Monteferro, July 17, 2008:

No be in this world would start a war if it knew beforehand that can not win. No exception being the human species. The man has begun a battle long ago, the final battle against the planet itself. He knows that can not win, but insists...

"Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity.
Of the Universe And I'm not quite sure."

Albert Einstein.

The G8 and the International Energy Agency

At the Gleneagles summit (July 2005), representatives of the eight most developed countries in the world (the G8) finally acknowledged the progress of climate change. Also agreed that we should change our habits of energy use and we had to do it now. And ended up requesting a study to International Energy Agency (EIA) on trends and methods of improving energy efficiency and its impact on rates of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The response from the EIA reflected in the document Energy Use in the New Millennium: Trends in IEA Countries, and this response is a wake-up call for all: since 1990, member countries of the EIA have improved efficiency energy in less than 1%, far less than in previous decades, something totally insufficient to reduce CO2 to a value "sustainable" given the rate growth in energy demand.

The same agency

breaks in 2006 with its traditional position of defense unrestricted growth in energy demand in the world, now advocating for a new scenario: In 2030 energy demand should decrease by 10% over the current growth forecasts.

In this new scenario postulated by the EIA, CO2 in 2030 would decrease by 16%. To that end, the agency seeks strong investment policy measures for improving energy efficiency in buildings, transportation and industry.

And warns:

"Otherwise, the current trend continues, CO2 would increase by 50% causing severe and irreversible damage to the environment "(EIA: World Energy Outlook 2006)

And also, of course, advocates the EIA by the expanded use of nuclear energy, energy "alternatives" and "biofuels" in transport. But we'll talk of everything in due course. There is a new report for the year 2008, available here.

(Discúlpennos when we use quotation marks when referring to terms like "alternative energy", "biofuels" or "emissions sustainable." Due to a strong allergy that, in the form of itching, is spreading in our bodies if we use these terms without marks)

The current scenario

The EIA reports cite just not really brought anything new to what we already knew at the beginning of this millennium.

Happens that the large number of previous studies that gave the alarm regarding the relentless growth in energy demand and its effect on rates of CO2 were never deserve due attention by agencies and intergovernmental agencies. They already had their own reports, more or less biased towards some kind of interest.

Those studies were also systematically attacked by counter-ad hoc funded by energy lobbyists and backed by the signing of "experts". (These quotes if we clarify: there will always be someone with academic degrees or other mark of "expert" to certify that the demand who pays. Payer is in turn enabled by the fallacy of "appeal to the authority of signatory" to substantiate its conclusions).

But as we said, reports, studies and looking to give and give.

Both reports as alarmist panglossianos (in this world everything happens in the best possible way) typically include an analysis of the current situation and how it has evolved from a decade ago. These are facts, and in fact all studies are in agreement.

All studies from the same premise: can not curb the global economic development, and that economic development depends heavily on energy consumption.
A postulate that prove wrong, because what really happens is that can not be maintained indefinitely this energy-economic development.

global energy consumption

Try to explain what is the world's energy consumption.

How much we spend on oil, coal, gas, hydropower, nuclear power and "alternative energy" in the world? Can we unify these data into a single unit of measurement? Let's see if we can.

We must say that we will use data from the enemy, because they are the only ones at our disposal. Give them a good or not, is at his discretion. But créannos, are so appalling that with all the reservations that you have. They are concerned.

Let us begin by Oil: How much oil is consumed on the planet in one day?

According data from the EIA , which reflect data consumption from 1980 to 2006 by countries and regions, in 2006 consume an average of 84,660,960 barrels of oil per day.

Is this much? How Soon? To find out, look at a story published not long ago around the world:

Brazil discovered in its waters a large reservoir of oil < / div>

The finding could make the country a power exporter

Juan Arias / EFE - Rio de Janeiro - 09/11/2007

The president of Petrobras, Sergio Gabrielli announced yesterday the discovery of a reservoir of oil beneath the marine areas in exploring the ocean in the Atlanta area Tupi, in the bay of Santos, Sao Paulo state, from 8,000 million barrels, which can turn the country into a South American oil exporter, at the height of Venezuela or Nigeria. Nothing else know the news, shares of the Brazilian company rose more than 15% in the stock exchange in Sao Paulo…

Read more .. .

The news does not report that the reservoir is located 6,000 meters deep making it difficult much extraction.

This fabulous reservoir of oil that Brazil will export a power like Venezuela How old could supply the planet? Dividing 8,000 million barrels from the 83.66 million barrels consumed daily gives us 95.6 days.

This fabulous site would not or 100 days' consumption World

News like this are repeated in our media manipulated in a sense to give the impression that oil is inexhaustible. Do not let you cheat, make their own calculations.


Do not pretend that this becomes a dance of figures difficult to understand, since units with which they are measured consumption of different types of energies are different, a problem that is compounded further when using these studies units anglosajonas to be converted for their understanding and comparison, but to do even more tedious this study, we will focus on deciphering global consumption and then we'll see what percentage that corresponds to each type of energy.

The report of the EIA figure in world consumption 462,798 quadrillion (Americans) Btu in 2005. The BTU (British Thermal Unit) equals 0.0002928 Kw hour. This means that global consumption is 135,507,000,000,000 Time kW or what is the same 135.507,18 TeraWatios time in a year. Then if you spend hours (divided by 365 * 24) we have a consumer at the time of 15.47 Terawatios, 15,470 million Kw hour every hour.

Therefore, if we are 6,500 million people on the planet, to touch: 2.38 Kw hour per person every hour

As we all know, this average does not represent anyone: rich countries are well above this figure, while the poor have no access or a light bulb.

And we understand also the surprise of whom we read: But if my electricity bill is far below that figure!

In this calculation, is not only the electricity tariff to pay. Every time we use a means of transport are consuming energy when we buy a shirt, jacket that has an energy burden behind, which was used to produce it, if we buy a car, a loaf of bread or a kilo of tomatoes over the same And so on. etc..

The breakdown by type of global consumption of energy reflected in the following chart:

Consumo energy mundial

As you can see the "renewables" hardly appear in the chart above (the green line above all) . This is because they represent only 0.28% of global consumption.

The report of BP

Let's see now another report of the enemy, British Petroleum , a multinational oil which also keeps track of potential business that may have "alternative energy" (is one of the world's largest manufacturers of solar photovoltaic panels). The report is warm (2007) and is available here . We, as an abstract, extracted these data:

First shows the evolution of prices of primary energy sources , oil, gas and coal on which basa global economic growth between 1991-2006 The average is represented by the line discontinuous blue. (Excluded nuclear fuel and "alternative energy", irrelevant for their low participation in total consumption).

Evolución of precios

Now, in the chart below, we will see increases in consumption of all these sources separated into two periods of five years, with special mention to what happens in China (the contribution china every consumer is part of the bar above the yellow line).

Incremento consumption mundial

Conclusion: even though between 1996 and 2001, energy prices rose by 25% compared to an increase of 100% in the subsequent five years 2001-2006, energy demand grew by 1% respectively compared with a 3% ie:

Energy prices at current levels do not regulate demand.

As was obvious expected, energy demand grows more rapidly in countries outside the OECD, and draws attention to the strong demand for participation in China, especially on coal (the most polluting of sources, but very - efficient in economic terms - for countries with low technological development). In the first five years, china's economy grew at an average of 8.2% per annum with only a moderate increase its consumption of oil and gas. But in the next five-year period 2001-2006, its economy grew at an annual average of 10% by increasing its industrial capacity based primarily on coal consumption.

Economic growth and growth in energy consumption

This new chart shows the global economic growth in terms of purchasing power parity (Purchasing Power Parity: "ppp ").

Crecimiento economic mundial

Compared to the previous relating to energy consumption, we note that while in the five-year period 1996-2001 was achieved a growth rate of 3.5% with an increase in energy consumption by 1% in the five years after the growth was a 4.4% to an increase in consumption by 3%. The pace of economic growth generated by increased energy consumption is shrinking!

Put another way:

The efficiency of energy on economic growth worsens.

The concept of "elastic energy"

The relationship between increased energy consumption and increasing economic growth is what is known as "elastic energy".

The greater elasticity energy, the greater the demand energy for the same increase in economic growth (worse efficiency of energy consumption).

For economic areas, the evolution of energy elasticity in the period under consideration is shown below.

Elasticidad energética

Although energy prices have risen markedly in the period 2001-6, the elastic energy has grown to respect previous five years!

words: Energy consumption relative to gross domestic product growth of the economy has grown faster between 2001-2006
that between 1996-2001.

And this has been the case even excluding data relating to China. And also has been the case in regard to the 1991-1996 comparative 1996-2001, although the first five years was greatly affected by the collapse of the economy of the countries of the former Soviet Union.

True that these data are a negative phenomenon "unrelated" to the OECD member countries, according to the report, of course. But let us not forget that much of the supply of low-value added products (and high energy consumption for production) demanded by the OECD countries come from emerging economies, with high energy elasticities.

Below, two more graphic. First, it shows the world energy consumption from oil, coal, gas, hydro and nuclear power in the past 40 years.

Porcentajes of global consumption over the past 40 años

Note that between 2001 and 2006, consumption nuclear, hydroelectric and gas remains relatively stable, while reducing oil (coinciding with the escalating prices and declining production) and increases the coal.

In the last five years, global emissions of CO2 per unit of power generation have grown globally at a rate of 3.4% per annum, three times the increase in the previous five years.

Shown below are the total emissions of CO2 arising from energy production between 1990 and 2006 (in reference to the figures of 1990), and CO2 emitted per ton of primary source of energy used (world average, China and OECD countries).

Emisiones of CO2

Only two more graphic appeared in this report: first the participation of various economic areas in the world energy consumption, in tonne of oil equivalent in the years 1991 and 2006.

Consumo global energía

Now, shows the evolution of Gross Domestic Product in the world (GDP: Gross Domestic Product) over several years, and in various economic areas in 2006, compared with growth average over the past 10 years.

Crecimiento economic mundial

These are facts. And things have become so ugly is suddenly in 2007. Perhaps, looking at the statistics that have relied these studies are not 100% reliable, but are not made by the Cabinet of Prospective Miss. Pepis, but on behalf of British Petroleum.

We, for our part, we will make some brief notes by way of conclusion:

The prices of oil and gas have risen sharply . In more developed countries has stabilized its consumption over the past five years (even declined slightly). The economies of these countries grow (slightly slowed, but growing), but with a growing energy elasticity (worse efficiency in the utilization of energy sources) and without reducing their emissions of CO2 substantially.

Economic growth percentage from the rest of the world (poor countries) and its energy consumption (as it could not be otherwise) has soared, with great energy elasticity (horrifying efficiency, but they have other priorities that are not going to change until levelling their participation income) and increasing their brutally CO2.

A comparison very explicit

Let's see now compares to annual consumption of between Spain and Africa (EIA data extract of - International Energy Annual 2005). If, Spain, a developed country, but with growth in energy consumption itself from a country not so developed.

Consumo annual energy compared Spain-Africa

We can see that Spain, consumes just under half energy that the entire African continent together and further its growth is remarkable in the past 25 years, as in developing countries such as China or India.

We assume that will surprise this graphically, but as always a picture is worth a thousand words, consider these photographs of the Planet that although only reflect electricity consumption at night, are very enlightening to understand the graph above.

And if we talk about global energy consumption, a photocomposition night across the globe can also be very clarifying.

About the words ...

Energy consumption per capita

Taking data from the grid Spanish a day (today 12/12 / 2007) we see this graphic:

Consumo energy eléctrica

striking that the minimum consumption, at 4 : 32 in the morning, is 26,700 MW. (0,668 kW hour Spanish).

26,700 MW divided between 40 million españolitos gives us 0,668 kW hours per head, namely that while most slept, what they eat each 7 bulbs of 100 watts. And we are speaking only of electricity consumption.

But we address the problem from a more sensible: Olvidémonos energy consumption by country and look at energy consumption per capita.

Consumo annual per cápita

The red line represents the world average. Look where you are Americans (Blue) and can be ordered as prugúntense cuts energy to developing countries like China, India and Africa, all well below the world average.

The crisis

"Our ignorance is not as big as
our inability to use our knowledge "

K. Hubbert

According to the World Bank, GDP per capita in the world overall was about $ 6,000 in 2004, and since we all know how well it is distributed.

More than 2,000 million human beings (in a world of some 6,500 million souls) have no access to a bulb. In China there are circulating a car for every 65 inhabitants, but the central committee of seven promises to multiply the number of cars by 2020, reaching a car for every 10 inhabitants, so that some Chinese environmentalist also may have a 4x4 to go to observe the Himalayan vulture (if any remains, of course,… vulture, of course).

And Mr. Capital said:

"And they want to live like Daijiin. Indiesitos of India are the same: they want to live like mensahib, and come to consume energy. Ricksaw no longer be pulled on and start to get fat like pigs, canteens or as hamburger: that jodan!. negratas sub-Saharan same: they want to live like Bwana and stop doing fine excursions dugout. Moraca And, like, hear, they want to live like effendis, playing golf in the desert. And indiesitos Guarani, yanomamos, etc., aspire to have air conditioning, or at least some ventilated another (be Joi, I das independence and want to live like amice white!). Only that we lack the Inuit outboard wanted for their kayaks, butane cooking and heating. And as we continue creating alarmism with that of melting Arctic will require up… cold!. Let's see if once, Bush and NATO decided to exterminate this property. "

Meanwhile, we must take notice of the International Energy Agency, which alarmist in its World Energy Outlook 2006 estimates for the year 2030 a demand for 16,300 tonnes of oil equivalent (an increase of over 50% compared to 2006 !). Look, you see. as this increase is shared:

Reparto delincremento demand petróleo

To all this, these forecasts are shared by the U.S.. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration in its own International Energy Outlook 2005.

For the yankees they see the hair, of course, because the same federal agency acknowledges that they are addicted to oil. Recognizes that on a date prior to 1994 without determining its oil consumption exceeds its own production, importing at present over 50% of oil consuming and considering that these imports will be 68% of the total consumed in 2025. Currently, they say, consume more than 20 million barrels per day, of which 2 / 3 are burned in transport vehicles.

