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RobinBHM

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. I work in the industry that is developing the chemicals that go into batteries and fuel cells, wind farms, solar cells, nuclear etc
Will you have any involvement in British Volt which is building a battery gigs factory?
Or Cornish lithium.

I'm interested to see if UK will catch up with other countries on lithium battery cell manufacture
 

Terry - Somerset

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We need to consider expectations of what life/existence should be. Decisions need to be taken today to de-risk the future, even if detailed actions are not immediately obvious.

It is possible that 20bn+ could exist on the planet. The greater the numbers, the more constrained individual existences would become - similarities with factory farming. This is technically feasible but not a life I would relish. Nor is it one I would wish on my descendants.

At the other extreme it is already technically feasible for global populations of below ~1bn to live almost indefinitely with no human induced environmental impact.

A more distant planning horizon embeds greater uncertainty. 10 years is too short (I may still be around). 1000 years is too long with many fundamental uncertainties. 100-200 years seems reasonable if only on the basis I know no-one who will still be around in 100 years time.

Human exploitation has, and will, change the climate and broader environment. More prosperous countries are able to adapt, poorer will simply succumb to whatever happens.

Most of western Europe, USA, Japan can afford to adapt over time - build sea defences, relocate populations, intensively grow food, generate power (green, nuclear, carbon based), install revised infrastructures (drainage, road, power distribution etc).

Many poorer countries will be reliant on the largesse (should it happen) of the wealthy for survival.
 

TominDales

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Will you have any involvement in British Volt which is building a battery gigs factory?
Or Cornish lithium.

I'm interested to see if UK will catch up with other countries on lithium battery cell manufacture
There is a lot happening in the UK. BV visiting us later this month, very ambitious plans for Blyth, while Cornish lithium are scaling up a sophisticated ion exchange system developed by an academic at Southampton university, early doors for both companies. There is also Northern lithium looking at winnowing lithium from old mines in Weardale.
One of the most promising UK companies is AMTE power. Like BV they are having to raise a lot of capital to expand, but they have a head start in battery development and have about 4 types of cell in development. They took over AMGs original lithium battery factory in Thurso and developing a pilot scale process in Dundee (ex Michelin site) AMTE Power, Potential to Power there are a number of small start ups sadly Oxis energy spun out from Oxford in 2005 and with 44 odd patents has just gone into administration, the bleeding edge of technology.
In Sunderland is Envision AESC, its 85% Chinese owned, they make the Nissan Leaf battery, but looking to source its main materials from UK sources from 2025 as it expands production and brings the electrode coating process into the UK.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Our entire economic prosperity is based on cheap fossil energy. It has fuelled enormous growth for the past 100 years. The change to zero carbon economy is the biggest technological change in history. We managed evolutionary changes at great pace as oil replaced coal as the dominant fuel source in the early 20th century, but this change is bigger and faster than anything before. It requires changes to nearly all basic man made materials, fuels, steel, concrete. Nearly everything we buy will need to be made differently. Food production is responsible for 25% of Co2 emissions so changes to agriculture and our diets will be needed. I cant think of anything on this scale that has happened before.
That is the the most important point of all. If we don't reduce fossil fuel use voluntarily we will reduce its use when it runs out. There is a good chance that 2018 was the year of peak oil production and we are now on the downward slope - the 1970s "Limits to growth" catastrophe science put the collapse around about now:



Unless we find a new source of energy that is cheaper to produce than oil then the current "civilisation " is unsustainable. The only question is how far down do we go?
 

Terry - Somerset

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The graph creates a narrative that limited fossil fuels ultimately limit population growth, increase deaths, reduce births, reduce resource consumption etc.

Peak oil for most of the last 50 years has consistently been ~20 years in the future. This was inevitable as proven reserves are limited. With constant or increasing demand the price will rise to a level where the costs of further exploration and extraction is fundamentally uneconomic. The graph could be plausible.

