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Yet another major report that provides a path to a 100% renewable energy future before mid-century.

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 05:06 AM
Original message
Yet another major report that provides a path to a 100% renewable energy future before mid-century.
Via www.nirs.org :
March 25, 2011: Yet another major report that provides a path to a 100% renewable energy future before mid-century. PDF This one is from the Institute for Policy Research and Development in London, led by two U.S. university professors.


Short article:
http://iprd.org.uk/?p=6877

Report: A Solar Transition is Possible
March 25, 2011
By Peter D. Schwartzman & David W. Schwartzman

<snip>

We model the conversion of our present global energy infrastructure to a fully renewable alternative, inputting properties of current state-of-the-art renewable technology, notably its EROI (energy return on energy invested) and lifetime. Energy investments come from the depletable (i.e., non-renewable) energy sources dominated by fossil fuels as well as the growing renewable infrastructure. We find that we can replace the entire existing energy infrastructure with renewables in 25 years or less, so long as EROI of the mixed renewable power infrastructure is maintained at 20 or higher, by using merely 1% of the present fossil fuel capacity and a reinvestment of 10% of the renewable capacity per year. Furthermore, in this time frame, for an annual contribution equal to 2% of the present energy fossil fuel capacity, the global power capacity can grow relative to the present level so as to provide energy consumption per person levels sufficient for every one on the planet to live at high human development requirements, while radically reducing carbon emissions. Even faster replacement times result from higher dedicated commitments of depletable energy and energy invested from the growing renewable capacity.

Download: A Solar Transition is Possible (718.66KB)

pdf report: http://iprd.org.uk/?file_id=93 or http://iprd.org.uk/wp-content/plugins/downloads-manager...

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you, that is a different approach to analysis than I've yet seen.
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 11:19 AM by kristopher
I look forward to examining it more closely.


!
V
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Fledermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yes, and the third world does not have to follow our energy path into the future
SUNLABOB provides affordable and reliable energy solutions with renewable energy sources.

Our achievements:
Sunlabob has installed more than 5,600 systems in over 500 villages and locations in Laos.
Sunlabob has received numerous international awards for its innovative ideas.
Sunlabob has public private partnerships with various development agencies, such as GTZ, DEG, and IFC.
Sunlabob has expanded its Solar Lantern Rental System operations into Uganda and Afghanistan.
Sunlabob is expanding into village grids with hybrid renewable energy sources and has launched R&D efforts for solar pumping and biofuels.
Sunlabob has successfully initiated a rental service for energy systems that allows households and villages to afford electricity.
Sunlabob teamed with other Lao agencies to launch the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (LIRE), a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and testing of viable renewable energy technology.
Sunlabob is a key player in carbon-reducing concepts and has successfully entered the carbon trading market.
Sunlabob installed the Lao PDRs first grid connected solar system at the German Embassy.
Sunlabob conceptualised and implemented the Lao PDRs first rural electrification project connected to the national grid.

Our OPERATING Procedures:
Operating processes drawn from the best practices in the industry to maximize operating efficiencies.
Proprietary methodology address internal and external dimensions of core business though collaborative engagement with channel partners and clients.
Processes for each product/service delivery developed through systematic set up stage leading to clearly defined procedures for day to day operations.
Set up stage involve careful analysis of the product/service delivery and assessment of competencies of staff/entities who undertake the activity, to design routine operations in line with available financial and human resources.
Detailed documentation, oversight functions and quality assurance built in to the routine procedures.
Processes define simple and clear step-by-step actions to be taken by all entities involved in product/service delivery.
Documentation enables systematic capacity development of persons who take on these positions, and facilitates continuity in approaches and activities.

http://www.sunlabob.com/who-we-are.html
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. "So long as EROI....is maintained at 20 or higher"
The question I have is, is an EROI of 20 doable with our current level of renewable technology?
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. We are doing far better with both wind and solar. nt
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I found one source that confirmed wind at >20:1, but solar looked pretty poor
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 11:25 AM by NickB79
http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/net-ene...

Of course, this was just a quick google search. Hydro also looked really good, but hydro is a bit more limited in build-out sites than wind or solar.

