IEA Report Gives F's to Most Green Tech

Guest post by David Middleton

From the “you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows” files:


New IEA Report Delivers Failing Grades to Most Green Technologies

More innovation is needed in the global energy transformation.

by Eric Wesoff

June 13, 2017

Say you’re a member of the world community and a signee committed to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. You’d probably want to track your progress and assess your results.

You’d essentially be asking, “How well is the human race doing in its quest to transform its energy mix away from polluting sources?”

The answer is not so well, according to a new report from the IEA, Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2017, which looked at 26 technologies and their performance in meeting the 2°C Scenario (2DS) in 2025. (The 2DS is defined as “an energy system pathway and a CO2 emissions trajectory consistent with at least a 50 percent chance of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2°C by 2100.”)

Only three of the 26 technologies are on track to meet that goal, while eight are significantly off-track and will need strong policy corrections to hit the 2DS.



Oddly enough, the three tech’s with passing grades are generally total failures:

  • Solar and onshore wind, combined into one category as mature variable renewables, had strong annual capacity growth and record-low long-term contract prices
  • The global stock of electric vehicles grew to 2 million, with 750,000 EVs sold in 2016
  • Energy storage reached almost 1 gigawatt in 2016 (excluding pumped hydro)

They combine solar (a total failure) with onshore wind (a moderate success) in order to prevent solar from flunking out.

They call 750,000 worldwide EV sales in 2016 to be a success?  Ford sold over 800,000 F-Series pickup trucks in 2016… just in the United States. These “futurists” really seem to believe that EV’s “could account for 25 percent of passenger cars by 2040, likely depressing oil prices” because EV sales have  increased from zero-point-zero to slightly above zero-point-zero since 2011.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis keeps track of U.S. vehicle sales.  If I plot the EV sales from the article along with total vehicle sales and extrapolate the data out to 2040, I don’t get anything close to 25%.

EV’s are on trend to account for 2% of U.S. vehicle sales in 2040.

Even if I limited it to passenger cars, which account for about 30% of U.S. auto sales I only get to 5%.  The only way this trend could lead to EV’s accounting “for 25 percent of passenger cars by 2040,” would be to assume that EV’s lasted longer than conventional passenger cars and the cumulative sales would eventually bring them up to 25% of passenger cars… AKA imaginary math.

So, “green” math yields a five-fold exaggeration in future EV auto sales… Very consistent with “green” estimates of global warming and climate sensitivity: About five times larger than reality.

1 GW of energy storage?


Unsurprisingly, the F’s go to:

  • Coal because it still generates 40% of the world’s electricity.
  • Coal with CCS because the “economics that do not pencil out.”
  • Advanced biofuels due to their insignficance.
  • The lack of “building energy-efficiency codes” in most countries… Many of which are still working on having buildings, plumbing and electricity.

Ranking “somewhere in the middle” are the only two tech’s which could provide a pathway to significantly lower carbon emissions:

  • Nuclear because the world isn’t building enough new nuclear power plants.
  • Natural gas because it lacks the “flexibility to better integrate renewables.”

Featured image source.

Addendum 6/14/2017

Updated plot of total US auto sales and PEV sales:


Total Auto Sales:

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Total Vehicle Sales [TOTALSA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, June 14, 2017.

PEV Sales:

The rate of growth of U.S. PEV sales has been very linear:

 US PEV Sales US PEV % δ PEV Sales δ PEV %
2011           17,724 0.1%
2012           52,607 0.4%            34,883 0.2%
2013           97,507 0.6%            44,900 0.3%
2014         122,438 0.7%            24,931 0.1%
2015         116,099 0.7%            (6,339) -0.1%
2016         158,614 0.9%            42,515 0.2%
Avg Growth            28,178 0.2%
Std Dev            20,809 0.1%

Wake me up when this changes.

Addendum 6/15/2017

It can’t get any more linear than this:


2011 US PEV Sales

2012-2016 US, 2014-2016 World PEV Sales

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June 14, 2017 1:15 pm

Extrapolating 30 years of car sales based on 5 years, mostly with tax incentives? How did they keep the correlation as low as 0.98?

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 2:25 pm

To be fair, a linear exterpolation is not a reasonable way to forecast a nascent industry like EV. New products/technology lifecycles don’t usually follow a linear trend, it is more of a bell curve. If 750k is the next data point in the graph (not shown in your graph), then the curve has already shifted up. I’m not saying it will be anywhere near where the IEA claims, and much of their energy is coming from fossil fuels anyway, but still I don’t think your linear trendline assumption is valid.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 2:39 pm

“When it starts to look like a bell curve or an exponential function, let me know.”
Forecasting is not always about curve fitting. I’ll happily take the over on an over/under bet of your forecasted trend line. $1000 end of 2020?

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 4:26 pm

David Middleton June 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm
There is only one way to get the volume in EV sales. China has to dive in in a big way and without USA subsidies.
It takes time to create production lines, train machine operators and build all the support structure.
Sure you can churn out say a million more EVs with a rush to create a few factories. But what about batteries?
What is the current slice of the battery pie that is going to EVs? Can mining be expanded fast enough?
Shipping, will that be a bottle neck? Logistics will be everything, and it will require a great deal of planning.

Don K
Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 7:17 pm

Not entirely frivolous question: What is the smallest, cheapest thing that is considered an EV? An electric bicycle? A Golf cart? A CitiCar (2 psgr, 30-50mph, 40mile range)? Reason I ask is because I would expect that increasingly total car sales numbers are going to be dominated by low end vehicles sold in developing countries. If minimal EVs are price competetive with or cheaper than minimal fossil fuel powered vehicles, a lot of them are going to be sold.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 11:57 pm

May the gun scientist and commentator Jo Nova take up this insignificance factor. from her column of ‘Electric car industry wants subsidies to grow Australian market…’
…Despite record sales of new cars, just 219 of the 1.2 million new vehicles sold in Australia in 2016 were electric, even that was a 90 percent drop from the previous year. Battery powered cars represented only 0.0018 percent of the total market.
People buy cars to get places. Governments “buy” cars to change the weather…’
Can any other nation do better than this world class insignificance?

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 12:26 am

Well Mike, the Chinese are setting and sticking to ambitious targets on EVs…

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 1:44 am

Electrical vehicles certainly aren’t expanding on a linear basis. Just a random headline from today, documenting a huge scale up in emobility:

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 5:07 am

Well, david, disregarding the topic under discussion, if one of my students handed me this graph I would say that it’s conflating two different metrics (in the first graph), with total number of sales on one axis and % of total sale. They’re not independent variables. Just put total number of PEV’s and total number of cars sold.
Second – this is a recurring point with self-styled skeptics – with super fast developing technologies you just can’t linearly extrapolate. You need to take technology trends and learning curves into account. Prime example is the shale gas revolution in the US. If anyone applied your logic to shale gas a decade ago, and used the then-current data to make future scenarios, they’d be plain wrong (as evidenced by the huge mess OPEC countries are in now). The exact same logic goes for renewables (22% cost reduction in 2016 alone for off shore wind!).
Look, David, you’re a smart guy. You know exactly what you’re doing. I’m honestly curious as to why you’re making such incredibly basic mistakes (on purpose) in future forecasting?

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 8:20 am

David, that is bollocks. Put your money where your mouth is. I challenge you to a 500$ bet that the rate of increase of PEV’s will be more than linear. To be decided in 5 years (that is to say, 06/15/2022). I’m sure you can see my e-mail address from the moderators tools.
[To be definitive, this “bet” would require the 3rd derivative of the number of (new or total ??) PEV’s (not hybrid’s ??) to be greater than zero, regardless of the type of best-fit equation for the acceleration curve of sales itself, right? .mod]

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 9:21 am

I’ll accept this extrapolation for the moment. It doesn’t seem to take into account something it’s author mentioned. Namely that EVs bought today won’t last until 2040. I don’t think EV adoption will experience the sharp increase its proponents envision. Not, at least, until they get quite a few problems worked out first. Among them are, EVs BURN when they crash – and hard as heck to put out once they start burning.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 9:39 am

Mod, I don’t know what David’s data counts as PEV. I would guess including plug-in hybrids. So whatever David’s chart uses for PEV definition is what we’ll use.
Secondly, no fancy derivative stuff. Keep it simple. David has a nice line drawn on his chart. If the actual number of PEVs is higher than his predicted number by… shall we say 2 standard deviations (as defined by david in his own article above) in 2022, then I win. If its within 2 standard deviations (or any number lower than predicted), then David wins.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 12:30 pm

So not willing to actually put money on your statements? Sad!

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 1:10 pm

you can add insulated cladding panels to the list after what has just occurred in london.
“Alongside the cosmetic appeal of cladding, it is used as an insulation to make buildings more sustainable to meet green energy requirements.”

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 2:13 pm

Had to look up that Ford Fusion Energi
WOW a whopping EV range of 21 miles
Good thing it has a Gas Engine with a 14 gal tank

Robert of Texas
Reply to  David Middleton
June 16, 2017 9:45 am

Perhaps another way to look at this is total value of sales, minus any subsidies. That way if subsidies increase the comparison is still somewhat valid, and if a lot of little cheap 3-wheeled electric cars are sold the value allows a better comparison to a actually combustion automobile. So instead of asking “how many of all sorts of cars are sold to all sorts of electric vehicles”, you would be asking “how much are people actually spending on cars as opposed to electric vehicles”.
Another factor is “which kind of vehicle is paying for the roads we drive on?” If roads are payed for by gas taxes, then electric vehicles are getting a free ride, and should be taxed more…

Reply to  Bob Greene
June 14, 2017 2:33 pm

If they don’t drop the incentives, then before electric sales reach 25%, the cost of the incentives will bankrupt the US.
If they do drop the incentives, sales will never get close to 25%.

Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 2:44 pm

It’s the perfect “Lose, Lose” scenario!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 2:47 pm

Also, if there isn’t a massive build-out in the electric distribution system, this 25% sales figure can’t be realized. And right now I just don’t see that happening. Around here there was a project called CAP-X to put in a new long-distance HV line, and it took 2 decades because of all the NIMYs and environmentalists that opposed it. To reach 25% market penetration of EVs, we would need dozens, maybe hundreds of CAP-X just in the US. This seems very unlikely to happen.

Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2017 3:29 am

Guess what: The US (federal government) is already bankrupt and has unfunded obligations of tens of trillions of dollars that will never be funded unless you want to value the magic money that the US Federal Reserve magically conjures out of their magic hole in the air. They keep conjuring the magic money while trying to magically stuff the (un)magical costs back into the hole to no avail…..It ain’t working because it can’t work…..Not even in the swamp of parasitoids that we call The District of Columbia.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2017 10:32 am

The incentives have a built-in termination. The rules are, for each manufacturer, $7500 tax break for the owner for the first 200,000 plug-in cars. After that the rebates drop in a phaseout. Note this is for each manufacturer, so Tesla gets to sell 200,000 cars that are eligible, GM gets the same, Ford……

Reply to  Bob Greene
June 14, 2017 6:17 pm

And don’t forget the 800 pound gorilla in the room. When (and if) EV sales really start to pick up, it will be at the expense of gasoline/diesel powered vehicle sales. There is a massive amount of tax on these fossil fuels which would disappear from government coffers. At some point, the e-gallon will have to be taxed, and then the economics of EV’s will really be laid bare.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Trebla
June 14, 2017 9:22 pm

RE: e-gallons
The State of Washington is working on how to implement this. They have asked for volunteers to try out (5, I think) ways of doing this. So before declining gas taxes becomes a serious issue (not soon), WA and other states will have something in place.
Spokesman Review article Dec 2016

Steve Richards
Reply to  Trebla
June 15, 2017 12:40 am

You’re not thinking straight!
Just increase the subsidy to the purchasers of these cars until they can afford to pay the tax on the e-gallon!

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Trebla
June 15, 2017 8:33 am

That’s not the only 800 pound gorilla. Energy required for motor transport is of the same order as the electric power grid. The grid will need to recharge all those batteries. Yes, a lot will be done at night when there’s excess power, but a significant fraction will need to be charged during peak hours. Expanding the grid is not in any estimates of future power needs as far as I’ve seen.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Trebla
June 15, 2017 11:27 am

A) The price of copper will approach that of gold before they get to 25% market share
B) They will have to find a way to tax them for road construction and maintenance long before they get to 25%- This will evaporate the market
C) They can’t provide decent range in colder climates when requiring heat
D) On the other hand, they can probably provide enough power for 25% EV’s if we construct a few dozen coal power plants!
E) If Tesla doesn’t get saved by the subsidy bell they will be broke within 5 years

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Trebla
June 15, 2017 4:47 pm

@ dan no longer…
And another thing…
A lot of homes in the US would have to upgrade their electric service to handle charging EV’s. With that, now the local POCO (power company) will have to upgrade the “pole pigs” to handle the increased loads. Maybe even upgrade local feeders. Even if you charge at night so is everyone else.

June 14, 2017 1:24 pm

From the article: “(The 2DS is defined as “an energy system pathway and a CO2 emissions trajectory consistent with at least a 50 percent chance of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2°C by 2100.”)”
I got a good laugh out of that one!

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 4:21 pm

“They could accomplish that by using a realistic climate sensitivity in their models.”
What is a realistic climate sensitivity? Every time we get a new study on climate sensitivity, the number is lower than the last time. So I don’t think we have a “realistic” number yet. What we have is an unknown number.

Reply to  TA
June 14, 2017 4:22 pm

I don’t know but it looks impressive doesnt it. 🙂

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  TA
June 15, 2017 2:15 pm

They could also accomplish that by ‘adjusting’ the data, as they are doing now.

Roger Graves
June 14, 2017 1:29 pm

As far as electric cars are concerned, I will purchase one when they meet the following set of requirements:
1. 300 mile (500 km) range at 0 deg F (-18 deg C). Living in a cold part of North America where long distances in cold weather are just part of life, I wouldn’t settle for anything else. And by the way, electric vehicles must use the batteries for cabin heating as well as motive power in cold weather.
2. Recharge time to 90% of capacity no longer than 30 minutes.
3. Purchase price and maintenance costs no more than that of an equivalent hydrocarbon-powered (gas/diesel/whatever) car.
4. Cost of electricity for recharging no greater than that of the fuel for an equivalent hydrocarbon-powered car, although of course this is dependent on what the government of the day decides to do with subsidies and taxes.
5. Drive train (battery to drive shaft) design life of 5000 hours. At a lifetime average speed of 30 mph (50 km/h) this equates to 150,000 miles (250,000 km) before anything major, including the battery, should need to be changed. (A 5000 hr life is standard, I believe, in the automobile industry.)
Meet these requirements and I will happily buy an electric car.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Roger Graves
June 14, 2017 9:35 pm

” cold weather – – cabin heating ”
Sterno – a brand of canned heat, food, water, blankets, and heavy clothing should be carried. I have a big ‘apple’ box, I call it my spare box. I drive a Subaru to out of the way trailheads where we work on maintaining or building new hiking trails. My ‘spare box’ is oriented toward cleaning up after getting wet, muddy, and cold. If I bought an EV, the contents of the box would include more things — the canned heat, for one.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Roger Graves
June 14, 2017 9:50 pm

Roger, super capacitors will go a long way, literally, to solving your problem list.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
June 15, 2017 1:39 am

They will also vastly simplify cleaning up after car accidents. Just shovel the dirt back into the crater.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
June 15, 2017 4:53 pm

That was good for a chuckle! Yes, the problem with storing enough energy is now you have a bomb with you everywhere you go. Even in a total wreck, Hollywood notwithstanding, you rarely get a explosion with a gas engine, and never with diesel. You may get a spectacular fire, but the energy doesn’t get released in a fraction of a second (capacitor) or a few seconds (battery).

Another Ian
Reply to  Roger Graves
June 15, 2017 1:28 am
Reply to  Roger Graves
June 15, 2017 10:05 am

Refill of a 500 miles capacity gasoline tank – 3 to 4 minutes. Wait in busy line at highway stop – similar. How many highway reststop charging stations available? And if the guy infront of you is on a 30 minute charge? Not practical for cross-country driving. Now you need either two cars or a rental for vacation.
Electric is OK for the priviledged class who want to virtue signal on the govrnment subsidy dime (or $7,500 tax subsidy, or whatever). In any case, good listing of functional requirements. But don’t forget about powering the AC for our friends in California (Central Valley, anyone?).

Reply to  Robert
June 15, 2017 2:23 pm

The people who are buying the Teslas do not drive to their vacation homes. They fly to the destination and rent cars. The range is not an issue, as they never will get driven that far by those who can afford them.
Years ago, during development of a hybrid transit bus, we ran afoul of funding issues and determined the reason to be: “People with political influence do not ride the city bus, while those who rely upon the city bus have little political influence.”

June 14, 2017 1:29 pm

The global stock of electric vehicles grew to 2 million…
Doesn’t China have some mandate that 8-10% of all cars sold must be EV?

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 2:47 pm

David, I found it….looks like China was responsible for 50% of that growth
“By early next year, Beijing will require automakers in China to ensure that at least 8 percent of all vehicles they manufacture are electric. The country had more than 1 million electric vehicles in 2016 — an 87 percent increase over the previous year. ”

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 11:08 am

Keep in mind that the goal in China is to be the EV provider to the world. Using China as the test market is the best way to gain the expertise needed. This is why they are suddenly interested in climate change.

john harmsworth
Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 11:33 am

This is the dream of the Eco-Left! Take away people’s choice via regulation and enforcement of the “market” so Big Brother can make the decisions us common folk can’t be trusted with. Like running our own lives!

Reply to  Latitude
June 14, 2017 6:47 pm

They only drive a mile to anything. Why not walk in the packem and stackem environment country?

Tom Halla
June 14, 2017 1:31 pm

If those are rated the successes. . .

June 14, 2017 1:36 pm

you know what is funny about the paris accords and the 2c thing is..
IF the skeptical people are right……. then the people in favor of the paris accords will Flaunt the fact that in 2030 or 2100 the temp did not rise by 2c, and claim all the credit…..

Reply to  lbouffard
June 14, 2017 2:17 pm

This is one of my main worries about this Global Warming™ scare: the natural cooling cycle we are probably due for will be touted as succes of the ecoloons.
Much like the ozone “hole” scare.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 3:18 pm

and the tabacco “scare”.

Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 3:44 pm

Another pointless comment by Tony !!…Some things never change……..

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 4:19 pm

tony mcleod
Lest you forget, one of the major supporters of tobacco was Al Gore as his family fortune was based on it.
Eugene WR Gallun

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 4:49 pm

tony mcleod —
For well over ten years Al Gore accepted political donations from the tobacco industry.
In 1988 at the height of the tobacco debate he boasted — “throughout most of my life, I’ve raised tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in plant beds and transferred it, I’ve hoed it, I’ve chopped it, I’ve shredded it, spiked it, put it in the the barn and stripped it and sold it.” (Lest there be doubt that is a quote.)
Even after his sister, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer Al Gore, for over six years, was still accepting donations from “tobacco industry political action committees”.
Eugene WR Gallun

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 4:59 pm

“Eugene WR Gallun June 14, 2017 at 4:19 pm”
Tony is void of facts. Tobacco was part of the Gore family fortune, along with oil and coal.

Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Although fear of the unknown is a natural human trait, and maybe I should be afraid, I don’t know what a tabacco is so it doesn’t really scare me.
I ne’er been sceered o’ no tabacco.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 5:40 pm

The tobacco ‘scare’ lasted 50 years.

Big carbon is, by orders of magnitude, far larger and has a far more sophisticated lobby/PR machine than tobacco ever had.
Wait, were in the ‘big carbon’ industry ween’t you David?
“GHG emissions will make the next Little Ice Age more tolerable than the last one”.
I not surprised you would make this kind of comment. What is more difficult to undertand is whether you beleive it or not.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 6:17 pm

David Middleton June 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm
David re look at tony mcleod,s posts. spelling is off among other things. Is it him?

Reply to  Jer0me
June 14, 2017 7:30 pm

Compared to Big Government, big carbon is tiny. It has absolutely no restrictions on the amount of lobbying, and big government gets its PR for free from the media in most countries.

Reply to  Jer0me
June 15, 2017 8:13 am

In tony’s world, if one scare is accurate, than all scares are accurate.
Regardless, the tobacco scare was overblown and the second hand tobacco scare was entirely a myth.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Jer0me
June 15, 2017 4:25 pm

“Regardless, the tobacco scare was overblown and the second hand tobacco scare was entirely a myth.”
So is the climte hoax, and toxic sludge i good for you.
I have a bridge going cheap…

Reply to  Jer0me
June 16, 2017 6:26 pm

“I have a bridge going cheap…”
You mean you’ll take a lot less than you paid for it so as not to make a total loss on the deal, right?

