This article argues it will never be possible. The killer phrase is ‘energy intensive’.
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Not being a dope, you likely realized a long time ago that it was going to take a lot of energy to manufacture the components of the future green energy utopia, says Francis Menton (via Climate Change Dispatch).
Wind turbines, solar panels, electric cars, and so forth — there is lots of steel, other metals, and silica involved that all need to be melted at high temperatures to get formed into the devices.
How are they going to achieve that at a reasonable cost using just the wind and sun as energy sources?
Up to now, the main strategy has been to buy most of the devices from China, where they are made largely using energy from coal. Out of sight, out of mind.
But both Europe and the U.S. have made an effort to get at least somewhat into the game of making these things.
Europe finds itself leading the acceleration into the green energy wall, with the intentional suppression of fossil fuel production and now the substantial cutoff of Russian gas supplies causing sharp spikes in the prices of both gas and electricity.
Without any low-priced fossil fuels to use for making green energy devices, what is the current situation in Europe? A source called renews.biz has a roundup on October 4. Some excerpts:
Research from Rystad Energy reveals that 35GW of solar manufacturing and more than 2000 gigawatt hours of battery cell manufacturing capacity in the EU could be mothballed unless power prices return to normal.
The energy-intensive nature of these manufacturing processes is leading some operators to temporarily close or abandon production facilities as the cost of doing business escalates.’
Who might have guessed that making solar panels and big grid-scale batteries might be “energy intensive”? There’s this specifically as to battery manufacturing:
Battery cell manufacturing – crucial in the EV and battery storage supply chain – is even more energy intensive than solar manufacturing, and Europe is a major global player.
The EU currently boasts about 550GWh of capacity, representing 27% of global operational capacity. Announced projects under development are set to boost that total significantly, increasing capacity to 2.7 terawatt-hours, positioning the EU as a global leader.
However, those are now at risk and the car manufacturing and battery storage sectors could struggle to source Europe-made batteries as a result, stated Rystad.
High power prices not only pose a significant threat to European decarbonization efforts but could also result in increased reliance on overseas manufacturing, something governments are eager to avoid.’
Looks like it takes lots of carbon to achieve “decarbonization.”
. . .
And then we have the story of Britishvolt, the UK’s first “gigafactory,” supposedly on the road to making big batteries to back up the renewable energy future.
They even have substantial backing from the UK government, but apparently, it’s not enough.
With European energy prices spiking, investors are heading for the exits…
Full article here.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
October 19, 2022 at 07:26AM