In the same report, calls for the hydrogen economy as an alternative fuel, calling for an effort for its development. But we'll talk to the underlying fallacy in that appeal. To make only mouth: hydrogen is not a primary source of energy (that is, before you burn it, we must produce it, and the cost of energy production far exceeds its energy efficiency).

The availability of energy resources

"War is a very serious matter
to be left in the hands of the military"

Winston Churchill

"The power generation in the context
today is a very serious matter to be left in the hands of
energy companies"

Salvemos Monteferro

How long can we continue this rate of energy expenditure?

Really little. According to the annual report of BP, the oil reserves can last 40 years and the 60 natural gas. The coal about 200 years.

Reservas energy mundiales Width=90%"
We need therefore a genuine alternative energy, changing habits consumption and replacement of the main sources of supply.

The latter not only because they are exhausted, but also because the remaining hydrocarbon reserves are raw material for many other industrial sectors of the economy.

Not to mention the temperature changes in the Earth's surface, caused by climate change, subject to which we could spend another delivery of this soap opera. Simply include this chart displays temperature changes in the earth's surface since the year 1000 to 2100.

From 2000 to 2100, the temperature line is divided into several lines, depending on the scenario chosen. Such scenarios, correspond to different scenarios (rightly) of the IPCC (International Panel for the Climate Change). You can choose the scenario like that…

If you want an explanation about the meaning of different scenarios, they can obtain here .

Cambios of temperatora between the year 1000 to 2100

None so blind as those who will not see. Therefore, before the current debate about the pace of growth in energy consumption, its impact on the rate of CO2 into the atmosphere, depletion of the availability of fossil fuels in a more or less short term and its effect on our lifestyle, what about energy alternatives might be suitable for some developing "sustainable", etc., etc., etc., the first thing to put on the table for discussion are the facts and not our desires, always based on subjective criteria, but conditioned by our knowledge (Will partial?) from reality, either by our creed (always supported dogmas !).

Professions of faith found in all groups involved in this debate, and the energy lobby is used to realise this. His faith has nothing to do with the debate: is limited simply to believe in profit within the "free" market. And find collective opinion that it supplied creed and liturgy.

Milton Friedman or the stupidity of a Nobel Prize

"Anyone who feels able to go with pleasure,
side by side, to music politico-energy
has just received a large brain by mistake,
Since it would have sufficed with the spinal cord. "

(With permission from Albert Einstein)

The Nobel laureate in economics Milton Friedman (That God has in his glory and so much happiness to find peace as we left), seemed to believe that energy available is a function of the price of money. Replicate this part of the interview that he did in 1991 Carla Ravaioli.

Its incredible views can be claimed with the guarantees of their status as Professor at the Chicago School of Economics and Nobel Laureate. It is worth reading, given its colossal stupidity.

 A tribute from President Bush to Friedman in 2002, when they met 90 years. Next to his wife and colleague Rose Friedman tribute from President Bush to Friedman in 2002, when they met 90 years. Next to his wife and colleague Rose Friedman.
... /

Carla Ravaioli: But there are many other environmental problems ...

Milton Friedman: course. Take oil, for example. Everyone says that is a source limited: it may be physically, but economically we do not know. Economically there is more oil today than there were a hundred years ago. When he was still underground and nobody knew it was there, it was not economically viable. When resources are really limited, prices go up, but the price of oil has ido falling again and again. Suppose that oil scarce: the price would go up and people begin to use other energy sources. In a proper system of prices, the market can take care of the problem.

Carla Ravaioli: But now we know that it takes millions of years for an oil well se cree and you can not reproduce. Relaxing on oil means to live in our capital rather than interest, which would be the right course Do not cree?

Milton Friedman: If you live in the capital, the market price would go up. The price of the limited resources actually grow over time. The price of oil has not risen, therefore we are not living in our capital. When this ceases to be true, the pricing system will give a signal and prices rise. As always with a really limited resource.

Carla Ravaioli: Of course, the discovery of new oil wells has given the illusion of unlimited oil…

Milton Friedman: Why an illusion?

Carla Ravaioli: Because we now know that is a finite resource.

Milton Friedman: apologize, but from an economic standpoint is not limited. You have to separate the physical and economic. Many of the mistakes people have come from this. As the stupid predictions of the Club of Rome: used purely physical, without taking into account prices. There are many different types of energy, some of which are too expensive to be exploited now. But the market, which fortunately was able to register and use knowledge and information widely dispersed of people around the world, will take into account these changes. [1]

(Note! None of the predictions of the Club of Rome failed. We suspect that Friedman was concerned not to do their own research and simply relied on misinformation "liberal")

For a defense of the Club of Rome and its report "The Limits to Growth", " Revisiting The Limits to Growth: The Club of Rome Could Have Been Correct, After All? ", Edited by Simmons & Company, whose Website is presented as "Investment Bank for the Energy Industry." Mr. Simmons should be another dangerous eco-terrorism!

"The discovery of new oil wells and gas"

We previously discussed that "fabulous" deposit in Brazil. But the substance of the words ineffable Friedman ( "Economically there is more oil today than there were a hundred years ago, when he was still underground and nobody knew it was there") lead us to pick up this issue. Read this apostille Professor Bartlett in this regard, extracted from his article "forgotten fundamentals of the crisis energy "under Horror Stories:

Published in the Rocky Mountain News on October 6, 1993:.

Shell Oil spent 1,200 million dollars to exploit the largest oil field discovered in the past 20 years in the Gulf of Mexico. Its reserves are estimated at 700 million barrels.

700 million barrels may seem many barrels, but at that time, consumption in the U.S. stood at 16.6 million barrels per day, then "the largest oilfield discovered in the past 20 years in the Gulf of Mexico, would for consumption U.S. only 42 days!

In the first page of Wall Street Journal of April 1, 1997 will be announced in which the holders of Hibernia oil field, off the coast of Canada is ready to produce, and its reserves to ensure sufficient supply to North America during the next 50 years. But in developing the press release read:

"The Hibernia field is one of the largest ever discovered in North America, and begin to produce its first barrel at the end of the year. At least, is expected to discover 20 more fields, ensuring a reserve of 1000 million barrels of crude of high quality. "


consumption of the United States. UU. on that date was 18 million barrels per day. Make a simple division and will see that "one billion barrels of crude high quality" was the consumption of U.S. 56 days!

"The myth of the free market"

So even if it seems impossible, "modern" economy operates according to the scheme that market operating optimally: always optimizes its results.

Economists are lovers of neo-liberal concept of "free market", a paradigm whereby an economy of this kind always conforms to the best outcome for growth and profits (and if not doing this is because the market is not sufficiently "Free ").

"At the bottom of the exaltation of the free market economy underlies severísima a tautology.

If we start assuming that almost everything is a candidate for commercialization and the market always optimizes performance, the logical conclusion is: mercantilicémoslo everything! If a market does not coincidentally optimizes its outcome, there is only one possible inference: commercialization is not enough, that is, is not sufficiently free.

The epistemological

stratagem is a surprising mix where it merges with the descriptive policy. The free market is an absolutely reliable system that ensures a priori that theory matches reality. If any human activity does not behave like an efficient market, either because of any interference that can and should be abolished, or an irrational rejection humans that market "

EVERYTHING for sale Robert Kuttner; Knopf, 1997

For example, let's talk about the fees for CO2. We can swear that things are not clear anything about it, there is no rate penalty for CO2 mandatory worldwide . Even among the signatories of the Kyoto protocol.

The EU and to a lesser extent other countries such as Australia-specifically the state of New South Wales, have become "commitments" internally more or less ambitious, which can evade one way or another to cost ridiculous. In addition, commercialization has been the case (Ay, Milton, Milton ....!), and there is an international market to purchase allowances from third-countries always poor, and non-prices balance. And he has assembled an interesting market bond auction emission: you spend, Mr @ s, and buy their right to pollute the planet!. The corruption and misery that prevails in many countries makes this "market" is very attractive to those dealing with this business. For example, a button: USA is buying rights americas released in America to $ 10-15 / tC (tC = Ton CO2). The EU for its part has set emission quotas among member countries, binding and subject to penalty. That penalty is set at about 100 euros per share tC excess. Spain fails systematically and should pay a pulp… But the EU also agrees to avoid the fine through the purchase of allowances to third countries under the system STD ( Emission Trade Scheme ). And the "market" is below the 20 euros / tC.

 Increasing the price to $ 100 / tC.

If apply a rate of charge CO2 $ 100 / tC, consumer prices of different forms of energy will increase as shown in the table:

But these fees do not seem to put nervous generation industry. It appreciated the sincerity of some experts, such as Johnson and Keith (Carnegie Mellon University) when they say that the industry will not consider generating profitable capture CO2 while emission rates do not exceed the $ 225 / tC. The study Jonhson & Keith agreed with the Karki et al ( "Substitution and Price Effects of Carbon Tax on CO2-Emissions" Effects of price rates CO2 on the replacement of production technologies" - interpreted translation). They say Karki et al: Eight years after its acceptance, the Kyoto Protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005. With regard to compliance, it is imperative to explore different options for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by replacing fossil fuels with other options (for example, nuclear fuel and renewables) as sources of power generation. The policy charges output prices seems to be the most appropriate to achieve significant reductions in CO2. For this reason, we recommend his penalty by setting a fee for issuance. The imposition of this tax will encourage energy generation by renewable energies… This was called "substitution effect". As a corollary of its implementation, energy prices generated based on fossil fuels would increase, thereby reducing their demand. This effect is what we call "effect of prices"… In this article we examine the effects of substitution and prices, a result of the imposition of a fee for CO2 on demand for energy and empowerment of distributed generation of renewable energy (for example, wind, biomass and solar photovoltaics) in developing countries.

As findings of this study, if the rate is less than $ 50 / tC, the price and substitution effects would not be significant. If that were the case, the fee would be implemented between $ 100-200 / tC.

For thing that is clear, let's see how is the market. The ECOSUR manages the Latin American market for emission rights (we believe that non-profit). Well, in 1997 (before the entry into force of Kyoto Protocol), the Federation Internationale de l'automobile (FIA: the manager of Formula I) bought the state of Chiapas (Mexico) 5500 tonnes per annum CO2 for three years at a price of ....... $ 10 / tC!

Can find news and information on emissions trading on the page Carbon Trade Watch .

A little bit of Physics: Energy

1st Principle of thermodynamics:
Where there is, one can not draw…
and also is impossible.

More technically: Energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. And in a closed system (isolated) the net amount of energy remains constant.

Something is something. I would say the ineffable Milton Friedman: It is what I said! the net amount of energy on our planet, seen as a closed system, is retained, and after obtaining capital and transform welfare, is still there, to transform it again getting more capital and more welfare. Item more, the Earth is not a closed system, since it receives electromagnetic energy continuously del Sol, which can be transformed, and that cosmic radiation, but for now we do not know how to transform them because we do it at some point since.

But Friedman had no idea of Physics and probably had forgotten what they taught him in high school, in particular that there are several forms of energy. Basically two: potential energy and kinetic energy. Today already some effects, should add a third, we call residual energy (energy waste, in the language of the rule). One form of kinetic energy dispersed at the atomic and molecular (thermal energy), hardly profitable unless it is heavily concentrated (and therefore not worthy of the adjective "residual ").

The kinetic energy is the form of energy in action.

The potential energy constitute forms of latent energy that "expect" be put into action, paying job. Example: water to a certain height into a reservoir has a kind of gravitational potential energy that fall to put into action a turbine or an alternator, which in turn is "stored" as electric power (in this simple scheme, otherwise potential energy, form suitable for distribution) which is then distributed by a network to a home or a factory where it is transformed into energy in a light bulb or mechanical work on a lathe.

Another form of potential energy is the "chemical energy", associated with the chemical structure of a substance (energy at the time was needed to form a particular molecule, for example, methane) and can be released under another form of energy "profitable" through a reaction induced (eg, the burning of that molecule of methane in an atmosphere of oxygen).

The mass of a substance also "accumulate" energy in large amounts, as Albert Einstein taught us (E = mc2). The energy potential "is capable" to release one gram of any substance is approximately 2.5 million megawatt hour using the familiar formula above. This is the potential of the so-called "nuclear power", but in the world we live in, this potential can only benefit from a negligible amount, as we shall see in a separate chapter. We still talk about what we called "residual energy" . Throughout energy transformation, part of the original form of energy is "lost" in the form of residual thermal energy (friction in the axles of a turbine dissipating energy as heat, warming air in the vicinity of a bulb or a boiler steam, etc., etc.). This leads to the second principle:

the 2nd law of thermodynamics: Throughout
energy transformation, part of the energy
putting at stake is dissipated as heat

Motor triple expansión

In other words, we consume energy or take an effective comes from consuming a larger quantity of other forms of energy.

The metabolic functions also require energy consumption. In the chlorophyll, plants take CO2 and O2 of the atmosphere and convert it into glucose by absorbing energy sun. The glucose stored as part of solar energy absorbed in the form of potential energy chemistry (in it), then the plant, or an herbivore after intake, metabolize, rendering it another kind of energy or doing mechanical work. But each transformation, originally part of the energy from the sun will have been dispelled.

We said that Friedman had no idea… p physics, and although their entendederas him on to the first principle of thermodynamics, and use it to draw the conclusions that I wanted, the second it was an arcane, and certainly did not have time nor desire to apprehend. (He chose to earn money and pat on the back making guru NeoCon).

After this long digression, we (again) to the point: The availability of energy in this blessed planet.

You can question the figures that we present. If you want to multiply or divide by two or ten some of them (with sentidiño, how goes?) Does not change anything qualitatively. Let us start with the energy needs of humanity.

The energy needs of mankind

It seems that the energy needs of basic food a human being are about 2 kilocalories per day (only metabolic: food consumption). This is something less than 100 W power: 1Kcal / d = 48 W (energy per unit time, joules per second in the international system of units).