Roger Knights
Reply to  lbouffard
June 14, 2017 2:48 pm

Their claim of credit for flat temperatures will be laughable if chg levels have continued their current rate of rise.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 2:49 pm

ghg levels. Damn autocorrect.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 11:36 am

Even autocorrect doesn’t believe in the GHG B.S. Lol!

June 14, 2017 1:40 pm

Because fracked natural gas is so darn cheap, nothing else can compete. It’s actually a viable transportation fuel with a few issues.
If and when we run out of cheap fracked natural gas and oil, we can talk about coal. We have so much coal.
Coal and renewables both are best at generating electricity. Renewables need storage. Coal isn’t suitable as a transportation fuel. Both problems are solved by ammonia.
Work on ammonia is ongoing and is making progress. It’s becoming the most viable storage mechanism for the hydrogen economy.
Here’s an example of recent work. It’s the efficient production of ammonia at low temperatures with a process suitable for renewable energy.
As far as I can tell, ammonia for energy storage is progressing faster than any battery technology.
Of course, we won’t need ammonia fuel any time soon because of fracking. 🙂 And, yes, I do realize that ammonia can be rather nasty.

Scott Scarborough
Reply to  commieBob
June 14, 2017 6:21 pm

They add “stink” to natural gas so you can smell the danger. You don’t have to do that with ammonia!

Reply to  Scott Scarborough
June 14, 2017 7:06 pm

You might have to do something. Ammonia has the charming property that you can become densensitized to it. This link refers to it as olfactory fatigue. You won’t be bothered by the smell but you’ll die anyway.

Reply to  Scott Scarborough
June 15, 2017 2:19 am

Agh I remember the good ole days in a survey office using ammonia copiers. As the young cadet I got to do a lot of copying…..

Nigel S
Reply to  Scott Scarborough
June 15, 2017 1:00 pm

Yes, still remember the paper cuts!

Cyrus P. "Cy" Stell, PE, CEM, CBCP
Reply to  commieBob
June 14, 2017 10:36 pm

Let’s see if I can get this straight… you claim ammonia is perfect for the “…renewables…” industry. I’ll assume you meant solar PV at it’s inherently poor efficiency (is it up to 12% yet?) of converting that sunlight into electricity. Then you want to use that electricity to create ammonia, I’m too lazy to follow the links and see, but what are the energy losses in that process? And then you’ll take that ammonia and burn(?) it in some kind of internal combustion engine, doesn’t matter what type, last I heard the old timey steam engine was about the most efficient (the number I remember is 24%?) available at turning the available heat energy put into it into kinetic energy to actually move that vehicle. So somebody industrious (again, I’m too lazy to look up the numbers and crunch through all this, even with the aid of MathCAD or an Excel spreadsheet), work this equation backwards, we can find the statistics for how much energy the world uses in transportation, how much ammonia do you need to produce that much energy, how many solar panels needed to produce that ammonia, what are we up to? How many continents (seemed to be the only appropriate unit of measure, square feet, square kilometers, square miles, square hectares all seem to lose their meaning after the first couple of trillion) must be covered in solar panels just to keep the wheels turning?

Reply to  Cyrus P. "Cy" Stell, PE, CEM, CBCP
June 15, 2017 4:02 am

I’m unsure whether it was intentional, but, Cy, I think somewhere in this commentary you have likely identified why modern civilization as we currently enjoy it was only possible after the discovery of the massive amounts of ‘solar energy’ that was sequestered away chemically beneath our feet. I hate being a pessimist but am unable to avoid it: I think the idea that sciences and technologies will be discovered and developed that will enable us to derive enough usable energy from solar irradiance on a real time basis to replace the energy that was developed and stored away chemically over hundreds of millions of years seems to me to be the real “pie in the sky” part of this entire global climate enigma. And to do so while at the same time removing carbon from the processes and systems? Wotahoot.

Reply to  Cyrus P. "Cy" Stell, PE, CEM, CBCP
June 15, 2017 10:39 am

I sure didn’t use the word ‘perfect’.
WW2 was largely about oil. Even when it was a matter of life and death, people couldn’t come up with a viable substitute. link One of the first thing the allies did after D-Day was to lay oil pipelines across the English Channel. link
Notwithstanding the above, I am interested in ammonia technology, the same way I’m interested in the megawatt radio transmitters that preceded the invention of vacuum valves. Both are very interesting but not currently practical.

Jeroen B.
June 14, 2017 1:42 pm

I do wonder, even if they succeeded in selling enough EV’s to meet that percentage, where they want to draw all the power to charge them from, and how.
Somehow I find it hard to believe that a domestic grid will be able to handle all the extra load put on it without some major infrastructure upgrades …. which nobody is going to pay for …

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 2:54 pm

With the smart grid, you will no longer know how long it will take to recharge your EV. On some days it may take 5 or 6 hours. On other days, you may wake up the next morning and find you don’t have enough charge in the battery to get you to work. Much less back again.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 4:30 pm

Now they are going to use your parked EV to power buildings, with the supposed side effect that your EV battery will last longer.
“Stored energy from electric vehicles (EVs) can be used to power large buildings – creating new possibilities for the future of smart, renewable energy – thanks to ground-breaking battery research from WMG at the University of Warwick.
Dr Kotub Uddin, with colleagues from WMG’s Energy and Electrical Systems group and Jaguar Land Rover, has demonstrated that vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology can be intelligently utilised to take enough energy from idle EV batteries to be pumped into the grid and power buildings – without damaging the batteries.
This new research into the potentials of V2G shows that it could actually improve vehicle battery life by around ten percent over a year.”
end excerpt

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 6:35 pm

TA June 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm
Now they are going to use your parked EV to power buildings, with the supposed side effect that your EV battery will last longer.
Boże daj mi siłę THINK off the law suits… you take your car out for a spin and someones laundry stops. Or they now can’t watch the latest reality TV program. BECAUSE you unhooked your car from the building electrical grid.

Brett Keane
Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 1:43 am

Here in primitive, far away NZ, we have had ‘ripple control’ load -sharing doing its job well for about 80yrs or so. Results in cheaper hot water, and quite suited for EV charging in the wee small hours. And any other low-load period. We hardly notice it happening..

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 8:17 am

Mike, what about working all day, then finding out you EV’s battery is dead because they were using it to power the building. Guess you’ll just have to work all night as well.

Reply to  Jeroen B.
June 14, 2017 4:22 pm

PG&E just summarized an 18 month trial with BMW using EV’s for demand response-

Retired Kit P
Reply to  kakatoa
June 14, 2017 7:59 pm

PG&E is better at PR than making power.
Just because you can do something does not mean it is a good engineering idea.
A few steam plants adjusting steam flow is how the power industry does demand response. You could in theory use a million or so batteries in PEV.

June 14, 2017 1:44 pm

IEA…inept energy advisors?

Reply to  RWturner
June 14, 2017 3:48 pm

RW, you are being much too kind…My definition is not printable at WUWT….(or anywhere else for that matter)

Another Ian
Reply to  Butch
June 15, 2017 1:42 am

Then Kevin Bloody Wilson might put it into a song

June 14, 2017 1:45 pm

Re EVs; Tesla outsold the Merc S (the best selling piston engined car in their class) by two to one in the second half of 2016. The investment bank UBS recently published a finding that cost of ownership of EVs will match piston engine cars next year. An EV holds the absolute lap record at the Nurburgring. The Tesla Model X SUV is faster to 60 than most Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches etc.
Piston engined cars are toast; not because of CO2 but because an electric motor leaves the piston engine dead for drivability and performance.
Technology adoption follows a bell shaped curve. Linear projections are useless

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 2:29 pm

Dave – if you are answering my post please read it first. I said Merc S class because that is the leading piston engined car in the same class as the Model S. It will be a year or two before Tesla outsell the entire Merc product range. But they will if Merc don’t get with the beat

Roger Knights
Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 2:33 pm

I’ve read recently that an insurance company in one U.S. state (California?) raised the collision damage premium on Teslas by 30%, because they cost more to repair than expected.

Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 2:52 pm

In my youth in the USA the railroads were all on the verge of bankruptcy. They blamed Eisenhower’s interstate highway system, allowing trucks to dominate freight haulage. New technology, etc. Turns out it was the regulatory state of the time. The railroads were being forced to supply unwanted passenger service, and that was the biggest factor forcing the railroads out of business. Once the US Congress stopped doing that, the railroads prospered.
Lesson learned? Heck, no. They regulated the air lines instead. I used to fly from D.C. to Charleston, W.V., in a two engine full sized passenger jet with 30 people on board, including a US Senator.
After they stopped the airline regulation, I was reduced to flying puddle jumpers on the same route.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  joel
June 15, 2017 10:46 am

It was worse than that. The Interstate Commerce Commission also regulated the allowable carriage price for trains but not trucks. The Staggers Act was the bill that leveled the playing field for railroads.
As for airline deregulation, your ticket price is about 1/2 what it would have been under regulation. My wife was a travel agent at the time.

Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 2:56 pm

That’s cost of ownership including the 10’s of thousands in subsidies to purchase, excluding the true cost of battery replacement and ignoring the fact that government is going to start replacing gas taxes with miles driven taxes.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 3:10 pm

Electric motors are indeed superior to IC engines in pretty much every way. If that were the only issue, we would all be driving EVs. But currently IC engines have one huge advantage: a cheap, dense, portable fuel source that is easy and quick to replenish. In comparison, current battery technology sucks. Now I know, you are going to say that “hey – the best EVs now get 200+ miles on a charge”, but that’s only under ideal conditions. If you need to run the heat – something we do a lot in Minnesota and other northern states, the range decreases noticeably. Also, the batteries will not hold as much of a charge and will also self discharge as the temperature drops below about 10C. At -20C (not unusual here), you can lose up to 30% of the battery capacity. Now add in the loss for running the heater, and you have cut the range in half or more. That might get you by in the city, but for many of us out here in fly-over land, that won’t cut it for our daily commute. And many of the more affordable EVs have official ranges quite a bit less than 200 miles.
Next I anticipate that you will claim “but technology will solve the battery problem soon; in fact I just read about a break-through the other day”. I have been watching battery technology for over 40 years and while it has improved incrementally, it has never once made a large leap forward despite many highly hyped “break-throughs”. So I have my doubts any such leaps are right around the corner. Technology can surprise you (white LEDs are an example), but for the most part technology is build in the foundation of what came before it and you can usually see what’s coming several years in advance. At this time, battery tech, like rocket science, remains very hard.
But don’t listen to us old cynics, hold on to your wide-eyed fantasies as long as possible. Just don’t invest too much in them.

