Lose Your Power, Lose Your Life!

The Electric Power critical infrastructure is unique in that it supports all 17 other critical infrastructure and key resource sectors. Today’s complex, digital world simply requires electric power for all or certain aspects of most business and consumer activities.  __ Electric Power is the Foundation of Critical Infrastructure

Try Living Your Life Without Electric Power

How long could the US survive a successful cyber-attack or EMP attack against the power grid?

 

On the bright side, many people wouldn’t have to worry about starving because they would die first from the lack of clean water. “The water infrastructure is a vast machine, powered partly by gravity but mostly by electricity,” says the EMP commission. Without energy to run purification plants, pumps, sewage treatment, and so on, “local water supplies would quickly disappear… People are likely to resort to drinking from lakes, streams, ponds, and other sources of surface water. Most surface water, especially in urban areas, is contaminated with wastes and pathogens and could cause serious illness if consumed.” Medical care, however, is likely to be hard to come by—which means even minor injuries, such as a cut that gets infected by tainted water, could become life-threatening very quickly. _ How Long Could the US Go Without Power?

William Forstchen’s novel “One Second After” provides a graphic and entertaining look at one part of the US after a massive EMP attack. More on the book from Wikipedia. Not a pretty picture.

After you read “One Second After,” consider reading “One Year After” by the same author, for a look at the longer-term sequelae of such an attack.  The devastation following loss of reliable power would be just as deadly whether caused by cyber-attack, physical attack on power infrastructure, EMP attack, or any other intervention that blocked the distribution of reliable and affordable electric power.

Israel recently survived a cyber-attack against its power grid, not long after a successful cyber attack against part of the Ukrainian grid.

“Yesterday we identified one of the largest cyber attacks that we have experienced,” Steinitz said at the CyberTech 2016 conference at the Tel Aviv Trade Fair and Convention Center.
_ http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israels-electrical-grid-attacked-in-massive-cyber-attack-442844

Israel has always been a “canary in the coal mine,” and is forced to develop toughness, resilience, and anti-fragility against all types of attacks.

Power grids are more fragile than your normal oblivious fool on the street comprehends. In order for complex modern societies to prosper and survive, power grids must maintain sufficient control of voltage, frequency, and phase — and provide this high quality power in sufficient amounts and at affordable prices.

The great green energy crusade — championed by politicians, green lobbyies, journalists, celebrities, NGOs, corrupted scientists, and well-lobotomised students and graduates — is a third avenue of attack against the power grid, and modern civilisations. Power grids cannot absorb unreliable, low-quality, intermittent energy in large amounts. And big wind and big solar are unable to supply any other kind of energy besides the destructive kind.

Do you believe that better batteries, better grids, smarter grid controllers, and ever-more numbers of wind farms and solar arrays will make up for the shortcomings of big wind and big solar? If so, you have not done your homework — and you are one of the growing legions that persons who are fighting against the darkness must contend with.

Grid Energy Storage from Wikipedia

Power Grids are Fragile! Batteries Suck!

Of the many types of storage systems for electrical energy, each has its uses and limitations. Electric battery systems are one of the most talked about forms of energy storage to make grids safe for big wind and big solar, but at this time — and the foreseeable future — they are castles in the air, ruinously expensive and irrational fantasies, for that application.

Big Wind and Solar Make No Sense Without Storage — And Batteries for Grid Storage Suck

Only Wasteful Government Subsidies Have Kept The Fantasy Going This Long

Green websites and big media are happy to play along with the treacherous scam. Every breathless news announcement of “breakthroughs in battery technology” is trumpeted to the sky — but never scrupulously examined for underlying realities of economics and engineering. But if you are asked to put your hard-earned money down on such schemes, what do you do?

The key point investors must understand is there are only a few ways to make a lithium-ion battery, the battery architecture and manufacturing technology has been in the public domain for decades, and battery manufacturers who trumpet gee-whiz technical differences are invariably talking about their particular recipe for the anode and cathode coatings they put on the foil current collectors used in all lithium-ion batteries. So while there are differences in specific energy, specific power, safety, performance, cycle life and cost, the differences remind me of secret sauce recipes flogged by competing burger joints. __ Understanding Advanced Batteries Part I

More Energy is Wasted in the Production of Batteries than the Batteries Return in Their Lifetimes!