What may now have changed is that alternative (green) energy sources have reduced in price to the point where they can supplant carbon based fuels, and render peak oil a reality without impacting population and resource consumption.
 

Cooper

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are these billion living in capitalist countries?
Perhaps the regimes they live under do not call themselves capitalist but I suspect that a significant number live under the rule of Kleptocrat dictators who sell the resources into our economies and stash their cash in our banks. I think that the whole of the world's economy, including China is driven by our economic model. But what do I a retired woodwork teacher know? Certainly and I'm sure you would agree D W, that our model is the only one capable of bringing about the radical changes necessary. Central planning failed the USSR and Eastern Europe, isn't doing much for Cuba or Venezuela either. As you say solutions rely of solving problems and this one is really urgent, though it would be nice to delude ourselves that it isn't.
 

Cooper

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Unless we find a new source of energy that is cheaper to produce than oil then the current "civilisation " is unsustainable. The only question is how far down do we go?
The obvious source of energy is available and drives the planet's climate, ocean currents and on a nice day like today keeps us comfortable, the Sun. It is just a question of efficient conversion into a form of energy we can distribute and exploit. I am convinced that the rich boys, who own the oil giants and pushed out all the anti climate crisis propaganda, to protect their wealth, will realize which side their bread is buttered and follow the recent directions of shareholder votes EXXON and legal rulings Shell and get into gear. If they want to profit from our massive appetite for energy, they have to sell it in a form we demand. The customer is always right (in the end).
 

hairy

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This is very significant. When the most popular car in the US goes electric that says a lot about how quickly the market is changing. Its a a mugs game to predict the future, unless you make the future which Ford et al appear to be doing.
Round here there seem to be very few private EVs, but quite a few charging points. New projects seem to have them regardless of not a lot of local demand. I would think there are plenty of firms who would want to have EVs to be seen to be doing their bit hence a flipping great US pickup modified to suit. I looked at buying a new Sprinter last year and was surprised to see a come back of petrol engines in their EU range as well as of course leccy versions. If a Euro 6 diesel is no more polluting and actually a better idea for heavy users (better mpg so less overall consumption of resources?), anyone diverting from that because the wind is blowing from a different direction rather that anything rational is a bit bonkers, and exporting our pollution to those who currently care less.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Lithium is a dangerous metalic substance that can be very unstable, it needs careful handling, charging, discharging and eventually disposal.





Petrol's not particularly safe either, e.g. Buncefield fire - Wikipedia :cool:

The difficulty is that most things that are energy dense also, almost by definition, have some risk associated with them (even if it's something as simple as accidental short-circuit).

Realistically, lithium is no more/less dangerous than most other energy storage media - if we use the right technology to package/manage it. I still won't have gas in the house though!! :p Gas explosion - Wikipedia
 

Trainee neophyte

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Peak cheap oil is the problem - you can always find expensive oil, but once you need more energy to extract the oil than that oil can give you, it ceases to be relevant. The energy return on energy invested, in other words.

In other disappointing news, it might be that the carbon saved by switching to electric vehicles may be negligible to none at all.

"Moreover, they point out that a typical EV is on average 50% heavier than a similar internal combustion engine, requiring more steel and aluminum in the frame. They conclude the “embedded carbon” in an EV (i.e., when it rolls off the lot) is therefore 20–50% more than an internal combustion engine."​

You save on the carbon bill by using green electricity, so the breakeven point appears to be at about 130,000 miles traveled. Unfortunately that also seems to be the point at which you replace the EV batteries because they are no longer efficient enough, and so you are immediately back in a carbon deficit. This may change in the future with better battery technology but for the minute...oops.

Of course, it might just be oil companies trying to keep their business model working. Everyone gets to pick and choose the science they believe in these days anyway.
 

TominDales

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Peak cheap oil is the problem - you can always find expensive oil, but once you need more energy to extract the oil than that oil can give you, it ceases to be relevant. The energy return on energy invested, in other words.

