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On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

 No problem Paul. I hope to cover the social license and new OTEC technologies issues in upcoming posts.

June 16, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

Paul, this thing has got way off track from the original post. In order to produce any form of energy you need a social licence. I don't think nuclear any longer has it and petroleum is rapidly losing their's as Trans Canada Pipeline, Enbridge etc are finding out.

An Environmental Defense Fund post today states, "we concluded  that the project - between Lockheed Martin and Reignwood Group to develop a 10-megawatt power plant using ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) in waters off southern China’s Hainan Island was the missing link in commercializing OTEC...OTEC is definitely not a panacea.  Using large amounts of cold, nutrient rich water from the deep ocean in order to produce energy could have some very negative impacts, like killing sea life by sucking it into the intake pipe or creating algal blooms by discharging nutrient rich sea water into warm, nutrient-poor surface water. But these and other impacts can be prevented or mitigated.

New technology does not use large amounts of cold water and would not kill sea life. It also reduces the cost. - subjects for later. By overcoming the problems you gain the social license to operate. Nuclear has never done this with respect to the waste and proliferation issues, nor has the oil industry. All the TV adds notwithstanding.

The social license is 90 percent of the battle.

 

June 16, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

You forgot one, Bernard Easland's METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IONIZING ALL THE ELEMENTS IN A COMPLEX SUBSTANCE SUCH AS RADIOACTIVE WASTE AND SEPARATING SOME OF THE ELEMENTS FROM THE OTHER ELEMENTS, U.S. patent 5,681,434.

Also known as the Large Volume Plasma Process.

It requires a Tokamak.

When Canada shutdown its fusion program it tried to sell its tokamak to Iran real cheap. No one apparently knew any better. I like to think I had something to do with preventing that sale.

Besides that there is enough separated plutonium from commercial operations laying around in to lay waste to the world a few times over.

 

 

June 15, 2013    View Comment    

On Maintaining the 2 Degrees Target by Shifting Assumptions

Oiliver, Pat Takahashi, Director Emeritus of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii and co-founder of the PacificInternationalCenter for High Technology Research states on his blog  today, OTEC is the only of the option with any kind of chance for making a real contribution – to the climate problem.

It is clean energy than can produce five times the current output of the petroleum industry, which will be non-viable in less than 50 years.

As the top-down paradigm isn't working I suggest the insurance industry should take over by using high risk premiums to finance climate remedying technogies. They win both ways and so do we bottom feeders.

June 15, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

"In either US or Canada, reactor fuel is useless for weapons."

In May, 1974, India exploded its first atomic bomb, using plutonium produced in a Candu prototype reactor supplied by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

AECL also sold a Candu to Pakistan. Canada officially cut off nuclear assistance to Pakistan when its nuclear weapons program was exposed.

The nuclear industry never recovered from these two events, nor should it.

Neither Hans Blix nor Richard Garwin agree that reactor grade plutonium is not weapons useable.

"Reactor-Grade Plutonium Can be Used to Make Powerful and Reliable Nuclear Weapons", Garwin.

"The ability to construct a weapon from reactor-grade plutonium was demonstrated decades ago. It is dangerous even to consider it an open question." Hans Blix.

 

June 15, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

Alex, the problem with nuclear is the waste and proliferation issues. I had two solutions for this the Subductive Waste Disposal Method and the Nuclear Assisted Hydrocarbon Production Method. The industry and Congress were fixated on Yucca Mountain and now there is no solution to the problems and nuclear is dying. Plenty of energy ignorance to go around.

According to the IPCC, "Today it is not clear how and by which technologies the current problems facing nuclear energy may be resolved. What actually happens will depend on how safety, waste disposal, and proliferation concerns are resolved, and whether the green house debate adds increasing importance to nuclear energy's 'carbon benignness'. Consequently, after 2020 completely different nuclear futures may unfold varying from an almost five-fold expansion between 1990 and 2050 to a 20 percent decline."

Based on my experience with the industry I'm betting the concerns won't be resolved and thus the delcine is the most likely outcome.

June 15, 2013    View Comment    

On Eternal Energy Production

It is unique in the amount of energy it is able to provide. 25TW is a lot of pounds of CO2 and combining all of the other options in the piece it is hard to come up with the 14TW Hofferts says we need over and above today plus the addition 5TW that won't be available from oil in less than 50 years. I don't see how you can make do without OTEC?

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

Pat is a PhD in biochemical engineering (full CV). Dr. Paul A. Curto, former Chief Technologist with NASA states of OTEC, it is by far the most balanced means to face the challenge of global warming. Like Nathan Wilson, Paul is of the opinion ammonia is the working fluid needed to bring offshore power to market.

OTEC is solar power without the intermittence. The oceans are the largest solar collector on the planet and provide the greatest heat sink as well in the depths. The second law of thermodynamics then provides the avenue for converting this solar power to work. To get this work to the market place it then needs to be converted to an energy carrier, hydrogn, ammonia, methanol and be conveyed across the oceans just like Middle Eastern Oil or LNG.

The thing is though there is 5 times more of it and it won't be running out in less than fifty years, or ever for that matter. And when you convert liquid ocean water to hydrogen you are also making a dent in the problem of sea level rise.

As in most things, science and engineering included, there are two sides to the story.

:)

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On Eternal Energy Production

Cliff, I don't dismiss the other options. Like Pat Takahashi states on his blog today however I believe,  OTEC is the only energy option with any kind of chance for making a real contribution to the climate problem. As we have discussed before I think the technical and environmental problems are mostly overcome by the use of a heat pipe arrangement instead of cold water pipes.

The fact that it has 5 times the potential of the current petroleum market, which will be non-viable in less than 50 years, also makes it hugely attractive.

As to the resource being a half a world away from the load, this applies to Middle East oil and in most cases LNG as well.

As to wavepower Pat states 3.7 TW is (hugely optimistic).

It also has positive implications for the sea level problem.

Your opinion is respected, thanks.

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and Driving the Hydrogen Highway

Alex, not sure of your credentials but Pat Takahashi, Director Emeritus of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii and co-founder of the PacificInternationalCenter for High Technology Research states on his blog, OTEC is the only option with any kind of chance for making a real contribution to the climate problem.

OTEC's potential of 25 terawatts is 5 time greater than the existing petroleum industry which will be non-viable in 50 years. Hydrogen brings this offshore energy to market.

Hope your right about the "here we go" part.

Regards.

 

 

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On Eternal Energy Production

Alistair, to my mind capturing and sequestering carbon is just another way to use up energy that is already scarce.

Better to find ways to produce energy that doesn't emit pollution, no? And in the case of OTEC you get a remedial benefit of cooling the ocean's surface, which otherwise would produce tropical storms.

I also have argued that by converting CO2 to chalk and sequestering that in the ocean you are contributing to the sea level problem - Archimedes.

 

 

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On Eternal Energy Production

Rick, Durwood is an aquaculture expert with whom I have been corresponding for some time. As he pointed out yesterday there are obvious synergies between OTEC and aquaculture and we have been brainstorming ideas on how to advance these.

Would love to visit with you one way or the other.

Regards.

June 14, 2013    View Comment