And that is okay when it comes to limited, high-value use of batteries in cell phones, laptops, emergency lighting, and other small scale uses batteries. But large-scale battery packs required for grid-scale storage and electric vehicles for the masses, are another matter entirely. For now — and the foreseeable future — such systems are just another way for societies to waste resources, personnel, and money. They destroy far more than they build or preserve.

Modern batteries are expensive, easy to misuse, and must be replaced far too often. And unlike lead-acid batteries, modern batteries are difficult to recycle — increasing the overall wastage of the process.

Advanced batteries… are very hard to recycle and to the best of my knowledge the metal values recovered from recycling are significantly less than the cost of recycling. In other words, it’s cheaper to use virgin metals in most advanced batteries than it would be to use recycled metals.

The recycling issues in the advanced battery industry are largely attributable to the molecular complexity of the active material. In a lead acid battery, about 70% of total weight is metallic lead, lead oxides and lead sulfates. When you run these materials through a smelter, they all revert to high purity metallic lead and you have a finished product at the smelter mouth.
__ Understanding Advanced Batteries Part II

A wasteful, non-recyclable use of resources that does not return value on investment. No wonder Obama and the greens like them!

… it takes 11,328 kWhe of primary energy to make a 24 kWh battery for a Nissan Leaf that will use about 3,000 kWh per year driving its owner from Point A to Point B. In a Tesla Model S85, it takes 40,120 kWhe of primary energy to make a 85 kWh battery for a car that will also use about 3,000 kWh per year.

Embodied energy debts of this magnitude make crushing student loan debts look like a walk in the park.

In my view the implications are staggering. While the energy balance is ugly as sin, it’s been completely ignored by clean energy advocates, policy-makers and investors alike. Everybody focuses on what batteries can do, but nobody pays attention to the up-front energy costs.

… In the third millennium, many want to use huge batteries for low value applications like EVs and time-shifting power from solar panels. Advocates blithely discuss kWh-scale batteries for EVs and MWh-scale batteries for renewables integration without considering the front-loaded primary energy investment. Tragically, their analysis ignores the inconvenient truth that the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility, which holds that the first unit of consumption is more valuable than the second and subsequent units, doesn’t include loopholes for huge batteries.

… Today, we seem to have reached a point where wish upon a star thinking, a free lunch mentality and irrational exuberance prevail.
__ Understanding Advanced Batteries Part III

Pursuing destructive, corrupt, and wasteful policies is the mark of a failing civilisation. Although the modern west is notable for its resilience in the face of massive and repeated attacks, there are limits to what stupid societies can survive at their own hands.

Years ago, back in the days of my peak oil activism, I was a great fan of renewable energy. Civilisation itself seemed threatened by peak oil and imminent energy decline. I feared the criticisms of renewable power offered by the energy experts below, and so I took refuge in the work of renewable energy fans like Dr Mark Diesendorf or the Beyond Zero Emissions group. I simply did not want to stare into the face of an inevitable collapse of society when the fossil fuels ran out. There had to be another option! There is, but it is not renewable energy; __ Unreliable Renewables

It is difficult to grow up in the modern climate of political and intellectual corruption without believing strongly in climate apocalypse, energy scarcity armageddon, overpopulation holocaust, death by pollution and starvation, and economic collapse by capitalism. Only the more intelligent are able to dig their way from beneath the piles of propaganda. The author at the blog above is only partially successful. But it is worth the effort.

Still one of the best sources for electric power supply facts (PDF)

Why Wind Won’t Work

And neither will solar.   The intermittency and low quality / low density of big wind and big solar energy are fatal flaws built into the systems.  Trying to make them compatible with large power grids using batteries only makes the entire system more vulnerable — and puts your lives more at risk.