Anthropologists say that a hunter-gatherer and requires about 5 kcal / d (3 for 2 and nutrition to maintain the household), or roughly 250 W. If we give them credit, an agricultural society requires energy consumption per capita of about 26 kcal / d (about 1.300W) divided into 6 for nutritional needs, 12 for home and business, 7 for industrial and agricultural uses, and 1 for transportation. The homo faber already requires 77Kcal / d (approximately 3.800W), 7 for nutrition, 32 for the home and commerce, industry and agriculture for 24 and 14 for transportation. And to get where we are, homo tecnologicus needs about 230 kcal / d (approximately 11.000W) spread over 10 kcal / d for nutrition, 66 for household and commercial activities, 91 for industrial and agricultural uses, and 63 for transportation .

To date, between 6,500 million human beings who inhabit the Earth, coexist with us, "Amit white" (homo tecnologicus class), communities of hunter-gatherers, agricultural , And industrialists. The inequalities in the distribution of energy consumption are huge between different peoples, but to take data from other sources, told them some things pointing the International Energy Outlook 2005 report:

1) The overall energy consumption has been growing at an average of 2.3% per annum. (This percentage will double every 30 years).

2) Today, the energy consumption in global average, is about 2.38 Kw per person. This is a energy consumption 16 times the energy metabolic required for subsistence (which extract energy from food), which lacks almost a third of the world's population. Inequalities between rich and poor countries are already provided in these consumption by a factor 5.

3) The power generated and consumed to meet energy demand is close to 15 terawatios (15x10 12 = 15 million watts Megawati). Taking into account the increased demand and elsewhere on the planet, demand will double by 2030 and above.

Another cuentecilla of old:

If democratization energy consumption worldwide to 6,000 million inhabitants of the planet today, the consumption level standard developed countries (say 10 kilowatts per person, not for complicity with the accounts), it turns out that to date that would generate 10 kW / person x 6x109 = 60 Terawatios : More than 6 times the current generation! If by the year 2030 compliance with the population growth forecasts to 9000 million people, even considering that energy consumption is not growing, but if the third jealous still working to live like us, should be multiplied by ten current production !

What about CO2

Fuel is the cleanest fossil methane. And every kilogram of methane that burn involves the issuance of 2.75 kilograms of CO2 (combustion of methane responds to a reaction 2CH4 + 2O2 + heat => 2CO2 + 2H2 Or, in other words, each mole of methane -16-grams leads to a mole CO2 -44-grams). According lengthens the hydrocarbon chain, its rate increases CO2, being 3 for butane and propane for little more. The octane fuel is more energy system in operation (C8 H10)…

James Lovelock (the father of the Gaia hypothesis), a competent chemist specializing in atmospheric phenomena, it warns:

"Walked towards the collapse of our civilization, not the end of the Earth, not even of our species (which would reduce its population, of course). But the planet sneezes, some are millions of homo sapiens Do?, And perhaps return to proliferate tree ferns, setting back CO2 and restart a new round in an atmosphere, oxidant again… "

It would be no cosmic drama, of course, but to you. They do not like what happened to his great-great-grandson, how not? Although the great-great-grandson is believed as much as in the great-great-grandparents, how we do? Well, at worst, we should not expect much.

At last we arrive at the "alternative energy" and alternative energy! Let us start with the "alternative energy"

"Alternative energy"

The question is, again, the damned market, and deception continued with the new emerging sectors, new lobbies of the "alternative energy" trying to mislead public opinion… or arrimar the ember to its sardine .

Also guilty of this deception, our governments are not taken seriously this problem and propose measures whose sole purpose is to stifle public opinion. For example near the Xunta of Galicia, announced on June 7 this year Galicia reduced 12 million tons of CO2 , which will invest 346.7 million euros and only three days later, leaves us stunned with the following press release: The Xunta planned to invest 16,000 billion on roads until 2020 .

All reports commissioned by supranational agencies, domestic or corporate, emphasize the need for promotion of "alternative energy" but not the need for alternative energy. Thus, you will see that some reports commissioned by the EEC, governments of various countries as varied as the United States. UU. or Spain, speaking of wind, solar, biofuels, including the revival of the nuclear option as "alternative energy"

But if we put our feet on the ground, none of these "alternative energy", or the sum of all of them, is an alternative energy to the problem, persisting habits and trends energy consumption.

start with the last out in the arena, and the weakest:

Biofuels and biomass

Planta of "Bioetanol Galicia" in Teixeiro

There is a lot for that type mandar horn to this first alternative. It is said that biomass is a "renewable energy" and non-polluting. They say that is renewable because their production cycle is relatively short, which does not contribute to increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere because roughly the amount of CO2 that deliver biomass after being burned in a nuclear plant would, more or less, the amount of CO2 that would have set during their cultivation . This is falsely true.

In 2003, biologist Jeffrey Dukes (University of Utah, USA) estimated that fossil fuels that burn in that year were formed in prehistoric times from organic matter "containing 44x1018 grams of carbon, which is over 400 times the net primary productivity of the planet's current biota ". One can see a summary of this work here .

To put it clearly, that means that in 2003 we used the equivalent of four centuries of prehistoric plants (including phytoplankton). Or that every day we use the equivalent of all fossil fuels in the new plant material that takes more than a year to grow on the land and oceans.

Also according to the report, needed 98 tons of prehistoric biomass, to obtain 4.87 kg. oil and turn it into a gallon of gasoline.

Only this calculation shows that the idea that we can simply replace fossil heritage and extraordinary energy density that gives us-by biomass, is a huge self-deception.

But talk of biofuels. Any interesting plant for generating biomass is in the best case, a biannual cycle of growth (two harvests per year). But it turns out that the amount of CO2 that has set this plant over four or six months of growth, were burned in a central generating little in a minute. And energy demand is constant.

With the so-called biofuels, biodiesel and bioethanol, spends as much the same thing: the cycle of biomass generation capable of being transformed into biofuel is very long compared to its cycle in energy Transformation (half a year compared to one minute). In addition, its production process involves additional emissions of CO2 derived energy consumption processes that require clearing of land, paid (including emissions from the process of industrial production fertilizers), harvested and processed. But all these considerations are pecata minute:

What invalidates to biomass as an alternative energy is its apparent failure to meet global energy demand. The cultivated area of the planet is about 10 million km2, and would require more than double the area devoted entirely to the cultivation of biomass to generate 15 terawatios of current demand. Apart are perversions that a large demand for biomass created in other sectors such as food, perversions that we are already experiencing any minimally informed and aware.

Following the manufacture of biofuels (and thanks to "thank" the "free market" and the law of supply and demand) are witnessing the rise in wheat prices , Corn, soybeans, etc.. etc.. In this regard, voilà another delivery of the pledged Horror Stories the good Professor Bartlett:

In Prime Time Monthly Magazine (San Francisco, September 1995) we read the article "The horses need corn" , signed by the well-known radio journalist Paul Harvey. It emphasizes the opportunities it offers us the manufacture of ethanol from corn for use as fuel for our cars and trucks:

"Today, ethanol production replaces the import of nearly 43.5 million barrels of oil each year, reducing the U.S. trade balance. UU. in about 645 million dollars… As we shall see later, corn is an inexhaustible source of horses for our vehicles "

We found two problems for this:

A) should be comparing these 43.5 million barrels with fuel economy of our vehicles. In 1994 consume 4,170 million barrels in our petrol engines (Annual Energy Review, 1994, page 159). Thus, ethanol production represents about 1% of annual consumption of vehicles in the United States. UU.

In conclusion, we would have to multiply by 100 maize production numbers for those frames. Increasing this magnitude in the fields to produce ethanol from corn would cause serious problems agroalimentarios.

B) It takes energy to clear new lands, to fertilize the land for corn planting, caring for their cultivation, harvesting, and much more to distill ethanol.

Finally, each gallon of ethanol obtained yield less energy than necessary to obtain it. His energy balance as an energy source would be negative.

Over the same. The newspaper Public of October 11, 2007 included in its section "Science" the following comment:

The winner of the Nobel Chemistry 1995, Paul Crutzen, just to throw gasoline energy debate, with some statements to the British journal Chemistry World. According to Crutzen, the cultivation of plants to make biofuels, produces an amount of nitrous oxide which nullifies any benefits produced by avoiding the use of fossil fuels ... Nitrous oxide is a major greenhouse gases, along with CO2 and methane…

"What we want to make clear is that increased use of biofuels produces no benefit and in fact advocates a worsening of global warming"

have noted researcher at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of the study, Keith Smith… Previously, a study published in the prestigious journal Science had already advised of the position of a part of the scientific community in front of the biofuels industry.

A subsection. The study in question has been directed by R. Righelato can read it and expanded here , apart from consultation in Science. They warn that the review of "Public" is purely journalistic. And journalists, you know, even when "specialize" in popular science, always suffer from a lack of rigour.

So when read in the review that "the scientific community believes…" not believe him. It is not accurate, unless they are included as the views of the scientific community by and for Plumíferos paid. But the opinion of the scientific community informed and he has devoted a minimum of time to analyze the issue was unanimous: biofuels, as "alternative" are a p… shit.

Turning to the number of Public said. In the same article, regarding the cultivation of biofuels, says: "The associations of farmers, manufacturers and flour until the brewers, are beginning to draw a future marked by price increases. Spain, despite these criticisms, has given a boost to this industry. "

To illustrate the latter marking more, it is reported that in addition to Spain: "The sectors of the food industry are revealed against green fuels: Bread, milk and beer, more expensive

Holy heaven, beer! Where we come!
This does not!

In a chart shows the evolution of prices of wheat, maize and barley cereal in the auction of Barcelona, where it looks like those prices have evolved since June to October 2007 respectively from 150 to 285, 150 to 253, and 125 to 252 euros per tonne. To this end gloss that emphasize news:

The study published in Science warns that rupture new land for cultivation "biofuels at the expense of the forest, which would mean savings of CO2 by leaks from vehicles "green" would be offset by the loss nine times the capacity of fixing CO2 by forest loss.

Gunung Leuser, the largest national park in Indonesia, has lost 22,000 hectares of forest in 30 years by biofuel crops and rubber and Sumatra has been deforested in recent years for growing oil palm and we are eye talking about an island of 425,150 km2, slightly less than the surface of the Iberian peninsula.

Deforestación in Sumatra

To find out more. As a picture is worth a thousand words (which does not want to hear or read, insurance) started with a photo taken from the Practicum developed in the period 2006-2007 by Ms . Mariana Ballenilla, associated with the areas of economics, sociology and Agricultural Policy at the University Miguel Hernandez in Alicante, under the title;

"Biofuels: Myth or Reality"

Plantación of oil palm in Borneo, to produce biocombustibles, in what was once jungle tropica
oil palm plantation in Borneo, for the production of biofuels
, in what was once tropical jungle

The summary of this work we can read:

This practicum performed a literature review of production processes of various types of biofuels both of bioethanol as biodiesel. It also revises the Energy Rate of Return (TRE) as several of these authors and compares it with that of other energy resources. Issues related to the EU policies on bio-fuels and performance of various raw materials. Likewise raises the availability of arable land, competition from biofuels to food production and its environmental impacts.

By the way, that on page 51 of this study gives reason for Bartlett to good when it comes to the rate of return of energy "bioethanol" produced on the basis of maize. However, in the following pages, are presented positive rates of return for energy "bioethanol" based on sugar cane (Brazil unfortunate!), Palm oil (poor jungles of Borneo!) And soybeans ( Quo vadis, jungles of Southeast Asia, my pampas argentina, my Amazon!). Read it and echen a look at the web links that appear in the literature of that study.

Let us continue doing cuentecillas. Sugarcane is by far the most profitable crop to produce biodiesel: about 6,000 liters per hectare cultivated, which amount to about 38 barrels per hectare.

The American friend says they alone consume 13 million barrels per day only in their vehicles, then the American friend would have to devote to the production of biofuels some 340,000 hectares to cover its supply of one day!

Imagine that a multinational yankee of those get a variety of sugar cane genetically modified yielding four crops a year. Well, our good friends arrange for them alone would need 41 million hectares to move "sustainably" their cars. That amounts to 4% of the total surface emerged on the planet (0.4 million km 2 compared to a total of 10 million)

Nearly half the length of their country. And these cuentecillas do on the total land, not on farmland in general, nor on suitable for cultivation of sugarcane in particular.

Therefore, the American friend, if you want self-sufficiency needs of biodiesel for the automotive based on corn (in fact is what we planted, since it is growing more appropriate to their soil), and bearing in mind that their yield per hectare is half that of sugar cane, would be devoted to such cultivation virtually its entire territory!

As for the desideratum of the EEC to achieve that 10% of automotive fuel consumption comes from "biofuels, the accounts and has made the OECD, and reflects our M. Ballenilla said in his work. Voila:

Elaboración itself from the data OCDE, 2004

Parts of the World's area are calculated in relation to land used for cereals, oilseeds and sugar globally (World 1) and within the top five regions that produce biofuels only (World 2)

All requirements of the areas are calculated based on the average harvest area and collect data for 2000 - 2004 and for fuel consumption for transportation in 2004. For these calculations, the percentages of 2004 in the mixture of raw material is assumed to remain unchanged.

Calculations for the European Union exclude ethanol wine, which represents about 18% of ethanol production in Europe in 2004.

Biofuels: Myth or reality. Mariana Ballenilla. UMH, June 2007

One thing for hope: "The calculations for the European Union exclude ethanol for wine." Good… we fought for the moment!