Phil R
Reply to  Paul Penrose
June 14, 2017 3:56 pm

I live in Virginia and have to drive to New Jersey tomorrow, over 300 miles. One tank of gas will get me there, if I need to fill up it’s about five minutes, plus the time to exit and reenter the NJ turnpike. Would suck being me if I had to make the trip in an electric car. 🙂

Phil R
Reply to  Paul Penrose
June 14, 2017 4:02 pm

As a quick follow-up, I wonder why the libs/progs never seem to have to deal with the disastrous consequences of their policies that they want to force onto everyone else. Anyone who who is wealthy enough to virtue-signal by buying a Tesla also has a standard IC car for backup…hypocrites. Second, why are the plebs like me that can’t afford a Tesla forced to pay our tax dollars to subsidize the rich to buy their Tesla?

Reply to  Paul Penrose
June 14, 2017 7:18 pm

I can drive 1600 km (about 1000 miles) on one tank of diesel in my Land Cruiser. It takes about 2 minutes to fill using a hi-flow bowser. When electric cars can match that, I’ll be interested.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 5:37 pm

“Piston engined cars are toast; not because of CO2 but because an electric motor leaves the piston engine dead for drivability and performance. ”
That’s a rather simplistic analysis. Maybe for rich people who want to go from 0-60 in 3 secs, but the vast majority of people couldn’t care less about that. They want dependability and convenience, which EVs are sorely lacking. Even if an EV built with current technology cost the same as, or even less than, a piston car, I would choose the latter due to better convenience and driving range. EVs will always be a marginal player until better battery technology is developed (if it can be developed at all).

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
June 15, 2017 5:15 pm

Electric motor performance is a matter of physics and how big the cables are from the battery to the motor. It’s an intrinsic feature of the technology and it’s “free”. Mythbusters did something on EV’s once. For some reason Jamie decided to convert an old postal delivery vehicle, the kind that putters around your neighborhood, to electric. They were clocking the 0-60 time, and it probably would have been impressive if they hadn’t snapped the axle from the torque the electric motor generated.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  John Hardy
June 14, 2017 9:02 pm

John Hardy June 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Technology adoption follows a bell shaped curve. Linear projections are useless.
No it does not. there are certain techs that reach a dead end. They are a blind alley.
Here are three the horse shoe. You can change materials, but no real change in performance. Next the stirrup, probably the greatest innovation in human history. Change materials but again your limited by the limits of Mr. ED. Same with the saddle.
That is why we use I.C. engines instead.
Batteries have limits, and we are now at the technological dead end.

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
June 14, 2017 9:58 pm

Not to mention that the real advantage of batteries is portability, and is the reason we even bother paying the Thermo2 tax to charge them in the first place. Making a battery that’s too big to carry defeats the purpose. 😐

Leonard Lane
June 14, 2017 1:46 pm

Their rated successes are phantoms of liberal beliefs and their failures are good examples of liberal bias. All in all, simple propaganda.

Gary Pearse
June 14, 2017 1:52 pm

All this stuff is just the Titanic orchestra waxing strongly to divert the ‘fellow travelers’ from thinking about the certainty of the end.
By the way, electric vehicles are ultimately in the cards with or without the global warming issue. But they will work well on electricity from nuclear, hydro, coal, gas…

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 14, 2017 2:16 pm

Not really. The requirement is for a portable dense energy source that may be metered out fairly finely. You could just as easily be running on some sort of manufactured hydrocarbon as anything else.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 14, 2017 2:58 pm

Electrics will never be “in the cards” until the solve the range and recharge problems.
It’s much more likely that coal to fuel and other new sources of “gasoline” will be developed.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 14, 2017 9:51 pm

What a nice word. What does it mean?

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 15, 2017 8:58 am

As long as electric cars are priced at $120K, they will only be minor players. But there are two new players that sell for $40K (Chevy Bolt and Tesla model 3). These are priced at only 40% higher than comparable IC engined cars. I think the popularity of these will be an early sign that electric cars will succeed or fail in the marketplace. GM has been selling about 1500 per month but they are not in all markets yet.
(yes, I know the Tesla is not out yet and the price of actual cars sold is likely to be higher than $40K)

June 14, 2017 1:54 pm

> Natural gas because lacks the “flexibility to better integrate renewables.”
I would argue that Natgas electricity generation is the greatest boon to solar and wind precisely because it is capable of peak and trough response.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 3:34 pm

David, all rerspect. Natty fired facilities until recently were called “peaker plants” because they could rapidly fill demand and relatively efficiently scale back quickly to oversupply.

Reply to  Rob Dawg
June 14, 2017 2:34 pm

They just can’t say nice things about any fossil fuel, that would be blasphemy.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Rob Dawg
June 14, 2017 2:36 pm

The best way for Trump to cut U.S. CO2 emissions (and thereby give the EU a raspberry) would be to encourage, somehow, homes and businesses to switch to gas heating from oil. (And maybe encourage truckers to switch to natural gas as a fuel too.)

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 2:51 pm

Trump would also benefit politically now by pushing for a shift to natural gas heating, because he’d be able to say that he wasn’t ignoring the (alleged) climate change problem.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 3:00 pm

Only possible if there already is natgas being piped to the building in question.
In many parts of the country you would have to lay hundreds of miles of pipes before you could start converting over the homes.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 3:27 pm

In many parts of the country you would have to lay hundreds of miles of pipes before you could start converting over the homes.

I realize that. Trump could alleviate the problem by incentivizing the building of such pipelines, similar to the way wind & solar installations have been incentivized. Plus he would be upgrading America’s infrastructure and providing shovel-ready jobs. It’s a triplex winner! Put a word in his ear, Mr… Bannon!

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 4:25 pm

Rural locations where it would be uneconomic to lay pipe could be incentivized to use propane instead of oil for heating.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 6:26 pm

“Roger Knights June 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm
Rural locations where it would be uneconomic to lay pipe could be incentivized to use propane instead of oil for heating.”

An absurd enormously expensive economic burden.
Propane costs are multiple those of the other fuels; five times fuel oil costs, last time I looked.
In the rural areas, propane is already well established since trucking in propane cylinders is easier than trying to bring a fuel truck close enough.
Which is why so many of the rural population run woodstoves or install fuel oil heating systems as soon they can. Or as the poor still do in places, run kerosene catalytic heaters.
Natgas is primarily an industry-urban fuel. The main pipelines are built to support ports at coastal urban cities, large industrial enterprises or heavy industry. Local residents do benefit when local governments install infrastructure using taxes that burden everyone.
Areas outside of suburbs and urban areas, i.e. the vast majority of America, are without natgas main pipelines. Direct to business or housing pipelines are nonexistent.
Disabuse yourself that the entire world is urbanized, with regular roads, roadsides, community water supply, community sewage, and nearby natural gas pipelines.
Where I live;
Water comes from my well,
Sewage is a septic tank and drain field,
No road sides,
No sidewalks,
Country road that might get patched after a bad winter.
There are areas of the County I live in that still do not have access to cable or wired/optical internet, and wires/cables are far easier to deploy.
Nearby poorer counties have much less infrastructure.
Too many urban drivers, out for a country drive around here, run off the road into a tree or ditch because they are unable to drive a road so close to others heading the other direction. And our roads are downright roomy compared to some other local areas.
Many of these roads are simple gravel sprayed with a waste petroleum product. They are not multiple layer complex roads with sewage on one side, water and other utilities on the other and bounded on both sides by sidewalks.
Take a look at any of the wireless phone companies deployment maps. Ignore the wishful thinking aspect used for sales and note all of the blocks outside of direct coverage. For example, all across our Wstern states, substantial areas are without cell phone coverage.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 9:55 pm

” switch to gas heating ”
No thanks. We have an all electric house using hydro. There is a modern wood stove for winter emergencies. It is a farce that hydro is not considered renewable.

Roger Knights
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
June 15, 2017 4:40 am

I didn’t propose that persons in your position (having “an all electric house using hydro”—which is my position too) switch to gas. I only proposed a switch from oil heating to gas.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 5:39 am

@AtheoK: Thanks for the correction re the high cost of propane.
This industry-funded (I assume) site claims that 66 million homes and 5 million businesses in the U.S. use natural gas for some purpose (not necessarily heating):

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 7:52 am

PS: I suspect some or many of the 66 million homes using natural gas use it only for cooking, and use oil for heating. Trump should try to pass incentives to get them to migrate to gas heating. It shouldn’t cost much. The gas company might do it for free, or at a discount. (My sister obtained such a deal about 25 years ago.)

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 8:23 am

Roger, do you have any idea how much it costs to lie down miles of natgas piping?
By the way, incentivizing is just a fancy word that means subsidy. And I thought we were against subsidies around here.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 8:25 am

Roger, try costing out the price of a good heater.
If it were that good a deal, they would be doing it already.
If it takes other people’s money to get them to do it, it wasn’t worth doing.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 5:23 pm

@Roger Knight

I suspect some or many of the 66 million homes using natural gas use it only for cooking, and use oil for heating.

That would make about zero sense, unless you have a dual-fuel furnace. Once gas is in the house, it’s crazy not to switch electric appliances to gas, and converting the furnace is a close second unless for some reason you have a much newer high-efficiency boiler.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 7:33 pm

“Roger Knights June 15, 2017 at 5:39 am
@AtheoK: Thanks for the correction re the high cost of propane.
This industry-funded (I assume) site claims that 66 million homes and 5 million businesses in the U.S. use natural gas for some purpose (not necessarily heating):

Those numbers sound rational.
Remember a majority of America’s population lives on the coasts and close to the big cities.
Just north of Philadelphia, I had access to natural gas.
In New Orleans, I used natural gas.
Natural gas is wonderful for cooking, but natural gas in a homes atmosphere is horrendous for orchid flowers, causing them to age unduly.
A vast majority of those “homes” will be high rise developments, but even near urban areas, single family homes have access to natural gas. What businesses not near urban areas will undoubtedly be located along the major highways where pipelines are run.