Green Corruption a Massive Insider Scam

Green Corruption Files

A non-solution being promoted to solve a non-problem, to the immense financial benefit of political insiders and corrupt cronies.   We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉

More:

An entertaining compilation of happy-happy, gee-whiz! talk on lithium batteries Most people never take the trouble to get down to the foundational issues. If someone makes a glitzy video or strong sales pitch — and tells the people what they want to hear — the masses can be sold on shite. Especially if all their friends like the same brand of shite.

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4 Responses to Lose Your Power, Lose Your Life!

  1. guest says:

    Speaking of Tesla, from this Model S production documentary:
    “Teslas solution to improving battery life appears startlingly simple”, disappointing even!
    The magic sauce is simply an array of 7000 off the shelf “Panasonic 18650” 3400mAh lithium ions cells, which look like slightly larger heavy duty AA batteries. The motor is nothing special as well, it’s a standard three-phase Alternating Current (AC) induction motor.

    Or in other words, there is no breakthrough new technology powering Teslas.
    They get the extra boost from hype and momentum… people want to believe.

    But to be fair, that’s how Google did it as well, massive server farms built cheaply with off the shelf components.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Interesting comment, thanks.

      There is a big difference between the products Tesla is trying to sell, and the services that Google provides, of course. As long as Tesla restricts itself to the luxury end, it will do fine. Most people — the masses even in rich countries — will not be able to afford the wastefulness of the Tesla approach to transportation.

      The article above was , of course, mainly dealing with grid-scale batteries — a monstrous exercise in futility — and not as much electric vehicles like Tesla is selling. But the same economic and material limitations apply once EVs try to penetrate past a certain point in volume sales.

      Google pumps electrons and promotes hype as a matter of course — along with information that most people might rather keep private. If Google wants to promote wasteful and destructive green energy — and is joined by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, etc — who is going to dissuade them from it? Particularly when they grow richer from government subsidies that could have better been spent on productive energy systems that would actually benefit society — like advanced nuclear.

  2. guest says:

    Also see: Pics/Info: Inside the battery pack
    Someone takes his own Tesla battery apart!

  3. Eclipse Now says:

    Hi there,
    thanks for quoting my blog. I agree. Lose your power, lose your civilisation! But the good news is that we have an abundant, sustainable, dense, concentrated source of baseload power that could run the world forever. Clean, green, modern, safe, waste-eating nuclear! Allow me a little “copy and paste” to lighten the tone here a little. 🙂

    ***In summary***

    I used to think nuclear power was dangerous, expensive, and left waste forever. But modern breeder reactors eat nuclear waste, and can convert America’s waste into 1000 years of clean energy for them, and the UK’s waste into 500 years of clean energy for them.
    See Integral Fast Reactor
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor
    Today’s nuclear will not be expensive one-of-a-kind projects like hand building individual Rolls Royce’s, but will come off the production line like affordable family cars built on the assembly line. GE’s PRISM reactor is ready to build in the first nation that will take it, and then they’ll get their production line going.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(reactor)
    After we’ve started building out today’s AP1000’s (would have survived Chernobyl and Fukushima situations!) and tomorrow’s IFR’s (waste-eating, cheaper, and even safer!), in a decade or 2 the *ultimate* nuclear power plant may be ready. Even some of my anti-nuclear friends support this one. It’s a waste-eating nuclear reactor, but it *cannot* melt down as it is already a liquid! It’s called the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor or LFTR (say “Lifter”)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor
    Coal kills more people each week when it goes right than the entire history of nuclear power going wrong. Indeed, more people die falling off rooftops installing solar power than have been killed by nuclear power! it’s time to get serious about risk, get serious about understanding radiation (even bananas and people are radioactive!) and get informed. The climate is at stake, and yet half of us walk around it an unthinking emotional over-reaction against the *only* solution for most countries that don’t have abundant hydro or geothermal. Dr James Hansen says we should be building 115 a year, which on a nukes per GDP ratio is slower than the French already built out. Nuclear is the answer. It’s that simple!
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/nuclear-power-paves-the-only-viable-path-forward-on-climate-change

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