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Cars are all going electric

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YeeWo
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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138682

Postby YeeWo » May 12th, 2018, 11:47 pm

bruncher wrote:Is the hydrogen fuel cell car definitely written off?

There is something appealing about the freedom and relative independence of filling up a tank and not worrying for 600 miles, rather than planning and booking (it may soon be necessary) the next charging stop.

If more cars are electric and booking a charge is essential, the logistics are painful to think about. If a vehicle books a charge, pre-pays, but is 30 minutes late, and the next available slot is 10 hours later .......
The Toyota Mirai is still in existence and being trialled by Greem Tomato Taxis in London IIRC........

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138700

Postby ap8889 » May 13th, 2018, 6:38 am

tjh290633 wrote:Thinking about renewable energy, my mind is drawn to producer gas, generated from vegetable matter like wood chips or charcoal. During WW2 buses were to be seen towing producer gas trailers.

I once did a study into the feasibility of using wood to generate producer gas to fire a float glass furnace. My calculations suggested that a 7km square patch of eucalyptus in Brazil, cropped on a 7 year cycle, could sustain the process. Coppicing would be an alternative. I must dig out the original paper.

TJH


Holy cow, that's a big chunk of productive land tied up to supply one facility providing just one of a myriad industrial products. Just illustrates the enormous scale of energy use and the infeasibility of fossil fuel substitution. Industrial society is necessarily a fossil fuel using society. The paltry energy flows from renewable sources are not able to scale to meet the immense demand from 7 billion people all trying to live like kings.

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138706

Postby odysseus2000 » May 13th, 2018, 8:11 am

ap8889
Holy cow, that's a big chunk of productive land tied up to supply one facility providing just one of a myriad industrial products. Just illustrates the enormous scale of energy use and the infeasibility of fossil fuel substitution. Industrial society is necessarily a fossil fuel using society. The paltry energy flows from renewable sources are not able to scale to meet the immense demand from 7 billion people all trying to live like kings.


Interestingly I now believe the opposite, that is industrial society is necessarily going to be renewables powered. Why? Because the cost of renewable power with storage is a lot less than the cost of fossil and nuclear generation.

We have already seen Apple power it's entire business from renewables & storage & there is no obvious reason that I can find from my extensive studies of the field to suggest there is any practical limit to generating all the energy we are ever likely to need from renewables with storage. By contrast there are limits to both fossil fuel supplies & fears about global warming that have politicians pushing renewables all over the planet, save for places like Iran & Trump's coal lobby.

Added to this are the economics of production with renewables having no fuel costs producing the lowest cost electricity. This is generally being sold at the same price, often higher, than the more expensive to produce fossil & nuclear power electricity. In this regime, even with out carbon taxes, it becomes impossible to get finance for new fossil or new nuclear plant.

Regards,

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138717

Postby ap8889 » May 13th, 2018, 9:15 am

Really? World total primary energy is approaching 1.7 petawatt-hours.

Approx 1.7 petawatt-hours from renewables?

I just can't get there myself: there are insufficient collectors of the diffuse forms of renewable energy, and manufacturing sufficient solar PV panels and wind turbines will require such massive non-renewable resource use that we must struggle to supply. We might prefer to burn the fossil fuels anyway as being at least achievable.

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138788

Postby dspp » May 13th, 2018, 1:23 pm

ap8889 wrote:Really? World total primary energy is approaching 1.7 petawatt-hours.

Approx 1.7 petawatt-hours from renewables?

I just can't get there myself: there are insufficient collectors of the diffuse forms of renewable energy, and manufacturing sufficient solar PV panels and wind turbines will require such massive non-renewable resource use that we must struggle to supply. We might prefer to burn the fossil fuels anyway as being at least achievable.


With all due respect I think you are wrong.

Global electrical generation capacity replacements & newbuilds are now predominantly renewables (61%). Add in the nuclear newbuild, and you can see that newbuild fossil generation capacity is now very much the minority. Globally.

(see my 13 April 2018 post on viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11176 for data)

With every year that passes the newbuild fraction of fossil : non-fossil is shrinking looking globally. This is now largely an unsubsidised investment decision, or at least a parity subsidy decision between fossil & non-fossil, again globally. See Lazards data for levelised costs if you want to understand why.

Actual real world capacity factors of the major renewables sources (ie wind & hydro) are approximately equal to fossil capacity factors. I've posted the numbers before & don't have time to look them out again but they tend to be in the 30-40% range. Solar PV is the obvious exception.

Given that major generating capacity tends to have an economic lifespan of 20-40 years then it seems to me that we are approximately 20-40 years from a nearly full conversion to renewable generation. This is an accelerating trend.

Similarly the adoption cycle for EVs has started and is now unstoppable. Approximately 1/3 of fossil fuel use is vehicles, 1/3 is generation, and 1/3 is thermal. So within 20-40 years we will probably have substituted 2/3. As I say the adoption trends are accelerating. For thermal it is less obvious as the float glass example shows, but I think we will see excess renewables generation (electric) largely substituting for thermal in due course. That particular thermal example used biomass from eucalyptus in Brazil which is about the fastest growing wood crop on the planet - my opposite number in the region once ran the largest eucalyptus plantations in the southern cone: so I do not expect that to get much better and so (new) biomass will be a niche producer for my lifetime (hence Shell selling out of timber when it did ...).