The impact and will have the use of biofuels already beginning to be reflected almost before you start using them. The sad story is repeated. Poor countries see as the prices of staple foods soar without affecting or one cent on the farmer. They can not buy basic grains for food, while a few in the rich countries make big business. Let's review this press release of the newspaper El Pais on April 11 this year:

El Pais: April 11, 2008

The IMF blamed the rise of food to rise in the use of biofuels

The impact will be "enormous" in global economic growth

Manifestación in Port-au-Prince (Haití) against the increase in the price of alimentos- REUTERS
demonstration in Port-au-Prince (Haiti)
against rising food prices-REUTERS

The transit of opulence to the desolation always happens expeditiously. After years of growth around the world, now crises occur. In the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank being held in Washington, financial turbulence yesterday gave prominence to the consequences of sensational increase in food prices. The two agencies joined together against biofuels, which accused them of causing the rise in staple foods such as wheat and rice. In Europe, the European Environment Agency reported that even reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Here Full article.

Or this one on the same day:

Rising food forcing poor countries to pay up to 74% more for cereals

To be able to read complete here.

Or this from April 15 appeared in La Voz de Galicia:

Biofuels are "a crime against humanity", according to the UN

The European Union abolished subsidies for crops intended to produce green fuels.

Read here.

Unfortunately it seems that the EU has no intention of reversing his eagerness to promote the use of biofuels as additives / substitutes for the automotive, despite the dire consequences that the industry is taking bioethanol and biodiesel on food prices. It will not be for lack of reports. here have another.

The use of biomass for power generation, unless as a secondary use, better not touch it:

  1. It has significant potential.

  2. Not generate clean energy (indeed, their CO2 per unit energy generated are shocking, even though we suggest the suffix bio ").

  3. Not be renewed, the cycle of generation from biomass (months) is not attached to the cycle of consumption (few minutes).

  4. Obviously, biomass plays another much more important role in the ecosystem

Their role in this field is and must remain marginal. There is no longer an important energy resource in undeveloped societies, but its management is delicate. Remember deforestation in Uganda caused by the burning of wood from a few thousand refugees from the conflict in Rwanda, for purposes of mere subsistence. One thing is the recycling of bagasse the harvest of grapes, olive oil, hazelnut shells, crop stubble or whatever you want. To produce biofuels or be burned in central near farms to reduce costs exploitation. Another thing is distorting agricultural production so that the lobby is lining without being imported the consequences of their business.

Who has an interest in promoting consumption of biofuels? Answer: the lobby of the sector. Think that in Europe, consumption of one million barrels per day of biodiesel, the price of crude at present, involves some 90 million euros a day…! If the profit was a 10% would be more than 9 million euros a day to spread among a dozen producers. I do not believe you. earn half that amount in his life, although I might be wrong. We, some months you do not succeed…

In order that everyone Arrimadas the ember to its sardine. Cutting edge in "biofuels" is the production of biodiesel from marine plankton. Any company, whose name we do not want to remember, posits the mass production of plankton for this purpose. And of course, hopefully they are thinking of "marine farms" (matter of economics, profitability and the only possibility of mass production and alternative). Chachi piruli.


This chapter is dispatched faster yet, because hydrogen is not a primary source of energy.

That is, there is no free hydrogen on our planet. There is much, yes, but in the form of water. Therefore, available free to generate hydrogen energy, energy required for their production.

The first law of thermodynamics tells us that to get 1Kwh energy from the combustion of hydrogen free, requires at least 1Kwh energy to produce hydrogen from water. And the Second Law tells us that the First Law is very optimistic, because part of the energy invested to generate free hydrogen is going to dissipate in the form of residual energy, and part of the energy potential from the combustion of hydrogen also be dissipated.

The hydrogen fuel cell is a device that performs these functions (hydrolyze water and burn the hydrogen to produce energy generated). The efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells is very high (50-60%), and is expected to increase the efficiency up to 85%.

But what is said, must be made clear that hydrogen is not a primary source of energy, but a promising energy vector, ie a form of energy storage easy to distribute (as Electricity: another vector).

is considered very interesting to exploit the potential of this technology ligand hydrogen production free to renewable energy sources. In this way, getting free hydrogen from a primary source of clean and renewable energy such as wind, can be stored in clean energy fuel cells easy distribution to the sectors demanding that the (automobile, for example).

For leave a door open for a future "hydrogen economy", is working on methods of generating hydrogen compounds metabolized by bacteria that hydrogenated releasing this gas. Currently laboratory tests are and this type of biotechnology is far from becoming reality, the absence of any further study on its potential, that is, how much "barrels of oil equivalent" could be expected (reasonably) of its development level Industrial.

Solar energy

For some is the eternal "promising" source of energy supply. But suffers from serious problems to become an alternative energy to the current demand.

Photovoltaic systems (PV) can not provide power at all times (at night, on cloudy days…), which incapacitate them as the sole source of supply industrial or domestic.

Use battery storage system as possible "surplus" of production for use in such situations is an option. But batteries greatly increase the initial cost of the system and its maintenance, resulting in a notable increase in the cost of leveling kwh produced, in addition to becoming at the end of their useful life in a highly polluting waste.

Addition, it is argued that the cost of PV is not competitive. It's true. But truth is a very "tiny".

As of 2005, the International Energy Agency presented the following installation costs and for generating different types of facilities:

Source: Study of Energy Cost . International Energy Agency 2005

Energy prices are different in different countries, sensitive to local energy policy and national economic systems. That is because the range of cost prices which are identified in the table to the same technology. Also, data from the IEA takes into account the variance in the discount rate between 5% and 10%. Kwh prices do not include the costs of transmission and distribution, nor the costs of emission greenhouse gases.

Panel solar fotovoltáico

We will continue talking about the projection of future production costs FV and although the problems presented by PV technology as an alternative source capable of meeting the growing demand of energy present seemed insurmountable, FV production systems connected to the network can contribute significantly to reducing emissions of CO 2 leveled at a cost of production very interesting, competitive in certain locations with the cost of generation at conventional power plants and modern thermal combined cycle, and with a projection of future cost levels below them. In January 2007, the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany, the European country with largest deployment of production FV, issued a report on the costs of renewable energies, which stated that in 2005 these energies accounted for 10.4% of total output German, and helped reduce 38 million tons in emissions of greenhouse gases, that is, almost 2 / 3 of the total reduction of emissions achieved (60 million tons)!

Turning to prices, the Department Of Energy (DOE) of the U.S. government in its strategic study "Solar Energy Technologies Program: Multiyear program plan 2007-2011" that can be seen here , an estimate of the costs of PV solar energy for the period 2007 -2011, According to the concept LCO ( L evelized C ost O f E nergy), costs level to take into account the initial investment in the production centre of his life time, the capitalization of investment, operation and maintenance costs, etc.. The study considered various central FVS: Domestic (isolated system with storage batteries), distributed generation networking and centralized generation network.

Planta solar fotovoltáica

The domestic generation "self", isolated from the network, have a high LCO, primarily due to costs of operation and maintenance (O & M) strongly affected by the requirement of having storage batteries. However, in remote and isolated locations with good conditions of sunlight, these systems are very competitive, and even, the only alternative.

But home systems connected to the network are becoming very attractive. The houses equipped with such systems produce energy for their own consumption. If the production is greater than consumption, the excess is injected to the overall network of electrical distribution, whereas if the production itself is not enough (or has not, as in the night hours), system switches to make the network demand instant. The table below shows the cost of various parameters of such a system, supposedly installed in Phoenix (Arizona), according to records the DOE report said.

Baseline in 2005, and projections for 2011 and 2020 of a residential photovoltaic system of 4 kW connected to the network

Reference Costs in 2005 collected more than 200 photovoltaic systems of its kind installed in the area between 2000 and 2005, web-based data from over 5000 installations of the same type and data modelling and laboratory measures. Projections for 2015 and 2020 weighted estimates of the PV industry, forecast earlier this multi-year plan and forecasts of scientists and engineers from DOE Solar Programme and industries related to energy

As can be seen in the last row of the table, the cost level of kilowatt hours ready for domestic consumption (alternating current at the same frequency of the overall network) is about 30 cents ($ c), hoping that the cost resulting from c $ 15 in 2015 and $ 9 c in 2020. If this well, in 2015 would be reached parity price level of kw photovoltaic with the price of kw from the network., And it would be 50% cheaper in 2020!.

 Photovoltaic Solar Plant of ARCHIVEL in Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia).

This is not science fiction. General Electric expected price parity with the network in 2015 in areas of heatstroke U.S. (like Arizona). The cost parity with the network already exists in Italy since 2006, according to the statistical office (Eurostat) in the EEC See it here . Italy is well heatstroke, and production reaches FV 1600 kWh/m2 per year (most in Sicily: 1800 kWh/m2). In addition, parity has been achieved and exceeded in regions such as Hawaii and other islands due to high cost levels of energy production based on fossil fuels.

As for production

FV concentrated and networked to a central between 10 and 15 MW installed, the level of energy costs in Arizona is estimated in 2005 at a banda between $ 15-22 c / kwh (depending on costs financing investment in plant), with estimates for 2015 and 2020 respectively between $ 10-15 and 6-9 c / kwh

Today, the cost of production level FV is about three times that of the thermal standard. But forecasts estimate that evolution within about 10 years to reach parity, and that in a few more years, is lowest.

Since then, the evolution of technology FV and the growth of its implementation is doing very quickly down the cost of kwh produced by this technology. And the evolution of oil prices and natural gas prices are shooting kwh produced in conventional thermal power!.

In Nº 15 of the journal Advances in Solar Energy (2003) can read an article by R. Sims under the title "The renewable energy response to climate change" where estimated that the photovoltaic conversion could generate between 2.5 and 80 TW, should be devoted to the installation solar panels between 1 and 10% of the land on the planet who are not exploited, assuming a conversion efficiency of 10% . Although the magazine is serious (in its scope), is published by the American Solar Energy Society Inc.. By contrast this assertion, we offer another view: Mr., Lawrence O. Williams, an expert in the field of chemical fuel, explosives and propellants. He worked for the airline industry (Lock Martin, twice winner of the prize Inventor of the Year in the company). He received the award from NASA for Best original application of new technologies for their contribution to the landing of the Viking spacecraft on the surface of Mars. It is a consultant to the Department of Energy U.S. in the area of hydrogen and other alternative energy sources, etc., etc., etc.. Among other things, in his book "An End to Global Warming" gives an account of the potential of photovoltaic conversion in the U.S., concluding that, considering a fotoconversión efficiency of 5%, installing solar panels 90,000 km in 2 surface (1.12% of the country's total area) would cover all its energy demand . The location would be in the states of greater sunlight (Indiana, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California). But beware: Williams warns that the deployment of so many panels would be remarkable climate by increasing the albedo (reflection) of the states involved. These are cooled and the rest of the U.S. is warming.

GCEP's report from Stanford University summer of 2006 (An Assessment of Solar Energy Conversion technologies and Research Opportunities) allows sensibly believe that the requirements of land used for solar farms can significantly lowered since the conversion efficiency photovoltaic is increasing from year to year has reached 40% for tri-heterouniones of GaInP / GaAs / Ge solar with concentration.


Moreover, in the aforementioned report gives an account of other technological options promising to "harvest" (harvesting) solar energy. Some of them little known as the rectenas . The grinding rectenas antennas are capable of capturing directly converting solar energy into direct current (DC). Its size is about the wavelength of radiation to capture, ie between 100 and 1000 nanometers, which allows its integration in massive panels. These panels would be very low reflectivity. Its catchment efficiency exceeds 85%, and the technological challenge is more important in developing the system to rectify frequencies (optical) involved (hundreds of thousands of Terahertzios). Also in pilot phase are Chromatophore panels. These panels are intended to simulate the role chlorophyll to capture solar energy through pairs of microantenas pigmented protein (Chromatophore) connected to centres where the reaction harvest energy is converted into electricity. You can download a book on the latter field, for free (after a very simple registration) here , or find a simple design of a solar cell chlorophyll in the article by JC Ludlow "A solar cell chlorophyl" , published in The Physics Teacher, Vol 40, No 4, pgs 230-232 (1982) .

The catalogue of technological solutions for converting solar energy includes other systems, such as thermoelectric generators (Peltier, Seebecken or Stirling) powered by solar concentrators, solar-thermal plants, etc., etc..

Motor Stirling hub with solar

Wind energy

Another "alternative" that is not such. Wind energy is clean, no doubt. Not that is exempted from CO2, although it shares with photovoltaic energy, hydro, tidal and nuclear fission and fusion that the future of CO 2 generated by Kw are due to the division of CO2 caused by the construction of generation plants (and, in case of nuclear or based on hydrogen, generating fuel), divided between energy production estimated for them throughout their life cycle.

Wind energy is clean, except indicated. But there is an alternative as long as its generating capacity is very limited. To become an idea, can be found at the site of the electrical grid Spanish what the current status of Electricity from wind generation, as well as historical data. It summarize, although we recommend to ascertain for themselves.

The nominal power installed in Spain is around 14,000 MW, while the average rise over a day is around the 3,000 Mw… An efficiency of 25%, remain optimistic !

This is because Eolo is quite capricious: blows when he gave the win and with the intensity that you fancy. The current technology generation demand wind blowing winds with speeds between 5 km / h to 90 km / h. It happens that with current technology, the power generated by a certain type of generator depends on the cube of wind speed.

 Production of Nordex 90, 1.3 MW.

The wind farms are characterized by sustained average speed of wind. Let's see what the efficiency of production of a modern wind turbine, as the Nordex N90 (rated output of 2.3 MW, there are few so advanced in Galicia). The chart at right shows its power generation based on wind speed.

A wind turbine production grows with the cube of wind speed, but with limits. Until the wind does not reach the 5-10 km / h, their production is ridiculous, grow with the cube of wind speed until it reaches (approximately, depending on the type of turbine) 50 km / h. From this speed, the rotor blades were deformed to maintain the integrity of the generator, which keeps operating with its maximum output to reach (approximately) winds about 90 km / h, which exceeded, the generator should be blocked and stopped .

