ENERGY – articles   16/3/2021    From Carbon To Metals: the Renewable Energy Transition    By Frances Coppola

The world is transitioning from a carbon-intensive to a metals-intensive economy. Low-carbon technologies use much larger amounts of metal than traditional fossil fuel-based systems. Demand for metals is thus rising exponentially, fuelling a boom in mining and production.

But this creates an environmental challenge. Metals extraction and processing is a significant contributor to global warming and a major pollutant. Unless more environmentally-friendly ways of generating energy from renewable sources can be found, saving the planet from carbon emissions may prove extremely costly for our fellow creatures and even for ourselves. …

Low-carbon technologies are considerably more metal-intensive than fossil fuel-based technologies. For example, an electric car typically contains 80kg of copper, four times as much as a petroleum-fuelled car. Both wind and solar power plants contain more copper than fossil fuel ones: a typical solar plant contains about 5kg of copper per kilowatt, as against 2kg per kilowatt for a coal-fired power station. This is driving a new boom in metals extraction and processing. The metals boom is primarily driven by three technologies: • solar (photovoltaic) power • wind power • batteries and other forms of energy storage …                      read whole essay here with comments

Springer – GM PDF –  2015 More growth? An unfeasible option to overcome critical energy constraints and climate change –  Iñigo Capellán-Pérez       read or download DF here

Abstract : Growing scientific evidence shows that world energy resources are entering a period shaped by the depletion of high-quality fuels, whilst the decline of the easy-to-extract oil is a widely recognized ongoing phenomenon. The end of the era of cheap and abundant energy flows brings the issue of economic growth into question, stimulating research for alternatives as the de-growth proposal. The present paper applies the system dynamic global model WoLiM that allows economic, energy and climate dynamics to be analyzed in an integrated way. The results show that, if the growth paradigm is maintained, the decrease in fossil fuel extraction can only be partially compensated by renewable energies, alternative policies and efficiency improvements, very likely causing systemic energy shortage in the next decades. If a massive transition to coal would be promoted to try to compensate the decline of oil and gas and maintain economic growth, the climate would be then very deeply disturbed. The results suggest that growth and globalization scenarios are, not only undesirable from the environmental point of view, but also not feasible. Furthermore, regionalization scenarios without abandoning the current growth GDP focus would set the grounds for a pessimistic panorama from the point of view of peace, democracy and equity. In this sense, an organized material de-growth in the North followed by a steady state shows up as a valid framework to achieve global future human welfare and sustainability. The exercise qualitatively illustrates the magnitude of the challenge: the most industrialized countries should reduce, on average, their per capita primary energy use rate at least four times and decrease their per capita GDP to roughly present global average levels. Differently from the current dominant perceptions, these consumption reductions might actually be welfare enhancing. However, the attainment of these targets would require deep structural changes in the socioeconomic systems in combination with a radical shift in geopolitical relationships. Keywords Renewable limits Fossil fuel depletion Global warming System dynamics Peak oil Scenarios

Redox-Flow Cell Stores Renewable Energy as Hydrogen – A hybrid energy system combines a redox-flow battery with a water electrolyzer for low-cost grid storage – By Sandy Ong

When it comes to renewables, the big question is: How do we store all that energy for use later on? Because such energy is intermittent in nature, storing it when there is a surplus is key to ensuring a continuous supply—for rainy days (literally), at night, or when the wind doesn’t blow.  Using today’s lithium-ion batteries for long-term grid storage isn’t feasible for a number of reasons. For example, they have fixed charge capacities and don’t hold charge well over extended periods of time.  The solution, some propose, is to store energy chemically—in the form of hydrogen fuel—rather than electrically. This involves using devices called electrolyzers that make use of renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.  3/2021   Don’t believe hydrogen and nuclear hype – they can’t get us to net zero carbon by 2050   Jonathon Porritt
Big industry players pushing techno-fixes are ignoring the only realistic solution to the climate crisis: renewables