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I am an honours graduate (BSc. Hons. Strath-Glasgow) coupled with an MBA-ICG (Paris) , experienced, Metallurgist - Materials Scientist and Engineer & Manager turned Consultant & Blogger. I specialised in Superalloys (aero-engine_Seminal Work peer reviewed & published IOM3_MST, Feb.1985, the 2nd issue of this now well known journal dedicated to the fundamental aspects in our multidisciplinary subject area ) My experience over a wide range of Special Alloys is extensive. (Cryogenic,Controlled Expansion-Dilatometric,Magnetic, Corrosion Resistant Grades and finally HSLA-Aircraft Undercarriage. (Great Stuff-I was lucky) My responibilities were especially in Melting & Refining to 1st Forming stage. Responsibilities include QC,QA & Accounting, Melt/Remelt Process  & Products, R&D.  Bilingual English-French. 
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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A task of terawatts- Editorial from Nature looks at Renewable Energy Policy and criticises "The Traditional Fossile Fuel Dependency

According to Oliver Morton, Chief News & Features Editor, Nature.


"The tendency among governments and traditional utilities to see renewable energy sources as oddities or add-ons is thus deeply misplaced. These sources are, alongside nuclear power, the fossil fuel-free future that is so urgently needed. "

Universal Energy Source:
"The Sun shines down on the Earth with a power of 174,000 TW, providing the amount of energy every hour that humankind uses every year. "

POLICY PROPOSALS
"A threefold strategy to move from traditional fossil fuel to Sun power and its derivatives Photosynthetic-Trees & Plants, Wind,Marine,PV, is badly needed:
1. Drive up the efficiency with which energy is used through better technology, wider appreciation of the issues and targeted regulation;
2. Drive up the price of emitting carbon disproportionately through trading schemes, taxes and further regulations; and
3.Drive down the costs of generating energy in ways that involve no use of fossil fuels, most notably from the unending flows of light, wind, water and plant growth that the Sun so generously provides. "

The graph is due to Mark Z. Jacobson in his brillant paper publishe by the RSC The Royal Society for Chemistry cf related posts for more details and links.

"Renewables tend to suffer from the drawback that flows driven by the Sun are generally diffuse, not concentrated, and sporadic." [Too democratic for concentrated capital accumulation?]

Morton sees "great opportunity for technological progress in many of these fields, most notably in solar power and in energy storage."

THE CHALLENGE:
"The great challenge is how to scale these new technologies up for a global market. A significant part of the answer is investment in focused research and development. However, there is also a role for regulation and subsidy. "

-SCALING FACTOR
-"Current types of working subsidy are expensive, even at the megawatt scale.

-At the scale of tens and then hundreds of gigawatts they are likely to be unsustainable.

-Worse, poorly designed subsidies will damage markets and thwart the development they seek to encourage.

"Morton argues in favour of Government intervention" [to keep the boat moving in the correct direction with synergies minimising wasted energy and may I add - risking adding insult to injury - keep the trains on the rails and the cars off the roads well keeping traffic density sustainably low!]

Looking forward to reading the Energy Supplement 2009. NB. For readers with difficulty in accessing Nature, my pages carry references to Top Academic papers such as Phil Trans A on Energy freely available online Materials Science and Engineering Defined and Conversations-on-Innovations.

RELATED POSTS:

Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources Ranked_Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, energy security_Information Overload Mastered (March 2008)

Solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security reviewed _Parametres used to classify and rank_Follows previous post (Feb 2008)

Life-Cycle Analysis of Nuclear Fuel Route_Cradle-to-Grave, GHG-CO2equivalent emissions_Nuclear Inspections (April 2008)


NB The Supplement is sponsored (commendably)by French Petroleum Company TOTAL who "managed?" a recent "un coups de maitre". By putting pressure on one of their refineries managed a to provoke a near general fossil fuel for transportation strike. Of course the price of petrol and diesel went up almost immediately and of course did not come down once the strike was "settled." from about 1.00-euro/l it is now regularly priced in Supermarkets at 108 today at 1.09 euros. Perhaps an inside-expert reader could perhaps tell us how many day's sales are required for Total... to reach break even point?