Technicians qualify a wind farm in different categories, from the type 1 to type 6. Different types of park are classified according to the average sustained wind speeds, lower the lower the index. In a park type 1, only occasionally can expect sustained winds of 20 km / h, and the index rises as the park, the expectation of high winds at speeds will be higher. The following table shows the efficiency of generating different types of parks for certain wind speeds sustained by reference to a park type 6 (with a speed "moderate" wind):

clarify the meaning of the last column: at 29.5 km / h, a mill Nordex N90 generates 2.2 MW, but if the wind speed fell to 23 km / h, would require two mills (doubling the length of the park) to get the same power as 20 km / h, multiply by four the matter. But Iberdrola Renewable or Eurovento gives absolutely equal the length of a wind farm, petroglyphs and mother who has to be destroyed, birds, horses, flora and everything… just follow your God: The profit and loss account.

True that Milton Friedman argue that Do not worry, be happy, technological development and the sacrosanct market already achieved that these limitations are overcome.

But you look.: This is not the case. The estimate of the scientific potential of generating all winds on the planet , regardless of their speed and altitude of the altitude and location at which they are (in the Himalayas, Antarctica, Tibet The Artic Ocean Glacial or in the middle of the Pacific) could not overcome the 1200 Terawatios. That's much more of global energy demand! , Insist our beloved Milton. Because Mr. Friedman ignores the challenge of harnessing the 1% of theoretical wind potential, or get 12 terawatios energy.

In Spain today, the daily average of 30,000 MW distributed by Spanish electricity grid, only 10% come from wind (about 14,000 MW installed). Neither Nordex N90 with 50,000 wind turbines installed in fields type 6 achieve full supply for current demand. And if we analyze the type of fields available, or 200,000 mills such as achieve, given the variability of wind. Of course you expect virguerías technological development sector, but… no miracles.

Another account of the old: each Nordex N90 consists of a tower between 90 and 110 meters high, 3 blades 45 metres long, an alternator and a high-voltage converter, requiring about 150 tons of steel, 10 tons of copper, 30 tons of fiberglass and about 1000 tons of concrete for the base.

Erigir 100,000 Nordex N90 wind turbines would require 70% of steel production in Spain, twice the annual output of fiberglass and twice the annual consumption of cement (although the latter figure should be reviewed, given the exponential growth in consumption of concrete in this modern country).

The wind is not reliable, because Eolo is very capricious, and energy demand has guidelines that often do not coincide with the vagaries of diosecillo mofletudo. Some peak hours that do not correspond with Katabatic wind (which are the most "regular", geostrophic are even more capricious). The industry is not going to adapt their production to the whims of diosecillo in question, nor you. domestic consumption of your home. If you. had a wind turbine on his house (electric) and had to cook in their vitroceramic when the wind does not blow, Cage was in diosecillo (in) competence in the matter, how we do? And if it's cold and cabroncete of Eolo is hoarse, would have to resign to make heating or lighting a light bulb, and think seriously re-payable to Union painful, certainly yes.

That is why wind power generation derives its production at all times to the grid at high voltage, which is consumed by its network of distribution according to general demand (in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, France, Luxembourg… The energy market is highly globalized). The high-voltage grid attempts to regulate the production as demand exists in every moment, both the generation of hydro, wind, thermal or combined cycle, with more and less: you can not stop a nuclear reactor as well, or a thermal combined cycle.

But as wind energy is clean and cheap, we will not be us who postulate its rejection. But it conditioned its implementation based on a number of considerations. War is a very serious matter to be left in the hands of the military, said Churchill. It also power generation in the current context is a very serious matter to be left in the hands of power, we say. And we mean both the nuclear (and it is the turn) as the wind or any of the "alternative".

The production of wind energy is a business, in part thanks to subsidies and also the market shares CO2. The apostles of Milton have managed to produce commodification shit! And until we seem well if it were not helped by arguments of "public utility" or wrapped with subsidies (also public), complemented by forcible expropriation of land (communal or private), obviating any consideration landscape, environmental or socio-cultural interests . You. never consume "clean energy" with the current distribution system network. You will consume kilowatt hour, of which the percentage of clean kilowatts will be "exactly" the percentage of clean kilowatts injected into the network by generating industries. Wind energy itself. But you would have. to be sure that wind energy consumed when production permits. This would deny their production industries injected into the network as a fundamental part of your business.

A paradigm of energy saving is "distributed generation", which consists of local production of energy depending on local demand. That is, every community, village, town, city or industrial park should be provided with the means to produce energy on the spot that request.

Of course, adjust local production to local demand is an imponderable. The centers distributed generation should be interconnected through a switching system in each plant production that derive a network interconnection surplus production to be consumed every point where local production does not reach demand instant.

Thus, four mills last generation (3 MW power rating) would meet the energy demand of about 1,000 households (considering an efficiency of 25% and consumption 3kW per household) at cost price if the initiative is public.

For show something else: As of 2005, generation costs of MWh of electricity depending on the type of Central was as follows:

Costes production Mw.Hora

(These costs fluctuate according to the policies of subsidies and energy strategies of various governments. They do not include the costs of issuance, transfer or purchase emission of greenhouse gases).

The anticipation of the evolution of these costs can make up Rappel (no mistake) as long as coal, gas and uranium are limited resources (such as Milton Friedman is dead fortunately, we allow this "impertinence") prices for electricity generation in the near future based on these sources tend to the top of the table (or exceed). However, the wind is widespread (and fall) to a minimum in the table (likewise for solar, but their cost is "abusive" and will be for many years).

Summing up:

Wind energy is (relatively) very clean. Today is already competitive cost level of production

(That is the price of kilowatt hours amortized reversal of the installation, maintenance, and indirect costs of dismantling a generator throughout their life cycle), and it will be much more in the future, even discounting the cost per kWh expected by the introduction of an eco-tax or payment for rights CO2.

In his plays against the fact that the wind is not a safe source of energy supplies or warrant at the time that demand, nor can it meet current needs, let alone his future developments.

At not be a reliable energy, you need a support extra energy to operate when Eolo sleeps. As nuclear power plants and thermoelectric not operate on demand, that is, one can not reduce their production or shut down (the cost of ignition would be very high) if wind production increases, the end result is that the thermoelectric continue to operate both gas and broadcasts if there is wind or not.

Only hydropower can be generated on demand, opening or closing the "tap" of the generator. But to tell you that Villar Mir closing the tap because of its hydroelectric energy at this time… And what will my children eat? Responded on… All companies involved in the energy business, everything that can generate, throughout the time they can, because they are companies whose sole purpose is its profit and loss account. Flag campaigns to fill your ears with phrases we all would like to believe: "IberTrola renewable", "Check to green energy", "Cars greener"… But they are more than a false bill of EUR 6.

To sample a button. Back to Spanish electricity grid and see the electrical output of 12/12/2007:

Generación energy eólica

Although the Spanish wind farm, have an installed capacity of 13,322 MW we see that the energy produced today, ranges from a maximum of 4,502 and a minimum of 1,392 Mw. In other words, less than a third of the installed power. consult you more days and see as the overall performance round a quarter of the installed power.

The global wind potential is enormous. According C. Archer and M. Jacobson , the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the U. Stanford, the global distribution of winds of class 3 (over 24 km / h) to 80 metres above sea level represents a wind potential of 72 TW. With today's technology, capturing 20% of this potential cover (low cost) global energy needs. You can see maps speeds to 80 metres high and the full report made at Stanford University .

Hence, the wind power sector also makes its accounts. As an example, you can find the latest report of the European Wind Energy Association (2007), under Title " Delivering Energy and Climate Solutions " .

The European Union has taken a favourable position to the generation based on renewable energies. With regard to wind power, expected move from a current generation of 56 GW by the end of 2007 to 180 GW by 2020 and 300 GW in 2030 (20% of the gross demand of electricity in the EU).

But the bet European wind carries obligations to the sector in terms of networking capabilities that are being discussed, not only as it relates to a joint regulation legislation throughout the EU, but because it might affect the monopoly de facto top players in the sector (without affecting the manufacturing industry equipment, and that extraordinarily beneficial to consumers). The crux of the matter is that seeks to promote production and consumption distributed on the spot for most of the energy generated. But this talk later.

The nuclear option

Abrenuntio, vade retro!

Nuclear fission:

But the fact is that the nuclear lobby is postulated as an alternative, and forcefully. In his favour is playing, in terms of CO2 certainly is an "alternative" relatively clean. Also that uranium reserves, and recycling of plutonium in new plants, would lengthen the expectations of supply security for many years. There is a wide disparity in figures regarding world reserves of uranium. There are some who aims reserves for 40 years, if all the world's energy production be based on this fuel, pointing up the reserves for several hundred years. The differences in these figures are that some computed only uranium cheap to extract, purify and oxidize to be exploited at present and the abundance of natural uranium in the earth (including oceans).

We know that fossil fuels will run out within a maximum of 50 years at the current pace of consumption, making it much more competitive prices to exploit uranium deposits exist.

Central nuclear Chernobil

The problem of nuclear power and radioactive waste are these wastes are generated throughout the production chain.

  1. In Phase quarrying, obtained uranium 238 , which is a radioactive element of medium and low activity. Almost always accompanied by other radioactive materials such as Poland, Cesium, etc., which are also of medium and low activity. To extract it, we must remove large amounts of land, grinding and purified to obtain uranium 238 which will be processed later. This process, radioactive contamination all around the land mines, as many radioactive elements are not recoverable in the extractive process, but did not represent any danger in their original state, underground. This phase, by the way, when using conventional machinery, emits CO 2 into the atmosphere.

  2. Then we must enrich uranium 238 . For a chemical process, is produced enriched uranium dioxide U 235 , which can fuel the nuclear reactor, which has already introduced high-level radioactive.

  3. In the nuclear reactor, the fission reaction, in addition to producing energy, new waste (actinides) of very high activity and lifetime (thousands of years) and U 235 unburned very difficult and reprocessing.

  4. The decommissioning of the plant once completed their life cycle is also a pollutant, highly radioactive material that must be neutralized and economically involved an outlay of several billion euros. The cost of dismantling, should be included in the cost per kWh produced.

Central nuclear Sellafield

If this waste could be eliminated, and security of nuclear generation industry was effectively controlled without doubt that the core of nuclear fission could be an alternative to global energy problem rather than the medium term, in addition to effectively mitigating the very serious problem contributing to climate change emissions of greenhouse gases.

Economically speaking, the "alternative" nuclear feasible ... if not add to the prices of production costs of removal or rendering harmless waste. In the U.S., were stored in 2003 some 80,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste from 103 nuclear plants operating. PON in the exhaust path toward the sun, at market prices (Milton goes for you!) Would cost less than one and a half trillion dollars . In addition each year generated more than 10,000 tons of radioactive waste from medium and low activity.

seems sensible to ask who pollutes, takes over the cleanup have not you?

The cost of a product level, it must incorporate all the expenses needed for their manufacture. In other words, incorporate "external costs" to production costs. How will incorporate these costs to the price per kWh for nuclear? ... Simply join or not join the taste of industry participants. For example, the central complex at Sellafield (Great Britain) and The Hague (Brittany) eliminated for many years discharges happily throughout the North Atlanta, including the pit Galician Atlantic. Know you. they both have a highly complex military are suppliers of nuclear material to feed the military deterrent British and French. Of course, also generate electricity The pasta is pasta!. In addition to dump waste at sea, are responsible for 80% of the radioactive affectation of the population of Western Europe. Read these studies in Wikipedia and Global Security .

The strong mobilisation of civil society that was generated in Galicia in the early eighties against radioactive discharges forced the so-called London Convention, which is attached to the International Maritime Organization in 1993 to ban nuclear contamination to the marine environment. Remember to Sirius, the Xurelo, the Arosa and the Pleamar I .

 radioactive discharges seas and oceans. Click to enlarge

But the policy of nuclear discharges to the seas and oceans on the planet, until 1993, was simply appalling. To clarify the following graphics, say that the radioactive activity is determined by the number of transformations which suffers a radioactive element per unit of time and international unity is the Becquerelio (Bq) 1 = 1 Bq per second transformation. The radioactive discharges into the seas and oceans on the planet are reflected in The following chart on the left (click on it to enlarge). The unit is the PBq (1 PBq 15 = 10 Bq).

Discharges by country . Click to enlarge

In this another graphic on the right shows the relative contribution by country to radioactive discharges into the ocean Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic. Emphasizes the contribution of the United Kingdom in North Atlanta, representing a 77.5% of the total. Click on the chart to enlarge

Discharges solids the north Atlanta, Cantabrian Sea and Baltic. Click to enlarge

And finally discharges of radioactive solid waste in northeast Atlanta, Cantabrian Sea and Baltic in TBq. (1 = 10 TBq 12 Bq.) Look at the pit Atlantic. (35,880 TBq). Click on the chart to enlarge them.

At present, the various governments, agencies and intergovernmental organizations recognize the need to incorporate these external costs to the price of nuclear energy… but with the small mouth. In fact, the cost table level for various forms of power generation, nuclear energy is the cheapest (between 2 and 5 cents on Kwh).

Depósito central Trillo

Waste management is cheap cheap Spanish. The high-level radioactive waste (RRA) or stored "temporarily" at the station, either in deposits (image of the central warehouse Trillo, to the right.) Or in swimming pools, or after being encapsulated or vitrified, take the deposit at El Cabril, where he also stored waste medium or low activity from medical purposes, etc., etc..

This is the most economical management of the potential to date. A temporary solution, of course, "guaranteed" for 100 years, pending final settlement is expected to provide us with science and technology… Do?

By the way, El Cabril is a surface reservoir , not deep, between so-called "systems A Storage T emporal C entralizado "(ATC). Look at some pictures of the facilities of El Cabril (Cordova) below:

Tablet Cabril

Tablet Cabril Tablet Cabril

The Cabril. Compare with the ATC average depth edition:

SFR Suecia

Can find this and much more in this Comprehensive Plan Of Radioactive Waste .

To date, the only thing that is postulated as an alternative to ATC is the PGA: A Storage G eológico P rofundo (AGP ), That is, literally bury the RAA and RBMAs thorough geological strata under which "guarantee" security permanent storage of waste. But this is another half-truth. The American friend is running a facility at Yucca Mountain PGA, and another in our Finnish Oulkiluoto, but is not expected to be operational until 2015-2020. There are no longer "stores". Its security can not guarantee anybody. If the PGA is so safe, why not implemented one in Beverley Hills or Malibu Beach? Maybe because they are not geologically suitable locations? Course. Nor is ideal La Moraleja in front of El Cabril, obviously.