In other disappointing news, it might be that the carbon saved by switching to electric vehicles may be negligible to none at all.

"Moreover, they point out that a typical EV is on average 50% heavier than a similar internal combustion engine, requiring more steel and aluminum in the frame. They conclude the “embedded carbon” in an EV (i.e., when it rolls off the lot) is therefore 20–50% more than an internal combustion engine."​
This article seems way off the mark. The accepted view is that its about 45,000 miles in the UK - using our energy mix for electricity and will fall over time as more power is made from non carbon sources.
This article quoted is disputing analysis by others and then drawing assumptions some of quick are dubious and misleading. The best analysis is head to head real data comparisons. There are loads of authoritive articles on this topic, this fact cheque article from a year or so ago is quite good it sumarises most of the comparitors.
1622992283382.png


Note that France which generates most of its electricity from low carbon nuclear has the lowest emissions as of 2019. The US and Germany have the highest as they use a a fair amount of coal and gas. By 2050 the UK and EU will have a similar profile to Norway and the other manufacturing emission will have all fallen to zero.

The embodied emissions in the battery depend on what energy is used to make it. That is why Johnson Matthey have announced renewable energy deals for their Polish and Finland battery chemical factories. the last thing the auto industry want to do is sell a green car that has been made using Polish brown coal.
.
Its why British volts giga factory is in Blyth because it connects to the North Sea wind interconnector. Similarly North Volt (supplier to VW) is using Finish low carbon electricity for its giga factory.

I remember around 2005 stories that PV cells used most of their life to earn back the huge amount of power needed to produce the silicon. However they were using solar cell efficiency data from the 1970s and assumed all the energy was from coal. Modern PV is far more efficient the energy needed to make them is much lower and the the electricity used is mainly hydro from the 3 dams project and from earlier PV farms. So PV cells give a CO2 payback in about 3 years. It turned out the source of these stories were from data provided by an oil industry sponsored think tank and were deliberately misleading - I might add it was only a minority of the oil industry that indulged in this practice.[/QUOTE]
 

Ozi

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Peak cheap oil is the problem - you can always find expensive oil, but once you need more energy to extract the oil than that oil can give you, it ceases to be relevant. The energy return on energy invested, in other words.

In other disappointing news, it might be that the carbon saved by switching to electric vehicles may be negligible to none at all.

"Moreover, they point out that a typical EV is on average 50% heavier than a similar internal combustion engine, requiring more steel and aluminum in the frame. They conclude the “embedded carbon” in an EV (i.e., when it rolls off the lot) is therefore 20–50% more than an internal combustion engine."​

You save on the carbon bill by using green electricity, so the breakeven point appears to be at about 130,000 miles traveled. Unfortunately that also seems to be the point at which you replace the EV batteries because they are no longer efficient enough, and so you are immediately back in a carbon deficit. This may change in the future with better battery technology but for the minute...oops.

Of course, it might just be oil companies trying to keep their business model working. Everyone gets to pick and choose the science they believe in these days anyway.
The 50% heavier figure is not accurate, I have crash tested a lot of different vehicles and not seen that sort of mass increase. The worst offenders are PHEV where you have to carry both power trains. I really don't like PHEV as a concept and not just because getting the sods to crash safely is difficult, it's the high proportion of users who get board with plugging them in then just lug flat batteries around. Cars of all types have been getting heavier for a long while as we try to cram ever more features into them. It really is time we stop driving about on our own in 5 seat cars with wheels big enough for lorries.
 

Trainee neophyte

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The 50% heavier figure is not accurate, I have crash tested a lot of different vehicles and not seen that sort of mass increase. The worst offenders are PHEV where you have to carry both power trains. I really don't like PHEV as a concept and not just because getting the sods to crash safely is difficult, it's the high proportion of users who get board with plugging them in then just lug flat batteries around. Cars of all types have been getting heavier for a long while as we try to cram ever more features into them. It really is time we stop driving about on our own in 5 seat cars with wheels big enough for lorries.
If I absolutely had to have a job, could I have yours, please?