Storage for intermittency is not a concern pre 40% renewables penetration. Globally we are now at 12%, but individual countries have now reached 100% for extended periods (e.g. Portugal in the 17/18 winter just gone where they did not run either of their two coal plants during the winter). My studies show that intermittency can be dealt with economically with current technology at current prices through from 40% to 80% penetration. By the time we reach 80% I am sure that we will have improved cost/capacity to get to 90%, ditto to 95%, at least that is what the trends suggest.

My long distance deep sea cargo studies indicate that we can substitute trans-oceanic freight with intercontinental rail, albeit at slightly increased costs but with reduced journey times over many routes. I am seeing this effect already showing up in the data I am looking at. In my lifetime I expect a Bering Strait link and a Darien Gap rail link to go in, breaking those two rail markets open. I continue to study this as it is a game-changer for defence. Short sea can be done with batteries.

I am not a tree hugging green. I have run oil & gas fields, wind & hydro companies, and now specialise in HV grid (and more wind, and biomass for a significant thermal load). I am a hard-nosed engineer. Follow the data and the world really is changing, with - say it again - accelerating trends.

Investing in high carbon and/or long duration fossil producers is a very risky position.

That's why although I have a very substantial portfolio position in upstream oil & gas it is all in short duration / low carbon production.

regards, good luck,
dspp

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138920

Postby TUK020 » May 14th, 2018, 7:14 am

dspp wrote:Investing in high carbon and/or long duration fossil producers is a very risky position.

That's why although I have a very substantial portfolio position in upstream oil & gas it is all in short duration / low carbon production.

regards, good luck,
dspp


dspp,
please can you help me interpret what duration/carbon content means. What is your perspective of BP & RDS?
I know the latter have made big investments in LNG, but I don't understand if this fits your 'low carbon' metric
tuk020

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#138936

Postby dspp » May 14th, 2018, 9:41 am

TUK020 wrote:
dspp wrote:Investing in high carbon and/or long duration fossil producers is a very risky position.

That's why although I have a very substantial portfolio position in upstream oil & gas it is all in short duration / low carbon production.

regards, good luck,
dspp


dspp,
please can you help me interpret what duration/carbon content means. What is your perspective of BP & RDS?
I know the latter have made big investments in LNG, but I don't understand if this fits your 'low carbon' metric
tuk020


tuk,

My apologies for my baffling brevity.

Re duration: I prefer reservoirs that will be produced relatively quickly relative to the timing of the upfront capex, i.e. are least exposed to future increased RE penetration. Against this I will also point out that I prefer oilies that have a decent reserves:production bank so that they can harvest the higher price periods.
Re carbon content: I prefer asset mixes that are least exposed to high carbon content. So I avoid heavy oils, tar sands, coal. I prefer light oils or gas.

Re RDSB and BP if you look on the portfolio review board viewtopic.php?f=56&t=4396 you will see that I hold both, plus HUR in upstream. RDSB has long been going down the gas-centric pathway, BP slightly less so. HUR is a relatively short term play in this context (only 2-3 years is my guess). Before/if doing anything in HUR please read all my (and others') warnings about risks in the HUR thread viewtopic.php?f=16&p=137968#p137968 and most of my HUR exposure is profits from my RDSB + BP. I generally prefer RDSB to BP for many reasons, which ultimately come down to corporate culture. However I swapped some RDSB for BP for CGT reasons a year or so ago and decided to split my risks and stay with both. I also rate EXXON as a highly competent major, but don't want the hassle of US tax at the moment.

The real conundrum I have is that I cannot find any attractive investments (vs alternatives) in listed RE that I would want to hold as a small scale private investor. Fossil fuels are industrial crack cocaine, and it shows in the investment arena as with any other. If at some point all fossil negative externalities were fully taxed into reality then I am sure that would change ! In fact, slowly, the same outcome is occurring by a multiplicity of paths: petroleum taxes; carbon taxes; decreasing EROEIs; improving RE economics. Hence the timescale I have in mind for largely exiting the oilies. In the meantime there is money to be made !

Hope this helps.

regards, dspp

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#139478

Postby TUK020 » May 17th, 2018, 6:41 am

dspp,
thank you.

As regards RE investments, I am thinking of investing in the shovels rather than the goldmines.

I have a heavy position in NG. which I have recently topped up.
Most major sources of RE involve electricity, and thus will need hooking up to the grid.

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Re: Cars are all going electric

#139504

Postby FredBloggs » May 17th, 2018, 8:38 am

TUK020 wrote:dspp,
thank you.

As regards RE investments, I am thinking of investing in the shovels rather than the goldmines.

I have a heavy position in NG. which I have recently topped up.
Most major sources of RE involve electricity, and thus will need hooking up to the grid.

Exactly. My view 100%.


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