Central nuclear Three Miles Island

Some of them will say that this temporary storage is valid until they are ready for the Generation IV nuclear power plants, closed-loop, which reprocessing actinides generated in the combustion cycle as new fuel. This is the fourth generation plants generate most of the nuclear fuel they consume, or at least not generate radioactive waste because the neutralization with fast neutron absorption. Do What? Lie again. At what price? We are selling a future technology nonexistent, and few likely to materialize at a reasonable cost. Sure, it's possible to stabilize the radioactive actinides through a fast neutron absorption. But generating fast neutron is very expensive, and always will be. Today, demands that the neutrons generated in a particle accelerator, a cyclotron to accelerate alpha particles which in turn, following an interaction, release fast neutrons. The neutrons are neutral particles (as its name suggests) that can not be manipulated but indirectly: they can not be accelerated by any force field known. Then, apart from the neutron "slow" being generated in some reactions (type nuclear bombardment of solids with high-energy charged particles or electromagnetic energy absorption by certain atoms or molecules), Forget fast neutron unless they resort to large installations of high-energy physics. Carísimo.

As for security, nuclear power plants are quite safe, some more than others, but when there is a problem and unfortunately has been and will be the only way out is to put kilometres through as soon as possible. The effects of pollution are catastrophic and permanent. We all know cases like Chernobyl , Three Mile Island Chalk River Laboratories Windscale , Tokaimura , ... and others not so terrifying, known as the Mayak , Krasnoyarsk Prypiat Seversk (Tomsk-7) , Kozloduy . Or the endless list of military nuclear accidents . Or the sites nuclear tests used for military as Semipalatinks and even incidents of unknown authorship, like the Sailing . Greenpeace publishes this calendar of nuclear disaster.

It ended what was given regarding the nuclear business. Only a small point: another external cost unincorporated production costs of energy is the impact of installing a nuclear power plant, a high-voltage lines, a conventional power station or a wind farm in land prices and housing in the surrounding area.

Nuclear fusion:


Only at the heart of the sun occurs thermonuclear fusion. This is because, unlike the solar corona, where the temperature is around 6,000 th in the core temperature reaches over 10 million degrees. The hydrogen is ionized and protons at that temperature have enough kinetic energy to collide (overcoming the electrostatic repulsion) merger. At the core of the sun, every second merge some 600 million tons of hydrogen, giving rise to some 596 million tons of helium. The 4 million tons of mass loss are transformed into energy, according to the known formula E = mc 2 (Note: the emission of solar energy is about 4x10 26 Watts. The basic theoretical calculations required for the merger of this issue about 200 million tons of hydrogen per second, but in fact, in the sun fuse 500 million tons per second). The sun is a star small. However, at its core, the pressure (due to gravity, given its enormous mass) is immense, and the temperature exceeds 10 million degrees. Generate a small star on Earth, is thus an oxymoron (Will star… small ?).

The first thermonuclear fusion reaction on Earth occurred at Eniwetok Atoll in the October 31, 1952, when the U.S. army detonated the first H bomb releasing an energy equivalent to the explosion of 10 million tons of TNT (10 megatons). The high temperature needed to trigger fusion of hydrogen "genius" was the detonator, but that was not an atomic bomb.

Achieve a thermonuclear reaction on Earth involves three conditions:

  1. A high density of hydrogen (ionized hydrogen), ie hydrogen at high pressure, since the basic fusion reaction (four hydrogen nuclei react sequentially to produce a nucleus of helium with positron emission, neutrinos and release of energy) is highly unlikely.

  2. Very high energy in the reactor, because in another case, hydrogen would not be ionized (plasma) and protons (hydrogen nuclei) excited they could not overcome their mutual repulsion preventing the merger.

  3. A high time
  4. containment of fuel in the reactor, the plasma "hot" must be confined in the reactor long enough so that a sufficient amount of fuel react, releasing a significant amount of energy (in Basic fusion reaction 4H => I + 2 neutrino +2 positron is released only about 4x10 -12 joules of energy, then requires the merging of thousands of tons of hydrogen per second to releasing some watt (July / second) of power if the reaction would take place on a deterministic, which also does not happen: the reaction is sequential, with probability per unit time low). This is a huge problem: there is no solid container can withstand very high temperatures required by the reaction during the time required for successful developments.

What has been done about it?

Are at an experimental stage various types of thermonuclear reactor on Earth

Reactor fusion Tokamak
  1. The Tokamak. Soviet technology. The most "successful" at the moment. Hot plasma confinement by intensísimos magnetic fields in an area toroidal, "avoiding" his physical contact with the walls of the reactor. The electric currents used to generate the magnetic field of confinement are also used to heat the plasma. Despite the huge initial progress, there are formidable technical challenges far from being resolved for minimally self-sustaining reaction.

  2. Fusion stimulated by laser: is the system chosen by the U.S. In Livermore National Laboratory has tested this system, where plasma confinement (inertial confinement) and high temperature fuel is achieved through compression of hydrogen bubbles compression by electromagnetic pulsed laser beams. The energy supply lasers in these trials are about 200 kilojoules every nanosecond (10 -9 s), which represents an output of 200 terawatios during the pulse of supply: more than 10 times the average power generation in the world! The challenges of inertial confinement fusion are therefore immense.

Potential energy

None of energy "alternatives" is currently known alternative alone for global energy demand. Each sector "alternative" we are also interested bored with his faith in technological development in its sector to run as "energy future". What if more powerful wind turbines here, that if photovoltaic cells more efficient and cheaper over there, biofuels produced in bulk and cheap based on micro Acull that if bioengineering applied to the generation of hydrogen,… of course, are expected remarkable progress in all these sectors, but we can not deliver any particularly well and we need them now. His talk is concerned at times full of danger. See, for example, the enthusiasm with which the lobby tries to promote biofuels regardless of their particular business that generate famines, or the heroic former helmsman Rainbow Warrior , Russ George, now president of a "Ecoempresas "Bioengineering call Plancktos (USA), which states:" can save the world and incidentally, earn some milloncejos ". Read these stories published in the journal Public: 1 and 2 .

Is there no alternative because the demand for clean energy and sustainable?

Well, yes, they exist. Let's start by a prospective elementary: what are the energy resources of the planet, where they come from and what are truly sustainable (without quotation marks) to an exponentially growing demand?

We offer the conclusions of Professor Walter H. Hermann, a researcher at the G lobal C limate and E nergy P roject (GCEP ), Stanford University (California), published recently (W. Hermann, "Quantifying overall exergy resources" , Energy, 31 (12), 2006, p. 1685-1702).

Professor. Hermann makes a complete overhaul flow exergy on Earth for the purpose of estimating the future availability of any form of energy on the planet. First, know that the concept of exergía refers to energy available for transformation, to do so by combining the two principles of thermodynamics.

Begins with a detailed account of all energy sources on the planet, its streams and its use based on existing technologies. Basically what it comes to say is that all the energy that can be transformed into the Earth over its estimated life (5000 million years) comes from four primary sources:

Potencial energético

In this table, we should pay attention to the column of secondary sources (transformations of the relevant primary from natural processes) and the times of renewal of its consumption. In principle, as seen, is the energy from the sun which offers more reservations. The sunlight we receive takes most of the quota solar energy, and its time for renewal is virtually instantaneous. This radiation fed systems and photovoltaic generation termosolar. Part of solar radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere, leading to energy associated with the winds. Another portion is invested in the process of evaporation of water, after condensation and precipitation, rivers and feeds allows the hydroelectric development. A fraction of the direct and diffuse solar radiation reaching the earth's surface is invested in creating the ocean thermal gradient (Unlike temperatures in the water column). Another fraction is transformed through photosynthesis in biomass, which we exploit food or energy. Part of biomass accumulated in past geological eras is stored in the form of fossil fuels.

With regard to energy reserves as a result of gravitational interaction Moon-Earth-Sun, we can always count on them while the celestial dynamics do not change radically. The tides carried a small fraction of that daily energy potential.

Geothermal reserves are calculated on the basis of an average temperature of the core and mantle of about 2700 K, due both to internal pressure due to gravity on Earth as a fission internal radionúcleos. The flow of geothermal energy into the Earth's crust, however, is rather "small". With regard to nuclear energy potential of the planet (immense, as shown) is computed on the basis only of deuterium marine reserves, because the amount of energy potential of fissile radionúcleos on Earth is barely significant compared to the potential of deuterium ( Fusion). While the latter is a finite resource (non-renewable), its enormous potential as postulated as a virtually inexhaustible energy source for mankind, which, moreover, like any species, survived on Earth just a few million more years. What a pity that the technology has no response to its use: what we have not even raised "harvest" deuterium present in the oceans (one millionth treintaipico per unit mass, or about 30 grams per tonne of water) beyond the anticipatory ideas of Arthur C. Clark and others lucid visionary. In addition, before proceeding to the development of methods of extraction of deuterium in the oceans will have to prove the feasibility of thermonuclear fusion reaction deuterium + deuterium -> + helium energy.

A Hermann only lacks transform the whole mass of the Earth (6x10 24 Kg) in energy, according to the known formula E = mc 2 , which would give us about 7.8 x10 41 joules. Mucha, a lot of energy!

-So you are worried that down there? -- Milton tells St. Peter, who bears a migraine you cagas and not knowing where to get hold no more Baril NeoCon of his illustrious guest.

In each transformation from primary to secondary source, and until they use, there is a loss of exergy . Hermann then analyzes flows exergía in all the transformations of the energy cycle on Earth. The full flow diagram exergía on Earth is at your disposal here .

Exergía solar

The exergía the solar cycle is as follows. Of the 160,000 TW solar incident, the atmosphere into outer space reflects some 34,000 TW. The atmosphere absorbs some 31,000 TW, which together with the contribution it receives radiation coming from outer space to frequency microwave (corresponding to a temperature of background radiation in the universe of 2.7 K), leading to a power associated with the winds about 870 TW. The winds, in turn, transferred power to swell from about 60 TW, of which hardly take anything. Of the remaining 810 TW, current technology and at this time, get some exploit 0.06 TW (global wind power production). Finally, to reach the earth's surface about 86,000 TW, of whom some 41,000 are invested in TW evaporation processes that will lead to a hydraulic energy 0.36 TW . Some 43,000 are invested in TW warming of the surface, contributing to the creation of ocean thermal gradient (GTO, ie temperature differences in ocean water column)), with a potential 100TW (untapped). And then, another 5,000 TW escape into outer space for reflection on the surface of the Earth. These last two TW 48,000 are usable in the transformation of energy through catchment technologies and fotoconversión solar thermal, but the current use does not exceed TW 0016.

If they have the full flow diagram exergía, do not worry if the sum of individual contributions from the 160,000 TW total solar radiation incident not given the total. Not that Hermann does not know adding: remember that each transformation is lost in a fraction of energy.

The other primary energy sources offer significantly lower quantities. The tides bring about 3.7 TW, while the flow of geothermal energy into the Earth's crust contributes another 32 TW. And as we said, stocks of fusionable materials are immense. On the latter, we believe that everything is said. Failure to do technologically feasible thermonuclear fusion.

The buffet energy we have left of the primary sources comes to be:

Buffet energético

This table lack the contribution of biomass fuels and generated from it are derived. The processes of photosynthesis leading to the generation of biomass consumed about 90 TW of solar radiation. The reserves stored in the biomass of plants involves a total of about 30x10 21 joules of energy. Its traditional consumption for power generation (burning of firewood for heating, cooking, etc.) represents 1.2 TW throughout the planet, that is not enough. The current biofuel industry generates 0.15 TW , fossil and biomass reserves are estimated at approximately 270x10 21 Joules for coal, 110x10 21 Joules oil, 50x10 21 Joules and gas 200x10 21 July hydrates methane. The exploitation of fossil fuels leads to generations of 3.6 TW based on coal, TW 5 petroleum and 3.2 TW Natural gas. The methane hydrates are not exploited.

Already we can get an idea of the figures to shuffle. Faced with a demand for more than 20 TW to within a couple of decades, and with no primary source is negligible, we note that the gravitational energy flow "little" can bring to solving the global energy problem alone. With regard to use geothermal, profitable technology called heat flow perforations in the earth's crust at least 1 km (except, of course, areas where there is high surface geothermal activity: land in the vicinity of areas with volcanic activity ). It does not seem sensible to expect from geothermal power plants a comprehensive solution to energy demand. But it can solve the problem locally. As an example, Iceland is a country whose 400,000 inhabitants have heating and energy self-except for automotive fuel-source geothermal. Tapping geothermal is also noticeable in New Zealand.

To sum: of the above we know that the global economic system is extremely unfair when it comes to sharing wealth and distribution of consumer goods between the population. We know that development of the global economy se basa en el consumo de huge amounts of energy, and it must be cheap. We know that developing countries are increasing their economic growth rates very high, demanding more energy… and we know that fossil fuels are exhausted. To maintain the rates of development we need, therefore new sources to meet demand. Where to look? Already know this: where they exist. And what will this Mass: you have done the counting of energy resources on Earth.

The Sun is, with a lot of difference, the primary source of energy capable of maintaining sustainable development (without quotation marks) in terms raised. The flow solar energy is divided into a set of secondary sources that must be exploited more efficiently . We can reasonably expect more return on technology use wind, solar (photovoltaic and thermal), geothermal and marine. Forecasts (very conservative) of the International Energy Agency forecast the passage of a total production of renewables (excluding hydropower) from a total of 36 GW in 2002 to about 214 GW in 2030 (1.000GW = 1TW) but need 20 TW on that date.

