Q and A


Just post your question in the comments section below, and I look forward to replying.
~Dick

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4 Comments

  • What is the overall efficiency of mining coal, burning coal to make steam to turn turbines to turn alternators consideringall the friction and heat losses through the whole process, and why no one has let the politicians andthepublic so they can compare against renewable energy.

    • Hi Bryce.

      You’re correct, there are incredible inefficiencies in converting fossil fuels to useable energy in the home. However, the problem I see with renewables is the fact that when there’s no sunshine and no wind, there’s no energy being generated.

      In a place like Adelaide for example, you can days and days of basically no wind and virtually no sun. Renewables are competitive when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. But when this is not happening, the costs go way up because of the costs of storage. It appears the most efficient are either batteries or pumped hydro. Any calculations that I’ve been able to do show that going 100% renewables in Australia at the moment would cost something between twice and 4 times what typical Australians may now pay for power.

      That’s the prime reason that it hasn’t been done anywhere in the world. It’s not so much that renewables are expensive than the fact that fossil fuels are so incredibly cheap. The Tesla battery for SA, I understand, will run the system at peak load for about 4 minutes. And there are times when you need peak load for many hours.

      Our present world economic system has been built on incredibly cheap fossil fuels and its going to be very difficult to move away from this.

      ~ Dick

  • CAN YOU HONESTLY TELL ME THAT PRIVATISATION OF OUR UTILITIES HAS NOT CAUSED THE PROBLEMS WE ARE NOW FACING WITH OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS ????????,

    • Hi David.

      I’m not an expert on this. But I do know that the Soviet system collapsed. That was where there was huge government ownership.

      I’m not sure if nationalising our energy supplies would have any huge effect on the price. The simple matter is that fossil fuels are sold at an incredibly low price – as if they’re everlasting. One glass of diesel has around $800 amount of energy of human work. And this low-cost energy and energy density is the prime reason we have 7 billion people on this earth.

      Fortunately there’s 5000 times more energy coming from the sun every day than we need, however we haven’t yet developed an inexpensive way of storing the energy when the sun is not shining.

      Also I have a feeling we’ll never get anything with the energy density and low cost of fossil fuels. So eventually we’ll have to make the change. Even for those who don’t believe in human generated carbon dioxide affecting the world, will also have to agree that one day the fossil fuels will either run out or become so expensive that they’re not viable.

      ~ Dick

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