'Peak Oil' far, far away


You does be half right, no revolutionary breakthrough since LiIon in the 1970s and plenty of announcements of some battery holy grail …around 1 a quarter every quarter. :slight_smile:

So a giant leap in batteries, I’ll believe it when I see it and I am basically more exercised on Lithium shortages than Cobalt Shortages too.

Getting back to oil…we could see a price spike as early as tomorrow.


I would expect the orange coloured twittermaniac to announce his intentions around 11am Irish Time tomorrow. It will take out around 1m barrels at most from Global Supply but most of the refineries geared to handle the tar like gloop that comes from Venezuela are in Texas.

mysanantonio.com/business/ea … 294908.php

San Antonio sent this letter to Trump only this month but the dodgy referendum today is likely the final straw for that gobshite bus driver presidente of theirs, especially if he declares ‘victory’

mysanantonio.com/file/226/8/ … 0Trump.pdf

And so we wait for the tweets. :slight_smile:


There have been some real improvements in batteries over the past few years.
ny-best.org/sites/default/f … 106715.pdf


There’s a lot more to be squeezed out of Li ion chemistry., I’m confident it can done because the tools used in material science have improved so much along witb computer modelling. Basically scientists can see a lot clearer now down to the atomic level.

Now there’s also massive amounts of money neing pushed into electric which should also help .

In terms of investing I think you couldn’t do wrong with splitting investments across copper, lithium and cobalt. As with all investments it’s the positive story and trend that matters as much as an increase in demand. Oil is kind of dead so where will the commodity dealers play…ask yourself.


That letter is decidedly odd. Sanctions always have to hurt the implementer a bit. But the points made are misleading. Citgo (owned by the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA) is only the second biggest consumer of Venezuelan oil in the US, after Phillips 66, but as a percentage of their business it is by far the biggest. (Venezuelan oil is only 6% of Phillips 66 imports). And the point about exports is totally misplaced: Citgo has been swapping refined products with Venezuela in return for crude, since Venezuela’s own refineries are borked. If you want to implement sanctions, you have to hit Citgo. And the stuff about a possible Maduro retaliation by cutting imports of US oil to its operation in Curaçao is beyond wrong! Refineria Isla Curaçao imports light oils to blend with Orinoco heavy crude so that they can be re-exported. Without Citgo and without American imports there is no Venezuelan oil industry. Btw, the Curaçao operation is so dilapidated from under-investment that the government there is threatening to take the lease off Venezuela and give it to the Chinese.

If I didn’t know better (and I don’t) I’d say maybe someone has persuaded the head of the Corpus Christi Port Authority to tell a few porkies.


bloomberg.com/news/articles … -with-salt

hot Salt storage


bloomberg.com/news/videos/2 … cted-video

apologies for super annoying accent

[edit:]] sorry think this is old


I see Mantissa’s dwarf car features again near the end, at 2:30. :smiley:


Have you ever been 10, 20 or 50 miles off the south or west coast of Ireland in a force 6 or 7? The concept that serious money would be invested in deploying turbines out there seems very remote to me, and that they could exist (not operate) undamaged over an anticipated lifespan ? Let alone operate and transmit power consistently. Floating turbines have the added complexity of keeping them physically connected to the grid, and added design to keep them connected adds complexity that requires maintenance.


If I had piles of cash to waste on something outlandish then maybe large ships to land liquid fuel made at sea would be a runner:


The following presentation from earlier this year could just as well be on the “expensive electricity” thread as it spans the whole gamut of energy issues. I don’t agree with it all by a long shot, but it is the most thought provoking thing I’ve seen in a long time. The panel discussion is at least as important (if not more so) than the main presentation. Skip the first 6 minutes if you want to get to the presentation proper, unless you’re interested in checking the credentials of the presenter.

tldw; He takes the interesting view that peak oil is definitively hogwash and oil prices are heading down forever from here. Among the other interesting points that crop up are ones that have been discussed on here before: storage and load balancing are key to transitioning to an electrified economy; nuclear is not going to be the answer; neither is any technology available today – we are dependent on innovation and breakthroughs but we have some ideas where they might occur; the British Isles have a particular challenge in inter-seasonal balancing of solar PV output; heating is another major challenge: fossil fuel power devoted to heating is four times the total current generating capacity of the UK; natural gas use is going to expand a lot; we have no good answers for heavy machinery, air transport, and other some sectors; the overall transition will probably take many decades.