June 14, 2017 2:08 pm

You couldn’t make it up.
Whenever I look at a post on WUWT, between the post and the comments there is an advertisment. Sometimes it offers me cheap flights, sometimes cheap car insurance, sometimes double glazing, and so on.
This time I got:-
Tesla Generator. $49 build your own generator. (I live in GB.)
Eliminate your power bills and do it yourself.
Great Discount Now.
Just for fun I clicked on the link.
Don’t bother.
But how wierd is it that this is what I got following this post.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 3:02 pm

I don’t know if WordPress does this, but other sites have the ability to track visitors by IP address and they can maintain a record of which ads you select. They can then use that record to target future ads whenever you re-visit the site.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  David Middleton
June 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Ads? What are ads?

Roger Knights
Reply to  Oldseadog
June 14, 2017 2:38 pm

WordPress probably has an algorithm that looks at keywords in a thread, especially the headline, and assigns ads with matching keywords to that thread.

Reply to  Oldseadog
June 14, 2017 5:08 pm

..AdBlock Plus at Cnet cancels ALL ads…

Reply to  Butch
June 14, 2017 7:23 pm

I’ve given up using Java script at all, except when I need to pay for something. The awful formatting, font messes, ads, and crazy jumping around of pages made me ill. Pages load faster, are stable, and generally easier to read.

June 14, 2017 2:15 pm

Sceptics should keep track of deaths per CC-fighting technology, though it would be minor league compared with other Green Screw-ups, such as the ban on DDT, and opposition to pesticides and GM crops.
Birds and bats already have a league, for human deaths promotion of diesel cars is probably way out in front, maybe competing with the air-polluting biomass boiling. A new kid on the block may have to be the thermal-efficiency part of building regulations, which may be partly responsible for the epidemic of cladding fires, most recently yesterday in London.
If you survive Green Tech and live to retirement you can look forward to a country retreat dominated by wind turbines on the hills and solar panels on the lakes.

Roger Knights
Reply to  climanrecon
June 14, 2017 2:44 pm

A new kid on the block may have to be the thermal-efficiency part of building regulations, which may be partly responsible for the epidemic of cladding fires, most recently yesterday in London.

A contributing factor is likely the environmentalist crusade against asbestos, which might have been used instead in such cladding. (I’ve read that the absence or paucity of asbestos in one of the Twin towers was a factor in its collapse.)

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 3:03 pm

I thought the collision of the plane swept all such cladding off of the girders. It didn’t matter what material they used, it wouldn’t have survived the initial collision.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 3:30 pm

@MarkW: But surely the collision didn’t displace material from the girder, etc., that was not in the immediate vicinity.

Phil R
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 4:08 pm

Roger Knights is correct. Asbestos was not used in the WTC. Because of environmentalists, the WTC used a cellulose-based coating on the steel. Even if asbestos was used, it may not have prevented the towers from collapsing, but it might have delayed the collapse, allowing many more to escape.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 5:27 pm

They are not “girders”(horizontal steel beams also known as Joists”) , they are vertical steel columns encompassed in a fire retardant material…For any structure, the loss of the 4 main columns (usually surrounding the elevators) is guaranteed to collapse any building…ONLY the main columns are drilled down to and seated in the bedrock. If not secured to the bedrock, any building would sick from it’s own weight !!…(20 years putting High Rise Apts as an Iron Worker)

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 8:26 am

It was the columns in the immediate area of the collision that collapsed.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 5:32 pm

In the Twin Towers, the impact of the planes physically stripped the fire proofing off the structural members, exposing them to the full effects of the subsequent fires. I doubt it made any difference if the cladding was asbestos-based or not.

June 14, 2017 2:32 pm

1 gigawatt of storage. That’s enough to supply the US for what? 1 second?

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2017 9:08 am

Gigawatt of storage is meaningless. Gigawatt is a unit of power, not energy. Now if it said 1 gigawatt-hour, that would be useful. Assuming it was a gigawatt-hour, that equals one hour of production of a typical 1000 MW coal or nuke plant. That’s not far from your 1 second figure.

June 14, 2017 2:32 pm

“The 2DS is defined as “an energy system pathway and a CO2 emissions trajectory consistent with at least a 50 percent chance of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2°C by 2100.”
The great thing about climate science is that unlike predictions in virtually any other field, they think making predictions further out in time is easier. They fail predicting 1, 3, 5, 10 years out, but we are supposed to have faith in their “50 percent” estimate 80+ years from now? Ridiculous. Besides, I would say that the “status quo, do nothing and move on with your lives” scenario has a better than 50 percent chance anyway.

Roger Knights
June 14, 2017 2:42 pm

So, “green” math yields a five-fold exaggeration in future EV auto sales… Very consistent with “green” estimates of global warming and climate sensitivity: About five times larger than reality.

I recall reading that the standard exaggeration factor for “Advocacy Research” is 5-to-1. (E.g., for the number of homeless, etc.)

June 14, 2017 2:45 pm

Sorry but I found this post to be mainly totally confusing.
Too much double speak for me!

June 14, 2017 2:55 pm

EV’s seem like a good solution to the intermittent problem with renewables. If the cars are plugged in when not in use which would be most of the time. The utilities could turn on charging your car when renewables are at high capacity. Ive thought about buying an EV but the range problem is considerable. Not insurmountable though. Although i need my pickup mainly for material handling and towing. My wife needs an suv… mom. Ev’s aren’t in either. This will change though…the economics of ev will soon match ice. I’m thinking about 5 to 6 years before sales begin to take off

Reply to  Jamie
June 14, 2017 3:07 pm

They’ve been claiming that EV’s were about to take off since I was in college, 40 years ago.
Remove all of the subsidies, including the fact that EVs aren’t helping to pay for the roads they are using, and EVs are decades away from being cost competitive, and that’s assuming cost breakthroughs on the batteries that are unjustifiable by any known technology.
Then you have the problem of limited range and ridiculous recharge times.
EV’s will and will always be specialty vehicles.

Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 5:09 pm

The charging can be handled by swapping out a battery pack. As far as cost they are getting much closer now. Ice will not last much longer…..the fuel will eventually run out. And not so much in the future. The time far alternative energy cars is very close. It’s one reason TSLA is going through the roof

Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 5:31 pm

Sorry Jamie, you can not charge EV’s AND power the grid , unless of course, you DOUBLE the bird choppers !

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 6:11 pm

TSLA is going through the roof because Elon Musk has a cult-like following – “Save us Elon!” Yes that was actually said out loud at an investors’ meeting.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2017 6:14 pm

“Ice will not last much longer”
Delusional. If ICE goes away civilization collapses.

Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2017 8:29 am

Battery swapping is a solution that can never work.
First off, the batteries are heavy, so you need major equipment to do it. It also means the process will be slow.
Modifying the cars to make swapping feasable makes the cars both heavier and more expensive.
Finally, since batteries have a finite life, you have to price in the remaining life expectancy when doing a swap. Since that is very hard to nearly impossible to do …
The costs are getting closer, mostly because the subsidies have been getting bigger.
Yes, oil will run out some day. Several hundred years from now. When that happens, it’s more likely we will start creating liquid fuels from other sources.

Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2017 9:09 am

With PEV car batteries worth over $5000.00 each, and with a requirement for “swap to recharge” pull-out/push-in recharging developing , there will swiftly grow a ‘pull-out-and-take-away” PEV car battery theft business developing!

Reply to  Jamie
June 14, 2017 4:39 pm

There’s another major problem. Municipal distribution systems can’t handle the added load of a significant portion of the car fleet being EVs. And there is no viable solution for this problem at this time.

Reply to  cgh
June 14, 2017 5:03 pm

If you do the charging at non peak times there should be ample capacity in the grid. The cars charging would need to be controlled by the utilities

Reply to  cgh
June 15, 2017 8:31 am

The ability to restrict charging to off peak time adds complexity which adds cost.
Regardless, if everyone switched to electrics, the grid would have to at least double or triple in size just to handle the charging requirements, with nothing left over for everything else.
PS: It takes most of the night to recharge, not much left over for time shifting.

Reply to  Jamie
June 14, 2017 7:36 pm

Jamie has a point. If everyone plugs in their EV at 6pm in the Summer, then the smart charger can delay charging until 1:00 am. If for some reason it must be charged right away, they can push a button and pay triple the normal price to start the charging. Also, saver switches can be used. The power company could cycle chargers on for 30 minutes and off for 60 minutes during peak demand. This would rotate and/or roll to keep charger demand more or less even.

Reply to  Ragnaar
June 15, 2017 8:32 am

If you delay charging to 1am, there won’t be enough time to fully recharge before you have to leave in the morning.

Reply to  Ragnaar
June 15, 2017 10:31 am

The idea is to take two problems and put them together. Non-dispatchable wind and solar and the need to incorporate battery charging into the grid.
Plan 1) You get your battery charged whenever wind and solar can do it. This is the cheapest plan.
Plan 2) You get your battery charged during certain windows each day. This is a more expensive plan.
Plan 3) You get your battery charged whenever you want. This is the most expensive plan.
Your car has an ID that any charger can read. The charger then knows when to charge your batteries.
I am against all energy subsidies for both conventional and renewables. But unfortunatly, we have wind and solar. We could try to bring more market forces to wind and solar. I think wind and solar should pay for the batteries they require as well as their share of new power lines required. Since they are non-dispatchable, prices should reflect that, and they should be paid less than coal, gas and nuclear per kilowatt hour. We can try to frame it as, yes you are green. You don’t want fossil fuels to charge your car. Here’s your green energy. If you want better than that, pay the gas turbine peaker price.
To explain, people claim big oil gets energy subsidies. They get half of what some people claim. There is one for non-conventional fuels which should be looked at and/or ended. But the foreign tax credit and forms of depreciation are not subsidies. Any Fortune 500 company can also use those.
More here:

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Ragnaar
June 15, 2017 10:51 am

And then there are folks who live in apartment buildings without access to a home charger.

June 14, 2017 3:24 pm

O.T. but, Anti Trump, Bernie/Green supporter shot and killed by Capitol Police….More proof that liberals are not sane anymore !
Great job, Capitol Police..

Reply to  Butch
June 14, 2017 3:26 pm
His cartoon says it all…

Reply to  Butch
June 14, 2017 5:05 pm

Yeah, the Left has been inciting violence enough lately that they have finally agitated the crazed Lefty psychopaths to violent action.
Don’t be surprised if there is not a copycat or two out there, too. Psychopath see, psychopath do.

Reply to  TA
June 14, 2017 5:32 pm

Unfortunately…+++++++ X 1,000

Reply to  TA
June 14, 2017 7:21 pm

The Leftist psychopath shooter was reported to have taken part in the New York City Climate Change march. I bet he wasn’t the only psychopath in that crowd!

