over with. Let us know how it works out. She must be at least 7 feet tall, so don’t slouch, like you always do.

  9. James Earl, as you know, we’ve been best friends since we were six years old, in first grade together.

  10. First mission for the magnificent 7, truck a semi’s worth of Coors over the county line. Scott’s in the driver’s seat.

  11. No shit the so-called “renewables” don’t add up to a few teaspoonfuls dumped into the Atlantic.

    As said in a previous post (inserting a shameless plug here) http://futuretowniesofamerica.blogspot.com/2009/01/show-me-green-energy.html, it would take above 500 YEARS of the entire world’s combined output of solar cells (OK, at 2007 levels) just to meet the present electrical power needs of the United Parking Lot of America, our great home. (cough)

    Got EROI?

  12. Not coincidentally, our friends at http://layoffdaily.com/ had the following solar/alt-E businesses listed in their hall o’ clusterfuckery:

    Layoffs Hit Canadian Oilsands
    http://www.canada.com/Business/story.html?id=1206411

    Areva Uranium Mine -100
    http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Business/Areva+shelves+project+laid/1408445/story.html

    OptiSolar Shuts Down -200
    http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2009/03/16/daily57.html

    Acciona Wind Turbine Plant -58
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-windturbineplant-,0,6010012.story

    Uni-Solar Idles Plants 2 Weeks -400
    http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2009/03/unisolars_two_greenville_plant.html

    Aventine Renewable Energy -25
    http://www.pekintimes.com/news/x1683628939/Aventine-may-have-to-file-for-bankruptcy

    Cummins Natural Gas Engine -16
    http://www.kvia.com/Global/story.asp?S=9978575&nav=menu193_2

    Renewable Environmental Services -49
    http://www.joplinglobe.com/carthage_jasper_county/local_story_062212511.html?keyword=secondarystory

    FirstEnergy Corp. -335
    http://www.wtov9.com/news/18845330/detail.html

    Pacific Ethanol Closing 2 Plants
    http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2009/03/02/4024868.htm

    Entech Solar -40%
    http://greenlight.greentechmedia.com/2009/03/02/new-strategy-forces-entech-into-layoffs-1168/

    These were just the March-2009 entries; I didn’t go back through the previous 3 months worth of stuff.

    Can somebody please ‘splain to me again how Alt-E technologies are going to “rescue” our highly consumptive way of living?

    /sarcasm off

  13. anyhoo, i’ve often been amazed at how monkeys wil go to such extremes in self training based on secondary reinforcements only.

  14. so, i’ve recently inherated a 7yo cat, with various behavior problems. i’ve started to clicker train the cat to improve it’s behavior and teach it some new ones. i gave up on reading TBS. it was just too stupid.

  15. given a choice, I’ll choose you over talib any day, dave.

    psst, wanna buy a Corvair, cheap?

  16. “And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'”
    Posted by: Scared at March 20, 2009 4:37 PM

  17. Saturday eve I was at a small get-together with a group of friends –several of whom had originally met decades ago doing various things for the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

    One of the women in the group is a retired lawyer for the NRC’s primary outside counsel. She has worked here and in Europe and is a proponent of nuclear for our energy needs with the caveat that it is very difficult and expensive to convey the energy any other way than aboveground wires.

    She mentioned that EDF of Great Britain has just bought in to at least one nuke power plant in this country.

    http://www.edfenergy.com/index.shtml

  18. This is not from The Onion. This is from CBS and the NYT.

    Jump-Starting The Electric Car Dream

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/16/sunday/main4869332.shtml

    (see the video for full effect)

    “But here’s the twist: The car gets cheaper the more you agree to drive.”

    ‘We’re just like a cell phone company,’ Agassi said. ‘We sell miles. We pay for your financing of the car, depending on how many miles you commit. Sort of like how many minutes you commit [on your phone]. You can go all the way down (and in the case of people who drive a lot, like taxis) to zero.'”

  19. Ralph- Great to hear from you! Ms. O’Grady daughter sees my young son (he is in the first grade) nearly every day. I hope to visit our teacher soon! Please come along.

    Uncle- GO LOUISVILLE

  20. i’ve always kinda liked corvairs.

    unintended consequances are always kinda funny. i’ve been reading up on animal training lately. i came across one kind of interesting statistic. it seems that in the last 30 so years, since leash laws have become ubiquetous, dog bite cases have risen by about, say, 50%. the dog population during that same time has risen by about 2%.

    anyhoo, the lesson that i take from this kinda stuff is that activists, of all varieties, are assholes, nothing personal ralph.

  21. SB, wow, thanks for the electric car PR ^H^H^H err, nooz article. While it was sad to see the reporter gloss over the differences between a “virtually free car” and a “very low cost per mile driven”, I couldn’t help but see it as still more BAU heaped on top of a whole mountain range of failed BAU.

    None of the EV’s shown whizzing around streets had more than one person it it. All of them had seating for at least five. They made a point of saying that they provide electric SUVs too!

    Despite the probably-stock footage of spinning windmills, the advertisement said nothing about where all that extra grid electricity might come from. I do not know how many gigawatts of wind generation capacity get added every year, but I’m fairly sure that A) solar outpaces it; B) wind capacity increases are nowhere near keeping up with energy demand increases; C) it’s more expensive and maintenance-intensive per installed kW than solar is; and D) there will be a whole lot less wind & solar generation capacity added in all of 2009 than there was in 2008. (Got “great recession”?)

  22. Electric cars!!! Ya, that’s the answer. Wind power–right out of DC. Enjoy the fossil fuels while they last, folks. Invest in jig saw puzzles, and garden tools, ammo, guns, etc. Stuff that don’t need electricity.

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