Flujo energy solar

Energy, climate change and future

"Sometimes I think we are like in 1939, when everything
the world knew who was going to start a world war,
but nobody was aware. "

James Lovelock

From the foregoing, we know that the current energy consumption is about 15 TW, and demand is growing exponentially. We know that energy must be cheap. The primary energy sources in the que se basa development of the global economy are fossil fuels, and they are exhausted. The energy dependence of the first world should be streamlined. The premise that leads the studies presented: "You can not put a stop to economic development" or what amounts to the same "You can not reduce the current level of consumption" , are acts of faith that none of these studies desarrolla.y with which we do not commune.

In the previous chapter, we saw that in 2002, the use of alternative energy represented a 0.25% of global energy consumption and that forecasts for 2030 put it at 1.07%. There is no need to be science, to understand the insufficiency of these measures. The scientific community, as we have seen, is virtually unanimous on this issue and governments handle internal reports do not leave any doubt. In this regard, it should be noted that conducted by Sir Nicholas Stern , a former World Bank economist and now head of the British Government Economic Service and adviser for Development and Change Cllmático, speaking of the impact of climate change on the global economy. These are the conclusions of this report :

We're still in time to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, if we take strong measures now.

The scientific evidence is overwhelming: climate change is a serious global threat and requires a serious global response.

Climate change will affect the basic elements of life for people around the world: access to water, food production, health and environment. Hundreds of millions of human beings could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as it is warming the planet, suffering that is not distributed equitably, being the poorest countries which suffer the worst consequences.

Integrated assessment models are a tool for calculating the total impato on the economy. Our calculations suggest that this impact is likely to be higher than previously suggested.

The policy of reducing emissions should be based on three essential elements:

  1. assigning a price to mandatory CO 2
  2. Technology Policy
  3. change energy consumption habits.

This review has considered a wide range of evidence of the consequences (general) of climate change and its economic cost (world), using different techniques for estimating costs and risks. From these perspectives, the evidence is drawn from this report is very simple: the benefits of taking strong and swift action outweigh long economic costs of doing nothing.

Using current models of economic forecasting, this study estimated that, if not act, the overall costs and risks of climate change would be at least equivalent to a loss 5% of GDP (global) each year , Between now and always . If we take into account a wider range of risks and impacts, estimating the damage would go up to 20% of GDP or more.

By contrast, the costs of actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to avoid the worst impacts of climate change-limited to 1% per annum loss overall GDP.

In 2004, is published, also Science Article " Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies " (stabilization wedges: Resolving the problem during climate the next 50 years using current technologies) (Science, vol. 305, pp 968-972). The sign Professors S. Pacala (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and R. Socolow (Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering), University of Princetown. In the summary which heads the work say:

Humanity already has his hands in the scientific, technical and industry to solve the problems of carbon emissions and climate change over the next 50 years. We have a range of technologies to meet energy needs over that period, limiting the growth path Merger CO 2 in the atmosphere below twice the concentration in the pre-industrial era. Each element of that range has grown in laboratory tests and a subsequent demonstration project and many of them have already been implemented in some places on an industrial scale. While none of these technologies is a plausible candidate to solve the problem alone or half full, the range is so wide that not all their resources have been used so far.

Wedge stabilizing emissions

7 wedges remediación

Our Socolow and Pacala that is not "create" on climate change, but who know that climate change is underway. Their study begins by showing the evolution of CO 2 in the atmosphere from the records available (since 1954). The graph shows these records, as well as the "best" of trends of growth of emissions until 2055, which means accepting a rate of growth of emissions linear and equal to historical average between 1955-2005 (the 1.5 % Per annum). This forecast (insist, conservative) would mean that in 2055 would double the current emission rate of 7 to 14 GtC / yr (1GtC = billion tons of carbon) and the concentration of CO 2 atmospheric reach the 850 parts per million (ppm). To achieve that in 2055 begins a downward trend of CO 2 to achieve a stabilisation around 450-550 ppm (slightly less than twice the existing before beginning of the industrial age), the proposed strategy is the elimination of growth of emissions, keeping them in the current 7GtC/año. The triangle stabilization entails removing exactly 1 / 3 of the total projected emissions between 2004-2054. To achieve this goal, Pacala & Socolow the triangle divided into 7 stabilization "wedges" remediation equal.

Note that we are not talking about Kyoto, Pacala & Socolow, intend to maintain that not reduce CO 2 into the atmosphere, that is, we are below the claims of Kyoto.

Cuña of remediación

By the way, incorporated into the price of power generation costs by emissions of CO 2 at a price of $ 100 per tonne carbon ($ / tC), a wedge would be 2.5 trillion (European) dollars of savings.

Also, this study does not offer 7 wedges, if not possible to transcribe 16 below:

16 wedges posibles

Apparently what we easy right? We just need 7 wedges and we have 16 options. But be careful with these wedges 16: immediacy and require common sense and all are very difficult to implement ... Do we have any alternative? The immediacy has already expired, because the spots should have been started to implement in 2005.

Consider some of the 16 spots:

All will agree to use the wedge efficiency improvement in consumer automotive : to halve fuel consumption per kilometre not hurt nearly nobody, with the sole exception of the sectors of mining, refining, distribution and sale of fuel, which would see their income reduced by lower demand. However, this option involves a conversion of the automotive industry which should have already begun. Let us put our feet on the ground: we live where we live, and not in Utopia. Will that subsidize the General Motors-Audi WW-Seat, BMW, Renault, Honda Motors, etc. .?... What are these itching to me walk the body?

Now, for example, the wedge wind . The wedge can be filled with wind turbines 800,000 Nordex type-2, 5 MW, or 50 multiplied by the power of the current wind farm in 50 years.

And the wedge consisting of save on travel ? Demands Changes urbanisation, logistics, telematics, transportation, etc., so that the current system of production-consumption not collapse and that is sacred is not it?

But transport and mobility are a basic factor of the problem. As Calvo said Manuel Salazar, the current situation is " product, first, a territorial model based on the production of remoteness. Production of remoteness that makes the territory of the area in a swarm of roads where everything intended to be connected with everything. That is the main factor explaining the unsustainability of mobility scheme agglomeration: the growing need to travel more and more miles to access. "

" Suffice it to say that daily take place in Seville and its area more than 2 million and a half of travel in private cars to go a lot of kilometres (12,580,962) equivalent to a distance of 33 trips to the moon. Annually, this means a lot of miles accumulated some 23 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. That is the primary factor of unsustainability in the transport system, namely increasing need for mobility of production. ". ( Environmental sustainability and ecological footprint in metropolitan areas ).

What say about the conversion of thermal power generation to take technology carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) ? This technology involves capturing carbon emissions from thermal power (coal, gas or combined cycle) and bury them deep or into the ocean. Some central CCS exploit the capture to recycle carbon synthetic fuels (synfuels for Anglos), or generate hydrogen in chemical reactors . In any case, carbon recycling has not buried in deposits of ad hoc , with certain specifications geologic composition of the land or release it deep in the ocean. The burial ocean (the largest natural carbon sink on the planet) can present a problem, since as of today do not know the full cycle of carbon in the ocean. And the supposed burial restrictions geological location of the plants with CCS in certain places. Of course that place restrictions also affect the central CCS with kidnapping ocean (must be at the bottom of the sea, as well as collectors of abduction have to release the carbon deep-ocean additional restrictions on possible locations of these plants).

The central Sleipner West (Trondheim, Norway) is the pioneer in the effective demonstration of CCS technology to the point that the geological storage unit took its name (sleipners). Daily separates and buried 2,800 tons of CO 2 with a tax savings by issuing 1 million Norwegian kroner every day (meaning that the charge CO 2 in Norway is just over $ 53 / tC, just over half of the charge in the U.S., but it appears that Viking awareness is much stronger than the Yankee and the low rate of taxation is not an obstacle to the implementation to eliminate its toxic. generic information can be found at Wikipedia and economics .

Another wedge is the nuclear . It would provide an immediate doubling its current generation capacity. Fortunately, it is unworkable. But the lobby will seize the situation to increase their participation as far as possible, calling for subsidies, of course, cursed itching!, Are killing me and increasing problem of waste in the same percentage. But the latter is not your problem becomes ours. Is Allergy perhaps? .

Another wedge is halt deforestation and reverse the process: reforest . The wedge would, for example, stop tropical deforestation and planting 300 million hectares of new forest (more than 6 times the Spanish territory). But díganselo you. Mr. Lula da Silva, whose Minister for Environment, Marina Silva just resign weary of the lack of interest by Lula enforce their commitments to preserving the Amazon and radically change its" priorities ". Although he is also right. Da Silva, in his view that the environmental problem must resolve who has created, and that Brazil has as much right to deforest exactly the same percentage of their territory for agricultural use-wood that historically made by Germany, Spain or the United States. UU. of americas. Seen like this, not without reason. Look at you.: According to figures from Pacala & Socolow, if Amazon forests capture 20% of global emissions of CO 2 , the Norwegian affordable price (50 $ / tC for withdrawing 20% 7 GtC/año- = 1.4 GtC / yr) should be put to an annual quantity neckline close to 70,000 million dollars be allocated to countries with sovereignty over the Amazon in exchange for preserving their forests for the benefit of all. They can find information on Scientific Library Online and Carbon Trade Watch .

Let it here. We do not dare to comment on the wedge of biofuels that would allocate 1 / 6 of all arable land on Earth for this purpose, to resolve 1 / 7 of the overall problem !. and step plunge in the third world famine. (Can be scabies? bite melanomas?) .

We want to be positive and Pacala & Socolow, but we exceeded our skepticism at times. They warn us of the difficulties of setting up each wedge remediation, but insisting (rightly) that each and every one of them are within our reach: they are technologically possible. As a result of his work concluded that:

1 .- time to act
2 .- It is early to decide which wedges be taken
3 .- In a first phase will require subsidies
4 .- Later, the market select the best spots
5 .- The best spots are not necessarily the same in different countries
6 .- According progress in their implementation, should be evaluated on an ongoing social and environmental costs involving
7 .- It is necessary to encumber its real price on carbon emissions
8 .- The wedges of alternative energy, reforestation and organic farming will require a large occupation soil
9 .- There is a need for awareness worldwide.

And we add

  1. If adopted the nuclear option, it should be taxing waste management at its real price (it is).
  2. Must be put in waist all the operating companies in the energy sector.
His immoral business will have to finish .

Our points 1 and 2 are inspired by our beloved Milton : we apply the "market logic". (If scabies is tasteless) . Take example of American friend, father legislator in the 80 principle of "polluters pay" , approving in 1990 the Oil Pollution Act , which requires companies shipping the obligation to double-hull tankers and a security deposit of 1,000 million dollars bail after civil liability for damage that could cause discharges by ships. In the Exxon Mobil is meager 4,004 million dollars by the Exxon Valdez spill. Since then there have been no oil spill in U.S. waters. Why can not we do the same with nuclear operators?

Seven wedges, seven drinks bitter for a first world solidarity. But something must be done and do it now. In an informal chat, Socolow, when asked about the tremendous difficulty of implementing these wedges, said:

"the abolition of slavery in their time seemed a drastic measure success and hard, like the abolition of child labour" .

There are other small palliatives. A wedge is the most promoting energy saving , but a drastic savings and determined. It seems the parrot chocolate, but it is not. The apparent spread of compulsory and small measures to improve the efficiency of energy consumption (thermal insulation of homes, appliances and energy saving light bulbs, energy support systems of heating and hot water, reduced energy losses in the distribution of electricity, etc., etc.) added a new wedge. And the major contribution to this wedge is the decline in energy losses in the distribution of electricity. All agencies advisers governments and administrations agree on this point. Recognize notable losses in the electrical distribution lines:

Between 10 and 17% of the power generated is lost in different transformations and losses in the electrical distribution lines

And suggest a solution:

electricity generation Distributed

The concept of G January E léctrica D istribuida (GED ) means production located next to points consumption compared to the current centralized generation scheme in large centres, promoting cogeneration alternatives, self-sufficiency and co-responsibility in the consumption of clean energy.

The GED promotes cogeneration , namely the production at each site of much of the local consumption by consumers themselves end-grid to manage Possible excesses of production or increased demand.

Problems arising from the centralized generation are:

1 .- loss of energy between 10 and 17% for the supply connected to low voltage.
2 .- Minor return on own production facilities.
3 .- environmental and visual impact. Rejection of society.
4 .- Saturation of the availability of transmission and distribution networks.
5 .- Strong investment.

The outline of centralized generation, power production takes place in large central production (hundreds of MW), located where it is logistically possible. Usually, far from the points of consumer demand. Losses on the one hand, increase depending on the type of power plant. (particularly thermal energy efficiency have a pobrísima), and secondly, having to be transported over many miles up the points of consumption, involves losses in the network. To that end, the electricity produced in the turbines must be converted to high voltage AT (tens to hundreds of thousands deVoltios) to minimize losses during transportation along lines of AT costly, with their demands for land through occupation of expropriation, environmental problems and depreciation of land nearby, and so on. Electricity has to be transformed back to the low voltage (BT) consumer (220 or 380 V) in substations near consumers.

Thus, minimizing losses in the distribution.

But the processing operations and subsequent distribution by the low-voltage grid, pose considerable losses (about 10-17%, taking into account the energy required support maintaining the distribution network-processing). < / P>

Actually, operators of electrical production would suffer if enough had to incorporate into their production costs distribution losses-processing (for that is the REE, before public now has "publicly owned" but "privately run" (you already know., another "concept postmodern": privatize the profits socializing costs, but to use the euphemism is "optimize the management costs ").

The GED is a new generation model of small-or medium-scale enterprises (between 10-100mW) based on conventional technologies or alternatives. You can make it possible for every individual or a small or medium-sized enterprises, generate the energy it needs. This, in the classical model, concerns large state enterprises or private (vertically integrated), whose revenues and profits are insured by a monopolistic market.

Briefly, the GED:

1 .- promotes renewable energy.
2 .- reduces losses due to electrical transmission over long distances producing energy at the site of consumption.
3 .- Increases efficiency by exploiting the heat in cogeneration facilities or combined cycle.
4 .- reduces the time for implementation of projects, giving short-term solutions and avoiding large investments in infrastructure conventional.