That article I posted seems to have been rubbished from both directions, so probably has little if any veracity. Interesting, given that they offer investment advice on commodities - you might expect them to be a bit more up to speed with their research.

"G&R uses a fundamental, research-driven, value-investing approach. We believe the best time to find value in the natural resource sector, is when a commodity is largely out of favor with investors, prices are depressed and valuations are low."​

Perhaps they are just trying to downplay the value, so they can invest at a better price - can't trust these investment types when they are "talking their book". Or they are incompetent - "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".
 

Ozi

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If I absolutely had to have a job, could I have yours, please?

That article I posted seems to have been rubbished from both directions, so probably has little if any veracity. Interesting, given that they offer investment advice on commodities - you might expect them to be a bit more up to speed with their research.

"G&R uses a fundamental, research-driven, value-investing approach. We believe the best time to find value in the natural resource sector, is when a commodity is largely out of favor with investors, prices are depressed and valuations are low."​

Perhaps they are just trying to downplay the value, so they can invest at a better price - can't trust these investment types when they are "talking their book". Or they are incompetent - "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".
I have to say my job is a small boys dream I get big expensive toys get to break them and get new ones. On the flip side be there when $2,000,000 hits the wall and everyone thinks you got it wrong - then you can have my job. But at the end of the day it's just twisted metal I would not have the courage to be a surgeon.

Hanlon's razor cuts deep
 

Spectric

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Here is another issue, keeping the occupants warm and cosy, with an ICE you are using a waste product to provide the heating, ie the engine coolant but with just batteries you will now have to use the same energy source that provides the motive power. Just using all electric is a way of until we get a suitable battery technology, for the mean time as an intermediate measure what is needed is a small non reciprocating power source such as a gas turbine to produce additional power as well as the batteries. Another option when traveling at higher speeds is a ram turbine.
 

Ozi

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Here is another issue, keeping the occupants warm and cosy, with an ICE you are using a waste product to provide the heating, ie the engine coolant but with just batteries you will now have to use the same energy source that provides the motive power. Just using all electric is a way of until we get a suitable battery technology, for the mean time as an intermediate measure what is needed is a small non reciprocating power source such as a gas turbine to produce additional power as well as the batteries. Another option when traveling at higher speeds is a ram turbine.
In a car you need to keep screens clear and need to be warm enough to drive safely but cars like houses do not need to be 20°C all year round, if you come out of your 10°C house wearing a good jumper and feeling quite OK into 5°C it doesn't hurt, if like me hair is a rear commodity put a woolly hat on.

The real killer is having to heat the battery, they give less power when cold and using some of what you have to warm them kill range, having heated seats and motorized everything else just uses power and adds weight.

Climbs back on soap box - Small simple vehicles, designed to do the job you do most often on a hire contract that lets you pay for something else when you need it. A bit of planning ahead for lower transport costs and cleaner air
 

Droogs

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Here is another issue, keeping the occupants warm and cosy, with an ICE you are using a waste product to provide the heating, ie the engine coolant but with just batteries you will now have to use the same energy source that provides the motive power. Just using all electric is a way of until we get a suitable battery technology, for the mean time as an intermediate measure what is needed is a small non reciprocating power source such as a gas turbine to produce additional power as well as the batteries. Another option when traveling at higher speeds is a ram turbine.
You are missing the crux, by burning dino :poop: just because you are too lazy to get a jumper, you are in all likelyhood actually killing your grandkids. I bet they'll be ever so grateful.
 

Rorschach

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You are missing the crux, by burning dino :poop: just because you are too lazy to get a jumper, you are in all likelyhood actually killing your grandkids. I bet they'll be ever so grateful.
Not a worry if you don't have grandkids ;)
 
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