June 14, 2017 3:29 pm

David Middleton’s views on EVs are outrageously simple-minded – using statistics of past sales to
predict the future requires a big-assed assumption on David’s part, and one that is totally wrong :
that the technology/economics of EVs is steady, has been steady and will remain steady into the future. Anyone who only has a smattering knowledge of modern electric vehicles can tell you that the electric car business will be the most vociferously rapid growing business on the planet. Anyone familiar with auto knws that an electric car is intrinsically more efficient, cheaper to build, etc EXCEPT for the battery. But the battery costs and performance have improved immensely over just the past 4 years that we have a car not yet ready for sale for at least another year and a half (Tesla’s Model 3) that has a waiting list well over half a milion, all providing deposits to reserve their vehicle. It used to be said that when battery prices get near $100 per Kwhr, the gas powered era is over. Tesla and GM are quoting current battery prices for their EVs as $190 and $150, and a company is now running a production line of cathode to prove that they can build a better and much cheaper one using nanotechnology – they claim to be able to cut battery prices in half. And another company is doing much the same for the lithium anodes. And, finally, Tesla is building gigafactories to build batteries 30% cheaper due to lower production costs in a fully automated factory. Batteries that cost $40,000 for an early Tesla Model S battery pack, could conceivably cost roughly $5,000
and can be recharged in as little as 15 minutes, or less. No gas powered vehicle can possibly compete with those prices, and operational economics. Henry Ford, who always believed electric cars instrinsically superior and tried his best to build one by asking his friend Thomas Edison to build a practical battery, will smile down on this development. His wife always drove an electric car.

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 10:08 am

You are likely correct, unless the PEV as a system sees a dramatic change:
..Total charging in 5 minutes
..300 mile or 500 km range on a single charge.
..Replacement batteries that cost less than replacing the standard fuel system.
..Charging stations in a quantity similar to current Gas Stations (16 cars at a time recharging in 5 – 7 minutes total)
..Cost around $20,000 each
Probably most if not all would be required to see the PEV market share soar

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 8:02 pm

Tessa appears to be the state of the art for PEV Tech. So current best would be

Q: How quickly does the Tesla Model S’ battery charge?
A: The Model S offers a choice of lithium-ion battery packs, a standard 60 kilowatt-hour battery or a more expensive, more powerful 85-kwh unit. How long it takes to recharge a depleted battery depends on whether the Model S has one or two onboard chargers and the source of the electricity.
Tesla says the 60-kwh battery provides a range of up to 232 miles (the EPA pegs it at 208 miles), and the 85-kwh battery (a $10,000 option) provides up to 300 miles (the EPA puts it at 265 miles). Here are some examples for recharging times: With a single onboard charger plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet, Tesla says you will get 5 miles of range for every hour of charging. From zero to 300 miles would take about 52 hours at that rate. With a single charger connected to a 240-volt outlet, which Tesla recommends, the pace speeds up to 31 miles of range for each hour of charging, and a full 300-mile charge takes less than 9.5 hours

The article goes on to say that the Best PEV Refueling Option, The Tesla Supercharger, still takes 1 full hour to refuel a depleted 85KWH Tesla Battery. So, unless you have a Supercharger installed in your garage you had at least better have a 240V outlet and be prepared to not drive it for 9-10 hours

Reply to  arthur4563
June 14, 2017 4:42 pm

Half a million people have put down deposits to hold an option on a Tesla 3? Be afraid, citizens of the US, be very afraid.
Can your economy afford the levels of subsidy that implies?

Reply to  arthur4563
June 14, 2017 4:43 pm

None of your fancy words and corporate-speak avoid the fact that there’s no avoiding the energy density problem with Li-I batteries, or indeed any other kind of battery. And there’s no AC motor/battery pack combination which is ever going to move a 40-tonne loaded tractor trailer.

Reply to  cgh
June 14, 2017 5:36 pm

2000 Mules for Sister Sarah ?

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  arthur4563
June 14, 2017 6:28 pm

It looks like copypasta of all the trendy talking points that gets plastered everywhere. Notice the truncated sentences continued on the next line. A dead giveaway.

Reply to  arthur4563
June 15, 2017 8:34 am

Heck, don’t use past performance as a guide. Take my word for it, after predicting the just around the corner “explosive growth” of the EC market for 50 years, this time I’m right. Take my word for it.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  arthur4563
June 15, 2017 9:20 am

Tesla has no deposits for model 3. What they have is 100% refundable tickets for a place in the production line. How many of those will actually become deposits is anybody’s guess. As the $7500 US federal subsidy is phased out, a lot of those cars will become that much more expensive, so loaning Tesla $1K for a place in line might be the difference between getting that subsidy or not. (It’s actually an Income Tax reduction claimed in the buyers’ following tax return)

Reply to  arthur4563
June 16, 2017 6:59 am

Art: Perhaps providing a little reality to this comment would add some perspective.
A $5,000 battery pack at $150 per Kwh will supply 33 Kwh of energy or 44 HP for 1 hour. If a vehicle operates at 60 mph while the battery supplies 20 HP of energy; it will drain the battery in 2.2 hours while traveling 132 miles.
In order to fully charge a drained 33 Kwh battery with a 220 volt source charger in 15 minutes requires a source current of more than 500 amps. Your home AC probably operates at 25 amps and 220 volts.

June 14, 2017 3:59 pm

I will buy an EV once it can replace my Toyota Tundra for all of the things I use it for. That means towing 9k+ lbs over hundreds of miles (I tow a large camper/toy hauler) in a single journey without the need to stop every 30 minutes and replace the batteries. It also means having a large passenger compartment with all of the luxuries we expect in a modern, top-end vehicle (I have a platinum edition), and a bed where I can put dirt, lumber, furniture or what ever the heck else I want to move.
Fat chance any of this will happen in the near future and until then I’m plenty happy to get my 14mpg while the crazy leftists around Seattle lose their mind. I’d hate to see what happens when one of those EVs runs into a full size truck like mine.

Roger Knights
Reply to  jgriggs3
June 14, 2017 4:29 pm

“I will buy an EV once it can replace my Toyota Tundra for all of the things I use it for.”
Don’t forget heating and air conditioning, both of which rapidly deplete batteries.

Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 8:35 am

Or really hot or really cold days, both of which cut battery capacity.

Reply to  jgriggs3
June 14, 2017 4:45 pm

Those crazy leftists think you’re one of them, temporarily separated from your private jet.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  jgriggs3
June 14, 2017 10:06 pm

” toy hauler ”
One of those toys might be electric — 4 wheeler, or 2.
He who dies with the most toys — wins.

June 14, 2017 5:01 pm

A relevant datum. Significant other and I traded her red BMW Z3 for a (literally) green Ford Hybrid Escape AWD in August 2007. Now the Hybrid Escape was a no brainer. At that time, the Ford hybrid premuim was fully psid by my income tax bennies. Better, the hybid AWD plus class 1 tow hitch gets 32 city/28 hwy at 70. Less gallons per drive, by ~1/3. Even better, the Atkinson cycle I 4 uses regular; the equivalent 2007 V6 uses premium, a cost difference over $1/gallon never mind less gallons.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  ristvan
June 14, 2017 8:47 pm

Another idiot claims to have saved money by paying twice as much for a 5 passenger car in 2007 than I did for our Corolla that get better mileage.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Retired Kit P
June 15, 2017 7:08 pm

How old is your Corolla? Cars have been improving in gas mileage. A lot of that is gearing. I have a ’99 Miata and a 2014 Ford Escape. The Miata does 4,000 RPM in 5th gear at 75 mph. (yes, it’s Texas and the posted speed limit is really 75) The Escape does that speed at 2100 RPM. They both get about 26 MPG even though the Miata is lighter and has less frontal area.

Bruce Cobb
June 14, 2017 5:33 pm

As soon as EV’s get taken off the government teat and are made to pay there own way, they will pretty much die, being nothing more than expensive toys for the rich.

June 14, 2017 5:49 pm
June 14, 2017 7:25 pm

David, thank you for your presentation of this article. I agree with your comment even where the IEA claims some progress it’s very scant when you examine it as you have.
The real point to take away from the IEA report is that, despite Obama spending (wasting) a fortune on replacement for fossil fuels, the progress is not even adequate to support the modest goals of the Paris Accord let alone the more extreme CO 2 reductions like those of California. The IEA is pushing for even more spending by the governments to avoid the economic and human disaster that will happen if the CO 2 emission cuts are imposed.
At some point reality will need to set in regarding the impact of reducing carbon emissions without reliable and low cost replacement energy. Blindly proceeding to reduce dependence on fossil fuels BEFORE the replacements are developed is suicide. Experience tells us that it will be many decades to develop a replacement without a miracle.

June 14, 2017 8:33 pm

To me, EV’s are just an expensive means to relocate emissions. Whether your car runs on LPG, diesel or gasoline, or your car runs on electricity generated by LNG, coal or oil, GHG’s are still being emitted. Just in a different location.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Peter
June 14, 2017 8:49 pm

EEV or elsewhere emission vehicles.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
June 15, 2017 8:37 am

I always called them ZEH. Zero Emissions Here.

June 14, 2017 9:22 pm

Nothing wrong with BEVs, but they are not green tech. Buy them because you like the vehicle.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 15, 2017 7:17 am

My choice is the Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid. 136 hp electric motor to tool around town for 30 miles on battery only, then switch to the 550 hp twin turbo V8 and keep going while recharging the battery. And if you must show off a little, engage both for a heart stopping 686 hp. Plus I get the subsidy (which I don’t need or want).

Reply to  David Middleton
June 16, 2017 7:16 pm

Jeep little boys toy. Raminator big girl’s truck – 66 inch tires, supercharged 9.2 L HEMI, 2,000 HP×473.jpg

Reply to  David Middleton
June 16, 2017 8:01 pm

Panamera Turbo S (for Sissy hybriders) – 686 HP
Shelby 1000 SC (for Super Car hot rodders) – 1,200 HPcomment image

Retired Kit P
June 14, 2017 9:37 pm

There are always a fringe element professing and advocating an alternate lifestyle. PEV are an example.
We live in a motor home. I checked, in 2016 RV sales in the US were greater than PEV. Being politically correct, we have a tiny house.
The principles of saving fuel are simple. Drive less, slow down, and do not drive aggressively.
PEV is just a different kind of status symbol.