Any more info specifically on solar, since that would have to be such a large mix of the renewables pie? I did find one study (again, just a quick google search) that claimed an EROI of only 6.56 for solar as an average of current and conceptual systems:

http://www.eoearth.org/article/Energy_return_on_investm... (EROI)_for_photovoltaic_energy

On edit: that link doesn't seem to want to post, so here's some of the relevant article:

"One technique for evaluating energy systems is net energy analysis, which seeks to compare the amount of energy delivered to society by a technology to the total energy required to find, extract, process, deliver, and otherwise upgrade that energy to a socially useful form. Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of energy delivered to energy costs. In the case of electricity generation, the EROI entails the comparison of the electricity generated to the amount of primary energy used in the manufacture, transport, construction, operation, decommissioning, and other stages of the facility's life cycle (Figure 2). Comparing cumulative energy requirements with the amount of electricity the technology produces over its lifetime yields a simple ratio for energy return on investment (EROI):

EROI = (cumulative electricity generated) / (cumulative primary energy required)
This article reviews 51 different PV systems from thirteen distinct analyses, ranging in publication date from 1995 to 2010. A significant number of the studies we analyzed are based on conceptual models of PV systems due to the lack of readily available data from of operational systems. This survey shows average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 6.56 (n=60 std. dev=4.69)."
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Try "energy payback" as a search term.
"Energy payback estimates for rooftop PV systems are 4, 3, 2, and 1 years: 4 years for systems using current multicrystal- line-silicon PV modules, 3 years for current thin-film mod- ules, 2 years for anticipated multicrystalline modules, and
1 year for anticipated thin-film modules (see Figure 1). With energy paybacks of 1 to 4 years and assumed life expectancies of 30 years, 87% to 97% of the energy that PV systems generate wont be plagued by pollution, green- house gases, and depletion of resources."
www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35489.pdf

The latest reference for this NREL brochure is dated 2000. Since then the development of printed thin film has significantly reduced the energy input.

There is no comprehensive study for wind that I know of, but as the size of the turbines has increased, the input/output ratio has steadily shifted towards a greater EROI. I did a quick calculation based on some known stats for units up to 1.5MW and IIRC the current generation of 5MW offshore turbines should be pushing 1:80.

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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. How long do we have to wait
Before supporters of renewable energy stop writing reports and actually start building what they claim they can?
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. About 1/5 the time you'd have to wait for nuclear to do the same thing -
and you don't have the financial, insurance, safety, waste and proliferation issues that are part and parcel of nuclear.

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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Really?
France got their grid to 80% nuclear in about a decade. I guess I'll bring this up again in two years and listen to your excuses...
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Is there a meaning buried in there somewhere?
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 05:32 AM by kristopher
You seem to be saying that the US can bring its share of electricity from fission reactors up to 80% of generation within 10 years; at least that seems where you are setting the bar...

You are aware I suppose that nuclear power in France isn't very popular, right? Before Fukushima only 12% want to use fissioning radioactive materials to meet any future needs, while about 75% want to use renewables.

I wonder what that number is now?


Learning From Japan's Nuclear Disaster
AUTHOR: Lovins, Amory
DOCUMENT ID: 2011-02
YEAR: 2011
DOCUMENT TYPE: Journal or Magazine Article
PUBLISHER: PBS
In this article written in response to the Japanese nuclear crisis in 2011, Amory Lovins explains why nuclear energy is costly and dangerous and a poor alternative to renewable energy sources. Lovins argues that American nuclear plants are as risky as the Japanese plants and that there are lessons to be learned from the disaster.
PDF: http://rmi.org/rmi/Library/2011-02_LearningFromJapan
HTML: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/insidenova/2011/03/nuclear...
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Nuclear power isn't "very popular" in France?
Perhaps you'd like to define those terms more specifically?
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. Has the definition of "major report" sunk that low?
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 06:49 AM by FBaggins
Two college professors publishing something through a tiny think tank becomes "major"... when it says what you want it to say?

Is the lead author of a "major report" on energy policy usually a biologist?
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Surely you recall that well-known saying ...
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 05:46 AM by Nihil
"The road to 100% renewable is paved with major reports"

Failing that, print them off and burn them in your biomass combustion device ...
they must be "renewable" as there certainly seems to be an endless supply of them!

:hi:


(Edited to remove unnecessary snark)
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Nice shot!
:rofl:
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