Energy technologies and the Silicon Valley mindset

Horace Dediu identified the twin personalities of Google - Google A solves problems of humanity and Google B solves problems for advertisers. Google A is known for their moonshot programs and optimism, Google B pays the bills. So it was with interest when Ross Koningstein and David Fork announced the termination of Google's RE<C program in 2011. …

A Framework for Incorporating EROI into Electrical Storage

The fundamental problem with a transition to renewable energy is that modern society has been structured around demand-based power flows. Any quantity of power is available at any time - the only limit is the circuit breaker in your mains connection. But the major scalable and affordable renewable power sources are wind and solar PV, …

Cost-constrained versus EROI-constrained electricity generation

One of the challenges for EROI researchers is explaining in simple terms why EROI matters. I’m planning on doing a series of short posts exploring the relevance of EROI. This first post simply makes the observation that embodied energy (the reciprocal of EROI), and cost, are not necessarily correlated. In electricity generation, the general rule …

Energetic Implications of a Post-industrial Information Economy

The decoupling of energy and resources from economic growth is the Holy Grail of sustainable development. The observation that there seems to be a concentration of wealth in Australian localities associated with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, and a growing role for artificial intelligence services, would seem to strengthen the decoupling hypothesis. At face value, …