June 15, 2017 12:29 am

“solar (a total failure)”
which planet is that on?
Here’s India increasing its Paris pledge to deliver more 3 years earlier… but in fact it is the detail on solar costs/rate of install we are interested in:
“Prime Minister Modi’s renewable energy agenda aims to increase India’s grid-tied renewable energy capacity from roughly 57 gigawatts in May 2017 to 175GW in 2022, with most of the increase coming through a major expansion in solar. India’s installed capacity for solar energy has tripled in the last three years to its current level of 12GW. It is expected to jump by more than 100GW over the next six years, and increase further to 175GW before 2030.
Coal currently provides nearly 60 percent of India’s of total installed electricity generating capacity of 330GW, but the government projects it will decline substantially as solar power ramps up. In May 2017 alone, the states of Gujarat, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh canceled thermal energy plants – that is, those powered by coal – with a combined capacity of nearly 14GW of power.
Price decline is perhaps the biggest reason India is shelving its plans for new coal-based power plants. Over the past 16 months, the cost of producing utility-scale solar electricity in India has fallen from 4.34 rupees per kilowatt-hour in January 2016 to 2.44 rupees (a little over 3 cents) in May 2017 – cheaper than coal. For the moment, large-scale solar and wind are roughly similar in price and lower than nuclear and fossil fuels.”

Roger Knights
Reply to  Griff
June 15, 2017 4:52 am

Those cheaper solar panels may not last as long as promised. And they won’t work at night or during monsoons, so that makes their low price when they are working an apple vs. coal’s non-intermittent orange. Plus they need regular maintenance (sweeping off bird poop, etc.), which should be added to their cost.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 5:44 am

PS: Modi’s enthusiasm for solar may have been partly based on the assumption that it would be subsidized by the Green Climate Fund, which is now looking doubtful.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Roger Knights
June 15, 2017 5:53 pm

…they need regular maintenance…

That’s where all the green jobs are coming from!
No joke though, I saw a panel van on the road here in NJ touting their solar panel cleaning service! Here we go, found their web site:

Reply to  Griff
June 15, 2017 8:38 am

“which planet is that on?”
This one.

Reply to  Griff
June 15, 2017 10:35 am

Aren’t you ever curious? Why is it we keep hearing about more and more solar, yet we see the contribution of solar to the grid barely in the single digits? Even future projects have it as a few % of the total.
Why is that, exactly? Take all your numbers and divide them by 4. Because solar is always reported as nameplate capacity, without taking into account intermittency.
I don’t count empty promises and pledges, I count kwh.
Not a single coal fired power plant has ever been closed because of solar. And none ever will be. Don’t be a fool – it is the easiest thing in the world for a developing country to say “we planned to build 20 coal plants, but we are now only building 10”. Environmentalists hail them for the vision, and crow about renewable power. Newsflash – they never intended to build 20. In fact, they lied. They wanted to build 10, but said they would build 20, so it looks like they are cutting back while at the same time doing exactly what they want.
China has played this game with idiot environmentalists for decades.

Reply to  Tenn
June 15, 2017 5:58 pm

This is why we shouldn’t let Democrats do Math.

Reply to  Griff
June 15, 2017 10:38 am

Since the EROI on solar photovoltaics is estimated as somewhere between 3.5 and 5, and since nearly all energy inputs to a solar PV installations are fossil based (PV panel manufacture, concrete and steel, copper aluminum, and transportation), the bigger the rampup rate, the longer the period to CO2 emissions breakeven. I would be surprised if PV are net contributors to CO2 emission reductions before 2030, and higher rates of introduction (ramping up over time) puts this further out.
Don’t you just hate it when facts get in the way of the narrative.

Reply to  Griff
June 16, 2017 6:47 pm

“which planet is that on?”
This one, Skanky.
Tell us, have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for maliciously and mendaciously attempting to discredit her professional qualifications on behalf of the ‘Unreliables’ spivs you post your drivel for?

Grey Lensman
June 15, 2017 12:52 am

Why can we not get some simple real data. how far does a tesla really go with radio lights aircon/heater.
Tesla is 85 kw/hr. thats three houses total usage. thus to charge needs cable and max utility rates. its not free.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
June 15, 2017 8:39 am

What about driving through rain or snow?

June 15, 2017 1:03 am

I think you mean “dig me up when this changes.”…

Bloke down the pub
June 15, 2017 2:34 am

The lack of “building energy-efficiency codes” in most countries…
There are suggestions that the green energy-efficiency building codes that were applied to a recent refurbishment may be the root cause of the devastating fire that destroyed the Grefell Tower in London yesterday.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
June 15, 2017 3:39 am

This is what “renewables” has done to Australia.

June 15, 2017 6:21 am

EV sales up 74% this year.
But marketwide data is the wrong metric, since EVs aren’t available in all segments. Tesla dominates the tiny market for large luxury sedans. All other vehicles are still a tiny fraction of their segments, but that may be in part because they weren’t considered directly comparable to the competition. The Bolt will approach parity in small crossovers. The model 3 will do great in the tiny small luxury sedans segment.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  vboring
June 15, 2017 9:31 am

Parity defined how? Price? Price doesn’t define parity considering the Bolt’s max range of 238 miles under perfect conditions (and no auxiliary loads) and crossovers’ 350-500 mile range. Quite different capabilities.

Frank DeMaris
June 15, 2017 10:15 am

The best way to integrate renewables into the grid is to build low-plant good nuclear power plants for base load and route the renewables directly to ground. This way we still get the primary benefit from the renewables (laughter at smug greens) without damage to the electrical grid.

June 15, 2017 10:22 am

I read the original article, and it is insanely stupid. It seems as if the authors decided several years ago what tech would be important. then measured progress on those specific techs, and gave grades.
As anyone who actually reads history, tech does not advance as we want, Much of the technology that is failing (biofuels) is failing for very good reasons – they don’t work, or have become unnecessary.
Not on their list are several things that actually ARE working, and in fact have superseded much of the need for tech that is NOT working. For example, LEDs are vastly reducing the total amount of electricity we need in our society. I didn’t happen to see that on their list, yet it is having more impact than most of the technologies combined. Also, natural gas power plant efficiency has increased immensely, resulting in far fewer power plants necessary to provide the same power. This has hugely reduced our dependency on coal, and our emissions. yet they only look at carbon capture systems in examining natural gas. Frankly, who cares – if gas can cut emissions in half over coal, at a lower price, that is a vastly more important development.

former Alaskan
June 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Whenever I read about automotive fuels I often wonder about methanol, which I understand is used by race car drivers and requires minimal modifications in gasoline cars. Is it too expensive to convert from coal or other feedstocks? Does its production suffer from CO2 fear and panic? Or is it just that the world is awash in oil and who needs gasoline substitutes? What is it about methanol that leaves it out of any of these discussions? I’d just like to learn more about it.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  former Alaskan
June 15, 2017 2:24 pm

Methanol is not soluble in gasoline, so you need an expensive additive like isobutanol to act as a detergent. I don’t know of any programs to develop methanol as a fuel. Not like Ethanol.

Reply to  dan no longer in CA
June 16, 2017 6:54 pm

I used to run my grass-track racing JAP-engined bikes on methanol.
Filthy stuff it was too, the sink of formaldehyde due to incomplete combustion at the ultra-rich mixtures that had to be used to cool the engine at the extreme compression ratios used to literally make your eyes water.

June 15, 2017 11:31 pm

Musk’s second bit of genius was to realize that electric cars were not yet practical, that they were going to be a trendy plaything for the wealthy and upper-middle-class—and to go with that. It was another case of “greenwashing”: allowing people to indulge in a luxury product without guilt because it has “green” cachet. His hope was that he could follow the tried-and-true Silicon Valley approach of finding a class of early adopters, who are willing to buy a very expensive product just to have the latest thing, and using their money to keep the company going while you cut costs and eventually bring out a mass market product.

While Lithium-ion batteries store 120 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilogram of battery weight), gasoline stores 12,600 Wh/kg. And even though gas engines only get about 20% to the wheels (about 2500 Wh/kg), Li-ion gets 90% (108 Wh/kg), so an improvement in a gas engine from 20% to 21% exceeds the entire range of a typical battery powered electric vehicle, adding about 126 Wh/kg to turn the wheels.

EVs are experiencing technical improvement, but so are ICEs.

Reply to  LarryD
June 16, 2017 11:09 am

Nice, simple summary. A few years back I guessed we would be 40% gasoline, 40% diesel, and 20% electric in the car/light truck segment by 2050. This was pre- full rollout of the horizontal drilling-fracking revolution and the ongoing difficulties with diesel pollution issues.
Now with hints at improvements in batteties I would guess 40% gasoline, 40% hybrid, 15% electric (for the cachet) and 5% diesel. Comments?

Retired Kit P
June 16, 2017 12:17 am

“How old is your Corolla? ”
Take your best shot Dan, how old do you think our 2007 Corolla is?
If you were educated in Ca and now in Texas, I can see the the challenge.
Just for the record, ICE are not getting better mileage, it is basic thermodynamics. It would be hard to beat my 68 Toyota Crown, 80 Corolla, 81 Isuzu diesel PU 4wd, 82 Tercel, or 94 Honda Del Sol SI at 35+ mpg.
It would be hard to do worse than my 74 IH Travel All or 70 IH 4wd 3/4 Ton PU. Of course, I could haul a a ton of firewood towing a Pious and not slow down on a hill. I had a 84 3/4 ton 2wd Suburban with a 4 spd. It got better mileage but towing a big trailer on a hill was a challenge.
It is about matching your vehicle to its use. The 90s was suppose to be the decade if the green car but it was the decade of the misnamed SUV. It was not longer a utility vehicle and not a thing sporty about them.
Road and Track did a road test trip. The Pious did much worse than sticker being beaten by the VW TDI diesel.
The problem comes when the goverment decides what consumers should drive. The same goes for what temperature we should keep our houses at and how long we should take showers.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Retired Kit P
June 16, 2017 8:58 am

Retired, you said on June 14 at 8:47 PM: “Another idiot claims to have saved money by paying twice as much for a 5 passenger car in 2007 than I did for our Corolla that get better mileage.” This says that the “idiot” bought a 5 passenger car in 2007, and you bought a Corolla of some uncertain model year.
I too bought a car in 2007. It was a 1999 model. I don’t assume everyone who buys a car gets a new one. I do know how to read a Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) map, and in my day job I work closely with real automotive engineers in Detroit. The manufacturers are going to 7, 8, and 9 speed automatic transmissions with smoother shifting (which allows more frequent shifting without the passengers noticing the shift) so that engine RPM at cruise conditions is lower. The advantage of doing this is clearly seen on a BSFC map.
My SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) number is 3323420830. SAE is an organization that does not accept membership in exchange for just money. And I am always courteous toward forum members.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
June 16, 2017 12:59 pm

“And I am always courteous toward forum members.”
No Dan you are not. The point of telling people they are stupid is that it gives them an opportunity to learn.
First off you may not want to skip telling folks you have a SAE number.
Second, the biggest factor in getting good mileage is the wingnut in the drivers seat. The first mistake wingnuts make is during the purchase process. For some odd reason, even very smart people get very stupid when dealing with car salesmen. Before going near one, I do my research.
In 89, I needed a small 2wd extended cab pickup with a V-6 and 5 spd manual transmission. At the Ford dealer, they only had 4wd automatic trannies. The salesmen said the mileage and maintenance cost would be the same.
I also expect a car to last 300,000 miles. I did this with the 89 Toyota as well as some cars that I bought used. The key with automatic transmissions is to change the fluid. A ten year old car with 150k miles is not worth the cost of replacing a transmission.
“I do know how to read a Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) map…”
How stupid is that? Dan gives us very expensive and fragile drive trains to achieve marginally better fuel economy.