There is also discussion of policy and regulation, and how electricity provision should become more like broadband provision. You can click through the associated slides here, but probably easier to just blow up the video.


It’s nearly 2 hours long, I will watch it later - hopefully it will touch on many of the issues I see as key for the next few years.


ftalphaville.ft.com/2017/08/03/ … realities/

Izabella Kaminska on EVs

free to read/register - I haven’t linked the links


Interesting article but far too money focused!
It’s this type of thinking that killed many viable rail lines that if they were still in existence would be providing valuable service to commuters.
As far as batteries are concerned, there is a ready market for the expired vehicle battery packs in the domestic solar generation market. So when it comes to replacing the batteries in an older EV, the cost of the replacement battery pack will be offset by selling the old battery.

Tesla should have learned that they need to provide stronger suspension, so this shouldn’t be an issue in the long run and the costs of using slightly beefier components being very small in the grand scheme of things. I expect that they’ll also sort out the transmission failures caused by people flooring it to do the claimed 0-60mph in under 5 seconds (or whatever it is).


Thanks slasher. The first of the related articles on battery improvements is another reality check for the technology optimists, with implications for grid storage as well as EVs.


Very good, well worth watching, one of the main takeaways is that we need to increase electricity generation capacity using all available energy sources and that it doesn’t matter if wind/solar produces excessive power at times.

It suggests a similar model to what Amazon uses for their cloud web services in that the capacity is far in excess of what is needed at any time so that in the event that they lose a data centre (or two) the service in unaffected.


It looks like the base Model 3 is only 8 pounds heavier than a BMW 3 series, batteries are getting lighter


It also has a shorter range, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most journeys as it is still further than previous generations of EV’s.


The numbers are wrong here, and if they think a 60kWh battery pack will cost $15K 8 years from now they are very wrong

Also why do they always assume that an EV out of warranty won’t work, do they assume the same for an ICE

Wrong again, EVs will last far longer than the average ICE, if a company car is doing 18K+ miles a year then I bet we will see these cars switch to EV faster than people realise


Just to prove there is absolutely nothing new under the sun this is what they were showing on telly 40 years ago during the first, and only, Oil Crisis. A series about building an energy efficient house for the coming “End Of Oil” and end of cheap energy


Here are some more technical details about the house.


Of course, a few years later in the early 1980’s the OPEC cartel was broken and it was cheap energy for the next few decades. A trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

What I find interesting, as someone who watched the program with great interest when it was first broadcast in 1976 and then later lived in a large passive solar house built in the 1980’s, is just how little the technology, or the numbers, have really changed in the last 40 years. Not the hype numbers, the maketing numbers, the actual real numbers. Solar still really only makes sense for heating water. Passive solar will only get you so much and you must have a full backup system for house heating. There is still no viable power gen. So unless you have no choice about being off grid its on grid. And windmills are still bloody stupid. The only real change, but fairly minor, is that heatpumps are now a viable alternative for heating and cooling if you have a suitable open area available.

The one huge regression in the last forty years is that whitegoods like washers, driers, kettles etc have become short life span non repairable disposables which dont really work very well due to “energy efficiency” standards. As a trivial example the last house I rented had very old appliances, several decades old, and I had several friends that also rented who used to come over and do laundry at my place because the newer appliances they had in their rentals did such a terrible job of washing and drying. And when I were a lad the typical electric kettle was something that lasted a decade or two at least. And had a repairable heating element. Now the average kettle seem to last a few years at most. And cannot be repaired.

So on balance I’d say nothing has really changed that much in the last 40 years despite all the current marketing hype and hand waving by the alternative energy crowd. The proponents of all this stuff were just as breathlessly enthusiastic back in the 1970’s about the huge improvements that were just around the corner. And never really came to pass.

So color me skeptical about all the current hype presented as facts I’ve been seeing posted here about “huge breakthroughs” and “just around the corner”. Heard it all before. And it never ever did pan out. And most probably never will. Ironically enough the biggest single technological breakthrough in the last 40 years in energy production has been high precision horizontal drilling. For oil and gas production. A truly amazing technology.

Ironic, that. And still no cheap practical fusion either.




There’s life in the ICE yet … Mazda announce a breakthrough compression ignition petrol engine with the efficiency – but not pollution – of a diesel. Cars will sell from 2019 with 30% improved efficiency.

theguardian.com/business/20 … -of-diesel