Moreover, the GED is the alternative supply to rural areas remote from the electricity grid and urban areas where the network is restricted.

Regard to individual consumer, industrial or domestic, the GED offers greater reliability of supply at lower cost (very competitive prices on the production centralized). On the other hand, offers the GED, the electric companies, the advantage of alleviating the network at peak times. In general the GED, with its greater dispersion, will create an electricity system less vulnerable to natural disasters or disasters. Thus, consumers become producers in choosing the technology that best serves their needs or their environmental concerns, corresponsabilización their consumption habits.

Finally, the GED can be a new paradigm for developing countries to meet its growing electricity demand, since it needs a less extensive and expensive infrastructure.

As realities of the GED, they can consult This report done by Mr. Lopez del Amo, the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy under the Ministry of Industry, which offers a couple of examples implemented in Spain: The General Hospital Universitario de Valencia or Plant Joint Venture IDA-COVAP (Pg. 11 to 14).

The energy balance between conventional and distributed generation shown in the chart below:

As we said, the GED encourages cogeneration (using renewable or not), understood as production at each site of much of the local consumption by consumers themselves end-grid to manage the potential excesses production or increased demand. Of course, that this is not anything like the big companies-generation distribution . It would mean the end of its monopoly by allowing communities and industries could count on semi-autonomous systems or production of electricity.

But let us not forget that just over one hundred years there was no concept of electric service nor there nor anywhere in the world to produce great works, transport and distribute electricity, or appliances, industrial equipment, or telecommunications systems to use it. Of course, there were no electric companies. We must mete en waist, do not you think? Business legitimate, yes. But that play with tariffs and the risks that we must take all, no.

Some major groups in the energy sector, for example, Gas Natural, or at least Mr. D. Antonio Llardén (Corporate Director of Technology, Environment, Quality and Safety Natural Gas Group) agree with us:

At the Foundation we intend Natural Gas, as its main task, contribute to the awareness of Spanish society in the preservation and improvement of the environment. Very especially in those areas where it is involved the production, distribution and consumption energía.De why we welcomed the sponsorship and editing of this study, conducted by the Institute of Engineering of Spain, through a magnificent professional team headed by D. Jesus Married.

We are convinced that distributed power generation is not only a challenge of enormous technological and entrepreneurial interests, but also an initiative that can have significant environmental advantages.

The first one focuses on saving energy losses during transportation. Distributed generation, which is to produce electricity as close to the end user, improves energy efficiency, with all that that implies reduction of primary energy consumption and decrease emissions of air pollutants.

Another advantage is the reduction of environmental risks of disruption of natural areas, inhabited areas and infrastructure. Transport systems have generated electricity, sometimes accidents that have adversely affected natural areas and have assumed risks for urban areas. We refer to accidents forest or the destruction of wildlife. Distributed generation avoids these risks.

But, although important, are not these major environmental advantages. Perhaps the most important are on the ground sociological. In other words, bringing electricity generation to the end user, enables the citizen is closest to the responsibility of energy production, contributing considerably to reducing the effect known as NIMBY (not in my back yard). (Not in my backyard).

The Spanish society faces, in this regard, a remarkable paradox. On the one hand, an increasing demand for energy for many different uses. In addition, there is always willing to take responsibility and potential costs of this energy generation. This dissociation (claim all the benefits without assuming their costs), is what generates the NIMBY effect. This effect increases when the electric generation facilities are far from the end user. The citizen does not know about what is electricity generation, which increases the suspicions and fears, often unjustified. The proximity allows knowledge, and facilitates also transparency. It also stimulates the sense of responsibility and belonging.

Therefore, distributed power generation is the future that we note with great interest. It is a good alternative to ensure the continuity and quality of supply. But what is even more so in a crucial aspect: that every citizen understands that electricity generation, which is an important basis for their welfare, is something near and so close and necessary as an educational institution or a municipal market.

Antonio Llardén
Corporate Director of Technology,
Environment, Quality and Safety
Grupo Gas Natural
(Prologue a study prepared for the foundation Natural Gas)


"We have arranged a global civilization in which
crucial elements depend on science and technology.
We have also arranged things so that almost nobody
understands neither science nor technology.
These are ideal conditions for disaster.
We may perhaps continue another season,
but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power
us explode between your hands. "

Carl Sagan.

* The global energy problem and its side effects (CO 2 , climate change, etc.) is a fact recognized by all governments (including G8), International Energy Agency (EIA) and scientific community.
* The dependence on fossil fuels accounts for 95.5% of World energy consumption. The renewables are at 0.28%. (Data for 2005).
* In the year 2006 were consumed on the planet 85 million barrels of oil per day , nearly 1,000 barrels per second.
* Only in 2003, we consume fossil fuels equivalent to 400 years of prehistoric plants (including phytoplankton).
* Fossil fuels, must be replaced and not only that Deplete, ruining their value in passing petrochemical (plastics, polyethylene, fertilizers, asphalt, synthetic fibers, etc.), if not by the irreversible damage they are causing to our planet. The actions of governments before this problem is by any standard insufficient. It continues to promote energy consumption desaforado while trying to stifle public opinion with anecdotal measures.
* The speech "replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy" is naive or misleading if not immediately warns that the latter can not provide the amount of energy, and energy density, which we have become accustomed early. Some of them also like biofuels , are poisoned solutions that are causing much more harm than good.
* The world energy consumption is estimated at 15.5 Terawatios in 2005, ie 15,500 million Kw hour (constant, 24 hours 365 days a year) or what is the same, 2.38 Kw per capita.
* injustice The planetary energy is parallel to the economic . While 2,000 million people lack access to a light bulb, the first world wasted energy and encourage what their governments.
* The elasticity energy (energy required to increase at a unit rate economic growth) worsens. Whenever you need more energy to achieve the same growth. Worse energy efficiency.
* The EIA estimates for the year 2030 an increase in consumption of 50% Over 2006, representing an increase of 50% CO 2 for the same year. Socolow and Pacala , estimated an increase of 100% in 2055.
* To know the real costs of generation , should be added to the price KW generating obtained, the external costs on the principle that "polluters must take responsibility for decontamination."
* In other words, nuclear energy , you must add the cost of storing radioactive waste for thousands of years, the cost of decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear power plant when finished his working life, and so on.
* The central power generation based on fossil fuels must include the cost of pollution CO 2 and greenhouse gases.
* is needed rate of emissions per ton of CO 2 , according to the actual value of the same, within a market seriously (should not be able to buy allowances from third world countries at prices balance). We must demand that polluters pay and that this money is used to promote activities that reduce the amount of CO 2 of the atmosphere: Reforestation carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), public transport , etc.. This will involve an increase in our energy bill, but that is the reality in which we live, what else is a balloon that is already very swollen and that can explode at any moment.
* The energy potential that comes del Sol is brutal. Faced with 15.5 TW we need only to the land surface of the Sun deposits 48,000 TW. This figure does not include marine waves (60 TW) winds (810 TW) ocean thermal gradient (100 TW) or rivers (7.2 TW) energies all dependents also del Sol. Investing in the efficient use of this huge amount of energy, it seems the only possible solution.
* conclusions Stern report (former World Bank economist and now head the British Government Economic Service): "the overall costs and risks of climate change would be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, from now until forever. If we take into account a wider range of risks and impacts, estimating the damage can go up to 20% of GDP or more. By contrast, the costs of actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to avoid the worst impacts of climate change-limited to 1% annual loss of global GDP. "
* Socolow and Pacala offer solutions in their study 16 (wedges) eliminate 25 gigatons of CO2 a wedge, starting in 2005 until 2055. We need to apply 7 wedges to keep the amount of CO 2 at current levels. Atual of 7 wedges necessary has not been implemented none.
* One of those spots is so basic and so little is being done globally, which undoubtedly shows scant interest our leaders to solve this problem. Stop deforestation and reverse the process: reforestation .
* James Lovelock : "Sometimes I think we are like in 1939 When everyone knew he was going to start a world war, but nobody was aware. "
* The evidence is so resounding that we have to force our governments to take this problem seriously or will (if not is already) too late.
* is needed curb energy consumption even if a slowdown or even a decrease, especially in the first world.
* Improve efficiency in all sections of generation, transmission and energy consumption. (It is estimated between 10 and 17% losses in these processes).
* Stop the waste and encourage energy saving, but a drastic savings and determined. Compulsory and generalization of the "seemingly small" measures to improve the efficiency of energy consumption is indispensable. (Thermal insulation of homes, appliances and energy saving light bulbs, energy support systems of heating and hot water, reduced energy losses in the distribution of electricity, etc.).
* Increase the use of renewable energy well above current projections. In 2002, the use of alternative energy represented a 0.25% of global energy consumption and the EIA forecasts for the year 2030 stand at 1.07%. There is no need to be science, to understand the insufficiency of these measures.
* Inject resources for research and technology cooperation at the global level.
* Redefine transport and mobility because it is totally untenable. Currently, there is no alternative energy for the same. We need to encourage public transport, stop investing in motorways and expressways and use that money to build infrastructure to allow the change.
Manuel Calvo Salazar: "Suffice it to say that daily take place in Seville and its area more than 2 and a half million trips in a private vehicle while visiting a number of kilometres (12,580,962) equivalent to a distance of 33 trips to the Moon. Annually, this means a lot of miles accumulated some 23 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. These data are the result, first, a territorial model based on production remoteness. That is the primary factor of unsustainability in the transport system, namely increasing need for mobility of production. "( Environmental sustainability and ecological footprint in metropolitan areas ).
* The energy model must change towards distributed power generation (GED) . This chocará frontally with the energy lobby, you'll see that threatened its global hegemony.
* Economic growth continued and unlimited is by definition unsustainable. The planet is limited and its resources as well.
* We are at the gates of a global cataclysm of unpredictable dimensions. The levels of CO 2 in the atmosphere and cause-effect relationship with climate change are already a fact beyond question for the scientific community. In the 60, CO 2 rose at an average rate of 0.84 parts per million per year in the 70 to 1.26 in the 80 to 1 , 59, in 90 to 1.5, and since 2000 increases each year by an average of 2.01 parts per million, twice as much as 50 years ago.
Scientists have looked at the depth of ice that has been the concentration of CO 2 in the past. These blocks (which have been studied to depths of over 2,500 meters in Antarctica) are formed with a new layer of snow a year. And each layer keeps air bubbles at that time.
According to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, its acronym in English) "the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide exceeded, and greatly exceeds the margin of natural variation that remained during the last 650,000 years ". During this period, CO 2 has fluctuated between 180 and 300 parts per million, meaning that currently 29% above the highest level reached in hundreds of thousands of years , Exceeding the 387 parts per million. But with blocks of ice scientists can reconstruct past temperatures and conclude that there is an undeniable relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the temperature.
Governments know this, but did not give a firm step if we are not obliged to do so.
* We hope this study serves who read it to form your own opinion. It is full of links to reports prepared by groups of different ideology. You can choose any of them, can assess any of them over others, may even cast doubt on the figures that are handled. Do not change anything.
* It is possible that we still have time to stop this, but we can not continue looking the other way. Time is relentless and increasingly there is less margin for error. We must act now and we must get it right. Force our leaders to act. Let us fight for the planet, for our children and their offspring, for us.

Current Reviews

4 comments so far (put your own)

Grazas por este impresionante traballo, compañeiros. Vouno meter no para que saia en

Iso si, aconséllovos poñelo noutro formato máis lexible online e complementariamente, en PDF para descargar e ler de vagar. Saúdos!

Author: Casdeiro Friday, 18.07.08 @ 04:32am | #39

Interesantísimo trabajo; enhorabuena. Os ruego mantengáis el link activo durante bastante tiempo para así poderlo transmitir a más gente con la seguridad de que va a poder ver el documento. Muchas Gracias.

Por otra parte no puedo evitar dejar algún comentario al respecto de todo esto; creo que una de las primeras acciones, y más viable, a realizar seria la reducción en el consumo de energía, ejemplos de despilfarro a nivel local:

El rector de la Universidad de Vigo dijo un dia que si cobraban el parking de la Universidad a los estudiantes que van en coche seguramente financiaran una buena parte de las instalaciones. Inadmisible

En Inglaterra, Francia, etc. numerosos servicios de logística de pequeño radio y poca carga (bollería, correo, etc.) se realiza en vehículos totalmente eléctricos, aquí, por ejemplo, el servicio postal de Vigo usa vespas. ¿es mejor el servicio?

En verano no dejo de observar como en oficinas, tanto públicas como privadas, algunos trabajadores tienen que llevar ropa de abrigo por el exceso con el aire acondicionado mientras en la calle hay 30 grados. Inadmisible

En mi piso de Vigo estoy obligado a pagar la calefacción de gasoel que tenemos centralizada y a mi me parece un disparate cuando se puede usar energía eléctrica. Las leyes dan la razón a la comunidad. ¿?

En Cataluña, País Vasco muchos centros comerciales ofrecen la posibilidad de comprar desde casa al mismo precio que en el supermercado. ¿Cuántos desplazamientos nos ahorraríamos?

En la superpoblada Barcelona cojo un tren eléctrico de cercanías y me deja al pie de playa en 15 minutos por 1 euro. En Barcelona cojo un metro desde Sants y me deja en la puerta del Aeropuerto en 20 minutos. En Barcelona cojo un tren eléctrico desde las afueras y en media hora estoy en el centro. ¿Cuánto trafico y consumo de energía fósil eliminariamos en Vigo con trenes de cercanía y metro ligero?

Creo que somos bastante indulgentes con el trabajo de los políticos gallegos.

Author: Marcelo Monday, 21.07.08 @ 01:32am | #41

Hola, me parece una gran publicación. Quisiera saber si se cuenta con números sobre México actualizados. Gracias

Author: Sadek Tuesday, 28.09.10 @ 00:20am | #100

hola la verdad es una gran publicacion muy interesante!!

Author: paisajista Friday, 11.03.11 @ 13:48pm | #110

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