June 16, 2017 4:35 am

A wad of meaningless drivel. If I produced trash analysis of this sort in business it would be considered satire. If I persisted I would become a joke. Should have stayed in government I suppose.

Samuel Orland
June 18, 2017 4:08 pm

Tony I left the part in where MarkW said what he did, because while I agree the second-hand smoke claim was another CHEMISTRY FRAUD BY THE ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS – it was – I also agree that the stuff’s nasty and Tobacco is just plain nasty shit. I have worked around cleanroom environments, and from having to quantify that level of cleanliness you get an education in how fumes coming off burning material, the fumes and smoke as well – settle. And when they do, the dust that is in all air everywhere – a mixture of dead earthworms, clay, dead birds, automobile smoke, barbecue smoke from up the road, all these dusts, raised by the sun during it’s passage each and every day, they land everywhere: and then are chemically reacted with, by these various fumes from smoke: and they make – varnish.
Ok so
we know that tobacco is some nasty shit and that it’s actually got some medical properties the way heroin does or any other noxious drug mankind’s used for millenia (sp?) It’s strong enough that it creates physical reactions, nicotine’s a legendary pesticide.
tony mcleod June 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm
“Regardless, the tobacco scare was overblown and the second hand tobacco scare was entirely a myth.”
So is the climte hoax, and toxic sludge i good for you.
I have a bridge going cheap…
Now McLeod tell me what you know about Carbon Dioxide. Do you think it’s not plant food? What possible harm can come from inhaling it? It’s actually left in the air on nuclear submarines, because it’s so harmless, they let people regularly breathe it at 8,000 ppm and at times as much as 40,000 ppm. That’s in emergencies when there have been filtration problems on them. But they often let the ppm of CO2 run 10,000 ppm.
Surely to have been around here for months on end you realize the depth of the fraud you yourself, have been sold.
You’ve been educated in a school that adding CO2 to air can make it warmer when you’ve been referred to the law of physics governing that yourself – its a five factor equation – along with the chart of energy constants that are also part of the law of physics governing atmospheric temperature you’ve seen clearly yourself – a FIVE FACTOR EQUATION with it’s accompanying chart that COMPRISE the LAW GOVERNING this – and addition of CO2 to air COOLS it.
Why didn’t those websites prepare you for being shown this and give you answers? The fact the law of thermodynamics governing gas temperature formally forbids CO2 addition to atmospheric air formally, specifically assigning the CO2 a lower energy constant and – THEY NEVER TOLD YOU?
Then there’s the scam about Venus.
You were actually taught in school that the temperature of Venus has a run-away green house effect when – youve seen referred to here at LEAST
at least a half dozen times, the links to the now, pretty legendary thread by Steve Goddard – at one time a staunch warming believer – where he just got down to checking the temperature of Venus as reported by multiple spacecraft LANDING on it – and the temperature of Venus is actually COOLER, than if the atmosphere was comprised of Earth’s atmospheric mix.
Doesn’t it make something go off in your head, after you’ve been studying atmospheric chemistry for months, to find out you’ve been told by government employees that the temperature of Venus is oddly high, way past what it would be if it weren’t a ”green house gas” atmosphere – then you find out that – you can caclulate this yourself, it’s the SIMPLEST PHASE of MATTER’S PHYSICS LAW – doesn’t it strike you as
bizarre that you were LIED to not just after school but IN SCHOOL that this Venusian atmosphere’s supposed to be oddly warm – now you find out – and can check this YOURSELF – FOLLOWING ALONG – as the guy does the mathematics to solve for the temperature of an atmosphere- Venusian Carbon Dioxide atmosphere must
by mandate
of the thermodynamical law governing the temperatures of gases,
COOLER than earth’s? Here’s the link I don’t want you to claim you don’t know, I know you know, I learned about this, from seeing it linked here. Steve Goddard, ”hyperventilating on Venus” and ”Venus Envy”.
This is the simplest mathematics in all thermodynamics law, Tony. WHY AREN’T YOU CONCERNED YOU WERE LIED TO, Tony?
WHY NOT? WHY aren’t you outraged at being taught the WRONG answers to SCIENCE TESTS in SCHOOL?
You were taught in school that ”The temperature of Venus’ atmosphere is ______________(warmer/cooler) than the temperature of an identical volume of Earth’s atmospheric mix, when adjusted for light, and pressure variations?
The answer to that question is ”COOLER”
You were taught in a school that the answer is ”WARMER.”
The question is – WHY aren’t you PERSONALLY OUTRAGED that you and your father and your children were and will be taught FAKE SCIENCE TEST ANSWERS?
Normally I’m the kind of person who’s joking around but I really have that question to you because I can’t see any reason you should be posting here at all if you can’t give me and everyone else here the answer to that question so it sounds like you’re even – sane, Tony.
Why are you here claiming you believe more and more insulation suspended in a cold bath of compressible fluids, can warm the firelight warmed rock, it’s conduction-scrubbing heat from, AFTER it stops 20% of the available light to warm the planet, from ever reaching it?
When in all of history is the ‘other time’ something warmed by light from a fire, grew warmer after immersion into a cold conduction stripping, heat robbing bath?
And right alongside the bizarre claim that’s even possible,
comes the further claim that – addition of ever more, light blocking insulation into the bath, – the very class insulation – green house gases – that already are blocking 20% of available warming firelight to the earth –
where in all history have you heard or talked about or seen another instance of less and less warming light,
reaching a light-warmed rock,
making the less-light warmed rock, warmer,
than when it was actually receiving more, warming light?
I may not have asked that right: when is the last time you heard or knew of insulation between a rock, making less light warm it,
cause more warming light to be depicted as arriving?
Less warming light from fire arrives,
and you believe more warming occurs.
Ever less – 1% less light arrived, now 5% less light – how much more comes back out? How much warmer does a rock get, when 4% less warming light even reaches it, because magic insulation stopped it?
On to 10% lost energy – then 15% energy lost to space due to the light blocking insulation in the cold bath – where in history did this make ever more warming firelight, be depicted as arriving, by sensors on a rock less warming light ever arrived on?
And then today – green house gases stop 20% of total sunlight available to warm it arriving at the planet. Gone, refracted to space.
How much more warming firelight do you claim energy sensors on earth shall depict arriving when 21% doesn’t arrive? Then 22%?
You act like you’re deeply invested in this. You believe it by golly – well then you tell me now, so I can go give my kids the correct answers on a physics test – for every percent available warming firelight that doesn’t ever reach a rock,
how much more leaks out?
When you can tell me that Tony and I can go reference it in my own libraries and see that sure enough, less light warming a fire light warmed rock, means it gets warmer and warmer, the less and less light warms it,
I’ll be prepared to entertain you as something more than an insulting troll Tony.
I really mean that I think, that’s what you’re here to operate as. A purely anti-science, political troll.
Tell me how much more light leaks out of a rock,
one percent less light leaks into, Tony, or you’re just a lying, fraud publishing troll. Fair enough?
Everybody here is dumb, if someone asks you.
Well I’m asking you, right now: For every time a percent less warming light strikes a light warmed rock, how much more warming light are you claiming sensors on that rock depict as arriving, thermalizing, and ultimately, leaving?
Because I’m here to tell you without there even being need for some book, that there’s no such thing as putting insulation in a bath so less and less light warms a rock, making that rock’s energy sensors depict the rock getting and ultimately losing more light. Less arrives, so more’s going to leave, is your claim.
Show me another instance of insulation between a fire warmed rock and the fire warming it, such that less warming firelight reaches that rock,
makes more warminglight leak out.
I see you in here insulting the people I’m enjoying watch discuss physics and atmospheric chemistry.
Who are you to be able to get away with simply insulting us all en masse, with no repercussions other than you get to be the center of a lot of attention? I’m pointing this out because others seeing you try to troll scientific discussions might believe you hold some deeply knowledgeable secret.
I say, you don’t even know what law of thermodynamics governs atmospheric temperature as will be proven by the fact as long as this thread stands you’ll be utterly silent about answering any of the questions
investigation of your anti-science cult immediately brings. Anyone hearing of your story about the cold bath warming the rock it robs warming light from – is going to ask fundamental questions, about whether those passing the message even know what the fundamentals of the subject are.
I see people here discussing atmospheric and other physics to the tune of HUNDREDS of posts per day.
Very very FEW of them invoke some violation of thermodynamic principles or physical laws. You are CONSTANTLY insinuating the people you’re watching discuss scientific matters are wrong.
Explain what you know about the above. And – above it all, you name for me the law of physics governing the temperature of the atmosphere. Do you even know the name of the law of physics governing what you’re talking about?
Tell me the equation and what all the factors mean and show me which one of them you claim, makes it possible for insulation making less light reach a rock, make more light leak back out of it.
I say all this obviously without feeling the need to reduce what I’m saying to nothing but general insults, I want to hear you simply go on at length about your understanding of atmospheric energy and why,
everytime I see you saying something, it’s either in crass violation of physics, or it’s some snide insult that sounds like it comes from a paid political operative.
Thank you
Samuel Orland

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