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Love paying exorbitant energy costs?

Jim Baird's picture
Owner Thermodynamic Geoengineering

inventor,Method and apparatus for load balancing trapped solar energy Ocean thermal energy conversion counter-current heat transfer system Global warming mitigation method Nuclear Assisted...

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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2022-05 - Innovation In the Electric Power Industry, click here for more

If the answer is no, start implementing existing solutions.

In 2020 the world consumed an estimated 88 million barrels of oil a day. For the year this was 32,120,000,000 barrels and the Brent Crude spot price as of April 20, 2022, was 107.20 USD barrel. The notional cost of energy is therefore about 3.44 trillion USD for an equivalent of 171,240 terawatt hours in 2019, which equates to 19.5 terawatts. (TW).

It is estimated the equivalent of 408 TW of heat went into the oceans between 1991 and 2016 and this rate is doubling every 16 years.

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It took about 225 years of warming to reach the current level of warming and it will take at least thirty years to scale a solution to the point it can start reversing the problem. At which point the annual increase of the ocean heat will be about 1650 TW and it will take another 225 years before that level of warming can be brought down to the preindustrial baseline. 

Reverting to the mean, the 1991-2016 heat content will be about the average for the previous 225 years by 2054.

The experimental physicist Melvin Prueitt calculated 7.6% of this heat can be converted to work with a system like Thermodynamic Geoengineering (TG), which would produce 31 TW/year. Which is 59% more energy than we are currently using.

Prorating the current rate of consumption to 31 TW, the notional cost of energy is 5.47 trillion USD. Which compares poorly to the cost of between 2.1 trillion to 2.9 trillion USD, depending on whether the plants are producing electricity or hydrogen, for TG platforms per this opensource spreadsheet

And $107.20 is the sport price for oil whereas the average retail price for gas at the pump was $4.11 in April 20. And since there are 42 gallons in a barrel, the equivalent cost of fuel was $172.62 a barrel times 32.12 billion barrels, times 31TW/19.5TW, which equates to 8.81 trillion USD, which is over 4 times the cost of electricity generation with TG.

Granted current prices for oil are high but we have seen spikes before and even at half the current price, oil can’t compete with TG on price. Let alone when the $5,9 trillion fossil fuel subsidies the IMF calculated consumers paid in  fossil fuel subsidies are added in. Which would bring the true price of oil to 14.7 trillion USD or 15.6% of the $94 trillion world economy. Whereas energy should be at most only 3% of GDP with the difference being the opportunity cost of not addressing the other concerns of humanity.

And it gets worse. In The Atlantic article, We’ve Never Seen a Carbon-Removal Plan Like This Before, Nan Ransohoff of Stripe says “the carbon-removal market will probably need to reach $1 trillion a year” to keep the planet’s average temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above its pre-industrial level. Whereas TG can remove 4.4 gigatonnes of carbon a year, with 31,000 one-gigawatt platforms at a profit of 6.3 trillion USD simply by cooling the surface by shifting the 92.4% of the heat of warming not converted to work to a depth of 1,000 meters.

This heat will diffuse back to the surface at a rate of 4 meters and in 225 years can be recycled to produce 31 more TWs of electricity. With a process that can be repeated 12 more times to produce 3,000 years of climate respite and abundant energy.

  The consulting firm Wood Mackenzie says it will cost 4.5 trillion USD to fully upgrade the US grid. Which is another unnecessary expense avoided with TG which decarbonizes every sector of the global economy by loading raw materials on one side of an ocean basin and delivering finish products made with electricity produced on board on the other side of the basin.

The shipbuilding industry currently has about 50,000 ships plying the oceans transporting raw materials and finished goods from one of side of an oceans to the other and most of these will need to be replaced over the course of the next 30 years.

Those 50,000 ships can be superseded by 31,000 one gigawatt TG platforms that service both transport as well as manufacturing functions.

The Guardian article IPCC: We can tackle climate change if big oil gets out of the way points out “criticism of oil and gas’s ‘climate-blocking activities’ cut from the (IPCC’s) final draft are reflective of the industry’s power and influence.”

This power and influence are not only blocking climate activities, it is also an impediment to scientific advancement and energy innovation.

Since fossil fuel industry’s prime motivation is money, the best way to defeat it is in the marketplace on cost.

Ken Caldeira said in The Guardian article, “Back in the 80s, we believed in the information deficit model of social change, and that if we could only get the information to policymakers, they would do the right thing. And now we see that really, it’s not about information deficit, it’s about power relations, and people wanting to keep economic and political power. And so just telling people some more climate science isn’t going to help anything.”

What will help is showing the public how they are being gaslit about energy by those wanting to keep the economic and political power for themselves. 

The questions are, is anyone in the community listening? And are they prepared to act?

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