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Can Renewables Fully Sustain Our Current Way Of Life?

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Anyone reading the original post in OilPrice realizes it's a quote from an article in Forbes.

"In the United States alone, the full decarbonization of the power grid is estimated to cost a staggering US$4.5 trillion at the current state of technology..."

I love the use of the word 'staggering'.  The US defense budget is $600 billion per year. $600 billion into $4.5 trillion is 7.5 years. Are you 'staggering' yet? US GDP was (as of 2019) $21 trillion.

' the current state of technology'. Yeah. Like technology is static. Phleeze!

What a weasel hack job.

If you're some East Coast liberal/progressive/commie you're probably objecting to anything that stinks of comfort, convenience, nouveau riche ostentation, blatant social ranking, or mowing down trees on mountaintops. Little of that bothers anyone in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, etc. See if you can find a tree in Montana, other than in the mountains. Any one of those states taken alone, as well as Alberta or Quebec, could power the entire world by themselves. Power transmission can be kept underground, if need be. Therefore, 'out of sight, out of mind'.

"Still, natural gas-fired generation will be needed for 10 percent of America’s power needs."

This suggests that the author is working on behalf of someone in the current power infrastructure market, regardless of whether they have made a full disclosure.

"The amount of methane is estimated to be 65 cubic kilometres. If burnt over one year, it would give an average power of about 100 gigawatts for the whole period. There is also an estimated 256 cubic kilometers of carbon dioxide. The water temperature is 24 °C, and the pH level is about 8.6.[citation needed] The methane is reported to be produced by microbial reduction of the volcanic CO2.[4] A future overturn and gas release from the deep waters of Lake Kivu would result in catastrophe, dwarfing the historically documented lake overturns at Lakes Nyos and Monoun. The lives of the approximately two million people who live in the lake basin area would die." from Wikipedia.

Landfills produce a lot of methane. Vast amounts of methane is bubbling up from offshore of Oregon and Washington State (as well as British Columbia). Any water impoundment that has a lot of biomass releases methane, particularly if the water is stirred up when passed through hydropower turbine blades. So, 'natural gas' is something we will have to live with 'forever', whether we like it or not. Therefore, we will most likely burn a lot of it to power vehicles and generate electricity. This doesn't make the gas 'fossil', and the means of extraction might be more towards passive capture rather than active drilling.


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